Friday, 27 April 2012

Andrew's birthday Spit

I wish I have had more time to blog this week.  There has been lots of things going on and lots more yummy smells coming from the kitchen.  Lets begin with Saturday...
I was Andrew's birthday about 2 weeks ago now.  Andrew's sister decided she would like to do a spit for his birthday.  Saturday, the day before the spit, we went to go pick up a trailer from Andrew's uncle's in-law's house (yep, this is how the family works).  We were greeted by an old Italian couple (who didn't know us from a bar of soap) with open arms.  We were invited in and asked to stay for a cup of coffee when Andrew and I noticed the vegetable garden outside.  Being keen veggie gardeners we couldn't walk past it.  Seeing how impressed we were with his garden, one very proud Tony proceeded to take us outside to show us around in the misty rain.  The veggie patch took up at least 2/3 of their huge back yard and was laden with late growing tomatoes and capsicums and some very healthy looking spinach. The other 1/3 of the garden was taken up with a massive shed kitchen for cooking (so the kitchen in the house doesn't get dirty) and another building used for wine making (yep, he makes his own wine) and salami making (even better)!  A small portion of the garden is dedicated to a proud Hills Hoist surrounded by a small patch of grass. We drove away from the house with a trailer, 4 bottles of home made wine, a bag of capsicums and a belly full of coffee, grog and waffles!  Amazing Italian hospitality!
That night Andrew and I drove into the hills to pick up the spit Andrew's friend had made form the locally owned pear orchard.  We got talking to his mate's dad who proceeded to tell stories of the things he and his son's made together and took us to see a beautiful fully restored water pump, something that you would have seen about 85 years ago.  It was a great reminder of my Grandpa, who made these things with his bare hands while he was alive.  It was a lovely stroll down memory lane!
Needless to say that obtaining the spit was a whole day out and I was exhausted by the time we got home.
While Andrew's sister and brother in-law spent the morning driving to pick up the 18kg lamb, Andrew prepared the spit.  The beast was basted with garlic, lemon, rosemary, oregano and seasoning, sewn up with the help of Andrew's uncle who drove for 20 minutes just to help baste and secured to the spit where it mesmerised Tom and Andrew for almost 4 hours.  It was their baby.  The baste was almost gone in the first hour.  I think they may have been a little excited!
Meanwhile, I had some Kiwi fruit in the fridge which I had been dying to turn into a cake so Joy and I made the Kiwi cake a reality.  Not something you would usually find in a cake but it totally worked!
Needless to say we ate like Grecian royalty that night.  Greek salad, tzaziki, amazing spit roast lamb yiros and an abundance of sweets.  No one went hungry, in fact i think we could have fed the whole street with our left overs!

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

A lesson learned...

Never go off to a meeting and  leave a clean freak in charge of a meal you have prepared when there are text books all over the lounge room.  Result:  one very burned spiced creamy tomato chicken.  On the plus side at least the house looks clean.  Can't help but be a little disappointed though.
Oh well.  Will just have to try this one again later.
Another great looking recipe courtesy of  Fig & Cherry that will have to be attempted another day.

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

A fresh and welcome distraction

Everything is better than study at the moment...
While trying to write my paper on youth work and CBT I had a knock at the door.  Standing in front of me was a very blue Irish lady with two very blue bags in tow.  My first thought was, no thanks, but I couldn't bring myself to do it.  I'm a bit of a push over like that.  She introduced herself as being a representative for Aussie Farmers Direct.  I have an uncle who is a farmer and I know how much the big supermarkets screw him over so they can sell milk for $1 per litre.  She got my interest and i was hooked.
As I'm sure many of you are aware the big foodies Coles and Woolies do their best to put smaller companies out of business.  I have seen a Woolworths petrol station planted strategically next to a independent petrol station.  Out of sheer desperation the owner of the independent has put a sign out the front urging consumers of petrol and gas not to support "Woolies the bullies."  Anyone who has driven North along Marion road will know exactly what I am talking about.  It breaks my heart every time I see it.  In the meantime, until people choose to go local or independent, Woolworths and Coles will continue to consume the entire world until it reaches breaking point.  Selling petrol, products and food at reduced prices is by no means sustainable nor is it particularly ethical!  I could go on...
Anyway, as a result of a normally intrusive door knocking technique I will now be getting fresh fruit and veggies, dairy products and  meats delivered.  It is a little pricier than buying from the supermarkets but I figure it will save me from buying stuff I really don't need.  No longer will I be tempted to impulse buy...that is until I need flour, toilet paper or spices!  I'm heaps excited to be supporting a cause that I have for so long believed in.  Go you Aussie Farmers!  May all those years of battle become a healthy partnership with a company that actually has your best interests at heart!
It really feels just like the old days where we used to have the milkman come to deliver milk right to our door.  I have such fond memories of seeing the pegs sitting on the letterbox each week communicating to the milkman how many litres we required.  These days, the pegs may have been replaced by a web ordering service but the great feeling you get when you wake up to find your milk on the doorstep will still be the same.  I can't wait to put my blue cooler bag out for the very first night!
There are no contracts, no entry or exit fees.  I figured 'why not give it a red hot go?'  If it doesnt suit me I am not obligated to stay on the delivery round.
So, if a lovely Irish lady dressed in blue comes to your door promoting fresh local produce, invite her in for a cuppa and a chat.  What a welcome distraction from study the last 20 minutes have been!

Interested?  Check out the Aussie Farmers Direct website here

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Brave 1

Easter.  It's symbolic of death and new life.  Death of an old way of life and a resurrection into a new direction of life.  Although I am a proud Christian I don't believe that it is just Christians that benefit from this concept.  We all have choices and our choices impact our attitudes, decisions and our actions.
I don't want to say too much at the moment because its not place to do so but I have been journeying with someone who was sexually abused as a child.  She is not alone in this.  Take 5 people you know under the age of 18.  According to statistics one of those children is likely to have been the victim of sexual abuse.  That means that most of us would probably know someone that has been a victim.  For many, telling others about their experience is out of the question and they live their lives suffering in silence.  It can slowly eat away at them from the inside out and can impact their ability to function normally, manifesting in various psychological disorders.
For my friend, her suffering went for long enough.  We have seen her take something terrible and make the decision to turn it around and use it in a positive way.  She counts herself as a survivor, no longer letting this negatively impact on her life.  Now, she is ready to use her experience to help others.  A death to letting her experience eat away at her and a rebirth to changing the way her experience effects her life and attitude.
Through the past 12 months she has relived the trauma she experienced as a child and has recognised that even after 20 + years there is still no support for those children.  She has started a campaign to set up a Bravehearts foundation in South Australia.  Bravehearts aim to educate, empower and protect young people against sexual abuse through prevention and early intervention.  Not only do they have National crisis hot line (1800 BRAVE 1), they also provide preventative education in schools and specialist counselling for those at risk or have been a victim of sexual assault.  Braveheats is the go-to place for victims and their families and can guide them through the process of reporting and seeking help.  Can you see the value in this?
I don't usually get so fired up about these things but I know of at least 4 people that have survived sexual abuse.  I look at my friends kids, my pregnant sister in laws, the young person I mentor and the young people I work with and want them to be able to feel and be safe.  I urge anyone who has been through this hell, knows someone who has been through sexual abuse or wants to see children grow up in a safe environment to get on board with this cause.
If you want to find out more or make a donation (specify SA) please go to
If you have been the victim of sexual assault please call 1800 BRAVE 1 (1800 272 831) Monday to Friday 9am-4pm.