Tuesday, March 31, 2009

A Blessing

Today, no, tonight, we received a super, fantastic, incredible, special early wedding anniversary gift.

On April 7, next week, it is our wedding anniversary ~ thirty (yes, thirty, you read right), thirty years of marriage.

After Mass tonight, two friars from our parish trudged through the rain to bring dh and I this memorable gift.

An Apostolic Blessing.

Papal Blessings are a privilege. We received this blessing tonight, this lovely document certifying that the Holy Father has bestowed his apostolic blessing, as a gift for our anniversary day.

We are truly blessed. And I can't say a proper enough, a suitable enough, a sufficent thank you.

Where would our family be without the friars in our parish?

Saturday, March 28, 2009


A birthday gift from a dear friend and her family. A 1959 collector's edition of Barbie. Hey Barbie and Madonna and I are all 50!

I always wanted a Barbie as a child, never got one. I always wanted to have children who would play with Barbies and my boys were never into that. Now I finally have a Barbie, my first Barbie ever!

Talk about excitement...

Today is Another Day.

And when night comes, and you look back over the day and see how fragmentary everything has been, and how much you planned that has gone undone, and all the reasons you have to be embarrassed and ashamed: just take everything exactly as it is, put it in God’s hands and leave it with Him. Then you will be able to rest in Him -- really rest -- and start the next day as a new life. --Saint Teresa Benedicta of the Cross (Edith Stein)

Yes, today is a new day ... yesterday is finished...today I will try harder..be nicer..be better...with the grace of God.
And maybe I will even get some sleep tonight!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

The angel of the Lord declared unto Mary...

The Solemnity of the Annunciation of Our Lord. March 25.

The Annunciation is the revelation to Mary by the angel Gabriel that she would conceive a child to be born the Son of God. We celebrate this with the Feast of Annunciation on March 25, which as the Incarnation is nine months before the feast of the nativity of Jesus - Christmas.
We went to Mass this morning, we looked at Fra Angelico's piece on the Annunciation. I nagged, er, reminded, the kids about their Lenten reading before I went to work meetings.
And on, and off, all day, I've prayed.
What about? I had a revelation of my own yesterday. Someone pointed out to me that I have a particular gift.
For me this was a revelation simply because I have always thought that this possible gift was no gift or talent but just part of my personality, just being me, and that my often outgoing personality, my garrulnousness if you like , could be/was/is somewhat of a pain to others. Especially to family.
In fatc, I've thought I've had no special gift.
Don't get me wrong. This is not false humility or lack of confidence. I've never worried about having a gift or talent. I was good at school, at academics, at writing essays, at analysing literature. I received honours at university. But I have never shown any particular talent, have never shone at anything, music or art or whatever. I've done some things well and many things badly. ..I've always jokingly told people that the only thing that I am really good at is talking! I can talk your ear off!
So, to think that this part of my personality, used in the right way, may be a gift is surpising. Makes me feel less guilty about something of the things I do.
A nice revelation on the Annunciation, on the day we recall the revelation to Mary ...
Luke, Chapter 1, verses 26-38
In the sixth month, the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee, named Nazareth, to a virgin pledged to be married to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. Having come in, the angel said to her, “Rejoice, you highly favored one! The Lord is with you. Blessed are you among women!” But when she saw him, she was greatly troubled at the saying, and considered what kind of salutation this might be. The angel said to her, “Don’t be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. Behold, you will conceive in your womb, and bring forth a son, and will call his name ‘Jesus.’ He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father, David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever. There will be no end to his Kingdom.” Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, seeing I am a virgin?” The angel answered her, “The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. Therefore also the holy one who is born from you will be called the Son of God. Behold, Elizabeth, your relative, also has conceived a son in her old age; and this is the sixth month with her who was called barren. For everything spoken by God is possible.” Mary said, “Behold, the handmaid of the Lord; be it to me according to your word.” The angel departed from her.

A Birthday

Happy birthday Gerry! March 24 - St Gabriel..

Monday, March 23, 2009

If only....

If only I could do the same....Hold my tongue, that is....Sigh...Thank God for Lent and the opportunity for extra prayers!
Praying for the wisdom to know when to be silent.
And whispered in the sounds of silence
Simon and Garfunkel
The Sounds of Silence.... I wish.
Is this possible for me?.....In a busy unschooling home??

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Laetare Sunday

Laetare Sunday , so called from the incipit of the Introit at Mass, "Laetare Jerusalem" ("O be joyful, Jerusalem"), is a name used for today, the fourth Sunday of the season of Lent. This Sunday is also known as Mid-Lent Sunday (in French mi-carĂªme), and Rose Sunday, because the golden rose sent by the popes to Catholic sovereigns, used to be blessed at this time.

Priests are given the option to wear rose coloured vestments at mass held on this day, in place of the purple vestments normally worn during Lent.

Four Years Ago....



Four years ago... we moved to Sydney.We didn't want to be here, didn't want to leave our older sons behind.

Four years ago...we never imagined we would stay IN ONE HOUSE for four years. This is the longest my kids and I have EVER lived in one house.

We have been in Sydney four years. Woo hoo?....A lot has happened in those four years. Good things. Not so good things.

The kids have grown up ~ my youngest son is now thirteen!

And I have grown up, too - I even pre-heated the oven by myself last night, without being told. Definitely Woo hoo!

We have been lucky, no, blessed, here in Sydney, to find good friends, friends who care, friends who don 't judge, friends who have fun... and are lucky, no, blessed, to live in a prayerful parish with friars who support us all with prayers and good works and reverent masses.

Four years.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Of St Joseph

The feast day of St Joseph.

We have our large statue as part of our dining table centrepiece.

We prayed at Latin Mass.

We beseech Thee, O Lord, that we may be helped by the merits of the Spouse of Thy most holy Mother, so that what we cannot obtain of ourselves, may be given to us through his intercession.

Sanctissime Genitricis tuae Sponsi, quaesumus, Dominie, meritis adjuvemur: ut, quod possibilitas nostra non obtinet, ejus nobis intercessione donetur

Shared a coffee with a the kids and a friar, for the anniversary of his simple vows.

Went to Women's Group from our parish after work, a meeting I organised to be held at a coffee shop at a local shopping centre ( of course, where else would I organise this? ). We talked about our Lent so far, our thoughts, our laughter, our things that need prayer, our questions ( do you fast on the feast day of St Joseph? As if!). I left money at home for takeaway pizza for dinner for dh and the kids ( feasting on the feast of St Joseph) and some purple ( purple for Saint Joseph) wrapped chocolate for them all for dessert.

Came home after ten pm, randomly selected an activity from our Lenten basket , to do with the kids. Writing meanings for REDEMPTION. I wrote down suggestions, in pink ( since we have Laetare Sunday, rose vestments, this weekend. My mind makes weird connections). And dealt with some resistance from two of the kids, who think mum's activities are dumb ( well, they are, but sometimes it is the little dumb things that we do that make memories, that hold us together...I think..).

Finished the night with emails I had promised to send, with prayer and with Stargate Atlantis. And exhaustion - I had such a busy day of ( lack of sleep, can't sleep well right now..) work prep, weeding, mopping, sweeping, laundry, working out, work at my Kumon centre, parent meetings at work - and then all the above to celebrate!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

The Irish and the French

Today at French class, we learned French.

Yes. But we also celebrated St Patrick's Day. With green balloons (singing quatre vingt dix neuf ballons verts), green snakes with French proverbs...green eyeshadow...for mum.

Peppermint mud cake with green peppermint chips...and hearing about St Patrick.

Tonight at Mass we heard more about St Patrick, about the shamrock and the Trinity, about being an example of Christianity.....after Mass, we had green seven herb vichysoisse....

And Bailey's Irish Cream for the adults....
With a choice of green peppermint chocolate ice cream or green pistachio gelato for dessert...with our Saints books, turned to the pages for St Patrick...singing songs by Irish bands on Singstar..and the Breastplate of St Patrick.
The Lorica, or Breastplate, of Saint Patrick is best known for only one of its verses (the one that begins "Christ with me"). But the full version incorporates all the elements of Catholic morning prayer: It is an Act of Faith (expressing the teaching on the Trinity and on Christ); an Act of Hope (in God's protection throughout the day and throughout life, as well as in eternal eternal salvation); and an Act of Charity (in the love expressed for God). It is, therefore, an ideal morning prayer, especially for those who have a devotion to Saint Patrick.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Splendor in the Ordinary

A book by Thomas Howard.

Howard describes how, even in the rush of every day life, in the common ordinariness of our homes and our activities, we can find chances to love and serve God and discern His leading.

We are taking part in a book discussion of this title at the Unschooling Catholics email list. The topic is close to an unschooler's heart. We believe that we can see learning and relationship in the day to day doings, by being aware and seizing the moment, by emphasizing our routines and rhythms. So, too, perhaps, we can see God in the same things. In our family. In our household routines.

Chapter One – The Household – Learn to see the holy in the ordinary
Excerpts –
The ancients used to hallow places. They set aside groves and grottoes and mountains, and built temples and shrines and enclaves..modern Christians often find it difficult to keep alive any notion at all of mystery, or of the hallowed, except perhaps as a sort of cloud or glow that ought to suffuse their imagination when they pray or worship..

Somehow we have gotten swept into a millrace, and its nonstop flailing and thrashing just to keep ourselves from drowning. The sheer necessities of modern life sweep us farther and farther from any sense that it is all hallowed, really. What are we to do?

..A possibility would be to accept the fact that life comes tumbling at us nowadays, but that it is nonetheless possible for us to see our ordinary daily routines as proceeding among the hallows, so to speak; and by stirring up in our minds the things that we vaguely acknowledge anyway, to begin to hallow those routines by doing once more what men have always done with things to hallow them; namely, offering them up in oblation to God. As literally as Abel offered up sacrifices from his ordinary routine of work.

..To do this, of course, we will have to recover the sense of the hallowed as being all around us...We will have to refuse resolutely the secularism that has made ordinariness unholy. We live in a dark age, and somewhere in this murk there has got to be lights burning in shrines and on altars, bearing witness to the presence of the holy.

But what shrines and altars?...I would like to suggest that at least one place ( among others) which may be hallowed anew as the place where the celebration of all the mysteries may occur, and where all of life may be offered up in oblation to the Most High, is the family household. Within these four walls, under this roof, the lamps are lighted. The offering is here; the vigil is here; the feast is here; the faithful are here. All the eating and drinking and the working and playing, and the discipline and serving and loving that go on here – they are all holy. For these common routines of ordinary life are not only necessities and functions: they are also messengers to us from the hallows.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Happy Pi!

Pi Day.

We read about the history of Pi.

And baked beef pies.


Contemplation. Thinking. Thoughtful observation. Full or deep consideration.

To what am I giving my full or deep consideration?

How I mother.

Something happened yesterday that made me cross. Made me seethe. Made me feel like crying.

It is okay. I got over it. I prayed. I also went to Confession over my not-very-nice-attitude.

And I wonder. Does my mothering by example work? I have been a strong believer in the maxim that if I do what is right, others will follow. That if I love what the kids love, spend time with them, treat them with respect, then they will come to love what I love ( or at least understand why I do the things I do..)....To paraphrase St John Bosco.

Or is example not enough?

The trouble is, of course, that I am not always a good example. I rarely lose my cool but when I do, boy, I am not very pleasant. And the kids can always remember my times of losing-my-cool and can re-tell them. As can I.

Yesterday, I didn't say a word. Woo hoo! Am so pleased with myself! I took dh out for lunch to make up for my bad thoughts and to make myself happy - I like snatching some time alone with dh! I did housework and worked off tension. Everyone seemed happy and oblivious to my thoughts. Good.

So, perhaps the issue is not that being a good example to my kids is not enough but that I need to work on always consistently being a good example and on accepting our differences.

Hey, I have to remember that I am the only female in a house of males and the males just seem to see things differently than I!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Friday of the Second Week in Lent

From my missal...Today's Epistle ( Genesis 7:6-22) and Gospel ( Matthew 21:33-46) draw a parallel between Joseph, sold into slavery by his brothers and Jesus, the well-beloved Son of the Father, put to death.......(these) inform us that our Christian vocation is a privilege but one which requires our fidelity.

Fidelity. Faithfulness. Describes a recent discussion with a friend, another mother. Wow. I talk about this to a friend and then read about fidelity in my missal. Serendipitous.

I bought an Easter book today - the story of Easter, of joy, of redemption. A picture book , filled with luminous illustrations. For reading..the story is touching...for strewing...the illustrations are lovely.

I made another meatless dinner, another Lenten recipe. Named after a priest friend, who used to regularly make this for Friday lunch for me and the boys. Years ago. After a homeschool morning of Mass and odd jobs and errands with six then seven kids.... Brings back memories....

Fr. Michael's Tuna

500g pasta
1 425g tin tuna
600ml cream or reduced fat cream
1 punnet mushrooms or 1 tin champignons
1 large onion
Salt, pepper
A tablespoon tomato paste and/or 1/2 cup white wine

While pasta is cooking, saute chopped onion and sliced mushrooms in a little olive oil. Add paprika and cook for a minute or so. Add cream, stirring all the time, followed by the addition of tomato paste, wine, oregano, flaked tuna, seasoning. Bring to a gentle boil. Allow to simmer while pasta is cooking. Then stir through cooked pasta and serve with a green salad. Very nice. Thank you, Fr M!

Thursday, March 12, 2009


Made these at 8.00 a.m. , for 8.30 a.m. Latin Breakfast Club at a friend's house...What a hard life these unschoolers live! Fruit, French toast, sausages, scones with jam/cream/spreads ~ and Latin ~and netball with friends.
Easy Scones ( so easy even I, the horrible cook, can make them)
Preheat oven to 200 Celsius. I actually did this! Woo hoo! Melt 30g butter. Meanwhile whisk one egg until fluffy. Hey, I found and used my whisk.
Combine egg and butter with 2 cups self raising flour and 3/4 cup milk. 'Course I used low fat milk..Mix to a soft dough, knead very lightly on a floured board, pat to to 2-3cm high shape-thing. Cut into rounds, place on a greased or floured tray, brush tops with milk, cook about 15 minutes. Me, upstairs, changing from workout gear into today's clothes, and yelling down to Thomas - "Did you hear the timer? Did you get the scones out? What, you didn't hear it? I heard it from up here! Get those scones out! Wrap 'em in a tea towel to keep 'em soft! "
So, that's how you make easy scones.
Best served hot.
Oh, and we tripled the recipe for our Latin Breakfast.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Wednesday of the Second Week in Lent

Children aren't colouring books. You don't get to fill them with your favourite colours.- Rahim Khan..From The Kite Runner.

No, we don't get to colour our children or our families with our favourite colours, to make them into what we want them to be, but we do have influence, we can put things in their paths and hope they will take note.. that they will remember in years to come.

On this Wednesday in Lent we made ( almost)forty meatballs for dinner, to remember the Forty Christian Martyrs of Sebaste, Armenia.

We made pockets with Latin Bible verses for translating for tomorrow's Latin Breakfast Club.

We coloured in the Stations of the Cross, for mum, er, for display. Colouring in while watching Stargate Atlantis. I find colouring to be rthymic, relaxing, fun.

Reading during Lent

During this time of Lent I am reading a biography of Fr Julian Woods, spiritual director of Blessed Mary Mackillop. Some Lenten wisdom from Pope John Paul II. My daily St Andrews Missal.

Yet, strangely, bizarrely, it is my other reading, and my movie going, that is striking me. Hitting me. Making me come up for air.

How do I know you didn't try to flush our entire fucking family down the toilet?
Hopeless emptiness. Now you've said it. Plenty of people are onto the emptiness, but it takes real guts to see the hopelessness.

It takes backbone to lead the life you want, Frank.... You're just some guy who made me laugh at a party once. ...I saw a whole other future. I can't stop seeing it.
Just because you've got me safe in this little trap, you think you can bully me into feeling whatever you want me to feel!

Quotes from Revolutionary Road. My non-Lenten current reading. And yet there is something of the spiritual there. Something that pokes into my soul and into my life.

The same with The Secret Life of Bees, a movie we, some other mothers and I , saw last night. I cried. I screamed ( aloud, in the cinema) at one particular act of violence..... Now, I'm on a search for the book. Because this movie laid bare my thoughts, my cares, those things often locked away and kept secret. But things, concepts, ideas, feelings, prayers, that should be pondered, prayed, during Lent, during a time of spiritual renewal. Of listening to God.

Not always in that still quiet voice but perhaps in words from a book or a film.

Every human being on the face of the earth has a steel plate in his head, but if you lie down now and then and get still as you can, it will slide open like elevator doors, letting in all the secret thoughts that have been standing around so patiently, pushing the button for a ride to the top. The real troubles in life happen when those hidden doors stay closed for too long.

People who think dying is the worst thing don’t know a thing about life.
... when it's time to die, die, and when it's time to live, live. Don't sort-of-maybe live, but live like you're going all out, like you're not afraid (of dying).

... there is nothing but mystery in the world, how it hides behind the fabric of our poor, browbeat days, shining brightly, and we don't even know it.

The first week at August's was a consolation, a pure relief. The world will give you that once in a while, a brief time-out; the boxing bell rings and you go to your corner, where somebody dabs mercy on your beat-up life.

... women make the best beekeepers, 'cause they have a special ability built into them to love creatures that sting. It comes from years of loving children and husbands.

You could not stop a bee from working if you tried. ... they are hardworking to the point of killing themselves. Sometimes you want to say to them, Relax, take some time off, you deserve it.

Good advice. Take some time off this Lent to think, to pray, to do penance, to really look at things, to help others.For, we do not necessarily live lives of quiet desperation. No,
Thoreau, we do in fact have many mysteries and many joys in our lives. We simply have to count them, these joys, to look for them, to live them, to grasp life and joy and run and laugh... . To face up to the sorrows, to remember the sorrows of Our Lord and His Mother and to rise up in love.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Our strewing the last few days..

What have I strewed - put in the way of the boys' lives, encouraging them in interests and ideas?

Our basket of Lenten activities... a French film in Oxford Street ( oh, dear, with an interesting, to say the least, follow up)...reading from our book of Saints...Wii Sport.....sharing a section from Lent and Easter Wisdom from Pope John Paul II....making a poster on the precepts of the Church..looking up gluten and dairy free recipes and baking a chocolate dairy free gluten free birthday cake* for another homeschooler.... strewing cooking books, books featuring young and/or male cooks .. and strewing dinosaur books in the aftermath of our visit to the Australian Museum... Archery with Homeschool Teen group....Catholic Homeschool meeting..coffee with an older lady I met through hospital, chatting about lives....Stargate Atlantis....discussion on personal Lenten reading, on Ember days, on my missal reading of Saturday in Ember Week ( Flectamus genua - Levate).. ..looking up info on earth tremors and cyclones as a news ninemsn follow up...birthday planning....

I often call unschooling family centred.

I think this idea of family centredness helps take strewing to a new level because we are strewing our lives, ourselves, our time.

Just strewing my time and life.

Almost sounds like a song title!

* Chocolate Cake - Dairy Free Gluten Free But Not Taste Free!

300g dark chocolate1 cup (250ml) orange juice4 eggs separated¾ cup (165g) brown sugar1½ cups (165g) almond meal

Preheat oven to 160°C or 140°C fan-forced. Grease 22cm cake tin.Melt chocolate with orange juice in short bursts in the microwave until smooth.Whisk egg yolks together with sugar till pale and doubled in volume.Fold in chocolate mixture and almond meal.Whisk egg whites to soft peaks and fold into chocolate mixture.Pour into prepared cake tin. Bake for 50 minutes in preheated oven. Remove from oven and refrigerate until cold.

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Another Lenten Recipe

We made this on Friday night, for a meatless supper and celebration of our Confirmation Anniversary.

Camembert Pasta. After Stations of the Cross. And with red wine. From Jamie Oliver's
Ministry of Food.
250g Camembert cheese
2 cloves garlic
1 sprig fresh rosemary
salt & pepper
olive oil
100g parmesan cheese
400g dried rigatoni
150g fresh spinach ( we used baby spinach leaves)
Preheat oven 180 degrees Celsius. Put Camembert in a small oven proof dish or bake in box. Lift off top and discard. Lay chopped garlic and rosemary on top. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and a little olive oil. Bake 25 minutes or until golden and melted.
Cook pasta in salted water until al dente. Add spinach to pan for about 10 seconds to wilt, drain, reserve some of the cooking water.
Return pasta and spinach to pan. Drizzle with olive oil, add grated parmesan. If too thick, add some of the reserved cooking water. Season. Remove cheese from oven.
Serve pasta in bowls. Drizzle the melted Camembert over the top of each serve.

Totally yummy!

Thursday, March 05, 2009


On March 6 1997, I was confirmed alongside sons Greg and Nick. Tomorrow marks the anniversary of our Confirmation.

According to the Council of Trent, the Sacrament of Confirmation makes us perfect Christians ...Confirmation makes the Christian a soldier and marks him with a new character...

It is evident from its celebration that the effect of the sacrament of Confirmation is the full outpouring of the Holy Spirit as once granted to the apostles on the day of Pentecost.
Catechism of the Catholic Church

May the Holy Spirit come down upon you, and the power of the Most High keep you from all sin. Amen.

Spiritus Sanctus superveniat in vos, et virtus Altissimi custodiat vos a peccatis. Amen.

Almighty, everlasting God, who hast vouchsafed to regenerate these Thy servants by water and the Holy Ghost, and hast given them remission of all their sin; send forth upon them from heaven Thy sevenfold Holy Spirit, the Paraclete. Amen.

Omnipotens sempiterne Deus, qui regenerare dignatus es hos famulos tuos ex aqua et Spiritu Sancto, quique dedisti eis remissionem omnium peccatorum: emitte in eos septiformem Spiritum tuum sanctum Paraclitum de caelis. Amen.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Re-visiting Revolutionary Road

Re-visiting. Rekindling uncomfortable thoughts. Reminders. Resolutions.

I am reading Revolutionary Road by Richard Yates. The book on which the movie was based.

Remember the movie and my thoughts?

I couldn't quite shake the movie from my head. The characters haunted me. As did their actions. Their choices. Their roles. Their marriages. Their lives.

The book has a similar effect. Some poignant, almost pregnant, phrases. A line or two, a description, some dialogue, that causes me to hold my breath with its truth. Its pertinence and relevance.

Do others feel the same as I?
How does the author know me and my thoughts?

As in ~
But she needed no more advice and no more instruction. She was calm and quiet now with knowing what she had always known, what neither her parents nor Aunt Clara nor Frank nor anyone else had ever had to teach her: that if you wanted to do something absolutely honest, something true, it always turned out to be a thing that had to be done.

And isn't that hard sometimes? Doing the thing that has to be done. Regardless.

Then there is also this quote ~
The whole point of crying was to quit before you cornied it up. The whole point of grief itself was to cut it out while it was still honest, while it still meant something. Because the thing was so easily corrupted...

Cut it out. While still honest. Cut. Carve.

Haven't you been at that point in grieving, in sadness, that point where you just need to stop? Put it away. Go ahead. Move on. Pretend. Give it up?

The novel opens thoughts and wounds. Cathartic, one could say.

A good book is something to be savoured, especially this book, for me, during Lent and a time of self examination. Of prayer and penance.

Science Club

Did I mention that we have started a monthly Science Club? You know, to go to all those places you always say you will go but hardly ever do...To do all those exciting experiments you say you will do but don't usually make time for...To undertake that cool project your son mentioned ,oh, about, six months ago...

Today's first Science Club meeting was a trip to Taronga Zoo. A great day! Five families came...

But we didn't learn anything about Science said one son.

Excuse me! We went to a seals show, a Tassie Devil talk, a giraffe talk, a lion talk, visited the Great Southern Oceans exhibit, went to an arachnid talk...and visited other animals along the way..Plenty of Natural Science there...and we had fun with friends...and ate lunch...

...I learned that when giraffes mate they bang their heads together and this is called necking..A brand new take on both necking and head banging!

Monday, March 02, 2009

Lenten Recipes

We have been sharing meatless recipes at Unschooling Catholics email list.
For those giving up meat during some days of Lent...

I am such a good housewife! I even have recipes to share. Mainly because I dislike a lot of meat and eat many meatless dishes anyway.

Some of our family standbys -

Zucchini Slice
5 eggs
150g (1 cup) self-raising flour, sifted
375g zucchini, grated
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 cup grated low fat cheddar cheese
60ml (1/4 cup) vegetable oil
Preheat oven to 170°C. Grease and line a 30 x 20cm lamington pan.
Beat the eggs in a large bowl until combined. Add the flour and beat until smooth, then add zucchini, onion, cheese and oil and stir to combine. Pour into the prepared pan and bake in oven for 30 minutes or until cooked through.

Peanut Butter Pasta ( ALSO NICE WITH RICE)
Dry pasta
1/4 cup natural peanut butter
1/4 cup hot water
1/4 cup skim milk
1 tbsp soy sauce
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 tsp cayenne (more if you like it spicy)
1/2 tsp black pepper
3-4 cups veggies (broccoli, peppers, carrots, peas, corn, etc), cut into bite size pieces - optional, sometimes we leave this out and just serve the pasta and sauce with lots of salad...

Cook the pasta. While the pasta is cooking, whisk together the peanut butter, hot water, and milk until smooth. Stir in the soy sauce, garlic, cayenne, salt and pepper. When pasta is almost done, add vegetables and cook for another couple of minutes. Drain and return to pot. Pour in the peanut sauce and toss well.

Nigella's Macaroni Cheese
500g macaroni cooked al dente
500g cheese chopped( low fat for me)
1 cup evaporated milk - but I usually just use skim milk
2 eggs
1/4 tspn of nutmeg ( but I usually just use paprika)

1. Preheat oven to 180 C.
2. Mix ingredients except pasta in blender. Pour into wide shallow dish that will fit ingredients. Stir in pasta.
3. Bake until melty around 10-15 minutes.

Nigella's Cheesy Risotto
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon oil
2 baby leeks (or fat spring onions), finely sliced
300g risotto rice
125ml white wine
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 litre hot vegetable stock
125g Cheddar, chopped

1.Melt the butter and oil in a medium-sized pan and cook the sliced baby leeks until they have softened.
2. Add the risotto rice and keep stirring for a minute or so, then turn up the heat and add the wine and mustard, stirring until the wine is absorbed.
3. Start ladling in the hot stock, letting each ladleful become absorbed as you stir, before adding the next one.
4. Stir and ladle until the rice is al dente, about 18 minutes, then add the cheese, stirring it into the rice until it melts.
5. Take the pan straight off the heat, still stirring as you do so, and spoon the risotto into warmed dishes.
Chana Dahl (yellow split peas) - we eat this with rice and veges
1tsp curry powder
3tsp salt
1tsp ground tumeric
5c water
1.5c chana dahl (or yellow split peas)
1clv garlic, peeled and chopped
1tsp red chilli powder (can substitute cayenne pepper)
1 onion
Put the dahl in a big pot with five cups of water. Bring to a boil and remove any surface scum. Add the turmeric and ginger. Cover, leaving the lid slightly ajar, turn heat to low, and simmer gently for 1 1/2 hours or until the dahl is tender. ..I usually cheat and just bung this ll into the crocpot and cook on low all day....Most but not all of the water should be absorbed. Add the salt to the dahl, stir to mix. Heat some oil in a small frying pan over a medium flame. When hot, put in the curry powder. A couple seconds later, put in the garlic and onion. Stir and fry until lightly browned. Put the chilli powder into the pan. Immediately lift the pan off the heat and pour its entire contents into the pot with the dahl. Stir to mix.

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Refrigerator strewing...

...or, as my friend Cindy calls it, refrigerator culture. The idea is that what is strewn on your fridge reveals a lot about you. About that which you want to remember. About what you'd like your kids and visitors and yourself to look at.

I've gone through stages of pristine, virgin fridge doors - nothing, absolutely nothing attached to the fridge.

And stages like now, with many items strewn via those ubiquitious fridge magnets.

What's on the fridge? Clockwise, from the top left..

A holy card, about the Conventual Franciscans. We live in a parish under the care of the Conventual Franciscans.

A postcard of St Mary's Abbey, from son Greg's time in the UK.

Another holy card - St Maximilian Kolbe. I love this pic, this icon, the colours, so much, that I have it reproduced here on my blog.

Yet another holy card and prayer...

Bookmark, with Blessed Mary Mackillop on the front. A gift.

Two pamphlets from the friars- one about the Conventual Franciscans and one about plans for their Garden of the Immaculate, remembering the unborn.

Four, yes four, shopping list magnetic pads.Why four? I don't really know.

Signs for communicating with those who speak little English. Another gift. From a friend who remembers my many World Youth Day pilgrim gaffes ( ...Introducing an Italian friar to my friends - This is Fr. V. Don't worry. He can't understand you...You don't have to speak to him.. He can't speak English...)

A Kumon calendar. Advertising my Kumon Education Centre.Helping me remember dates.

Monthly prayer intentions, Crusade of Mary the Immaculate.

And another holy card..Our Lady of Perpetual Help..love the icon..again...feeding my icon fetish.

Billy Blanks' ( Taebo) Ten Words of Wisdom. Motivation. Support. Reminders..Where I am today is where my mind put me...Every day above ground is a blessed day....

Our parish's weekly bulletin.

And various magnets.

What does this say about me? That I am the primary fridge strewer in this house. And that I use my fridge to strew faith and practical stuff and to show those gifts/postcards.....

What is your fridge culture?>