The past couple of months have seen some major milestones for us as a family. Nicola turned 21 and we celebrated that with a great party, which sold us completely on the idea of having a party at an external venue rather than home. It was a wonderful night and completely stress-free.
The night was testament to a long series of good decisions that Nicola has made in her life, choice of venue was the most recent of these good decisions. Her choice of friends, which is a much more significant decision, was very evident that night. Nicola’s friends are a wonderful group of men and women. She is well loved by both her family and her friends and clearly loves them.
The speeches were terrific, Tristan, Frankie, and Oliver found the perfect balance of humor and positive memory. More importantly all the speeches passed the ‘older relative appropriate’ test. For Mark and I it was a very emotional night. Nicola and Frankie first came in contact with each other when Janet and I met at the Health Centre as new mothers of our first babies. 21 years later we have two beautiful young women who have become best friends. It doesn’t seem that long ago.
Nicola is someone who Mark and I feel privileged to have in our lives. She is as beautiful on the inside as she is on the outside and her social conscience will drive her to do something truly wonderful with her life.
On a similar theme, Oliver has finished school. For good. He is about to embark on the next stage of his life and we have closed the chapter of having children at school. Although part of us is excited to be moving into life with our children as adults, part of us will always be a bit nostalgic for the Carey years and the Glenferrie Primary School years. Oliver is waiting to find out what his year 12 results will be and whether he will be accepted into the course that he has chosen. Whatever the outcome of these decisions Oliver will dive into his future with determination, persistence, optimism and his infectious laid back spirit. Case in point: the award he is clutching is the Carey Girls Softball Trophy which he tried to pass off as the ‘Carey Top Bloke Award’.
On a much more self indulgent note, myself and six close women friends had a wonderful girls weekend away at Aireys a few weeks ago. It reminded me that I don’t laugh nearly enough but we made up for it that weekend. There was lots of cooking, walking, laughing and Jan who has cooked 9 dinners over the course of 12 years cooked her very celebrated 10th! Below is the recipe for Moroccan Chicken Parcels, which was our dinner on night one. Sensational taste, all prepared the night before, which means you can sit around and have a drink and not spend too much time in the kitchen on the night you’re actually eating it.
Moroccan Chicken Parcels
Recipe (makes 4 serves, increase in proportion to more chicken)
4 pieces of chicken. (I prefer marylands or chicken chops with a bone as
they are more moist)
Juice and zest of 1 lime
1&1/2 tbsp pernod
1 tbsp honey
1 tbsp grated ginger
1 clove chopped garlic
6 stalks coriander
1/2 cup chopped pistachios
3 tsp dijon mustard
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp cummin
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
80 ml olive oil
Fresh coriander to garnish
Place ingredients in food processor in sections beginning with the nuts
garlic and ginger.
Briefly mix/pulse a couple of times.Add coriander and repeat.
Then add other ingredients and mix again.It should be lumpy not a paste at
Place chicken in zip lock bag with the marinade. Keep in fridge for about 24
When you are ready to cook them, Place each piece of chicken in the centre
of a baking paper square. Bring up sides to seal as a parcel amd tie the top
with kitchen string.
Bake in a moderate oven for 45 mins.Garnish with fresh coriander serve with
cous cous or a freakah salad and greens.
Now that Nicola has encouraged me out of my laziness back into blogging I’m gearing up for Summer food, Christmas food, family times, art projects and New Years Resolutions.