A Village Life

Thursday, July 29, 2010

kimono wrap

As soon as I put down my crochet hook from the ripple afghan project (which I will tell you more about later), I couldn't resist having a go at this little number.  It's not perfect but it was really good to practice making something other than a blanket.  I finished it in no time at all (ignoring my children as a good mother does while I feverishly crocheted).  I was super excited to put to use the buttons I bought at the Alameda flea market.  They topped the kimono off perfectly, adding a feminine bling factor.  It's a bit big as you can see (my husband was calling it her sumo jacket).  My daughter is 10 months old but I used the measurements for the 18 month pattern so she can get 2 winters worth of wear from it.    

Tuesday, July 27, 2010


My mind is awhirl with so many things that before I tell you all about this kaimoana business I wanted to say a few things.  First off, last night was the first night in about 6 months that all 4 of us slept through the night completely without even a stir!  Unbelievable.  I thought my days of sleeplessness would last forever!  Secondly, I am so excited to finally have finished my crocheted ripple blanket; it's warm, thick, cozy and colorful.  As soon as I put down my hook from that project I couldn't resist getting started on a kimono wrap sweater for my daughter.  I am totally obsessed and worked feverishly on it all day yesterday even avoiding the housework that needs to be done.  For some that may sound normal but I have OCD about cleaning my house and I love making it a dustless, crumb less, sparkling clean haven for my family.  More to come about my crochet projects as well as another tasty tutorial for tomorrow.  In the meantime......

So if anyone knows the typical Kiwi bloke, they would agree that these men are obsessed with kaimoana, or in English, foods from the sea.  I have never met another male species that is so intent on collecting, harvesting, fishing, spearing, diving, shooting or catching edible things from the sea.  I am serious here.  Every man I know either has a boat or wants a boat so they can be some sort of caveman and 'get food for family' (picture tarzan here).  A few weekends ago while the children and I were still in California my husband went out fishing with a friend.  Rob has a tinny and a rowboat, lucky him.  He and his wife and 2 girls just moved here from London although Rob is a Kiwi.  And a true Kiwi at that.  He used to get up at 3 or 4 in the morning in London just to go look at the fish in the fish market.  Because if you can't actually go fishing, just looking at freshly caught fish is the next best thing apparently.  So Pete and Rob went out fishing. Rob catches a kahawhai that needs to be bled and after he cuts under the gills to bleed it, he slices it open and rips out the heart and pops it in his mouth and swallows.  Yes you heard me, he ate the 'pretty close to still beating' heart. About 2 minutes later Pete catches a kahawhai and Rob looks at him as if 'your turn now buddy' so Pete obligingly grabs the heart and down the hatch.  Gross!  What the?  Why would you do that?  Anyway the following weekend Pete went up to a friends bach for the night.  Pete and Dave go out for a dive and Dave scores his first crayfish.  Hallelujah, many phone calls later to boast to friends, he then cooked and proudly served it with a homemade wasabi mayonnaise.  What a hero!  When I asked Pete if he got any crays he answered, "no but I got some mussels off the rocks".  Well what a relief that you weren't empty handed then, you would have been a serious failure had you not come up with something.  He probably would have boiled up seaweed and made a salad if there had not been any mussels.  You think I am joking but he probably would have.  So you might be wondering what we did with that cute little fish I caught this weekend.  Well I put it in some foil with a few lemon slices, salt and pepper, olive oil and a good sprinkle of sumac and baked it for ten minutes.  Very delightful indeed....or so they told me.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

A Beautiful Day

Seeing that my in-laws are on holiday in Aussi at the moment, we jumped at the chance to take out their launch solo today.  Forecast being perfect we headed off early to make the most of the day and to get in some good fishing.  We didn't score big in the fishing department, with one trevally caught by myself, thank you very much.  We did however have a relaxing family day, walking ashore at Mansion House Bay on Kawau Island.  The perfect Sunday.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Back to School

After a month's holiday in California visiting family and friends we hopped off a long flight and got straight back into the normal home life here in New Zealand. Today that meant packing a lunch and a backpack and heading off to preschool. I put the baby in the stroller, the dog on his leash and the backpack on the 3 year old and off we walked to school. After the heat and sun of the California summer and lazy days relaxing by the pool, the cold brisk morning here in Leigh was refreshing and invigorating. The baby crying, the dog pulling us all over the road and the 3 year old with her arm around my leg the whole way I thought, "wow, isn't this fun being back home?". My husband wanted sympathy when he told me in the middle of the night last night that he had been awake for 2 hours rescuing Rita from scary dinosaurs and listening to the teething baby cry. That's what I've been doing for the past 2 weeks in California on my own with the children! Welcome back to the real world darling, a houseful of loud irrational children and a wife who needs a holiday after her holiday! But I must say I am so excited to get stuck back into it: signing up for French classes and yoga sessions, deciding what project to start on next in the house and finishing off my much needed crocheted afgan! It's a brand new day.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

no knead brown yeast bread

In honor of my friend Melanie who has taken to baking one loaf of bread each week (or was it each month?) I have put together a tutorial of the most very basic no knead brown yeast bread.

300 grams whole wheat flour
150 grams white flour
1 dessert spoon full of dried yeast
1 tablespoon molasses
1 teaspoon salt
325 ml warm water

preheat oven to 230 c

oil loaf tin.

mix flours together with salt in large bowl.
mix water with molasses and yeast and let sit for 5 minutes until frothy.

mix water and flour mixtures together and spread into tin.

let the dough rise in warm spot until it just peeps over the edge of the tin.

bake 35 minutes, take loaf out of tin and bake another 10 minutes until loaf is nice and crunchy on the outside and hollow sounding when tapped on the bottom.

Voila, the most simple brown yeast bread ever!

Best eaten hot out of the oven with loads of butter, honey or whatever you fancy.