Wednesday, June 30, 2010

That's quite enough now frogs

We're down to about 8 frogs now. I put their box in the winter sun and didn't notice for an hour or so that the lid was loose. Only one seems to have got out; the rest know when they're onto a good thing ie a steady stream of crickets. It was a male. Only the males call and the box has been very quiet for a day or two, so I figured we had lost the only remaining boy.

At one stage the kids had named our frogs and christened a pair of likely lads Bradley and Dumbledore. They immediately became indistinguishable from every other frog we had, except Matilda. We know she is still with us because of her whale-like proportions and very pale skin.

Last night around sunset Bradley (or Dumbledore) happily sang his usual evening song from somewhere in the garden. I rushed about with a torch but of course he promptly shut up, and anyway was hiding.

Around 3 am the awful truth emerged. Bradley (or Dumbledore) had not been the last boy. He had simply been the loudest. Bradley and Dumbledore manfully croaked at each other for a good half an hour, Bradley (or Dumbledore) from the garden and Dumbledore (or Bradley) from the frogbox in the hallway right outside our bedroom. They have now been renamed Bloody Frog 1 and Bloody Frog 2.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Melted Moments

Success story: Thanks to Sarah, I found a recipe for chocolate chip bikkies (we do not eat "cookies" in this house) which worked. I used 200g instead of 400g of chocolate and about 170g rather than 200+g of chopped nuts and the biscuits were still delicious. "Baking soda" is what we call bicarb. The quantities were generous so there are still two rolls of uncooked dough in the freezer.

Not-a-success story: Tweaking the bikkie recipe worked. Not following the steps for Melting Moments didn't. If you dump everything in a bowl in a frenzy because the Bella and twinnies are coming over for afternoon tea and you are only halfway through your planned cooking, you don't get a buttery lump of fragile dough as you do if you cream the butter and sugar first. You get custard-powder coloured breadcrumbs that sort of clump together but can't be worked.

Do not be tempted to add extra butter. You will produce sad flat little buttons totally incapable of being stuck together to make yoyos. (Nonetheless they all disappeared, and anyway the twinnies prefer chocolate, ideally all over their faces.) The bread in the background is no-knead, which is so 2009 but still delicious.

Postscript: A pair of ten-year-old boys absorbed in boy stuff at the kitchen bench will not investigate, respond to or fetch an adult regarding strange loud explosive blopping sounds from the stove. So much for the gingered pumpkin soup.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

My garden at the end of May

At the end of May:

The mulberry is shedding its leaves...

the camellias are full-budded and beginning to bloom...

there are piles and piles of autumn leaves from a productive afternoon of raking by Cheekus and me (which will leave the lawn tidy until at least tomorrow, unless the piles prove irresistible). Don't laugh. It is so a lawn. You should have seen what the vendors left behind.

The vegie patch is tragic and totally unphotographable, but the little lemon tree has excelled itself...

and bulbs are starting to shoot out of the earth.

We had a tiny queen visit too.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Dial before you dig

This is a pot-bound rose from a few house renovations ago. I thought it was time it went in the garden.

This is a mattock.

These are tree roots.

This, it turns out, is not. (Hint: If it doesn't break when you tug it and it's actually straight and it's rather cold...even if it is rough and brown...don't use a large metal tool to try and break it up. Luckily the ring of metal-on-metal penetrated my brain in time.)