Caught a Kahawai. Vege friends look away

It sure does take a village to raise a child.

How lucky we are to live in such a good one.
Several times over the past few weeks one or other of our children has run inside at dinner time to ask "Mum can I go fishing with the neighbour?"

Even though dinner is about to be served, camp consent forms need to be found and rooms should really be tidied, I couldn't possibly answer no.

Skatey boy rushed back in at about 9pm.

(I'd just been beginning to fret as I do when my kids are not with me, especially if they are on the ocean. I'd keep them cuddled up at home, but their Dad taught me some years ago that the best thing was to give them the full experience of life and not to molly coddle them too much.)

He ran in, "Mum look at the Kahawai that I caught!!!!"

I was gobsmaked! That fish will feed the whole family tonight. We had the story of the catch and so, the appreciation of where the food comes from. It also provides a boy who needs adventure with the buzz he needs without searching for some kind of artificial high. If I could get him anything he wanted for Christmas it would be life long adventure. Thank you to my neighbours on both sides and up the Valleys for helping me out with that.

He approved the showing of his face and his fish on the blog.


A Country Occaision

This weekend the most talented crafters of New Zealand will gather at Neudorf Vineyards for the Country Occasion.
Also divine local food, wine and music in a magic setting.
All proceeds to child cancer and Moutere Hills Community Centre.
I hope they have a clear windless day and that the local community come out in support of treading lightly on the Planet.
Buy local.


Tappy feet

Four children didn't ask to go through this kind of year.
The stabilising factor has been staying in their own home and continuing with all their routines.
In the midst of winter after days I'd rather forget, we went every Thursday to tap practice.

As spring came we went to exams and extra practices for the recital.
Her feet grew and her shoes got tighter, she put plasters on her heels!
She tried so hard without any complaints, (OK, maybe a little tired sulking)

It all paid off for her yesterday. She smiled till her cheeks got sore, as her Dad watched in the audience and I cried in the wings.
Her name got called for a prize. Fantastic exam results, and much improved confidence for the year.

Well done my girl.


Sewing fast, growing fast.

Typical story for late November.
Sewing like mad for Christmas.
Once a week I've been checking the Sew Mama Sew Handmade Holidays ideas. The Mama Chic wrist cuff took our fancy. A silk one for me and a patched one for PJ.
Meanwhile the garden.....
is close to bountiful.
Peas sown where garlic was last year. A bit silly of me to put the peas so near the back door though as I'm sure they'll all get eaten raw before I can get any on the table.


A strategy for tattle tailers

I have to share this wonderful trick.
A friend who I really admire has raised 5 lovely children , one of whom has special needs after an horrific accident involving a fall when he was two years old.
I was telling her about my tiredness at dealing with constant silly tattle tailing. She said "look this is what worked for me: Every time you get a tattle tale say to the child something like Oh dear that's no good, just a minute let me wipe your face it's really grubby"
I still listen, don't get me wrong, but those silly tales (she did this, he did that) get forgotten after a good scrub of the face.
Helps them solve their own disagreements and they are playing much more happily while I prepare dinner, which with the warmer weather and abundance of veges in the garden is probably an 80% sustainable meal most nights.
That's gotta be good! Skatey boy is even stepping up to do some cooking!
Oh happy days.


Making ginger beer

Truth be known, the produce from my garden is wasted in my cooking as I'm a totally uninspired cook. Beautiful fresh peas, asparagus, broccoli and carrots are all being steamed together tonight to have alongside chicken and rice. I like to spend as little time in the kitchen as I can, unless it's one of those days when I am spending all day in the kitchen cooking enough food for a week, or throwing together some raw stuff.
The other night I made something with pasta and veges, sprinkling on some chopped parsley at the last minute. The teen, who was setting the table said sarcastically "f a n c y Mum. You finally learned something from Masterchef"
Cheeky little begger!
I do like making concoctions for keeping, like ginger beer, Elderflower cordial, jam, sauce, syrup and cider. Got some of them going on this week.

I know there are recipes for these all over the web but here's my ginger beer recipe followed by one from my Dad:
Ginger Beer 1:
To make the plant:
8 sultanas
2 tsp ground ginger
4 tsp grated ginger
strained juice of 2 lemons
1 tsp of lemon pulp
2 cups of cold water
Put all ingredients in a screw top jar. Leave for 3 days in a warm place. It should show signs of fermentation (bubbles) Then feed the plant for 7 days with 2tsp ground ginger and 4 tsp sugar.

Making up the ginger beer:
3-4 cups of sugar
1 litre boiling water
juice of 5 lemons
strained ginger beer plant
7 litres cold water
Mix sugar and boiling water and stir until dissolved, then add the lemon juice.
Strain the plant through double muslin, squeeze the muslin to get all the liquid out. Add the plant liquid to the sugar, water and lemon juice. Reserve the plant left in the muslin.
Now add cold water and stir.
I bottle into saved plastic bottles to avoid glassy explosions.
Fill bottles and add a sultana to each. Store in a cool place for two weeks.
To make a new plant halve the plant residue left in the muslin and place back in the jar. Add 2 cups cold water. Feed daily as before.
usually freak out about the sugar quantities adding less sugar at stages.
Feel free to experiment or offer some other ideas.

Dad's recipie: (More simple, less wholesome)
16 cups of cold water
1lb sugar
1tsp ground ginger
1tsp lemon essence
1 level dessertspoon of DYC Active yeast
Stand overnight (or at least 12 hrs)
Strain, bottle and cap.
Stand 24hrs at room temp, then keep refrigerated.


Forget what you've been told about 4 year old boys.

The Montessori teacher stopped me on Monday to tell me about a conversation she had with the red head.

He told her " God gave me to my Mum as a special gift. I'm so glad cos she was just the Mum I wanted"

I of course nearly cried at that. Beautiful child.

After the school fair on the weekend he came home with his sister and presented me with this:

"Mum that's a love heart for you because we're in love"