Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Prawns! My FAVOURITE! #myfamilylens

This post is my final post in the #myfamilylens competition, sponsored by Olympus and part of #voicesof2014, organised by Kidspot. All images in this post have been taken with the Olympus OM-D E-M10. The prompt I have chosen is Favourite.

Growing up, I ate a lot of prawns. Dad was a very keen fisherman, and if it was prawn season he would be out there every night, with his home made underwater-torch-on-a-broom-handle-prawn-attracter, bringing home prawns by the bucket. This would mean we ate prawns for breakfast, lunch and tea. Did we appreciate it? NO! My sister and I would open our lunchboxes, check our sandwiches, and roll our eyes before trying to swap for something exotic, like lemon spread. These days prawns are my absolute favourite, and every time I eat them I think of all those swapped sandwiches at school. At least someone appreciated them.


Today at the fish market, I couldn't go past these giant tiger prawns. I almost did because of the price, but ended up getting half a kilo of these, and half a kilo of calamari which are both favourites of the children in this house. Tomorrow morning I am off to ProBlogger for three days, and I like to cook something special the night before I go away, to make them miss me just that little bit more. I told Mr BC of this plan and he admitted to feeding them rubbish while I was gone in a ploy to make them miss me, but I suspect they actually like his famous 'Dad's Surf and Turf' i.e. a fish finger and a sausage on the same plate. We don't really have the same agenda at all, what do you think?


Garlic Prawn and Calamari Pasta with Broccoli



 Ingredients

  • 500g of the best prawns you can find, peeled and deveined
  • 500g of calamari
  • olive oil
  • minced chili to taste (optional but delicious)
  • minced garlic to taste
  • 1 head of broccoli, cut into sections
  • a large handful of fresh rocket, straight from the garden (optional but delicious)
  • 1 packet of pasta of your choice, cooked and drained.
  • 1 lemon


Method

The method is also printed in one lump at the bottom to make it easy to copy or print, and there is even a bonus section on cooking this recipe for fussy children!


Check out these prawns! Incredible. I am super impressed with the way the Olympus OM-D E-M10 really captures every glossy delicious detail.



Huge. HUGE prawns. Much different from my school lunches. Amazingly fresh, I think they were caught this morning and in the fish market by lunch, which is when I bought them. Peel and devein these babies, then rinse them in a colander with the calamari.



Cut the broccoli into sections, I like to include some of the stem. It doesn't make sense to just cut the florets off and discard the stem! I steamed these in the microwave and refreshed them under some cold tap water so that they'd keep their brightness.


Finely mince some fresh garlic (and chili if you are using) and fry it off in some olive oil just until it loosens up - don't burn it or it will be bitter and ruin the sweetness of the prawns. Add the seafood and stir until cooked, then add the broccoli and finally the cooked pasta. Make sure the pasta is still warm so it can soak up all the delicious flavours in the pan. Stir through rocket and squeeze in the lemon, and you are good to go!




Garlic Prawn and Calamari Pasta with Broccoli
Ingredients

  • 500g of the best prawns you can find, peeled and deveined
  • 500g of calamari
  • olive oil
  • minced chili to taste (optional but delicious)
  • minced garlic to taste
  • 1 head of broccoli, cut into sections
  • a large handful of fresh rocket, straight from the garden (optional but delicious)
  • 1 packet of pasta of your choice, cooked and drained.
  • 1 lemon

Method
  • Quickly steam the broccoli, but don't over cook it. If you rinse it under cold water after you cook it, it will stay beautifully green while until you need it. No one likes sad grey broccoli! 
  • In a wok, stir fry the garlic and chili in a glug of olive oil for a minute or two, don't let it burn.
  • Add the prawns and calamari and toss for a few minutes.
  • Add the broccoli and continue cooking until the seafood is perfectly cooked, then add in the pasta and rocket if you are using it, toss until everything is mixed and the rocket is a little bit wilted. 
  • Add a big theatrical squeeze of lemon, and serve! 

Fussy Child Friendly Version
  • Do not use chili.
  • Do not use rocket.
  • Do not use any lemon for heavens sake!
  • Ensure you use pasta that is pleasing to the child. 
  • Set aside some plain pasta for when the child tries it, but doesn't like it. 
  • Serve the children first then add chili for the grown ups. 
  • Be so hungry you forget all about the rocket and lemon. Be a little sad about it.
  • Inhale the garlic deliciousness with a nice glass of wine. 


This post is part of the #myfamilylens competition, sponsored by Olympus and organised by Kidspot as part of  #voicesof2014. All images in this post were taken using the Olympus OM-D E-M10, I used the camera's inbuilt WiFi functionality to transfer images to my phone, where I used the Olympus Image Share App to apply art filters to the images. This is my final installment in the #myfamilylens competition and I don't mind telling you I am sad at the thought of sending this camera back, it has been a pleasure to use and has added value to the way I take, share and store photos. I wish I had enough time to master video! Don't you think a House of Chaos Cookery series would be just darling? Me too...




Gifts and Mysteries #myfamilylens

This post is part of the #myfamilylens competition, sponsored by Olympus and part of #voicesof2014, organised by Kidspot. All images in this post have been taken with the Olympus OM-D E-M10. The prompt I have chosen is Gifted.

I am one of those people that become the repository for 'family heirlooms'. Some people might call these heirlooms 'junk', an in actuality a lot of them are. Rusted manual pottery wheel, anyone? No? Maybe people instinctively recognise the secret hoarder that lives within my spirit, and feel safe in the knowledge that I will never throw out precious hand stitched tea towels, the kayak that cost a lot of money in the '80s, or the thesis that my Great Uncle did as part of his studies to become a Reverend in the Episcopalian Church. I don't really mind because I do indeed have the soul of a hoarder, and along the way I've been gifted with some very special things; things that are precious to me and maybe even have a bit of mystery about them.




This fine china tea set was my Grandmothers when she was a little girl, and it was always too precious for my mother or her sister to play with. It's very fragile and the hand painted parrots seem to sing off the cup. It really is delightful, and is the perfect size for tiny fingers. I understand my mothers frustration at not being able to play with it! I also understand her resentment when my Grandmother casually gave it to me as I sat in the sandpit one day, and laughed at my mother's outrage as I broke many of the pieces in a sandy tea party. Apart from another two plates, what you see here is all that is left of the Parrot Tea Set. Apparently there used to be a lot more.




These costume jewelry orchid ear rings belonged to my Grandmother on my fathers side, and this is all I have of hers. I didn't know her very well but I know that she was adored by all of her children. I wonder where she wore these, and who was there, and did my Grandfather buy them for her? These ear rings are made for ears that are not pierced, did she ever get her ears pierced? Maybe she stopped wearing them after that. She passed away when I was quite young so I guess I will never know. I don't know if they were precious to her but they are very precious to me.



This book was a gift to me from my Great Grandmother, and she told me that her mother bought it with her from England. It must have been fairly old even then, because they migrated many years after 1841. It's a bound collection of weekly magazines that seem to be the equivalent of Womens Weekly.



There is no celebrity gossip, although there is 'Local Memories of Great Men' which would appear to be the same thing!







It's mostly a compendium of information regarding farming, livestock, history and geology. I can see how it would be a very useful thing to have if you were emigrating to Australia in the early nineteenth century. But that is not all that is hidden in this book.....



A few loose leaf papers are inside the front cover, and no one seems to know anything about them. Obviously it was during the war, but it doesn't seem to be real correspondence; just a vague series of lists and envelopes.



GL Bransgrove was my Great Grandmother, and it's a little bit thrilling to think that her hand may have written this. I have no idea who Robert Raad was, but I do know the Bransgroves lived at Enfield, in Sydney.



Who was AE Norden, Esq; and why was he receiving letters from the National Electro Plating Co? Was he getting something chrome plated? I wonder what it was, and I wonder what connection he had to my family.



Does this actually say Pfarters Hotel?! Why was someone getting a a one pound refund from the Pfarters Hotel? Was it my Great Grandmother?? This mystery is making my mind boggle.



This seems to be the beginning of a budget for some sort of fantastic event. Piano, Artists, Beer, Dinner and Tips. Giddy up! I wonder if it was at the Pfarters Hotel?  I wonder what the censor made of all of this when he opened it. I do love a mystery, some gifts just keep on giving.

This post is part of the #myfamilylens competition, sponsored by Olympus and organised by Kidspot as part of  #voicesof2014. All images in this post were taken using the Olympus OM-D E-M10, I used the camera's inbuilt WiFi functionality to transfer images to my phone, where I used the Olympus Image Share App to apply art filters to the images. Super easy and super clever huh? Such great quality from something so easy to use. Be afraid, iPhone.. 

xx


Creating Memories #myfamilylens

This post is part of the #myfamilylens competition, sponsored by Olympus and part of #voicesof2014, organised by Kidspot. All images in this post have been taken with the Olympus OM-D E-M10. The prompt I have chosen is Memory.

When I was a new mum, I went to a mothers group run by the local early childhood health clinic. As we sat in a circle with our tiny, wriggly bundles, the midwife asked us to tell the rest of the group about a special childhood memory, and everyone spoke in turn; recounting adventures and escapades, and various rituals and routines that happened in their lives. The midwife then told us that was what our job was as Mums, to provide happy memories for our children. Mind blown! I thought this was brilliant. It's something that has always stayed with me, and I try to instill in my children to appreciate the moments in life, even the ones that are not so precious. I hope when they are older they will have lots of great things to remember. 



The sense of taste is a rich source of memory, and I hope my children remember the many interesting and delicious meals I have cooked for them. I'm sure they will remember the times I insisted they at least try things they'd rather not, but hopefully they will also remember times like when I made passionfruit curd from all of the passionfruit in Nanny's garden. Or sorbet from mint and pineapple. Or ribs in the slow cooker, or homemade gravy, or crab straight out of the crab pot.



They might not remember the taste of green lipped mussels in garlic and wine with any fondness, but I do hope that one day when they are grown they catch a whiff of it in some restaurant, and remember that their mum made mussels like this for their kiwi dad, because that is exactly how he loved them.



Maybe Monkey Boy will remember the feeling of excitement he had when he was finally grown up enough to sleep on the top bunk? I hope he remembers this feeling when his own children beg for bunk beds.



Will the sight of blue and white cushions one day remind them of the time mum bought something nice for the house, and no one loved it more than the dog? I hope they don't remember me grumping that this is why we can't have nice things... but honestly. (Do you see the state of that leather!?)



They will definitely remember lots of visits to our dogs favourite park, the one with the fantastic climbing tree. They might not remember the history of the park, but that is something they can read about, it's not a memory they will remember in their heart. That memory belongs to someone else.



Will they remember what they where so thoughtful about, or will they instinctively seek the comfort of a tree's cool shade when, as adults, they need to think something important through?



They will remember this magnificent Umbrella Pine for the simple fact that I always tell them how much I love it.  In fifty years from now they will take their grandchildren to a park and point out an Umbrella Pine, and say 'My mother used to love those!' I wonder if those grandchildren will remember that?



They will definitely carry memories of this secret paperbark pathway along the bottom of the park, anybody would. You can be completely hidden, and pretend you are a pirate, or a ninja, or a spy on a mission. The smell is amazing.



These Mango trees will be remembered for the few prized mangoes they collected that hadn't been nibbled at by fruit bats.  They bring them home on summer mornings, triumphantly holding their hats full of mangoes. 'Look Mum! We outsmarted the fruit bats!'



Like everyone in this family, they have a soft spot for all dogs and will remember our dogs best friend, and the time shortly after this photo that he had a broken leg and couldn't play for a long time.



My feeling about memories is that they are like a root system, that anchors you to your family and your home. To your childhood. They can be weak, or strong with happiness. I hope the root system my children have is strong enough to anchor them their whole lives, and provide support and stability when they need it most.



They will remember the feeling of being loved, and that is what I wish for them more than anything else. The feeling of acceptance, the feeling of being able to rely on that absolute love and acceptance no matter what.



Growing, cooking and eating corn fresh from the garden is something they love, and the look of pride on their faces is a wonderful memory for me.





They will remember the sound of rain thrashing against the roof in storm season, and they might remember the anxious feeling they associated with it. Will they remember jumping into the safety of mum and dads bed to sleep? (side note: this is why I don't get any sleep)



They'll remember that this red cliff is how our town got it's name. They'll remember this rocky beach that isn't really great for swimming, but it does have a mysterious tunnel that they are not allowed to enter.






This post is part of the #myfamilylens competition, sponsored by Olympus and organised by Kidspot as part of  #voicesof2014. I feel very privileged to participate! I have been provided with an amazing Olympus OM-D E-M10 to play with, and I absolutely love it. Using a DSLR camera is way outside of my comfort zone, in fact this is the first DSLR camera I have ever used, but this baby is so easy to navigate and so portable I could happily use it to take photos every day, and I have. I also love the WiFi connectivity, making it super easy to post high quality images across instagram, something else I love to do. It's been fantastic in helping me turn some wonderful moments into precious memories.

xx




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