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My Beach Kitchen Blog

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TWINS, TOMATOES AND TURMOIL

Kelly Lowdon

Twins, Tomatoes and Turmoil

 

We all have bad days… sometimes we have bad weeks, even months.  I guess what I am about to describe to you falls into the ‘bad week’ category.  And when I say bad, I don’t mean earth shattering, life changing bad; just ‘exhausting bad’… 

It all began with my twins escaping out the front door, apparently to visit their friend for her birthday, while I was upstairs putting away the washing.  Turns out three-year old’s can put keys in locked doors and turn them the correct way.  This resulted in them being escorted back home by the local kindergarten teacher who spotted them as she was leaving the preschool centre. After frantically searching the house, I ran out the front door only to see the kinder teacher walking up my driveway with two very sheepish looking twin girls.  I tried to explain to the teacher, “I don’t know how they got out, I was just upstairs putting the washing away, I, I…!”  Well, she just looked at me like I was the worst mother in the world!

This event was followed another incident a few days later by my older son.  He was at his friend’s house and was expected to run home in 30 minutes, straight across the park.   When he arrived home, we had guests for dinner, yet he would not eat.  He soon went up to his room and called out for me.  When I went upstairs he started crying so much I could hardly understand him.  He said, “Oh Mum I have done something so bad, I think the police are going to come”.  He was shaking and crying and all I could think was what the hell has he done?!  So, in a calm voice I said, “Ok mate, whatever it is I’m sure it’s not that bad, but you need to tell me first”.  He replied, still shaking and crying, “Ok mum, but remember you always say if I tell the truth I won’t get in trouble?”  Hmmm I thought.  “Ok”, I said, “Yes that’s true, but it will still depend on what it is you’ve done?” “Well”, he said, “On the way home from my friend’s house, I jumped the fence into the kindergarten because I wanted to pat the guinea pigs.  But one of them jumped out of my hands and I couldn’t catch it.  And then I freaked out and ran home and I left the cage open, so now the other one is probably out as well!”  “Right”, I said, “I think I am going to have to tell your father!”

Well, long story short, my husband, the neighbour and son all jumped the fence, caught the guinea pigs and placed them back into their cage, safe and sound.  My son vowed and declared never to go into the kinder again and I was bloody relieved I didn’t have to front the same kinder teacher and confess that my other child, not my escapee twins, had set the beloved guinea pigs free!  I was imagining headlines in the Surf Coast Times – “Local Guinea Pigs, Stolen from Kindergarten: Children’s Hearts Broken FOREVER!!!!”

So really, after these two events you would think that was about enough for one week.  But NO!  During the twins’ one session of daycare, we received a call from the teacher, reporting that my twins and another little girl had found a pair of scissors.  They had then proceeded to give each other haircuts.  For obvious reasons, the teacher was beside herself, however fortunately for the twins with their wispy, unruly hair, the damage was hard to notice without a keen eye.  The same could not be said for the other youngster.  I am yet to meet this child’s mother, in fact if the truth be told, I could imagine myself ducking and weaving, hiding under toddler-sized desks just to avoid a confrontation over the hair massacre that took place.  This poor kid had chunks out everywhere.

But now for the final and I am so glad to say, last instalment in my week of chaos!  The Tomato Fiasco!  I was fortunate enough this year to have had the most magnificent crop of tomatoes.  So much so, that I had too many to use at any one time.  This particular day, I picked all the tomatoes and laid them out on my outdoor table. I remember thinking what a great photo this will make for social media.  So, I took my shot, then went in to start preparing dinner.  The girls were outside happily playing, and I went out to check on them. They had a couple of cherry tomatoes in their hands.  I said “Put them down girls, mum will bring them inside shortly”.  I went back inside to continue making dinner, at which time my hubby called.  While I chatted to him and stirred the pot on the stove, I could hear the girls laughing hysterically.  My husband asked how the girls were, and I replied, “They’re outside playing, sounds like they’re having fun together”. 

As I continued chatting, I walked out of my kitchen to check on the girls and within a split second I said to my husband “Oh my god, I have to go!!”  I literally dropped the phone where I stood.  I walked outside and into what can only be described as a tomato explosion!  The girls had picked up and thrown every last tomato on the ground, at the walls, then they were stomping on them.  I actually screamed out aloud.  When my husband arrived home soon after, he found me sitting on the deck, surrounded by squashed tomatoes. I was sobbing.  The girls were wetting themselves laughing, until Dad unleashed his fury.  Then my darling husband proceeded to pick up every tomato.  He cleaned them off, laid them on a giant tray and asked me for my Grandma’s relish recipe.  I had a gigantic glass of wine and wiped away my tears.  We salted the tomatoes overnight and the next day I cooked up a big batch of relish.  My only regret now is that I didn’t take a photo of the tomato explosion.

So I guess the moral of the story is: when life gives you lemons, make lemonade and when twins squash all your tomatoes, make relish.  And if all else fails, remember, tomorrow is a new day.

 

 

 

What to be cooking with in February

Kelly Lowdon

WHAT'S IN SEASON - FEBRUARY

Beautiful beans, grown at the Anglesea Community Market.

Beautiful beans, grown at the Anglesea Community Market.

Living on the coast of Victoria, it feels like summer is closing in much too fast.  February is usually one of our most treasured months, with warm sunny days and evenings, allowing us to make the most of daylight savings. Thats has not been the case this year, with only one hot day forecast this week.  As a result of our cooler and wetter summer, our produce seems somewhat delayed.  My tomatoes have only just started to ripen and many other vegetables in my garden are making a similarly late appearance.  So, in saying that, there is still plenty of time to make use of the beautiful fruits and vegetables February has to offer. Check out the list below and try planning your lunch and dinners around these.  You will be buying 'in season' and therefore the most flavoursome and freshest produce on offer.

FRUITS

·   Bananas

·   Blackberries

·   Blueberries

·   Carambola/starfruit

·   Figs

·   Grapes

·   Honeydew melons

·   Kiwifruit

·   Lemons

·   Limes

·   Lychees

·   Mangoes

·   Mangosteens

·   Nectarines

·   Passionfruit

·   Peaches

·   Pineapples

·   Plums

·   Rambutan

·   Raspberries

·   Rhubarb

·   Rockmelon/cantaloupe

·   Strawberries

·   Tamarillo

·   Valencia oranges

·   Watermelon

·   William Bartlett pears

VEGETABLES

·   Capsicums

·   Celery

·   Chillies

·   Cucumber

·   Eggplants

·   Green beans

·   Hass avocados

·   Leeks

·   Lettuce

·   Onions

·   Peas

·   Snow peas

·   Spring onions/green shallots

·   Sugar snap peas

·   Radish

·   Sweet corn

·   Zucchini

·   Yellow squash

And if you're like me and you're always in the kitchen, don't forget the importance of a good apron!  Just like kids painting at kinder that need a good smock, we need a good apron.  Cooking can be messy, and why shouldn't it be?!  Some of the best fun you'll ever have probably involves making a mess of some kind.  And mess is ok in my book as long as it can be cleaned up. I have discovered from experience that mess involving pomegranate juice on a white shirt does not clean up, nor does spaghetti bolognese clean off anything.  So if you're due for a new apron, check out our beautiful Winti Tropicana Apron online now.

 

 

Valentines Day

Kelly Lowdon

Valentines Day, it can be a day of mixed emotions for many.  Some of us love it, some of us hate it, to some of us it's lonely and if your like my husband, it's just a day for people to make money!  Well in a world where we are constantly surrounded by news that reports and reminds us of all that's going wrong, I can't help but think at least Valentines Day is a day to celebrate love.  I mean really, a whole day dedicated to telling the people in our lives that we love them, I could think of lots of things worse then that!

So if your like me and like to pretty much celebrate everything with food, then here are a few of my Valentines Day food picks.

I don't think anything says love more then a roast.  And lets face it, it's quick and easy and pretty hard to stuff up.  Top of the evening with a delicious dessert and your good to go.  And if all fails, book a nice restaurant, buy some flowers or share a lovely bottle of wine.  There is nothing wrong with putting together a sharing plate for two and it will look even better served on a My Beach Kitchen Enamel Serving Platter.

So Happy Valentines Day everyone, be sure to share and spread the love.