11 May 2008

"Thankyou for your pleasant time and manner"

... is how a real estate agent we've been dealing with lately has started off each of her emails. I giggled every time and was tempted to write back "You mean 'Thank you for your time and pleasant manner'?" or "what do you mean by writing 'thankyou for your pleasant time...' to MY husband?!'". I shouldn't make fun as she was actually quite nice, with no other signs of mental incapacity. But then, I'm sure real estate agents are much nicer to you when you're thinking of buying a place rather than the standard scum treatment you get when renting.

Anyway, the big news is that we've bought a home. Our very first. Well, about half of it. Apart from the occasional open inspection over the past few years plus many internet searches, this was the first place we looked at. Rationale for buying was that we want to move to a larger place some time in the next 3 months, but rents in our area are skyrocketing. We expected to have to move out a few suburbs, but we will be roughly in the same neighbourhood - yay! We didn't expect it to happen so soon, nor have our offer accepted, so the past week and a half has been busy with engaging solicitors, getting approval for finance, and fretting about whether or not our offers were realistic, too low, or too high.

In the end, we managed to settle a day before it was due to auction, at a price that is affordable for us. We are close to a couple of parks, and within 10-15 mins walk from 3 cafe strip/shopping areas and a major arterial road with lots of buses. We'll have quite a lot more space, including a spare bedroom for folks from interstate or overseas :) and a store room and good built-ins, and maybe room for the piano at Mum and Dad's house, which they don't play and want to send over! Room to store bicycles also! Hooray! Drawbacks are the legacy of a purple "feature wall" left by the current owners, a wierd ad-hoc bath, hard-to-keep-warm open plan living area, and view of some golden arches from one of our windows.

But anyway, how exciting! Looking forward to having more space - a room to get away by myself, keep the sewing machine out for a few days at a time, potter about the kitchen without waking the whole house up, and store away the clutter.


01 May 2008

Yummy steamed date pudding

3/4 cup chopped dates
1/2 cup sugar
4 Oz marg/butter
1 tspn cinnamon
1 cup milk/water (1/2 and 1/2 or all milk)
1 cup plain flour
1 tspn bicarb soda

Mix all dry ingredients and fruit together, then gradually add milk/water, melted marg and soda. Makes a fairly moist dough.

Pour into a greased 1L capacity pudding basin, cover with baking paper loosened with a pleat and cover with calico tied around the rim. Place into a saucepan of boiling water so that water comes 3/4 of the way up the basin. Close lid, and weigh it down with an up-side-down bowl. Steam for around 2 hours. Serve with custard or icecream.
Serves 8


This is an oldy but goody from the Woman's Weekly cookbook via my Auntie. It was so moist that we ate it plain (ie no custard etc). We had a double helping first time!

I'm beginning to think old fashioned english food might suit my constitution best. Just about every node of my family tree searched back several centuries (by my Dad) is Anglo Saxon, besides one Tasmanian aboriginal ancestor. Plain old English food is what I'm adapted for, and what I don't seem to have any bad reactions against*. Food like this pudding makes me not mind so much!

* but sadly this won't stop me eating thai, chinese, turkish, italian, japanese, vietnamese, indian from time to time...