At about 0845, Megan, Kim and I went to the local dog pound, as we saw a cute dog up for adoption in the local paper. Her name was Janie and was a Silky/Australian terrier cross, just like Butch. Unfortunately, she had already been adopted, so we went home empty handed. Megan and Kim were sad. But Megan saw a wild rabbit, and I tried to catch it, but it was too quick for me! Could have made a good stew!
When we got home, Kim cleaned the pool the best she could, and we found that the rubber skirt around the Kreepy Krauly pool cleaner had worn out, so we have to get the pool guy in to fix it up and condition the pool for winter. It is now too cold to swim. Such a shame, as I wish that there was something I could do with the pool in the winter, like aquaculture or something.
Once the pool was reasonably clean, I got down on my hands and knees and started doing a bit of weeding around the stone parts of the garden. This saved the strain of bending over on my back. It looked quite comical and Butch joined in and tried to help. Kim started pruning her dead azaleas and we cleaned up the plum tree side of the house. We had been neglecting it since we have had the deck built, so it was due for a clean and tidy up. Adam moved the two large ficus trees we have in pots so that they get a bit more rain. I took down the old fairy lights we had strung up everywhere (more like pulled them down), and Kim kept pruning. I got down on my hands and knees again and swept the floor with the dust pan and broom, and we put all the leaves and dust into the compost bin. The area looks quite nice now, and once we sell the little beer fridge and some of Ben’s old tricycles/bikes it will look even better. I will post a photo when it is all finished. I then had to go and pick up Amy from the bus station, as she has been visiting her boyfriend, Thomas, who lives in Young, NSW. It was great to see her, and I gave her a massive hug. We then visited the supermarket to get some baking needs, and I had to buy my first tomatoes for 5 months. Tear. We also bought some semolina so that we could make a pudding for desert and some batteries for the smoke detectors.
By this time, my bottom and legs were sore, even though I took great care not to aggravate my condition. So as Kim made some more scones and some ANZAC biscuits, I lay down and read a book called “The Practical Australian Gardener – Seasonal tasks using sensible organic methods” written by Peter Cunadall of Gardening Australia fame. I made sure that I read the chapter for April to make sure I hadn’t missed anything important that I should be doing or could be planting! The work in the morning had tired me out so much that I fell asleep for an hour.
Kim woke me at 1600, so I started to make dinner. It was to be Butternut Pumpkin soup, as it is one of the kids favourites. Here is the recipe;
Golden Butternut Pumpkin Soup
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 2 teaspoons unsalted butter
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- 2 medium onions, chopped
- 1 small stalk celery, chopped
- 750g Butternut pumpkin, peeled and cubed
- 4 cups low sodium vegetable stock
- half teaspoon dried oregano or 2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh
- 2 bay leaves
- quarter teaspoon black pepper
- In a large saucepan, melt the butter in the oil so the butter does not burn over a moderate heat. Add the onion, garlic and celery; cook, uncovered, until the onion browns a little and is soft – about 5 minutes.
- Add the pumpkin, stock, oregano, bay leaves and pepper, stir and gently bring to the boil. Adjust the heat so that the mixture bubbles gently; cover and simmer for 20 minutes. Check to see if the pumpkin is tender when pierced with a fork. Remove and discard the bay leaves and let the soup cool for 5 minutes.
- Blend the soup with a hand-blender in the pot, or transfer to a blender in a few batches. Careful as it is still very hot. When smooth, return to the pot and reheat gently for about 5 minutes. Do not boil and it will burn on the bottom of the pan. Ladle into bowls and serve with crusty bread. Yum.
The family finished this off in no time flat, and Adam asked if there was any more, but it was all gone. Then I thought, why not make one of those semolina puddings that I had on Friday at Crossways! Kim found a similar recipe on the internet at a Hari Krishna blog site. Hopefully no one will mind if I share the recipe here with you;
Hare Krishna Halava
- 2 ½ cups (625 ml) water
- 1 ¼ cups (310 ml) raw sugar
- ½ cup (125 ml) raisins
- 140 g (5 ounces) unsalted butter
- 1 ¼ cups (310 ml) coarse-grained semolina
- 1/3 cup (85 ml) walnut pieces
- Combine the water, sugar, and raisins in a 2-litre/quart saucepan. Place over moderate heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to very low and cover with a tight-fitting lid.
- Place the butter in a 2- or 3-litre/quart non-stick saucepan and over fairly low heat, stirring occasionally, melt the butter without scorching. Add the semolina. Slowly and rhythmically stir-fry the grains until they darken to a tan colour and become aromatic (about 20 minutes). Add the walnut pieces about half-way through the roasting. Stirring more carefully, raise the heat under the grains.
- Raise the heat under the sugar water and bring the syrup to a rolling boil. Remove the saucepan of semolina and butter from the heat, slowly pouring the hot syrup into the semolina, stirring steadily. The grains may at first splutter, but will quickly cease as the liquid is absorbed.
- Return the pan to the stove and stir steadily over low heat until the grains fully absorb the liquid, start to form into a pudding-like consistency, and pull away from the sides of the pan. Place a tight-fitting lid on the saucepan and cook over the lowest possible heat for 5 minutes. Turn off the heat, allow the halava to steam, covered, for an additional 5 minutes. Serve hot in dessert bowls as it is, or with the toppings suggested above.
I followed the instructions above to the letter, as I had never made Halava before. It turned out just like I had on Friday with Jen. It was very tasty and filling. This recipe served 5 generous portions (probably better if we had a little less each). Ben had a little, but didn’t like it but what do you expect for a fussy 8 year old. I was surprised that Megan did not like it. Her excuse was that the texture was unusual. Amy ate her portion as well as Megan’s, and Adam and Kim said it was unusual but great, and that I can make it again any time. Now that the kids are used to vegetarian meals every so often, I have not heard one complaint like where is the meat! Kim is looking for more vegetarian recipes we can try this week.
It is great to have discovered a different way of eating. So many different flavours to savour!
sounds like you had a rewarding day. after the other problems dad