Sunday, 24 April 2011

An Easter Sunday Best

Spent the day with my mum today, feeling blessed to be with family whilst enjoying the Autumn sunshine.  We wandered through Ceres nursery buying up big on organic vegetable seedlings, ready for a late winter/spring harvest of peas, carrots, beetroot, shallots and broccoli. So energising to meander through the garden - wanting to grow and create everything but having to be somewhat modest given my means and time. I did splurge on a Digger’s Club fruit and vegetable book to get me going!

Lunch at ‘Copperwood’ in Lygon Street’s famous precinct was perfect, with pesto gnocchi, minestrone soup and a lovely glass of Majella ‘The Magician’ red. The restaurant filled to near capacity, many people taking their parents and/or children out for lunch; just like my mum and me. The city streets were so quiet as we passed golden trees in full Autumn splendour, a riot in themselves.

Enjoying a late afternoon walk through the quiet Brunswick streets I am inspired by the sense of community and generosity out on the footpaths. Free easter eggs sitting on a fence because the “easter bunny’s eyes were bigger than its belly”; a box of rosemary with a sign “lamb roast”; and a footpath communal garden offering chillies and herbs with the offer to weed and water. So nice to see the sense of community spirit alive and well in the big smoke and that people still want to share and exchange things they love, just because. Because they have too much and don’t need the extra and rather than leave it to rot or throw it in the rubbish, items are placed on fences and nature strips for the taking. All is well in the city on this Easter Sunday.

Monday, 11 April 2011

a Spicy Sunday Best..

The rain had set in. It had been absolutely hammering down for a good 2 days and there was just no way anyone was going anywhere outside, in THAT! So, the mortar & pestle was nestled in my arms ready for some spice grinding...a Goan curry seemed like a good solution to no particular problem.

The smell of freshly ground spices takes me away to far off places, India first and foremost. [Although in India, the smell of faeces and incense attacked the senses way before any foods were even allowed to step in the window of olfactory nerves.] I lit some incense in honour of the curry feast we were about to embark on. Deep earthy fragrance invaded the house, while the unrelenting rain swam about the weatherboards threatening to seep into hidden cavities.
While the naan bread dough sat rising on its special seat in front of the heater, I ground cardamon, fenugreek, cinnamon and nearly all the aromatic herbs in the pantry until they were a fine chestnut-coloured powder. Roasting them was delicious and my nose tingled in delight. A few hours on the stove gave me time to knead the dough for the naan, one of my favourite 'chores'. I adore the feeling of dough in my hands, and the sticky mass turning to velvety elastic.
Condiments assembled, bowls of yoghurt with lemon & cucumber, chilli lime pickles and pappadams; children assembled. Time to enjoy.
Then the couch called me from far away, and my stripey pj’s, the bottle of port, Lindt chocolate and lovely friends to share rainy Sundays with.

Wednesday, 6 April 2011

Sunday Bereft 3rd April

Sunday spent in the airport. Missed flights. Long queues. Credit card blues....
How to fill in 6 hours? With 9 year old in tow, we did our 'best'. I had my pretty skirt on and sweet pink cardigan. In search of fine foods and delectable delights we went...
I worked out that airport marketing people must have great fun 'creating' names for their eateries, but wordsmiths they most certainly are not.
So after deciding to put an 'embargo' on ANY establishments that were a play on words and any place that wanted to charge $9 for a sandwich, the young one and I resorted to fried galumph with deep fried humph!
Why wasn't there a 'Waiting for a Plane' bar? Or, 'Better late than Never' cafe? Or 'Why did I decide to fly the cheapest, nastiest airline' bar n grill?
As the sky darkened and stars came out, the city lights began to flicker in the balmy Brisbane evening. Body feeling oh so weary, but with hours to go and a long drive home when we finally get there I decided to go in search of caffeine. A beacon in the otherwise drab landscape appeared right at the end of the terminal and possibly THE loveliest people behind the counter made me a great coffee! There is salvation right here - good people, good coffee and the promise that soon I might be home.
[Well I was far, far from home but that coffee and the feeling that there are lovely people in the most unlikely places got me through - and I finally arrived home at 2am].