Tuesday, 1 March 2011

Beautiful friends

On the weekend we FINALLY got away camping.

Our family all LOVE it.

It was as magnificent as we had hoped and more....

We shared it with one of our fave families of all time.

I realise more & more just how precious & rare a good family friendship is.

It is one thing for the kids to enjoy each other but even more rare for the parents to enjoy each other too.

And what is even MORE rare is that you can manage to get along as families in a common environment away from home.

Sometimes it is a NIGHTMARE.....bedtime routines that don't match, food needs that don't match, rules that don't match, no rules, too many rules, etc, etc.

If you have ever been in that most uncomfortable of scenarios you will understand EXACTLY what I mean.

Anyway.....last weekend was a lovely reminder of how special one of the families in our life are to us all.

We share a common "joie de vive".

It makes for good company & easy enjoyable times.

We also share a love of sharing good food alongside our good times (and we may or may not enjoy a few wines along with that!).

We have tested the theory many many times just to be sure!

When we are together we share the care of 9 children.

EVERY single one of them gets along. It is quite something to watch. Not ONCE has there ever been CLOSE to a disgreement.

This weekend the kids spent the ENTIRE time busy in the bush creating a bush cubby- over the two days we were camping the kids kept themselves busy all day 'decorating' & 'improving'.

At night they played charades & chatted & then went to bed tired with the heaviness of a physically active day sliding gently into sleep comforted by the chatter of the parents close by.

We didn't pack ONE SINGLE TOY. Not ONCE did they ask for one either.

We camped in the most beautiful beachside bush campsite.

We were not alone......in the morning we were visited by a little furry friend who was in the tree above our camping trailer. HOW AMAZOID!

I like to think we have come home with one of those weekends that the kids will NEVER forget.  Me either.

Special people those friends of ours......

It is REMARKABLE and for that this week I am THANKFUL.


Today I wanted to blog a recipe for home made Char Siu (Chinese BBQ pork). I made some last week and promised one of my lovely followers I would blog the recipe!
I have to say that I would normally buy it from my local Yum Cha but it is not alway possible and this is a pretty fine substitute!
And I use a very good jar- YES IT IS A CHEAT & YES EVEN I USE JARS! I am just fussy about which ones!


  • 1 jar of Lee Kum Kee Char siu marinade (you will find this in your local asian grocer)
  • 1 700g organic pork shoulder (or pork fillet)
  • 3 tablespoons honey

Dry off the pork using paper towel. Pour enough marinade onto pork to completely cover the meat.
Refrigerate OVERNIGHT. (the jar will say 2 hours but overnight is better)

Bake on rack at 180C for half an hour.
Turn and bake for another 20 minutes.
Remove from oven & baste with honey.
Return to oven for 10 minutes.

Remove from oven and allow to rest for half an hour.

Char siu is gorgeous just served with fluffy rice & greens.

I sliced mine and made rice paper rolls. My kids LOVE them- they love the fresh crunchy vegies & they love being able to make their own.



  • 1 pack of rice paper (from most supermarkets or asian grocer)
  • a bowl large enough to hold a sheet of rice paper filled with warm water
  • hoi sin sauce
  • Iceberg lettuce
  • fresh bean shoots
  • carrots (julienned very fine)
  • cucumber (sliced into long thin pieces)
  • char siu
  • fresh herbs, i.e: coriander, mint, vietnamese mint)
  • (add any other variation of goodies you like!)
  • vietnamese dipping sauce-NUOC CHAM...click HERE for recipe

I find it easiest to have everything cut rady to assemble and make as the kids eat. Or they make their own- they LOVE to....another asian variation on a taco meal!

Place a piece of rice paper into water bath until translucent. Don't leave it in water too long or it will go soggy & be very hard to work with without breaking.
Remove and place onto a plate.
Use the back of a spoon to spread a good amount of hoi sin onto it.

Now place whichever ingredients on the paper.....
......and fold in one end then the sides and then roll over until it is done!

Dip in Nuoc Cham and ENJOY!

Todays listening pleasure is from Sarah Blasko...a beautiful clip too:


  1. What's for dinner friday night love?

  2. Thanks for remembering !! Will dish this up on the weekend and let you know if it looked anything like your pic!!

  3. How perfectly perfect. Nothing, NOTHING beats that tired, blissful feeling after time spent with friends like this. It is food for the soul, and priceless too. :-)

  4. I love this post!!
    I love how camping takes you away from the distractions and reminds you of the important stuff. What wonderful memories. x

  5. ps. I am a tad embarased about how old that daylesford organics post on your side bar is. I think I had better update that blog soon. Thanks for the reminder.

  6. We ADORE camping too. Lets go together one year! Yeah? YEAH!


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