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Sunday, January 1, 2012

You can sing now

if you want.  You know - the Happy Birthday song.

hint hint

Yeah, I'm old and it feels like just another day.  Mum & Dad gave me 6 wee beautiful glass bowls to match the big one I got for Chrissie, will use them for Birthday dinner tonight.

Anyway - piccies of Trouble with his Chrissie pressie from his Nanet:
That's the baby brother, who Trouble just adores (along with every boy; I think I have a sexist dog...) and Trouble deciding he needed help to open the packet properly.  Both dogs have played the hell out of that thing this last week - its brown and dirty and its face is open, showing stuffing (I think it was a zeebra), its hard to believe its only a week old.  Good present.

The Married Ones popped in for a quick visit and a cuppa, have been camping near the parents town.  Its amazing how a little holiday can make everyone look so relaxed and happy.

Last night we had family friends over and I cooked a New Years/Birthday Eve dinner - honey soy chicken kebabs on feta and apricot pressed couscous cakes, salad and an extremely sinful chocolate tart.  We had a break between dinner and desert and played a round of Catan - I'm spreading the Settlers love.  The newbies won too - the first time I have not won this week - since I brought it home as a present (and its been played a lot).  Watched Kinky Boots after desert, a fav of all the olds - and then greeted the new year from within the shower before bed.  God, but I kind of love being old.

Oh yeah - the cat was the first to give me a pressie too - left the good bits of a sparrow on my bathroom floor at about 11:45pm.  Such a kind, sharing soul.  (though I suspect the bits I think are good, might not be as desirable as the brain, beak and entrails in his feline mind).
***
The dinner tart was basically chocolate, cream, eggs etc, cooked in a filo pastry case 
and then piled high with choc-dipped strawberries and blueberries.
The white choc was a bit tricky and its been so hot here, it took ages for everything to set.  I dipped the strawbs all carefully and got sick of the little blueberry bastards about 10 berries in - so dumped the lot in the choc, rolled them around then dumped them back out onto the baking paper.  Not nearly so pretty as carefully individually dipped berries - but a hell of a lot easier.

The tart was sinful and coma-inducing, but still I think not a fav; I doubt I'll make it again.  Kind of the so-sinful-you-want-to-puke variety.  The choc-dipped berries, however - mmmmmmmmm.
The tart in the recipe was a beautiful dense smooth slice, mine cooked out a bit like a baked cheesecake.  I think I whisked the eggs too much - too much air in the batter.  And I also only used filo because the supey has sold out of sweet short.  Crazy.

Wee bit of a side project this week - the maternal grandmother is moving down to the beach to be closer to the family and the parents have been back and forth from the farm helping to clean out the old house.  Dad found a bunch of old brass sheep ear tags in amongst the detritus in the shed - I polished up a bunch and shall get them fitted on some sweet silver chains - one for every member of the family still alive.  Nans moving off the farm is going to be a bit heart wrenching, but its past due.
Imagine - a farm in a time before plastic ear tags.

Also feel compelled to mention - polishing up old brass is one of the most rewarding elbow-grease-using activities ever (OCD soother?!).  I kind of love it.  Dad bent them shut after a first polish and then gently ground off any sharp corners (he has a tool for everything, I am not kidding).  The parents have fitted outdoor power jacks on the new deck, so we both sat at the table with a bit of Whitney blasting through the sweet, sweet speaker system.  Good times.  (shall I confess to having been procrastinating?  is it obvious?!  Was supposed to spend the whole day thesis writing, but spent a good three hours polishing brass).

And that is all.  Venture forth into a new year with fortitude, my loves.

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