Sunday, October 4, 2009

Tim & Shelly

This year has been the first time we have formally taken on helpers at Tenderbreak Farm (like in the woofer program). Earlier in the year Emilie stayed with us for 5 months, then Michelle and Ilya came for short stays and now Tim and Shelly have been staying with us since early September. All of these young people have been a joy to be with, and have helped out with a multitude of tasks.

Tim and Shelly are from the “Land of the Long White Cloud” (New Zealand), and have just started out on an Australian adventure. Whilst at Tenderbreak, they have been extremely busy planting potatoes, native trees and other plants, gathering firewood, weeding, fencing, helping out with tours and at our market stall, renovating our garden paths, setting up for the Open Studios event, mulching and many other tasks. They have also used their culinary skills (they dream of opening their own magical cafe one day) to create some wonderful vegetarian meals and delights for us, including the Midnight Xpresso Chocolate Cake –for Andrew’s birthday (See recipe below). On top of all of that they have entertained us with their music (recorded and live) and with their incredible fire dancing skills (See last post).

However what makes these visits memorable and special is the bond that develops between hosts and visitors. As with our earlier guests, Tim and Shelly are easy to get along with, they blend in so well they are like part of our family. It is a real pleasure to sit around the dinner table eating delicious home grown meals with a glass of wine (or home-made ginger beer) and enjoying each other’s company. Thankyou to Tim and Shelly for sharing our journey with us.

Ingredients (Dry)

3 cups plain white flour
1½ cups cocoa
2½ cups sugar
3 teaspn baking soda
3 teaspn baking powder
Ingredients (Wet)
500ml soy milk
1 cup frozen berries
2 tablespn Instant Coffee
1½ cups olive oil
1 tin coconut cream

Mix all dry ingredients together in one bowl and all wet ingredients in another bowl
Unify all ingredients in one bowl
Line tin with tin foil and grease with oil. Ensure there is enough room for the cake to rise as this mixture can rise more than other cake recipes.
Put into oven (160⁰C) for around 45 min or until a knife comes out clean
Decorate with cocoa icing and banana or berries in the middle. Once cool the cake can be sliced in half to make 2 cakes or stacked to make a delicious tall cake. Yum Yum!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Sixty Years Young

August to October are celebratory months at our place. We have 9 birthdays to celebrate within a six week period. Luckily it’s spring time and there’s lots of work required in the garden to burn up some of the calories we put on over this time.

This year was a particularly big one, with Andrew joining that illustrious group known as “seniors”. (This term applies to citizens over the age of 60.) Andrew actually has been looking forward to reaching this milestone, partly because he reckons he is now an “elder” of the tribe and his wisdom, advice and opinions should be sought after, but mainly because he can now take advantage of low cost public transport, free events for the elderly and discounts all over the place.

This year there was a little (not so little actually) surprise that came along with the annual celebration. Normally in our family the big joy of such events is the right to select one’s favourite selection of edible and quaffable goodies for a celebratory meal and enjoy these in the company of the family. On the actual day everything went as normal and a great time was had by all.

However on the following Saturday with great secrecy and stealth, Heather had arranged a much larger gathering of friends and extended family to gather. With all watches synchronised, this group waited down the drive, whilst Andrew was lured down to the dam on the pretext that a turtle had been spotted on the edge of the water. As he searched in vain for the little reptile, a long line of cars wound its way up the drive. His first reaction was that somehow he had posted a wrong date on the web for one of our tours. Then when they got close enough to recognise faces, he put one and one together and realised it was all part of some secret plot. By the time everyone made it up into the house, furniture had been re-arranged, tables had been covered with food and drink and instead of having a rather dull afternoon (it was a wet and cold Saturday) in front of the fire we had a thoroughly enjoyable time with great company and a wonderful feast.

When night fell we were entertained by some spectacular fire dancing by our woofer friends Shelly and Tim. It was certainly a birthday to remember. The big question is “What are we going to do about Heather’s 60th next year? Hmmmmmm!
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