Tuesday, 25 March 2008

Product of the week - Melba toast

I have a couple of new cookbooks - American ones of course (which I will tell you about another time) So some of the ingredients are unfamiliar to me eg Melba toast. I recently made some crunchy pork chops that were baked in the oven. One of the ingredients for the crunchy crust was melba toast. I couldn't find melba toast at the supermarket so substituted in some savoury crackers. Then one day whilst meandering around the aisles I looked up and saw melba toast on the top shelf. They are just like toasted biscuits so nothing particularly special but they taste good.

Monday, 24 March 2008

Easter Monday

For some people today is a public holiday, for others not and in any case Andrew decided to take the day off. Tonight is the finale of our Easter week and we are cooking another lamb feast, this time our guests are Gary, Mary and Katy.

Sunday, 23 March 2008

Resurrection Sunday

It's Resurrection Sunday! We started the day with a pancake breakfast and Lucy opened her Easter basket. As you know there were lots of lambs in there plus a watering can, a yoyo ball, a flashing toothbrush and some bath toys. Lucy figured out pretty quickly that the Lindt lambs were edible and decided that she very much liked chocolate (I think this may have been her first taste!) and demanded more.

We headed off to chuch dressed in our finery (with Andrew in a suit and tie!) with Andrew on sound and Fiona on powerpoint. Lucy looked beautiful in her pink butterfly Monsoon dress.

We spent most of the afternoon in food preparation and a little gardening and then Daryl, Margaret and Ava came over for a lamb feast. Lucy and Ava had a ball together. Lucy even let Ava share her bath and the two of them played in there for an hour. Lucy decided she wanted Ava to sleep over - Lucy in her bed and Ava on the floor next to her bed. However it was deceided by all the grown ups that this wasn't a good idea.

On Saturday Lucy decorated the poster below.

John 20 Resurrection!

Early in the morning on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene came to the tomb and saw that the stone was moved away from the entrance. She ran at once to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one Jesus loved, breathlessly panting, "They took the Master from the tomb. We don't know where they've put him."
Peter and the other disciple left immediately for the tomb. They ran, neck and neck. The other disciple got to the tomb first, outrunning Peter. Stooping to look in, he saw the pieces of linen cloth lying there, but he didn't go in. Simon Peter arrived after him, entered the tomb, observed the linen cloths lying there, and the kerchief used to cover his head not lying with the linen cloths but separate, neatly folded by itself. Then the other disciple, the one who had gotten there first, went into the tomb, took one look at the evidence, and believed. No one yet knew from the Scripture that he had to rise from the dead. The disciples then went back home.
But Mary stood outside the tomb weeping. As she wept, she knelt to look into the tomb and saw two angels sitting there, dressed in white, one at the head, the other at the foot of where Jesus' body had been laid. They said to her, "Woman, why do you weep?"
"They took my Master," she said, "and I don't know where they put him." After she said this, she turned away and saw Jesus standing there. But she didn't recognize him.
Jesus spoke to her, "Woman, why do you weep? Who are you looking for?" She, thinking that he was the gardener, said, "Mister, if you took him, tell me where you put him so I can care for him."
Jesus said, "Mary." Turning to face him, she said in Hebrew, "Rabboni!" meaning "Teacher!"
Jesus said, "Don't cling to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father. Go to my brothers and tell them, 'I ascend to my Father and your Father, my God and your God.'"
Mary Magdalene went, telling the news to the disciples: "I saw the Master!" And she told them everything he said to her.
Later on that day, the disciples had gathered together, but, fearful of the Jews, had locked all the doors in the house. Jesus entered, stood among them, and said, "Peace to you." Then he showed them his hands and side.
The disciples, seeing the Master with their own eyes, were exuberant. Jesus repeated his greeting: "Peace to you. Just as the Father sent me, I send you."
Then he took a deep breath and breathed into them. "Receive the Holy Spirit," he said. "If you forgive someone's sins, they're gone for good. If you don't forgive sins, what are you going to do with them?"
But Thomas, sometimes called the Twin, one of the Twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. The other disciples told him, "We saw the Master." But he said, "Unless I see the nail holes in his hands, put my finger in the nail holes, and stick my hand in his side, I won't believe it."
Eight days later, his disciples were again in the room. This time Thomas was with them. Jesus came through the locked doors, stood among them, and said, "Peace to you."
Then he focused his attention on Thomas. "Take your finger and examine my hands. Take your hand and stick it in my side. Don't be unbelieving. Believe."
Thomas said, "My Master! My God!"
Jesus said, "So, you believe because you've seen with your own eyes. Even better blessings are in store for those who believe without seeing."

Friday, 21 March 2008

Good Friday

Today we were going to make hot cross buns but instead we spent a lot of time gardening. We bought some pre-made hot cross buns from Fresh Market earlier in the week which were fairly dry and the cross was made out of icing instead of dough! Interestingly no church today. Most Americans do not have a public holiday for Good Friday and surprisingly we had mail delivered. So we don't get mail on MLK Jr day or Presidents Day but Good Friday is fine. Someone told us that the US didn't want to bias their public holidays towards Christian events but this seems at odds with the purported 'Christian nation'. I guess its just another quirky American thing.

John 19 - The Crucifixion

They took Jesus away. Carrying his cross, Jesus went out to the place called Skull Hill (the name in Hebrew is Golgotha), where they crucified him, and with him two others, one on each side, Jesus in the middle. Pilate wrote a sign and had it placed on the cross. It read: jesus the nazarene the king of the jews.
Many of the Jews read the sign because the place where Jesus was crucified was right next to the city. It was written in Hebrew, Latin, and Greek. The Jewish high priests objected. "Don't write," they said to Pilate, "'The King of the Jews.' Make it, 'This man said, "I am the King of the Jews."'"
Pilate said, "What I've written, I've written."
When they crucified him, the Roman soldiers took his clothes and divided them up four ways, to each soldier a fourth. But his robe was seamless, a single piece of weaving, so they said to each other, "Let's not tear it up. Let's throw dice to see who gets it." This confirmed the Scripture that said, "They divided up my clothes among them and threw dice for my coat." (The soldiers validated the Scriptures!)
While the soldiers were looking after themselves, Jesus' mother, his aunt, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene stood at the foot of the cross. Jesus saw his mother and the disciple he loved standing near her. He said to his mother, "Woman, here is your son." Then to the disciple, "Here is your mother." From that moment the disciple accepted her as his own mother.
Jesus, seeing that everything had been completed so that the Scripture record might also be complete, then said, "I'm thirsty."
A jug of sour wine was standing by. Someone put a sponge soaked with the wine on a javelin and lifted it to his mouth. After he took the wine, Jesus said, "It's done . . . complete." Bowing his head, he offered up his spirit.
Then the Jews, since it was the day of Sabbath preparation, and so the bodies wouldn't stay on the crosses over the Sabbath (it was a high holy day that year), petitioned Pilate that their legs be broken to speed death, and the bodies taken down. So the soldiers came and broke the legs of the first man crucified with Jesus, and then the other. When they got to Jesus, they saw that he was already dead, so they didn't break his legs. One of the soldiers stabbed him in the side with his spear. Blood and water gushed out.
The eyewitness to these things has presented an accurate report. He saw it himself and is telling the truth so that you, also, will believe.
These things that happened confirmed the Scripture, "Not a bone in his body was broken," and the other Scripture that reads, "They will stare at the one they pierced."
After all this, Joseph of Arimathea (he was a disciple of Jesus, but secretly, because he was intimidated by the Jews) petitioned Pilate to take the body of Jesus. Pilate gave permission. So Joseph came and took the body.
Nicodemus, who had first come to Jesus at night, came now in broad daylight carrying a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about seventy-five pounds. They took Jesus' body and, following the Jewish burial custom, wrapped it in linen with the spices. There was a garden near the place he was crucified, and in the garden a new tomb in which no one had yet been placed. So, because it was Sabbath preparation for the Jews and the tomb was convenient, they placed Jesus in it.

Thursday, 20 March 2008

Maundy Thursday

Today we will eat unleavened bread to celebrate the Passover as Jesus would have done at the Last Supper. Excitingly we received a fruit basket from the Thoms family and earlier in the month we received a chocolate parcel from the Lambertons (which is nearly all gone!) Yesterday we went on an Easter egg hunt and we baked Easter sugar cookies for Ava's birthday.

Some trivia for you on the word maundy - The word Maundy is derived through Middle English, and Old French mandé, from the Latin mandatum, the first word of the phrase "Mandatum novum do vobis ut diligatis invicem sicut dilexi vos" ("A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you"), the statement by Jesus in the Gospel of John (13:34) by which Jesus explained to the Apostles the significance of his action of washing their feet. On this day four events are commemorated: the washing of the Disciples' feet by Jesus Christ, the institution of the Mystery of the Holy Eucharist at the Last Supper, the agony of Christ in the Garden of Gethsemane, the betrayal of Christ by Judas Iscariot

John 13 - Washing His Disciples' Feet
Just before the Passover Feast, Jesus knew that the time had come to leave this world to go to the Father. Having loved his dear companions, he continued to love them right to the end. It was suppertime. The Devil by now had Judas, son of Simon the Iscariot, firmly in his grip, all set for the betrayal. Jesus knew that the Father had put him in complete charge of everything, that he came from God and was on his way back to God. So he got up from the supper table, set aside his robe, and put on an apron. Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the feet of the disciples, drying them with his apron. When he got to Simon Peter, Peter said, "Master, you wash my feet?"
Jesus answered, "You don't understand now what I'm doing, but it will be clear enough to you later."
Peter persisted, "You're not going to wash my feet—ever!"
Jesus said, "If I don't wash you, you can't be part of what I'm doing."
"Master!" said Peter. "Not only my feet, then. Wash my hands! Wash my head!"
Jesus said, "If you've had a bath in the morning, you only need your feet washed now and you're clean from head to toe. My concern, you understand, is holiness, not hygiene. So now you're clean. But not every one of you." (He knew who was betraying him. That's why he said, "Not every one of you.") After he had finished washing their feet, he took his robe, put it back on, and went back to his place at the table.
Then he said, "Do you understand what I have done to you? You address me as 'Teacher' and 'Master,' and rightly so. That is what I am. So if I, the Master and Teacher, washed your feet, you must now wash each other's feet. I've laid down a pattern for you. What I've done, you do. I'm only pointing out the obvious. A servant is not ranked above his master; an employee doesn't give orders to the employer. If you understand what I'm telling you, act like it—and live a blessed life.

Wednesday, 19 March 2008

Holy Week Wednesday

There are many good books about Easter, check out http://ccbreview.blogspot.com/ to find one that's good for you. We decided on 'J is for Jesus' as it combines the story of Easter with learning the alphabet which is an appropriate stage for Lucy. By the way she doesn't call her alphabet her "abc's", she calls it her "cdd's"! Over the last two days we have looked at Jesus clearing the temple and Mary annointing Jesus.

John 12 - Anointing His Feet

Six days before Passover, Jesus entered Bethany where Lazarus, so recently raised from the dead, was living. Lazarus and his sisters invited Jesus to dinner at their home. Martha served. Lazarus was one of those sitting at the table with them. Mary came in with a jar of very expensive aromatic oils, anointed and massaged Jesus' feet, and then wiped them with her hair. The fragrance of the oils filled the house. Judas Iscariot, one of his disciples, even then getting ready to betray him, said, "Why wasn't this oil sold and the money given to the poor? It would have easily brought three hundred silver pieces." He said this not because he cared two cents about the poor but because he was a thief. He was in charge of their common funds, but also embezzled them. Jesus said, "Let her alone. She's anticipating and honoring the day of my burial. You always have the poor with you. You don't always have me."

Tuesday, 18 March 2008

Product of the week - Lindt (and other) lambs

Our theme for this Easter week is 'lambs'. All of the shops are promoting Easter with chickens, rabbits, and eggs but if you look carefully it is possible to find a very small amount of lamb related items! These chocolate lambs from Lindt are very cute, four white sheep and one black sheep! I'm sure they taste good but I won't be able to tell you until Sunday! We are also putting in Lucy's basket a lamb soft toy and a 'grow farm' lamb that grows to four times its original size when put in water (it will shrink back down when dry and can be used many times)

Continuing on our lamb theme yesterday Lucy and I made pictures of lambs with cotton balls, paper and glue. We put one lamb on each placemat at the dinner table as decoration!

Monday, 17 March 2008

Palm Sunday

We have a super fun Easter week program planned for our household! So this week's blog entries will outline our activities.

Yesterday was Palm Sunday so before church we made some palm fronds and Lucy took hers along with her to wave. We tried to teach her to say 'Hosanna', and whilst she tried very hard, what she came out with was something quite different!

Matthew 21 The Royal Welcome
When they neared Jerusalem, having arrived at Bethphage on Mount Olives, Jesus sent two disciples with these instructions: "Go over to the village across from you. You'll find a donkey tethered there, her colt with her. Untie her and bring them to me. If anyone asks what you're doing, say, 'The Master needs them!' He will send them with you." This is the full story of what was sketched earlier by the prophet: Tell Zion's daughter, "Look, your king's on his way,poised and ready, mounted On a donkey,on a colt, foal of a pack animal." The disciples went and did exactly what Jesus told them to do. They led the donkey and colt out, laid some of their clothes on them, and Jesus mounted. Nearly all the people in the crowd threw their garments down on the road, giving him a royal welcome. Others cut branches from the trees and threw them down as a welcome mat. Crowds went ahead and crowds followed, all of them calling out, "Hosanna to David's son!" "Blessed is he who comes in God's name!" "Hosanna in highest heaven!" As he made his entrance into Jerusalem, the whole city was shaken. Unnerved, people were asking, "What's going on here? Who is this?" The parade crowd answered, "This is the prophet Jesus, the one from Nazareth in Galilee."

Thursday, 13 March 2008

Here comes the sun

One thing you can rely on in good old North Carolina is the sun. Most of the time we live in a world with a brilliant blue sky with a golden orb (it's like a real version of The Truman Show). When it rains it does so with gusto and will last all day. But you can be sure that the next day it will be back to those same old blue skies. You would think this kind of perfection would get boring after a while but it doesn't. So when it's 40 degrees outside you can still take comfort in the sun's rays and thank God that you live in North Carolina.

Wednesday, 12 March 2008


On Saturday night we headed out for a Silex dinner at a mod Italian restaurant called Nicola's. With children not allowed the lovely Erica, a trained paramedic, had the task of putting Lucy to bed. Lucy played happily 45 minutes but by bedtime she was crying. She hid in a corner before deciding to run into her room and put herself to bed. She wouldn't allow Erica to put the blankets on so when she fell asleep Erica sneaked in and did so. Meanwhile we were enjoying some merlot and a nice dinner (prawns and lamb - separately) followed by profiteroles covered in a nutella/cream mix.

Tuesday, 11 March 2008

Product of the week - Magic Eraser

Martha Stewart recommends having a 'magic eraser' in your cleaning cupboard. So I got a packet to test them out on some marks on the walls. I had tried using the enjo to no avail - the paint is very chalky and is hard to get marks off. So I tested out a magic eraser. It just requires a little water and then you rub off the mark and hey presto it works! It takes a little paint off as well but overall I was pretty happy with the effect. I have no idea what is in these things as they just look like innocent white foam blocks. But by golly they work!

Monday, 10 March 2008

Weekend time

Yesterday was the start of daylight savings for us so we lost an hour of sleep and a number of people were late for church! So if you're in Sydney you can work out the time in Wilmington by subtracting 3 hours and reversing the am/pm. So if you're reading this at 9am Sydney time, it will be 6pm the night before in Wilmington. Or you can just check the clock on this blog!

Given Lucy's stomach flu we stayed home on Saturday. We were all exhausted after a difficult week of cleaning up poo and working late (you can guess who did what). We ordered some more plants for the backyard and we can't wait for April when they will be shipped to us.

Sunday we spent all day at church as we had a meeting after church to talk about some issues.

We are all ready for bed!

Thursday, 6 March 2008

Wednesday, 5 March 2008

Pizza Oven Progress

Thanks Erika for your comment last week! We found it quite amusing that Alex remembers us by the pizzas. Alas despite my best harassment of Andrew the pizza oven plans are simple that - plans. In fact the plans still need some work done to them. Once completed I can then source bricks and other materials and get prices! We are going to do things right way around this time by completing a budget so that we don't end up with a pizza oven AND a very expensive deck. We are also going to do the pizza oven in stages. The basics first and then expand later depending on how long we are here for. The other component to the plans includes a bbq. We still don't have a bbq!! I don't know how we survived last summer but we are definitely getting one this year (for Andrew's birthday).

So stay tuned about the Wilmington branch of Andrew's pizza it may be a long time coming!

Tuesday, 4 March 2008

Product of the week - Ice cream salt

I saw 'ice cream salt' at the supermarket and wondered what it was (salt not being an ingredient in home made ice cream). Here is the answer from my google search: rock salt = ice cream salt = halite = sidewalk salt = land salt Notes: This is the cheap, non-food grade salt that we throw onto icy walkways and use to make ice cream. It doesn't actually go into the ice cream, as some have learned the hard way, but rather into the wooden ice-filled tub that surrounds the bucket of ice cream. The salt lowers the freezing point of the ice, which causes it to melt. As it melts, it absorbs heat from the ice cream, helping it to freeze more quickly. Use a ratio of one part rock salt for every five parts of ice. If you're out of rock salt, other kinds of salt will also work, though you should use less since finer grains of salt can can be packed more densely into a cup than large chunks of rock salt. The biggest danger is that you'll use too much salt, which will make your ice cream freeze too fast and become crusty. When using salt other than rock salt, start with a modest amount and check the ice cream after you've churned it for ten minutes. If the ice cream is just beginning to firm up, you have the right amount of salt. If it's not yet firming up, you need to add more salt. If it's crusty along the sides of the bucket, then you've added too much salt.

Monday, 3 March 2008


Yes our fresh egg source is sadly no more! Whilst we have an egg supply for this week the poor chickens (about 12 of the 18) were killed by dogs on Saturday night.

Apart from the sensation above we had a very quiet weekend. We did some planning for the front garden, talked to the neighbours, slept, and went to church. Jenny, Joe, Gabriel and Julian came over for a lamb roast and then the three of us went out to Cracker Barrel for a pancake dinner (after shopping at Costco).