Being Present and some Berry Buttermilk Loaves

July 19, 2013

Usually I come back from overseas adventures a little sad.


Truth? I usually come back really sad. So deeply longing for the cobbled corners of Rome, the blistering heat of midday Marrakech, the kale-covered markets of San Francisco

But this time I’m not sad. In fact I’m far from sad. Maybe I’m realising just how good I have it in my green corner of the world. Maybe I’ve at last satisfactorily indulged my travel bug (I have itched travelled a whole lot these past four years). Maybe…

Truth? I think it might have something to do with the fact that these days, I am really devoted to being present. Living. In the moment. Life.

We have the tendency to plan ahead, don’t we? And that planing and wishing and hoping can often detract from the beauty and importance of the now, can’t it? Yes.

Oh, I still plan some – I’m working hard on my business and saving for a house, sure. But I am also earnestly focused on my desire to be present, to make my now…exceptional. Slowing down, savouring the little moments…after all, there is so much beauty in those little moments.

I’m certain that sounds sappy, you surely assume I’ve come back from San Francisco with flowers in my brain hair. I’ll let Henry Miller finish this post. He had some big love for California, too. Surely he’d approve of the flowers in my hair…

“One’s destination is never a place, but rather a new way of looking at things.”

– Henry Miller, 1957, Big Sur and the Oranges of Hieronymus Bosch.




How do these Berry Buttermilk Loaves fit into this post? They don’t. Other than the fact that I was very present when making and eating them.


I made these lovelies before our trip, using frozen berries in place of fresh and making an array of different sized goodies (altering cooking time accordingly) from little muffins to these perfect, purple-studded loaves. They were so enjoyed, I felt it was high time I featured them on the blog. The recipe is by the Heidi Swanson of 101 Cookbooks (recipe link), so naturally they’re wonderful and tender and subtly sweet.



Buttermilk is liquid love. Truth.

Heidi xo

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  • Maddy July 19, 2013 at 8:56 am

    Your adventure is only just beginning lovely! x

    • Heidi July 19, 2013 at 4:51 pm

      Thanks, lovely lady x

  • InTolerant Chef July 19, 2013 at 12:11 pm

    That tree is utterly amazing! Whenever I feel impatient I look at a tree, they do nothing in a hurry and either grow straight and true or find the best ways around an obstacle without compromising thier integrity- like those saplings you see growing in a footpath crack, or tiny ledge.
    I also love the look of the berry loaves… breakfast perhaps?

    • Heidi July 19, 2013 at 4:51 pm

      So beautifully said, Rebecca! & yes, totally breakfast worthy x

  • Laura July 19, 2013 at 2:18 pm

    you made two loaves?!?!?!?

    I totally agree about being in the present. I’m always looking to the next thing, and how to get there…
    Kids really are amazing at keeping you in the now. Oh the disappointment of something happening ‘tomorrow’ and not now!

    • Heidi July 19, 2013 at 4:52 pm

      Oh yes, kids have that magic touch, don’t they 🙂 & yes 2 loaves, amongst other shapes x

  • Hannah July 21, 2013 at 4:50 am

    Imma take over your comments section a little with this excerpt from my favourite poet’s (Pablo Neruda, of course!) poem “Ode to the Present” (ps I love you):

    the present,
    by step,
    press your feet
    onto the resinous wood
    of this moment,
    going up,
    going up,
    not very high,
    just so
    you repair
    the leaky roof.
    Don’t go all the way to heaven.
    for apples,
    not the clouds.
    Let them
    fluff through the sky,
    skimming passage,
    into the past.You
    your present,
    your own apple.
    Pick it from
    your tree.
    Raise it
    in your hand.
    It’s gleaming,
    rich with stars.
    Claim it.
    Take a luxurious bite
    out of the present,
    and whistle along the road
    of your destiny.

    • Heidi July 22, 2013 at 10:23 am

      How have I never seen this. LOVE. Thanks lady x

  • addie | culicurious July 22, 2013 at 10:22 am

    Thanks for the “being present” reminder. All too often it’s so easy to get wrapped up in things and totally miss right now. I am one who seeks to enjoy the moment too. 🙂 Love the red wood pics and that berry loaf. Delish! 🙂

    • Heidi July 22, 2013 at 10:27 am

      Thanks Addie! I miss those Redwoods x

  • Kath (My Funny Little Life) July 24, 2013 at 12:51 pm

    For me, coming home has always been the best. I usually look forward to it after a trip. But I’m also a little sad that I haven’t travelled more in the past years, due to lack of money and circumstances.

    Your buttermilk loaves look wonderful!

    • Heidi July 26, 2013 at 12:37 pm

      Thanks, Kath! I’ve been super lucky to go with my husband’s work and take a break from my work too. It’s not cheap but undoubtedly worth it, in my opinion 😉 Hopefully you can get some travel in soon. Living where you do there’s so many glorious options! x

  • Gena July 26, 2013 at 7:31 am

    I think that part of my love of cooking is that it’s one of the few activities that actually does bring me in to the present. Few things do. This is a lovely post.

    • Heidi July 26, 2013 at 12:37 pm

      Thank you, Gena. And yes, I totally agree about cooking and feeling present. It grounds you x

  • lucent imagery July 26, 2013 at 12:29 pm

    I’ve spoken about this with a couple of friends recently. I think it’s great when we can travel and have adventures and still be happy to come home. I love our daily life too and make a point of often acting like a tourist in our own city to keep the sparks alive. I also draw out the holiday memories by posting photos on my blog over a long period of time. I have enjoyed seeing your travel adventures and wish you all the best for settling back in.

    • Heidi July 26, 2013 at 12:40 pm

      Thank you, how lovely. And yes, I most definitely enjoy being a tourist in my own city, I must do it more, too! x