Monday, July 25, 2011

Our first visitors

About a month ago, Andrew and Paige came to visit. Our first visitors!

Good thing we just bought a brand new bed for our second bedroom, designed specifically for visitors. Oooo, pretty...

Providing solid proof that it is actually a small world after all, it turns out Andrew is friends with the other guy from NGA who came down to Canberra about a month after we did. This is Brevin. He's a good guy. We both told Andrew we got positions here, so he introduced us before we left.

Now, as some of you may be aware, we had an Iron Chef party, based on one of the greatest Japanese language cooking shows of all time. Each week a contestant challenges one of the Iron Chefs (who specialize in a certain ethnic cuisine- Japanese, Chinese, or French) to a cook-off featuring a certain theme ingredient. To adapt this for us, we gave everyone the ingredient ahead of time, with the only guidance that at least a majority of the cooking had to be done at our place. Thus began the Lemon Battle, and after the sticky, sticky dust had cleared, Andrew and Paige were crowned the Iron Chefs, much to Greg's chagrin. So, to honor their coming, we had a second Iron Chef party to allow them to defend their title. Australia Iron Chef: Pumpkin Battle!  Here are three of the contestants- Tika, Josh, and Katrina (of High Tea fame), eager for battle.

The Pumpkin Battle in full swing! Controlled chaos ensued.

This is just a really nice picture of Laurel and Katrina. Over Laurel's left shoulder are Adrian and Chrissy (spoiler alert) the eventual Pumpkin Iron Chefs.

And this is largely why. Chrissy made homemade pasta! Holy crap, their pumpkin and pine nut cream sauce was absolutely fantastic, and the fresh pasta was amazing. Although after watching all of the effort they went through to make it, it definitely convinced us we will NEVER make homemade pasta for ourselves. In fact, they were just one of a number of contestants that made homemade pasta.  People came to play at this party. We were impressed.

Greg and Tim having a very deep, serious conversation.Yeah right. In the background is Brevin's three year old son, Jackson, who made pretty much everyone at the party play the "kick the ball down the hall" game.

Here is Paige looking fabulous.

This is the silly picture we took when they were leaving. Paige is looking for kangaroos. Sadly, they did not see any while they were here. In another case of "its a small world" Andrew's little sister is studying abroad at Wollongong University which is about a two hour drive from us, so that was a "two for the price of one" trip for them. It was so great seeing them again and having them as our first visitors from the States.

And finally, this is the bag of carrots they bought at the grocery store so Andrew can have his daily carrot. They were amazed how inexpensive fresh veggies are here.  Greg has actually taken up this habit since they left. It's genius. It is both delicious, and strangely satisying to bite the end off a whole carrot with a vigorous crunch.

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