Tuesday, March 29, 2011
I love this time of year. The blur between seasons, as the summer fades away and the winter creeps in. Even when I was a child, I would love this time of year. Granted, it happened in September then, instead of April. I used to sneak away for long walks in the woods and fields, listening to the birds and feeling the chill in the air.
Lately the nights have been getting chilly and the days have been cool and rainy. But every couple of days there will be one perfect, sunny day. An indian summer day. Gorgeous and golden. Today was one of those days. The kind of day that makes you want to pack a picnic and run away.
Driving home this evening, the temperature was absolutely perfect. The scent of eucalyptus was in the air and the sun was setting through the trees. I was reminded of how easy the weather is here, and how much I have love the smooth and subtle change of seasons.
This weekend The Husband and I will celebrate another anniversary, remembering the cold, rainy, fabulous spring day when we said I do. Fingers crossed that Sydney will give us another golden autumn day to celebrate with. Maybe we'll pack a picnic and run away.
Posted by Valerie at 9:15 PM
Friday, March 25, 2011
Last weekend was cold and rainy. Really, really rainy. It poured for almost 2 straight days and nights. Usually I love a good rainstorm, but by the end of the weekend, even the sound of the pouring rain was getting annoying. Like a never ending freight train. It was starting to feel like winter, and suddenly I felt the need to hibernate. So I visited the farmers market and picked up some native flowers and lamb for the slow cooker, to warm up a dreary weekend. I love the colours and flavours of this season. Reds and oranges and browns.
Thankfully, the week ended up being gorgeous and sunny. I love a hint of autumn, but I am not ready to see the end of summer just yet.
Posted by Valerie at 9:29 PM
Sunday, March 13, 2011
I wandered through the bookstore yesterday, killing time before meeting a friend for dinner. I happened to pick up a book and start reading... only to find myself, 25 minutes later, lost in the second chapter of maybe one of the best books I have ever read. I bought the book, tucked it in my handbag, and finished it tonight. I am already anticipating reading it a second and third time. I have a feeling it will become one of my favourite comfort foods.
The book is called The School of Essential Ingredients and reading it is like rolling sweet and sour around on your tongue at the same time. I don't normally use this blog for things like this - but I feel like this book should be shared. I can't explain it other than to say it makes you want to cry, and laugh, and cook sauce and whip up some sumptuous butter cream icing. It will wrap around you like a favourite quilt, and satisfy you like a pot of rich, hot cocoa.
I've included one of my favourite parts for you below. I promise you, this book will change the way you think about food and life.
"Spaghetti del mare," she said, coming through the door, "from the sea."
In the large, wide blue bowl, swirls of thin noodles wove their way between dark black shells and bits of red tomato.
"Breathe first," Charlie told him, "eyes closed." The steam rose off the pasta like ocean turned into air.
"Clams, mussels," Tom said, "garlic, of course, and tomatoes. Red pepper flakes. Butter, wine, oil."
"One more," she coaxed.
He leaned in - smelled hillsides in the sun, hot ground stone walls. "Oregano," he said, opening his eyes. Charlie smiled and handed him a forkful of pasta. After the sweetness of the melon, the flavor was full of red bursts and spikes of hot pepper shooting across his tongue, underneath, like a steadying hand, a salty cushion of clam, the soft velvet of oregano, and pasta a warm as beach sand.
from The School of Essential Ingredients, by Erica Bauermeister
Posted by Valerie at 9:48 PM
Saturday, March 5, 2011
March is the first day of autumn in Sydney, and suddenly the weather has changed. Summer almost seems to have ended over night. It gets dark earlier and earlier these days, and the night air is cool and fresh. Thoughts turn to sweaters and quilts and the glorious blue-skied days of Australian autumn.
Work has been challenging lately. I have been lucky enough to have been given the opportunity to do some things I have been wanting to do for a long time. Some of my current projects are exciting and fun. But other parts of work have been less exciting, and I've had some rough days. I think back sometimes on other jobs I've had and the lessons I learned there... lessons that help me so much all these years later. I've had the opportunity to teach some of those same lessons to others lately and it's been so rewarding, seeing them come full circle.
This year has only just begun and already there has been so much heartbreak in this part of the world. The floods in Queensland, and Victoria, followed by Cyclone Yasi, and more recently the earthquake in Christchurch, NZ. Lately it feels like there is never any good news anywhere. That's why it's important that we find a little bit of joy every day.
The Husband and I walked over to the outdoor cinema last night for the last showing of the summer. We've been lucky to live in a place where we can walk to these kinds of events. The weather was cool, the stars were out, and we walked through the park, holding hands. It was bittersweet... a funny movie, but the ending of another season. A good reminder to make the most of each day. They go by so fast.
Posted by Valerie at 8:41 PM