Tuesday, June 22, 2010

We’re survived – really?

"We're survived"
That what I said to my husband -loud and proud- last week after having no maid for two consecutive weeks.

Managing 400sqm two-storey house on 300sqm land - proving not an easy thing to do.

Especially if you have 4 bedroom, 4 bathrooms, front yard, backyard, kitchen that miles far from dining table, not to mention lounge/dining room plus my studio that could cater a single big wedding with 200 guests. When I felt relieve of sight of mess from upstairs, it's always something to picked up from downstairs. Cleaning up two bathrooms and another two just screaming for help as well. My husband managed to get us steam mop -which helps a lot, especially when he around holding and pushing it- and I can just concentrate on vacuuming and washing endless dishes.

And we managed pretty well. I though.

Laundries are sorted perfectly, cutleries are shining as on their heyday, and food always served on time.

I feel peace of mind. Something that I've missed when I have a maid or helper, when my mind constantly whirling with worried of what they might doing with my state-of-art stereos, or when I found my clothes are burn out because of the way they ironed it. Or something simple and plain silly. The reasons my mom deeply aware on her mind -so she decided not to have any helper from twenty-something years ago-.

But, for how long?

How long we could survive without one?

I never thought I have to answer that big question today. Very large issue me and my husband try to buried under our consciousness. Never thought I will cry for help today.

Started when I rummage on my fridge, looking for something cold to drink. My eyes pinned on two large buckets of mascarpone and cream cheese, sat on far back my second fridge-shelf. The black bold date on its body clearly stated they expired two weeks ago. What? Yes, two weeks ago, the very week we started not having any helper and the very week we decided not to get replacement too soon. It just snaps me. I remember that I plan to make a big New York Cheesecake that week. And somehow I thought I could squeeze my time between laundry and my daily home chores -and my Strawberry Patch that very demanding- to make a quick cheesecake -which is impossible- and I prove myself wrong.

Another hours passes, I went upstairs to hang my fresh-from-washing machine-laundry, and oooh.....the view just broke me down.

Upstairs, we kept nice mini-potted (ok, not so mini now...) bushes and plants, and it's just dying. I knew in the last two days was quite hot days, my maid used to watering it regularly, and I completely forgot about this watering-thing-issue...and now I have to stand with it. Face it, Ayu. Can't quit just now!

(I remember now, last time I look after them was 3 days ago!)

Can I say we really survive now?

Not sure.

Daily routine chores are not easy to manage. Let alone with two kids on holiday, deadlines, items need to be send in 3 weeks-and I just did not even half of it-.

I know sooner or later I do need help. But finding a good maid is not an easy thing too.

I wonder how I could managed my life so well couple of years ago in Sydney -we had smaller house for sure-.I do understand life isn't complicated if we could manage it well, I just haven't got any insight how to manage all of this.

I might just cooling down and get my Italian soda by now.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010


As my promised last week, here my Lasagne recipe.

(recipe modified from Donna Hay Lasagna on Simple Essential CookBook)

You need:

500g lasagna pasta sheet (fresh taste better, instant can be handy as well)

1 quantity of bolognaise sauce (recipe as follow)

1 quantity of white sauce

¾ cup grated mozzarella cheese

How to:

Preheat the oven to 190C. Grease a 20cm square ovenproof dish and line in with lasagne sheet. Thinly spread over a quarter of the bolognaise sauce, then spoon over a quarter of the white sauce and cover with more lasagne sheets. Repeats the layers, finishing with white sauce. Sprinkle with the mozzarella and bake for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown and cooked through.


Basic Bolognaise sauce recipe:

  • 2 teaspoon olive oil

  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped

  • 2 onions, chopped

  • 1kg minced beef

  • 2x400g cans tomato puree (or you could use your own tomato puree)

  • 2 carrots, peeled & chopped (I like to add some vegetables if possible)

  • 1 cup beef stock

  • ¼ cup chopped flat-leaf parsley leaves

  • sea-salt & cracked black pepper

Heat a deep frying pan or saucepan over high heat. Add the oil, garlic & onion and cook for 3 minutes or until just soft.

Add the mince and cook, stirring, until brown. Add the carrots, tomato puree and stock, and rapidly simmer for 10-15 minutes or until thickened to your liking. Stir through the parsley, salt & pepper.


White sauce recipe:

  • 80g butter

  • 1/3 cup or 50g plain flour

  • 4 cups milk

  • ¾ cup grated parmesan cheese

  • sea salt & cracked black pepper

Place the butter in a saucepan over medium heat and allow to melt. Add the flour and stir to a smooth paste. Whisk in the milk and then stir until the sauce has boiled and thickened.

Stir in the parmesan and add the salt and pepper. Set aside to cool to room temperature.

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