This weekend our home has been filled with the crazy laughter, giggling and slapstick joviality that comes with children who've just discovered they have two weeks break from school. It's as though they've emerged from a cocoon. Happy kids. Beautiful.
Yesterday saw good friends have the day with us. Susan's veterinary prowess is put to work, as she semen-tested our sale bulls and gave them all the Veterinary Association's tick of approval to go forth and multiply.
The onset of Spring has made it much easier to return to the world of early-morning walking. I like to walk two laps of our front paddock, feeding the bulls on the way past and continuing my journey. I've always been a morning person and love seeing the sun spread it's first rays over yonder hill as I plod on.
I return to the house, turning sprinklers on as I head indoors gasping for air, juice and coffee. Kids are often just stumbling from their beds, I often referee the first fight of the day as Wallace endeavours to terrify his sisters by wiggling his bare bottom in front of them. (It's a boy-thing)! And he does it most days. And receives the same disgusted, squealing response from the girls every day. And he never tires of it.
My early morning walking is not only a means of hopefully shifting some of the Winter weight I add every year, but also the most wonderful time to have to myself. Often the only time. I often wonder why the times I'm in either the shower or the toilet, are when my children wish to have the most meaningful conversations with me. But by leaving the house when all is quiet, when they are still blissfully unaware of my presence, or lack thereof, it is a soul-rebuilding exercise.
Unfortunately the winter weight is going nowhere, possibly being added to by my latest obsession with cooking.
Flourless Orange Cake with Passionfruit Glaze.
Baked Sticky Date Cheesecake with Caramel Sauce.
Smoked Pork Sausages.
Curry Chicken Pasta Salad.
Pulled Slow Roasted Pork.
And today. My first trial-run with Bakerella's Cake Pops. A practice-run for a 'Breast Cancer' Morning Tea the girls and I are attending over the holidays. So pink and girly. Just perfect. The good ole Chocolate Heather Cake came to the fore yet again.
Baked, then crumbled,
with chocolate icing added to the mix as a glue.
With my littlest helper on board, they were rolled into balls,
frozen and then dipped in ...
melted white chocolate ...
Beautiful. Unfortunately I didn't have lollipop sticks, and after searching valiantly for kebab sticks that I still believe are somewhere in that kitchen, had to delve into the great depths of ingenuity that seemed somewhat lacking on this Sunday afternoon.
So with pliers in hand, I tracked down some No. 10 wire and made me some sticks. Not very 'Bakerella-ish' but practical all the same.
With a fairly uninspiring 'drizzle' (the white choc was setting, think I'll add some Copha to the mix next time), the pops were complete.
... and passed the taste-test with flying colours.
Might just walk me an extra lap tomorrow morning.