Moments of Wonder #3

Welcome to Moments of Wonder for the months of March and April, 2016.

March and April saw autumn again fail to find a foothold. I am becoming desperate for cooler weather and much-needed rain. With late snow in New York and temperatures in the high 20s (celsius) for much of the time in Sydney, Mother Nature has become seriously confused and climate change skeptics should hang their heads in shame.

The unusual weather means Australia’s venomous snakes are still active, which saw a large brown snake come to our back door in late March. Quite possibly the most hideous creature on the planet, it was dispatched with the use of a shovel. Apologies to those who believe their protected status is warranted. Me? I think the only good snake is a dead snake.

We are in desperate need of rain. We’ve been forced to buy feed for our cattle and every plant in our garden is struggling, dying or dead. It is soul-destroying to witness. Although I still do find wonder and beauty in this.

Spent thistle

Spent thistle

Australian Gum Tree

Australian Gum Tree

Over Easter I ate this stunning terrine made by a good mate. It’s a Serge Danserau recipe which you can find in his book here. It is heaven on a stick, or heaven wrapped in streaky bacon as the case may be.

Country Terrine

Country Terrine

I’m amazed by my dog’s ability to find mud on each and every #morningwalk we undertake.

Two-tone Cavoodle

Two-tone Cavoodle

I’m making fermented vegetables. My total addiction to this powerhouse of goodness is relentless so I’ve given up buying it and instead I’m using this simple recipe by the talented Jo Rushton. For more delicious recipes by Jo, you can pick up her book ‘Rocket Fuel On A Budget’ here. You can also read more about the benefits of eating fermented vegetables here.

Fermented Vegetables

Ingredients

  • 1 large cabbage, cored and shredded (red or green or half and half)
  • 4 carrots, grated
  • 2 apples, grated
  • 2 fennel, shredded (optional)
  • 2 tbsp caraway seeds
  • 1 tbsp Celtic sea salt or Himalayan rock salt
  • 4 tbsp whey (optional) If you have no whey add an additional tbsp of salt

Instructions

  1. Mix all the ingredients together in a large bowl.
  2. Pound for about 10 minutes until the juices start to release.
  3. Place in a large (clean) 2 litre mason jar and press down firmly until juices come to the top of the mix. The mixture should be at least 1 inch below the juice.
  4. Cover the jar tightly and keep at room temperature for 3-5 days before transferring to the fridge.
  5. Be sure to release the build up of pressure in the jar in the initial fermenting phase, either in the evening or morning.
  6. Fermented Vegetables will last for up to three months in the fridge.
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http://caroandco.com.au/2016/04/moments-of-wonder-3/

I’m re-reading Alan Bennett’s The Uncommon Reader. It’s a quirky tale about what happens when Queen Elizabeth discovers the local Westminster travelling library at the back of Buckingham Palace. I think I’ll also re-read The Lady In The Van as the movie has just been released. Anything, anything written by Bennett and featuring Maggie Smith is worth a look.

I’m subscribing to the international edition of The Art Newspaper.  It’s always chokka block full of fascinating articles about the Arts from around the world.  I encourage you to take a look.

logan_and_mason_kenzie_blue_quilt_cover_set

Logan and Mason bedding…

I’m redecorating my bedroom with some new bedding because who doesn’t love a new look every now and then?  What do you think?  Huge thanks to the team at Just Bedding for supplying me with this look. What’s more, if you leave a comment on this post, you’ll go into the running to win your own choice of bed linen to the value of $200. The winner will be selected by my 14 year old son who, given his druthers, would spend most of his time in bed.  THIS COMP. IS NOW CLOSED.

I’m visiting cruise ships. Until recently I wouldn’t have considered taking a cruise, as my prejudice had me believing that they were jam-packed with seniors, with constant potential for a gastro outbreak of epic proportions and smelt permanently of bad hospital food. How wrong could I be? The Celebrity Solstice was docked at Circular Quay, Sydney before heading off into the South Pacific and I had the opportunity to take a good look around her.

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One of the suite bedrooms

IMG_3688

Dockside

One of the 10 restaurants on board

One of the 10 restaurants on board

IMG_3703

The amazing 12 storey atrium in the centre of the ship, complete with a seven metre Ficus benjamina tree

Wow. Seriously. The ‘cruisers’ were all my age or younger (no rude comments on my age thanks), the ship was truly stylish in its decor, with unique artworks dotted about including beautiful Murano glass installations.  And there are endless places to visit and things to do, which is important when there can be many days ‘at sea’.  You can choose from 18 different retail outlets, 10 different restaurants, cinemas and live theatre and the requisite Day Spa.  Never in a million years did I think I’d find wonder on a cruise ship of the size of Celebrity Solstice.

The most walked upon turf in the world?

The most walked upon turf in the world?

Of particular interest to me is the 2130 square metres  (over 1/2 acre) of lawn on the top level.  It is estimated to be the most walked upon lawn on earth (given the ship travels half the globe regularly with over 2000 passengers each trip).  The lawn has to battle constant sea spray, the vastly different climates of both the South Pacific and Alaska and meet strict customs control at each port. It’s a credit to the two full-time green keepers.   The Environmental Services manager told me that many people just like to kick off their shoes and wander barefoot on the lawn every other day.  Others enjoy picnics, or the occasional game of bocce, golf or croquet.  It’s inspired thinking to include lawn on such a ship and if you are considering a cruise anywhere in the world, I’d strongly encourage you to visit the Celebrity Cruises website.

Such a fab sitting spot.

Such a fab sitting spot.

I’m admiring the beauty and diversity of our local flora.  Look at this wonder spotted at the new Barangaroo development on Sydney Harbour.  My horticultural mate Tim Entwisle thinks it’s probably Acacia terminalis, commonly known as Sunshine Wattle.

IMG_3986

Acacia terminalis or Sunshine Wattle

And to finish the month of April, my beautiful daughter returned home this morning after a month touring around the U.S. with her very generous Grandma.  I have physically ached for her each and everyday and despite her embarrassment, I couldn’t help but smother her in kisses at Arrivals A at 6.00am.  It was like a scene out of Love Actually ~ one of my all time favourite films.

I love this girl to bits...

I love this girl to bits…

I hope you find some wonder in your everyday.  I’d love to hear from you as to what that might be.  Oh, and don’t forget to leave a comment if you fancy some new bedding!

Until next month…

This is not a sponsored post, although Just Bedding provided Caro & Co with the bedding set mentioned above.

Comments

  1. Amanda says

    I am old school practical and buy plain white sheets – and who doesn’t just LOVE the feel of those fresh crisp freshly washed sheets each week – HEAVEN – but I love to layer with a quick change of doona cover and matching pillowcases (there HAS to be 2 plain and 2 patterned) to transform the bed (and boudoir) vibe in an instant. Calming gently crushed French Linen chic one week or upbeat colourful Moroccan the next. SO EASY.

  2. Bronwyn says

    I didn’t get past the picture of the terrine before I was onto my local library’s website reserving Serge Danserau’s cookbook. I figure I’d save the money on buying the book and spend it on ingredients. Does it go nicely with the fermented vegetables?

  3. Jacqueline Tennant says

    Well you’ve certainly had and exciting couple of months full of many activities and exciting times. No matter what walk of life we are from I do not think our Children fully appreciate how well off they are until they are much older. They have an idea but the knowledge only comes with age and life experiences.

    I bet she had an amazing month with her Grandma.

  4. Doro says

    It’s good to hear of life in Australia and the warm weather, although you do need rain. Today, May Day, we are sat inside with the central heating on! Waiting for spring.. ( Lancashire, England ) We have bluebells and daffodils out in the garden and a little wren has built its nest in the bird box, so Spring is imminent.
    It must have been scary seeing a snake at the back door! You were brave with the shovel!
    Am interested in the fermented veg recipe and read the link. My son has problems with digestion so hope to try the recipe this next week.

  5. Kim says

    My moment of wonder this month was watching my seven year old son take in the amazing talent of Andy Warhol & Ai Weiwei at the NGV. He was completely mesmerised by a series of art made entirely of Lego, and another installation which was foil balloons that we had to hit into the air. I love clever artists who know how to draw kids in with their unique ideas.

    BTW that cruise ship looks AMAZING

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