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.
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.
I’m amazed by my dog’s ability to find mud on each and every #morningwalk we undertake.
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.
- 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
- Mix all the ingredients together in a large bowl.
- Pound for about 10 minutes until the juices start to release.
- 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.
- Cover the jar tightly and keep at room temperature for 3-5 days before transferring to the fridge.
- Be sure to release the build up of pressure in the jar in the initial fermenting phase, either in the evening or morning.
- Fermented Vegetables will last for up to three months in the fridge.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.