I was a very lucky birthday girl indeed. I spent the day with my family and Gib and we had a trip out to a couple of craft markets in the morning before heading out to Kuranga Native Plant Nursery and their beautiful cafe in the afternoon. We picked up a few Conostylus, which are related to kangaroo paws (you can see that the flowers are quite similar). I was quite taken with the conostylus because the leaves are so soft and fluffy, but the yellow flowers are very similar to the kangaroo paws which I love. Apparently they grow well in well drained, sandy environments, and are well suited to pots. I have a couple of spare pots sitting around that are glazed in a blue/green colour - just the thing! In the tube there, I'm also holding a wattle of some sort (can't remember what it is... but it's very prickly!)
The Cook and the Chef - I love how passionate Maggie and Simon are and how they show cooking how it really is. They make mistakes, they overcook things sometimes, they forget ingredients... but they roll with it and it's so obvious how much fun they have just being in the kitchen and enjoying food and the entire cooking process. And now, thanks to my brilliant family, I am the very happy owner of Maggie Beer's book, Maggie's Harvest. It's a beautiful book, I can't wait to try it out. Gib's family also gave me another cookbook called the Low GI Vegetarian Cookbook (how appropriate for this month!). They had it on loan from a friend when Gib's dad was first diagnosed with diabetes, and I adored every recipe. I think I'll be a busy girl in the kitchen!
Every Thursday night after training, Gib and I will come home and watch Iron Chef America. We started to notice that mandolins frequently showed up whenever the iron chefs needed to slice and dice up vegetables in a jiffy (which is all the time, in Iron Chef) and we both thought that if we're going to own any kitchen gadget, it must be a mandolin. I spend so much time slicing vegetables and mandolins make it look so easy! So Gib bought me a mandolin! I can't wait to give it a real try out! I'm a bit scared though. That slicer is sharp.
Maybe I'll be the next Iron Chef and be all pro with my mandolin...!
So all in all, an excellent birthday of hanging out with my boy, my family, looking at crafty stuff, looking at gardening stuff and consuming delicious food and wine. Couldn't have been better. It's been a big day though and I really need to snooze now...