Wednesday, September 30, 2009


Made this two weeks ago. Very easy. I like it as a topping for toast or Madeira Cake but Wayne likes a blob of curd mixed into his yoghurt (plain) in the morning. I once drizzled it over slices of chocolate cake and served it with fresh strawberries (sounds odd but it tasted so good!) and also excellent with vanilla ice cream as a simple dessert. I usually double-up the recipe.

90g butter
1/2 cup of lemon juice, freshly squeezed and strained
1 cup caster sugar
2 eggs

Place all ingredients in a ovenproof bowl over a pot of simmering water. Stir or whisk gently until mixture thickens. Do not leave or stop stirring. Takes about 6-10 minutes. Remove and cool in bowl and then pour into sterilised jars topped with wax paper and lids. Store in refrigerator.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

My basket

My basket overflows,
Rebecca's quilt has been cut and pinned but my sewing machine is ill so I have to wait to finish it.
I hope I can sort it out in October so that I can give it to her for Christmas.

Regarding the photographs for the family wall. This is an extensive project as there are many, many photographs to catalogue and then finalise which ones I want to use. Most of the frames have been bought, I think I only need another two. Hopefully this can also be wrapped up by November or so... that wall has been bare for ages, awaiting this new display.

I have so many projects to finish. I have a cabinet that I've moved to the garage for some spit and polish. I have 3 vases that need to get mosaic-ed and two other items that just need the filler. Rebecca's bedroom blind broke so I need to make a new one and I am ever so tired of my lounge curtaining. I must either make (but I don't think I have the time) or purchase others soon! Finally and probably most importantly (cause its alive) I have 5 palms that are in a container that I urgently need to plant in the back yard.

Monday, September 28, 2009


My father is one of my favourite people. He is steadfast, kind and faithful. His character and his words say the same thing. He was easy to follow when we were growing up, because he was so consistent.

Everyone these days thinks they are a parenting expert but my dad certainly does not 'cast his pearls before swine' (he knows when to speak and when to be silent). Though a lot can be gleaned if you're paying attention.

This weekend he celebrated his 60th birthday!
Look at this photograph, at 4 years of age...

Both my father and my father-in-law celebrated their birthdays this weekend and I pray that they will have a wonderful year!

Since I'm on parents, Dr John Rosemond was on Focus on the Family for the last 2 days.
I have read two of his parenting books, so practical.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

A full day

Yesterday was a juggle, first a few loads of washing, then baked some Aniseed Rusks and left them in the oven to dry out while we went to the shop so that I could find a top for a function.
I found it in the first shop that I went into... but do you think I purchased it then... no, typical, I went to 3 other store's before back-tracking. Then on to grocery shopping, followed by our fortnightly trip to the library. Back home, a quick clean of the house and then into the garden for some weeding while Rebecca picked gooseberries and fed the rabbit. After a shower it was time to put on a pot of 'Texas Rice', one of Wayne's favourites (my mother-in-law's recipe) to welcome him home for his first home-cooked meal in two weeks. Boy, did we miss him!

After all that I was pretty tired and my back was sore from all the weeding. I just sat here with tea and looked out over the garden while Wayne & Rebecca bounced on the trampoline...

Thursday, September 24, 2009


My favourite part of the day is the morning. The earlier the better, I love to be up before the sounds of the day, when all is quiet and slowly you hear the birds begin as the sun rises.
Rebecca is the same. Early to bed and early to rise.

If there is no school, its morning prayer and then back in bed for a little bit. The benefit of a slightly older child, they can entertain themselves for a while, not just zoom around the house from sunrise to sunset (even though it was fun too). At the moment she is not still, she is bopping to a Hillsong Kids DVD. - Pic could be a little clearer.... sorry


Have a great day!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Sweet hospitality

A simple offering for a sudden guest. Choc chip cookies.

Pursue the practice of hospitality... live in
harmony... giving yourselves to humble tasks.
Romans 12

Tuesday, September 22, 2009


I call it a Spring present to myself. A couple of times a year I order books online and I've just heard that my new batch is on its way!!! Yippee. Rebecca and I go to the post office and get a large parcel that we rip open the minute we get home and then sit on the floor for the next while reading the backs of the books, deciding which we will begin with.

I'm excited about this arrival because it contains a Lief Enger novel (Wayne and I loved his last book) plus Jan Karon and Edith Shaeffer, as well as books for Ruby. We love books and our shelves are groaning with everything from 'War & Peace' to 'The Wombles', yes there was a book (several) before the television series.

So tomorrow is my collection day! Hopefully the sunshine will continue and we can sit outside and read while sipping something ice cold.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Hello Sunshine

I'm so grateful for the lovely weather today!

On Friday night we had a 'girl supper' (Wayne was away), with my friend Anthea and my sister.
A is actually such a rock in my life and I don't see her nearly enough and Manuela always makes me laugh (i.e just before she popped a bean dish in the oven she said to it, 'you're gonna love me and I know I love you already, see you soon').

On Saturday the gardener, Rebecca and I worked in the garden and this afternoon it was so gratifying to just sit and look out at a neat and trim yard. Rebecca actually sang to us (not really work), she kept asking Shep, 'So do you know this one?' and then without hesitation broke out into song.

Today we just enjoyed the sunshine, but early this morning on the way to church I realised that I had left my bible on the table. Fortunately Rebecca had her real bible with her, not one of her toddler ones. So I took her one in with me (and her pencil - she went to children's church) and only when I sat down did I realise that her cover was bright pink with cartons all over it and I had to write with a 'high school musical' pencil.

I decided to be outside instead of baking so the 'medieval gingerbread' is still on the backburner.

Wishing you much sunshine for the week ahead.

Friday, September 18, 2009


Sometimes (when I have time) I add a note to Rebecca's lunch. Just something simple to tell her that I love her during her lunch break. Today, however, I got the surprise!
I didn't have time this morning to pack my sandwich so when I opened my bag I sure was surprised. I found a container of bran cereal, a little container of mixed nuts and a love note. I don't know how she matched up the right bowl and lid? Impressive as that was, considering my tupperware drawer, the most gracious bequest was naturally the hand-written letter.

'Pleasant words are like honeycomb, sweet to the soul and health to the bones' Prov 16.24

This was one of the first scriptures Rebecca had to learn. Words have the power to heal and strengthen (gets right into your soul) - bringing a deep comfort. And it did to me today!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Vintage and more

Since I'm re-reading Jane Eyre, I thought that the perfect accompaniment to my reading would be my favourite Banana Bread, with chocolate chunks, from 'Bills Food' (it tastes wonderful and has just the right texture), served on my very vintage Wedgwood & Co, given to me by a great lady that owned a antique store many years ago.

Rebecca loves to Google, gosh, it sounds like its a sport?? Anyway her new interest is the Queen. She googled her and even watched a piece of her coronation ceremony - at least she isn't quoting weird Yak facts (Yaks, her last topic of choice). So naturally since we are on this English vein,we have had several tea parties this week with my silver tea set and favourite cups & saucers.
Cute thing is always so careful with my stuff (cause I might cry for a week if my grandmothers cup breaks but that's a different story). Sometimes she likes us to pretend we are princess sisters, and her language becomes slower and the r's are so much more pronounced, "rreally sister, do have morre tea".

Banana Bread with my home grown beauties (this was a large bunch - half eaten).

PS On the vintage theme, I've decided to make a recipe this weekend that I have always wanted to try, its called 'Medieval Gingerbread' (and I do love Gingerbread) so I'll let you know how it turns out. Also Rebecca asked if the Queen likes receiving guests as she would like to make a turn whenever we are next in England!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Good night

"I remembered that, after a day of bodily fatigue and mental anxiety, I was now
at last in safe haven. The impulse of gratitude swelled in my heart, and I knelt down
at the bedside and offered up thanks where thanks were due; not forgetting, ere I rose,
to implore aid on my further path, and the power of meriting the kindness which
seemed so frankly offered me before it was earned. My couch had no thorns in it that
night, my solitary room no fears. At once weary and content, I slept soon
and soundly; when I awoke, it was broad day."

from my favourite novel ~ Jane Eyre

Sleep soundly!

Sunday, September 13, 2009


Unwinding on Sunday afternoon with chess and tea.

Then suddenly Ruby gave up another tooth! Strong tea?
At least she is excited about her bulging purse.

I might have to start liquidising her food, as all her new teeth are growing rather slowly.
Poor baby!

Saturday pottering

Yesterday evening, Rebecca noted that the day had gone by so quickly, and it sure did.
A little gardening. Spring maintenance (all the tree trimmings in the background) and my
baby and my papa planting her petunias. She needed her two pink watering cans in the pic.

We had a baby shower for my brothers wife... the first baby boy to our family. What a delight.
Then Rebecca had a pamper party at a friends house and she came back smelling and looking gorgeous, complete with pedi and mani! She wouldn't allow any pictures.
Last night we went to see 'Up' (Disney) - I don't know if many kiddies would get it. Ruby was actually a little frightened at times (but she is quite sensitive), but it was actually a wonderful movie. I cried for most of it and it began within the first minute! So many wonderful life lessons.

Now, I think I need to get my morning coffee started! Have a blessed day!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Weeknight movie

Sometimes a break from routine is good...

A mid week treat, creamy chicken spagetti and 'A night at the museum'

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

The writer

Since Rebecca was about 1 year old, she could be found with a pen, pencil, crayon or chalk in her hand. In fact she never leaves the house without a bag containing her pen and book. Lately she keeps writing these short stories... she even wrote an article for her father (in an effort to lighten his writing workload)

Report: A vehicle road-test by Rebecca Sella Batty

Story: So begins the story of a princess, with illustrations

But this is not a happily ever after story... not sure if you can see the words but the princess is horrified.

I laughed so hard at the end of her princess story, it sure had a twist in it.

Monday, September 7, 2009


Today is a little frosty, so as a wave goodbye to winter's last few cold fronts...

Winter time

Late lies the wintry sun a-bed
A frosty fiery sleepy head
Blinks but an hour or two and then,
A blood red orange, sets again

Before the stars have left the skies
At morning in the dark I rise
And shivering in my nakedness
By the cold candle, bathe and dress

Close by the jolly fire I sit
To warm my frozen bones a bit,
Or with a reindeer-sled, explore
The colder countries round the door

When to go out, my nurse doth wrap
Me in my comforter and cap,
The cold wind burns my face and blows
Its frosty pepper up my nose

Black are my steps on silver sod
Thick blows my frosty breath abroad
And tree and house and hill and lake
Are like a frosted wedding cake

~ Robert Louis Stevenson

I think I should build a jolly fire too!

Sunday, September 6, 2009

something good

For we are assured and know that all things work together and are
[fitting into a plan] for good, to and for those who love God and are called
according to His design and purpose.
Romans 8.28

We need to know (intuitively understand) that all things... like ingredients to a powerful medicine/vaccine work together (greek - synergei) to fulfill an incredible purpose/plan - a blessed assurance! Have a blessed week!

Friday, September 4, 2009

Peanut Butter Anything

For my last snack of the week I bring to you my favourite pantry item, the unrivalled
heavy-weight of snacks PEANUT BUTTER.

I eat this almost daily in some form or another. Love it, on a thin slice of toasted rye with a drizzle of honey, on crackers, fruit, celery sticks, in baking etc. I have 3 jars in the pantry at the moment, the daily spread (crunchy of course), the back-up (in case I happen to run out) and a smooth one for baking.

This is the most popular competitor - apple (granny smith is my favourite for this) with
peanut butter and sunflower seeds.

This is usually the runner-up - provita crackers with peanut butter, banana and cinnamon.
My sister caught (and she looks guilty too) munching on my snack!

Happeanut weekend!

Thursday, September 3, 2009


Lovely easy Mexican style snack.
Grab a couple of tortillas. Grate lotsa cheddar. Chop some spring onion (and/or thinly sliced leeks, which I just cook for a sec) and lots of fresh chilli and parsley. Place a tortilla in the pan and add the filling bits, then add another tortilla to cover. Dry fry (no oil required) on a medium heat until all heated up and delicious. Optional extras: Add bacon or chicken or pepper. Crazy easy!!

I also make one for Rebecca less the chilli.

If you have energy, make your favourite recipe of guacamole as well as a little tomato and onion salad and you have a really filling snack or light supper.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Dip away

This is my standard party thing. Dips and Dippers! You just can't have a party without it -
at least not one where all my banter takes place within a metre of the table.

Buy some or make some, but some needs to be present. Here I have a mustard dip and a
onion dip - for this one, the onion (very thinly sliced) is gently cooked over a very low heat until lovely and caramelised, then add 1 heaped teaspoon (or more, if you prefer) brown onion soup powder and +-200g fat-free (or other) smooth cottage cheese. Done! Optional: Finely chop 1-2 rashers of bacon & cook with onion. Plus: this can be done the day before (or the morning) and forgotten about.

Then add a few crudites or/and bread sticks / tortilla chips and 'Bob's your uncle' - please
tell me you know what that means...

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Happy Spring Day

I don't think that any other season is greeted with as much JOY! Even though it usually begins
still firmly in the hands of winter, its wonderful to know that we are marching towards
warmth - and my barren trees are starting to show signs of life

For today's snack, I'm going to a recipe that I got as a student from my now sister-in-law. I
make these often as they are perfect with a late afternoon cup of tea. So good!!

Sammy Jane's Crunchies

500ml oats
200ml sugar
250ml coconut
250ml flour, sifted

15ml syrup
180ml butter
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

Heat oven to 180 deg C. Blend first 4 ingredients in a bowl. Heat butter gently in a pot to melt and add the syrup & bicarbonate of soda. Heat for a few minutes. Take off heat and add the dry ingredients to the pot and mix. Grease a baking tray and pour mixture in. Bake for 10 minutes and then turn oven off and leave to dry out for 15 - 20 minutes. Remove from oven and cut into squares and let cool.