Sunday, July 27, 2014

Truffle weekend

The Canberra region is celebrating truffle season with a full festival program this year.  We headed out to Grazing at Gundaroo last night, with Jennie & Wayne, for a gala event: a degustation dinner - featuring our region's sublime black truffles, throughout the six course menu.  The evening started with a Zierholz Brewery truffle infused ale, served at the bar with a scrumptuous duck foie gras with apple on dark rye.

The star of the evening was Antonio Carluccio, the so called Godfather of Italian gastronomy, and a man who is passionate about mushrooms!  He was in an expansive mood and told rambling stories and questionable jokes with the odd recipe or two in between courses.  Although one interesting point he made was that there is currently nowhere else in the world where you can go out and harvest a kilo of truffles like you can in the farms around Canberra!

Grazing was filled to capacity for the event but the food was wonderful (superb), the waitstaff was super professional and we really enjoyed the lively company. Along with Jennie and Wayne we also enjoyed meeting the gorgeous Amanda Whitley, editor of the well known Her Canberra website and the garrulous Dallas who sat on the other side of me and shared a lot of my own views about the way the PM is handling the aftermath of MH17 (not that that has anything to do with truffles).
Every dish was amazing - and generously flavoured with the fragrant black truffle - but the two stand outs for me were the: venison carpaccio with lardo, truffle shavings, remoulade and soft boiled quail egg.

..and dessert: warm chestnut fondant and fig fritter filled with truffle honey and caramelised white chocolate icecream (and a surprise little chocolate package on the side - yum!

On the same weekend as this unforgettable meal we were still lucky enough to be invited for one of Joshy's Sunday roasts this evening. It has been a lovely sunny winter warm day today and so the girls were able to play outside until quite late - without feeling too frozen.

 Abi's finally graduated to a big girl's swing - and the toddler seat has gone for good!

She's been going down that slippery slide for about a year already so I don't know why she looked so doubtful this afternoon.

Ella is getting ready for a hand stand duet with Davey when he arrives from London later this week. She's progressing well but is still not quite at the standard he demonstrated at his wedding last year.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

BIG birthday coming up

There is a certain person in the family who is celebrating a HUGE birthday in a few weeks. Our planning is in overdrive and the excitement is building. I have been organising some family photos for the event and have had some fun putting together a BK Book .

I think the three sisters shot below is from about 1959 - 60.

..and the three sisters shot (below) is from November 2012. They are the same three sisters! Can you work out which was which in the b&w shot above?

You can all probably understand now why I spend so much at the hairdressers these days after the hair style abuse I suffered as a child!

The pic below is of BK and baby Joel in 1981 when he was about 3 and a half months old.

And the pic below is of BK with grown up Joel, thirty three years on, in February this year - see how they've both developed a taste for beer over all those years!

The pic below, taken at Josh and Jody's wedding ten years ago includes every member of BK's immediate family at that time. Since then a few more partners have joined the family group and seven gorgeous great grand-children - what a busy decade it has been!

Almost ALL of this wonderful crew, including six of the seven gorgeous great grand-children will be in Canberra to help BK celebrate her BIG birthday in a few weeks. It's wonderful!

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Fly July

It's July already and time seems to be just flying by. School finished for Ella on Friday and she's on holiday now for two weeks.  One of the last projects her class had for the term was to imagine (and photograph) themselves reading in some strange places. Ella and I had some fun after school one afternoon thinking up some weird places to read.

I did think Ella was enormously clever striking this perfectly balanced pose (below) without a waver (on her way down out of the little maple tree).

So on her first day of the holiday we headed into the National Gallery of Australia to participate in some workshops led by members of the Balinese community in Canberra (in celebration of the current Bali: Island of the Gods exhibition at the NGA).

The children were taught about the daily offering ceremonies and then had a go at making their own versions - sadly without the fresh palm leaves and flowers that they use in Bali.

There were some lovely Balinese ladies there too constructing elaborate temple offerings and keeping an eye on the traditional dance lessons. There was also the charming Made from the Indonesian embassy who demonstrated the instruments of the gamelan orchestra and helped us master the more intricate folding and cutting techniques for the offerings.

Claire's birthday is in July too so we made it a (big) girls night out on Saturday - just to celebrate. The boys stayed back at our place feeding all the collective young ones take away Turkish and being altogether  wonderful "babysitters".

We ended up at the lovely new "Lucky's Bar" at the QT Hotel at New Acton. The original plan was to hit the very hipster bar at Hotel Hotel but unfortunately we picked the night of "Hustle and Scout" (Fashion and Forage Festival) at New Acton/Nishi and the whole area was a glorious lively bunfight. We were very lucky to find our space (eventually) in this classy little speakeasy for our big night out!!

Claire had some wonderful news for our birthday this year so she's still over the moon about it (as are we!!)