Thursday, May 31, 2012

Frida Kahlo and the Nutty Goodness.

(Does this title sound like a girl band to you?)

Last week when I was sleeping a lot and not at all interested in food, I had a sudden overwhelming craving for pine nuts - toasted - preferably in the context of this tabouli recipe. It was like those ridiculous cravings people get on sit coms and bollywood movies. (I like to be eclectic in my viewing tastes.)
Wednesday I was meant to be resting while the Big Fella took Shorty to work but I was STARVING and had to have a very exact series of ingredients. Sometimes you can only trust yourself. I showered and changed and drove shakily but with intent purpose to Aldi. Having thought about the process the night before I knew Aldi would be the quickest way in and out. The trip took 15 minutes. I was REALLY starving.

So this is a recipe post except I lost the recipe years ago when this was a favourite pregnancy dinner. It was a Marie Claire one I think. Consequently the quantities are up to your good selves.
First you toast those divine blonde babies till they are good and golden in a non-stick pan. This bit was like nirvana. The smell, the colour!!!

 Now moving on. Squeeze a whole lemon because I like it lemony. Blue nails optional.

 Pan fry the chicken pieces. I asked the butcher to chop the bits up because I couldn't look at/ touch/ smell raw meat. They got dumped in the pan and I only peeked when it smelt cooked.

The tabouli has been soaking in boiling water for a while so you can fluff it up with a fork now. This could work with quinoa for a gluten free version. I am a lapsed coeliac by the way.

 Combine the pine nutty, lemony, grainy bits.

Toss in some chopped baby toms.

 You can put in whatever greens you have but I turned to the Ring of Wire for mine. We found basil, ethiopian spinach, rocket and thyme. That spinach plant came from Northy St farm two years ago and just keeps going despite drought or rain or neglect.

 Then you mix it all up and savour the goodness. This was, of course a re-enactment as I was beyond photos in last week's pine nut feeding frenzy. I just made it and ate it again today for you in a much more leisurely manner.

Bonus of the Day arrived as I sizzled the chook today in the form of this rather quirky card from Anna. Ms Kahlo looks quite dour and peaky. Maybe she's got a skinful of the drug that makes me glow like a toffee apple. Ms Kahlo apparently had much healthier follicles than I am presently experiencing.

It came with a rather pretty new phone cover which looks like a Rainbow Lorikeet to me. Anna made it herself, clever clogs! There may a bedside vinaigrette developing here, people.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Down by the River- Part 2

Although the late afternoon was golden and bright....

and our mood cheerful to match,

 with the flick of a black and white switch........

 the same pictures take on a quiet melancholy....

which I don't dislike. Not at all.

 A few brooding clouds...

and a little industrial evidence  of one kind....

 or another...

 can render the good ol' Brisbane River quite atmospheric....

and memorable for myriad reasons.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Down by the River- Part 1

Sunday we went to find the red Rapunzel tower that had been spotted and gazed at from my room in the hospital. Sunday marked the start of the good week (out of the three) so I determined to make it so. I had been feeling a bit like Rapunzel, without the hair, stuck in my suburban tower for the last two weeks.

The  tower was easy to find as was the good riverside bike track...and some tiny, silver, dead fish being hoarded by a crane.

So we sat and looked at the fish and contemplated what else might live in the great, grey, greasy waters of the lazy Brisbane River. It reads better when you say "lazy Limpopo" and you are Jack Nicholson.

Of course we had to hold and examine the dead fish.

Then we studied the mangroves and contemplated what might be living in the mud...

and held and examined the mangrove fruit. Look at that grubby hand! We like to get dirty on a field trip.

There was free wheeling for all while I sauntered along with tag- along Tess on her tiny trike.

If there are Morton Bay Figs trees this lot will be up them in a trice. You have to love those fig trees. 

This B2 boy has been most loving and  gentle to me of late. He stood beside me in the setting sun and we took photos of our long shadows together then he made this one. I think I love this photo.

As the sun set in the western suburbs over the Wesley hospital and the 'good' room we mooched home and it felt good. The five chillun and I went out for a picnic with wheels and survived- even enjoyed ourselves! It felt like me again even if it is one week in three. It is something to look forward to!

Oh, and I got the last haircut yesterday just in time because last night my hair hurt. Seriously, hurty hair follicles! Who knew? So I had a shower at midnight and towelled it dry and went back to bed. I had forgotten how easy short hair is. Imagine how easy bald will be!

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Things that make you go Hmm!

Sometimes when I scroll back through the photos on my phone, there are little surprises. Small but vivid bright spots appear in unexpected guises. Like Maria von Trappe I would like to share with you some of my favourite things over the last couple of days.
Spending a lot of time horizontal, at home and in the hospital, I always get a small internal chuckle at the toenails. Friends keep topping them up when they get shabby so they might be around for a while.

Milk was the most fabulously delicious thing this week only beaten to first place by a delirious craving for pine nuts on Tuesday. That's another story on its own. Water and tea taste pretty ordinary but milk is nectar of the gods. The taste buds are having a crazy party.

I love finding these adorable reminders of less lanky kids. This photo and a few others of a sevenish Fishy boy appeared on my phone photos but I don't actually know how he put them there. Why are they better at using my phone than me?

This one loves that I'm on the bed a lot, a captive audience, not 'too busy' for a change. Her pile of books beside the bed is overtaking mine but her concentration is vastly superior. If she could just stop bouncing on the mattress while I'm seasick...

I know I've mentioned it before but it's the nape of the neck. I'm a sucker for it. They got me at the newborn stage with it and I never recovered. The post kindy, skewiff pigtails just add to the achingly kissable quality of that special mama spot.

As do the pouty, sleeping baby lips. I'm still lying there watching them sleep after thirteen years of baby addiction. The big boys think its creepy. Suck it up, boys. Mother is a little sentimental at the moment.

A friend dropped in this lusciously creamy organic soap that she had bought from the markets for me. It was the crinkly paper that early gave me pleasure though. I think it was baking paper that had been softened and scrunched till it became quite tactile. The drugs haven't made the nails radioactive but can make them light sensitive so they go black and flaky. Mmmmm! Opaque polish is the answer so I thought I'd go a bit Lily Allen. Red fingernails have never suited me and this aqua shade matches the doona cover which is, after all, my primary fashion accessory of late.

Thursday there was a successful visit to the Wesley. I left Doctor Gentle with a grin on my face for possibly the first time ever. Whites cells are go and my body is starting to come to the party at last! Plus they give you free reiki, Indian head massage and reflexology sessions to recover from a morning of needles and chest flashing. Those Choices people make it just a little bit nice to be in this club.

Even the very confused Brisbane trees were getting in on it. Its Autumn for g'ness sake. Note the wee Rapunzel tower over the river. I stared at it a lot when I was in the 'good' room in the hospital. I may take some wee uns to check it out more closely.

 Reflexology was the treatment of the day which sent me into a deep sleep only to wake myself with one loud embarrassed snore. Next day the little sister came to work on my hooves with some delicious organic goodies from her trove. It was a bit Mary Magdalene- in a good way. That would be 'Martha' being busy with buttons in the back room behind her.

 Eventually she took on the apprenticeship with gusto and we found her later with her feet in a box in her room giving herself an air pedi. I'd best keep her in training! Who gives you a pedi when you need some sole comfort?

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Slower Pace

Round One of Keeno has been slow. It is not a nice place but there have, of course, been lovely moments and colour always stands out so well against grey. A selected few out of towners have dropped in. Fortunately the first couple of days weren't as bad and they came bearing light, ranunculus, good cheer and gentle words. 

Not anticipating the flush of redness that had the whole family staring at me over the brekky table, I had already booked Natalie for more hair cropping.  This is the best photo I could manage although I do look like a bubble headed E T due to the unfortunate back lighting. Note the eyebrows hoisting the lids open before I flopped on the bed. One more crop to go ....

Others are experimenting with their looks as well. Remember 'heroine chic' and the 'waif'. We at the farmhouse like to describe this one as the Bosnian orphan look. The number of skirt layers varies according to the time one has to don them before being deposited. Thankfully kindy is an enormous hit with this one which has made things very easy.
Lying in bed and looking out at the mountains at the gorgeous Brisbania autumn, I am thankful that all this is happening at such a  gentle time of year. This is how I remember the English summers. The air is still and warm, just stirring the leaves and it is quiet and calm. Great weather for dozing.
It is so spring- like that even the frangipani is sending out new shoots? New life? Dare I see a sign?
So we mooch and rest and play together. There is a soft calm over the house perhaps from the visitors' light or from the inherent awareness that there is healing going on. 

We have snuggled and slept and shifted in some of our usual routines although a lot of them have just continued along.

The Big Fella has taken the Fantastic Four to the beach today to enjoy the weather and burn off some steam. The short one was determined to be included in the group today having been left last time.
They seem to be having a lovely time and Big Fella is keeping me in the picture so I can enjoy them enjoying it all. How can Autumn be so divine?
This one opted to stay behind to keep me company. He has put out some washing and keeps checking on me.  Cinders may have earned himself a nice- cream Sunday for Sunday lunch!

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