Monday, August 26, 2013

Happy Fourth Birthday Annabelle

Due to the broken arm we had to change what we had planned for Annabelle's birthday but she still had a lovely day celebrating her birthday with her extended family.

There's a lot of presents there waiting to be opened!


 Evie was happy to help with the unwrapping

A Peppa Pig Nurse's kit!  

 'The Fairies' birthday cake

Enjoying the attention.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

A Broken Wing

It's amazing how one little event can change everything.

Annabelle was having fun playing with her cousins when I heard her scream.

And the screaming didn't stop.

A quick trip to the hospital, followed by examinations and x-rays lead to emergency surgery on her elbow.

Apparently the injury was unusual, I think because she managed to break 2 bones on opposite sides of her elbow and dislocate a third, but the emergency was because of nerve damage. We're hoping it will fix itself and it isn't anything permanent.

I spent 2 nights in the hospital with Annabelle, sitting in a fairly uncomfortable chair, and I was really pleased with how well Evie coped without me as it's the first time we've spent a night apart.

The elbow is now wired together (I haven't told her she'll be back in hospital in 6 weeks to have the wires removed) and the arm is in a non-removable sling.

My two biggest challenges over the coming weeks are trying to find clothes that will fit around the sling and getting Annabelle to rest the arm - I'm not hopeful about her resting.

 Before surgery

 The morning after


Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Whiskey Cumquat Marmalade

The house we moved into 5 months ago has several fruit trees; apples, oranges, lemonade lemons, peach and cumquat.

At the moment there is an abundance of cumquats and anyone familiar with the fruit knows they have quie a sharp taste so eating them off the tree is out of the question.

It seemed a shame to waste so much fruit so I thought I'd try my hand at making some jam.

Cumquat Marmalade Recipe

900g cumquats
1200ml water
900g sugar
5 Tbsp whiskey

* Slice the cumquats thinly and discard the seeds.
* Add the water and soak the fruit overnight
*Transfer the fruit and water into a heavy based pan and simmer gently, uncovered, until peel is tender
* When the fruit is ready add sugar stirring to disolve
* Cook rapidly until marmalade sets. It is ready when a teaspoon of mixture placed on a cold plate wrinkles    on the surface when touched with a finger
* Stir the whiskey into the marmalade then leave it to cool for 10 minutes.
* Spoon into sterilised jars, cover and label.

There are a couple of sterilisation methods you can use:

Oven: Preheat oven to 120 C. Wash jars and lids in warm soapy water. Rinse and dry on a tray Place in oven for 20 minutes. Remove and fill with marmalade while still warm.

Dishwasher: Sterilise jars, lids and seals in the dishwasher on the hottest cycle. Dry well with a clean tea towel before use.