G’day all, and an extra special g’day to Leila!
I’m afraid this is only going to be a short one, as I’m supposed to be marking some assignments (but writing to you is much more interesting – hope my boss isn’t reading this!!). I really just wanted to give a warm welcome to Leila, and to say I’m really looking forward to the next month, especially to hearing more about Finland (I’m ashamed to say my knowledge about your country is sadly lacking, and I’m very excited by this chance to improve myself!). I am happy to be as strict as you like, and please do let me know if there’s anything in particular you’d like to work on!
Well, talking of being strict, your first post was fantastic – very accurate with a great range of vocab! Excellent! There are just two tiny little things I could pick you up on: have a look and see if you can correct them yourself (I’ve italicised what you need to look at) –
1. I do my best to keep you interested
2. I’ve been watching American Idol on / in TV
And that’s really all to say, grammatically! I would like to know more about what you mean by a “lack of looseness” in your writing style, though, and if I can give you any help, I will certainly do so.
And a little quiz question for all of you – does anyone know the title of Australia’s national anthem? I’ll tell you the answer in my next post (and no cheating by looking it up on Google!).
Personally, Leila, I am not a good singer, although that doesn’t stop me if I’m in the car and something I really like comes on the radio! Owen loves singing – he knows the words to lots of nursery rhymes already. He has his own CDs in the car; I found some world music for kids CDs in a local toy shop, and we love listening to them, even though we have no idea what they’re about! (Except for Old MacDonald had a Farm (in Italian) and Waltzing Matilda (in one of the Aboriginal languages). But we sing along anyway!) Owen hates my music in the car, and nags me for “Daddy’s Music” – how bad is that? Even a two-year-old doesn’t like my music!
By the way, do you know Waltzing Matilda? It’s probably the most famous Aussie song (more famous than the national anthem, I think!). It’s based on a poem by A.B. Paterson, and has a really lovely melody. It’s quite a sad song, and has some very interesting vocabulary – I can tell you some more about later on, if you’re interested.
One thing I really need to do before I go and do my marking … give you a pavlova recipe! This one is from Stephanie Alexander, who is an Aussie cooking legend, and who has written the most amazing book which covers every ingredient from A-Z, and suggests recipes for them all. Everything I’ve tried from this book has worked a treat, so I hope this recipe works for you!
4 egg whites at room temperature
pinch of salt
250g castor sugar
2 teaspoons cornflour
1 teaspoon white-wine vinegar
a few drops of pure vanilla
300ml cream, firmly whipped
fresh fruit (she suggests 10 passionfruit, pulped, but you could use berries or any soft fruit instead – I like strawberries or raspberries).
Preheat oven to 180˚C
Line a baking tray with baking paper and draw a 20cm circle on the paper.
Beat egg whites and salt until peaks form.
Beat in sugar, a third at a time, until meringue is stiff and shiny.
Sprinkle over cornflour, vinegar and vanilla, and fold in lightly.
Put onto the paper-lined tray, keeping the mixture within the circle, flattening the top and smoothing the sides.
Place in the oven, immediately reducing the heat to 150˚C and cook for 30 mins. Reduce heat to 120˚C and cook for another 45 mins.
Turn off oven and leave pavlova inside until completely cool.
Remove pavlova from oven and invert it onto a plate.
Spoon the cream over the top and cover with the fruit.
It can be a bit tricky to make – Stephanie suggests cooking it for 2 hours at 120˚C if your oven takes a while to adjust the temperature. I have a cheat’s version too – it’s sometimes possible to buy the meringue cases in the supermarket, so you don’t need to worry about cooking the egg mixture at all, and then you can just top them with cream and fruit. Hurray!
Talking of recipes, Naheed, Chris would love me to have a go at making vindaloo here at home, so if you wouldn’t mind letting me have the recipe, that would be great! Thank you!
I’m working again tomorrow, but Sunday should be fun, and will hopefully give me the chance to take some more pictures for you – we’re having a picnic with some friends in a park in Balmain, which overlooks the water. This particular park is quite special to us, and I’ll tell you why on Sunday! I’ll also tell you the tragic story of Chris’s best shoes … And we’ll have a look at some of the vocab from the past few weeks. Won’t we be busy?!
Hope you all have a fantastic weekend!
Two tiny bits of vocab …
to pick you up on sth (phr vb)
to work a treat (expr)
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