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Sunday, September 25, 2011

The Escape Frog

I have been very busy lately and not much is happening in the kitchen so I thought I would share this story with you.

Our son is turning 7 in two weeks time.  He has always loved Green Tree Frogs and wanted to get one for his birthday.  So last weekend we went to have a look at what we needed to buy and decided to get it all straight away and give him his present early.  The shop had two little Green Tree Frogs available, and the owner let us have the second one very cheap as it was "a bit mangled" (his words not mine).  Poor little frog looks like a hunchback, he has a crooked back but it doesn't seem to affect him.  Anyway I felt sorry for the little fellow as I thought that no-one else would want to buy him so we took both of them.  My son named them Hopper (who tried to escape at the pet store) and Froggy (with the bad back).

Friday morning before school/work I went into my sons bedroom to check on the frogs and to my surprise, shock and horror found the enclosure door a little bit ajar and no sign of the frogs at all!  These are very little frogs and we live in a very big house with not one, but two cats who live inside.  I shouted to the kids that we needed to find these froggies before they became a cat snack.  I rang Himself who was already at work and he came home to assist in the frog rescue efforts.  After shutting the bedroom door so they couldn't get out and turning the room upside down, searching through every cupboard and driving myself insane I had reached the conclusion that the frogs were well and truly missing and we might not ever find them.  Himself even got the torch and looked into the airconditioning vents in case they had climbed up there. 

All of a sudden my son shot his hand out and grabbed at something.  He had found Hopper who was sitting under a toy.  He then explained to me what I was doing wrong.  He said "you need to look for something goopy".  Mmmm, I wonder what he thought I had been doing for the last 1/2 hour.  Anyway we looked for about 40 minutes and couldn't find poor little Froggy and I was about to give up.  I then noticed that there is a little 1/2 inch gap under the bedroom door which they could probably squeeze under, so Froggy could be almost anywhere in the house.  I started to search from room to room then decided to apply logic to this problem.  Frogs eat crickets, and we had a container of live crickets in the laundry cupboard (we had to move them out of the bedroom as they chirp all  night).  So I thought that maybe if Froggy had got out of the bedroom, he would move towards the sound of the crickets.  As I was walking down the hallway towards the laundry, I noticed one of the cats in another bedroom looking a bit odd.  I went in to see what was wrong with him and he had Froggy bailed up against a wall.  Thank goodness I found him when I did as the cat was about to start playing with him. 

So the frogs are both safe in their little home and the cats missed out on a froggy snack and everyone knows to double check the latch on the enclosure door.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Grapefruit Granita

I am still trying to find uses for the very many grapefruits on our tree.  I recently came across a recipe for a granita that was made with mandarin juice, so I thought I would try to make it instead with grapefruit juice.

First make the sugar syrup.  I used a ratio of 2 cups of sugar to 1 cup of water.  Mix the sugar and water in a small saucepan and heat until sugar is dissolved then set aside to cool.  To make the granita, take 4 cups of grapefruit juice, and add 1 cup of sugar syrup.  Pour into a shallow tray and place in the freezer.  When you see ice crystals beginning to form around the edges of the container, stir the mixture with a fork. Stir every 1/2 hour for about 3 hours.  If it gets too hard to stir, simply leave at room temperature to melt a little.  When ready to serve, spoon a generous amount into a martini glass.  Top up with vodka (or gin) and enjoy!!  You could also try with a sparkling wine or sparkling mineral water if you would prefer a mocktail.