I had a pretty good day on Friday. Sleep in, picnic, walk in the park, cupcakes and pizza. I thought I might share some pictures because I like taking pictures and I took a lot. I’m getting in the groove because I figured before I ask for a super fancy camera for my birthday, I’d better know whether I was going to use it. Right?
And, yes, that means that right now I use a point and click. Hey, a girl’s gotta have some sort of pictures on her food blog, right?
Right again. So.
This is my bed. I like to make my bed in the mornings… yeah, the picture’s a little wonky. Sorry. I had to get up early to drive my brother to work experience. I then slept another three hours. I love sleeping in.
I saw a beautiful sunrise this morning. I didn’t take photos because I was driving.
After I got up, at approximately noon, I messed around on the internet and wrote you some words. Then I took in the washing and took some photos of some flowers.
I went to the library to borrow some books… and to scan in a design for a camp I lead on in September. It’s called… September Camp. Surprise!
I can’t show you the design because it’s a secret still. I think.
Then I went on a picnic in the park.
I got coffee and a toastie from this place called Yarra Coffee. Good coffee – you can buy beans there too! – and great food. I got the #5 toastie, with avocado, tomato, fetta, pesto, baby spinach and possibly one more ingredient I can’t remember. I had a choice between olive and rosemary sourdough or plain. I chose olive and rosemary. Yum!
I went on a walk around the lake and listened to the Joy the Baker podcast with Joy and Tracy from Shutterbean (available from Homefries). I love going for walks! Me and my roommate went on walks around the lake pretty much every day for a while there last year.
Beautiful day for a walk. I really loved the look of these rushes. Oh! Unfortunately, I wanted to feed some scraps and duds to the ducks but I wasn’t allowed. Sad face.
I was going to make muffins but decided to make cupcakes instead when I saw local strawberries for sale.
And then I went to hang out with friends and eat pizza. And talk about camp. Excited!
How was your Friday?
Did I mention that it’s total soup weather over here? Because it really, really is.
I told you guys earlier how much I love soup. I still haven’t gotten around to cooking 44 clove garlic soup but it will be happening soon. Maybe by my birthday? It’s coming up. Maybe that’s why I love winter so much, it’s my birth season. I was born smack bang in the middle of winter.
Although I know people who were born in summer who hate the heat and people who were winter babies who spend the season in a grumpy daze. But hey, why worry about the whys and wherefores, when it’s winter outside, the fire is blazing, the blood is pumping, the mist is rising… It is such beautiful weather in Melbourne! I love it when the sun rises through the mist. Because we live in the hills, you can see so much more and it is just amazing.
I’m excited because I’m planning to go ice skating soon.
I’ve never been ice skating before. I’m scared I might fall on my butt. Tailbone accidents are never fun. We used to have a bunk bed… well, we still have one at the family home, and me and my sister used it. I was heading down the ladder from the top bunk and the door and the bed were positioned in such a way that the door opened towards the ladder. I sat on the doorknob by accident, quite hard, and whacked my tail bone. That was no fun at all.
Worse, though, my sister did the same thing but worse. I don’t think she could sit down without a cushion for at least a week. Ouch.
Still, ice skating should be fun. I was going to go a couple of years ago but never got around to it. I only learnt how to ski two years ago and I haven’t been back to the snow since then. I’d love to have a white Christmas at least once in my life.
Chestnuts roasting on an open fire…
Until then, though, I’ll sit on my couch in front of my fire, eating this amazing corn chowder. It’s really, really good. I’ve made corn chowder before, but this one uses cumin. It’s supposed to have fresh corn but I used canned and it was still really nice.
It’s supposed to serve eight and we did get eight servings from it, only five of those were eaten by three people on one night. It’s really nice and it’s perfect for a cold winter’s night when you’re really hungry.
This would be really good for a shared meal. It’s infinitely adaptable – more corn, less potato, more cream, pepper, hot sauce, sour cream… and so easy to make more than the eight servings.
So what are you waiting for?
Adapted from The Essential Vegetarian Cookbook
2 large onions, diced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 teaspoons cumin seeds
1 litre vegetable soup
2 large potatoes, peeled and diced
1 can creamed corn
1 can corn kernels (or canned corn)
3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley (I didn’t add this bit. It was too cold and dark to wander out to our back porch. But do. It’s a good idea. )
1 cup grated cheddar cheese
salt and freshly ground black pepper
three tablespoons (or more) sour cream (or regular cream)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives, to garnish (also a good idea that I did not implement. Do not make my mistakes! [make your own, they're much more fun and sticky to get out of])
Melt the butter in a large, heavy-based saucepan. Add onion and cook until translucent. Add garlic and cumin and cook about a minute; put in stock, bring to the boil, add potatoes, and simmer, uncovered, about 10 minutes. Add corn (both types) and parsley, and simmer another ten minutes.
Stir in cheese, cream and salt and pepper to taste, and turn off heat. Stir until cheese is melted. Garnish with chives.
Share with friends.
I never really dressed up for mass. (For all you Protestants out there, that’s what we call church. Mass is the gathering; church is the people. Or the building, depending on who you talk to. I always thought it was the building, but then I found out different when I got older. Excuse me, we don’t tell people what we believe, we try and make them guess by how we act. Unfortunately, this way you can get a little confused, especially if you’re only five.)
But hey. I digress. (Often. Clearly.)
Today is Sunday and I am in my Sunday Best. I went out for breakfast and you know what I was saying about the best way to break in new shoes is to dance in them? It’s true but the second best way may be to walk down a sun-dappled street on a summer morning after a beautiful breakfast. It was so good and I was so disappointed that I couldn’t finish it. I clearly need to make my stomach bigger. The walk was almost necessary just to get that over-full feeling from my stomach. I will never be able to stick to a portion-control diet. I think it’s ridiculous.
Sunday best for me today was my new shoes, a red dress pinned up to be bubble like (which, incidentally is great to dance in) and flowers in my hair.
I love driving slowly down sun-dappled streets with the windows down and the wind in my hair. It’s a beautiful way to get to know someplace and when I move I’m totally going to go on many new drives, particularly to orchards and pick your owns and particularly with my housemates and my friends. I’ll put on beautiful music and revel in life.
I love the idea of taking a day off from the rest of your life and remembering your roots, where you come from, where you’re going, what your purpose is. That, I believe, is the true meaning (or one of them) of Sunday services, although I think it’s either been lost or it just doesn’t get talked about enough. We are scared to tell our stories for fear of being told we are trying to convert people but what’s the matter with telling people the beauty and the mystery of life as we know it?
So I didn’t go to mass today (yet… there’s still time:) but I did remember what I’m trying to do in life – put the world back together. And part of that is loving myself and sending out happy energy into the world. Because to love others like you love yourself, you first have to love yourself, right? Well, maybe not first, but it’s definitely a part and parcel of loving the world. And remember 1 John 4:20 - Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen. You have to love others to love God. Everything is connected.
So go and connect yourself. Happy Sunday. Happy January 16.
Just be. Don’t mess around, pretending, playing at life. Don’t put everything off, but don’t do everything at once, either.
Walk through the rain for a whole morning, letting people stare at the crazy girl who hasn’t got an umbrella and isn’t wearing shoes. Take yourself out for breakfast because you want to go out for breakfast and you are worth the time it takes to get there.
Take and afternoon and bake a cake, even if it doesn’t quite come out right or doesn’t quite taste like you thought it would.
Listen to music, watch a fantastic movie, call your friend. Call. Call.
Write a thank you note because thank yous are overrated and outdated. Dance in the rain. Say hello to that guy on the train.
Believe in yourself.
Take your chances.
Help someone else.
Don’t just walk past.
Stop trying. Just be.
And make that cake.
*oh hey, I know I’ve been really really lazy with recipes and such. I am sorry. This one itself was kinda a flop, and I think perhaps I should have measured it better, but hey. It’s my day off, ok?
ten reasons to love rain:
1)If it’s cold, you can snuggle up with friends/ones in particular and watch movies or eat junk food without feeling guilty because hey, it’s raining. No one wants to be out.
2)If it’s warm (or even hot) you can dance in it. And sing.
3)Monsoons are great for taking showers.
4)It’s good for our poor, drought-stricken country.
5)It means you don’t have to be overheated and insomniac because it’s too hot to sleep.
6)Swimming in the rain is one of my favourite pasttimes.
7)Rain makes for good dreams.
8)It’s really romantic.
9)Jump in puddles. Go on, I dare you.
an exchange between two people who are worlds apart and yet strangely similar, who are both seekers and night wanderers…Posted: January 8, 2011
‘Why are you in bare feet?’ the policeman asked, looking at the young girl – young woman, he corrected himself, in scruffy shorts and a hooded jumper, inconceivably in the middle of a well-lit city road in the wee hours of a middle-of-the-week morning;
‘I like to feel the rhythm of the street’ she replied ‘the lifeblood of the city under my heels, that heartbeat through which we are somehow all connected.’
It’s what you call flowers that hang over fences and reach over footpaths, begging you to take them home. (When I say you, I mean me. And when I mean me, I mean, I got the term from Brigid Lowry).
So you take a walk, refreshing yourself after work, perhaps; or maybe you can’t sleep; you want to lose weight; you like chasing butterflies… any or all of the above, or perhaps a new reason, one you thought up all on your own. There are as many reasons to take a walk as there are people; as many as there are walking paths, footpaths, roads, landmarks, trees, flowers, stars in the sky.
You see a flower hanging over the footpath. Maybe it’s so far over that you will run into it unless you duck or bob or weave. Maybe it’s just peeking over shyly, like you were at the club on Saturday night, wishing that cute boy would come over and ask you to dance. Maybe it’s on the nature strip, in a bed in a public garden, maybe it’s right in front of your feet.
Say hello. Whisper sweet nothings into its petals. Stroke its leaves and inhale its sweet fragrance. Take it home and place it in a glass, or a bud vase, or a kitsch retro teapot. Make friends with it and let it into your heart. When it dies, say goodbye and thank you for the ride, for making your day one with a flower in it.
Or, a midnight walk.
Rather, a walk at twenty past one in the morning. Sometimes, I just can’t sleep. This time, I went for a walk to clear my head. And tire myself out.
I like walking when no one’s around. I hate it when I go for a walk to be by myself and people turn up. Like it’s a public place or something, haha.
I love walking at night. I love walking in the middle of the road. I love walking in bare feet. I love walking at night, in the middle of the road, in bare feet.
I have to say, though, it’s scary to walk the streets at night, especially when you live around the corner from a pub. I don’t recommend it.
Try it sometime. Walk through the streets at night. Feel the rhythm of the city you live in. Connect in a different way to yourself. Write down your thoughts and your feelings.
Today I took myself out for coffee.
You may think that this was a token for holding the lonely at bay but I am, in fact, trying to get to know myself. I am in the process of becoming friends with myself, of believing that I am, in fact, worthy of friendship. Because I am.
I’m sure I will believe it fully one day, but for now I must be patient.
Because as I try to be better (and remind myself do or do not – there is no try) I believe that to do so, I have to believe that I can. And to do that, I have to love myself, because you don’t believe in people you don’t love. Or at least, there is always an underlying belief that it won’t happen and if it does, it doesn’t mean much.
So I went for a drive, because we all gotta go places, and I bought a coffee and sat for a while and watched the people; I saw a couple who had matching converse on and a girl with a motorbike and several skateboarders and some really cool shoes. I walked for a while and went into bookshops and vintage clothing stores and bought ice cream. And I drove again and sat again and wondered.
Because wandering around aimlessly is toxic if you wonder what the point of it all is, if you really have no purpose and aim simply to fill in time or rather, not; but if the point is the sun and your own company, wandering and wondering can be quite therapeutic.
So hold your heart and move, gorgeous and affecting, to your music. Believe in yourself. Dance like no one’s watching; because they’re probably not. Enjoy your company, because you’re stuck with it. Today you are you, that is truer than true. There is no one alive that is youer than you!
But if you do decide to take yourself out for coffee, dress up. Be nice to yourself. Impress yourself. Be happy.