I don’t know where to begin. There’s too much to tell. So I’ll just serve it up in one enormous, disjointed package.
I’ll start with Friday night. My mum and dad took the youngest and the rest of our extended family to teppanyaki.
I’d bought myself tickets to Neil Finn as my Christmas present from Husband (who had point blank refused to go even before he cut and run) on the same night, and my sister was supposed to come along.
But she looked totally shagged as she sipped her miso soup, so I asked the eldest if she’d like to go to see her first band with Mum. It meant she’d have to miss out on a face full of egg and fried rice at teppanyaki but her eyes lit up with excitement.
She did admit she wished it was Kiss we were going to see – she’s a bit dazzled after watching this video …
But Neil Finn would do. As we exited the Opera House carpark her face was filled with joy at the lights of the city and the Harbour Bridge (“It all looks so much bigger at night,” she breathed.)
I can’t say Neil knocked it out of the park for his youngest audience member in terms of crowd-pleaser tracks. Although he did play her favourite – “History Never Repeats”.
To her credit, the eldest reckons “Dizzy Heights”, from his latest album, is a pretty awesome song. And after watching it with her on YouTube last night I have to agree, it’s quite mesmerising.
At one freaky part of the concert, Neil started singing “I’m a little teapot” … then Jimmy Barnes sprang from backstage and sang it thrashingly. The crowd went wild and the eldest was like “What the?” I explained it was Jimmy Barnes and she was still like “What the?” So I cast about and said “Cold Chisel??” … like that was going to strike a chord. Then I gave up and just said … he’s very famous.
We tottered home at midnight and spent Saturday in a haze of exhaustion, which wasn’t really on because it was the youngest’s 8th birthday and she was forced to wait until 8.30am to open her presents because the household insisted on slumbering on.
The presents were a huge hit. She looks totally rock star in her gold jeans and the ukelele went down a treat.
At 2pm I dropped her at a friend’s birthday party. Not just any birthday party. A birthday party involving a stretch limousine taking a gaggle of 8-year-olds to high tea.
Then I went home to make the youngest’s birthday cake. It’s not quite the masterpiece I had hoped for, but it will do. I’ll share some pics with the birthday snaps tomorrow.
While I baked and iced, the eldest cooked dinner. She wanted a change from pasta and decided to tackle a whole fish she spotted in a Bill Granger cookbook and it was YUM.
Unfortunately the dog spoilt the meal slightly by pissing on my new IKEA rug halfway through, but apart from that it was a real treat.
Here’s the recipe …
Recipe: Baked whole fish with lemon potatoes
2 x 800g white fish such as snapper, cleaned and scaled
handful of coriander leaves
10 spring onions, chippped
1 teaspoon chilli flakes
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
1kg yellow waxy potatoes
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3 garlic cloves, crushed
freshly ground black pepper
125ml chicken stock
60ml lemon juice
100g pitted olives
METHOD: Preheat oven to 200C. For the lemon potatoes, cut the potatoes into thick slices and place in a roasting tray. Add the olive oil, garlic, salt, pepper, stock and lemon juice, and toss with your hands to combine.
Meanwhile, make 3 slashes on each side of the fish through the thickest part and place on a baking tray. Put the remaining ingredients into a food processor and process to a coarse paste. Spread the paste over each side of the fish and into the slashes.
Lower the oven setting to 180C and put the fish into the oven (below the potatoes). Bake for 20 minutes or until it is cooked through, adding the olives to the potatoes for the last 5 minutes. Serve at once, placing the fish on top of the potatoes if you like.
After dinner I wound down (actually, make that wound up) by watching a Kevin Bacon redux Footloose YouTube video a few times. Cue heavy breathing. Misery is impossible while watching that video, it annihilates it immediately. YOU. MUST. SEE. IT.
Here are some awesome then and now GIFs of it …
And now the youngest’s birthday party morning dawns … wish me luck … I only have to squeeze in a pump session at the gym and crimp two kids’ hair by 10am … it’ll be a doddle.
How’s your weekend panning out?