Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Stories from home

A shot from the weekend, before all of the citrus disappeared (well the lemons and limes anyway). Who knew Winter could be so colourful?

My brother and his wife brought some excellent stories from Sydney on their recent trip, silly stories and family stories, including an account of their recent outing to a big family dinner where the group ordered a 2 metre pizza. I wanted to know more and they showed me panoramic photographs snapped on a phone to satisfy my curiosity. The pizzas came served on custom made boards with handles at both ends, they said, and every time one left the kitchen, resting on the shoulders of two male staff members, it was announced. "Two metre pizza!"

I laughed and felt like I had been there. Before the dinner, they'd been to a book launch and reading that included some stories from our aunt. One of the writers read a story her obsession with Singaporean mud crab, which she'd consumed all over Sydney and overseas, and it was a story that hinted at an obsessive yet sometimes invisible illness.

Their stories made me feel a little homesick. They may have been stories about pizzas and crabs but they were exactly the kind of stories that I wanted to hear - funny, unusual and silly stories from home.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

an excellent weekend

It may be Tuesday but I am still energised from the long weekend. My brother and his wife came to stay for a night, and we talked and ate non-stop. It was so exciting to have our house full for a night. They arrived in Wagga Wagga just in time for our weekly Skype session with my baby niece. We took turns trying to entertain her and chat to my sister, and all crammed behind the computer to completely bamboozle her at one point. She's very good at sitting up on her own now and has developed a strong interest in typing.

We cooked up a three course meal for our guests on Sunday night, and made everything from two Nigel Slater cookbooks, we're obsessed! Tony made tomato and basil shell pasta and the most delicious rib eye steaks for dinner with a special miso butter sauce. I made a fennel and parmesan salad and a lime tart, using Kristy's homegrown and surprisingly yellow limes.

There was just enough time for a walk into town on Monday morning and four bowls of muesli before Derrick and Chris had to go home. I wish they could've stayed a little longer! They left determined to stop for meat pies in Jugiong, and with some leftover lime tart stashed in their bag to accompany them on the long drive home.

And then it was time to work on a novelty cake for Sophie's birthday. I have been waiting to make her this cake for months and am so proud of myself for not spoiling the surprise. I made a fairy bread shaped lemon butter cake, which had an excellent cake to icing ratio. I had very good luck (or maybe lots of patience) and made the best batch of buttercream. I also got hundreds and thousands all over the kitchen but it was worth it.

Here are a few outgoing and incoming presents. This box of chocolates is keeping us company now us guests have left. They're beautiful.

Sophie had a Winter picnic in her backyard with the yummiest salads, a bonfire (I've never been to a bonfire before!) and ping pong table. It was the best way to end a long weekend.

This week we are getting ready to post our wedding invitations (we're less than 3 months out!) and I'm editing a video story at work that I am really excited about. 
Beyond the Internet, I am listening to the excellent Winter, Again mix from Finetooth Radio (which is my brother's radio show) and catching up on the Radio Yak series on Radio National. I haven't read or finished a book for a very long time but am excited about starting 'The Dealer is the Devil', which tracks the history of the Aboriginal art market in Australia and I am waiting for Lee Tran Lam's latest zine to arrive in my mailbox any day now. And we have watched two great films lately, an art documentary called Cutie and the Boxer (which I felt slightly uneasy watching but kept thinking about days afterwards) and an Italian film called The Great Beauty, which made excellent use of music.