Wednesday, February 27, 2008

I'm an Aunty!!

Well, kind of.

At 1.45am this morning an old friend (I think we've been friends 17 years or so) gave birth to an 8 pound 14 ounces (for the more modern among you, I think that's about 4kg) girl, Emily Grace. Mum and bub doing well now, although Mum had a slight turn after the delivery (wouldn't you?!?!).

I have no idea when I'll get to visit the new family member - Casino is a long way from Melbourne! Can't wait for pictures... I'm hoping my mum will come good and send me something in the next day or so.

Gimme some champers!!

Friday, February 15, 2008

ROADTRIP!!! Wagga for a Holiday

Imagine opening your eyes to this in the morning, with the sounds of magpies and assorted other birdies singing you into the waking world. Welcome to my days in Wagga, approximately 4.5 hours drive north of my front door.

I was lucky enough to be able to stay with a friend while I was there - the guy she is sharing the house of was really nice in giving me a roof, also taking care of my food, and endless cups of tea (and rather too much red wine). It was just fantastic. When I left yesterday I was actually a little sad to be heading back to the real world :-( The time away really was exactly what I needed: a few days of peace, laziness, and no work. I even slept well!! (for those who don't know, I don't sleep very well, particularly in new places, so this was a TRULY amazing thing). All up I think I only did about 1,100km the whole trip, so that was nice and easy too.

*sigh* But tomorrow is work again at 7am :-( Then off to Canberra next week. Life goes on, eh? :-)

Friday, February 08, 2008

Banana Jam

I have these pleasant memories of mum in her kitchen when I was younger, simmering up all kinds of sweety-goodness - grape jam, tomato and passionfruit jam, plum jam, gooseberry jam... I'd often sniff my way into the kitchen, only to get a deft swat with the wooden spoon and told to stay out. Fair enough - hot, sugary liquid burns like hell, and I'm a klutz.

But until recently I'd never tried this myself. My first attempt, nectarine butter, worked well enough, with plenty of room for improvement. Then Mel directed me to this recipe a couple of weeks ago, and I knew I had to try it.

I'd never heard of banana jam before. But it seemed like fate when, last weekend at work, one of the vege stalls was selling banana's for a mere $1 per kilo. It was a sign, I tell you! What else could I do but buy up big?

I used Matt's recipe (can't be bothered typing it up), and it worked well for me. Fair warning is given about licking the spoon, which I fixed by waiting for anything on the spoon to cool slightly before running my finger over it. However I think my idea of "low heat" must be different to other people's - the recipe says the mix takes about 30 minutes to get thick, where mine took a fraction over an hour. I also reduced the amount of cinnamon slightly, and only added a little over a cup of sugar. In any case the results are well worth the effort, I say. Teamed with peanut butter in a toasted sandwich, this is just DIVINE. I still have about a kilo of bananas and some limes, so as soon as I get a few more jars I'll be brewing up another batch!

Oh yes, quantities: this recipe gave me one full small pasta-sauce jar (about 375g, I think?) and about half of another the same size.