* written in dribs and drabs over the month of November.
DOING: It's just after 8pm. Joan is asleep, Ben is out and I'm tucked into bed with my computer on my lap.
HEARING: the sound of my fingers on the keyboard.
DRINKING: A mug of hot water.
EATING + COOKING: right now I'm eating a Loving Earth peppermint chocolate heart thingo that I scored on sale. They're expensive, so I don't usually buy them, but hurrah!! They were on sale at the shops, so I bought a few. While we were shopping, Joan picked up a block of chocolate (because it had a pink wrapper - she's truly obsessed with pink) and informed me that "we need this!", before putting it in our basket. She made a convincing case and then gallantly put it back when I said we wouldn't be buying it today. A few aisles over, however, she came up to me with a half unwrapped Kinder Surprise. I couldn't be confident that she opened it herself (if she did take the wrapper off, man, she was speedy and stealth!) or if it was half unwrapped already. Who am I kidding, she must have done it. I just have no idea how she could have unwrapped it in three seconds flat. Either way, after telling Joan that we can't open food like that at the shops, I purchased the unwrapped chocolate and left it for Ben in the fridge. Surprise! You can thank Joan for that one, Ben.
Ok onto what I've been eating and cooking lately. I'm loving roasted pumpkin at the moment. A local shop sells the most delicious whole butternut pumpkins for $2.99/kg. Most weeks we roast a couple of trays and eat it in quinoa salads for lunch or roast veg pasta dishes at dinner. Pumpkin makes me think of my older brother. I'm not sure why. I think it's because he didn't like pumpkin unless it was pumpkin soup, which I always found odd.
Other than pumpkin we've been eating lots of pasta. I like to make pasta salads with casarecce (such a great shape!), along with roasted pumpkin & beetroot (I may crush some garlic and coat the veg in it for a final minute of cooking - extra flavour), plus fresh peas and lots of fresh lemon juice, extra virgin olive oil & sea salt. This dish makes excellent picnic food. We've also been eating bolognese from the freezer and recently tried our hand at Julia Turshen's lasagne recipe from her Small Victories cookbook. It was amazing and I'm really excited to make it again.
This month I also made a batch of my nut, seed and oat loaf (for the first time in years!) and have been enjoying that, toasted, with avocado, eggs or just salted butter. It's a nice toast alternative on the rare occasion I don't feel like bread.
WANTING: more chocolate.
DECIDING: no big decisions today, just whether to have pesto pasta or a leftover couscous salad thing for dinner. And whether to pick up the dry cleaning before or after our dentist appointment this afternoon. It will be Joan's first dentist appointment! And my first one in an embarrassing length of time.
ENJOYING: this weather. Here comes the sun, alright.
LOOKING: at a vase filled with peach and pink and yellow roses. Recently, my Mother-In-Law's garden has overflowed with flowers, so she gifted me multiple bunches. I placed them all over the house and for the past two weeks they have been making me so happy.
WATCHING: it has been SUCH a good month of tv viewing! Netflix is bringing the goods. I finished Mindhunter and The Sinner (oomf intense and unsettling, but also somehow really easy to watch) and am now watching Alias Grace. I'll move onto Victoria next.
READING: A Little Life. I bought the book for Ben earlier this year and am now reading it myself. I'm loving the author's writing style, it's captivating and real.
WEARING: floral dresses, high-waisted jeans or denim shorts. And my saltwater sandals - they're so comfortable, I'm so happy I invested in them earlier this year.
BUYING: snacks for our upcoming plane trip. I splurged on these crackers, and just before we leave I'll stock up on carrots, snow peas, capsicum and some fruit. I bought these chewy date bars for Joan to eat. Chewing helps prevent her ears from popping during take off and landing. Previously breastfeeding was all we needed but since she's weaned I've found these bars work well. I'll also pack some sultanas and popcorn, and maybe a few carob bears, too (I love these instead of regular chocolate, as they are made with carob, which means Joan isn't loading up on stimulants. They also taste really good! I'm obsessed).
I'm hoping that during the flight, Joan will sit still, eat her snacks and play quietly and contentedly on her own so I can watch movies back to back. Ha. Ha. Hahahahahahahahahahaha.
CRAVING: that lasagne I made a couple of weeks ago. And I am also really looking forward to all the dumplings and noodles we'll be eating in Hong Kong. Also, because it's so hot at the moment, I've been craving cold, gingery kombucha. I'm still contemplating making my own, but right it feels like a big effort.
LOVING: the fact that we get to go on this holiday together. Ben and I feel so blessed to be able to take our little family to Hong Kong, a place that is so special to Ben, and experience it through Joan's eyes. Lately Joan has taken to saying "Sure thing!" in response to my requests. "Joan, can you put your shoes in the box by the door, please?" "Sure thing, Mum!" AH. Too cute. I've really been loving that.
I've also been loving the food covers my parents bought me for my birthday (see picture above). We're trying to reduce our waste and these babies have stopped me reaching for plastic wrap.
SAVOURING: the slow pace of my life right now. Maybe it's the heat, but all I feel like doing is sitting outside with a glass of kombucha while Joan and I draw on the bricks with chalk. So that's what we do.
PLAYING: As I just mentioned, Joan's been into drawing lately. A sketch pad and container of pencils sits on her little table and throughout the day she'll be drawing by herself or calling out for me to "Come draw, Mummy!" Though I try to let her draw without my influence. It's so great to see what her mind comes up with. I say, "tell me about your drawing!" a lot.
FEELING: excited for this holiday and blessed to be able to spend this time adventuring overseas together. I'm also very pleased that we're in beach season. On hot days when Joan has had a long or late nap, we've been heading down to the beach for a picnic dinner. Oh and I am super excited about Christmas - for the chance to spend time with family and eat delicious food (the food!!) Earlier this month we went to Red Hill and helped Mum make the Christmas pudding. Joan helped with the stirring. I cannot quite believe we'll be gathered around the table eating roast pork and plum pudding in a few weeks time. Really, I'm just feeling so lucky to have my family and my home and to be living this life together.
Happenings posts inspired by Pip.