Saturday, April 30, 2011

Loooong weekend.

Last weekend in Australia was a 5 day weekend - 5! That's as long as a typical work week!  Although I'm not religious, and observe neither Good Friday nor Easter, and although I have yet to attend a dawn service or otherwise make a big deal out of Anzac Day, I am not one to turn down a 5 day weekend - or an excuse to theme bake.

So how did we spend our 5 day weekend?  It would have been a good opportunity to travel somewhere exciting, but I was in the final throes of revising, and then submitting, an application for a postdoc.  So we stayed at home, and got up to some fun but low-key activities within bike-able distance of home.

But mainly, we ate.  I started Friday morning by making a batch of Hot Cross Buns.

I followed the recipe in Vegan Bake Sale, but used all dried mixed fruit.  And I threw everything into the bread maker, instead of bothering with kneading.  After 10 minutes of mixing, Andy decided I should make two batches - so we could freeze some, you see - so I quickly rushed around to get another lot put together, so they could go into the oven at the same time.

The buns themselves were wonderful - soft and fluffy, full of fruit and flavour.  The cross mix didn't work out for me - it was too thin, and blobbed out of my makeshift piping bag, resulting in messy white squiggles instead of dainty crosses.  And then when I put them into the oven, the crosses all but disappeared.  Oh well - the crosses are not the best part of the hot cross bun, anyways.

We picked up a bookshelf we received via freecycle, and found a home for it in the kitchen, housing our cookbook collection, some appliances, and Nacho's food.  Nacho digs it, even in its half-filled state.

We rode our bikes up the river and spent a few hours watching some waterskiing competition.  Can you make out the person flying through the air in the photo?

Mostly though, it was just nice to spend some time outside in the sun, next to the lovely river, after such a long wet season.

We tidied up the garden a bit.

And planted a few seeds, now that we are coming into the better growing season in Townsville.

We also read books, and I crocheted some stuffed toys for friends who are having babies soon - more on these after said recipients have received.  I decided the long weekend would be a good time to take up the Couch to 5k training program - I am determined to learn to like running, and I've heard good things about this program.  But I promptly got a sore knee, so have temporarily canned my running attempts - until I get some new shoes. 

 We went for a ride around the Anderson Park Gardens, especially interested in the tropical fruit orchard there...

And then I made Anzac biscuits, to wrap up the weekend.

Now it's Saturday, and I am gifted with another long weekend - that means three short weeks in a row.  Monday is Labour Day in Queensland, and I'm looking forward to another few days of pottering!


Emma said...

Oooh those buns look nice. I'm all hot cross bunned out until next year though! I made so many batches I don't want to smell another one!

Ha - I remember the first time I decided to jog for a minute, my knees hurt too so I gave that up. You should check out some sports stores for new shoes - there's a few sales going on and it's so worth it. When I put my new running shoes on I don't want to take them off! And no sore knees, as yet. :) It is very tempting to buy the 10 dollar shoes at Target or something but they suck, basically haha.

Hannah said...

You made Anzac biscuits, hot cross buns, AND you gardened. Oh, Theresa, I think you're more Aussiefied than me ;) Well done!

P.S. I'm still a little unsure whether humans are actually made for constant running. It seems to damage every runner's body so much...

aimee said...

Looks like you are having fun! Oh, how I miss living in the Tropics!!!

Millie said...

well alI I would need is some milk to swallow down all those great bake goods. It looks divine.

Susan said...

Ooohhh... homemade hot cross buns FTW! I had to work on Easter Saturday, but I enjoyed the other four days off.

Nadine said...

I missed Easter and Anzac Day this year and it was really therapeutic! Might try and miss it every year, even though it makes me sound like scrooge - like the themed baking idea though :)

Gauri Radha गौरी राधा said...

The hot cross buns and biscuits look great!