Friday, July 17, 2009

When Too Much Fun is Barely Enough.

In a word, socialising. That's what I've been doing this week. Catching up with people I like-a-lot. My house is a mess, and I look like I need a good night's sleep but my goodness I've had a good time.

Saturday night was the Mothers Group tribe; Jenny and Astrid and husbands and children and pizza and Vietnamese and sticky date cake and lots of fun. Our kids have known each other since the firstborns were 6 weeks old and they have this deep love for each other, borne partly from having known each other all their lives and partly from them being a really nice bunch of children. They pretty much left the adults to a night of talking and laughing whilst they ranged through Astrid's house, playing their little hearts out: hide-n-seek, trampoline and some nutty school game they've invented where Astrid's oldest is the teacher, the Climber is the Berserk Principal who falls over a lot and the rest of them are the giggling students. That one always cracks me up.

Sunday night we had our ex-next-door-neighbours over. As soon as the doorbell rang and their 3 children poured in there was laughter and joyousness, and we just knew it was going to be a good night. The kids played and played, it felt like the good old days when they lived next door and the kids called us their second home. They played hide-n-seek, natch, it's their favourite, trampoline, lego, as well as some dressing up from the younger contingent - we definitely saw Buzz Lightyear and Superman-girl flit past on important super-missions shadowed by a little redhead in a dinosaur sunvisor. Meanwhile the adults drank the beer that turned out to be cider, got the barbeque happening and switched on the radio to discover that although we are too old to listen to Triple J (youth radio with alternative/indi music emphasis) on a daily basis we can definitely rock out to the Hottest 100 Ever on Triple J, seeing as it was pretty much songs from Life Before Children. Fifteen years later, and I'm still partying on to Smells Like Teen Spirit, oh the irony. In fact, I turned it up so loud that some of the kids at first covered their ears in protest, but then as the song grew on them we saw some little heads start to rock in rhythm. I pulled some hostessy goodness out of my swag and made scalloped potatoes/potato gratin (depending on where you're from) and a sticky date pudding with toffee sauce. Unfortunately the gratin spilled over into the oven which set off the smoke alarms and then because I am slack and didn't clean it up, I smoked up the house the next time I cooked and all that smoke is not good for post-bronchitis lungs and I've been coughing like a grampus ever since. This is why I had to clean the oven yesterday, which, to my way of thinking, is a fairly unsatisfying job because no-one except you knows you've cleaned something.

On Wednesday night the Prep T Gang reunited for a night out at Hellenic Republic, a local restaurant owned by George Calombaris, one of the hosts on Masterchef (highly popular TV show, aka So You Think You Can Cook). I've become increasingly addicted to this show despite missing the early days of it and so has the Climber. The Cherub 'watches' too, but he is still in the deeply-suspicious-about-new-food stage and therefore not very interested in the cooking side of things. But the Climber has started to pore over cookbooks, and has undertaken some cooking ventures under his own steam, and was heard to comment that Julie's 'puddle-pie' did not have very good presentation. So I was very excited to visit the Masterchef restaurant - if you're thinking of going you need to book ahead, and for the record, the food was great and not expensive and the dish of the night was the saganaki with preserved figs. Oh my god, yum!- and all of our Masterchef addicted Grade 3 children were spectacularly jealous of us.

Hellenic Republic_0160

As well they should be.


  1. I am spectacularly jealous too. I LOVE that show, and am going to have severe withdrawals when it ends on Sunday.

    I am with you on the oven cleaning, god I hate that job.

  2. T has a friend who he's known since 3 weeks and who's mother I went to highschool with. Their birthdays are a day apart and they might as well be brothers who never fight, they love eachother that much.
    It's a special bond.
    I love that climbers jealous of you going to the masterchef restaurant. I'd take advantage of this passion of his and get him started right away. Think of all the cooking you'll save yourself from doing!
    (I'm not even 100% sure how to properly clean an oven. Ack!)

  3. It all sounds like the funnest fun ever - and the hottest 100 was great wasn't it?

  4. Ah, good to hear you're been having a ball!

  5. Oh the fun you've been having. I want a bit of that action.
    Isn't it funny how kids have been getting into Masterchef?
    My boys love it, and were mortified when Justine left. As was I.
    I hope next week is as much fun as this one has been for you.

  6. I thought one just moved house when the oven needed cleaning.

  7. I frequently smoke up the kitchen. I simply look at it as testing the smoke alarms!

    That sounds like a divine time! We have not had friends over in far too long. Must make it a priority.

    We (I) watch Top Chef here. Which Rob grumbles is better than Project Runway because at least they're cooking something and it's useful whereas the fashion show... not so much. Men.

  8. It is so nice to have friends whose children you really really like!!

  9. Please tell me the food was the best in Straya. George manages to say Straya instead of Australia at least ten times every episode!

    No one likes cleaning an oven. They should be made of teflon like easy to clean frying pans!

  10. Sounds like my kind of deal.....well in my alternative dream life that is to say.

  11. It is very good to read that you have had a great week - it is the very least you deserve after some of the stuff you have been going through.

    I have not watched one episode of Masterchef but apparently we are watching the final tomorrow night!

  12. I *hate* cleaning the oven. My sister recently got her kitchen renovated and (being the smart girl she is) go t one that has a self-cleaning function. Must get me one of those me thinks!

    Living in Abu Dhabi I have missed all this crap MasterChef business thank goodness - I'll be glad when all the Twittering about it stops! *heehee* We get the UK MasterChef which is on way too often (been going for years apparently)...

    There is something magical about visiting a celeb chef restaurant isn't there?

  13. Really no one ever notices any housework unless you don't do it. Which is why gardening is much better. Who ever admires a dustfree house? But they do admire a pretty garden.

    So I'm off outside to pootle about. Dust? What dust? Oven? What oven?

  14. "I pulled some hostessy goodness out of my swag"

    God yes!! Potatoes (my fave vegetable) and sticky date pudding!!! Yummy.


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