#1009 Smoothie season

It was time to get the blender out today.

I have been saying for months and months and months, that once our kitchen reno was done, I would be using my blender more. It was in a more accessible position, so therefore being able to reach it would make it easier, right?

(I also said I would post a before-and-after once the reno was done with, but the teeniest and tiniest of little kitchen jobs has prevented me from that – so stay tuned).

It appears, that anything, any task, no matter how big or small it is, requires the same amount of grunt to get you going.

I had to do a ‘special’ grocery shop.

Get things I didn’t normally buy.

I had to find time. (Ohhh, that precious commodity…)

I had to find a warm day…

And finally, finally, through my haphazard excuses yet also slight determination to get things going, I got the blender OUT!

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It appears that sometimes what we are lacking is, the desire to do something new. The desire to try something out of our comfort zone. We get too comfortable in our little corners of the world, and look for all manner of excuses to keep from stepping out into the middle of the room.

In my case, deciding to get off my arse and take the blender out.

But once you start! Well once you start, you are suddenly open to all the possibilities out there, of fresh smoothies and healthy drinks, they are all waiting for you, simply because you decided your comfort zone was a tad boring.

Because it is, let’s face it. It’s the same old… r e p e t i t i o n… day in and day out.

So today, I salute the smoothie. Here’s to a summery season of it.

Cheers!

#984 Painting day means meals away

I found myself in an odd predicament today.

Odd being 4-Balkan-men-standing-outside-the-front-of-my-house-while-paint-dried type of odd.

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Well, two of them I knew. They were our painters. And then, because you’re on a professional job, you like, CALL YOUR FRIENDS OVER TO WHERE YOU ARE WORKING for a brief chat.

???

Despite the abundance of Balkan men, of which I am all too acquainted with in my life, I actually felt out of place in my house. I had returned home from doing morning jobs to find the kitchen completely covered in drop sheets, with walls and ceilings and floors either in paint, or with plastic.

It was part of the final, FINAL stage of our kitchen reno, the painting touch-ups.

FINAL-ly.

But, I could not move. Let alone have lunch.

It suddenly seemed to me that I was being presented with an opportunity. And because I would usually feel guilty about just doing it without purpose, I realised that I had a very real reason to get out of the house for lunch today.

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I ended up at a café just down the road, like literally. I sat on my own, in the sun, sometimes on my phone, listening to the sound of dogs from the grooming shop only a short distance away, and making sure those full-grown Magpies didn’t venture too close to me.

It was great.

But, I got my opportunity again, in the afternoon. They still weren’t done when baby girl came home from kinder, and I have to say, paint mess and residue is just about the worst kind. I couldn’t handle it.

So, again, out we went to escape.

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Two times today, two opportunities to get out, relax and enjoy.

And all because of the painting. Annoying, necessary and yet gratifying, all at the same time.

#975 Baking: blueberry lemon cake

I haven’t baked in a little while, purely for the purpose of ‘just ’cause,’ for AGES. Back in August my mass baking was of an intentional and event-based nature, so when I came across some mouth-watering recipes last week, I decided to schedule in my very own baking day.

I think it was all the more enjoyable because baby girl was at kindergarten. I do enjoy when she is in the kitchen with me… I love that she is curious, that she wants to help, and her sheer excitement at the prospect of the finished product. I also want her to appreciate the cooking process, the effort that goes into making things, so that she may appreciate eating, and the food itself more, since she knows where it came from.

But at the same time, as a Mum… sometimes you just wanna get shit done.

You just want to go at your own pace. No constant questions of

“can I mix?”

“can I add?”

“can I taste?”

“can I put this in?”

Just me and MY kitchen. Putting mess and bowls and utensils and drips of batter, wherever the bloody hell I like.

After a couple of hours from start to finish, I got something like this:

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Do you think I got close? 😉

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I am being cheeky, sure. Yes I created it almost spot-on to the recipe photo, and even styled the kitchen magazine-style in the process (check the cake under the dome).

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But the MOST important question… how did it actually taste?
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Well I can tell you this: it wasn’t to my taste at first. It had a definite tangy flavour, what with all that zest and lemon juice in the batter. Which is fine, but then there was the addition of so much extra virgin olive oil, which led to a superbly moist but rich cake.

The berry layer was made from scratch with real blueberries, but the cream was not so… creamy. In fact, light cream cheese was required instead, which made it slightly biting… however this was not too bad in its small quantity in contrast against the lemony cake and mild blueberry jam.

I didn’t expect Hubbie to like it… but he did. He actually enjoyed it. And being a fussier food critic than I, SmikG the food blogger, well that was a massive tick in my book. √

#951 The Rosemary Tradition

See a couple of rosemary bushes out the front of a house? Don’t be surprised if there are Croats living there.

It comes with the territory. Having rosemary in your garden is synonymous with being Croatian, just as making their own tomato sauce is common amongst Italians, and the Spanish are known for their post-lunch siestas.

So the fact that the fellow elderly couple two doors down who reign from Balkan Adriatic seas have half a dozen LARGE rosemary bushes adorning their front yard, and I DON’T, doesn’t sit right with me.

It was perfect then, that my parents gifted me with some sprigs of rosemary while at their house yesterday, all ready to go. Perfect for 2 reasons:

  1. It comes at the perfect time of year. I am getting into gardening more and turning my attention there as Spring makes things all pretty and bright again, and let’s face it, it’s a much cheaper hobby than renovating your kitchen (thank God that is pretty much over with).
  2. I can be a proper Croatian Euro now God-damn it, with my own pot of rosemary. That hails from my parents garden no less… what can be better than that?

I planted them today, and I have to say… they have the best roots 😉

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#941 New things to sit on

Frankly, simply, and very, very basically… stools.

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Stools to sit on. New ones at that. Shiny and lovely and all earthy-looking. I love them, they are new, they match our kitchen, and they make everything just gel together that much more in there.

And there is my gratitude for the day there, in a simple acorn shell. An acorn, because the stool tops are made of oak you see…

Ba boom tish!

 

#939 The right quote

I have a daily calendar. It sits in the kitchen, and day by day I rip off a page and discover a new quote.

It can be inspirational. Witty. Life-changing, funny or deep. Philosophical, sage and wise are just some words you might use to describe the quotes penned by the greats over the ages, words I find myself reading in my kitchen each morning.

Some days, I read them and go “hmm, interesting.”

Other days “uh, ok.”

Then on others still – “Yeah I’m not sure on that one.”

But then like today, there are days that not only do I love the quote, but it particularly speaks to me.

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It’s always a special kind of day, when the thoughts that are going through your head are acknowledged and even sometimes, answered in some way by the Universe. By Life. You feel as if you are not going crazy, something out there is not just aware of you, but may even be listening to you…

And there’s a level of comfort, and Hope, in these little signs of Life.

And just because I thought it was stunning, here’s a pic of tonight’s sunset.

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Notice the ship. Sailing into the sunset.

(For more on quotes, trying to find happiness, and the frustrations inherent in the socially-obligatory task, check out this link from my SmikG blog)

#934 Love from afar

You want to hear what one definition of love is?

Being happy for someone else’s happiness, when you aren’t in it.

That was today, as I headed off back to work after what seems like a lot of leave, maybe because we travelled, maybe because there were parties, maybe because we too changed in the process…

Maybe because we have a new-look kitchen? ;-D

But I went to work, leaving my beautiful family behind on a gorgeously sunny Spring day, wishing I was with them all the time, and trying my damn hardest to look for something to be grateful for, on what is typically a very un-grateful day…

FIRST DAY BACK AT WORK BLUES.

But Hubbie sent me this pic, and my heart soared. The caption?

“You missed a spot Tato :-D”

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I know I am not there, and I know I am not spending my night with them, but they are not far from my mind, they are always in my heart, and as long as they are happy – which that photo shows me – that is all that matters.

I miss them.

True love, is selfless.

I want them to be happy, even when I am not there.

♥♥♥