17/52

Pebble

Pebble – 3 years, 3 months – A bundle of energy, curiosity and wonder.

Rocky

Rocky – 7 weeks – just when I think I’ve got it sorted, he changes things up on me. Tricky little bugger.

A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2013

52 A Portrait a Week

Kylie @ Octavia and Vicky

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How does your garden grow…

Winter Vegetable Garden
After years of talking about it we have finally planted our veggie garden. When I say ‘we’ I mostly mean Paul. With hard labour over several weekends, and the much needed help of a good friend, he built up the garden wall and filled it with lovely, stinky dirt for the veggies to grow in. Then this family of four had a big adventure to a garden centre where we loaded up a couple of boxes with seedlings.

We kind of have no idea what we’re doing. We did a little Googling and reading before we left to make a quick list of things to plant now, but apart from that we’re kind of flying by the seat of our pants! I did find this great website which tells you what to plan according to where you live. It’s called Gardenate (not sponsored). You just plug in your climate zone and it gives you lots of info on what to plan and harvest. It will even email you to tell you what to plant in the coming month.

So far we have lots of winter veg in the ground, like cauliflower, brussels sprouts, leeks, onions, peas, , lettuce, carrots, beans, plus a few herbs. They are all looking quite healthy, aside from the cauli which is starting to get nibbled by some unseen garden predator, and the Vietnamese mint, which died a quick death and is looking limp and black.

This patch compliments our herb garden and fruit orchard (ahem…. single lemon tree!) beautifully and we can’t wait to be pulling fresh produce right out of the back yard. It feels like magic to me. It really is quite funny that it feels so normal to pluck my fresh produce from a brightly lit supermarket stand, and so magical to be able to pull it right from the earth soil. Shouldn’t it be the other way around?

Winter Vegetable GardenWinter Vegetable GardenWinter Vegetable GardenWinter Vegetable GardenWinter Vegetable GardenWinter Vegetable Garden

While we’re not quite ready to harvest yet, I’m so grateful for the opportunity to grow these wonderful veg. To have the space, the time, and money to invest in it all. Not to mention the husband and friends to make it all happen.

What are you grateful for? Do you have a vegetable garden?

Kylie @ Octavia and Vicky

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Happy Birthday!

Happy Birthday

Happy Birthday! Well, belated birthday. It’s just over a year since I started writing Octavia and Vicky and in celebration I thought I’d look back at what we were up to a year ago today. In March and April 2012:

There is so much more to come with Octavia and Vicky. I have four exciting giveaways in the next month and will be sharing as many fun crafts and play ideas, recipes and geeky gizmos as I can (while balancing Rocky on one hip and chasing Pebble around on her scooter). I may not be posting as regularly as I would like, family comes first (and my sanity). Thank you for sticking around and reading, sharing and commenting on Octavia and Vicky xx

Kylie @ Octavia and Vicky

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16/52

Pebble 16-52

Pebble – 3 years, 4 months – Feeding her baby. A lovely snap of her play imitating real life. She sees a lot of baby feeding going on these days, I seem to do nothing but feed Rocky! Pebble is a very kind, patient, loving and enthusiastic bit sister.  She loves to jump right in front of Rocky’s face and make silly noises, or to interrupt his gaze at mama with her big ol’ mug right there. One day soon he is going to think that she is the best thing ever.

Rocky 16-52

Rocky- 6 weeks – He is just starting to smile, and each one is a sweet little gift. My favourite past time this week has been trying to make just the right combination of goofy face and silly sound to coax the smiles out of him. In big news I have started sleeping Rocky at the other end of the house, and reversing the baby monitor so that I can still hear him. I am getting MUCH more sleep in the early hours now that I can’t hear every little squeak and grunt. He is so noisy at that time of the day. Thanks to the child health nurse who made this suggestion, it has saved my sanity!

A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2013

52 A Portrait a Week

Kylie @ Octavia and Vicky

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Upside Down Pear Cake

Upside Down Pear Cake
This week we were given a bag of pears straight from the orchard. I am used to buying my pears at the supermarket – which I don’t do very often because they are never very nice. Hard, tasteless and scentless – this is my sad experience with pears.

This bag of pears smelled lovely, and while they were still very firm, they tasted sweet and delicious. Like a bite of autumn. A perfect match for the blustery, crisp and clear days that we’re having in Adelaide at the moment.

I was determined to make the most if this divine fruit. I have been adding pears to my porridge and enjoying pears with cheese and crackers for lunch. When Paul’s birthday rolled around I decided to make a cake featuring pears. I asked the internet for help and the internet delivered! My lovely Instagram buddy Fiona very generously gave me her Omama’s recipe for cake. Her Omama passed away three months ago, on the same day that her son was born. Oh, how my heart ached to read that story! It makes this recipe all the more special for it.

This recipe is so gorgeously simple and also makes a divine cake. It actually reminds me of the cakes that my Grandma used to make, which is a little spooky! I honestly can’t imagine using another cake recipe again. You can adapt the recipe to include different spices, flavours or fruits. I used it to make this upside down pear cake.

Here is Fiona’s recipe as she told it to me.

Omamas Cake Recipe

And here is my interpretation….

Upside Down Pear Cake

1 quantity of Omama’s cake:

  • 4 eggs, weighed in the shell
  • butter (equal in weight to eggs)
  • caster sugar (equal in weight to eggs)
  • plain flour (equal in weight to eggs)
  • splash of milk

Spices and flavours
1/2 teaspoon cinnnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon vanilla

Pear “Topping”
2 pears, peeled, cored and thinly sliced
50g butter
1/3 cup brown sugar

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 180 degrees celcius. 
  • Grease and line a 22 cm springform tin.
  • Cream the sugar and the butter, then beat in the eggs one at a time until combined. Sift in the flour and add in the cinnamon, nutmeg and vanilla. Stir until well combined, adding in the milk until the batter is slightly thinner (cake batter consistency!).
  • Melt the sugar and butter together until melted and pour over the base of the tin. Arrange the pear slices in a ciruclar pattern on top of the butter and sugar mixture. 
  • Pour the cake mixture over the top of the pears.
  • Bake at 180 degrees until risen, golden and a skewer comes out clean. 

I can’t wait to try baking this cake again and experimenting with different flavours. I hope that you enjoy it too.

Kylie @ Octavia and Vicky

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