Sunday, 2 July 2017

The Baby File - 6 Months of Being in New Zealand

So this post is pretty much all pictures and all about Kingsley.

There are photos with cousins, grandparents, great grandparents, great aunt, aunts, uncles, Hubby and I and of course Jessie.  There has even been some swapping between Jessie and Kingsley, him on her dog bed and her on his play mat.

As you can see from the photos he is a happy little baby, not that it has all been smooth sailing as I am sure all parents know but for the most part is is a bundle of joy.

Saturday, 1 July 2017

Still Here And Hoping To Be Back A Bit More Often

Hello.... Are you still there?

Yes it has been ages.  So long in fact I will not be surprised if you all left, but hopefully some of you are still here and are ready for some updates.

The last six months have flown by and we have been super busy adjusting to our new life here in New Zealand.

Life here is great and our little boy is growing up fast.  Tomorrow will be a photo heavy post of Kingsley and how he has grown.

Until then ...

Friday, 27 January 2017

Lemon Chutney

This is my favourite chutney hands down and I am quite happy to sit and eat a stack of crackers with this and blue cheese instead of lunch.
This recipe has a 2 day lead in time to sale the lemons so you need to plan ahead but otherwise it is very easy.

Lemon Chutney

7 Thin Skinned Lemons
1.5 Tbs Salt
500 g Sultanas
4 Cloves of Garlic
1 Tsp Chilli Powder
1 Tbsp Grated Fresh Ginger
1 1/2 C Apple Cider Vinegar
500 g Brown Sugar
2 Tsp Grated Fresh Horse Radish (or 1 Tbs of purchased Horse Radish Cream)

Slice the lemons into wedges and remove any pips.  Place in a large bowl and sprinkle with the salt. Cover and leave for 2 days.
After 2 days place the lemons and any juice in a food processor along with the remaining ingredients and process until the lemon is in small pieces approximately 5 mm in size not to a paste.
Place the mix in a large pot and bring to the boil.  Reduce the heat and simmer until the mix is thick.
Pour into hot sterilised jars and seal.

Thursday, 26 January 2017

Maharajah's Chutney

It is preserving time in my parents house and while we wait for our shipping container to arrive and I have the extra 2 sets of hands to help with Kingsley I am using some of my time to start building up our stockpile again.  Yesterday I made 2 different chutney's and stewed some plums.

I love chutney with it's lovely mix of spice, tang and fruityness.  I love it with cold meat and good cheese. This is one that my Mum makes and it is done in the slow cooker which makes it so easy (although I am sure you could do it on the stove top).

I made a double batch so Mum and Dad get some and so do we.

Maharajah's Chutney

10 Plump Garlic Cloves
3 Brown Onions
2 Tsp Grated Ginger
500 g Sultanas
2 C Malt Vinegar
2 C Sugar
2 Tbsp Salt
Grated Rind and Juice of 2 Lemons
1 Tbs Mustard Seeds
5 Small Dried Chillies
3 Tbsp Coriander seeds
2 Tbsp Cumin Seeds
1/4 C Oil
1 Tsp Cinnamon
2 Tsp Ground Turmeric

Dice your onion finely and crush your garlic and add both to the slow cooker along with the sultanas, vinegar, sugar, salt,lemon zest and juice and set the slow cooker to high.
Using a mortar and pestle or spice grinder crush the mustard seeds, chillies, coriander and cumin.  In a heavy based pot heat the oil over a medium heat and add the crushed spices, the cinnamon and turmeric.  Fry gently stirring often until you can smell the spices release their aroma (approx 2 mins).  Do not over cook or they will go bitter.   Add the cooked spices to the slow cooker and give the mix a good stir.
Cook on high for 3 - 4 hours giving it a good stir ever hour then bottle into sterilised jars.

Like all chutneys the flavour needs time to fully develop so give it at least a month before you open it.

Sunday, 22 January 2017

Our New Zealand Move - Week 1 Update

Well here we are in New Zealand starting our new lives and I have found time to do a quick update.

The trip over was all going well with a baby who slept for a lot of it and had no trouble with his ears from what we could tell until trying to land at Wellington airport.  Winds of 145 km per hour saw our first landing aborted and on our second attempt which was bumpier than the first Kingsley woke up and promptly vomited all over his father.  Thankfully it had been a little while since he had fed and it was not too dramatic.  But the second attempt at landing was also aborted and our plane was diverted to Christchurch.  On arrival in Christchurch we were advised that we could not be cleared by customs and quarantine and therefore had to spend the next 2.5 hours in the plane.  Thankfully it was a half full flight so it was not too claustrophobic and our ticket had included a meal just after take off from Brisbane.  We had also packed snacks and I had some bottles of expressed breast milk so none of us were left hungry.
After a few hours on the plane we took off again and this time landed in Wellington with not too many bumps along the way about 3 hours later than expected.  Thankfully our dog Jessie was not on our flight and was due to land a bit later so her flight was only slightly later than predicted.
By the time we passed through the airport, collected all of our bags, waited for Dad to pick us up, had dinner, picked up Jessie and did the 2.5 hr drive to Mum and Dads it was after midnight.  It was a long and exhausting day but it was done.

Since arriving we have been quite busy looking for a house to rent, Hubby has been looking for a job and has interviews lined up, we have been up to the farm and inspected our shed in person and are very happy with the result.  All the trees that we have planted over the years are growing well and bushing out nicely and our paddock grass was waiting for the hay makers to come and cut it which has now been done.  The weather has been quite changeable with showers, wind, sunny days and mild temperatures which is nice after the hot weather we left and what we have been told we left behind.

Jessie is really enjoying having lots of space to run around on again as mum and dad have 5 acres and we have been taking her up to our farm when ever we go.

Jessie sitting at the front of the open bay of our shed

Here are some obligatory baby photos of our little man.  He is a real talker and loves to talk and roll over.

He has been enjoying cuddles with Nanna and Poppa.

Having a laugh with Nanna

Watching TV with Poppa
We also took him to visit his Great Grandmother (my dads mum) who turns 90 this year.
We will be going to see his other Great Grandparents on the 30th and lots of other relatives that week too.

Since arriving at Mum and Dads we have been spending time out in the veggie garden picking strawberries by the kilo every few days and beans by the bucketful.  There has also been cucumbers, gherkins, plums, apricots, snow and sugar snap peas and beetroot to harvest and enjoy.  Rather than start a veggie garden of our own in pots at our rental or up at the farm straight away we are just sharing what Mum and Dad have grown (which is plenty for all of us) and we are planting out enough winter veggies for all of us.
Mum and I have also been preserving the harvest.  Beans have been blanched and frozen, chutney and pickles are being made, fruit stewed and bottled and I have got some gherkins fermenting.  Later this week Dad will be killing a sheep as well so having had to get rid of all our food before moving and start from scratch again it is nice to know we will have home grown meat and vegetables to reduce our food bill as we look to build up our pantry staples again.

Lacto fermented gherkins
I am hoping to catch up on some blog reading this week but we will see as I keep thinking I will and other things take priority.

Tuesday, 3 January 2017

Quality Time And Saying Goodbye

Happy New Year to you all I hope everyone is safe and well rested after the festive season.

For us the time has come.  In 10 days time we will be in New Zealand and starting the next chapter of our lives.  The past month has been busy with us introducing Kingsley to the special people in our lives and saying goodbye.  It has been exhausting with some days seeing us visiting one lot of people in the morning and another in the afternoon. Kingsley has been cuddled and kissed and loved everywhere we go as well as showered in gifts, he is a very lucky and blessed little boy.

So far all is going well and he is a happy little boy most of the time, except when he has wind which seems to be too often for my liking and I will have to look at what I am eating to see if that helps, perhaps he is just a gassy baby.

He is now 3 months old and developing well and there even look like there are some teeth appearing, sigh... too soon I say.

Anyway here are some photos of the last month.

Our happy little boy:

Family Selfie:

Hanging out with friends one last time in Australia,  These two travel to NZ frequently so we will see them again soon.

Sharing cuddles

Surrogate grandparents:

More cuddles:

Farmer Liz having a cuddle:

Farmer Pete is a natural:

Everyone loves the new baby smell:

Having his first swim, I can't say he loved it but he was a bit tired and hungry:

His cousin and Aunty helping him open presents on Christmas Day:

Wearing his new hat with his Aunty:

All the family on Christmas day:

Mummy cuddles at Christmas:

Hubby's cousins having cuddles on Boxing Day:

More Aunty cuddles:

Happy baby:

Having a laugh with Grandma:

My best friend (deceased) parents who will be another set of grandparents and are already spoiling him.

My best friend (deceased) son who is now all grown up.

I a not sure if I will be back in this space before we jump on the plane next week but I will be back.  We will be documenting our journey in New Zealand and you are all invited to come along for the ride.  At this stage it looks like we may not be building our new house this summer and while this is a bit of a disappointment for us it does mean we now have time to hunt for some bargains, take more time to make decisions, do more tree planting on our farm, and get to know how our land behaves over a period of months not just the week or so we are there each year.

Hopefully I will also find a few moments to check in with each of you and see what you have been up to.