kate5kiwis: May 2008


“If you were all alone in the universe with no one to talk to, no one with which to share the beauty of the stars, to laugh with, to touch, what would be your purpose in life? It is other life, it is love, which gives your life meaning. This is harmony. We must discover the joy of each other, the joy of challenge, the joy of growth.” — Mitsugi Saotome

Friday, May 30, 2008

the dam has officially burst

and aprons are flying off the sewing machine like... er... uh... flying aprons?!!!!!
first off we have a very speshal apron for a very speshal Beanie Babe who's turning thirty this weekend, in honour of you finding your meat-and-veggies-kitchen-muse and because, as we all know, red stuff rocks.
wishing you a wonderful continuation of your week-long-celebrations and a huge thanks for your unending patience with moi, the comment-bomber from... er... uh... apronville. and yes, you can even lick the strawberries.
Happy Birthday, Sarah Bean!!!

next up/off we have the hip-est apron for the hippiest chick i know: yep, it's Hay in The Windy City who turned my heart to moosh (that's not difficult) earlier this week by making a "i covet your stuff" comment. this little beauty is a wonderful mix of all things chic and hippie:
it's blue, which is your favourite colour,
it has little white flowers
to celebrate your flower-child within,
and i've even tie-dyed that apple-green calico and sexied (that is a word, i think) it up with rick rack. all in all, very seventies, very chic, very Rainbow Soup. oh, you wanna see your name again? i do.
oh, i *love* how it turned out!!!

and lastly we have a wee Whip Up. cos that's what we do best. Woozie came home from school last night and as i was revealing my finished apron-creations to her she had a brainwave that she'd like to make a little something for another of her fave Katies who shares our birthday weekend. (uh, that would be in two weeks time, in case you're thinking of sending expensive french perfume... or... flowers, chocolates, promises you don't intend to keep... guess the movie line)
so we bribed Bulldog to make dinner, and together we birthed this little sweetie:
complete with personalised heart:
cos ya know, we're all about the name tags.
oh k, no more sewing for *two weeks*, cos i'm taking the machine back to Julie's today, and holding my breath until my Woozie's birthday present arrives...

Thursday, May 29, 2008

*cough cough* i fee-i-got som'fing

to all the emailers, bloggers, phone callers, comment-writers, and general-recipe-nickers out there, i *blondely* forgot to write the quantity of sour cream in the chocolate feijoa cake yesterday:
uh, it's 1/2 cup.
and, yep, i have amended the recipe, cos i'm punctilious like that.
bon cuisine happy cooking baby
big kiss X

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

cakey katie

lookit what just arrived
at our place:
ah yes, skiting now:
a great big bucket
of fee-i-joes!!!

which i'm completely *ecstatic* about, because i thought we'd seen the last of them already this year, and i've been *dying* to try out this chocolate feijoa cake evah since i spotted the link at floss's. thought i'd c'n'p the recipe here, cos i'll *definitely* make it again:

Chocolate Feijoa Cake

185 g butter
3/4 c caster sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2 c peeled chopped feijoas
1/2 c sour cream
2 tbsp brown sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 1/2 c Self Raising flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 c cocoa
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg (I didn't use it)

Heat oven to 180 degrees celsius.
Combine feijoas, brown sugar and cinnamon in bowl and set aside.
Cream butter and sugar. Add eggs one at a time.
Stir sour cream into feijoa mix and combine well.
Sift dry ingredients into creamed butter/sugar/eggs and add in feijoa mix, combine well. Transfer batter into prepared tin and smooth top evenly.
Bake 40 - 45 (today's cake took 55) mins, or until skewer comes out clean. Sit for 5 mins before turning out.

Cool and ice cake (my recipe):
sift 1/2 c cocoa, 1 1/2 c icing sugar, stir in 25 g softened butter, splash milk, few drops vanilla essence.

now i'm just trying to work out which to pop into my mouth first:
the cake? or the feijoas?

Monday, May 26, 2008

i *heart* aprons

I think I first fell in love with personalised pressies when I was about four and my brother was two and cute and boodgey and golden-curly-haired, and a family friend (can you remember who it was, Mum?) popped around to our place with two exquisite, handmade child-sized aprons.

Greg's was brown gingham and very manly, and mine was blue-and-white with a heart-shaped bodice and a heart-shaped pocket and a twirly skirt. The most beautiful thing was that they both had our names handstitched on in red letters. Of course I still have it.

I don't know if I ever did any cooking in my apron, but I sure did a lot of twirling.

When those two beautifully personalised aprons arrived, something was etched firmly into my psyche about present-making and gift-giving, so much so that I still can't shake it.

I've been doing a spot of apron-making myself this week, getting my *apron swap* ready for early June, when a few hundred aprons will dance their way around the world.

for Mabel, who I've never met, never chatted to, but I know you *heart* bright colours. And I hope you *heart* strawberries too. To me, hot, sun-filled, pick-your-own strawberries are the epitome of summer.

and it's even got your name on it.
I hope you *heart* that too.
mwah X

Sunday, May 25, 2008

whole again

every so often i throw my hands in the air and begin re-eliminating all the *white stuff* that seems to surreptitiously creep back into our life. i haven't quite gone the whole hog and started grinding our own organic wheat, but i dragged the bag of wholemeal flour outta the pantry this morning, and with a backward glance at our broken breadmaker, i rolled up my sleeves.

think *five* and into a huge bowl, throw:
500ml lukewarm water
5tsp surebake yeast
5 tsp raw sugar

stir briefly, cover with folded apron and leave on bench for a quarter of an hour until yeast is nice and frothy. forget that it's waiting there and return an hour later to see yeast is *incredibly* nice and frothy.

now throw in
5 cups wholemeal flour
1 happy egg

2 tsp salt

mix around a few times with wooden spoon until dough gathers together, there's no need to touch dough if you don't like to, which i don't. (i don't like playing with that preschool goop stuff either.) place in oven at 5o degrees celsius, covered with folded apron for about an hour and a half, until dough has risen to twice its original size.

sprinkle risen dough with white flour and ease it onto the bench. give it a wee knead and quickly shape into 2 loaves, place side by side on flat tray.
whizz it back into the oven, still at 50 degrees celsius.
let it rise for the second time, for about an hour.
turn up oven to 180 degrees celsius.
bake whole loaves 25 minutes until deliciously golden brown.
cool on bench. attempt to beat the gannets back with a large feather duster... oh, quickly remove loaf from gannets' reach for *photographic purposes* which sounds official enough for said gannets to fly off of their own accord.

this bread has a wonderfully soft moist texture without being "heavy" - i think it's the egg that does it.

at our place, the thick slices are devoured warm with fresh creamery butter and raspberry jam.
oh, i am feeling so domestic-goddessy right now:
the smell of fresh-baked bread is the greatest thing in the world - except for a nice MLT - mutton, lettuce and tomato sandwich, where the mutton is nice and lean and the tomato is ripe... they're so perky, i love that.
(movie line)

Saturday, May 24, 2008

happy hour

sweetly scented stream of sunshine
sprinkling on the shelly sands
girlish giggling

keys twirling

grasp eluding

eyeballs swivelling

droplets drenching

sand sifting


toes squidging
seaweed tossing

brine searching
stranded moping



shoreline dredging
garments soaking
elated shrieking

keys emerging

sunshine joking
saline scented shriek of seagull

drifting in the distant skies

Thursday, May 22, 2008

standing on the rooftops, everybody scream your h-e-a-r-t out!!!

well, it's that time of year again when the government graciously slips us a few bucks. i have noticed, though, that the homeschooling allowance is exactly the same total that it was when D18 was a nipper all. those. years. ago.
like, what is with *that*?
inflation, schminflation.
yeah, yeah, i s'pose we're lucky to get the few bucks we do get. never mind that a kid at a decile one school gets allocated around six thousand a year to pop its head into a classroom every day. (am i right? that does sound like an awful lot, and i can't find the stat's. yeah, i just fished that figure outta my brainswirl)
but hey dood/doooooodette, it's our choice.
(maybe it's time to get off our derrières and get into the Beehive with all the other uncles mothers wimmin? and while i'm at it, i'm going for splitting household income for lentils tax purposes. but have you watched them at it on Parliament TV? that's Bulldog's and Jemaine's favourite show.
sheesh, now there's some rooftop screamin' for ya. and there's all these three hour breaks for dinner. i think i'd fit right in.)

so this morning we jumped in The Tardis and beat our fake-converse-clad feet down town with fists full of pooled resources to acquire That Thing We've Been Lusting After For Simply Ever. and for the last hour, and probably all afternoon - even though the sun is shining - we are inside, listening to our heartbeat, watching every sunset.
yep, another highly eduKATEional moment at our place.
oh, J11 and i just scored *superstar* singing whatever-it-was-that-we-sang...
oh and i just scored *singstar* singing Vertigo...
did someone say NINJA?

boo yah.

Monday, May 19, 2008

mirror image

it's just like Bono said:

that if we weren’t so alike

you’d like me a whole lot more.

i open the window of my world,

i wave my hands in the air:

look at me, i say.

i show you my rainbow painting,

the sunshine and the showers.

you raise your eyebrow

at my heart on my sleeve.

i am wasting time, you say.

i am a historian, i say,

and each of us in our stubbornness

holds our ground.

i try to meet your expectations

and mine

i know i disappointed you

but my heart wouldn’t let me

choose otherwise,

and just look at us now, thank God.

still, i’m driven by my imperfect choices

reflecting in your brow.

but see?

i show you my happy ending:

i explain, i take photos,

i reveal my innermosts,

i rejoice in my life.

i marvel at the engineering

of a plastic lego tower,

i make a garden,

i scrub the shower,

i read mysterious stories

with budding novelists.

i clean out the pantry,

i make tummies happy,

i delight in a dandelion,

i find sunshine,

i unpack teenage days,

i calm souls at bedtime.

i am good at what i do,

i am making the grade, i say.

i grow my hair, i tweak my waistline,

i become a gym bunny.

i drop four sizes, i seek your approval.

i do more sit ups,

i fritter away my days,

i love the beach too much,

i don’t teach.

i contain my tears,

i think about how much power

that letter

written nearly twenty years ago

still has over me.

i see my pretty headings and bewilderment

reflecting in your brow.

cos it’s you when i look in the mirror,

this is my black book, i say.

it’s my heart, here.

and i need you to hear me,

to see the world through my glasses,

to share my happiness-making,

to affirm my imperfectly beautiful journey.

but you’re not reading me, you say.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008


so, if you were ten and doing twice a week pre-season training sessions for your hockey team and you had beaucoup de stuff which you kept "misplacing", and so your friend's mum brought her fabric stash around to your mum and suggested a hockey bag and your mum gathered all her creative brain cells and together you dreamed up this:
which fits your hockey stick and has two extra pockets with metal army zips for your mouthguard, spare socks, shin pads, hockey ball, drink bottle, and other beaucoup de stuff... and it even matches your team's hockey strip... which is a camouflage tshirt and black shorts/socks... and then your mum burned the midnight oil layering fabric three-thick and triple stitching and zig-zag edging (it's called Samproofing - that's the bona fide technical term) and and lining it with slidey black fabric and even *swooshing* it because that's evah-so-important when you're ten and Totally-With-It,
would you love it? would you show it off to every unsuspecting person you meet? would you glue it to your back all day? would you even take it to bed?
yes, i think you would.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

here's the mail, it never fails, it makes me wanna wag my tail...

i'm not so good with remembering dates. the rule around here is that if you are having a birthday *next* week, you need to tell me *this* week, so that i can *surprise* ya... otherwise the only surprise you'll be getting on your birthday is the surprised look on my face...

it appears that my gorgeous offspring have the same gene:
this morning a bubble-wrapped package appeared in the letter box, all the way from The Big Smoke...
knowing my latest bid for a Katie-moment, inside D18 has wrapped some fizzy-bath-bombs...
exquisite. one truly loved mother. my heart is full and i'm definitely doin' the Blue's Clues dance. and i *love* your sense of humour.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

mother's day daisies

You may be
only one person in the world,

but you may also be the world
to one person.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

hair today

hair can be so revealing. today i was reading about metre-long-hair and i started thinking about my own hair journey. when i was a wee girl i had long, straight, blonde hair which looked like it was stripey-highlighted. my mummy trimmed the lengths for me and my daddy used to brush all the knots out of it evah-so-gently. since then it's gone up and down like a yo-yo, but every time i've cut it, i've grown it long again soon afterwards. it's hard to find a style i've loved.

when we moved to The Sunny Bay five years ago i dramatically cut off my tresses to the nape of my neck and dyed them marilyn-blonde. yep, classic trauma reaction. change of life, change of personality, change of hairstyle.
three months later i decided that as i was fast approaching *thirty five* i'd start growing my hair back down to my bum before i'm forty. i have a l-o-n-g way to go... to BOTH thankyouverymuch.

last year i tried not washing it. then i went all Parisienne. these days we use *organic* shampoo and conditioner, which i leave in my hair to ressurrect the curls.
it's not often that ya see the back of yer head... but Bulldog took this photo the other day:

and i have to say, i'm happy. i finally feel like *me*.
(and i'm the Bag Lady. i love my bag.)

so, what's *your* hair journey?
go on, tell me.
we chicks
secretly know we love talking about hair...

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

La Première

oh, k... so late last night i was backwardsing and forwardsing with Nik (who is gonna swap an apron too!) and she was coming up with some incredibly hilarious very helpful suggestions:

by ten thirty i was getting a little bit freaked, this being my First Ever Apron an' all... and as we all know, aprons are rather close to my heart this year. so i thought i'd better try out abby's little tutorial.

i'm a kinaesthetic learner. i am hopeless with recipes or patterns. and i hate filling in forms too. all those lines and squiggles make me instantly *foncused*. love that word. so i read and re-read the luffly instructions... and got rather foncused. thankfully, abby also has pictures.

How can you read this? There's no pictures!
Well, some people use their imagination.
(guess the movie line)

so i followed the pictures instead, using an old sheet and pillowcase that i *found* in my linen cupboard.
and here she is: Katie's First Ever Apron...

even though the tutorial has no pocket,
i decided to add one:

and my name,
because they're Katie's very own,
Very First Unattached Apron Strings.

Monday, May 05, 2008

King of the Road

When I was rather a wee lass, my dad had a motorcycle. He would spend weekends "fixing" it so that he could get to work during the week without mishap. All the neighbourhood kids loved Dad's Fix-It Weekends. They'd magnetise to our garage mid-afternoon to play Test-The-Bike-Out and we'd all take turns donning the extra helmet and clambering on the back as Dad roared off up the road, flying like a silver bullet, turning around at the top of the road and then flying home down the hill. It was exhilarating, I swear we topped speeds of thirty kilometres an hour! My brother shared The Motorcycle Gene, acquiring a bike and leather racing suit during his teenage years.
That suit has recently resurfaced from the downstairs' wardrobe, and has already been claimed by the next generation. I'm hoping S10 will get The Motorbike Gene completely out of his system by the time he's a teenager...

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Flower Child

A few months ago, Woozie put her arm around me and asked, a little concernedly, if I minded that her girlfriends refer to me as "hippie".
My first decade was spent in the flowery seventies. I have many sunshiney memories of my mother bedecked in paisley and wooden buttons and long floral skirts. I am steadfastly holding onto my childhood, searching out flared jeans instead of skinnies; refusing to buy oversized fluoro-printed tshirts and black leggings in favour of chocolate brown floaty tops and strappy wedge-heeled sandals.

My mum is an unashamed hoarder. She has stashed all her hippie-gears in the downstairs' wardrobe in my childhood home.

During a newsy email a fortnight ago, Mum nonchalantly announced that she had finally bundled up her seventies florals and packed them in the boot of the car, ready to be shipped to The Americas the drama teacher at school.
I clambered back onto my chair and hastily replied her email, insisting that she save me a couple of speshal pieces. Last weekend, they arrived.
My favourite flower-child dress. *yes*, I can remember Mum wearing this! and *yes*, I wore it all day yesterday, out in public. and i LOVE it!!!

There's also a Vintage Black Petticoat, originally from Mum's trousseau, assembled prior to her wedding in the sixties. It fits me perfectly, so has just become my new Little Black Dress. All I need now is a Ball Ticket and a fairy wand.

Friday, May 02, 2008

*katie inhales the sunshine*

oh *yippee zippee*!!! i usually say that lemons and pumpkins make winter bearable. i think that's because of their *sunshiney* colour. but lookit this: a summer fun apron swap!!

i have been lurking apron sites since i started trying to snip our own Apron Strings, thinking that 2008 might be The Year of The Apron.
we-e-e-e-ell, i've just taken the plunge: i've signed up to handmake and globally swap my first apron. click here if ya fancy a bit of *sunshine*-swappage too, you've got until 5 May to sign up...

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Little Miss Flossy and the Frilly Frou Frou Bag

I happened across Floss's blog a couple of months ago. She's nicknamed Floss on account of her hair, which looked like spun golden candy floss when she was a wee girlie. It turns out that she lives in the Deep South and inspires classrooms full of kids, making delish things all day long. The other day I noticed that Floss had a wee français-inspired project dancing around on her sewing machine. This is what she wrote about it:

I've had this little bag on the go for a while now. It was inspired by a conversation at school and made with someone quite specific in mind. It's been very time-consuming but also a total work of love. It's not often an idea from my head actually works but I've enjoyed making this and it looks just like I imagined it would. Originally I thought the frills looked like the ruffly petticoats a Can-Can dancer might wear but Sophie thinks it looks more like a little girl's pinafore. Which is why we sewed the straps on from side to side, so they look a bit like suspenders.
and isn't it *absolutely gorgeous*???

A couple of weeks ago Floss offered me her feijoa cake recipe, and insisted that all gifted recipes need to be handwritten. So I duly gave her my snail mail addy. Guess what I tripped over on my way outside this morning to kiss Bulldog off to work?
And guess what was nestled inside that BIG CARDBOARD BOX?
*shrieks ear-splittingly*
A Frilly Frou Frou Bag (
aptly christened by Little Miss Flossy) tucked into tufts of tissue paper and snuggled up with a feijoa cake recipe!!!!! I was so blimmin' excited, I took her (the bag) straight out to la plage (the beach). And went off in search for the *exact* bunch of lollies to thread into a bracelet for Floss. Hmmm, what would a Frou Frou Dancer stash in the bottom of a Frilly Bag? A big handful of liquorice allsorts, that's what:
Voilà Floss, a Petit Français Frou Frou Bracelet pour vous!!!
Thanks so much for the *fairy floss* moment, and the luffly frilly *fairy dust* bag.
You may now lick your bracelet X