Thursday 18 April 2013

What a Day!

Yesterday started early and noisily with our side fence being replaced. Three blokes used power tools and saws to dismantle the old warped wooden fence and the shrubs that were draping themselves over it. Poor Twitch was frightened by the noise and thumped his hind legs to warn us there was trouble brewin'!!
Then I burned my toast!

Mandy and Paul picked us up around 10.30am and we drove up to Gnor and Bill's lovely home north of Perth where we were warmly welcomed and met BJ and Derek. After a chat and a cuppa lunch was served at the huge square table. Gnor placed 4 bowls of hot water on the table and stacks of rice papers. Then she brought out dish upon dish of salad ingredients, cooked rice noodles, tuna, chopped omelette, 2 different chicken dishes and satay pork. We took a rice paper wrapper and dipped it in the hot water briefly then lay it on our plates. Then the real fun began...we placed noodles, a variety of vegies and meats and sauce/pickles then rolled it up with varying degrees of success lol It was such good  and sociable fun and so very, very tasty.
Cold Vietnamese rolls

After eating far too many we wandered outside to see the gardens. Gnor and her family have 6 rescued battery hens who were happy to see what she'd brought them to eat, there were mandarins and lemons growing, ripe olives galore and a great variety of herbs. Armed with pillowcases we 'girls' picked around 6-7 kilos of black olives for Mandy and I to bring home and Gnor gave me a large bag full of fresh, organic basil too.
Next on the agenda was soap-making and Bill lit the BBQ so that we could work outdoors as the caustic soda and water gives off very strong fumes. Gnor had gathered everything together and read and re-read the instructions so I just talked her through the process described by Rhonda here.

Have you ever heard of LARP, Live Action Role Playing? Well Bill and Gnor and their teenage sons are heavily involved in this and make all their own costumes too. In fact Bill has built a forge in the shed and makes their own armour, chain mail, swords, helmets etc with great skill and attention to detail, it was really fascinating to find Saxon, Roman and 17thC (replica)helmets in a Perth garage. In another twist of fate we met Gnor through our friend, Lara, but Gnor and Bill already knew Paul's son as he is also in their LARP group!
Joe and Paul thoroughly enjoyed Bill's company as they discussed chemistry and had a demo of flash powder burning!

We didn't get home until after 5pm but I quickly made some pesto(basil paste) while the basil was still very fresh and then it was time to tackle the olives. I used this traditional method and Joe and I stood stabbing olives with a fork before dropping them into the brine...they made our hands very black. Gnor had preserved lots by simply mixing them with salt, the ones we had were 3 yrs old and sooo tasty but probably too salty for good health. That method is the Greek dried black olive described in the link.

I didn't take a single photo all day as I was too busy really enjoying myself!

This morning my world is covered in fog and hopefully the contractors will be back to finish the fence, they had to wait for the cement to set overnight. I just burned my toast again ;)

Thirty years ago my beautiful daughter, Elizabeth was born and although her family don't celebrate birthdays we are sending them much love. Our grandson, Cody, becomes a teenager today too...13 trips around the planet as they describe it!

So bye bye for now
Love from Sue

Not sure where this sweet photo was taken, I found it facebook and I can't leave without adding a pic to this post lol xxx


  1. Sounds like a wonderful day. Those rolls sound yummy and great fun.

  2. Sue that sounds a fabulous day. It must be the season for making pesto and pickling olives. I am up to my second batch of kalamata and all is going well, i will email you some photos to compare. My recipe is quiet different my fifth attempt at olives and a new recipe each time as i searched for one that worked.
    We are also doing lemon butter at the moment as the lemon tree is producing fruit again.
    XX Herford

  3. Sounds like a great day and I love the pic.

  4. I never had Vietnamese rolls like the one you are describing. It sounds so marvelous. I love to eat and love just about all types of food. Your day sounds like was a lovely one. We still have more snow here today. The calendar says it's Spring however all we have is Winter weather. Have a great day Sue and wishing a marvelous birthday to your daughter.

  5. What a GREAT day! What I would have given to be there...

  6. I LOVE cold Vietnamese rolls... hmmm now you have me craving them. Must love and happiness to the two birthday people in your world