13 August 2010

Happy Friday

to one and all..
Dash assisting T in rescuing a paper airplane

wooiee there is nothing like hot weather and trying to do a few errands with three kids in tow... some moments are fine, even nice, and fulfilling in that parental sort of way, kids singing and skipping down shady alleys. Tanned legs cheerly making their way past beaming stooped over grannies sweeping doorsteps and past crowds of old men standing or sitting in the shady part of the piazza  drinking small glasses of sweet tea.

Then come the testing grating on your nerves moments when not shouting takes every bit of strength you have, like when you have gone to the bank and your 6 yr old boy scoots up very close in order to get a very good view to the random lady trying to get money out of atm machine in front of us, at the same moment curly topped older girl child teases your younger girl child in stroller -within seconds come a few high pitch screams and the loud sound of the  aluminium water bottle clanging onto the stone floor,  ..it rolls, knocks past to older already annoyed  people waiting in the hot sun and on into the street and traffic - just at the moment you are trying to explain to said 6 yr old - please give the lady some space... atm machines are a time for PRIVACY (for lack of a better word)(privacy a relatively newly introduced term in the house). This slightly chaotic moment is then topped off with curly topped middle child (who is obsessed with finding coins)  screams she has found a MONEY!!!! Younger child (aka destructo) demands A MONEY TOO!!!! I NEED A MONEY!!!!

Moving right along that was peanuts next to the crowded hard ware store experience.... waiting in line, having various small hands belonging to my wee tribe nearly tipping over huge rolled up hoses, black shade material, aluminium trash cans neatly stacked up as I wait in the short but sloooowwww line (and get skipped by a stocky old lady) what can I do?! Arguing in Maltese is not my strong suit. Finally when it is my turn, I try to explain what I mean by a glue gun. Meanwhile boy child insists I ask them for sparklers.. first time I ignored his interrupted question but upon the fifth repeat I finally excuse the child, tell him off quietly and then start trying to explain what a sparkler is in sign language.. with two old men behind the worn out dusty counter looking very very confused... cake candles is what they eventually handed to me... so yes, coming home, out of the sun, is heaven sent.. time for  huge juicy peach and banana smoothies..(the peaches in Malta are absolutely delicious right now) what else can cure frayed nerves right?
I won't bore you with the next thing asked for (aside from painting all the windows with random paintbrushes and muddy water and setting the kittten up in his own boat... in the kiddy pool). Actually (  I only just narrowly rescued the poor little guy from his sea fairing  adventure .. much to the extreme dismay of child 1,2 and 3). Its not even lunch time. Sometimes half a day with the 'tribe' is like one bumpy and uphill treck.... some nice sights and sounds, loving lovely moments but there is no way around the fact that it takes heaps of energy and patience.

For sanity I find a run down to this bay as the sun comes up helps me keep my cool, in moments of being pulled (sometimes literally) in three or four directions. 

Wee little gift I made this week for a friend thinking of making another for the shop...

11 August 2010

Zanzibar ice cream
Named more for an ice cream  I remember loving as child then the exoticness it may allude to. 
Now I am not exactly sure if there ever really was a Zanzibar ice cream that I tried as a child but I seem to remember it and it was most certainly a dark chocolate type (I come from the midwestern state of Wisconsin known for it's dairy products, ice cream being one found in unusual abundance). 

Here is my version of the Zanzibar Ice Cream
  (or dark chocolate ice cream with a hint of mint)
2 cups full or 2 percent milk
3/4 to cup dark cocoa powder ( I used dark Perugina powder) 

(Picture shown) 
*of note, I am  not entirely sure if it is just dark unsweetened cocoa powder or perhaps something you make the thick hot Italian hot chocolate with. 
4 egg yolks
3/4 cup sugar ( I used a tiny bit less than this) 
1 cup single cream
1 spring fresh mint

Heat two cups milk in a medium saucepan. 
Mix 3/4 cup cocoa powder with the milk.
add 3/4 cup sugar ( I used demurera but any plain sugar would do) 
* I like my chocolate ice cream to be on the dark and bitter side as I like to taste the chocolate so you may want to add a little more sugar).
Let the mixture heat just to a gentle simmer (then add one three inch spring of fresh mint) and watch closely so as not to burn for 2-5 min, stirring continuously. Then remove from heat ( also remove the soggy mint spring) and add the 1 cup single cream (in the US it may be safer to use double cream) (here single cream whips just like double cream, only difference I can see is single cream is a little less thick to start with and it is near to impossible to find double cream).
Separately beat 4 egg yolks till fluffy,  (should be ribbon like when you bring a whisk through).
Add the heated milk and cocoa mixture in a tiny smooth stream to the whipped egg yolks, and when completely combined bring the mixture back to the stove top and heat slowly till it thickens enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon, remove and let cool , then refrigerate for a few hours and lastly pour into ice cream churner (this recipe makes about 10 two scoop servings).

The weeks are galloping by at an unusual pace here, sorry I have not managed to write many posts or leave many comments. amid visitors and neolithic temple reading here I have been working on some sewing commissions. But here are a few tiny snippits of the week, 
The season of village feasts, Birgu (our close neighbour) had hers on Tuesday. The sound of fire works and marching bands have been a constant all week. 

Going out, and enjoying skirts ( I go through phases of forgetting to wear them) 
but ahh in summer heat they are the best!

Little creations- oil cloth bag for kids

08 August 2010

Happy Monday

Nothing like a full weekend of activities and nice slow meals with friends to help the back to business of Monday mornings! Am coasting from the nice talks, new faces and interesting films caught at this weekend's short film festival. 
Hope your week is starting off well.
I tried out a very tasty new recipe - Zanzibar chocolate ice cream I am calling it- recipe to come soon! Swimsuits to rinse and hang on the rooftop and kitty boxes waiting to be cleaned... 
more soon though! 

p.s. Isn't Zibibbo a fun name for a grape?!   

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