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

Sunday, March 30, 2014

bye bye bondi we will miss you beautiful

On the 24th March we lost our beautiful Bondi.
She was nearly 14 years old, she was a large german sherpas cross with beautiful brown eyes and a big heart.
She was special as she was gentle and even looked after the puppies we got last year in July as if they were her own. They treated her like a surrogate mother.
She was sick on Sunday when I found her lying outside. She could not breath properly and was heavy breathing and covered in some sort of wet vomit.
We ended up calling the vet to see if they could put her down. she did not eat or drink or get up. The vet came at 4.30pm and gave her a few injections to stop the pain. She said something was wrong with her tummy.
We later realised with the help of the internet she may have had GDV (when the tummy bloats) and not much could have be done.
It happens in older larger dogs.
She died Monday 24th of March, in the morning. She was still warm when we said good bye to her. Her eyes opened her ears finally able to rest. She was finally able to rest in Patagonia. Where she was born and bred.
She was beautiful, sweet, gentle.
We will miss her so much. Zalia thinks she has gone to the mountains to stay. In my heart she is there watching us and looking after us as she always did. I hope I was ok to her, I hope I was a good friend for her. We took her for a lot of dogs. We gave her love. She was a dog that was tied up from a pup to age 5 when my parents rescued her and adopted her.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Autumn 2014 Patagonia Style

Autumn is here, today in the Southern Hemisphere.
It certainly has arrived and I even think it has been looming its head for a while in these parts.
The mornings are cold, the heaters are on as we make coffee and dress the kids for school.
By mid morning the sun is out and by afternoon it is very warm. There is light in the living room/sun room, Zalia is out and about with the puppies in a singlet but there are leaves everywhere. The roses are in bloom.

I am working from home and our "lab" has moved to a new site in Town. I moved a desk and chair to my new office which I will be sharing with another "biologist" and need to move a book case. From now I work at home, and use our dining table as a desk. We have a new table which we got made in lenga wood by a local carpenter. We need to paint it and have ordered chairs (before christmas) and hopefully they will be ready in the next few days.

I have a lot of work to do, write papers, emails, grants, review a paper. So much work and I need the motivation.
This weekend I will organise the house, the bedroom, empty the book case and make a pile of things to take to the office.
It is a long weekend here, I think which marks "Dia de la Memoria y verdad por la Justicia" or "Day of Remembrance for Truth and for Justice", anniversary of the the anniversary of the coup d'état of 1976 that brought the National Reorganization Process to power. I had just turned 2 when this happened, my parents were very young and my brother was not even 1 years of age.

There are 15 public holidays in 2014, there were 17 in 2013.

I remember I went last year to mark the Dia de la Memoria y verdad por la Justicia, with my parents to a small gathering in Esquel, to mark that day, to remember the missing in the Dictadura and to lay wreaths in a local plaza. It was cold. Zalia was in our arms the whole time, she was 2 turning 3. Soon she will be 4. Joaquin is 6, nearly two years ago he broke his elbow in Sydney. 
Time passes. The seasons change, Life is moving always forward. 

-24 March 2013
-24 March 2011

Sunday, March 16, 2014

The seasons are changing

This weekend, just hanging at home.
Autumn has arrived. It started getting cold outside and it rained yesterday. The rain is welcoming, it is the first time that it has rained in these parts in a while. Everyone in town wanted rain, as the gardens are all dry, the arroyo (creek) is dry.
My parents are building a wood shed to keep the wood dry for the winter, but we also all have gas heaters to keep us cozy and warm.

Last night we had home made pizza with the mozzarella that Jas had made. We added fresh tomatoes and feta cheese (Jas made). It was really yummy.

This morning we had pancakes with the left over whey from the cheese making and maple syrup an nutella.
Now watching Frozen with the kids on tv.
Probably will be snacking on the left over pizza soon..

Photos from February 2014 Summer Esquel 2014

The other week after we returned from Australia my parents took Joaquin and Zalia for a walk with the puppies down to the creek. My dad took great photos. These were taken on the 21st of February 2014. The weather was really warm and the puppies loved to play and swim in the swamp.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Cheese making weekend and autumn is here

Its the weekend we are just taking it easy. Making some cheese, eating a lot, resting, maybe making fresh dough and pizza for dinner (Jas does the food making I help clean and get things). I also add the toppings. He said he will make fresh mozzarella with the fresh cows milk we HE pasteurised!

What else has been happening??????

So far this week.....
it has all been about cheese.

We finally made:
-feta cheese (WE CANT BUY THAT HERE)
-labne ( WE CAN'T BUY IT HERE)

Yesterday I ALSO made...
I made flat bread via Julie Goodwin (the first Australian master chef)
and I made gozleme via BabyMac and lamb mince similar to what Baby Mac made here... Morrocan lamb wraps except we had a leg of lamb and removed the meat and minced it, we made our own hummus with dried chickpeas and I did not have baby spinach but used normal spinach.
To make the wraps I used firstly the recipe that Baby Mac had posted on making Gozleme (flour and yoghurt) and the next day tried the flat bread recipe using flour, butter and milk. Both turned out really yummy.

I finally got on the juice bandwagon and made myself a beetroot and apple juice. Beautiful very sweet. Mind you the apples were from our garden.

I FINALLY did some exercise on Thursday. I went for a swim while Joaquin has his swim class. EVEN though i have had a nasty cold that has left me feeling very sorry for myself.

Joaquin now swims in the municipal swim school and has gone to level one for the children aged 7 to 8. He is 6 still but swimming well. All that swimming in Australia paid off. It gave him a lot of confidence.
Now have to get Zalia some lessons.

I am finally getting over my cold. But I do have sore on my lip. A cold sore?

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Making feta cheese in Patagonia

So we really crave feta cheese while we are here in Patagonia.
For christmas I gave Jas a feta cheese making kit from the Country Brewer
All we needed was un pasteruzed milk. They don't sell that in the supermarket so had to find a farmer that had cows and sold the milk fresh.

We thankfully found a farmer  who lives close by who has cows, sheep, geese.
We bought last weekend 10 litres of fresh cows milk from the farmer down the highway.
His name is Pascual and I need to take a photo of him with his gum boots. Next time.
He also sells cheese. Which we bought for 80 pesos a round block (less than a kilo of cheese) he does not pasteurize his milk to make it, he just adds rennet.

We bought 6 eggs from his chickens for $12.50 pesos
So lay down on what we bought from Pascual last week.
a) 10 liters of milk at 6 pesos a litre is 60 pesos
b) two rounds of cheese at 80 pesos each 160 pesos
c) 6 eggs at 12.50 for half a dozen 12.50
total----->232.50 pesos approximately 40 Australian dollars.

With the 10 litres of milk Jason the handy cheese maker is making 2 kilos of feta cheese, and some mozzarella.

This is the process.
1) Heat up milk to 63 degrees Celsius to pasterize for 30 min
2) let milk cool
3) Heat the milk again to 30 degrees C and
4) add Calcium chloride  ( 1ml of calcium chloride diluted in 1/4 cool water) 
5) add 1/4 teaspoon of mesophilic culture (prepared before) and 
6) add lipase solution (1/4 lipase powder dissolved in 1/4 cup of cool water)
7) add diluted rennet solution ( 2 ml rennet dissolved in 1/4 cup of cooled  boiled water) and stir with an up and down motion for at least 1 min.
7) mix and let stand for 60 min to ripen  and form curds
8) cut the curds in 13 mm cubes and allow to stand for 10 min
9) stir the curds every 5 min for 20 min (that is what Jas is doing below in the photo)
10) Pour the curds into a feta basket o colander lined with cheese clot (muslin cloth). Tie the corners of the cloth into a knot and hang the bag to drain for 4 hours.
11)  Untie the bag and cut the curds in 25mm slices, then cut into 25 mm cubes.
12) Sprinkle the cubes with salt to taste. Place in a covered bowl and allow to age for 4 to 5 days in the fridge.
13) For a stronger flavour make a brine solution by combing 1/3 cups of salt to 1.5 litres of water. Place the cheese in brine and store in fridge for 20 to 30 days. 

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Pavlova for my birthday

For my birthday my other half, or my better half Jason stayed at home and baked.
A vegeterian egg plant lasagna and made the pastry sheets, the white sauce, the tomato sauce.
A pavlova
all made by Jas! He knows the way to my heart! 

Yummy yummy


Thursday, March 6, 2014

Its a milestone birthday

Today is a milestone birthday and it is a bit shocking to the system.
Others of my cohorts and peers who have hit this milestone seem to have done so with grace and dignity.
I on the other hand am freaking out BIG TIME.
Anyway like my other half says to me: At least i have reached 40, I have two kids and a job what more can I ask for. I can speak two languages, I have a Phd and am working with animals and marsupials something I have always wanted to do.
I just need to....

a) not be so lazy

b) get fitter
c) read more books
d) write more papers
e) get my FRiggenn drivers licence so I don't depend on others to drive.

Today we dropped the kids of to school, Jas made me coffee then he dropped me of to Uni.

Yesterday was the first day of school for the kids. It has been a long holiday over 2 months of freedom for our kids.

We had sandwiches de miga for lunch or as Joaquin calles them SANDWICHES DE HORMIGAS.

Thats me fat neck, goggly eyes, dyed hair going a bit grey and all I am forty.
Bye bye 30 hello 40.
Chau los años 30, hola los 40!

Jas is making me dinner and a pavlova.
I really did not get many pressies for my birthday but really I guess in life I already have it great.
I got a little dress from my mother in law before leaving Australia. I bought myself a handbag in Australia and I might get a quilt for our bed for a present.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Birthdays in March

It is my Dad's Birthday today.
We took the Graza Bruja Bird that my parents are looking after to the vet (as you do) and unfortunately it has a broken leg (tibia) and so is still not flying. It still is a young chick and has soft feathers under the adult ones. The vet gave him/her an anti-inflamitary injection. I had to hold her/him in my arms and it was pleasant and very nice bird. I hope he/she will be ok.
My parents keep the Garza in a box at night and have began to let it out all day and night and it seems to be getting better. The vet said it should fly soon. There about 9 garzas in our garden.

We then celebrated my dad's birthday. He made an asado, I made a simple green salad and my mum made a chocolate cake.
Happy Birthday Papa and Lelo Francisco. We love you very much, te queremos mucho!