Archive for the ‘International Food Night’ Category

Time for an update on life bordering the driest city in Australia…I say this with a literary sarcasm, since all it seems to have done since we arrived in South Australia is rain….and rain….and rain! And, guess what. It’s raining right now!

Ok, so I was a bit slack last week and didn’t manage much in the way of blog posts, so I guess i have a bit of catching up to do…and I haven’t done a general update since June 8th! Eeek!

So, usually the only way i can figure out what we’ve been doing is by checking my photo’s in date order….

We’ve been to a few homeschool meets and spent time with friends…we’ve had two Food Nights. The first was Australia – Kai decided it was high time we had a home food night, so we had Barramundi and chips for Australia night! I would have made a Pavlova, but i’m shocking at making desserts and it all looked too hard!

Last week Kai chose Papua New Guinea for Food Night…we did some research and discovered that a traditional Papua New Guinea feast is cooked in an underground oven called a Mumu, and the resulting food is also called a Mumu!

Unfortuntely, we didn’t think that our Real Estate Agent would be too impressed if we dug a Mumu in the garden, and, like I said, it’s constantly raining. So, we decided to do our Mumu in the fire place…

Stage 1 – wrapping the food in foil, due to the current lack of banana leaves in Adelaide! It’s free range pork…we don’t normally eat pork, but in order to make it most authentic, we relented for this Food Night!

Stage 2 – wrapped food in the fire. It actually worked amazingly well, and very quickly!

The cooked food. I figure the charcoaled bits only make it more like a real Mumu, right?!

Some of our other research, of course, involved swords of PNG. We found a couple of cool pictures of ceremonial bone dagger, (scroll down for the bone dagger pic) and Kai decided to draw one.

Before you draw unsavoury conclusions as to what other things this drawing may resemble, please view the actual bone dagger and you will see that it does actually look like this! The daggers are commonly made of cassowary bone. Brett took Kai to the museum and they visited the Pacific Cultures exhibit and saw some real bone daggers on the weekend too….

So, aside from our culinary, museum and virtual trip to PNG, what else have we been up to?

Been to the BMX park a few times and Kai got a new bike (note in Mondays post that $6 purple bike is absent!). Also been swimming.

We joined the Zoo and went to the zoo last week. We also visited the sculpture and art exhibit on primates by Lisa Roet. It was really beautiful, and even Kai loved it.

I recommend visiting if you are around the zoo – it’s free, and you don’t even have to go into the zoo to see it! Of course we enjoyed the zoo, and were really lucky to see the pack of wild dogs running around very animated. We were also around for feeding time at lots of exhibits – meerkats, giraffes, and – best of all, the Tassie devil!

Kai also finished saving for his Play Mobil sea monster/ghost pirate set. But when we got to the toy section to buy it in Myer, he changed his mind and decided to spend his money on a Pirates of the Carribean lego set. I have to say I was surprised, but he has played with it a lot since he got it, and I think perhaps it signals a transition to a more constructive period where he might get more into lego….

….we’re also looking forward to seeing the new Pirates movie when it comes out on DVD….and going to see Kung Fu Panda 2 and Cars 2 at the movies in the next couple of weeks!

Phew. So that’s it. That’s a lot of stuff…I’m exhausted just reading about it! Biology, Geography, Maths, Phys Ed, Arts, Socializing….i’m off for a nap!


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Happy World Ocean day, first of all. It seems this day went by fairly unnoticed by most, unfortunately. We are still celebrating in our house with continuing ocean madness, and we got out a whole range of ocean books from the library yesterday! Our Ocean’s project folder (‘Lapbook’ to the more organized!) – is close to being finished…

The weather remains less than perfect….it’s rained most days since the weekend, although there have been the odd sunny moments. On Saturday it was actually mostly sunny, and we took Kai’s bike to the play ground, and he made friends with two brothers and they played hide and seek for about an hour – it was lovely to watch!

That night we decided to reinstate International Food Night. We chose the Caribbean, given Kai’s recent obsession with the Pirates of the Caribbean. It was a bit tricky to find a recipe that we’d all eat, as a lot of the Caribbean stuff seemed to be spicy, and Kai won’t eat spicy (unless it’s Indian!). So, we settled on Jamaican Brown StewChicken , and I followed this recipe

While I was preparing in the kitchen, Kai and Brett listened to a bit of Bob Marley…there was dancing…of sorts!


Then Kai helped me cook….Health and Safety alert….i don’t recommend cooking over a gas flame wearing a cheap nylon pirate suit – I promise I was supervising!


It was delish…and we ate all of it, despite planning on it lasting two nights!

On Sunday it was kinda rainy, and Kai and I went for a late walk to the local school playground, and then to the local shop which sells hot drinks too. On our way back, we found lots of amazing fungi – those red and white ‘fairy’ toadstools, and lots of other types, and we also found what looked like a native tree full of pink blossoms. We thought this was quite amazing since it’s winter, and we picked a couple of the ‘fairy blossoms’ (Kai’s name for them!) and took them home.


Eventually we deduced that the tree was a Hakea laurina, or pin-cushion hakea. It’s native to Western Australia, and flowers all winter providing food to many birds and insects!

Monday – well – Kai did ocean drawing all day, as reported on Monday…

Tuesday it was rainy AGAIN!! Early on we went and picked some daisy type flowers from the garden to do a water transport in plants experiment…you can read more about the science here….

I wouldn’t say it’s an ‘instant result’ experiment…we left the flowers in all night before they looked like this….


 ….but it was pretty cool! The blue one worked best for us.

 Around lunch time we went to the library, and got our ocean books, then went to the park, but it got too wet. Kai realized he had forgotten to get any DVD’s, so we had to go back to the library….and then our friends were there. So, much to the disgust of most library goers, Kai and his friend played a very loud game of hide and seek before we left!

Then…after my big long essay on Sunday about curriculum resources, Kai went and asked, specifically, to play Starfall!!! Wouldn’t you know it! So, we did that together for a while….it’s much less offensive than Reading Eggs though!

Today we went swimming, and to a shop that sells ‘school’ supplies, because we wanted some maze books. I was very good and restrained myself from buying lots of curriculum crap we won’t use though! We also met friends in the park on the way home for a quick play, before the rains came back!

Currently watching Jane and The Dragon, which has inspired yet more drawing….(we have filled at least one drawing book this week…) – My favourite being this bejeweled sword…


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I’m writing this post on the ferry – how cool is technology!?

Our last week up the hill was, of course, extremely chaotic! Packing, cleaning, general craziness associated with moving…

But, we did have time for some fun….we did our last International Food Night, and i made Keema Mattar – as Kai chose India and we fortuitously had roo mince and peas in the freezer (and not much else)! It was a big hit, and i’ll probably make it again – i followed this recipe – which is a Pakistani version.

Kai managed some potion making among the packing boxes outside…he’s keen on doing the bi-carb/vinegar thing at the moment…

it's all about the fizz...

The floo cleaner came on Tuesday, so Kai saw how the guy cleaned the chimney with his big brushes, and the removalists came on Wednesday.

Wednesday afternoon we headed into Hobart and Brett went to talk to a guy at UTas, so Kai and I investigated the Zoology Dept. We found some cool diorama’s, and these life-sized elephant seals…

We bumped into our friend Carryn in the bowels of Zoology, and she showed us some baby spotted snow lizards she was looking after in the lab…

They were very cute. Carryn is going to be a mama any day, and we are sad we aren’t going to get to see the babe…

We also saw Caz and other friends and their kids at the Indian restuarant in Hobart for a last dinner…

the kids managed to scare other diners downstairs! Impressive!

Thursday was a big cleaning day, and gardening day, and generally not much fun for anyone…although Kai helped with the lawn mowing, so it wasn’t so bad!

And this morning was absolute madness….finishing cleaning, trying to fit everything in the car…aggghhh – i feel like we only just did this in Colorado! We finally left the house at 10.50am – which was nearly an hour later than i planned, but all turned out well…

On the way up to the Devonport Ferry, we stopped at Launceston and went to the QVMAG, to see the ‘Eaten Alive’ exhibit. It was all about predators and prey and different types of hunting and camoflague…Kai LOVED it…especially the gory photo’s!

This bit compared three African predators, how they kill and what they eat of the kill…not much left after the lions get to something, apparently!

So, now we are on the boat, and are actually moving toward Melbourne! Glad this week is over, it all went quite smoothly really – although tempers did fray this morning with the last minute packing and cleaning!

Kai currently watching a DVD in the cabin – after he had a picnic on the top bunk and discovered he liked smoked oysters!

...the mirrors in the cabin are fun too!

Next installment of our homeless tribe….Melbourne and Nana and Grandad’s house!

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Only 2.5 weeks left in Tassie, and we’ll surely miss our cabin up the hill – although not so much the drive up the steep, dirt road….the car is in the shop, AGAIN!

So, since there was a deficit of photo’s yesterday, i’m here to make up for it today!

Here’s what we’ve been up to of late, enjoying our last couple of weeks…

The lavender bush is humungous, so i chopped lots and am drying it out, with a view to eventually making lavender pillows…

Same goes for the rosemary bush…i’ve got the rosemary and lavender in bunches drying on top of the fire…Brett says the house smells like an old lady’s toilet!

Kai’s been mad about playing Poisson Rouge games….

Our environmental toothbrushes arrived! Yay! Since we are all using them – we had to label them!

I knitted a placemat! It only took a few hours, and used up bits of old yarn (recycled – from the op shop!)…i’m going to do 4…THE easiest thing to knit for a useless knitter who refuses to follow patterns (or recipes, or generally directions of any kind!) Drink coasters too! (note to me: size 9 needles, co 15)..

Tonight we FINALLY did Russian food night..we made potato blini with smoked salmon, i followed this recipe. It was a serious pain in the ass…but they tasted good! I’m not convinced that smoked salmon is particularly a traditional topping, despite the claims of the website to the contrary…but we couldn’t afford caviar (yuk, anyways!), and Brett and I did have a mushroom one each too, but Kai doesn’t like mushies!

Other things we discovered about Russia this week…weeeelll, LOTS of swords, and we also found lots of pictures of traditional dress and learnt a lot about Cossacks.

And….finally….no evening is complete without a potion making session…

Just for added zazz, we put some baking soda and vinegar in this one too!

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Two blogs in two days. Shocking! Firstly, big thanks to Kim at Feather & Nest for nominating me as a ‘Versatile Blogger’ – I like being versatile! I promise to get around to posting the button and making my list of versatile bloggers as soon as I can….hopefully tomorrow!

So, today we got up quite early, for us…we had brekky and then Kai and I went for a walk around the garden…We are starting to realise how much we will miss all the space around our little house up the hill…Kai will miss his rope swing…

And we will miss our metallic skinks that live in the dry stone wall…there have been a lot of gravid females basking in the sun lately…

Hopefully we might get to see some baby lizards before we leave…

We found a unidentified animal poop on top of the dry stone wall this morning too…so we ‘dissected’ it (meaning we poked at it with sticks!)…it was full of insects…

but seriously - how many blogs with poop pictures have you seen today?!

You can see insect elytra on the left there, that we picked out. We *think* it was a quoll poop…it doesn’t look like an echidna, and not much else eats so many insects….according to Barbara.. 

Then we headed to Randalls Bay. The boys went in the ocean, but as usual I was too much of a wussy! We stayed for about two hours though, and Kai made some friends.  We stopped at the Boat House for fish and chips on the way home. We kept saying we needed to go there before we leave, so another thing crossed off our list! It was pretty good!

Tonight I finally got around to making our Myanmar food, for International Food Night. We chose to make Mohinga, which is known as the national dish of Myanmar…apparently they eat it for breakfast, lunch and dinner!

I followed this recipe (mostly!)…It called for shallots in the broth, but we used some baby leeks from Kai’s veggie garden…we figure we should use as much as we can before we leave…Kai helped me pick them and chopped them up for the soup…

So, the finished Mohinga looked like this…

Traditional Burmese fish soup..we served ours with rice noodles….and Brett and I thought it was yummy – Kai ate the noodles and broth, but left the chunks of fish!

We also learnt a bit about Burma/Myanmar, and Kai is currently colouring in a flag – Myanmar got a new flag in October 2010, replacing the old socialist flag…Kai said he likes the new flag better than the old one!

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Today we drove over to Cygnet to check out the Cygnet Folk Festival. It was crazy time over there – thank goodness we could park at friends, because there are not a park to be found anywhere! After finally getting Kai away from ‘Lazy Town’ on Bryan and Amber’s TV, we headed down with Amber and the kids.

We didn’t go to any of the pay gigs, which are inside, but hung out at the park where the market stalls were and free music. We took it in turns to kid sit and shop, and both Amber and I managed to spend money on new clothes! We had salmon sausages for lunch, and the kids played at the park and made goofy faces…

Then we went to get ice cream…

 Kai’s tummy was having a good day (until now – late pm), and we went for a swim on the way home – and didn’t get back until after 6pm…long day!

Kai’s watched Mr Magorium’s Wonder Emporium, and I made dinner. After something of a lull, we decided to get back into International Food Night, renamed by Bryan as Global Grub Night…and before Christmas Kai chose Germany as our next country.

So I made (free-range) chicken schnitzel – I kind of combined two recipes…one for weiner schnitzel (although it’s not weiner schnitzel unless it’s veal, apparently – and we certainly don’t eat veal!) and Jaeger schnitzel. So, essentially we had crumbed chicken with a Jaeger sauce! And served it with Kartoffelpuree…otherwise known as mashed potato’s! (I followed the German recipe, but it seemed like any old mash to me!)..

Here’s Kai’s (no Jaeger sauce – he doesn’t like mushies!)…

Doesn’t look very exciting, does it!!?? I’m hoping for something more exotic next week!! Hope we don’t get England!

We found some German swords – quite a lot actually..and lots of pictures of traditional Bavarian dress! Must think of more fun things to do as part of GGN….Any ideas??

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It’s been a fairly ho-hum kind of a week, this week. After getting over our respective sickness from last week, I think Brett and I have been quite tired, and then I was fighting something again the past couple of days – but it seems copious amounts of Vit C and Olive Leaf Extract *might* have knocked it on the head!

So, we’ve all been moving at a slow pace, except Kai, who has kept up his usual manic pace. He has been entertaining himself most of the week, and i have to admit that has involved a fair few DVD’s!  Currently ‘Iron Man’ is the object of choice, from the library – we also got a Tin Tin and an Asterix from the library…LOVE the library!

Our car is in the shop in Hobart, new transmission pending, costing around $2500…blah…we haven’t been having a good car time of it lately!

We did venture out to swimming twice this week…Monday we went to the Port Huon inside pool, which we had to ourselves! Then on Tuesday afternoon, spurred on by a brief spell of warm weather, we checked out the Huonville outside pool for the first time! It is really a nice pool, but according to Kai it was freezing! We established, using Dr Jo’s rigorous swim testing methods, that Kai can comfortably swim 10m, and probably not so comfortably swim 15m! So, that makes me pretty happy….

Yesterday we did some treasure hunts outside, using Nana’s Christmas chocolates as treasure (sorry Nana – there are 4 left!). We each took it in turn to hide a chocolate and then draw a map and mark the X.  Kai really got into it, and i’m sure it’s something we’ll do more of…Our treasure hunt was pretty basic – hide chocolate, draw map, find chocolate, but for older kids I found this site had lots of ideas…

We also FINALLY got around to Chinese food night. I wasn’t feeling great, so i didn’t do the squirrel shaped fish I had planned, but i did make traditional dumplings (from scratch, if you please – no wonton wrappers for me!) with a veggie filling – I kind of mixed this recipe for the filling, with this one for the wrappers. As one might expect, China was a particularly rich source for very cool swords – making it Kai’s number one country right now!

Kai finally finished typing his letter to Santa. He’s decided that typing is easier than writing (he gets frustrated his letters don’t look like mine…but they do when he types!)…and with uncommon persistence he typed the whole thing himself…and we emailed it to ‘santa’ who emailed back and said he would do his best to find a double cross-over ninja sword (yikes…!).

Today we met up with homeschool/unschool friends in a lovely cafe in Kingston. The kids had an absolute ball, and we all had a wonderful time chatting and eating yummy food!

This was in the back of the cafe – Citrus Moon, great for kids and the food is all free range and goodness!

Unfotunately, all three of us fell asleep for 2 hours when we got home…so it’s likely to be a late night!

Phew. When I just re-read that, I realise it wasn’t such a quiet week after all! No wonder i’m knackered!

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