My Life Abroad: The Adventures of Two Birds
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May '08

20th Annual Cider Festival

apples_50.jpgGoing back to the place we got married for our anniversary dinner this year was fantastic – and that’s how we found out about the Cider Festival they hold every year.  We decided to make the trip back out to check out the festivities.  They had all kinds of cider (mostly alcoholic variation), apple juice, apple deserts, handmade candied apples, pork and applesause sandwiches, a folk band, dancers, apple brandy, and cider making demonstrations.

All-in-all there was a bit to do and see.  They had the entire winery property opened up for the public, many picniced around on the grass and throughout the vineyard.  We decided to walk around and check out some of the cool things they offered.

The demonstration of the machinery was also interesting – very old large equipment used to crush the apples to the core (literally) so that they could make their fabuolous cider, it was very yummy.  I have one picture in here of the machinery, I think that they guys said the machinery was second hand back from the early 1900’s.   Here are the rest of our pictures:

scrumpytogo.jpg refill.jpg makingcider.jpg  candyapples3.jpg candyapples2.jpg candyapples1.jpg

dance2.jpgI wasn’t sure if I was going to like the cider so it was apparent that we needed to do some taste testing.  We started out with some Sparkling Cider, which was beautiful!  Aside from the sparkling there is “Scrumpy” which is a flat version of cider without the bubbles – a bit darker in colour and tasted a lot like spiked apple juice.  It was also good.

We went on to try some of the eats, with a sheapards pie each and a homemade brownie to go – we watched the candied apples being made from the cooking of the sugar right down to the dipping of each apple and the kids sucking them down!  It was quite interesting to watch, and they looked yummy and fresh but we definitely passed on this treat.  The dancers were pretty cool, doing some old celtic dancing with bells on their knees and sticks in their hands.  Incredible picture I took – as they jump you can see that no foot is touching the ground!  Also note the beautiful vineyard in the background – yellow like during our wedding – it was beautiful.  This was definitely a fun day.  Lots of families were out and enjoying everything.

Our next Holiday

Well, we are starting to get ready and excited for our trip to Thailand, I’ve never been to Phuket before so I can’t wait. Want to spend some stress-less time with Birdie and relax a bit.  I’m feeling very anxious lately.  Maybe because our trip to the U.S. is coming on so quickly, the Reunion is looming and I have to get things organised this weekend and start selling more tickets.  I’m really looking forward to everything but there is a certain stress with planning of such a large event. We are also attending my Reunion in Houston at Klein Oak High School where I went to 9th and 10th grade – most of those kids are the ones I grew up with from the age of 10.  I’m probably looking forward more to the reunion in Texas than the one that I’m planning ~ only because I’m so excited to see friends from so long ago.  I’ve reconnected online with most of my Texas friends and I’m really looking forward to seeing them again.

Flautas, Tamales and Stuffed Peppers

Finding Mexican food here in Australia is a pretty daunting task!  Luckily Mom was good enough to bring Birdie some fabulous Mexican cookbooks this trip.  We started with making some special dishes for Birdie’s parents after Mom and Adam left.  We made pork tamales, chicken flautas and stuffed peppers:

tamales.jpg flautas.jpg stuffed-peppers2.jpg

If you’ve ever been invited to our house for dinner, you’ve most likely been exposed to our favourite – Mexican food!  These new recipies are just lovely and although it was hard to find Mesa (Polenta) to make the tamales, and even harder to find corn husks (believe it or not) we finally got all the ingredients to make this lovely treat. We used green chili sauce and they were wonderful.  Birdie used burrito flour tortillas and stuffed them with seasoned shredded pork, veges, cheese, and hot sauce to make a wonderful fried “Flauta”, and finally the red peppers stuffed with a potato, herb, and cheese mixture topped things off.  All yummy!

Kadam and Mom

Looks like Kat & Adam (Kadam) are going to be visiting Mom this weekend in Sacramento.  I am glad to see that they are getting up to visit for Mothers Day.  I’m sure they have other things planned as well but Mom is really looking forward to their company.   It’s not long now and we’ll be there wearing her out – not to worry!  Now that they are back home from their Australian vacation they seem to be getting back to normal.  Adam has a bit of gab and pics on his blog, be sure to check it out:


Mental Status: It’s Mother’s Day this weekend, and we are back to Kellybrook Winery for a nice lunch to celebrate. Also looking forward to Blair’s big Poker Night!  We’re looking to win big!
Favourite thing this week: Back out to doing training within Victoria – glad to be out of the office again!
Upcoming events: Thailand trip 16 June, and the U.S. 10 July.

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