July 27, 2008

A Feast in A Stormy Day

On Friday night, we already heard that we would get a storm on the weekend. That evening, we moved the sheep to the back paddock where they can shelter in the old shed. Just as well, we found out that newborn twins were just arrived, perhaps in the night before. We are glad that they're doing alright, looking healthy and already running around their mother.

rhubarb brulee

And that very late evening, I've just finished making creme brulee with rhubarb mixture for our dessert tomorrow. By now, the rain was still pouring with mild wind. We got in the bed with rain was still down pouring with occasional hail in between.

On Saturday morning, it was getting heavier with wind furiously blowing. Some of our guests from Auckland city had to cancel their trip to the countryside, which was a shame as I've made a lot of desserts and sweets to choose from. I could not blame them because it was a tremendous storm. The wind was 150km/h screaming out loud through the twisted branches. The tallest trees are swinging from right to left, front to back, twisted and turned. Goodness gracious, it was just scary.

In the middle of our midday feast, we had to accept the truth that we had to surrender of the power of the power. When it's out, what to do? We could not even boil a kettle. Luckily we have a great fireplace with cast-iron on top which I sometimes use to cook when we run out of gas and don't have a replacement. I hate using power stove, so much electricity to use. Guess how much bill we have to pay by using electric coils stove.

fondant potatoes on the table
vegetables coffee sponge cake
the main dishes assorted macarons

However, the feast itself was a success, I suppose. I am quite satisfied to be surrounded by family and friends, the people that I know and am comfortable being with. I made fondant potatoes, chicken-venison lime and chilli roast, steamed puha, sliced fresh tomatoes, sauteed mung bean sprouts, and trio broccoli-brussel sprouts and sauteed cos lettuce salad sprinkled with grated parmesan. The drink is casual as we don't drink alcohol, we always love my home-made lime juice. I am using Tahitian lime as we grow them. They're turning yellow at present and I have to make the most of them before they're rotten.

As the birthday cake, my youngest daughter asked me if I could make a giant mushroom for her birthday. I have to admit that I am not keen on cake decorating at the moment. I like seeing beautiful work of decorated cakes, but it takes so much time, so much work and I have to do it all by myself. And I am not up to it, so I asked Sarah if it's alright I make it easier. She said she did not mind as long as I will use M&M sweets as parts of them. Right.

the giant mushroomblow the candlesthe happy girl

I don't have that kind of cake tin (half-sphere shape) as the mushroom head, so I use steamed pudding mould. The bottom cake is a muffin. I made orange and almond cake. It was quite firm to hold the shape. The giant mushroom was tinted pink and green. The idea was adapted from AWW Kids Party Cakes, if you have the book, I am sure you can find the photo which is similar to Sarah's mushroom.

Sarah was very happy with her cake, like other children who always admire their parents' work, I suppose that's how they express their appreciation: by licking the bowl, or printing their fingers on your decorated cakes?

no power but candle

Other than no power to watch TV on what's going on the other parts of New Zealand, we just curling up around a candle, reading books to children before they're going to bed and we went to bed earliest than ever. I could not sleep. I hate darkness. I probably have some kind of darkness phobia, but I just hate sleeping without any glimpse of light. I had to draw the curtain and let a little light with a silhouette of swinging trees beyond the paddock. I had to get up again and continued writing on my unfinished novel until I had no more words in my head to jot down. I tried to go back to bed. I still can feel that my mind and body are not resting until the powere were back on early in the morning. What kind of feeling I am having now, I know you know for sure.

broken and up-rooted

In the morning we were walking around and found out three trees were up-rooted. Many pine branches are broken their limbs which are now scattered on the driveway. Our door steps are all messy with pine needles, swooped through. Our paddock is a mass of broken pine twigs and their new leaves. It's a mess. However, there's not much we can do to clear them all on one day. The day is still gray and it is still raining.

come on, browniesniff sniff miaowwwgo away, cow

These photos above are taken just this morning. We moved the calves back to the nearest paddock. They are quite tame and one of them is Brownie, we call them, is always following us wherever you go. It's sometimes a bit worrying because he often nod his head just like he will nudge us with his horns which are very well noticed. But he does not do that. He's a curious young cow. When he spotted Bow Bow with us, he runs across the paddock and meets him by the fence. Sniffing around. Bow Bow clearly did not like the sniffing session, as you can see his expression on the photo. He tries to escape from Brownie and climbs up the tree. But Brownie keeps standing under the tree with his head bows up and down. It was quite funny, really. I often have a good laugh to see these animals actions.

More storms will come our way tomorrow (which I hope won't happen). If it will, I apologize if I am not making my way to visit your blogs. I will return your visit when the day is fine again.

I hope you're enjoying your weather!


Barbara said...

A lovely midday feast arfi. I wish we could have been there with you again. I hope sarah had a nice day. I love the cake.

Arfi Binsted said...

Yes, it would be lovely to have you back here again, Barb :) It was always lovely to have you both. Sarah had had a nice day and she loved everyone. And the presents, of course hehehe...

Peter G said...

Sorry about the weather! At least you had a plentiful feast with lots of eating and some beautiful desserts. Great cake Arfi...well done! The cat in the last pic is hilarious! Like I said before I find your farm stories fascinating!

busylittlebee said...

how much energy you have in the kitchen arfi, salute at you dear,

sarah is cute and adorable
you pics are lovely as always and
i hope the storm will be over soon

Jescel said...

your kids are adorable.. my, your feast look so good! and the cake is too cute. your children are lucky.. and they're cute! hope there'll be no more damage in your farm when the next storm comes.

Haley said...

Hi! :)

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linda said...

Wow, that really was a big storm!
Looks like your little girl had a wonderful birthday (we have our birthdays on the same day :)
The mushroom cake looks wonderful!