So Beau and I didn't want to transfer any more money over from NZ, but due to our weekend being a bit more expensive than originally estimated, Beau still *not* having been paid and Beau needing a certain amount of money to pay for bus tickets to get to work (in Galway *again*) we had to withdraw NZ cash today. Beau is *quite* annoyed. It is quite normal in Ireland to get paid monthly and Beau is *supposed* to be paid with a month after recieving an invoice for work he has done, however it have been 7 weeks already!
Anywho, basically we didn't have time and were thinking we'd try and avoid spending money until Thursday (*I* get paid every Wednesday night), so I had a think about what we had in the Pantry and what I could make and I came up with Impossible Pie, aka Crustless Quiche and a bunch of other names. If you google Impossible Pie you will get both sweet (like a baked custard) and savoury versions and I like them both.
1/2 c cream (I was using left overs remember!)
1 c milk (can substitute for all milk)
1/2 c self raising flour (other versions may use plain flour or baking mix)
8 mushrooms (diced)
1 tomato (diced)
3 handfuls of baby spinach (torn up into smaller pieces)
1 small onion (diced)
1/2 c grated cheese
Salt and pepper to taste
You can really use whatever veges you have, although I'd always use and onion. If we hadn't had the spinach, I would have put in some frozen veg. Also, we had no meat (anything pre-cooked would be good) so this particular version is vegetarian.
We don't have a pie dish, just a casserole one and it was steep sided enough that I could mix everything in it and *then* bake it, just using one dish. Of course this also meant my dish wasn't greased so the "pie" stuck somewhat. I'm going to write what I mean to do *next* time.
1) In a bowl mix/beat your eggs, cream and milk together. Then mix in the flour, salt and pepper (I put in a good teaspoonful of each I'd say)
2) Pour the egg mixture into a greased pie/quiche tin (although I used a large oval casserole dish and it was fine)
3) Scatter your veges into the dish so that they are spread throughout, use a spoon to press them slightly to ensure that they are all covered by the egg mixture.
4) Sprinkle with cheese.
5) Bake at about 150 degrees C for about 50 min (keep an eye on it!). The mixture will rise in this time and the cheese on top should brown.
When you take it out, you will see that it does sink slightly. You should have a nice quiche-type pie with a soft pastry base (the flour sinks or something) and a cheesey topping.
This is *not* turning into a food blog, although I've been reading some awesome ones while whiling away hours at work.
Last night I thought I'd get to rest at home after work, but it turned out that Beau had inadvertently made visiting plans for us and we stayed out until 11pm! Entirely our own fault, but we had a good time. Anyhoo, I've decided not to go to choir tonight. I need a quiet night in (have much email to catch up on, stupid no internet email at work!) and tomorrow we have swing, Thurs I have at least one person over for dinner (have planned menu, will post on Thurs). Friday is currently plan-less, but it's too long to wait!
I feel a bit sorry for Beau, he's going to be tired this week. He's working over-night tonight in Galway (currently in transit), will get back tomorrow in time for a short sleep and then swing dancing. Then he's back to Galway to work Thurs, Fri, Sat and Sun. We also suspect they'll ask him to work over-night on Sun. They have before.
I'm going to miss him on the weekend. I'll be going to a friend of Mytholder's party. People are going to start thinking I've made Beau up!
This morning Beau and I both got texts from his Mum asking if we were awake. I got mine a bit before I had to get up and he got his earlier. It made me worried that something was wrong at home, so I got up, texted her back, woke Beau and turned on the comp for some Skype action.
Nothing bad had happend. A couple of siblings had descended with entourages and MiL wanted to show us webcam of my nephew (14 months) walking. He was very good at it too. It was a really nice thing to wake up for, I only wish I'd had more time (one of us needs a paying job). Also found out that one of the BiLs has got a job working for the Greens! Very excited for him as I know it is something meaningful for him to do.
Good news is good.
Point of Fashion: pretty paua
Current Obsession: communication
Ozgirl organised a weekend road-trip for us as she is soon to be leaving Ireland and heading back to OZ via Scandinavia.
It was pretty great although there was a lot of driving on windy roads involved. I personally felt that the scenery was very similar to NZ (grass, sheep, cows, ocean etc). Beau disagreed (ruins, stone walls everywhere, old small towns in bright colours, donkeys etc).
I was very happy to see lots of trees :) Having mostly been in large towns/cities and on major roads we hadn't seen any *forests* but this weekend we got to visit national parks and it was great to have gorgeous trees everywhere. The weird thing is that a lot of trees/foliage are similar to that found in NZ, because of course, the settlers brought it with them eg violets, flowering cherries, magnolias, beech trees, pine trees, just *more*. Not only that though, there are also *lots* of cabbage trees in Co Cork and Kerry! There is also quite a lot of flax too.
Other things to note:
There are more ruins on the Dingle Peninsula than you can shake a stick at. I know, we tried. There just aren't *that* many sticks available.
Beau and I are still not used to taking holiday pics. We forgot to pack the camera!
If you are charging tourists to visit a ruin on your land, have a handy cute animal to greet them (donkeys or sheep dogs are A-OK).
Killarney is the Hen's Party Capital of southern Ireland. Seriously, we saw over 5 groups while we were out having dinner. The only thing that outnumbers "hens" in Killarney on the weekend is american tourists.
Porridge made with cream and Baileys is yum.
It may be hard to believe, but NZ country roads are wider and therefore IMHO better than Irish roads. I mean, at least our country roads actually *are* 2 lanes. I have driven to Cape Reinga in a van and I have driven to the Dursey Island cable car in a *small* car. Cape Reinga was less scary. One lane uncovered roads with stone walls on each side do not a confident Giffy make.
Point of Fashion: pushing the boundary of corporate clothing
Current Obsession: money
Yeah, apparently Friday is phones are quiet day.
Dinner last night was fab. Was great introducing people to the joys of "squeaky cheese" :) I am already planning for next week's dinner.
Beau made hot chocolates again. We *really* need little tea cups to serve them in though. Maybe I'll have time next weekend to go hunting for some. Shops are not open when I get back into town from work and I work next to a Uni in the burbs (so close to cheap cafe food) but no close shopping shops.
Today is rainy, so I was extra speedy walking getting to the bus stop and was a little bit early to work. It will mean that the bus will be packed and traffic slow going back though. Bleurgh.
Today I have continued reading Darkside which is fun, but not super-awesome.
I also followed a path of links starting with the LJ main page and have been exploring Lunch in a Box. This is an *awesome* food blog all about making packed lunch boxes/bento. It has heaps of really useful tips on making it *quick* and *easy* as well as recipes for all sorts of foods, with instructions and pictures. I'm reading and absorbing lots. I don't think I'll be packing lunches for a while (i'm enjoying the walk to the uni) but I'm loving the blog.
My fav thing so far is squishing boiled eggs into shapes. So strange and cute!
Point of fashion:NZ paua
Current obsession: non-egg-shaped-eggs
Tonight we continue the new tradition of having Mytholder over for dinner on a Thursday. This "tradition" may actually end tomorrow as Mytholder is going overseas, but hopefully we'll continue to have people over for dinner once a week anyway. It's good fun!
Coming with Mytholder tonight are Fotaboy and Neid. Neid is a vegetarian, so I've prepared a vegetarian menu. Having a job means that I don't have much time before dinner is to be served (7.00 tonight as Neid had a previous engagement later in the evening). This meant that I did some of the prep yesterday.
In Ireland they call capsicums peppers, but whatever. Anyhoo, I got the basis for this recipe from a cooking class I attended during the Cork Lifelong Learning festival. They showed us garlic stuffed mushrooms, but since we are having mushrooms in the main course, I decided capsicums would work instead.
The stuffing is a mixture of butter, breadcrumbs, mixed nuts, garlic and salt/pepper/herbs. I cut each capsicum in half vertically and then spooned the stuffing into each one. I'll also be sprinkling some grated parmesan onto them once I've grilled them in the oven.
I'm making Jarratt's Haloumi cheese pasta. Jarratt totally introduced me to the joy of haloumi cheese and I enjoy introducing others. Normally when I have it, I have it in a salad (similar to the pasta dish but no pasta or cream!), but as this is a main and some people aren't happy having salad as a main I shall instead be attempting Jarratt's recipe.
Last night I made Anna's brownie recipe. Anna is a food and nutrition teacher and knows her stuff.
I made the recipe with no nuts and with bailey's instead of vanilla essence (I don't have vanilla essence yet!) and baked it in a medium sized roasting dish. We have a fan-force oven and I took it out after 30 min. It made the house smell *really* good. Because I made it just before bedtime last night, I left it to cool overnight in the pan. It came out easily this morning and I managed to cut it into 20 good sized pieces.
If I made it again, I think I'd take it out maybe 2 min earlier so that the inside is a bit more gooey, I just like it like that.
I had to really fight not to have brownie for breakfast this morning!
I can't be bothered with anymore shopping and I think it will be delicious as is, but if the guests ask if they can bring anything, I'd ask for vanilla ice-cream and strawberries to go with the brownie.
Gosh I'm hungry, I need to stop blogging about food before I've had lunch!
Beau and I are both enjoying this little online game. It involves cute and simple animated bugs and you encircling them!
Point of fashion: work-like
Current Obsession: entertaining
Here are some of the new words that I have learned in my time in Ireland. Excuse the spelling.
This is a very corkian insult. Can be used in place of idiot, dick, git, bastard etc
"He's such a langer!"
This means cute or sweet.
"That shirt is so dotey"
This refers to someone who is not a local, ie someone who has just "blown in" from out of town.
"My parents have lived here for 30 years and they are still blow-ins"
Beau and I are Super Blow-ins
Point of Fashion: Work-like
Current Obsession: Winter Bells game
Okay, I've started work. I'm on reception and it is pretty quiet. Almost no-one comes in. My main job is using the switchboard and I *know* I made some mistakes this morning.
I had training on Friday afternoon, but only 2 people called and neither of them were actually put through to anyone. Yikes!
My online email addresses and facebook are blocked here, but as you can see, LJ is not. I apologise if I spend an inordinate amount of time blogging over the next few months!
Today I am being quite heavily babysat by the various other admin ladies (PAs etc), but I think I'm doing well enough that I'll be left to my own devices shortly.
Here is a list of some of the things I have thought of to fill in my time:
1) Blogging (and reading blogs)
2) Writing stuff for my 50s Housewife club (I'll do an email soon!!)
3) Mending (today I am re-attaching a button to my coat)
4) Surfing the internet, I hope to find a non-blocked site of online games. Haven't actually tried to yet.
5) Writing real mail. I received 2 letters last week and must reply. Also have a few people on my post-card list who haven't recieved postcards yet.
6) Tensing my stomach muscles when I remember to. I want abs of muscle if not steel :)
Any other ideas?
Point of Fashion: Awesome new top of cuteness. Must try to remember to take a photo tonight!
Current Obsession: Timewasting
Beau and I are finally settling down in the routine beginning way.
Our week-nights are now becoming full of activities.
I (and if Beau is ever in town and not working) sing with a local community choir. I was introduced to it by OZgirl who is *really* into choirs. Cork has many choirs and the national choral fest will be here in two weekends. OZgirl is volunteering so she's giving us free tickets to choir of choice. She recommends Musica Intima, a canadian choir.
Beau and I have signed up for Swing dancing classes. There is a bit of a swing and salsa community and they have several socials a month where you get dressed up and dance. I've already been to 2 and they've been heaps of fun. I can't wait until we're better so we can do some of the fancier steps we've seen.
Last night I was out at a charity burlesque event organised by one of the girls in class. People got seriously dolled up, our teacher gave a bit of a lesson at the venue so that even if you had never done swing you could still get out there and fake it ;) The event was hosted by a couple of fabulous drag queens and there were also 2 beautiful burlesque performers who each did a strip show (they both were wearing pasties, it's was very tasteful and gorgeous). Beau couldn't go as he was in Galway, which kinda sucks. Money good, timing and location, not so much. I went with Mytholder and Ozgirl and saw a bunch of people from class and danced with them. Turned out that a few of Mytholder's friends were also out and near by so we met up and chatted with them too. I also talked to the organiser and she's keen to do it again and maybe get a pole etc, she wants to see what I can do. It'd be so much fun to perform! I also talked heaps with one of the burlesque dancers and I'm pretty sure I'm making a new friend there ;)
Anyhoo back to Swing. I love the music and the fashion style of Swing. It's jazz and big band and so much fun. I'm really pleased to know that Jenni and Lee are going to classes back in Kiwiland. Hopefully this means we'll have people to dance with when we get back.
We've started a tradition of Mytholder dinner nights on Thurs, although I suspect it might change simply to "entertaining night Thursday" as Mytholder will soon be in Japan for a few weeks and unable to attend. We've had 3 so far and have 2 more lined up. Mytholder (and sometimes other people) come over for a home-cooked meal. It's been heaps of fun and I'm really enjoying working on my cooking/entertaining. I think that is the craft I shall be working on this year. Last year I was more about the sewing (full-length lined coat, baby dresses with hats etc) It's all good stuff for the 50s housewife club too. I *will* hopefully be emailing people about that in the next week. Lots to update on.
I have a job now. I was quite busy with temping last week and ended up working on 4 days (three at a certain tea factory that is world famous in Ireland. I may have to send some samples to tea lovers in NZ). I got calls from 2 other temping agencies that week too. Work apparently comes in floods here.
My original temping agency has also locked me into a 3 month jobbie with a government agency. I'm to be on reception, but it isn't very busy. I'm allowed to read/play online/write on the computer. The last person they had was studying part-time and did all her assignments at work. I don't know how I'll fill up the days. I know that they block gmail, I'm not sure what else they might block. I'll have to be careful that I don't put on weight just sitting there!
Beau has also been very busy with work, but he keeps getting work on the weekends. This may become more of an issue now that I will be working weekdays. However, it's only 3 months and we'll see how we go afterwards. I've made it his job to organise our holidays. I figure we'll take at least a week off after my 3 months work. He's also really keen to do a weekend away overseas, but I'm unsure how that is going to fit around my work. Next weekend we have plans to hire a car with Ozgirl and a friend of hers and explore West Cork a bit. It was originally supposed to happen this weekend, but didn't for a variety of reasons. Instead I went shopping for work shirts and shoes yesterday with Neid ,went boardgaming with Mytholder and friends, went to Red Room Romp and danced and talked my little heart out. Today, I am currently making chicken broth/stock using the carcasse from the roast I cooked on Thursday. I also need to do grocery shopping and have plans to play Supermario Galaxy at Mytholder's later.
So, things are starting to Busy up and I'm already looking forward to our holiday in July :)
Point of Fashion: Pajamas
Current Obsession: Swing
That was my cunning plan for this week and it actually kinda worked and then so did I!
This week has been the Cork Lifelong Learning Festival, which meant there has been a bunch of free activities on in town.
Beau was working in Galway and returned Wed afternoon, but luckily hostelgirl was free and also wanting to do free stuff.
Monday: caught bus to pool, totally missed the chance to go swimming as bus took so long, so instead checked out the gym and spent over half an hour going between the steam room (hot wet) and the sauna (hot dry). Had a leisurely walk back into town, visiting mytholder on the way. Had lunch and got changed for an interview with a recruitment company. Went well, but they said they didn't actually get much call for temp work. Will consider me if they do. Pootled around, got eyebrows done, made dinner, drank leftover wine, spent too much time on the internet, slept well.
Tuesday: hostelgirl came over for brunch, caught bus to Fota, got into the wildlife park for free thanks to mytholder's flatmate, Fotalad. Wandered around there taking many photos of animals. Giraffes are funny, esp when they run! Watched some cheetahs chase a rabbit. Was great! Then went and walked in the grounds of Fota house. Took too many photos of magnolias and daffodils. Will have to sort through these soon. *sigh* Walked back to gate to wait for bus. Waited for over 40 min before we decided that it must have switched to trains. Which were at least 1km away and we weren't sure how to get there. Luckily managed to get a ride home after several texts to Neid (Fotalad's other half).
I rushed to make and eat dinner (bacon and vege in white sauce on nice bread) before walking with hostelgirl to a choir practice. Got home about 10.30pm Must have walked a good 9km that day.
Wednesday: Is hostelgirl's birthday. We walked up hill to pool and manage to go swimming. Walked back down again in time to attend a cooking demonstration and convince random guy to come to her house for soup/dinner! On way out of class I find an cellphone on the ground of the carpark. I do my good deed of the... while, and call a number on the phone, tell the person at the other end who has caller ID that I leaving phone at the Garda's and do so. Off for some grocery shopping and then I get back home and manage to awaken Beau, who has returned from earning money in Galway. Then dinner at hostelgirl's and we head off for a free class in Swing and then some salsa at a night club.
I also managed to send my CV off to Fota, only to be told that they had done their seasonal hiring the week before! D'oh! Oh well, they said if anything comes up will keep me in mind.
Thurs: Beau is very tired from working and then activities. Does not want to do *anything*. I did have plans for free salsa, but instead we laze around, talk to Australians on skype for over an hour, do some grocery shopping and have mytholder over for dinner. Was fajitas. Apparently I am fond of people making their own food. I also made strawberries in balsamic vinegar with marscarpone for dessert (had to use up the rest of the marscarpone I'd bought for icing). Cheers to exiledinpn for the recipe!
Fri: Was lazing around planning nothing more exciting than watching Season 2 Bones (I *love* it!) when the phone rings. Recruitment agency has work for me. Can I be there in an hour?
It was funny because I ended up hanging out at reception of the children's ward at a local hospital. Beau is currently working in that ward as I type. It was very quiet, and I felt bad for them paying me to mostly just sit there. I wish I could have done more, but I didn't have a log in, or any training. Mostly I just opened and shut the door (it was automatically locked and had to be done from the desk) and gossiped with the nurses (who also didn't have much to do, it was a quiet afternoon). The job will probably be a one off, but we'll see, hopefully now I've successfully completed a temp assignment, they'll put me forward for more.
Beau made dinner, a lovely spag bol (which I shall shortly have for breakfast). Then we rushed off for a free salsa class, which seems to have been incorrectly entered in the programme, cause the venue had a bunch of other wannabe students outside but no teachers arrived. Ah well. We headed home for quiet night in, but were distracted by shopping and managed to buy some clothes for Beau. Yes! Also bought Advocat, lime and lemonade, so that I could have "snowballs". Yummy cocktail and two episodes of bones later and it was bedtime.
So, busy week and got some work too. I've also been working on my fifties housewife club thing. It started as a joke last year, but it keeps resounding with people that I mention it to. It looks like there will definitely be a website. If you are intrigued, comment or email me and I'll tell you about it ;)
Point of fashion: comfort, I need more clothes!
Current Obsession: working
Yay, we had our house warming yesterday and it was good. There was a surprisingly large number of people there, 17 all up (I know because everyone had cake except for one person who did not want it and there were 16 pieces) which is plenty for our little flat.
Big ups to mytholder who ensured that our flatwarming in Ireland actually had some irish attendees by bringing himself, his flatmates and 2 other friends, one of whom is a *girl* and managed to recommend somewhere for me to get my eyebrows done. Yay!!!
We also had a kiwi-doctor, her partner, who, like me has no job. He got the low-down on my awesome icing and may be baking in the near future. They also brought 2 french architects they met while hostelling. Lovely!
The french actually had heaps to talk about as 3 of the 4 people our flatmate invited were also architects?! Coincident-y.
I baked a lovely cake with gorgeous icing. Mmm-mm. I could just eat the icing. It was made with marscarpone and had a dash of baileys in it too. Big ups to my buddy Cookie, for giving me the cake recipe and the ancestor to the icing recipe.
Also had an Aussie we hostelled with come. She's the same one I went shopping with the other day. Shall call her Choirgirl as she into that and hoping to get me into it too. I shall go to a rehearsal on Tuesday :)
It was good times. We bought a bottle of 42below to share with people and it was all gone by the end of the night. We went to be about 3. Voltron was still up and chatting with 2 of his guests then. He'd been amazing with prep, he made us delicious lunch and then also cooked a huge lasagne and chicken-rice salad to share. He also bought a bottle of whisky (or is it whiskey here, I forget). Those polish know how to party.
I just had a great time.
Also, I'm going to Fota on Tuesday for free! Mytholders flatmate works there and said he can get me in. They might also have some seasonal (summer) work going. Probably mindless and minimum wage but some work is better than none and it'd be so different from anything else I ever do as would be all outside! (they need drivers for the tour vans that circle around the park:) they may also need people in the "education" area which I might be able to get in on. Even if it doesn't work out, visiting the park and handing my CV in is something to do, right?
Point of fashion: bedclothes
Current Obsession: celebrating the 50s housewife in you!
So, Beau and I talked last night after work and decided that I shouldn't go for this job. We want to travel more than it will really let me. Gyah! I feel insecure without work. I go email my CV to a different recruitment company now and see if I can do some testing there.
Wait. I don't have a desk!
Point of Fashion: All dressed up with nowhere to go
Current obsession: $$$
So, Beau and I are now ensconced in our new Apt. We have a lovely Polish flatmate who's name we are still getting wrong. AH well. I shall refer to him as Voltron, it's pretty close ;)
Recently we have been focused on the moving in. Our place, like the majority of rental properties in Ireland, came furnished. This is awesome, it meant we didn't have to buy a bed! Also, the people who just moved out (Voltron's Bro and SiL) left us a bedside 3-drawer jobby, a lamp and a duvet and pillows! Awesome! We still did have to buy some stuff. Like sheets and towels.
Also been buying food stuff and doing cooking in a kitchen that is not a hostel kitchen. Yay! Yesterday I cooked
Shepherd'sCottage pie (I made too much for the container and had to make some mini-pies, awesome), Peach, Bread and Butter pudding (like regular bread and butter pudding, but in stead of putting raisins, sugar and lemon zest in between every layer you add some tinned peaches. Was sooo good. Beau liked it quite a lot and he doesn't even like bread and butter pudding!).
Today I made Tamagoyaki (japanese omelet, I used 3eggs, 3t sugar, 1t salt, a dash of dark soy sauche) and teriyaki chicken (marinade was 1Tmirin, 1Tsoy sauce, 1/2T rice wine, 1/2 T sugar with some freshly grated pepper), sushi rice then I cut up nori sheets, smoked salmon, surimi, avocado, red capsicum and cucumber and Beau, Voltron, Mytholder and I had roll-your-own-sushi. Ended up with not enough nori (was using a partly used pack) and too much rice, which was still fine. Everyone was happy and full.
Asian food isn't big here. There is only 1 Japanese restaurant (possibly closed) and one stall in the market will make sushi on request. There are not many chinese restaurants and there is no Yum-cha. The only Irish person I've met who knew what it was had eaten it in Canada, and lamented that it did not exist here. There are a few indian/curry places, many kebab shops and at least 3 thai restaurants in town though. I didn't realise how awesome NZ was with the asian food, but it makes sense as we have much higher asian population and are much closer to Asia.
Basically this meant that my roll-your-own-sushi was the best sushi they'd had. Or so they told me (well Voltron said it was very nice and Mytholder said it was best ever after prompting). I will *so* organise it again. I will also sort out doing some thai cooking. Must ask Dad to ask Mum for recipes for me. Plus, I can't exactly go to Mum's shop and get it free here. Ahh, well. Is good for me to learn more cooking.
Mytholder also came over and had leftovers for lunch with us. It's nice having a friend. We are willing to bargain for friendship with food. Mytholder said one of his flatmates will be susceptible to offers of home cooked food. I may be able to get to go to Fota for free!
Also went shopping with a girl I met at Hostel. However, she is not used to shopping with others and I wanted to go underwear shopping. You need a certain type of friend to go underwear shopping with. Mainly, someone who gets as excited about cute underwear as you do. She said she liked the stuff, but none of it was in her size and so she didn't really get into it. It made me miss my girly friends so much! I even told Mytholder (he was a prearranged friend, thanks morgue!) and he said he will see what he can do.
Anyhoo, I've made a silly girly album on facebook. It has cute food, sylvanians and my underwear purchases on it. I just *know* you're dying to see it, well, some of you anyway ;)
Point of Fashion: Stripy Pjs
Current Obsession: desire for comments and I have a job interview tomorrow!!!