Posts Tagged ‘personal growth’

Holidays = cooking

February 3, 2010

I don’t know why that’s true, but it always is for me. Even when we go back home at Christmas, crossing half the country to kitchens strange and eerie, we do heaps of cooking. If I have a day off to potter around the house, I end up with a pantry full of food. I’ve decided it’s not worth fighting.

For example. Newly returned to Canberra after Christmas, tired from the long drive and dreading work on Monday, I spent the weekend making stock. Huh? Sounds crazy, I know, but if you’ve never made your own stock, you’ve never made great soup. No, you just haven’t. Try this recipe.

Last weekend I made hot cross buns using Donna Hay’s fantastic recipe.


I made these once before, last Easter (would you believe?). And OMGOMG, the hot cross buns you make yourself completely flatten every other hot cross bun you’ve ever eaten.

I realise it’s not Easter, but I like hot cross buns, and don’t see any reason why I shouldn’t eat them at other times of the year. I also realise that I could quite legitimately call them ‘sticky buns’ and eat them whenever I fancy if I but left the crosses off, but then they wouldn’t be all hot and cross (or warm and upset, as Phil likes to call them). And then what would be the point?

Another tasty addition to our recent menu has been the bushels, yes, BUSHELS of tomatoes I’ve been picking from my friend’s garden. Said friend, the lovely Amanda, is away for two weeks and guess who gets the privelige of looking after the vegie garden? Ohhhh yesss. Homegrown tomato heaven here we come! There’s been Sophie Dahl’s lovely ratatouille (using zucchini and eggplant from the same garden), Jamie’s tomato and capsicum soup (with homemade chicken stock), and his tasty squashed tomato and smashed olive salad, which went down very nicely with some souvlaki and pitas.

Which leads nicely into the topic of lamb.

The souvlaki above was the first dish made from the assorted cuts of meat now in our freezer, which used to be half a lamb. That’s right folks, I wasn’t kidding when I said I loved lamb, and now an entire half of one (minus souvlaki) is sitting in my freezer, nicely portioned into cuts of my choice. And this wasn’t just a rubbing-hands-greedily kind of purchase, there is some sense behind it.

I’ve been thinking a bit lately about sustainable cooking practises and ethical farming, and decided that where I can, I’d like to start choosing more Earth-friendly-animal-friendly meat: or as I like to call it, ‘happy’ meat. Think free-range, hormone free, stress-free slaughter, organic, etc. Being a student and liking meat these choices aren’t going to happen all the time, but I figure every little bit helps—and buying in bulk is a wallet-friendly move. I bought my half lamb from Wyntrade Lamb. I’m hoping the socially conscious farming is reflected in the taste, and as we eat more of it I’ll let you know—but the souvlaki was definitely a good start.

Anyway, here’s to good eating, many more meals of lamb, and countless lazy days spent baking.


Spinning part two: plying

August 27, 2009

This week at Spinning class we plied our strands of handspun into a two-ply yarn. And again, what fun! Having only been spinning for a week, I was a bit daunted by the prospect of plying so soon, but we all picked it up quite quickly.


My spinning is still a little haphazard, and I tend to get rather uneven strands. Plied together these gave a yarn with so much character I immediately fell in love! Part of me still wants to be able to spin even, fine yarn because I can recognize that that’s a lot harder, and therefore a greater achievement—but I’m pretty chuffed that I’m already able to make something that I really like. I guess I can work on the evenness over time.


And it sounds like there will be time—our teachers were telling us about upcoming Guild workshops, secondhand wheels for sale, and a weekend spinning retreat that sounds just divine. I really have to see whether I can do that. In the meantime, there’s always more fibre to spin.


First forays into beading

August 9, 2009


A necklace made for my friend Naomi’s birthday, featuring a big lump of lavastone and some beautiful wine-coloured glass beads. It’s not sitting the best on me because the chain around the back of the neck is a bit long, but that means I can adjust it to fit her perfectly.

This was my first real attempt at making beaded jewellery, and although it took ages and involved lots of rethinking the design, I think it’s not bad for a first attempt.


August 5, 2009

I’ve been thinking a lot about personal growth lately. I believe you’re never too old to learn new things, make changes in your life, become a better person, have new experiences, take control of your happiness… the list goes on. I have so many vague ideas, hopes, ambitions, and speculations floating around in my head (I’m sure we all do) and I want to achieve as many of them as I reasonably can in my lifetime.

I discovered the cutest and most awesome blog yesterday, iCiNG, written by Gala Darling. In a sweetly coincidental twist, today she posted the first half of a list of 50 things every girl should do in her lifetime. Amazingly, I’ve done 13 of the first 25, and most of the rest are ones I’ve either been thinking about or that have really struck me as something I should do. I can’t wait for the next 25. Maybe I should make a list somewhere, and try to achieve some of these things on a regular basis? One a year? One a month? Or maybe I should just try to take myself out of my comfort zone (in whatever way) as often as I can?

I think this needs further thought. But, if you have had ideas about this too, leave me a comment with your thoughts. We can grow together. :)