There are a few days, quite often where I just sit at home and get seriously bored out of my mind, to the point where I can stalk through the house, possibly zombie eyed, trying to find something to set my mind to. There are a few things I can do, sure, but they are the sort of things you can only do if you are seriously enthused to do it. So if you aren't enthused, one must go find some job to do that takes no concentration but it needs doing and nothing can be harmed by doing it wrong if your mind isn't set to the task.
That being said, there was one day last week where I was left home alone to watch the dogs and hang out by myself, so I weeded the garden. Quite honestly. I was that bored, I went out there and hacked away at all the deadly nightshade that had taken residence in the potato patch and biffed it all in the compost and also planted some kumara. Some of the sacks of kumara we've bought in the last month or so had started sprouting tubers, so Mum and I thought we'd give it a shot, and put the tubers in some water for a few weeks until I got around to planting them. They're in big pots in the glasshouse now, so at least the cooler weather shouldn't harm them. I'm pretty excited to grow my own kumara, it's like one of the best foods on the planet - just saying.
So now, instead of wandering around bug eyed, looking for something to do, I flick through my new recipe books Mum and Dad gave me at Christmas - 200 chocolate recipes and 200 baking recipes. Sometime last week I made these marbled cupcakes, you know, with real chocolate and a sweet, sweet butter icing. I honestly wasn't too keen on them, but everyone else really enjoyed them. Although I'll skip out on their butter icing recipe (white and chocolate coloured to match the cake) and just do a normal icing next time round. Or perhaps do less icing, something anyway because it was just too sweet./
While yesterday I made a beetroot chocolate cake. Yep, you heard right. I've heard of people doing it before, but scoffed at the idea - eww, beetroot in a chocolate cake, no way. Basically because I hate carrot cakes and that's all I can think of when I imagine vegetables in a cake! But everyone swears by this type of cake, it was in the recipe book, it doesn't need alcohol (why do yummy looking chocolate cakes need alcohol?!?!) so I gave it a shot. I'm impressed.
Apart from looking at the batter with the deep purple colour, and not being game enough to try the batter raw like I would with any other recipe, the cake is perfect. Let me just say that recently I'm not the best at making cakes, the intention is good but no matter how hard I try to get it done quickly without over beating, it always takes far too long to cook and turns out hard on the outside and not quite cooked in the centre. (Our old cake tin died, it makes a difference).
However, this blimmen cake filled with beetroot, so, so good. It is moist, not too sweet, cooked perfectly all the way through, almost 24 hours later it hasn't gone stale and you can't even taste the beets. There is this somewhat after taste in the back of your mouth where you know you've eaten beetroot, but it's not a bad taste. Coming from someone who thinks beetroot is OK but nothing to sing home about, that's a pretty decent result!
So long as we have access to beetroot in the garden, I'll be making it again! And I think I'm going to make it for a few people so they can try it too. I mentioned it to Hamish on the weekend and my neighbour yesterday, but neither of them seemed too convinced. I will convert them! lol
Now you might've noticed above I mentioned the word "dogs". No, I didn't make a typo, we now have two dogs. Puppies, little animals. Whatever you want to call them. Last Wednesday Mum and Dad traveled north to get Dad a puppy, who we'd known about for less than a week. Yes, it might've been an impulse decision, but it certainly wasn't a bad one!
Tessa is a little 10 week old Jack Russell x Foxy, she's gorgeous. If you ever had a "Spot" dog teddy as a kid, she looks almost just like it, with an almost entirely white body with black ears and face, and two large black spots on her back. We all adore her, but she's definitely Dad's dog. The idea is that she will go to work with him to keep him company, such as sit in the spray ute beside him or go fencing with him and Nick. She's gonna need a little hi-viz jacket to look the part, but she's gonna love it. She already happily goes for rides in the vehicles with Dad places and travels really well.
Jackson is absolutely smitten, they have massive play fights where they're both chasing eachother around the house, inside and out. Although she does have that killer instinct already that we're going to need to keep in check. She grabs hold of poor Jackson's floppy ears and does the whole, death shake thing, or latches onto his legs until he yelps in pain. Of course they're just playing, but her jaws are already very strong. With that in mind she respects the cats so now I'm not worried about her harming them, she and Pippa play and chase each other as if they've been mates since birth. Quite seriously, Pippa, Tessa and Jackson all run around outside playing like the crazy animals they are, Pippa with her large psyched eyes filled with unmistakable joy.
Originally we thought that Jackson thought he must be a cat, now we're more inclined to think that Pippa thinks she's a dog, and it's great that after more than a year of her being here she has two best buddies when as a kitten she was constantly traumatised from the other cats beating her up.
I think perhaps the biggest joke is how soft we've gotten. Or, Dad's gotten. Two dogs, in the house, when years ago a dog couldn't step one paw in the house without getting a blasting. The dogs each have their own little pet bed to sleep in, and I got one for Pippa recently too from one of those clearance stores where everything is excessively cheap. Although we think that Tessa snuggles with Jackson at night to keep warm. So at about 9:30 every night, unless I'm already asleep, we all take our little friend to the porch and pop them into their little beds. Kiss them goodnight and they all snuggle down to sleep, it's so cute. The other night Pippa was being so cuddly, she gets like that when she's really tired and it is simply the sweetest thing.
When I was younger the cats were put out at night, no matter what the weather was like, and they were left to their own devices to find somewhere warm and dry to sleep. No matter how much I cried when I was little during those really stormy nights, knowing my poor cat was out there somewhere, Mum and Dad held their ground hard. But nowadays....ha ha! Tessa even sits on Dad's lap at night and watches the TV. Ridiculous.
You have to admit though, she's pretty darned cute.