Sunday, June 29, 2008

Good Eats

Our summer garden yielded among other things, lots of pumpkins. One weekend when we were feeling particularly ambitious, we cooked all of the pumpkin, pureed it, and froze it. I had visions of a winter full of warm and creamy pumpkin soups, but Brian had only one thing on his mind - pumpkin pie! My mom makes an incredible Impossible (read crustless) Pumpkin Pie that is to die for and Brian has spent the last several months perfecting his pumpkin pie. He's been making about two per week and thus ensuring that I'm well insulated against the cold winter. Pumpkin pie with fresh whipped cream for dessert every night - yum! Behold the glory of the pumpkin pie!

It's winter in Australia and in Canberra that just means cold nights and crisp sunny days. We continue to remind people that they don't know how good they have it. Even though it's winter, the citrus trees are bearing fruit, believe it or not. We noticed a small tree in our backyard some time ago and thought at first it was a lime tree with its small green fruits. Then they turned yellowish and we thought we had a lemon tree. Then they turned orange and we realized we actually have an orange tree! How exciting! I remembered that I wanted a photo of it late one evening so I grabbed the camera and thought I would see what I could capture in the dark.

The oranges are actually quite tart at this point; I think we picked them too early and they might have sweetened up on the tree. But really, imagine - picking citrus fruits in the winter! I don't get it, but enjoy it nonetheless. My friend Janette gave us a bag of lemons from her tree and we had to decide what to do with them. The result - lemon tart! Another work of dessert art from Brian below.

Mouth watering? So unbelievably yummy. At least Brian and I won't be consuming all of it ourselves. We had friends over last night and made lasagna, garlic bread and salad and had lemon tart for dessert. Then we spent the rest of the evening playing games including (the McMillins amongst you will appreciate this) Sheepshead. Good fun. And now its Sunday evening and I could really use a couple more days in this weekend. I'll let you know if I figure out how to make that happen.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

A good laugh...

Does anyone else think that the following headline sounds like something straight out of The Onion?

"George Bush wants to leave legacy of peace"

The Onion is a satirical newspaper featuring fake news headlines. It's definitely worth a read if you're looking for a good laugh. The above headline, however, is straight out of the Australian.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Introducing Cael Rowan McFarland

Welcome to little Cael who decided he was ready to make his debut onto the world scene a few weeks before anyone expected him! Here are some of the first images of my newest nephew!

I now have two new little people to meet when we go home to visit! I can't wait. You can read my welcome message to Cael here.

World Environment Day

Last Thursday, June 5th, was World Environment Day. I woke up and told Brian that I should really get presents, don't you agree?

I meant to post and say "Happy World Environment Day" but as I can't seem to go more than two months without planning some significantly large and time consuming event, I was pretty wrapped up in said event. This year the ANU Sustainability Learning Community held it's third annual Great Green Debate to mark the occasion. We held the usual sit-down formal dinner for sixty students and guests and then had a panel discussion on "The Role of Business in Shaping a Sustainable Future" attended by about 140 people. It was all a huge success despite losing a panellist and subsequently gaining a replacement panellist in the twenty four hours before the event.....whew!

Below, a photo of the event in the dining room of Bruce Hall.

Last weekend was a three day weekend in honor of the Queen's Birthday and so for the first time in months, we managed to get ourselves out of Canberra for the weekend. We had planned to go to Melbourne to visit our friend Chris for the weekend, but I waited too long to buy the plane tickets and so we decided to go another time. Sorry Chris. Then we got a last minute invitation to the Blue Mountains by my friend and co-worker, Clare, to stay with her and a few others at her auntie's cottage. What a great weekend! I really needed a getaway and this one was fun and relaxing. It rained most of the weekend so we were forced to cook good food, drink wine, eat chocolate and play music. Sounds awful, doesn't it?

Sophie, Jess, Naomi and Clare about to dig in......