So the last couple of days have tested us. It poured for 36 hours! We discovered that the van leaks in several places, the door is not really closing properly and that the arial does in fact work if your push the on button – took us two weeks to work that one out! The kids were tired and cranky and watched way too much iview. My washing was soaking wet and would not dry courtesy of the terrible spin cycle on our portable washing machine and the rain that just wouldn’t let up. The Jazzy Devil continues to get more mischevious by the hour… turn your back and he is standing on the bench, escaping out the zip of the annex or climbing the stairs of the neighbours permanent van and knocking on their door. When we stripped him off outside to get the sand off him and then moved our attention from him for a minute he laid a nice little poo on the turf and played with it! I also managed to sink waist deep, fully clothed, into the water where the river meets the ocean trying to cross the very strong current. Thankfully the only casualty of that were some soggy kids hats. But as they say whatever doesn’t kill you only makes you drink more wine… sorry I mean only makes you stronger!
There were moments of sunshine during our stay though. Bubba had a ball body boarding in the waves despite the crappy weather (he even duck dived under a wave!) and caught a good sized flatty that he devoured for dinner. We found gluten and dairy free fruit sorbet, which while I shudder to think of the sugar content, put a massive smile on the kids faces. It is a very rare treat for them to have something like that so it makes it that bit more special when they do. We did a day trip to Burleigh Heads, one of our favourite places, played a round of mini golf and pulled in to Marie Anitas – pretty much the sole reason we go back to Burleigh Heads so often! Marie Anita’s is a gluten free artisan bakery and cafe. They specialise in amazing gluten free bread, food intolerances and raw, paleo and vegan food. And it is delicious!!
We also managed to squeeze the clothesline into the annex and put the heater on in there so my clothes did eventually dry. The Gods decided we had suffered enough and thankfully the sun shone this morning meaning we didn’t have to pack up in the rain. We are currently on route to Toowoomba to stay with my lovely Brother in law and Sister in law and their gorgeous kids who have promised us a fire and a roast dinner (and hopefully the use of their washing machine) so things are definitely looking up.
Amid the chaos of the last 2 days we did still manage to have two yummy dinners. One night was fresh prawns with pineapple salsa and crunchy ‘taters done on the Webber.
The other night was burgers with pumpkin damper and salad. Most Aussies don’t eat the recommended 5 serves of veggies a day. Veggies are awesome! They provide vitamins, minerals, fibre and other phyto-nutrients like anti-oxidants. High intakes of vegetables are associated with lower risks of diseases such as diabetes, cardio vascular disease and some cancers. Apart from the fact they taste great, this is why I like to sneak veggies into our meals in as many ways as possible. This dinner is a great example. Loads of pumpkin in the damper and zucchini grated into the burgers give an extra veg boost. Any way I shall take my nutritionist hat back off now and share with you my pumpkin damper recipe.
Hopefully next time I write will be from somewhere warmer or at least drier! But in the mean time eat well & live happy
300g butternut pumpkin, roughly cut into cubes
3 cups gf self raising flour (I do find the more refined flours get a better result in this case – I use the Woolies ‘free from’ brand)
½ tsp sea salt
1 ½ tsp xanthan gum
75g butter, softened slightly & cut into cubes
¼ cup coconut milk (the UHT type not the tinned)
Preheat Weber or oven to 200 deg. Steam or boil the pumpkin until soft then cool and mash with a fork. Mix together flour, salt and xanthan gum in a bowl. Using your fingers rub the butter through the flour to get a breadcrumb like consistency. Add mashed pumpkin and rub though mixture. Add coconut milk and kneed with your hands until well combined and the dough all comes together. Turn out onto a floured board and kneed for a minute or two until dough is soft. Flatten into a disk shape approx 18cm diameter and place on a lined tray. Score the top with a knife. Bake for 1 hour. The top should be golden and of you tap the bottom it should sound hollow when cooked. Serve with butter.
Note: to get the Weber to approx 200 deg we preheat it on medium high then turn in down to medium low once the damper goes in.