Last week I flew up to Brisbane for a few days. I stayed with my cousin, Jess, and her husband and bub, and we had ourselves a lovely visit. It was a novelty to walk outside and not need a jumper, let me tell you.
But beyond a weather-encouraged ability to pack light (Jess, don't laugh), babycino dates and just chilling out together, Brisbane also saw me talking into a microphone to a room full of people and realising I *flick my hair* when nervous. You see, my friend, colleague, mentor, fellow-retro cookbook appreciator and food lover (I tried to narrow down one food we particularly agree on and there's too many to list), Emma Stirling had invited me to present on a panel at the Dietitians Association of Australia conference *hair flick*.
I was speaking on personal blogging, finding your voice and all that jazz. And despite a few butterflies, it all went rather swimmingly (we even put together an ebook for you to buy if you're keen), I had the best time. Everyone was so lovely and encouraging. And inspiring! There were some incredibly talented Dietitians in the room. At the end of it all, we had ourselves a lovely dinner at Mondo Organics.
Back home, I seem to have come down with a case of the flu. I don't often get sick, and rarely is it the stay in bed and rest kind, but my body is telling me to stay in bed and I'm pretty sure it's not just because it's cozy. Surely it wasn't the celebrating and wine last week because, I mean, it was organic... No but truly, I've been taking it easy this week. Resting, reading, recuperating and eating apples. My parents and their foodie friends recently decided that they would make cider, as you do. And while I'm still waiting for the fermentation process to do its' thing before we can cider sample, I have a bucket of leftover apples to work my way through. Sliced apple snacks, pureed apple, diced with yoghurt...we've had apple crumble for dinner some nights, I won't lie. And a particular breakfast treat I am keen to share with you.
I had originally planned on getting a post about this appley breakfast up today but alas, this flu business really is demanding, so the recipe will have to wait until next week. I have enough apples to last until then, trust me. For now, you've got my Wednesday rambles. And I thank you for indulging me. Here is a little of what's on my mind at present...
♥ I'm currently reading The Paris Wife for book club. Last month it was The Rosie Project, which I adored. This book feels like an extended episode of Downton Abbey mixed with Midnight in Paris, which is only a good thing. It hasn't grabbed by heart, but I'm enjoying it all the same. I'd better hurry, as my library requires it's prompt return today! Side note, I am just loving belonging to a library again.
♥ Bahati's ginger lemongrass tea is my present sipping saviour.
♥ Joy the Baker posted a link on her blog to Letters of Note, a dear site where you can read personal letters written by people throughout history (including some indeed famous, noteworthy folk, such as Mark Twain, Keith Richards and Elizabeth Taylor). There is also a book. There's something so special and thoughtful about a handwritten letter.
♥ This Bay Leaf Pound Cake is on my list to make.
♥ Over the past few months, I've been making endless amounts of stock using vegetable tops (celery stock is the best), onion skins, black peppercorns, star anise, bay leaf, garlic...whatever I have in the fridge. I load it up in a big pot, fill it with water and simmer simmer simmer for 4-6 hours. Then I strain the stock into containers and freeze it for soups or to cook grains like freekeh or quinoa. If I have leftover bones from a chicken or pork or whatever, I'll add it to the mix, too. Monday night we ate pumpkin soup, which I made using some vegetable stock. And yesterday I defrosted a little chicken stock to make myself some *hurry up and get well* pea and parmesan soup. This time around, I sliced a few chunks of parmesan (instead of the rind) and simmered then haphazardly blitzed it all together. It was a good move.
♥ I'm currently obsessed with Ira Glass' This American Life podcast. The stories, the people, the thought, the narration, all of it.
♥ We've been moving things (cabinets, tables, couches, etc) around in our rental home and the space (the space!) is so much better. Each room seems brighter and it feels like I'm breathing new air. After a fairly busy, generally lovely though sometimes manic start to the year, I feel like we're turning a corner. Meditation, better self management and apple crumble is helping.
♥ Souvenir is the latest release from Latitudes, Longitudes (the online travel magazine I contribute to) and it is just beautiful. If you need some curl up on the couch with a cup of tea wonderlust reading material, here you go. I particularly enjoyed reading Ann's tales of her time in China.
♥ I cannot get this chicken dish out of my mind. It looks incredible and needs to be made, stat!
♥ This morning I woke NOT feeling like I'd been hit in the back by a baseball bat (win!), so I did some sick day yoga with my favourite online yoga teacher, Adriene. She's so awesome, I just love her videos.
♥ This time last year we were hiking in California. I miss the redwoods, most definitely. Ben's hair is so short! Speaking of hair, two weeks ago Ben became my hairdresser and cut an inch off my locks. Why go to a salon? Don't answer that.
♥ Breakfast today (and yesterday) was an acai bowl, topped with coconut oil and asimple and satisfying olive oil granola (recipe link). I've made a number of batches of this, my most recent granola love, for presents and for Ben and myself. It is an easy, adaptable and endlessly satisfying recipe. I prefer it with agave syrup to maple, go figure, and flaked almonds are my nut of choice. Also, I find the shredded coconut to be an obligatory addition.