#498 Food: Winter Warmers

I’m actually in the midst of writing a blog post about all the wonderful things YOU, and I, should LOVE about Winter.

Todays gratitude post is a sneak peak, and it divulges one of my ideas.

Winter Food.

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Curry just isn’t the same unless it’s eaten on a cold Winter’s night, now is it? It’s been way too long since I made my vegetable curry, in fact we think at least 2 years… and why the wait? Well this thing called having a baby happened. And when something so monumental happens, everything changes… life, when you sleep, how you go out, how you react to things, how many people you see, and oh, what you eat.

And what you cook.

Once baby girl was of a certain age to start experimenting with food, well of course I was going to be making fairly safe, baby-friendly inoffensive tasting food. Which meant the curry we used to eat so much and so often of in Winter, was gone.

Yeah, I could have made two meals. But you could get two jobs too, couldn’t you?

😉

Yep. So it’s been a while. And as we ate it tonight, Hubbie swore it was like we were in our old house in the Northern suburbs. I think that means it was good 🙂

And as for baby girl? Well she gorged on the rice that was underneath the curry, in fact she completely overdosed on it. Did I mention my girl loves carbs? She does. I’d rather she overdose on rice than chocolate, so massive parental win there.

Winter Foods… get yourself into some warming curry and feel the heat 🙂

#497 Mt Eliza (Freezing) Farmers Market

The Mt Eliza Farmers Market occurs on the 4th Sunday of every month, and it only took 8 months after moving to the Peninsula, and diving into the depths of freezing-arse weather, to get on down there during our hibernation cold-spell.

We rugged ourselves up and headed over this morning. A $2 per adult ‘voluntary’ donation applies per entry, however there is no sign telling you you can make a choice either to, or not to. It goes to a local rotary club, so it lessens the impact of robbing you of your free will, I guess.

It was a brief and biting visit. The wintery winds steered us around quickly, but really, it isn’t much of an hour long walk unless you are of course, talking to all of the stallholders, trying all of their produce, or stopping at a nearby café, or the food and drink stalls within the market, to satiate your appetite.

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The stallholders we spoke to were lovely and friendly, providing plenty of info, and we walked away from it with a couple of little goodies:

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From top clockwise: a bag of pink lady apples from an orchard in Red Hill; organic free range eggs from Willow Zen (I have an obsession with ‘proper’ free range eggs from free range hens, and hearing that these hens have a couple of doggies guarding them from fox and coyotes, sounded about as farm-like and free as you can get); salted caramel coated popcorn from Crack[le] Corn; and finally, Manuka Honey 30+ from Pure Peninsula Honey.

I’m really curious to see how the apples taste straight from a farm, rather than a supermarket shelf. I love the idea of having produce from within the state’s region accessible for all to enjoy, and am proud and grateful to live in a part of the world where markets like this encourage and support the fact.

Wandering the market grounds in the Mt Eliza township on a Sunday? Yep, grateful. Yep, tick.

#496 Unexpected Sex and the City re-runs

Another Saturday night, another LAZY night in.

Cold, wind whistling outside, and freezing icy air, so takeaway (noodles) was necessary.

Blast the heater up and put on trakkies.

Hot showers and ultra-bubbly bubble baths: I had the hot shower – baby girl was fortunate enough to have the bathtub full of foamy bubbles.

A little bit of “Hokey Pokey, and then you shake it all around…”

Some warm milk, TV channel flipping –

Oh. Hang on. What do I see here?

Sex and the City eps back-to-back on Foxtel.

🙂

Why do we glean such pleasure from watching our fave shows/movies on TV, when in fact we have the DVDs at home? This continually puzzles me, why something I haven’t watched for ages, suddenly becomes a must when your old-time characters are staring back at you from the small screen.

Suddenly, you must drop everything and watch. Like you DON’T KNOW what’s going to happen.

And I happened across a repeat SATC, in fact, one of the most brilliant ones… I happened across the Finale 🙂

And so I watched. Hubbie and baby girl also chimed in and watched Carrie chase Big up the stairs, and then they came crashing down on the floor in a fit of laughter.

I saw Big say to Carrie “you’re the one.”

I heard him also say “Abso-fucking-lutely.”

And then I saw her walk into a New York café where her friends were sitting, unexpectedly screaming in excitement as she walked in.

And I was sitting there, just beaming.

Just great. Great 🙂 Love this show.

For anyone in Melbourne, reading this right now, and who has Foxtel, they have followed this up with more back to back SATC eps – starting from the very beginning: S1, E1.

I mean, if you want to. Or you could just pop on your DVD player, or Netflix. But that’s too hard…

 

#493 Emerging light of the shortest day

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Does that picture look like something from a science fiction movie?

In fact, I took the above photo on my way in to work this morning. I had to capture something to mark this most exciting of days, and when I saw the image before me, the soft mist turning the horizon into a hazy dream, boats still and sleeping in the foreground, while behind the tall buildings and bright red lights of civilisation, there shone something more.

Something grand.

Something promising.

Something, to HOPE for.

Because today is the shortest day of the year. From now on out, the daylight in each day can only grow incrementally, and with that increase, comes the prospect of brilliant sunshine-y times ahead.

I know we are only 21 days into Winter. However, a glass half-full sunshine loving Leo as myself needs something to look forward to, and the shortest day of the year during Winter, is about the most exciting thing to happen today.

Exciting, and gratifying.

And so it helps, it fell on a day that ended up turning rainy, grey and miserable.

But that’s ok. Because the only way is up.

#491 Hubbie’s early homecoming

It’s harder to hitch a ride on the gratitude bandwagon when the days are cold and dreary, and hibernation becomes your key activity. Which is why it’s so important to look closely around you, and appreciate all the little words, events, and actions, surprises and glimpses of happiness that find their way to you.

As such, today. It’s not like Hubbie never comes home early from work. There have been times here and there where he’s been let off a little earlier than usual – because, Winter. Slow days, and when the job is done, well often there is no point sticking around, 3 men to do the job of 1 for the last hour.

So today, as Hubbie approached the front door a fair bit earlier than his usual hometime, and I waved happily at him while baby girl took her position of ‘immediate hide and seek’ game under the table, I was immediately appreciative of his early release from the work quarters.

Hubbie is home earlier, which means we have dinner earlier. We get to sit on the couch for a bit afterwards and just talk to each other, about deep issues and light-hearted things, anything random and significant that pops to mind. We don’t usually get to talk like this when we are working, so it’s a bonus.

It also means I might get 5 or so minutes to put my feet up and browse through my Donna Hay cookbook, getting ideas and inspiration in the midst of these quiet and low-key months ahead.

Or, I can also watch through the window at Hubbie complying to baby girl’s request, and see them jumping wildly in the trampoline against the fading evening light.

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Whatever my reasons are to be grateful to have Hubbie home earlier from work, whether they be small or big reasons, they are ALL worth it… and yet the biggest reason to be grateful, is the simplest one… just to have him home, with us. Just for a little bit more. That’s enough.

 

#490 Walk around the ‘hood

What was meant to be a little walk to the local park and then back home, ended up in us heading that extra block to see the beach, and then winding around a couple of extra streets, to get just that bit more sunshine.

Winter, so far, has been spectacular. I know, right? In fact, the sunny and still days we have had so often, so far, has put me in a greater state of fear over how horribly the rain and wind will hit when REAL Winter comes along. According to My Climate Guide, we are actually in Win-tumn, which is false pretences Winter, and the REAL mofo Winter that will f$^k us right up, is due to hit in about 5 days.

Sigh. But we won’t worry about that now. Today was absolute bliss, walking around our ‘hood in our trakkies, and discovering the sights, sounds, scents, and seeing all the beauty that is around us… All of this, and the magnificent sun in the background, made me so, soooo grateful, that this is OUR TOWN.

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And with each day, I’m loving it more and MORE. Even in Winter. Can you bloody believe???

#488 The tree in Their yard

Still on nature.

There are many things we take for granted in life, and many that we act as if it will be there forever.

For me today, that forever thing is my parents’ home.

It was the place I was brought home to when a newborn, days after coming into the world. I grew up in that house, and only left years and years and years later, when I got married. It may seem confined and claustrophobic to some, but the years I spent there were some of the most memorable and happiest years of my life. I love that house.

Likewise, their yard. I’ve never really taken much refuge, notice of, or practiced much gratitude towards it, only because well, ‘taking things for granted’ note as above. Assuming it will always be there. Thinking that I will be able to visit it FOREVER.

Things don’t always turn out the way we envision them to be in our little fantasy-lands. Often our fantasy-lands are just that, images in our head.

So today while over there visiting on yet another Friday, drinking a coffee my Dad made me out in their yard, from a coffee pod machine I bought them one Christmas (of course I would buy them something coffee-related) I came upon, and noticed for the second time that day, the spectacular nature of a tree.

It’s the only one in their yard that still has part of its leaves on, and visually striking is the fact that it is prime-centre in the middle of the yard, surrounded by all the other leaf-less, stark grey branches around it from neighbouring trees. I looked at this stunning hybrid Pear tree (my Dad is a supreme Gardener and Handy-Man, so don’t ask) and observed to myself, that it was beautiful. Stunning even.

‘Pear, hold on.’