#543 Café-ing with Hubbie, ALONE

Oh wow. Like this has not happened, ever ever ever, since before we had baby girl.

In 4 years, have we not sat down at a café opposite each other, just us.

But today, it happened.

imag5225.jpg

It only happened because Hubbie and I are on leave together, and today was baby girl’s kindergarten day. Score. It was a quick stop, as we were super busy and in the midst of weekend birthday preparations for baby girl… but still, it was a great break, just the two of us, as we sat outside Store Fifteen feeling a decent breeze, with a stronger sun pulsating on through, and a stunning and shimmering beach horizon in the very close distance.

It was amazing, and I can only imagine what we’ll get up to next week during her kindergarten session, when we have NOTHING to plan, and NOTHING pressing to attend to.

…!

#522 Kinder days no. 4

“Hooray!” shouted every single parent that existed, at the beginning of this week as term 3 commenced. “Hooray!”

I was one of them. I love baby girl, yet I also love my ‘me time,’ and was looking forward to spending time on my own-some once again.

It was terribly biting and windy, but THAT DIDN’T STOP ME this morning. I walked up and down the Main street, going into shops here and there and getting bits and pieces, as well as a bit of sticky-nose and research that was required.

Look for keep cup in tea/coffee shop – nope not in that one.

Check out pants for baby girl – not Wintery thick enough.

Check out possible cake at The Cheesecake Shop, for baby girl’s upcoming birthday – TBC…

Buy a tattslotto ticket

Go into party shop, ask about balloon deliveries.

Go into herb shop, and come out with brazil nuts at $50 a kilo (no really, there is a shortage and the Unicorn teeth are in at an impressive $59.95 a kilo!)

Take out $$$

Ask Vinnies if they want toy donations – yes they most definitely do.

Bread, groceries…

And ahh, the best moment in my everywhere-morning… THIS:

IMAG4946

For under $10, I got a sensational chai latte and nutty/seedy bar at a nearby cafe, both of which were delicious and filling, and kept me going for even more of the morning, well up until lunchtime. Again I was at the Corner Counter, where I had my first proper chai latte in Mornington a while ago, and so it made sense that I should go there again.

IMAG4948

The sun was shining brightly as I positioned myself by the window, read the daily paper, indulged in some delightful café fare, and totally catered to myself. Catering to oneself, when oneself is also a ‘Mum,’ is more than an indulgence – its almost a necessity, something that must be done time and time again, to fill up ones reserves. Ones dealing with every life and crap and annoyances and jobs and chores and responsibilities and drama and stressed and everything reserves.

It was bliss, and I look forward to more fill up reserve days 🙂

 

#520 Coffee time with my girl

“Out,” she said. “Go out.”

I could have quite happily stayed at home and put on the coffee machine: but alas, I listened to my daughter, and decided to make her happy on this occasionally grey day.

Occasionally, because as we headed out the door, the clouds parted and the sun peeked through, helping us along on our babycino break.

We ended up at The Filling Station, where we have been many times before, and which is slowly becoming a favourite. We were actually headed for another café, but its one-week closure decided on the aforementioned café instead.

The coffee is strong, the cakes are unique and delightful, and though the interior space is small, it is cosy, and baby girl had her babycino in true little-girl café-ready style, as we have taught her so many times before.

Her routine:

Eat one marshmallow.

Pop the other marshmallow in the babycino.

Drink some of the babycino.

Fish out the marshmallow with the spoon and eat it.

Drink more babycino.

Eat some cake.

Finish off the babycino.

Eat more cake.

Let Mum wipe my face, patiently.

I love her ‘I-know-not-to-argue’ face as she allows me to wet wipe her mouth, cheeks and forehead (yes it gets there too) from any milk/marshmallow/chocolate dusting remnants. Gold.

And she enjoyed a read while there too. So much a mini-me, combining written material and coffee, tsk tsk tsk. She will be a big Smiggles fan one day no doubt.

🙂

IMAG4925

#474 A fresh bag of beans

Coffee beans, to be exact.

(Sometimes I wonder why I didn’t name this blog ‘carcrashcoffee,’ or ‘coffeecrashgratitude’?)

Yes, I write about coffee, a lot. About the way it makes me feel. What I’m doing while I’m drinking it, which is usually enjoying life and taking a pause. How it tastes. Great coffee. What happens, due to coffee. Running on time and having a coffee (like it somehow made me early or something), or having coffee with a miniature figurine. It’s all here folks. And there is sooo much more to come, I assure you 😉

But one of the most amazing things about making your own coffee, at home, is that moment when you open up a new bag of beans.

Ahhhhh.

How can I not stick my head in the bag and inhale deeply? It is a sensory experience of erotica, through the nose. The scent of it itself, makes you high on caffeine, and that’s without ingesting any of it.

IMAG4296

The fresh bag of coffee I inhaled seductively today was from a local place we have already tried for beans, called Commonfolk Coffee. We are yet to eat there, but the place looks amazing. Industrial warehouse turned funky hipster café. I know, I know, EVERYONE is doing it. But when they are freshly roasting their own coffee, and proceeds are going towards a sustainable coffee making industry, it just puts them a par above any other dread-head recently turned barista.

The first bag we tried from there, the Progress Street blend, was not to our taste, at all. This one however, the Godfather blend (how can a name like that fail?) proved to be much better on my first try today, but the beans are probably a little mixed with the old ones, so we need a few coffees to go through the machine before we can accurately tell.

IMAG4295

I think I can safely say, the scent of fresh coffee beans, can never, ever disappoint…

#470 Coffee with Cinderella

IMAG4275

Straight up, that was my coffee experience today.

It was special because my parents have been staying with us for a little bit, and so today while out and about, showing them our ‘hood,’ we stopped for a café latte break.

Parents, baby girl, me… and Cinderella.

Because that’s how the coffee breaks are nowadays. And it’s important that I capture them as they are, now. Because these days of mini figurines, kinder surprises, play-doh creations and smiley-face biscuits, will not last forever. Baby girl will grow out of it, and soon will be way too cool for any of that kiddy ‘stuff.’

The stuff that now makes her clap her hands with unrestrained glee, a wild smile spreading across her face in the moment that she comes face to face with a little packet-ed princess wearing a blue gown.

So, it was a cool little coffee date we had. I share these moments with baby girl, but my parents being there as witness to it all, is extra, extra, cool.

That’s a coolness, I won’t ever grow out of.

#459 Local help

Everywhere I turned, I seemed to run into them. People at the shops, bumping into their friends. Acquaintances. People from down the road. A local they hadn’t seen in a while.

Two women stood in front of the apples talking about how it was when they ‘showed’ so early for their second child. The grocer guy sang out to his buddy stocking up corn, and they chatted loudly about people they knew from other stores.

Another older woman held her arms out in an embrace as she came across another woman, and then the woman being hugged pointed to a third woman and said “this used to be my neighbour.” I saw them picking out groceries together and helping the older woman later on.

Two old ladies stood at the entrance to the biscuit aisle, whispering lowly about God-knows-what, but their faces were so solemn I nearly hung out a second longer to catch a word or two about the latest scandal, I could only assume.

I felt a bit left out. I couldn’t just bump into someone I knew in our town. Not yet. I didn’t know anybody. Baby girl was slowly making friends at kinder – soon she would know people out and about. Hubbie was also now working locally, so he too was recognising faces here and there. I was still based out of town, WAY out of town for work, so I wasn’t really based in any such way in our new town, not yet.

Not yet. I told myself this. I told myself, as I smiled at the exchanges I came across, wishfully thinking that my time would come, and soon enough, I would be bumping into people, and saying “oh hey! How have you been?” Maybe I would talk about how the corn was in season. Or maybe I would indulge in some scandal/gossip or two.

Or maybe all of the above. If I was lucky.

And this I pondered, as I searched for fresh yeast.

It was becoming extremely difficult to find. Back where we used to live in the Northern suburbs, I knew exactly where to find, and where to go for the fiddly, specific, random items I sometimes required. Fortunately for me, where I used to buy yeast was just around the corner from me, at a continental deli in the large shopping centre in town. There were that many wogs, (ahem) Europeans there, of course they had fresh yeast for sale, frequently. It wasn’t odd to look for it.

Here however:

“No we don’t sell it,” said one gourmet deli cashier to me, as she genuinely looked quizzical, adding that she didn’t know where I could buy it while looking around to serve the next person and get rid of me.

“I don’t know where we get it from,” said the bakery lady who had walked out to place bread on the shelves in Woolies, implying that yes they had it, but no, they did not SELL IT.

Where was I going to get fresh yeast from? It almost seemed like I was asking for a Unicorn’s horn, or something. People looked at me like “Wowzee, geez, good luck.” I was making a bunch of bread-like cheese rolls for my parents’ upcoming anniversary, and I was going to make them tomorrow. So I needed to buy the yeast, NOW.

I decided nothing was lost by asking the cashier who had put through my items a previous time at Woolies. She seemed like a really lovely person. As she weighed my apples, I asked, “do you know where I could find fresh yeast around here?”

She thought for a moment, throwing a bit of a clueless look as so many before her had thrown when I had posed my question, and then turned to the Mum with two kids behind me who was placing her groceries on the conveyor belt, and without hesitating asked “where can you buy fresh yeast around here?”

They knew each other.

This Mum was lovely and started rattling off heaps of names. One on the Main street, and then the cashier jumped in and mentioned a grocery store in town.

“My Hubbie works there actually” I said. “I’m just waiting for him to get back to me on that.”

The Mum then remembered a gourmet/organic grocer that was a few shops down in the little centre we were in, and immediately I was like “of course!” How could I have forgotten that little unique and quirky-buys place?

I high-tailed it out of there after thanking them, and upon walking into the gourmet grocer, came across a very smiley lady at the counter.

“Do you sell fresh yeast?”

“You know who would know that? Our chef. And she so happens to be a few doors down. Follow me.”

And just like that, she left her post in the grocer store at the counter, and walked off, me following her with my trolley full of groceries, containing almost everything BUT fresh yeast. She kindly introduced me to the chef who was chatting with another shop owner, and then left to resume her post, while I asked wide-eyed “was there any fresh yeast around here?”

The chef, was super-friendly. She was surprised Woolies hadn’t just given me some, but said to try all the bakeries in the area… she mentioned the Baker’s Delight just several stores down, and Banjos on Main street, and then another fine foods deli off the Main street. She was so friendly and helpful, and placed confidence in me that I WOULD find it.

I still tentatively walked to Baker’s and when it was my turn to be served, asked all high-pitched “do you sell fresh yeast here?”

“Yeah” responded the cashier with no confusion or Unicorn horn- questioned look.

Finally!

And so, I got my damn fresh yeast. The locals had been lovely, and gone out of their way to help me, just as you would expect in a village-type seaside town.

And just as I had been wondering how long it would talk to get it, the fresh yeast came across my path quite suddenly, as it had been there in front of me, all along…

And I realised that like the yeast rising, hopefully so too would my ‘locals’ friend list also go up… much sooner than I expected.

 

#458 Impromptu Pho

I was busy at home when Hubbie charged through the doors this morning, high on his new hair-cut and wanderings through our humble-yet-bustling town, and declared “we are going to About Thyme for lunch!”

Really, we should have gone out last night, instead of this morning as I hurriedly made sweet treats in preparation for my parents anniversary on the weekend, prior to my late starting work shift this afternoon. So what do you think I did?

Amidst rolling 50 cake balls for my cake pops, I rushed through the batch (with attention-to-detail, of course) got ‘properly’ dressed, before we ran out the door.

We hadn’t been there in quite a while. And I immediately knew what I was going to have on such a still, yet grey day.

Pho.

IMAG4168

I was looking forward to the prawns also listed on the ingredients menu, but alas, I think not in season. Never mind. It was still warming, and tasty, and when I popped in a sliced chilli piece into the broth, so, so, sooooo spicy.

It had me watering at the eyes and gasping for breath, and then Hubbie over-confidently declared he would finish my chillies for me…

30 seconds and 4 chillies later, and HE was gulping down water with watery eyes.

Advantage of almost over-combusting? The heat almost totally cleared up my stuffy nose and sore throat that has been just hanging around for almost a week. So BIG points there.

(Note to self: bite into hot chilli next time I am sick).

A quick bite to eat out, with my family, unexpectedly on a dreary Wednesday before work…. Un-Pho-gettable.

(Sorry, I had to).

IMAG4169