Easter was fabulous.
Our grandson Cooper come to visit from the Tuesday prior. While he was here, and before everyone else arrived, we made Easter Bunny Pots, and my only real input was making the bunnies feet and assisting with the gluing. It was a great fun activity, where we had to go in search of everything needed for the project, including the packets of seeds and pots from the local hardware. When they were finished, he proudly put them out for photos, before hiding them to surprise everyone on Easter Sunday morning. He was such a proud little man handing them out to his family.
During his visit, a wonderful friend offered to take him kayaking at a place called Blue Pools. The only time that suited was Good Friday morning. So with warm hot cross buns in the basket, a flask of hot chocolate and some mugs. We set off. I was a little worried that he might be a little frightened, but no, after the kayak was set up, rope attached, and life jacket fitted, he was in and taking lessons. It was an adult kayak and he is only 7, and he did a super job. With the rope attached, he’d row out and then ask to be pulled in. He went in the directions agreed, and finally, it was time for hot chocolate, hot cross buns, and playing with stones and rocks. We were so surprised at how easily he picked it up and how much he enjoyed it.
Blue Pools, is approximately 40 minutes from where we live. This was the first time that we had visited – it truly is a spectacular place – picturesque, calm, peaceful, perfect.
Not long after we returned, the rest of the family arrived. Christopher, Olivia, Samuel and Kobe. The remainder of the day was spent catching up, football and games in the garden, eating, puzzles and Chocolate Cream Cake! Oh, and I made a pavlova.
I think that Olivia was a little amused… I was so worried about how the pavlova would turn out. In recent times I have not been happy with any of the pavlovas that I’ve made, so I turned to my Aunties’ recipe. Once the meringue was made, I went to spread the mixture onto the baking tray, I was so stressed, everyone tends to do fancy piping… Olivia just said to me, “don’t over think it”. I knew exactly what to do, and just spread it like it used to be done, before everyone got fancy with meringue! You don’t have to try and remove the paper from the base without damaging all the fancies, because you simply place the pavlova top side down on the serving plate, and then spread it with whipped cream. The great thing about this is that there is a wonderful crisp base.
Saturday morning, we packed a picnic and headed off to nearby Lake Glenmaggie. While we put out the food, the children made use of the play equipment on site and burned off some energy. It was so relaxing, again a beautiful place to visit not far from our home.
In the evening, we were blessed with a stunning sunset out the front of our home, and a magnificent moonrise out the back.
For dinner we had slow cooked beef brisket and pork belly with crackle and veg, and then the pavlova that I made on Friday night was brought out for dessert – it turned out beautifully. I inverted it onto my nana’s pav plate, and we dressed it up with cream and fresh fruit. Normally I would have put a lot more fruit on top, but I forgot to hold some back from our picnic! It was still delicious though.
Sunday morning and excited children poked their heads into our room just after 7. The Easter Bunny had visited, leaving some little treats outside their bedroom door. Everyone eventually ventured out to the kitchen for a light breakfast before heading out to see if the Easter Bunny had scattered any Easter Eggs in the garden. Fortunately the Easter Bunny had had the good sense to scatter a few eggs in the fenced off Vegie Patch, where both he and the chocolate treats were safe from a very excited Kobi.
Kobe wasn’t terribly happy having the gate between he, and the eggs and children.
With lots of eggs safely inside, it was time for me to light the chiminea – I had promised the children that they could toast marshmallows. Again everyone was outdoors, marshmallows were toasted and eaten, the football was being kicked in the garden and Kobe was very happy to have us all outdoors again. There was time for the children to have a quick swim in the pool and then with Christopher in charge of the BBQ, a late brunch was cooked and enjoyed out on the terrace. The weather was just perfect.
Finally, sadly, it was time for them all to leave, they loaded the car, with us sending them home with much more than they arrived with – food, plants, easter eggs, balls for Kobi and more…
Easter was over for another year and more beautiful family memories created.
Gary and I spent the afternoon in the garden, and then for a light evening meal I made Roasted Tomato Soup with Sour Cream and Pesto and we finished the last of the pavlova for dessert.
- 2 x 400g cans of Roma tomatoes
- 1/2 red onion thinly sliced
- 3 cloves of garlic sliced
- sprig of thyme
- 2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
- Salt, pepper and sugar to season
- 250 ml chicken stock
- Sour cream or crème fraîche to finish
- Basil pesto to finish
Preheat oven to 200˚C.
Lightly grease a baking dish that is large enough to hold all ingredients.
Place the tomatoes, onion, garlic and thyme into the baking dish, drizzle with olive oil and season lightly with salt, pepper and sugar.
Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes.
Remove from the oven, add the chicken stock, and then return back to the oven for a further 20 minutes.
When done, remove the sprig of thyme and carefully remove the leaves from the sprig adding them to the tomato mixture (it will be hot, but once removed cools quickly.
Allow the tomato mixture to cool a little and then carefully pour it into a blender and process until smooth and creamy.
Check seasoning, adjusting if necessary.
Serve hot in individual bowls with a dollop each of sour cream and basil pesto.
If you do not have sour cream and/or basil pesto, a simple drizzle of extra virgin olive oil would also be the perfect finish for this delicious soup.
Until next time
Love your family and bon appétit!