Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Happy Birthday me!

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So I've been so busy that I didn't realise I had passed a significant milestone here at the Hut Chronicles, my 1st blogging birthday. The last year has gone by in a flash, a cliché I know!

So what have we been up to?

Hut wise, it’s been a little dull, just waiting for the slab to cure, but it has been fun to walk around on it. Imagining the space. Lying down where our bed or the window seat will be. The wallabies are quite taken with it too and have taken to decorating it with their clay covered paws and tails. The builder took the formwork off the other day, so Nigella had to pose for the obligatory photo.

Gardening at the block is another story. Things have been happening. Last year we started the garden at the block. I don’t think we realised what we were in for. We thought we’d just turn the soil over. But then we developed our plan into having two terraced gardens, my (flower) picking garden (15 x 16m) and Rob’s vegetable patch (21 x 16m). We had some time off last year so attacked it with gusto, by hand. Certainly makes you feel you’ve achieved something! But then we wanted to create some ag drains so that our gardens didn’t turn into a boggy mess in winter. We purchased some of the ag pipe and gravel, but only got half way finished before we had to start saving seriously for the hut. So it kind of went on the back burner.

Having a half finished job was irritating for Rob. So a couple of weekends ago we bought the remaining pipe and gravel, and shifted another 5.5 cubic metres of gravel into all of Rob’s carefully hand dug drains. It does seem a little crazy that we spent quite a bit of money on something we will never see again (well hopefully). But we both know it has been a worthwhile investment! Now we just need to fill in the paths that will be over the top of the drains with extra soil and the excavations will be complete.

I could pretend that the Veuve was to celebrate my 1st blogging birthday, but it was really for Rob’s father’s birthday, which we headed up north to Launceston for. We took up 2 dozen oysters to have with the Champagne (which disappeared quickly between four of us) and ocean trout to poach with leeks and carrots, and served it with steamed pink eye potatoes and salad. Graham was terribly indulgent and provided a Burgundy with dinner and then Sauternes for dessert. The Sauternes was amazing, although sweet at the front of your mouth; the acidity cleansed your palate, so it didn’t feel cloying at all. The wine was 3 years older than me! A real treat.

Finally I’ve been a little busy shopping on the internet and managed to get to exciting parcels on the same day. One contained a replacement handle for our Canadian ice-cream maker, the Donvier. I can’t wait to start trying some new sorbet and ice-cream recipes, as well as our old favourites, so bring on summer! I had also found a cake recipe in Maggie Beer’s book “Maggie’s Harvest” that called for dried cumquats. There is a special birthday coming up next year for someone and I think this cake would be perfect for him. I contacted Noelle Tolley at the Kumquatery and placed an order. They arrived too, they are so beautiful, like tiny perfect sweets, I can’t even begin to imagine just how many cumquats it took to produce 500g of dried cumquats!

Another little project has been keeping us occupied, but hopefully we'll have more news about that next week.


Michelle said...

Happy first blogaversary! Those cumquats sound delicious (so does the Veuve) . I did have a tree, but some dog bit it off at the graft.


Rita said...

Happy first birthday Hazel's blog! Doesn't the time fly by when you're blogging? What was the sauterne you had? I'm a sucker for a beautiful sauterne!

steve said...

Happy Birthday Hazel!

Hazel said...

Thanks guys, reading your blogs spurred me on to start in the first place!

Rita, it was a 1976 Chateau Coutet Sauternes from Barsac, France. It was a delight. Rob made sure I appreciated it this time.

A couple of years ago in Melbourne we were at Walter's Wine Bar, Rob and I were enjoying a duck degustation menu. A pair of business men on the table next to us started to chat to us (or as Rob puts it, took a liking to me) and offered to buy us a glass of something, my pick. Walters is amazing you can buy even expensive wines by the glass. I was quite full and had drunk probably enough by this stage and was nearly going to say no, but they were insistent, so on Rob's recommendation they gave us each a glass of Chateau D’Yquem. I am ashamed to admit that it will probably be the only time I drink it and I didn't totally appreciate it!

steve said...

Hey Hazel-years ago, a couple of very wealthy and eccentric business men came to lunch at Walters Wine Bar one day and ordered one bottle of white, one of red and one sticky. each was the most expensive bottle in Walters cellar!The bill for wine was over $15,000.00!!! I kid you not. Funny thing was, they both had en etree and main course each and we all were flabbergasted when at the end of the meal they complained that the mains were too pricey! (I was the head chef there in 94/95)

Hazel said...

AHH! I can not even contemplate spending that much money on wine. Think of all the vintage retro furniture I could get for that! Too funny that they thought the food was too expensive. I didn't know you had worked there.

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