Monday, December 29, 2008

Stefano's Restaurant.

Well we did it a 5 course (well ours was 6 courses, but I will get to that) degustation menu that you have no choices on, basically you get whatever they have on the menu for the night. So the babysitter comes, the same one that we had last time we stayed here and she takes the kids for a swim, off we go to the restaurant. It's in the cellar, it's quite dark with lots of candles and a small table lamp. We were the 7.00pm diners they staggered them with the last ones being 8.00pm. Once you are seated the warm bread comes out with a platter of olives (yuk) and olive oil and goats cheese (that was all good except the olives)
The first course is "Olive Oil Poached Ocean Trout, Cannellini Beans & Chard Salad" it was lovely, we both liked it even though my husband called the fish "kitty kat".
Next came a Pumpkin & Gorgonzola tart (it was served cold and was beautiful) this was the course that only 1 other couple got we are not sure why by we think that it was to slow us down as we didn't have the wine that is served with each course and the other people that did were taking longer as they had to savour their wines. (to everyone that knows my husband he was thinking what next spinach pie, pumpkin is one of his disliked vegetables).
Then came "Fried Zucchini Flowers, with Ricotta & Goats Cheese filling, with Cherry tomatoes & Prosciutto" this was really nice, but the funny thing was that on Christmas Eve I made the same thing and believe or not the filling had the same taste as theirs.
Still going out comes the "Ravioli di Carne with sage butter & shaved Grana" the inside filling was a shreaded veal, I think that this was one of my favourites, very rich but just so good.
By this time we are thinking 1 more course to go but out comes the knife & fork and the waitress tells us you have your main to come. Oh No those pants are going to have to be unbuttoned!!!!
Out comes "Magret Duck in Two Ways, Sweet Potato Mash & Green Beans" one way was Confit- cooked in its own fat and I think the other slow cooked, it was really rich as well, nice but not my favourite and by that time I thought that I was going to explode.
Then finally the dessert came out "Vanilla Bavarois with Caramelised Orange & Vanilla Wafer" well what can I say the Bavarois was so light it was melt in your mouth, the wafer was so thin I could have eaten 1 kilo of them, they were to die for but the caramelised orange was awful, I don't think that caramel & orange go together that's only my opinion but my husband didn't like it either.
Stefano was there waiting on tables and we asked for him to sign his latest cookbook for me (as I have all his other ones signed as well) the waitress brings it over in a lovely Stefano's bag.
We leave there happy back to the babysitter that has been with the kids for nearly 4 hours, because thats how long our 6 course meal took. The babysitter says I am not supposed to say this but I have had a great night, they went to the pool, then the gym, out for a icecream then back to the room to play games on my iphone.
So a good night was had by us all, and you know what I am so looking forward to breakfast as I am starving.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

The Mighty Murray at Mildura.

This is the great Murray River, it seems to have more water in it than the last time we were here (which was about 5 years ago), but after talking to some locals they said that it was always like this. It is a great sight after the flat desolate country that is between Hay and Mildura, it seems like nothing would grow there and the only wildlife that was abundant was a group of Emu's. We stopped at Hay for a coffee and had the best scones and jelly slice and the coffee was really good as well (so I was told, I don't drink it). But it's a bit of a long drive to get there. We are still in Mildura tomorrow so we will be doing all the tourist things.
Posted by Picasa

Star Hotel - Naranderra

What a beautiful hotel, you can only imagine all the stories that this place
has kept in it's walls. We went through Naranderra this morning and spent 20 minutes looking for koala's, well we didn't see any so we wondered if the sign was for the silly tourists.
Posted by Picasa

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Camping - my style

Yes they finally got me to go camping, well no not really, this is the foyer of the hotel that we are staying in. It has a huge tent like tower that looks like we are on the Sydney to Hobart boats.
We are off to Mildura tomorrow and we will try to get away early as we have around a 6 hour drive. We are booked into Stefano's Restaurant for a 5 course dinner in the night, we have had dinner there before and it was fantastic so we are really looking forward to our surprise menu.
Posted by Picasa

This is my Favorite tree.

I got one of these for Christmas, they are a West Astralian Gum Tree, they have the most beautiful flowers and when we took the kids to the park there was about 3 of them in the gardens that were in the park. The one that I got has been grafted onto some other tree that grows well in Sydney, we had a look at these ones and it didn't look like it was grafted. Maybe the weather here is more suitable for them.
Posted by Picasa

Hello from Wagga Wagga

Saw this sign on a store in the main street, we all thought that it was pretty funny. (Sorry about the quality as it was on my phone)
Posted by Picasa

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas....

The big guy in the red suit has been, I am not sure how he did it with a gap of only about 2 hours that the youngest was asleep, so we are tired but happy with full bellies and lots of new things to play with.
We are off on our huge trip to Coober Pedy on Saturday , so we are all really looking forward to that.
As we sat down for our Christmas lunch the wish was that it would be the last Christmas lunch that we will have in this house, and that we would be able to have our next Christmas in our new home.
To everyone we wish you a very Merry Christmas and a safe and Happy New Year.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Patience what is that!!!

Well we are still waiting for the elusive DA approval, our Council Officer has finished all that he has to do but for the DA to be approved the Council's Hydraulic Engineer has to submit his report on our plans.
So we are just waiting for him to get his report together, it is so frustrating that we have been in Council for 7 weeks tomorrow and we are still waiting.
Wisdom Homes go on holidays today so hopefully whilst we are all on our much needed vacations the approval will come through. We have signed the forms for the Construction Certificate to be issued so we are just waiting on the Council.
I am sick of waiting and am very frustrated with the entire process that the Council makes you go through. As you all know this is the second time that we have been through this with this build and it is worse this time, maybe I am just totally over it.
Maybe I will leave a note for the Big Guy in the Red Suit and as he leaves our house on Christmas Eve he will work some magic with the Council. Let's all hope.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Still waiting and waiting and waiting.........

We are still in the hands of our Council, the officer we have is happy with the plans and they have to be signed off by his supervisor. They are also still waiting for the Council's Hydraulic Engineer to give his report on our Hydraulic plans, hopefully it will be all ready this week.
We still have to have a final meeting with the builder so we can go through all our colour choices and all the extra's that we have picked and sign off on everything before they start.
The builders go on holiday's on the 23/12 and don't come back until the 12/1/09 so if we do get approval this week it will be a huge rush to get everything sorted before they go on their Christmas break. It is looking more like a February start, much to my horror. I have a June 09 wish to be in the house it will take a mammoth effort for this to happen.
We are also off on holidays the same time and we are off on a bit of a drive to Coober Pedy via Wagga Wagga, Mildura, Wilpena and Port Augusta on the way down and then coming home through Woomera, Port Augusta, Broken Hill, Cobar and Dubbo hopefully it should be fun with about 4,500klm's to cover I will post some photo's along the way (as long as we get some internet coverage).

Friday, December 5, 2008

The Latest News

Not much has been happening with us but a lot has been happening behind the scenes, the plans are back in Council and their engineer is looking at the Hydraulic Drawings. Hopefully they will be back to our Council Officer early next week (with no problems).
We have changed the downstairs windows to be 1.7mtrs off the floor level so that they comply with the Council privacy conditions, the water tank looks like it will have to be changed to a Bluescope Steel Slimline Tank (this has something to do with the Hydraulic engineer's report), the new plans have the dimensions on them so that they show we are not too close to the fence (the water tank needs to be 450mm from the fence).
I think that the driveway has always complied but the plans didn't have the dimensions on it, so that was fixed with all the other issues.
The architect spoke to our Council officer and sorted out the drop edge beam problem, this has been fixed and we will not have to have one, which is great news as in the Clarendon home we had one and I am sure it was around $6,000 so he has saved us a fair sum of money (that's one we owe you).
We are just waiting on some new costings for the downstairs windows as they will be more expensive than what we had there, also I am checking on the kind of hand basin that we are getting in the upstairs toilet as one of the other lovely people building the same home as us has pointed out that the standard one isn't very nice so they are looking at a different one (thanks Stonecutter, I also owe you one), I would like all the basins to be pretty much the same, so we will wait and see what the standard one looks like.
Also this afternoon I got a call from Winnings Appliances (that's where we purchased all the kitchen stuff from) and they rang to tell me they were delivering it all on Monday, so after explaining that we don't have a house as yet she changed the delivery to be the 10th July, 2009 hopefully we will be in by then, but we needed a date.
The kids are both on Holidays now, the eldest one has already had a week off, we have had both the School presentations so it's over for another year.
Congratulations to both of them, the eldest was 13yrs Boys Swimming Champion and the youngest one got the Boys Academic Achievement award for his class. They have had a hard few months as one of our eldest son's school friend's brother passed away aged 10yrs from a stroke in the last School holidays, and it really shocked the School community. They had a award called the Year 4 Spirit award in his memory at the presentation so that was a thoughtful way to remember him. Some time things like this make you put your life into some sort of perspective and think that what you are going through is not really all that bad after all.
Lets hope that sometime next week we will have an approval and be on our way again, it looks like we will not get a start until after the Christmas break, we both will come back to work on the same day and I look forward to hopefully some pretty fast progress.