Monthly Archives

April 2012

Family Holidays. Memories. Crêpes.

April 28, 2012
I’m feeling a touch nostalgic today, just letting you know up front… So maybe settle in with a cup of tea and indulge me a while. There are crêpes at the end of it all, I promise.



Recently I stumbled across some coconut palm sugar, which got me thinking about family holidays…true story. And more on that coconut palm sugar later. As soon as the eldest child in your family reaches the age of independence, the chances of everyone coming together for a getaway slim down quite dramatically. It gets harder and harder to gather the troops. I find that a little sad, as when I was younger there were few things I loved more than family holidays. And now that I’m all grown up, there are few memories more special to me.

I will forever cherish the memories of our yearly camping trips at Depot Beach with family friends. Days spent boogie boarding and keenly waiting for the “lolly man” to come around with his truck (when killer pythons and nerds reigned supreme). Showers cost twenty cents. We’d spend our nights playing spotlight and singing creative camp songs, often involving rude words which none of us fully understood. Occasionally we’d have fish and chips in town at Batemans Bay. Too many packets of instant noodles were consumed. And a few books were read. But mostly we ran and swam and played. Special times.

Memories of our holidays to Noosa in September are also very dear to me. The five of us (plus a friend or two) would road trip up to Queensland and rent a holiday apartment in Noosaville, just outside of Noosa. Those 2-3 weeks were complete and utter perfection, and were my absolute favourite time of year. Hours spent in the salty sea and reading books on our towels, burying my brother’s feet in the sand and devouring $1 Betty’s Burgers for lunch, frantically asking mum and dad for coins so we could purchase a snow cone from “Hey Bill! on the beach” before his little cart drove away (blue was my favourite flavour). We’d save then spend our birthday money on new board shorts or bathers from the surf shops on Hastings St (and feel incredibly cool afterwards), and delight in an afternoon Massimo’s Ice-cream before heading back to our little apartment in the evening to barbecue and swim in the pool. We’d get sandy and sun-kissed and I’d cry when it came time to leave.

I recall one Noosa holiday with my family…we were on our yearly pilgrimage to Eumundi Market where, surrounded by earthy creations and kooky characters, we’d wander the stalls, shielded from the harsh September sun by towering trees. After spending my pennies on some wooden nicknack I’d never use again, I stumbled across one culinary concoction that has forever stuck with me: Balinese crêpes with coconut and palm sugar. My ripe fifteen-year-old mind was completely blown. And I’ve been, well, a little obsessed with palm sugar ever since…

It’s taken me 11 years to recreate this heavenly dish, but the belatedness of my delicious deed was forgiven as soon as Ben and I took our first bites. And after the second and third bites, I was a little bit in love with myself. Just quietly.


I might never be able to go back to those beloved family holidays, but I’ll always have the beautiful memories…long drives, mintie wrappers, bad pub meals and brilliant barbecues, the sea, the sand, endless days and ice-cream cones.

Happiness.

Now I also have these crêpes. And that’s pretty wonderful too.

 


Crêpes with Toasted Coconut, Grilled Banana and Coconut, Palm Sugar Syrup

This recipe requires you make the crêpe batter 2 hours ahead of time (or overnight).

Serves 2-3. I made a half batch of Clotilde‘s crêpe recipe, which yielded 7 crêpes.

Ingredients

1/3 cup Coconut Palm Sugar – From Health Food Shops. You can use regular palm sugar with a handful of shredded coconut added if you wish. Or simply omit the coconut component all together.
1/4 cup water
1/2 Vanilla Bean, seeds scraped out
1/3 cup Shredded Coconut
Spray Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 bananas, peeled and cut lengthwise down the middle then cut into thirds.

Coconut Yoghurt or Vanilla Ice-Cream to serve.



Crêpes ala Clotilde (recipe link) – halve the recipe.

Method

1. Make your crêpe batter and put in the fridge as per instructions for 2 hours or overnight.
2. To make your coconut palm sugar syrup, place the sugar, water and vanilla seeds in a small pot and heat over low-medium heat until bubbling and the sugar dissolves. Cook for a few minutes until it reduces slightly and thickens. Turn off the heat and allow to cool, before pouring into a serving jug.
3. In a non-stick pan, toast your shredded coconut over low heat for a few minutes until very lightly toasty (not too golden). Place in a little cute bowl for serving.
4. Heat a non-stick pan over low heat, add some spray oil and add your banana pieces. Allow to caramelise, cooking for ~10 minutes. Turn them over half way through so both sides turn golden brown. Start cooking your crêpes while the banana is cooking.
5. Using a good crêpe pan (non-stick with a low rim), cook your crêpes using Clotilde’s brilliant instructions (follow them closely). Keep your cooked crêpes warm on a plate covered with foil (and do the same on a smaller plate with your cooked banana).
6. To serve, place one crêpe on your plate. Add a couple of banana pieces, scatter the toasted coconut and then drizzle with coconut palm sugar syrup. Roll the crêpe and serve with a dollop of coconut yoghurt (or ice-cream) and an extra cheeky drizzle of syrup if you’re keen. Repeat with remaining crêpes and goodies until you’re satisfied.

 





Heidi xo

Cozy Comforts

April 27, 2012

Lingering that little bit longer in bed before peeling off the blankets, encasing your toes in wooly socks and languidly wriggling them to life, cupping your mug of tea that little bit tighter and bringing it to your chest, nestling into the shoulder of a loved one on the couch… this warming behaviour has been happily warranted of late. Cozy comforts. It’s nice.

You might like to reach far into the back corner of you wardrobe and find your favourite, aged, ever soft jumper that’s been tucked away these past vibrant months. You’re going to need it.

You’re also going to need soup or stews. Or both. And bread. What’s that I hear you say? It’s too cold to go out to the shops for bread? I agree. So let’s just make our own, shall we? It’s easier than you’d think (no yeast required). Both making and eating this bread are equally nourishing activities. The same goes for soup or stews.

Katie Quinn Davies‘ recipe for Irish Seeded Brown Bread is pure wholesome comfort. You can find it in the April 2012 Delicious Magazine. Or alternatively, try this recipe (link) which is fairly similar. Katie’s doesn’t use a sweetener, though. Nor quite so much wheat germ. And it has seeds. Lots of seeds. The seeds are good. You wouldn’t think it but seeds are cozy comforts, especially when toasted. Here is another similar recipe that would do the job (link). Either way just get in there and make some Irish Brown Soda Bread.

And then you can eat it with Chicken Cacciatore, my go to, easy comfort food (recipe link).

Or maybe with Mushroom and Parsnip Soup (next time I’ll write the recipe down, I promise).

And then the next day you can have leftover bread, warmed in the microwave and then toasted in the oven for breakfast. Spread with nut butter and jam. Maybe with some yoghurt and berries on the side. Yeah, that’d be great.

Cozy comforts.

Heidi xo

Something Different This ANZAC Day

April 24, 2012

Well isn’t this a slice of loveliness, having a day off mid-week?

How will you be spending Anzac Day? Regardless of your views on our involvement in wars (past and present), I feel it’s important to honour those who have fought for our country and those currently bravely serving us. I have cousins in the Army, and they’re pretty darn courageous (and work super hard).

We’ll be laying low this Anzac Day – lounging around, working on a few ‘around the house’ tasks and doing a little cooking. Maybe watch a movie. Snuggly socks will be involved. How domestic, I love it. We also have an apple pie that I made on Sunday to work our way through. It looks as though the weather will be encouraging such a lovely, loafing day, so that’s how we’re going to roll…

And for breakfast?

I dreamt this simple recipe up a few months ago and wanted to share it with you in time for Anzac day, as it’s a nice alternative to Anzac Biscuits. Although I do love an Anzac Biscuit. Soft and chewy, always. These ones by Katie Quinn Davies particularly took my eye (recipe link).

But for now, I think this will be breakfast…

Anzac Biscuit-Inspired Breakfast Parfait

Serves 1

Ingredients

15g Walnuts
2 teaspoons Shredded Coconut
200g Greek Yoghurt
1/3 cup Rolled Oats
Golden Syrup

Method

1. In a nonstick pan, toast the walnuts over low heat until fragrant and golden (~3 minutes). In the last minute or so, add the coconut to the pan and allow to toast slightly – keeping it separate to the nuts. Set aside.
2. In a wide glass, add half the yoghurt. Drizzle some golden syrup over the yoghurt, before adding 2/3rds of the oats and half the toasted coconut.
3. Add the rest of your yoghurt, drizzle with golden syrup again and then scatter the remaining oats and coconut before topping with the toasted walnuts. Serve.

Heidi xo

Love Means Never Having to Say You’re Sorry for Having Doughnuts for Lunch

April 20, 2012

 

A little lunch for two one Sunday afternoon….

Not a nutritionally sound meal, no. But after eggs, avocado and sourdough for breakfast it kind of felt right, like it somewhat balanced out. So on this Sunday, a day devoted to rest and recuperation, I had doughnuts for lunch. And boy, was it delicious.




After seeing a lot of people with unhealthy food relationships lately (in life and at work), I felt the need to express my feelings on the subject. So here it goes…

A healthy diet means sometimes having doughnuts for lunch. And being ok with it. Truly enjoying it without any guilt.

This often elusive healthy diet requires a kind, honest, nurturing, non-accusatory relationship with food. And with yourself. Trust yourself and your body.

It’s not always easy, but it is so important to remove guilt surrounding food. Labelling food as ‘good’, ‘bad’ or ‘naughty’ does not foster a healthy relationship with food. Rather it does the exact opposite, placing these ‘naughty’ foods on pedestals and, for many, encourages a restriction-binge-guilt cycle.

Removing guilt and food labels allows you to cut through negative energy so you can focus solely on what your body needs and nourishing yourself properly. Your body is smart, it will make the right decision. For lunch that will usually translate to vibrant, fresh salads or other such wholesome meals. Last Sunday, I needed doughnuts.

 


And that’s the darn truth.


Sparkling Water
.

Ben and I enjoyed fresh Fuji Apple and Nashi Pear from Oakleigh Market.

With Noisette Chocolate Brioche and Queen Victoria Market fresh Jam Doughnuts.


I’ve never felt healthier.

And that’s the darn truth.


Heidi xo

Wine. Easter. Family. Food.

April 16, 2012

A celebration of togetherness calls for gastronomic decoration. That’s how it goes in our household. It always has. More so, recently.

When you lose a loved one, you’re drawn to that which brings you comfort. The cathartic, creative practice of cooking does that for me. My parents too. And so on holidays, when it gets particularly tough, togetherness and cooking is always on the menu. It’s assumed.

We gather at my parent’s house in Red Hill and decorate the space with earthy aromas, baskets of bulbous fresh tomatoes from the garden and honest little mounds of languid dough balls, sitting in a bowl on the floor, over in the corner near the fridge. Edging towards the warmth to help it on it’s journey. Cooking helps.

Wine also helps.

How nice of Wine Selectors to send me a couple of bottles, right in time for Easter. These wines are a part of their Regular Deliveries program, whereby you can select a series and have them delivered. With benefits and all that jazz. I must thank Carla, from Keep Left PR for the chance to taste these beauties. I don’t say no to wine – I’m from Red Hill. I’m pretty sure it’s illegal to do so.

On the Saturday night of the Easter long weekend, Ben and I went down to Red Hill. We stayed for two nights. Bliss. On Sunday our family came together for food. We made hot cross buns and exchanged chocolate. And did a lot of cooking…

Tomato and Mushroom Tarts (recipe).

Sunday Lunch with my Grandparents.

Smoked Trout and Olive Oil Toasts to start…

With Helm Classic Dry Riesling 2011 (link).

I enjoyed this Riesling. I’m sort of a Riesling novice, rather I tend to gravitate towards Sauvignon Blanc – dry, never sweet. This Riesling was lovely, without the biting “hello” that some whites have. The quality speaks for itself, I guess. Even my parents, who have a long established favouritism towards red wine, enjoyed this white (and that is saying something).

Tart time. My favourite time of day.

Sunday Dinner.

It would seem that Ben and I were particularly lazy in the latter part of the day, as mum and dad did all of the cooking. They prepared a bounty of beautiful food for us, and all we did was sit back and bask in the deliciousness. I suppose we provided the wine…can we call it even then?

Riposte by Tim Knappstein No 1 Pinot Noir 2010 (link)

Again we were surprised by this wine. Usually we move away from Pinot Noir, finding it a tad…dilute. I like body in my reds. It has to do it’s job and fill my veins me with a rich, romantic lava, leaving me content, soothed. I like soul-enriching reds. This red was indeed soothing and satisfying, dare I say soul-enriching. It was delightfully more complex than a lot of pinots I have had in the past. I would absolutely buy this Pinot Noir again.

Dad’s homemade Ricotta Bread, a Daniel Leader recipe (see this link for a near recipe).

Vino.

Slow Roasted Lamb (recipe) cooked in the wood fired oven, Potato Spirals (recipe) and a Simple Salad with homegrown tomatoes.

Perfection.

Wine. Easter. Family. Food.

Enough said.

Heidi xo

Cocoa Coconut Macaroons

April 13, 2012

Ben and I are in that blissful, post-wedding, “I’m so happy I can’t stand it” phase, where our future seems limitless and everything is just amazing (everything…even mundane things). All our friends, family and colleagues have been so sweet and encouraging. I’m sure it’s entirely too much for some people to handle, but you know what? I feel like we get a free pass right now to function day-to-day in a loved-up stupor.

Although I do appreciate that bragging about an up-coming five week European Honeymoon is taking things a bit too far. I’m pushing the envelope a little here, aren’t I? I know, I know. It does feel kind of mean, a bit cruel, posting tweets about what flights and accommodation we’ve booked and vivaciously counting down the days until we depart. Clearly I’m holding onto that free pass and milking this newlywed phase for all it’s worth.

I hope you still like me at the end of it all…

Anyway, to give you a bit of a picture as to where we’re at with honeymoon planning, the past few weekends we’re spent researching our phenomenally dreamy destinations and booking where we want to stay. First it was our Paris apartment. Booked. It’s in the Marais. I know, amazing. Then it was Istanbul and Copenhagen (booked!), before securing the most incredible Riad in Marrakech. Ok, even I can’t handle that one. Next on our list is Lisbon, Rome and Sicily.

I know what you’re thinking…all this tireless research needs fuel. Agreed.

One Saturday afternoon, cocoa coconut macaroons were nibbled with a sturdy cup of black tea as I researched Parisian restaurants. Did I mention we leave in less than three months? Feel free to send me a virtual slap and steal my plate of macaroons. I deserve it.

Don’t worry, I’ll eat a pain au chocolat for you all while I’m wandering the streets of Paris. I promise.

Cocoa Coconut Macaroons


Notes:
These light, crumbly morsels are just the thing to nourish you and give you a little afternoon pick-me-up. They came about of a desire to experiment with coconut flour (the scent of which sends me twirling in delight across my kitchen). I kept these macaroons quite healthy, the only non-nutritious ingredient is the brown sugar – but it imparts desired sweetness and textural benefits, so please do not omit it. That would just be bad. I did not fancy using maple syrup or the like, as I didn’t want to overpower the divine, soft coconut flavour. I tried using stevia instead of sugar and while this does work fine, it produces a macaroon that is just not as yummy. The stevia gives them a little aftertaste and strange tingle on your tongue. It was obvious which ones had sugar and which had stevia in a blind taste test!

I quite adore these nourishing bites. To make them more moist, just add more coconut oil – but beware if you add too much coconut oil you’ll need to watch them more closely in the oven as they will burn more quickly. I prefer mine on the crumbly side, personally. You could even go as far as not even baking them, they would be delicious raw and with a totally different texture – think cookie dough!

If you’re really feeling keen, add some dark chocolate chips to the mix. That would take things to a whole new level. The thing is, I like these babies as they are – neither too sweet nor too rich. And it’s always good when you don’t feel sick after a sweet bite, isn’t it?

Inspired by The Serious Eats Peanut Butter Coconut Macaroons.

Makes 12-14 balls

Ingredients

1/2 cup Coconut Flour (look for it in health food stores)
1 tablespoon Cocoa Powder
3 tablespoons Fine Desiccated Coconut
2 tablespoons Brown Sugar
2 pinches Salt
2 teaspoons Vanilla Extract
4 tablespoons Coconut Oil

Method

1. Preheat your oven to 180 Degrees Celsius. Line a baking tray with baking paper and set aside.

2. Melt your coconut butter to create coconut oil (unless it’s already in it’s liquid state). To do this, heat a small amount of water in a small pot until boiling. Place a bowl over the pot, ensuring the bottom of the bowl doesn’t touch the water. Add 2 heaped tablespoons of the coconut butter to the bowl and allow it to melt into it’s liquid state and become coconut oil. Turn off the heat and leave until required.

3. To a medium-sized mixing bowl, add the coconut flour, cocoa, desiccated coconut, sugar and salt.

4. Add the vanilla extract, along with 1 tablespoon of the coconut oil at a time, mixing between each tablespoon, until the mixture is all incorporated and is moistened.

5. Moisten your hands with water. Grab a small handful of mixture, squeezing the shaping the mixture with your hands until a rough ball is formed. Place on the baking tray and repeat with the remaining mixture, aiming for 12-14 balls in a batch.

6. Place the tray in the oven and bake for 5-7 minutes, until the balls gather a slightly golden glow. Be careful not to burn them (their underside tends to burn more quickly than the top). Remove from the oven and allow to cool before eating alongside a cup of tea, while you plan your future adventures or reminisce about past travels.

Heidi xo

Easter Buns

April 10, 2012

If I were a more organised food blogger I would have made these weeks ago and informed you of my reverence for them, so that you too could delight in these fresh homemade, home kneaded, home moulded, home heavenly hot cross buns. At home. For breakfast. On Easter morning.

But I didn’t do that. Forgive me.

Let’s call it even when you make these next Easter shall we? When you feel that warm, humming sense of pride that comes with homemade, home kneaded, home moulded, home heavenly hot cross buns, you won’t mind that I didn’t share this recipe earlier. You’ll just be thankful for your buns.

I know I was.

Rose Prince’s Hot Cross Buns

recipe link

Notes: be sure you use bakers flour and full cream milk when making these buns. We added an extra 50g raisins and used heaped teaspoons of spice rather than level teaspoons. We also omitted mace, as we had none. I really feel that these buns could do with even more fruit and spice, however. I’m thinking we’ll end up with double the raisins in our ideal batch. We may add some of the French spice blend, Quatre épices (cloves, nutmeg, white pepper and ginger) too. That’d be lovely.

But truly, we were thrilled with these buns, the texture was divine. They were supremely delicious. Especially when eaten with butter and a dollop of our friend, Kim’s, homemade marmalade. I now enjoy marmalade, after years of thinking I did not. Paddington would be proud.

Heidi xo

It was a Very Good Friday

April 7, 2012

A walk in the park to awaken my slumbering muscles…

…..

Breakfast with friends at Proud Mary.

A double date.

My Latte.

Ben’s Affogato.

Nick’s Spearmint Milkshake. Old school.

My fresh Vegetable Juice.

Ben’s Truffled Polenta and Mushrooms.

Jess’s Bircher Muesli – hazelnut heaven.

My Avocado, Tomato, Goats Cheese smash with a side of Hash. Nick got the same. Twinsies.

Chatting about travel and weddings and babies and birthdays and work and drinks and more.

…..

Purchasing goodies from the Organic Fruit Shop on Smith St – organic eye fillet, coconut yoghurt (thanks for the inspiration, Hannah!) and the plumpest fresh dates I’ve seen in a while – I could not resist.

…..

Strolling in Central Park on the way home…

and detouring to the side streets, dotted with tree-lined fantastical house after house, to dream about future homes.

Feijoas, freshly fallen.

…..

Lunch outside for two. Tuna Niçoise Salad with Quinoa.

Delicious reading… and subsequent fish pie dreaming…

And Cocoa Coconut Macaroon Tasting – I’ve created our favourite version after a week of taste-testing, and shall post the recipe next week. (update: recipe link)

…..

Freezing bananas for Smoothies and Chilled Breakfast Pudding.

…..

BFF Brownie Baking.

…..

Finishing up ‘Thank You‘ cards and doing house chores – cleaning, tidying. We can now walk the entire length of our study again, which is nice.

…..

Not so hungry for dinner. Perhaps it was the 3pm Niçoise…

Settling in for Popcorn and Vino with season 4 of Mad Men.

Followed by BFF Brownies with Vanilla Ice-Cream. x 2.

It was a very Good Friday.

Happy Easter everybody.

Heidi xo

My Kitchen Tea

April 3, 2012

Let’s back track a month or so, shall we?

The week before my Wedding we had a little Kitchen Tea in Red Hill. It wasn’t a traditional Kitchen Tea in the sense that I was not showered with gifts for my Kitchen. Although we did drink Tea… Rather, it was purely an excuse for a catch up with the lovely ladies in my life. Any excuse I can get!

My (then future) mother-in-law had recently arrived from Hong Kong, and one of my bridesmaids had just the day before arrived from America, so it was in my mind to have an event for these two important ladies before the Wedding. I honestly felt like it was a whole month-long festival devoted to Ben and I, and at times felt like it was all a bit much, but looking back I’m pleased I took advantage of every opportunity to bask in all the love and attention. There aren’t many times in your life when it’s all about you, anyway, so why not milk it? With a bit of tea and cake, too. Now that’s just perfect.

…..

The Saturday before the Wedding, my childhood home was filled with a flurry of beautiful ladies. Those who arrived promptly at 11 happily helped us to prepare sandwiches, as mum and I ever so slightly underestimated the work we had to do. It was a bit of an “all hands on deck” half hour, which was actually really lovely.

Let them eat cake! Well, drinks and something savoury first…

Summer Sparkle.

Recipe: one tall can of unsweetened pineapple juice, 2 litres lemonade, a handful of chopped mint leaves and ice. Swirl together and sip or swig, however you roll. Mum has made this simple sweet drink for years.

Prosecco.

Dee’s

Baba Ganosh

(from Red Hill Cellar’s).

Brie and Crackers./



Zucchini and Haloumi Fritters (recipe link).



Chicken, Cucumber and Whole-Egg Mayonnaise Sandwiches.



Smoked Salmon, Dill and Cream Cheese Sandwiches.



Sun-Dried Tomato, Cucumber and Hummus Sandwiches.



…..

I wanted to do something a bit cute and fun for this party, with a hint of innocence and nostalgia. My original plan was for a pass-the-parcel game, but as the numbers creeped up over twenty guests I thought a Lucky Dip might be more suitable. And who doesn’t like a lucky dip?

Not wanting to spend a lot of money, I perpetually kept my eyes peeled for cute and affordable presents in the months leading up to the day. I had wrapped blocks of lindt chocolate and boxes of chai tea, as well as cookie cutters (christmas ones, snagged on sale!) and slap bracelets with “love” printed on them – remember slap bracelets?! How cool were they growing up in the 90’s?

…..

Time for something sweet…

At the top of our tower we had our beloved Canelés. Mum is the Canelé Queen (recipe link). I’ve proclaimed my love for these somewhat little known French beauties before, and I was thrilled that my adoration was so fervently shared by my ladies. Everyone loved them! These were the standout bite of the day, thank you, mum.

We also had French Langue De Chat biscuits by Bizzarri Dolci, which were a simple, last-minute filler but went down a treat.

I made some Lemon and Pistachio Tahini Truffles. These were my second time making these nutritious bites. I used a different tahini this time around, which really wasn’t a good move…something was a little off. So I will work on the recipe before posting it. I loved the lemon hint, though.

Always a loved bite in our household, Rosa’s Almond Biscotti (recipe found in this beautiful cookbook).

And my personal favourite, Peach Cupcakes!

These sweet cheeks were inspired by Eat Live Run’s Roasted Peaches with Goats Cheese and Honey. Essentially we halved peaches, topped them with a dollop of butter and brown sugar, and baked until just soft before letting them cool. Right before serving we topped them with a dollop of mascarpone. Mum and I had grand plans for cinnamon or vanilla mascarpone, but things got away from us and these plump cheeks ended up with a dollop of unembellished goodness. And that was just fine.

…..

Mum wanted to do something special for me on this day, as mothers do, and she really didn’t want it to be corny or tacky. Mission accomplished, mum.

She found a traditional candle ceremony on the internet, and altered it slighty as to her preferences. Essentially it involved the gifting of a candelabra, along with different long coloured candles to be lit during different stages of your married life – from your first anniversary, to the birth of your first child. Mum read out a poem as I was handed the different candles from important women in my life. It was just beautiful – incredibly touching and not at all cheesy. I felt very loved in that moment.

…..

Then came the sharing of the recipes, which, along with mum’s candle ceremony, will be forever a truly special moment in my life.

On the invitation, guests were asked to bring along a favourite family recipe for me to collate into a recipe book to always have and cherish. Thanks to my lovely friend, Melissa, for this brilliant Kitchen Tea activity idea. I now find myself with an abundance of beloved family recipes from those I hold dear to me, as well as an old trunk that my mum found (the recipes went into this trunk).

It became a really beautiful ‘giving’ ceremony, where each lady said why this recipe was special to them before handing it over to me. I am blown away by the thought that everyone put into their recipes. And I feel incredibly honoured to have some very top secret recipes on my hands! They’re not all fancy, either. There were a lot of comfort-food style recipes shared. It’s not always about the dish itself, it’s about the history behind it – why and when it was consumed, and the memories that go along with this.

What is more special than being given the gift of blueprints to something that has brought joy and nourishment to loved ones? It makes me teary thinking of how very privileged I feel. It’s an incredibly beautiful gesture. I shall cherish the recipes always. And if we’re lucky, I might even get permission from some ladies to share a recipe when I get into the kitchen.

Trying to sneak a peek at my Auntie Sue’s Traditional Cornish Pasty recipe. Her family is from Cornwall. Yep. Special. Don’t think I can share that one 😉

…..

When it was time to go I handed out little Party Favour Boxes, which consisted of a completely random yet yummy arrangement of goodies.

Into these cute boxes (which were a steal at 0.99cents each), I added Rosa’s Almond Biscotti , Lemon and Pistachio Tahini Truffles, Tea Bags (Afternoon and Green) and a couple of fresh Green and Red Chillies. The chillies were added due to a sheer overload at my parent’s house. They were rather striking and added a little spice to the mix.

Thanks to our gorgeous friend, Debbie, for helping to arrange these boxes (and for doing a whole manner of tasks to help mum and I set up!). I really am surrounded by incredible women who have such beautiful, generous spirits.

Thank you to all the ladies who came to my Kitchen Tea, for your glowing presence and sharing your beloved family recipes, and for helping out whenever mum and I needed you (on this day and during the entire Wedding period). I feel lucky to have you all in my life.

And lastly, thank you to my beautiful mum for hosting this beautiful day. She really is my favourite lady of all. Words cannot express how much she means to me. There are not enough candles in the world to demonstrate how much she lights up my life. See what I did there? I was corny. Mum is never corny. She’s better than I am.

I love you, mum.

Heidi xo