We might be ten days out from the official start of winter but the beauty of our autumn masquerading as summer still lingers this weekend.
I took these photos during our walk through Alison Park in Randwick this morning. The only thing late autumn about them are those partially naked branches. Dad just messaged me from Perth to tell me how lucky it was that Preschooler SSG and I timed our visit when we did because it's stormy and cold in the west right now. Winter seems to have arrived early and I hope WA readers are safe and dry.
We were in Randwick to take part in the 2016 NSW Fire Station Open Day which is part of the service's campaign to help educate the public about fire safety. There's been parental excitement on social media all week as many of us have searched online for our closest participating fire stations before planning our Saturday morning around a visit. As we went about our business at the shops this morning, I wasn't the only slightly harassed adult I could hear darkly muttering "... or we won't be going to the fire station later...". It was actually more effective than you might think it would be. The only thing is that we've all got to think of something else to darkly mutter about now. Is it too early to use Christmas? Don't think the major retailers would have any objection. It is nearly June.
Getting back to Fire Station Open Day. This is Randwick Fire Station. It's a two minute walk from the park.
And here is its fire engine. We were lucky to even have this photo because as we walked in, a fire fighter in uniform climbed on board and gave Preschooler SSG and company a cheery wave before putting on the lights and pulling out of the station to attend to a raised alarm. The children were entranced at the spectacle of it. And then the realisation that it wasn't just a show put on for them sunk in and there were a few disappointed cries when it dawned that the truck wasn't just going around the block and coming back.
Fortunately, the lovely people of My Food Bag were on hand just outside the station at the market next door handing out gift bags. Preschooler SSG happily carried ours back across the park for me. The lime and red onion were actually on this weekend's shopping list. How uncanny.
Speaking of food, it was chicken curry day in the SSG kitchen. I'm a big fan of tomatoes in Malaysian curries. Which explains why that can of Italian chopped tomatoes is in my photo.
I'd also like to take the opportunity to make a formal apology for that one time I decided to make chicken curry in my slow cooker. Despite using an excellent curry paste, it did not end well. Using a wok is much faster, tastier and guaranteed to keep you warm should you decide to get cooking early in the morning this winter. I also used bone in chicken pieces which makes curries tastier for some reason.
It is possible to kill a jaffle maker with kindness. This is my Aldi version and as you can see, it hasn't aged well with my at least weekly use this last year. My problem is that I'm unable to exercise restraint when it comes to assembling my toasted sandwiches. It would never do to have just one slice of turkey in a sandwich and neither would it be right to have only thin slivers of deseeded tomato dotting the slice of cheese. Those teaspoons of cranberry sauce I then add have also taken their toll. Before you know it, things begin to melt off and into the press and pairs of sandwiches expanded beyond their pre-marked segments. No wonder it looks to battle worn and a bit crispy around the edges.
Say hello to my brand new Deep Fill Sandwich Maker. Also from Aldi and a steal at $22.99. I'm banking on the promised deep fill for my next round of turkey, cheese and cranberry sauce jaffles. The included recipe book features a tinned salmon recipe as well as one combining left over rotisserie chicken and curry powder. All of which practically live in my kitchen. Stay tuned for taste test updates.
That's about it from me. That chicken curry is calling my name for dinner.
Did you visit a local fire station today? Anything exciting happen while you were there?