Long time between posts. It's been a busy week with Easter commitments. Firstly, on the renovation progress, we have Gravel (also known as aggregate).
They've built a platform in roughly the shape of the extension, and will start digging the basement room (Mr AV's office) late this week. There's not going to be much exciting progress for the next 4-5 weeks, as the basement needs to be done first, then the main floor slab will be poured. After that we should see the walls go up pretty quickly.
Some of my attractive food styling. The magazines will be knocking on my door
Lots of social engagements with my children's School and Kindergarten took up the latter part of the week and kept me busy including an Easter bonnet parade, Easter craft and egg hunt. Good Friday was a lovely, quiet day at home that started with Croissants and Strawberry Jam. I then spent 4 hours in the garden with my three enthusiastic, but unskilled helpers. The garden, despite being fairly small at the moment, has been rather neglected from the incessant heat over the past two months - it's just not fun to garden when it's 30 plus C every day. I did a huge tidy up weeding and pruning like a woman possessed, but it still has a long way to go and currently looks disappointingly messy.
Saturday we had lunch with my in-laws at their house, and I was in charge of dessert. I decided to make a Pavlova, and used my thermomix to do it. I followed a recipe from a fantastic cookbook lent to me by lovely client and blog reader L. (I need to get the books back to you L!), and it looked perfect when I turned the oven off on Friday night and left it in the oven to dry out overnight. Sadly, when I retrieved it the next morning it looked like this.
The culprit is my crappy oven. Lets just say that a $500 oven will challenge your cooking abilities. Unfortunately the oven that came with the existing kitchen didn't work, so I bought the cheapest one that I could find as a temporary (2.5 year) stand in, which was at Bunnings (Hardware store). It's ok, but clearly it's not up to a Pavlova - it trapped the moisture in and made the Pav soggy.
+ cream and berries and zest
= Eton Mess
So, I did what you have to do in these situation, and turned it into Eton Mess - crush up the meringue and combine it with whipped cream, berries and lime zest (I add the zest to cut through the sweetness) at the last minute. Yum.
Sunday we went up to my Dad's house for Lunch. Stirling often feels like another world away up in the hills... as we went up the freeway, the mist descended and it started to rain. The temperature dropped to around 15 degrees. It really felt very Autumnal. Leaves were starting to turn, and the smell of damp, mossy earth after such a long parched Summer filled the air.
Maple on one of the paths
I really felt like there was a hole without my Mum there too. At Christmas there were so many people for lunch and the children were so excited that there was a lot of distraction, but a smaller lunch made her absence felt. It was a difficult day for me. But the children had a lovely time, with a clued Easter Egg hunt that had them running all over the garden searching for the chocolate eggs.
E's version of camouflage
And this is the week of a ban on chocolate for the children.... we have discovered that our 2 year old has the very same chocaholic tendencies as his father. Being woken four times in the night on both Saturday and Sunday night by a semi asleep toddler demanding chocolate suggests he's really developed a taste for it.....
Hope you had a lovely Easter. xx
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