Inspirations, art, beauty, thoughts, colour, things that I like.... things that I love...

Monday, September 24, 2012

Making eggplant lasagna

We made eggplant lasagna from scratch the other day.
It turned out to be rather yummy.

1) We made some home made pastry sheets, using the pasta recipie of 100grams of flour to one egg. Here we used wholemeal flour. We let the dough rest in the fridge then when everything was nearly ready we put the dough through the pasta machine.

2) We fried some eggplants. I cut thin thinly and fried them in olive oil until they were golden brown.

Then we began to layer the ingredients in a dish.
We added the pastry sheets, then the cooked eggplants, some tomato sauce we cooked and spinach with garlic blizzed up. we kept adding layers with white sauce, tomato sauce, and cheese. We were able to make two big batches and freeze the second batch for another time.
Very yummy comfort food

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Going to the hospital in a Patagonian town

Today was a glorious spring day.
Spring officially starts on the 21st of September here in Argentina and the last two days were quite warm even though it gets very chilly at 6pm. It was a pleasant 16 degrees today. But it feels like 24 degrees. A lovely spring day.
Even though it is pretty nice outside, we are feeling a little under the weather and had to take Joaquin to the hospital last night after a high fever and a croup cough. Normally I would not take him straight to the hospital but we did not have any panadol and he was a bit delirious with a temperature about 39.5 Celsius which is high but normal for Joaquin. I should have taken him the the doctors during the day when his fever was a bit high and should have bought some panadol from the pharmacy but I left it too late.

When Joaquin gets sick, it is usually a high temperature and it is usually on the weekend, when there are no doctors around, especially when we were living in Randwick and the Children's hospital was 5 minutes away.
Luckily Joaquin has not been sick since March this year, but in Dec 2011, Jan 2012, Feb 2012 and March 2012 he came down with high temperatures. So he has been very well considering everyone around him has been sick. His cousins, his friends, his grandparents and I am sure there were potential germs all through our travels on trains, and buses and planes.
Now he is sick again and I think he may have caught something in his new preschool, he started onMonday and the teacher told me on Monday that half the class were sick with something.
So last night, I woke up my parents at 12am, I told them to come with me to buy some panadol. Luckly in Argentina, in any town there is a "Farmacia de turno", which is one that opens on certain days, and the pharmacys take turn to open on weekend nights etc. My dad looked it up online and there is a calendar with the days that pharmacies are open at night. They drove to get the panadol and then drove past the hospital to ask if we should bring Joaquin in. The nurse told my mum, it was best as he had been travelling and there was a doctor available to see him.

So i woke Joaquin up and we got in the car and headed to the hospital. It was not too cold but we were all still rugged up.
In the hospital they saw us after about 30 min, it was 1am and there was another family with a young child waiting. In the end the doctor looked over him-his throat, his chest, the nurse took his temp. 38.8 under his arm, and the doctor told me had laryngitis and to take some corticoids. He then gave me a little bottle of medicine, and the nurse took it from me, put 26 drops in  a syringe and gave it to him in his mouth. I gave the nurse the nuerofen and she then also proceeded to add it to a syringe and give it to him.  She estimated he weighed 26kg (which i think is a bit much, as he is probably 23kg). This all happened in a matter of minutes. She was quite straightforward and tried to talk to me as if i did not know spanish or understand her. I told her that while he was at home I did not have panadol and i had tried to get his fever down by putting a cold towel on his head. She then told the doctor in a patronising kind of way, or even in a unbelievable kind of way"See what methods they are using?" As if we (IN A FIRST WORLD COUNTRY LIKE AUSTRALIA) are using an old method. Then when I then asked the doctor, "Do i keep giving him Corticoids if his cough gets better?" the nurse butted in and said  "You are one of those mothers that does not like giving too many drugs to their children" I responded "Yes i don't like to unnecessarily".

In the end I felt a bit guilty, I think I was a bit rude to the nurse, telling her that of course I understand everything she was saying. She had asked me where I was born and when did I leave Argentina. I was born in Buenos Aires, and yes sure I left Argentina when I was 4 years of age, but I did get my PhD in Argentina in the UBA (Universidad de Buenos Aires) so I am capacitated somewhat. I also felt bad as they gave me free medicine (2 small bottles of corticoids) and did not charge me at all for the consultation or the drugs.  I feel bad as I hope I did not take medicine that would be useful for someone else who has less than me.
So that was our eventful adventure in a hospital in a Patagonian town.

Friday, September 21, 2012

home made quinoa granola

I made some granola the other day and it is delicious. I made it with oats, quinoa,chia seeds, cinnamon, pistachios, almonds, honey, sultans.
I followed this recipe.
I added a little oil and a little honey.
We bought the ingredients from a shop which sells everything loose in big bags and you ask for how much you want.. say 100g and then pay for it. The almonds were so fresh and the pistachios too. It is important to have fresh ingredients.

This granola does not make large chunks of clusters. It is very crunchy. I add a little bit of yoghurt to it with breakfast.

1 cup raw/uncooked quinoa (red/white)
1 cup finely shredded coconut (unsweetened)
1 and 1/2 cups rolled oats (larger flakes, the better)
2 Tablespoons chia seeds
1 Tablespoon cinnamon
3 Tablespoon Honey
1/4 cup sunflower seeds (raw)
1/2 cup almonds (raw, chopped)
1/4 cup pistachios (raw, chopped)
1/4 cup raisins
1/4 cup dried cranberries or any dried fruit

Preheat oven to 300F / 150C.
Mix quinoa, coconut, oats, flax meal, cinnamon and chia seeds together.
Add honey, mixing well with a wooden spoon or spatula. Add chopped nuts and mix to evenly distribute the mixture.
Spread out the mixture onto a cookie sheet (with a lip) lined with parchment/cooking paper.
Cook for 30-45 minutes. Make sure it is not too hot as it can burn quickly. Keep an eye on your mixture in the oven every 10 min to make sure it does not burn.You may not need the entire 45 minutes.
Let the quinoa cool for 10 minutes, then add in dried fruit and toss to coat evenly. Let cool completely, and you can store it in a glass jar or plastic container/bag in the cupboard.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

photos of the cabin Esquel Patagonia

Here are some photos panoramic ones using the new iphone operating system.
Here is the outside of the cabin and inside of the cabin

The cabin has one bedroom and one living/dining room and a large bathroom and small kitchen.
It has a fireplace and heaters. The kids sleep in the little enclave that is also the living room.
It is small and cozy.

We are in the middle of renovating the main house where we will live. My parents have done most of the renovation, there is still some things to do.
I am so inpatient and want to move in there now, pronto....last week! Oh well not all is possible. Especially here in Patagonia, everything runs at snails pace.

For those who are interested though, we still have to:
-Fix some holes in the walls where the old heaters outlets where placed, add cement and paint
-Sand and paint some old cupboards to use in the kitchen and living room
-a door needs to be sanded and painted
-taps need to be placed in kitchen sink
-tiles in living room need to be cleaned and sealed
-main glass wall needs to have wood added to bottom section
-gas pipes need to be added on side of the home
-paint the kitchen bench 4 more times and add it to kitchen
-oven extractor needs to be made and installed to kitchen
-gas heater in living room needs to be installed
-metal base for fire place needs to be placed
-fire place flu needs to be installed
-outside of house needs to be painted
-general cleanup of gardens


Sunday, September 16, 2012

last few days in photos

Here are some photos from the last few days.
It rained on Friday night all night and all morning. My parents came back at 7am from their 7 hour bus trip to the coast. They saw some whales and ate fish and calamari.
There is new fresh snow all over the mountains and it is cold.

The view from our run this afternoon.

Jason made bread on Friday night and we had it for breakfast Saturday Morning.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

In Esquel

These photos were taken yesterday.
I am wearing an old ski jacket that we bought back in Australia in the late 1980s or early 1990s just before I did my HSC. You could say it is vintage.
I wore it when I went skiing at Thredbo in 1991 when I was doing my HSC and I remember taking my final art project to Thredbo to do while we had down time. Speaking of the jacket, it still fits me but I really want to get back into shape and keep running like I was doing in Scone. I would like to go to pilates/exercise class here in Esquel and need to check that out.
Here Zalia loves her baby doll and takes her everywhere.
It was cold yesterday and it is supposed to snow on Monday. Eeeek!
I will ring up Joaquin's preschool today and see if I can get him back in so he can start to go next week.

Thursday in September in patagonia

What have we been up to here in Patagonia.
Not much, not much.
I am still a bit jet lagged, it takes me about a week.
It takes the kids a few days. Joaquin was the first not to be jet lagged and sleep all night and be awake all day.
Weeping willow is getting its leaves

Snow on Nahuel Pan mountain in the background
However lo and behold, last night both kids slept in their own beds till 6am when Zalia woke up crying. Jas hopped into her bed and then we all went back to sleep and got up at 8am.
My parents went on a bus last night to the coast of Chubut to a welsh town called Trelew and then on another bus to Rawson. My father is attending a conference on digital tv. They arrived this morning and will stay at a hotel in Playa Union. Right on the coast a small seaside town. They just skyped me from the conference.

Today we:
- Got up at 8am, went and turned the outside lights off that had been on all night iluminating the house.
-Picked up the garbage bags on the curb that the dogs on the street had rummaged through. They knock over our bins and it really is quite a mess.
-Then I made coffee and porridge for breakfast for everyone
-Had breakfast, (it was not cold last night so no gas heaters on)
-Cleaned the cabin made beds, had a shower
-Got ready with warm jackets and Jas drove us into town
- Did a "tramite" (chore) at the post office, had to fill out 4 of the same forms to get a copy of the"ACTA" from where my birth is registered. It is in Buenos Aires, so I filled the forms out at the Post Office and paid $11 pesos about $2.50 australian dollars and hopefully this certificate will be found in the main registry office in Buenos Aires, and copied from the big book and sent to me.
-Walked to the Anonima shop and bought some wipes, some eggs ( unfortunately I have not seen any free range eggs here :( ).
-Went to the Morocha deli and bought sliced matambre, queso de maquina, jamon and 2 bread rolls for $41 pesos
-Made a most delicious sandwich with a slice meat called matambre, green olives, sliced cheese, and some helmans mayonnaise, we had lunch and the weather is cooling outside.
-I now am having a tea, black no sugar or milk very refreshing and it is cold outside.
-Joaquin's 6 year old friend from across the road is over, they are playing Minecraft (of course) and Z is asleep. Jas is on his computer.
-I have to hang some washing on the line and hope it does not rain but the clouds are very grey outside.    It might snow on the mountains.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

photos of Esquel, knitted jumper dulce de leche and jet lag

These first two jumpers my mum knitted for Zalia. They are gorgeous and I think she was following Elizabeth Zimmerman fisherman jumper style.

These two jumpers my mother bought in a fair here in Esquel for Zalia. They are hand knitted and Zalia has worn the grey one a lot.

Photos below of the cabin. Zalia having an afternoon sleep.

I am the only one jet lagged. Today Z and I both had a long over 2 hour afternoon sleep. When we wake up it is still light. It is still light outside until nearly 8pm and it is only the beginning of spring here.
Last night we were all tired and managed to have them bathed, fed and in bed by 8pm. Zalia was in bed  asleep by 8.30pm. They slept through the night, Zalia crying a bit and Joaquin hoping into our bed. But all managed to sleep through till 6am.

Both Z and J have been great during this trip. Joaquin is so happy being here with his grandparents. He runs around outside and loves spending time with el Abuelo. Following him and today I even caught him helping my father make their bed.  Zalia has been good, it takes her a while to get used to people but she is gives everyone kisses. She is still very bossy and slightly clingy. She is daddy's girl and has been very clingy to him. She is still eating very well.


boiling water to make some tea

cut apple with dulce de leche

Hotel in Buenos Aires

 Here are photos from the hotel we stayed at Buenos Aires.

It was in the centre of Buenos Aires, Calle Tucuman 900 very close to Calle Lavalle, a pedestrian road that is closed to cars and full of shops and movie cinemas. The hotel is called Tres65 Concept and it is an old building from the 1800s and was originally a building for housing young women, then it was an institution and then a boarding home.
The hotel was like a small apartment, a large living room with two beds/sofas, a large bedroom with a king size bed, (we slept in the bed) and Seb in the living room. A large bathroom with bath and a large kitchen with microwave, oven, fridge. We stayed on the 5th floor and it cost $627 pesos approximately $120 US dollars for everyone and a buffet breakfast the next day which included, cereals, bread, croissants, medialunas, fruitsalad, yoghurts, coffee. It was really nice and relaxing. I would recommend this place and stay here again. The staff were friendly, helped with the bags, with getting a car or remis to take our luggage to the airport the next day.


Living room with wooden floors

King size bed

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Outside our room the lovely balusters and stairs