While we were away some new neighbours moved in. Mr and Mrs Bulbul have built a nest two feet from the back door and hatched three little ones in our absence. It took us a day or two to realise and the poor things must be rethinking their decision as we noisily bang through the door at all hours. Here is Mum (or Dad?) sitting ready with a bug to feed them when the coast is clear.
Luckily they are persevering and its really wonderful to have this squawky new life in our garden.
As I said before, the garden mostly survived our absence well. The tomatoes especially are still going great guns. These three different red cherry tomatoes are plants I bought from the garden centre, I like the Sweet Bites best. The green zebra and yellow pear tomatoes are grown from seed. Sadly the green zebra didn't get much water while we were away so I'm trying to coax them back to life. They are such pretty fruit. The yellow pear are thriving and the organza bags I sealed them into and home made fruit fly trap seem to have been really successful at protecting my crops. Touch wood!
Those funny mid size orange ones are self sown. They are incredibly prolific but I've been cooking with these ones as they never seem to go really soft at the top even when left on a sunny windowsill.
In other news my lovely girl's birthday was celebrated in style with a trip to yum cha at the Fish Markets. Its not our usual spot (we love Zilver in Chinatown) but it was great to be amongst the bustle and smells of the Market and meant we could buy up supplies for our roll your own sushi night. The birthday made a great excuse to indulge in tuna and salmon sashimi, flying fish roe and prawns.
We had to try and roll smaller size sushi because we only had a little sushi rice in the cupboard and I fear some of our attempts would make a sushi master cringe! They all tasted fantastic though and it didn't cost that much to completely spoil the five of us and the sushi loving birthday girl.
This year clever Santa provided Adriano Zumbo packet mixes into each kid's stocking. On that record hot day last week (45 point something in Sydney and my phone app said 46 degrees here!) we came home from a quick pool trip to our nice cool old house and made salted caramel macaroons. Even with the packet mix they are a little tricky - and I think perhaps we didn't cook them quite long enough as they were a little soft and hard to handle at the end - but they were soooo delicious and we're keen to try again. There are video instructions online which go through each step which is a great help, and I think they make a great school holiday project.