Think About What You’re Asking.

My sister just called out to me from the kitchen while she was chopping vegetables.

Her: Are you two big vegetable eaters?

Me: If they’re big, we cut them up first.

Her: Huh?

Me: How do you even cook it unless you cut it up?

Her: No. That’s not what I’m asking.

Me: *looks at her expectantly*

Her: Do you eat a lot of vegetables?

Me: See now, that’s an entirely different question.

Her: *shows me the saucepan* Is this enough for four of us?

Me: No.

 

And she has the nerve to walk away rolling her eyes. Some people are just hard to please.

cornucopia-of-vegetables

The Importance Of Listening. 

We had a family afternoon today. Because it’s a school night, I had sent LMC for a shower so that she could wash her hair. Sitting around the table after dinner, LMC was playing with the dragonfly pendant hanging on the chain around her neck. 

LMC’s mother said to her, “Make sure you change your necklace before school tomorrow.”

Indignant, LMC said, “I already changed them!”

We laughed hard, and LMC just looked at us oddly. 

“Necklace, honey. Not nickers.”

“Ooooohhhhhhhh!” she said. Then she laughed, too.

Fun times.

Overthinking.

LMC is at our place tonight. The weather has cooled down this week, so she’s discovered that the clothes and pyjamas she has here aren’t sufficient to keep her warm.

My husband said he’d lend her a pair of pyjamas, and walked away to get them.

Her teenage mind instantly went into overdrive.

“Then what will HE wear?” she asked me with a mischievous grin. Then she said, ”
Oh, never mind…”

I rolled my eyes, as I do so enjoy doing.

“He’s got more than one pair, you know!” I said.

“Oh.” Her laughter was a definite giveaway that she had immediately jumped to a rather bare conclusion.

So, he gives her a lovely newish pair of flannel pyjamas that he hasn’t worn since he was in hospital about 18 months ago.

“Oh,” I said, “those are the nice ones I bought for when you were in hospital.”

“Eeeerrrrrr!” she grunted. “I don’t want to wear them!”

“They’ve been washed since, you know!” I said.

“Oh. That’s okay, then.” And with that, she picked them up and took them to her room to get changed.

When she came out, she said, “It’s a good thing I’m not a boy. Although if I was, it would be okay cos these have got that awkward hole thingy in them.”

“If you don’t need the awkward hole thingy, can’t you just ignore it and wear them anyway?”

“Well yes… I was just saying.”

“Well, I’m just telling you to change the subject,” I said firmly.

And then we found something for her to do so that she has something else to think about.

I wonder if she has these conversations with her mother, or if she just saves them up for me.

A different kind of baptism.

This evening, Sean and I stood on a flat rock, polished smooth by the ocean, and stepped into the cold water together. 

   
 
We only got wet up to our ankles, but we did it! Neither of us had seen the Atlantic Ocean before last Friday. Now, we’ve had a little ritual of wetting our feet in it together. 

We weren’t born siblings, but we did this together to further cement our mutual adoption.  It’s safe to say that we have really bonded in the past five days. 

  
We’ve experienced many firsts together on our short vacation in the eastern provinces of Canada. It was the first time for both of us to visit Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island. Sean had his first lobster. I fulfilled childhood dreams with Sean by my side. We have laughed and talked and taken photos and blogged and got rained on and visited many new places together. And the meals we’ve shared… Oh my. 

This trip out east has been sensational in so many ways. 

It’s going to be really hard to leave him tomorrow and go back to instant messaging. But we will. It’s so much better than nothing!

The Challenges of Aussie Cookery in Canada. 

Today Sean and Jenn are hosting a pot luck supper for their family and friends to “meet the Aussie”.  I’m really looking forward to meeting everyone. 

My contribution will be two classic Australian desserts: I’m making a pavlova and a chocolate ripple cake. 

Yesterday we went shopping for ingredients. 

Challenge #1: There are no chocolate ripple biscuits in Canadian stores.
Solution: I have substituted chocolate chip brownie cookies instead. They are a bit softer, but given the premise that the nature of the dessert is that tje biscuits soften in the cream, that should not be an issue.

Challenge #2: There are no Peppermint Crisp bars in Canadian stores. I always top my choc ripple cakes with a smashed up Peppermint Crisp.
Solution: Grated Aero Peppermint bar. It’s chocolate and mint. It works. All good.

  

Challenge #3: My pavlova recipe calls for cornstarch. I am corn sensitive, in a nasty coeliac/volcanic/cramping/wanting to die kind of way. At home, we use a wheaten cornstarch whicj solves that problem. BUT
Challenge #4: We have a gluten intolerant person also coming today.  Same coeliac/volcanic issues. 
Solution:  I found potato starch in the store, which has the same fine, silky texture as corn starch.
I was very relieved when beating the meringue mixture that it looked exactly like my pavlova meringue batter usually does with the wheaten or corn starch. The meringue stiffened up beautifully. So far, so good.

Once in the oven, it did exactly what it was meant to. It rose, it spread and it got all nice and crisp. 

  

How good does that look? It’s just about cooked. Almost there… 

  

Alright! It looks perfect. 

Challenge #4: You have no idea how hard it was to find passionfruit here. Seriously.
When I did find some, the checkout chick didnt know what they were and had to call for a code.
Somewhat incredulous, I smiled and waited patiently. At least the folks who are here today will get to try something iconically Australian, the way it’s meant to be.

Wins all round. Yay!

Departure #2

Today we are on our way again. We. Are heading for Charleston, West Virginia.

I’ve just left behind a very close friend who was one of the main motivators for the US part of my trip. In the years that I have known her, we have helped each other through physical pain, illness, grief, insult and having to deal with idiots on a regular basis.
Spending this weekend together was wonderful. We talked, laughed, cried, hugged, shared meals, drank coffee, indulged in treats and gave each other keepsakes which, like the memories, will remain precious for the rest of our lives.
Her parents and brother have welcomed me with generosity and love. They have been so generous and sweet, and I know I am now a member of their family.

It was incredibly difficult to say goodbye this morning.

I know one thing: I am definitely coming back, and we are going to spend much more time together.
Then I might kidnap her (is it even possible to kidnap the willing?) and take her back to Australia with me.

Mid- flight #12

I’m on Delta flight 1706, about half an hour out of Detroit. I’ve spent 21 of the last 24 hours in a plane.
Delta staff just announced that if we look out the window of the plane, we can see Lake Michigan, complete with icebergs. I’m good with that. So close to Canada I can almost taste it. It’s no secret to those who know me best that I want selfies in Canadian snow before it’s all gone.
I’m really looking forward to being on land. I really want to hug my cousins David and Susie. I am ready for shameless selfies in Detroit snow. I am keen to walk outside and see animals and people and buildings. A bathroom bigger than a shoebox will make a nice change, too.
And I want to get intimately acquainted with some North American wi-fi. Upsized. Hold the fries. And no more interruptions. >