on chocolate, baths, and capacity

on chocolate, baths, and capacity

As Mr travels overseas regularly, I am often left to manage house, children and daily life by myself. One of the stories of me ‘managing’ that has been retold ad nauseam is the day I flooded the bath.

I was sitting outside eating dinner with the girls, and so I decided to run the bath for them for when they were finished. Mr calls from overseas, I sit on the back patio and have a chat, the girls have a chat, we clean up dinner, I head inside and … water!

From the laundry, covering the floorboards down the hall, creeping into the carpet on the girls bedrooms and making a valiant effort to get to all the electronics in Mr’s study. I called my dad (my hero) and after emptying the linen cupboard of all the towels we own to soak up the mess, I manage to get the girls to bed.

That’s the thing about capacity, when you reach it, you need to turn off the tap, or there is overflow. And that can make all sorts of mess that can affect other people and take a while to clean up.

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try new things

try new things

There is a show that my girls watch that has a little song about trying new food “you gotta try new things ’cause they might taste good”. It’s a cute little song and a great teaching tool to get them to eat scary foreign food like potato or zucchini or even … cheese! (Yes, I know, I know, how could I?! … let’s face it, I’m a terrible mum!)

Thing is that song has been going through my head today. Because although I love to cook, and I do try new recipes on a regular basis, there are some areas of cooking that are just no-go zones for me. I do not work with gelatine (not leaf, nor powdered). I do not make my own pastry (yep – shop bought here all the way people), and I do not work with yeast (for some reason it just scares me).

There is no logical reason for these rules. And they are rules even though I cringe as I type it, because if a recipe has gelatine, no matter how good it looks I just won’t try it! And I most definitely do not download it or put it on my pinterest board, because it’s just not going to happen. These rules have existed for forever, and they are almost instinct, I don’t even notice them.

Until today. Continue reading “try new things”

leave to rest

I love to cook, it is my sweet spot, the place I feel most comfortable. My senses are tuned into it, I can smell when an onion is starting to turn sweet and translucent. I can hear when the pasta pot has reached a rolling boil. I can guess the amount of herbs, lemon or garlic to add to a marinade.

Yet this familiarity sometimes leads to short-cuts, where I know I can get away with it. Sometimes in the interests of time, or expediency I cut corners. I know I can, sometimes, add the flour in one go, rather than two as the recipe states. I know that I don’t have to wait until the butter is soft to rub it in. I know that I can use the microwave to melt chocolate instead of the double boiler.

rest Continue reading “leave to rest”

a new time frame

a new time frame

I have been thinking a lot about gardens recently. Maybe due to the amazing winter sunshine we have in Perth this year, perfect for mild-weathered gardening. Maybe it is because we have been in this house for almost three years now, and we are finally turning our attention to the overgrown garden.

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cooking and writing

I went away on my first writer’s retreat today. It was fabulous, it was peaceful, it was introspective, I had time and space to think, to process my thoughts, to get them down on paper, to breathe, to centre, to be.

It was great, I loved every minute of it and I am looking forward expectantly to the next one. But I can’t live in that space. I can’t live in the space of inward examination and introspection. I get to a point where the silence, the focus on self and the analysis are detrimental to me. Where there is no longer anything productive in the process rather it becomes more destructive.

raspberries

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autumn

It is autumn … finally!

Autumn in Perth”officially” starts on the first of March, but it didn’t arrive until Friday last week, which I make the 30th! The breeze is noticeably cooler, there has been rain, and naturally my thoughts turn to cooking.

In this season of motherhood I am finding I want to cook recipes from my own childhood for the girls, and let’s be honest, us too. So it is so good to finally have some weather that encourages baking, hearty stews, and somehow, long leisurely family lunches followed by board games. (Note to self – will have to teach Miss 2 and Bubba Girl some board games!).

Thankfully, autumn also coincides with my birthday, and my lovely family and friends have stocked up my cookbook collection. So last night I pulled out Bakes and Gratins by the Australian Women’s Weekly (thank you P) and baked a hearty meat pie. This pie reminds me of one my Nanna used to make, she served it in slabs from a rectangular dish, as did I.

Enjoy … we did!