kate5kiwis: August 2010


“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

Monday, August 23, 2010

how to cook perfect rice every time a coconut

mmm, i have been agonising over this for the last few years, because all-of-a-sudden, the method that i learned in my childhood seemed suddenly not to work, and gluggy rice is such a turn off. it's like the word 'poultice': guaranteed to make you shudder.

it turns out that there is a secret (which my mother told me last month) to nicey ricey, which is that you must start with good quality basmati rice. same old stoooory: what you pay for is what you get. aha, i shall be gifting my cheap'n'nasty old stuff to freerice (that's a joke, cos freerice is a vocabulary/grammar/art/maths website that donates rice for every free answer you give it. so yeah, 350 grains from me are currently fighting world hunger. i tried the french quiz.)

right, let's be having the five easy steps:
1. measure rice (2.5 cups for six hungry people) into large heavy-based pot. rinse and rinse and rinse the rice until the water runs clear. my mother's voice in my head is saying, "the chinese wash their rice nine times..."

2. now pour enough water onto the rice until it measures about two fingers above the level of rice when you lie your hand on top of the rice. easy to show, difficult to write.

3. bring to a furious boil, and evaporate the water (i finally know the scientific explanation for evaporation. ha!) until little 'tunnels' appear on the surface and the water only makes bubbles. try it. you'll see.

4. WHANG the lid on tightly, turn off the gas, and DO NOT TOUCH it for 25 mins (the steam/water is magically cooking the rice: don't let it escape!)

5. after 25 minutes, you may now lift the lid and peek in. and you'll find perfectly fluffy rice. but probably no coconut.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

mathematical equation

outside = rain + rain + rain
inside = pjs + plummy candle + alphabet soup + phanny mcnee (small 'c')(big 'p')

that's my kind of algebra. oh, and the science lesson went surprisingly well. it's just so freaky learning something yourself one week and teaching it the next while being observed by someone who's been teaching it for thirty years. i got stage fright when one of the kids asked a question. blank brain, the whole deal. had to bluff it. grey hair, anti jinx.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

i am your density

uh, was trying to resist vino and pohtaytohs so have found a little shot of liqueur and beans with butter and pretend pohtaytohs and roasted chook from the slow cooker instead. shoot me now, i have a Real Scientist observing me teach unscience tomoz. breathe, just breathe.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

oopsy daisies

today was hilarious cos i was in sir's office gobbling an early lunch and chatting away and another teacher came in and we were all yakking and then she said, it's period 3 eh, and sir looked at me and said, you know you're teaching period 3?? and i WAS!!! but i had thought i was teaching period 4 cos sir had given me an extra class period 5 and it had thrown my calculations out (that's my story and i'm sticking to it. blonde unmathematician). so i grabbed my trolley (yes, a trolley) and sprinted over to the classroom and thankfully another lovely angel teacher was with them - doing maths all beautifully - in absolute silence. five mins later i had apologised to the kiddos for my blondeness and we were all back to our usual noisy chatty selves.

oh but i think i need a volume control miracle... i have no idea how to keep a classroom quiet (apart from all that nasty threatening power-control stuffs) - and unfortunately THAT seems to be the measure of a good teacher - so i might have to bribe the kids for a good performance on tues.... because i have a PRINCIPAL'S VISIT!!!!!!!!!!!! *GASP!!* yes that is all caps.

Monday, August 16, 2010

hoo boy i have finally perfected my mushroom sauce recipe

gently fry one deliKATEly sliced oignon in a little olive oil, sprinkle with salt. when starting to become clear, add a swish of last night's stables merlot and whang a lid on, turn heat off. leave while waiting for mushrooms to arrive from the shop. sprinkle with a tsp of raw sugar, turn heat back on and add sliced portabello mushrooms. and a couple of chopped garlic cloves. gently fry for a few mins then add another great swoosh of vino (however was there that much left? i think it's cos sir broke out the tullamore dew half way through the evening) and top up with a splash of water. simmer gently for ten mins, reduce. ha! that's called a red wine reduction. i am soooo fahncy. then add a teeny squidge of cream that ya find at the back of the fridge. give it another coupla mins while the rump steak is barbied. mmmmm, there's now half a beast in the freeeeezer. and it's a good thing that i didn't yield to temptation on friday, cos the microwave blew up on saturday.
which means that the only things left on the To Replace List are: fridge/freezer, dishwasher, washing machine, and dryer: in that order. oh, and fix the stove clicker, lights in the kitchen ceiling, extractor fan light, and pantry door. this wohm thing definitely has its perks.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

she's her own fairy godmother

Raych designed and made and wore her outfit

to her skool ball last weekend.

and Nelly flew in from oz for the event - perfect!

then she entered her creation in

the Global Connexions competition last night –

you are looking at her vintage-inspired corset top (yes all boned – phew! and laced up the back with black satin ribbon) and organza/tulle skirt which was layers and strips of fabric all gathered onto a dropped waist. she looked amazing, and made it to the final (again) of the evening wear section (but didn’t win a placing) and also to the final of the design section!!! we're very proud of her.

Sunday, August 01, 2010

polynesian style raw fish

rain rain rain. sandy eyeballs. kids going mental. bourne identity. pea'n'ham soup. croissants and espressos. little nana nap for ma and pa. shrieked awake by mental kids. rain rain. trip to watch kite surfers on beach. rain. trip to supermarket for lunch box stuffers. more rain. 100 star jumps on the back deck. still raining. still shrieking. spongebobeeshia youtube (which may need to be taken with a grain of salt). even more rain. nerf guns. showers. bourne supremacy. finally a chill moment. planning a feed of raw fish for dinner cos i was addicted to this stuff during my early pregnancy with sammy and i have only just found a recipe, which i have already modified:

1 kg fresh fish (hoki fillets are on speshal at push'n'shove!!)
1 c lemon juice (from our tree boo yah)

dice fish into small cubes and place in a bowl (apparently wooden bowls are best, but i used a glass bowl. well, i cannot possibly follow *all* the rules). pour lemon juice over, cover, refrigerate for an hour or so until the fillets have turned white. drain lemon juice and discard. add all other ingredients:

4 large tomatoes, cubed
1 telegraph cucumber, cubed
a handful of spring onions, sliced
a big handful of coriander, roughly chopped
1/2 tsp chilli-and-lime (from the jar)
1 can coconut cream
sprinkling of ocean salt and freshly cracked pepper

i think i'm gonna serve this with some poh-tay-toh wedges: you know, like a sunday night fish'n'chips. and we shall be back to the faithful slow-cooker-one-pot-dinner option for the rest of the week... and hopefully a lot less rain...
PS note to self: this makes a massive amount so either halve the quantities or take it to a party. and try the wooden bowl trick next time, cos it took 3 hours to marinate the fish and even then the kids weren't that convinced X