Friday, June 30, 2006

On the move

Well folks, it looks like this little 'ol blog may be packing up and moving to new digs. The excellent Harvey has kindly nominated me to be a Munuvian and the ever wonderful Caltechgirl has given me a YAY!

For those of you going huh? It means that I will be moving to a new site, to a better and fancier place, and will have a new address. I'll let you know when I know what it is.

Oh, and just for kicks (and because I am so sick of the current title), I will be changing the name of my blog from "Aussie Wife" to "Sleeping in Sydney".

Like warm apple pie

So this week's Carnival of the Recipes is for Independance Day. Not being American I pondered what to submit. Then I thought "What's that expression? As American as apple pie?"
So here is my apple pie recipe which I have made twice now, both times very successful. I got the recipe from a friend who got it from a Donna Hay book, not sure which one.

Apple Pie


1 quantity sweet shortcut pastry (see recipe below)
1 egg, lightly beaten
sugar for sprinkling (optional)
8 green apples (1.2kg/2lb 7oz), peeled and chopped
1 tbsp water
1/3 cup sugar
1 tbsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tbsp almond meal


Preheat the oven to 190 deg C (375 deg F). To make the filling, place the apples and water in a deep frying pan over medium heat. Cover and simmer, shaking the pan occasionally, for 5 minutes or until just tender. Drain and cool completely. Stir in the sugar, lemon juice and cinnamon.
Divide the pastry into two-thirds and one-third. Roll out the two-thirds portion on a lightly floured surface until 3mm (1/8 in) thick and place in a shallow 24cm (9 1/2 in) pie tin. Sprinkle over the almond meal and pack the apples tightly into the pastry shell.
Roll out the remaining pastry to fit over the top of the pie. Brush the rim with water, press the edges together and trim. Cut several slits in the top of the pastry, brush with the egg and sprinkle with sugar (I tend not to do the sugar, depends how sweet a tooth you have). Bake for 30 minutes or until the pastry is golden and crisp.

Sweet Shortcrust Pastry


2 cups plain (all-purpose) flour
3 tbsp caster (superfine) sugar
150g (5 oz) cold butter, chopped
2-3 tbsp iced water


Process the flour, sugar and butter in a food processor until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. While the motor is running, add enough iced water to form a smooth dough and process until just combined. Knead the dough lightly, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Can I help you?

We were talking at work about how politeness seems to be fading away in society, you don't hear as many please and thank yous as you used to. And the thank you wave when you let someone in when driving is less common too.

Reminded me of an incident that happened to me when I was about 15 or 16. My first job was at McDonalds. Crappy job, but it certainly taught me to work hard. The first manager I had there was a real wanker, by the name of Bruce. He was middle aged, gay, and mean. Many was the time he made some of the girls who worked there cry.

Anyway, one day I was working away at the register, and the place was absolutely packed. I greeted the next customer , "Hi, can I help you?". Bruce the bastard took issue with this. He looked at me and scathingly said "Hi, can I help you please!" He then turned to the customer and said in condescending tones, "Well, you can tell the difference between someone who has been brought up and someone who has been dragged up!" I was totally mortified, I could not believe he said that. There was quite the stunned silence from the crowd in front of me. One of the customers, after the bastard had wandered off, told me not to worry about him. Good advice, but hard to take when you are young and in your first job. Funny thing is, the way he wanted me to say it isn't even grammatically correct.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

No more Eddie

Moose, the dog that played Eddie in the TV show Frasier, has died, aged 16. I quite like the show, and thought that Eddie was a classic, always made me laugh.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Had the day off work sick today. Started feeling unwell yesterday, basically a head cold, sore throat, blocked up, sneezing, light headed, the works. Fun!

Spent the day in a state of lethargy, not super sick, but just not well. Read for a bit, attempted to do some work remotely, gave that up as a lost cause. Played a bit of World of Warcraft, but even for that found it hard to summon up enthusiasm.

Went downstairs and watched 9/11, the documentary by the French brothers Gédéon and Jules Naudet. We've had the DVD for a while, but this is only the 2nd time I've watched it. I remember the first time I saw it, I was just shocked and horrified, especially by the sounds of the bodies hitting the ground. And I was shocked and horrified again this time around, but not to the same extent. I think that was because I knew that the fireman that we'd been following with the brothers, the ones from the firehouse, I knew would be ok.

Hard to comprehend that such evil exists in the world, I can not in any way see how someone could ever think that was a good thing to do, to fly a plane into a building.

And I wonder, is it just a matter of time before something like that happens here in Sydney? We prepare as best we can, but I guess that you can't guard against everything, that sometimes evil gets through.

But there is also love and light in the world. As I type, my husband is driving home from work. We will have dinner, drink some wine, and be together. Our own little team. Team Cole, win!

Friday, June 23, 2006

Aussie! Aussie! Aussie! Oi! Oi! Oi!

Australia 2 - Croatia 2

Australia are through to the next round in the World Cup for soccer! Hooray!

I don't normally watch soccer, but Brian and I got up at 5am this morning to watch Australia take on Croatia. Australia just needed to draw to go through to the next round.

And, man, what an exciting match. We were on tenterhooks done to the last second. And I have to say, Harry Kewell, what a legend. He scored the equalising goal in fine style.

As we don't watch it much, didn't know quite what to expect. What we found interesting is how much a role penalties have in the match, people diving to the ground feigning injuries everywhere.

Great game though, I don't regret getting up to watch it.

For sustenance during the game, my wonderful husband cooked us up a big breakfast, bacon, eggs, toast, sausage, tomato. Plus freshly brewed coffee. Quite a treat on a workday morning. Usually we cook our breakfast out on the BBQ, but as it was still dark Brian cooked in the kitchen. What we didn't allow for was how smoky it can get cooking sausages and bacon. Our smoke alarm went off at least three times, which meant I was on tea towel duty. Tea towel duty = Amanda standing on third stair madly waving tea towel at smoke alarm to get the smoke away from it. Hoping the penetratingly loud sound didn't wake the neighbours! :)

Anyways, off to the physio now (back still recovering from going too hard at my first yoga class), then off to work.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Go Channel Ten!

Was watching House last night with hubby, and in an ad break, we got a news update. It went something like this:

"Headlining tonight's news, Naomi Watts has arrived in Sydney to attend Nicole Kidman's hen's party"

Wow, we're really hitting the important news first guys! Push all those stories of wars and natural disasters aside, Nicole's friend has arrived! Now that's news.

2nd story in the news update, "Get a sneak peak at the church where Nicole is going to get married".

Seriously, are these the most important things that are happening right now?

Friday, June 16, 2006

Are those crop circles??

So it turns out I hurt my back doing yoga last week. It didn't hurt during the class, but the next day I found it twinged when I twisted or bent over. I didn't think much of it, figured I'd just worked the muscles hard. A week and a half later though, it has not improved. At all. Now, we aren't talking massive pain here, but still, no improvement I thought warranted getting checked out.

So yesterday I decided to go to the physio. My normal physio, who looked after my knee, had the temerity to get married and move away. I mean, really, priorities people!! And the guy who has replaced him was booked up until next week sometime. So I decided to try the physio place that Mum has used in the past. And I have to say, not impressed. My old physio would explain what he was doing and why, and what was wrong etc. This lady, I practically had to pump her for information, and even then I didn't really understand what she was talking about. I had to have a heat pack on for ten minutes before she could start working on me as my muscles were "standing up on edge", something I figured was not a good thing. I figure she meant the muscles around my spine were knotted up or something to protect my back ... I don't know.

Anyway, she then proceeded to work on my back. My goodness, I had forgotten how much physio can hurt! It felt like my spine was going to be broken in two, ouchies. And at the end, she put these suction cup thingys on my back to induce pins and needles, which apparently can provide pain relief. Did not work, my back is now heaps sorer than before I went.

Oh, and as an extra benefit, I have four bright red circles on my back from where the suction cups went. I swear they look like crop circles. So, if anyone needs a map showing a way to some aliens, let me know and I'll take a picture for you! :)

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Pass the tissues please ..

Now I have to say I'm a big sook at the best of times. While I never cry at TV commercials, I tend to lose it easily for both TV shows and especially movies. I always make sure I have some tissues with me, just in case it turns out to be a sad movie.

My top ten movies where I've absolutely lost it (in other words, the ones I can think of off the top of my head), in no particular order:

  1. The Notebook
  2. Ghost
  3. Beaches
  4. Braveheart
  5. Serenity
  6. Where the Heart is
  7. Love Actually
  8. Saving Private Ryan
  9. Goodbye, Farewell, and Amen (the movie length finale to M*A*S*H)
  10. City of Angels (such a stupid ending to that movie!)

What day is it?

Back to work today after a long weekend (Queen's birthday). Long weekends never fails to throw my sense of what day it is, yesterday just felt like another Sunday, today feels like Monday, except we get to watch Survivor tonight (yes, we are behind the US showing this, don't get me started ... and please don't tell me who ends up winning!)

At the moment there are four left, Terry, Cirie, Aras and Danielle. It was priceless to see Shane's face last week when he got voted off, he sure didn't see that coming! I love how everyone is all "I've got your back, it'll just be us in the final two", while meanwhile conniving and planning sneakily at the same time.

It will be a bit sad when it ends though, Amazing Race finished for us last week, night time viewing is getting a bit slim. We still have House going, so that's good. And hopefully they'll put The Apprentice back on at some stage ...

Saturday, June 10, 2006

The Best Pumpkin Soup in the World!

Yes, big claim, but hey, it's true! Been a while since I've contributed to the ol' Carnival of the Recipes, so thought I should climb out of the woodwork and say hi.

Now, this recipe came from a girl/lady at work (I'm never sure what age to call which ... anyways that's off topic). She said I could share it as long as I made sure to call it "Belinda's Pumpkin Soup recipe", thereby immortalising her forever in soup lore.

So here goes ....

Belinda's Pumpkin Soup recipe


  • 1/2 a butternut pumpkin, 1/2 another sort of pumpkin (in other words, lotsa pumpkin)
  • 1 brown onion
  • 1 chillie (or two if you like it extra spicy)
  • chicken stock, 1 litre + enough water to just cover everything ... not too sure what the measure in the US is for liquid, if it is pints, then it is 1.76 pints, if not let me know and I'll look up the conversion ...
  • garlic - 2-3 cloves
  • a knob of ginger (yes, I know, not very precise, but you just put in a good size knob of ginger probably about an inch or so squared)
  • cumin - a healthy dash (not much is going to be precise from here on in, so just be creative)
  • ground coriander - 1 heaped tsp
  • evaporated skim milk - a can (about the same size can as a normal baked beans can)
  • a sprinkling of nutmeg
  • a good dollop of honey

- Boil all the above except the milk and honey until it starts to disintegrate, about half an hour, but more doesn't hurt it.
- Whizz/process until smooth.
- Take off heat, Add milk, mix through.
- Add the honey, heat through and serve.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

The joys of washing a dog

Followed a link over at Caltechgirl's place to a post that just cracked me up. The illustrations on how to wash dogs are an absolute classic.

The site is Miss Doxie, who I hadn't come across before, but I am adding her to my blogroll.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Natural selection at work ...

Apparently in the Ukraine a guy decided it was a smart idea to climb into a lion enclosure at the zoo.
Witnesses say the man wanted to test God, as he believed that God wouldn't let him be hurt by the lions. Which begs the question, if he believed that, why would he be testing God in the first place?

Surely got to be a contender for the Darwin Awards ...

Winter is upon us ...

So here in Australia winter starts on June 1. This year it certainly hasn't mucked about, getting chilly straight away. The electric blankets went on about a week or so ago, and have been getting a bit of use. As has the fireplace. There is nothing quite so lovely as an open fireplace. Strange that something that is basically a destroying process can be so peaceful to watch.

And finally we've been getting some rain. It's been raining for about 2 days straight which is something of a novelty as we haven't had rain for months. We'll still be on water restrictions though, as the rain is stubbornly refusing to fall in the dams. Good for my vege garden though, and our lawn, which has been hanging on to life with it's fingernails.

I've been going to the gym a lot lately, in an effort to get fit. Going fairly well, it is hard to be motivated sometimes though. Giving yoga a try for the first time tonight, I've heard people rave about it, so it will be interesting to see what it is like.

Good thing about cold weather though is lots of hot, yummy food. Brian cooked a pork roast on the weekend, very nice indeed. Gotta love crackling.