Sunday, 7 September 2014

Happy Fathers' Day (with a bonus recipe for bread)

Today is Fathers' Day here in Australia and my sister, daughter, niece and I went to visit him and mum.  Our brother was working so he was going to see them tonight.

I rang dad this morning to let him know we were going over and I told him to tell mum not to cook anything.  Well, I should have known better as she always cooks/bakes something.  Now I do know she loves to cook, however it was only a week ago that she lost her balance, fell down on the tiled floor, knocking her eye on a chair and dislocating her shoulder.  Her arm is still in a sling and she is on pain killers.  

Of course, that didn't stop her from making bread and cheese crescents to go with the roast chicken, roasted peppers, creamed potatoes and a lovely fresh garden salad.

I don't know what it is, perhaps its because I am getting older and realise they are too.  Over the last couple of years I notice some deterioration.  Dad (77) has Macular degeneration and its depressing him so as there is no cure and he doesn't see any improvement.  He has injections in his eyes every 2 months or so and we tell him its to stabilise his condition.  I think he is frustrated as he thinks the injections should improve his eyesight.  Having said that he still works hard chopping wood to stock up for their wood stove and heaters. 

Mum is also a hard worker at 73 and up until her fall, still cleaned other peoples houses (coz she can't say no) She says it gets her out of the house - the only thing is she does not drive and dad is not allowed to drive very far.  I think its time for them to relax a little.  Since their retirement over 25 years ago, they've worked harder than when they were 'working' - dad in the iron and steel industry and mum in a sewing factory.

So here's some pics of their hang out.  A fully equipped granny flat.  They do live in a double story 5 bedroom house but enjoy living 'outdoors' like back in their village in Macedonia.  Mind you they've been here for over 50 years now, but, its what they like as they can do some gardening, whilst dinner is cooking and can watch some television or have a pensioner nap :) and not dirty the main house.

Selfies, here we are, after just finishing lunch (I raced to be in the pic with the self timer on haha).  fr left to right, my sis Suzanne, me, mum Nada, dad George, niece Emily and daughter Kathy.

The wood fire oven complete with mandatory pot full of boiling water and kettle (you just never know when one may feel like a cup of coffee or tea) :)  see the bed just behind? perfect on a cold winters day with the warmth from the oven.

Roasted peppers with garlic and oil (yum) very traditional Macedonian dish - 101 ways to cook peppers!

Mum's famous white bread - it's so fluffy it's almost as light as a sponge cake.  (Recipe follows)

Nada’s White Bread


·         1 kilo white flour
·         3 cups warm water
·         1/3 cup oil
·         2 tablespoons dry yeast
·         2 tablespoons sugar
·         1 tablespoon bread improver
·         Salt to taste – a scattering (no measure for this)
·         Extra flour for kneading


Note:  mum makes her bread in a mixer

1.       In a large mixer bowl add sifted flour and salt (stir with spoon to mix  salt in)
2.       In another bowl add 1 cup warm water, yeast, sugar, half of the oil and bread improver and allow to rise
3.       Make a well in the flour, then pour the yeast mixture
4.       Add the rest of the oil and 2 cups warm water
5.       Mix all the ingredients together until the dough is smooth and does not stick to the bowl
6.       Cover bowl and allow to rise until the dough reaches the top of the bowl
7.       Once the bread has risen, take out of the bowl and knead lightly on a floured board.
8.       Shape as desired and place in a warm pan/bread tin lightly oiled
9.       Allow to rise
1.      Bake in an oven on 180 degrees Celsius until baked (should sound hollow when tapped)

These are called 'Kifli' in Macedonian, scrumptious crescents filled with crumbled fetta cheese (made like bread but with milk not water)

Rakija (Plum Brandy) a nip or two is good for you says dad - usually drink this when having salad and the salad is usually eaten before the main meal.  Of course Rakija is a good morning pick me up drink too haha! best drunken warm and sweetened with sugar by melting the sugar and browned to a toffee colour, then adding the brandy and heat up.

Mum made some creamed scalloped potatoes - not a traditional dish but she likes to make it and the family love them!

I always find something interesting at their place and today it was this handmade cushion cover - I think it's just beautiful - very ethnic indeed!

 ....and what did I find in the wall unit? these lovely glazed pots - mum does use them for cooking sometimes.  Bean casseroles (Graf) taste delicious made in one of these.  She also uses these pots when making her home made yoghurt - its one of my favourites.

 Does anyone remembers this? a wooden pestal and mortar - used to crush dried peppers, salt, garlic and nuts

 and lastly a few pics of their garden  At the moment they have spring onions growing.

another shot - garden all ready for planting.  See dad's perfectly stacked firewood!  I think you can tell he is a perfectionist :)

Here we have banana pepper, hot chillies and cucumber seedlings.  These will be ready for planting in October and the fruits will be ready just in time for Christmas - can't wait!

and some tomato seedlings

oh and lastly here is my latest ZIAs (Zentangle Inspied Art)  after all this is what my blog is mostly about.

I hope you've enjoyed reading a little about my family - thanks for your visit - Smiles :)


  1. Awesome post, feel like I am there!!!

  2. Awesome Post, Lila. Wonderful visit with your family. That bread is so enticing.

  3. This is very nice, thanks for sharing a bit of your family. Always pleasant to see where your roots are. The zia's are great, I especially like the first one.

  4. I loved reading about your family, Lila (and also your lovely ZIAs!) - we do a lot of firewood chopping and vegetable gardening here as well :)


Thank you for your visit :)