DOING: sitting on a couch at Mother and Father-In-Law's house, waiting for Joan to finish her game of pretend shopping. The two of us come here to visit most Thursday mornings, and while Joan plays I retreat to the front room to work on my laptop. After finishing my work, I felt like writing, so I opened my blog.
HEARING: road works and Joan's voice talking to a pretend shop assistant. "One banana, please, shop assistant!" Her grocer is grossly overcharging their customers, by the way. Most items are $200 a piece.
DRINKING: most recently, the coffee I brought from home in my Keep Cup.
EATING + COOKING: this morning we had eggs and quinoa, and when we get home we'll have Dad's sourdough bread, toasted, with avocado and nut butter. Tonight we'll be eating more quinoa and roasted vegetables, as I attempt to clear out the food in our fridge before our camping trip. Alright, Joan's finished so I'm going attempt getting her into the car, no doubt luring her there with snacks.
Just over a week has past since I wrote the above. I'm now sitting on a stool by the kitchen bench, drinking another coffee and writing while Joan naps. My mum is coming over this afternoon to help in the garden, though first we'll eat rolls for lunch. My go-to salad roll contains avocado, rocket, grated carrot + beetroot, cucumber, red or spring onion, cheese and either whole egg mayonnaise, hummus or pesto. Dinner tonight will be my tuna, chilli, lemon pasta, which I haven't made in such a long time.
On a more general note, we've been eating much of the same for breakfasts and lunches (that is, toast and quinoa + veggie bowls), however our dinners have looked a little different. For some reason I've started reading cookbooks again and I cannot recall a time when I've felt this enthusiastic about trying new dishes. Nigel Slater and Ottolenghi have been providing a lot of inspiration, as have Sophie Dahl and Julia's cookbook, Ostro. Stews, curries and pot pies have been taking my fancy and making their way onto our dinner table. Hearty fare.
Oh, and schnitzel. A couple of weeks ago I made my first chicken schnitzel. Or at least, I think it was my first. I have a vague sense that I once made schnitzel a number of years ago, but because I cannot recall if I actually did, I'm calling this my first. I used a recipe from the book Dinner A Love Story, which she describes in this blog post. We used homemade sourdough breadcrumbs and served it with mashed potato, broccoli, gherkins and loads of dijon mustard. It was GREAT.
WANTING: the rain to pass so I can hang my doona cover on the washing line. Fingers crossed Joan's raspberry kiss on my lovely white linen has come out. Bless my Sard wonder stick.
LOOKING: forward to the weekend. I hope to work Saturday morning, and in the afternoon the previous owners of our house are coming over for champagne and nibbles. We keep in touch and feel great pride in being the custodians of the home they built and lived in for 50 years. FYI, that's absolutely why I've been doing so much gardening. I want everything to look beautiful for them.
DECIDING: what salad to make for a BBQ we're having with friends on Sunday. Joan suggested a pink salad, so I think I'll roast some beetroot, throw in something green and top it off with a vinegary dressing.
ENJOYING: the quiet house. Joan has started waking around 5:30am again, which means she's quite ready for a nap by 11am. Its currently 11:23am on Friday 9th February. Behind me is the cubby house we made earlier this morning using a sheet, our dining table and chairs. When she wakes I expect we'll crawl back inside and resume our game of pretending to be bunny rabbits.
WATCHING: last week we finished Game of Thrones (!!) and have just started a new series together on Netflix called Manhunt Unabomber. However Ben has been working most evenings and I've found myself scrawling through Netflix looking for something to watch. Nothing has been jumping out at me, so I've been reading in bed earlier than usual, which has actually been really nice. Though I did re-watch Sense & Sensibility - that was wonderful.
WEARING: most days I'll reach for my denim shorts or high-waisted jeans, or perhaps a flowy summer dress. However I've also been wearing socks and sweaters, which makes me so happy because it tells me that autumn is just around the corner. Friends, autumn is my season. The cause of my affection is less to do with autumnal food (because I truly adore summer fruit and spring salads) and more about the weather. The colours and clothes and crisp air that come with this cooler season make me feel so good and alive and content.
BUYING: not much! We're continuing to live the super-savings life and it's been going well. I've made certain rules for myself when it comes to food shopping to help me cut back on spending. For example, only if a food that dangles outside the realm of staple/necessity is on sale will I permit myself to consider purchasing it. Thankfully, our local Ritchies likes to frequently place our favourite rosemary & thyme chips on sale. But really, it's been quite easy making use of what is in our pantry and sticking to purchasing that which we need, while limiting the things we simply want. I do miss haloumi, though...
PLANNING: not a lot of planning going on here. We're waiting on a number of different things to unfold before we can plan too far ahead. And while being in limbo can be anxiety-inducing, it's mostly been really wonderful to just live in the present.
CRAVING: stews and curries and pot pies, as I mentioned above. Also, coffee.
LOVING: so much. But here's a few things: 1. These slow days with Joan, nurturing her development and guiding her through the world. I know staying at home *almost* full-time isn't for everyone, but it is SO for me and I feel grateful that I can. 2. I'm also loving our home. Eighteen months in and I'm still pinching myself that we were able to purchase this dream home. We need to renovate the bathroom (both of them, however while one makeover is purely for aesthetics, the other desperately needs it, as the old pipes don't quite work) and eventually we'd like to re-do the kitchen and put in a new stovetop + oven (I miss using a gas cooktop!), but even so it all feels perfect. 3. Lastly, I've been loving the fact that all these cookbooks I've been reading serve as inspiration for both my home life and my work life. In my final year of high school I overheard a group of girls talking about applying to study nutrition & dietetics at University. I thought that being paid to talk about food all day seemed like an awesome job, however it turns out I had chosen all the wrong subjects. I got there in the end, though, and I'm so happy I did.
SAVOURING: see point 1 above.
PLAYING: Joan continues to be all about pretend play. Lately she's been telling me "we're on a bus!", setting the scene for us to act out. On our bus journey we stop off at school, where she learns tricks from her friends such as jumping and painting, and then we go to ballet school, where we do arabesques and plies. We then visit Disneyland in Paris, and eat croissants. She knows how to live. This all comes from her, mind you - from what she's learnt or picked up in books or overheard in conversations. If I were to take a guess at her future profession at 2.5 years of age, all signs point to theatre/movie director.
She's also SUPER into hiding. We've been making cubby houses using chairs and sheets, and she'll scamper inside then yell "look for me!", insisting we play the game again and again and again and again and again. It's so not fun. And she would do it allllll day if she could.
Lastly, since catching a glimpse of the Olympic ice-skaters Joan has been pretending pretty much non-stop to be an ice-skater. Specifically, an "ice-skater with pink sparkles". She's been wearing my first pair of ballet shoes, which my parents gave me when I was three (see the photograph of me above). All day long she'll dance around our house, twirling and gliding.
FEELING: a range of feelings. Mostly content and sometimes itchy. Mostly cozy and sometimes uncomfortable. Often sated and often ravenous. It depends on the day and the unpredictable way this life of mine is unfolding.
Happenings posts inspired by Pip.