Sunday, 28 February 2010

piggy bank

Keep your mitts off my pig!

Jack has recently acquired a piggy bank and a passbook. He's more excited about the pig, though I'm sure if he could read what his balance is, he'd be quietly chuffed. He hadn't had the piggy bank very long before it was full as he went about the house picking up any loose change that was lying around. He also took on the ownership of the chicken piggy bank and spent lots of time tipping all the coins out and then laboriously putting them back in through the slot.

When we had a free morning we took both PB's into the Bendigo bank in Wagga to make a deposit. We were both a little excited because we knew we'd be using the whizz bang coin counting machine (yes, it doesn't take much to excite us country folk).

Jack stood on a chair and emptied the pig onto the conveyor belt, then pressed the special button that made it all disappear. Then the chicken was also emptied and another button pressed. The machine went to work counting and spitting out all foreign coins and objects (quite a bit of carpet fluff and lucky fur as I found out). We got the receipt

and presented it to the teller who the deposited it in Jack's account. All $54 and twenty cents of it. No wonder those piggy banks were heavy.

Retro Recipes

I'm preparing myself to do the time warp. Well, preparing my tastebuds anyway. Tomorrow night at Wagga Library there's going to be a special event called Revisiting Retro Recipes to tie in with an exhibition from the state library on cookbooks from the 50's, 60's and 70's. My friend Amy will be giving a talk and then her friend Sara will be doing a cooking demo. I'm on tenterhooks as I wait to find out what delightful dish she will be creating - Devils on horseback? Angels On Horseback? Devilled Eggs? Salmon Mousse? I've got my lbd and cardie ready and have borrowed a fetching little pink pillbox hat to wear and of course I'll be taking a plate (and camera). Now to decide between canned asparagus wrapped in white bread (with the crusts off) or an orange porcupine with cheese and onions. Tres Chic!

Thursday, 18 February 2010

Vindaloo against violence

I heard a great interview on Radio National yesterday with Mia Northrop, the organiser of Vindaloo against violence. This coming Wednesday (24th Feb) she wants people to get together at their local Indian restaurant (or if you don't have one then make a curry) to show support for your local Indian community. Fantastic idea and an oh so Melbourne way of dealing with a problem (and I mean that in a good way). We'll definitely be partaking but as we don't have a conveniently located restaurant nearby we'll be eating homemade curry- I just have to decide what kind to make. It doesn't have to be vindaloo, just make sure you register on the site (it takes about 5 seconds) so they know how many people are getting involved and then make sure you eat your curry. Such hardship!
Great recipes on the SBS food safari website or or have a look at the BBC website where they have a Madhur Jaffrey recipe for duck vindaloo.

Thursday, 11 February 2010

Rated Arrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrgh!

On Wednesday we normally go to playgroup but then I found out that storytime at the library would be a piratical affair and well, how could we resist? Jack's costume is getting a touch small so I had to ease (yank) it over his noggin. There were loads of kids there but no one else had got the memo about the theme.I heard a mother behind me say,"she must've known" either that or I always parade my poor son in public as a pirate. I did contemplate wearing some pirate clothes too, or at least a parrot but decided against it.

Michael did the stories and was fantastic as always. He read a great book by Pamela Allen called where's the gold with a very squawky parrot. Each time Michael squawked a child started to cry so in the end he had to whisper the squawk.

Jack volunteered (not one but two hands up in the air) to go up the front for a version of 5 cheeky pirates jumping on the bed and seemed nonplussed when he had to sit down again.

After craft (making a pirate hat, which was lucky because even though we'd taken one he refused to wear it)

Michael finished with some tricky pirate paper craft and a staring competition with Jack, then we were off to the park.

It was pretty hot and not really the day to be playing in a 100% polyester (so breathable) pirate suit, but Jack didn't care launching himself down (and up) the slide with great enthusiasm.
There was a kid's birthday party happening right next to the slide but strangely Jack seemed oblivious to the presence of cake. Fortunate because they certainly weren't generously offering the cake to all the kiddies in the immediate vicinity. My mum used to do that which I have to say was a very nice thing to do though I remember one birthday at the spaghetti factory being quietly indignant that she was giving away my cake, thank goodness I got over that! (brat)

And so eventually my little pirate was ready to set sail for home. We took a walk back around the lagoon and went to find our ship.

Sunday, 7 February 2010

Breakfast in bed

Jack brought me breakfast in bed this morning. No, it's not my birthday, he is a morning person and I am not. Obviously I was dallying too long (6.30am) so he thought he'd lure me out of bed with something delicious. And here it is and yes, he did make it all by himself.


We got some rain the other day. I checked the gauge and it said 3.5mm which seemed odd because there were HUGE puddles everywhere. Later S told me he'd emptied it that morning (another 21 mm) and that seemed more like it. Jack of course was gleefully eyeing off those deep, muddy puddles and jamming on his gumboots at every opportunity - mostly on the right feet. So after we'd changed out of our playgroup duds and put on some daggy gear he was allowed to don his gumbies and splash to his heart's content which he did. It was so lovely to be outside without the sun beating down on us, just the fresh smell from the rain and the lemon scented gum.

Tuesday, 2 February 2010

gift of giving?

Every Christmas our library does this rather wonderful thing where people pay for their fines with food. It's a win win situation and it leaves everyone feeling warm and fuzzy, hopefully including the people that receive the food via the salvos. It's always interesting to see how much people bring in and what they decide to donate. Sometimes (but not always) it seems like the people with the small fines donate the most whilst others with enormous fines, well you get the idea. When it finishes we trawl through everything and box it up and Mr Salvo takes it away. It is amazing how many obscure or expired items turn up from the back of people's cupboards. Like this which I found yesterday. It really weighs 2.72kg.

Ingredients: Beef 88%, beef hearts......

Sugar hit

We had a delightful morning this morning. We were lured to Amy's house with the promise of building a gingerbread house. I know it seems a strange time of the year to be doing this, but Amy offered before Christmas but we were away. Who are we to let tradition stand in the way of sweet treats (and seeing Amy and Bethany of course).Amy had made the gingerbread the night before so all we had to do was assemble the house. But first we had morning tea (we needed sustenance to get us through the heavy lifting). We had some delicious cinnamon biscuits made with Hershey's cinnamon chips (best to keep them far away from me lest I eat the whole pack). Jack and Bethany had milk and Amy and I had real tea out of a pot. Amy has some beautiful cups and saucers so it was all very civilised.

Then Jack and Bethany played, while Amy and I talked about food (surprise) and then Jack discovered a jigsaw puzzle which he and Bethany assembled and then it was time to build the house. Amy took charge of the piping (a wise decision) while Bethany and Jack supervised.

Finally it was ready for decorating which Jack loved. Quality control was important as they both tested the freckles and smarties for freshness, colour and texture. Their dedication was impressive. And then it was all finished. Jack asked me several times if we were taking it home and I assured him that we were.

On the way home a tree got eaten. Then S and Jack ate the people and a piece of roof. The house's days are numbered. I will have to try and exercise superhuman restraint as I love gingerbread and have been known to overdo it so much that I have to take a break for a month or two. I did contemplate taking it to playgroup to share but I'm not sure it will last that long. Not much point in taking a wall with some teethmarks in it.

going potty

When you are a parent you talk about wees, poo and farts a lot. It's only when people around you without kids start looking alarmed that you realise maybe it's not suitable conversation for polite company.
People with little or no interest in the scatological avert you eyes now.
And so we come to toilet training time. All the books reassuringly advise to wait until your child is ready (and not when people of my parent's generation say that they should for after all we were in cloth nappies which are not quite so absorbent or dare I say comfy). I'd say that's good advice unless your child is going to a preschool that says no to nappies. Jack will be (hopefully) starting preschool in April (our local preschool is harder to get into than that special room at the Ivy) after he turns three so we have some time. We thought maybe we should try now because he certainly seems interested when we go (sigh) and he loves books like Who's in the loo, The Little mole and Everybody Poops (though I change poops to poo and diaper to nappy). And it's warm so he could run around with no pants on if he wanted to. For some reason he doesn't.

When S produced this seat and step (because Jack's only interest in the potty is wearing it as a hat) Jack was excited until we placed it on the toilet when he ran screaming down the hall, "I don't want to use the toilet anymore!" Anymore?
Even the allure of wearing Bob the builder, Thomas or Mr Men undies is not enough. If only he could show the same enthusiasm for becoming toilet trained as he does for farting. The other day he farted then proudly announced,"gee, I'm getting really good at farting!"