Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Sarah's birthday, kiwi fruit, and not obtaining deliverance from Hell.

Today was Sarah's sixth birthday.

It was much anticipated.  Last year, on her fifth birthday, we were in New England.  Although Aunt Julie was there visiting us, we really didn't have any kids available to celebrate with.  This was hard on my social five year old.  She was very sad, and having her party later only kind of made up for it.

So, this year, we did an "unbirthday" party with her school class just before school let out.  That way, we took care of the 'friends' party in advance.

We had hoped to get together with our New Zealand sponsor family, but they got stuck in the south-south island because of the snow and didn't make it back in time.

So, we had a great family celebration.

First, we went to the grocery store and did something that was long overdue.

We got kiwi fruit.

I mean, really, we've been in New Zealand almost a month and have not had kiwi fruit?  Never mind that we've tried local fish, kumara (the native sweet potato/taro root vegetable), lamb sausages, and the great New Zealand delicacy - hokey pokey ice cream.  But really, to go a whole month without trying kiwi fruit?  What were we thinking?

We got a New Zealand local golden kiwi fruit.  It was deeee-licious.

New Zealand golden kiwi fruit.

Then, we cooked a gluten-free chocolate cake.  Being gluten-free in New Zealand deserves its own post, but let me just say that it is way easier to eat gluten-free here.  Almost every restaurant labels its menu with GF options, offers GF bread, and there is even a bakery trying to offer gluten-free McDonalds breakfast-ish items that is not bad.

Cooking the cake, however, was disaster ridden.  Our house is not set up for long term residence.  So, the selection of pots and pans is quite limited, some of them are leprous enough that I will only use them if they are covered in three layers of tinfoil, and cooking requires a certain amount of improvisation.

Looking over my options, I decided my best bet was to bake the cake in a smaller aluminum pie-tin-type thing.  Bad decision.  Part of the cake spilled onto the bottom of the oven.  Although the heating element is only on top of this not-so-great oven, it was still hot all through the inside.  So, the cake drippings burnt quickly and began spewing reams of smoke into a kitchen/living area with no fans or ventilation.  Fortunately or unfortunately, the house also has no smoke alarm.

We had to open windows to the cold and stand around fanning the smoke outside the door.  OOPS!

Despite this, the cake still turned out good - and Sarah was still able to do her candles.

Sarah blowing out candles.

Cake and ice cream!

We did, however, decide to give up on making our own pizza so we could clean the oven.

Instead, we got pizza from Hell.  Literally, from Hell Pizza.  And no, they don't have any fun with that name at all.

We were unable to get deliverance from Hell, however, because Hell had frozen over (thank you Christchurch snow).  So, Chris went to Hell and back to get us our dinner.

Barbecue pizza with venison sausage.  YUM!

And now, I will close with this joke from Sarah's new joke book that she got for her birthday:

Q:  How did the tree get on the internet?
A:  It LOGGED on.


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