Archive for the 'kitchen' Category

When in Rome…

Salve! Savete ad domus nosti!

Greetings! Welcome to our house! 

Well, my learning Latin proved very useful on Sunday night when we (finally) had THE ‘Ancients Dinner’.

To start at the beginning, you must realize that about five years ago our family and the E family studied Ancient Egypt. Around that time somebody said it would be cool if we could have an Ancient Egyptian dinner.  The mums said it was a good idea…
Since then we have both studied Ancient Greece, Ancient Rome, the Middle Ages including the Vikings, and the Renaissance and Reformation.
The ‘Ancients Dinner’ , as it was now being called, kept getting put off until it was observed that “The whole idea is ancient!”

So Sunday’s dinner was a very special one.

Every one was dressed in  bedsheets authentic togas as we walked next-door to where Grandpa was hiding. Dressing him in a purple toga (after being told that purple is a royal colour he didn’t complain), we paraded back, ignoring the stares we received from the neighbours!!

Once the Mexman (Mexican-immigrant-now-roman-citizen) had delivered a speech about how the Ancient Romans put on banquets and the likeness between a Roman Banquet and the Last Supper, we ate.   

The menu was one fit for a Caesar.

Roasted stuffed Dormouse 
Peacock eggs
Roast Pheasant
Stew on Bread
Grape juice
Roast Pork (complete with apple and crackling)
Marzipan cakes
Honey cakes
Chocolate (to bring us back to modernity)

Joke of the night: Don’t go ROMAN without your toga!!! 

A wonderful night that will undoubtedly be remembered for a long time!

Christmas Cake

This is our favourite Christmas cake recipe; it is very moist and fruity.

2007 edition

Here is how to make it;

Day one:

1 ¾C orange juice

¾C dark rum or brandy

2T orange rind, grated

                        Bring to the boil. Remove from heat.

500g currants

500g raisins

2C sultanas

2C dates, chopped

150g crystallised ginger, chopped

150g mixed peel

150g glace cherries, halved

                        Add to above and leave to soak overnight.

Day two:

½t vanilla essence

¼t almond essence

2t lemon rind, grated

1C blanched almonds

                        Add to above and mix well.

2 ½C high grade flour

½t baking soda

1t cinnamon

½t ground nutmeg

                      Sift into a bowl.

250g butter

1 ½C brown sugar

2T treacle

                      Cream until light and fluffy.

5 eggs

                       Add, beating well after each addition.

                      Fold in sifted ingredients alternately with

                     fruit mixture.

Line a deep, square 23cm tin with two layers of brown paper followed by one layer of baking paper. Spoon mixture into tin. Bake at 150°C for 4 hours or until inserted skewer comes out clean. Leave in tin until cold. Wrap in foil or ice cake and store in a cool place.

Festive Food

J11 carefully sculpted Mary and Baby Jesus out of almond icing to go on top of a mini Christmas cake. It is quite hard to create somthing out of icing and then get it to stand up and dry without the head or an arm falling off!!! But the end results can be rewarding.

Most of us are icing cakes….while M5 uses the Christmas-cookie-cutters to make biscuits.

J13 and J11 sculpted Joesph, Mary and Baby Jesus. We made them stand up using   tooth-picks.

Here we are mixing fruit mince. Even E-R18m can mix!!! Isn’t she soooo cute!!!

Here are two of last year’s photos; a fruit mince pie and the cake. 


We’ve got this year’s cake made and iced, but not photographed yet. And we’ve made the pastry and fruit mince, but haven’t put them together yet. At least they won’t all be eaten by Christmas-Day!

The GIRLS’ weekend

   by K8 and J13

This last weekend has been very exciting for everyone. The big boys went away with the E boys to their bach, while the E girls came to our house for the weekend!!!

On Saturday Mrs E dropped off E10 and A2 at our house and then went out for a quiet day by herself. 

The E’s had brought some melting moments, which had not been iced so M5, T3 and A2 iced and sprinkled all these biscuits!…

…while J13, K8 and E10 made chocolate lollipops for when the boys came home…

…lunch time (20°C in the sun!!)…

…when the little kids were resting Mum, J13, E10, K8 and M5 made some really cool bracelets…

…it was so warm and the pool looked sooo inviting that we just had to jump in. (The water was 21°c)……around about this point Mrs E turned up and we had one of the best dinners you could ever have: Chicken breasts stuffed with camembert cheese and bacon served on noodles with apricot sauce and veges……out to Piha to eat ice-creams and watch the sun set. The sun looked wonderful just as it was setting with waves breaking in front of it!!……back to our house to bed…….we all slept in on Sunday, then had bacon and eggs cooked by M5 on the BBQ…

…if you’ve ever been to the Olympic Park you’ll know how fun it is, and you’ll also know the spinning-bucket-seat-kind-of-thing (excuse the vague description). T3 and M5 both went on it so fast and for so long that they had to lie down, because they felt sick. They desperately did not want to stop, but they were almost green.

 ……back at home we had a tea party complete with asparagus rolls, cucumber sandwiches, scones, oranges, biscuits, marshmallows, chocolates and tea.

… the afternoon we had another round of bracelet making and swimming in the middle of which we all drank hot chocolate to warm us up.

Thanks to the Es for a fantastic weekend.

The Best Chocolate Cake Ever

Last Friday we had Mum’s birthday dinner, because we had friends over for the day on Saturday, which is Mum’s real birthday. So J13 and me (J11) made Mum a cake. Here is the recipe for The Best Chocolate Cake Ever:

2C flour
1 1/2 – 2C sugar
1t BP
1t BS
3/4 C cocoa
           Mix in a bowl

1C milk
1/2C oil
2 beaten eggs
1t vanilla
1C black coffee
      Add to dry ingredients(makes thin batter)
      Pour into a large greased tin
      Bake at 180 oC for 30 – 40 min (or more)
I ice it with  Chocolate Icing after an hour or two.

I hope you enjoy this recipe and use it .
This recipe was given to us by Becca and it has NEVER failed.

blow, M5, blow

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And because we had to chop the top off the cake so the horses wouldn’t fall down the hill, you ended up with a special morning tea cake too (and we *hardly ever* have morning tea!)

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eyes as wide as saucers

By Mama

His eyes just about popped out of his head. K10 repeated over and over and over “Oh man, oh man, oh man”.

We had pulled into the carpark at Gengys Restaurant and K10 had thought we were pulling their legs, and were about to drive out again. But then someone spotted Grandpa’s car. And if Grandpa were there, maybe it meant we were going to stay for dinner.

It was a surprise too big for anyone to hardly believe! What a way to finish Dadda’s week home with us. Eating this Mongolian food made EVERYONE eager about the day Dadda leaves work behind and we are all together – just like this last week – and hopefully in Mongolia!!

Eating out meant we didn’t need K10‘s birthday cake… we get that tonight. YUM.
It looks like pizza and a glass of fizzy drink, but don’t be fooled; there’s a chocolate cake and carrot cake underneath copious quantities of sugar and food colouring.

it’s all history

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