29 June 2019

Writing, cooking and teaching

It's been a very busy week here with no time for blogging. I'm sending out the notes for my writing and blogging workshops today and tomorrow so I've spent some time over the past couple of weeks going over the notes, adding and editing, so they're as good as they can be. I'm looking forward to mentoring this group of writers and bloggers and our face-to-face chats on Skype will be a highlight. 

This is near our front door. It's the first thing you'd see if you walked into our home.

Although I didn't have time to write about what was happening here last week, I kept taking photos to share with you. The past couple of weeks have been full of unexpected happenings in our family so Hanno and I have spent quite a bit of time supporting family members and doing a little bit more with our beautiful family.  Sunny is still in Korea with her mum and family so we've been helping Kerry with Jamie while he runs his sushi shop and keeps an eye on Sunny's shop. School holidays start today so in the next two weeks we'll spend time with the grandkids, no doubt with extra cooking and baking to fill everyone up. Hanno and I are both delighted we're able to help our children and that they still come to us when they need us.

Here is the new induction cooktop. We bought a Bosch and so far it's been great.
Still in his PJs, Jamie with the first breakfast he's cooked for himself. And notice the cup of tea. That's something he's learnt from us. ; - ) When he's here he drinks tea or water, and now it's winter, fresh orange juice.

Hanno and I continue to work towards making our lives comfortable in our old age. We decided to change over to an induction cooktop and get rid of the gas that we've used for the past 20 years. Induction is a cooler form of cooking, it's much easier to clean, the stove will switch itself off if we forget to do that and it's economical. I think we'll notice a big difference with the heat in the kitchen in summer. I decided to give Jamie his first cooking lesson here last weekend and when he arrived early in the morning with his dad, one of the first things he did was cook his own bacon and egg breakfast, with a cup of tea. There was no flame on the stove so it was safe for him to cook and the only thing I did, besides guiding him, was pour the boiling water into his tea cup and lift the eggs out of the frying pan for him. Children need to grow up knowing how to look after themselves and I'm really pleased to be able to show my grandchildren our family recipes.

Our homegrown cucumbers, pickled, with red onions.

Of course, even though I've been busy with family and writing, people still need feeding so I picked the cucumbers growing in the backyard and prepared one of my favourite pickles - bread and butter cucumbers, this time with red onions. And winter wouldn't be winter if there weren't delicious soups bubbling away on our stove. I made a bone broth overnight in the slow cooker and the following day made a separate pot of barley and root vegetables, then mixed the two together. It was so good and as it was a four-day pot, I didn't cook again for another four days.

Lunch is served - homemade soup with hot bread.

Another notable seasonal delight was the return of our supply of fresh eggs from the backyard (above).  Our girls took an extended break this year and we haven't had fresh eggs for about three months. A few people we know with chickens said they had the same thing with their chooks so I'm guessing it may be climate related. Whatever caused it, I'm relieved and delighted to have a bowl of fresh eggs in the fridge again.  I'm going to make an egg custard today to celebrate their return. Have your chickens been laying regularly?

Hanno's been working on a laundry project. Our old laundry bench was wobbly so he added a wooden top to the old bench. He matched it with a smaller wooden shelf above for our cleaners and soap. It's a great place to work with everything clean, tidy and within reach.

And finally, our computer printer finally ran out of toner last week. I think we've had that printer for four or five years and it just kept going. We don't do much printing, preferring instead to send attachments in emails. When we rang around we found a place that sells the cartridge we needed but it was $142, only four dollars cheaper than a new printer would be! So Hanno looked further afield and discovered a place called Inkstation.  They're a nation-wide Australian company and we bought a recycled cartridge for $40, and $6.50 postage.  I have no association with this business but I think that with that kind of saving and having recycled cartridges, I can help spread the word.

If you're looking for something interesting to read this weekend, discover Nicole's blog. She's a writer who lives near me and she has a great spin on living a simple life with a young family. 

I hope you have a lovely weekend.

ADDITION: I just found out that Rosettas have restocked my books.  So if you're in Maleny or anywhere in the hinterland, and you've been looking for my books, you don't have far to go.

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