Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Blast Off!

Stay tuned for updates!!!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Thai Potato Soup....Yum For Winter

With the Winter cold now upon us, this soup is probably my very favourite of all. I got the recipe from somewhere unknown, wrote it on a scrap envelope and keep digging it out every winter. And it's delicious! I haven't tried making it in the slow cooker yet...that is on the 'to do' list....although I can guarantee you that it is worth every minute of making it the conventional way. My greatest piece of advice though is buy fresh coriander. It just isn't the same with the packaged stuff!


1/2 bunch fresh coriander

1 teaspoon crushed garlic

1 teaspoon crushed ginger

grated rind and juice of 1 small lemon

1/2 teaspoon Thai green curry paste

500 ml chicken stock

425 ml lite coconut milk

1 tablespoon soy sauce

1 tablespoon sweet chilli sauce

1 teaspoon sugar
3 cups peeled and chopped potatoes

Chopped roasted peanuts or almonds to serve

1. Chop roots and stems of coriander and reserve leaves for later. Place in a large saucepan with garlic, Ginger, lemon rind and curry paste. Cook over a low heat until mix is soft and fragrant.

2. Stir in lemon juice stock, coconut milk, sauces ans sugar. Add potato. Bring to boil. Reduce heat. Simmer for 30 minutes or until potatoes are tender.

3. Remove from heat. Puree in blender.

4. Return to heat. Serve with coriander leaves and nuts.

(BTW, for all of you WWs out there....1 serve = 6 points!)

Friday, June 11, 2010

Looking For MORRISON Family in the USA!

A few years before my maternal grandmother died, I sat her down and asked her a few questions about her mysterious family. Mysterious, I call them because we knew so little. My grandmother grew up in an orphanage from the time after her mother died. She had sporadic visits from her father until he died but she really knew very little of her extended family.

The few details that my grandmother did know were sketchy, to say the least. She knew that her father had siblings back in Ireland, although how many was an uncertainty. She thought that he had a sister who went to America.

Back in those days there was no such thing as Internet research. I was a member of a family history library. Research was painstakingly slow. We looked up books and microfiche and we sent letters out. These days, with a touch of a button, your query about a long lost relative is already on the other side of the world.

My grandmother died a couple of years later. I was able to find out some information for her, including where her parents were buried. But her father's family were still an unknown factor.

Now, thanks to a third cousin about fifty times removed who lives in Ireland and was able to give me a few snippets of information, I think I've finally found my American connection!

This mystery relative was able to give me a married name! From that, I used my membership to scout more information. I've now discovered that my great grand aunt immigrated to Chicopee Falls, Massachusetts, USA in 1914! She and her husband had two daughters who grew up as American citizens. From looking at phone book records, I've been able to work out that my grandmother's aunt was still alive right up to at least 1965 and probably beyond.

It's so sad to think that my dear little old grandmother whose own relatives were so scarce, had a whole group of family living in America. If only she had known where they were. She would have been so excited!

I am stuck in my research though. Public records seem to fade out as they get closer to current times. For that reason, I'm asking anyone who stumbles across this blog who happens to be from Chicopee Falls, Massachusetts, to think back. I am searching for a Jane and Elizabeth MORRISON who were both born around 1910 and who were my grandmother's cousins. I have no idea of their married names and I am guessing that they are no longer living, but they may have descendants who are! Feel free to let me know!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Does She Sparkle Though???

Miss Ten has always had pretty amazing eyes. From the time she was about 13 months old, their colour changed to this really unusual light amber brown colour (difficult to catch the real colour by camera but you get the picture!)

Little did we know, when admiring the unusualness of her eyes, that a few years down the track that particular colour of eye would become quite famous in their own right, thanks to a certain popular book!

Miss Ten did discover this recently though. She came home, rather amused, to tell me that some Year 7 children were near her at the tuckshop when one stopped, looked into her eyes and said...."Wow! You have amber eyes!". This was followed by shrieks of delight and admiration from the Year 7 person's nearby friends who squealed, "Vampire eyes!!!! You've got vampire eyes!!!"

Apparently, eyes the same colour as Edward Cullen's (on a good feed day) is the 'IN' thing for tween girls!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Three Weeks And Counting!

Time is flying by. One minute I'm downing Easter Eggs (slowly this year, obviously!) and the next, I'm counting down three.....yes three!!!.....weeks until we hop on that big silver metal bird into the sky!

I can't say that the late stages of planning have been hiccup free though. Last week we received an email from the people we had rented London accommodation basically said, "Sorry, the flat is no longer available!" Ok, so the owner died (how rude and inconsiderate of him to do so prior to our departure!) but it did leave us in a terrible position. For about 4 days we went into panic mode, emailing every London accommodation rental that we could think of. Not to mention the worry of getting our deposit returned. Luckily, persistence paid off. We did find what was probably the very last accommodation available in London for that period of time (minus a day but a sleep over in a hotel room will probably do us good!). And who knew that we were landing in London in Wimbledon week??? Not me! Apparently there are usually no rooms left at the inn during this week so to find somewhere that accommodates the four of us and within the inner city area was pure luck!

And yes, we did get our deposit back on the original place. It warmed my heart to think that there are still honest people out there in the world....even if they don't have London accommodation anymore!

Finally, I am deciding on what places to pre-buy tickets for. I've been told that the Eiffel Tower is a must. Where else though? The Vatican? Louvre?

I'm sure that as the next few weeks go by, there will be a million things that I'll have to do. In the meantime, I'm hanging on to this roller coaster ride and looking forward to the thrill!