Saturday, November 30, 2013

an impressive tea cake and other things

how great is this tea cake? it was filled with apple and the strawberry flavoured icing was very strong, much like the pink sponge in the photo below.

this year I've been visiting a writing group that meets every friday in a town about an hour from wagga wagga. they're a really impressive bunch. the group is made up of women of different ages and interests, they've also lived in very different places before settling in their current town. the group gets together to share work and to carve out some time in their week just to write. the first time I visited they put on a spectacular lunch midway through their day. we ate hot quiche, salads, sandwiches, fruit, cake and local orange juice followed by coffee and tea. it was part of their weekly ritual of writing and sharing their work, and over lunch talk turned to personal and town news. they say that they're beyond precious as writers, which I've observed to be true, they encourage and critique each other openly and admirably.

last week I caught up with them for the last time in 2013. we ate sponge cake filled with cream and jam and each writer reflected on what they'd produced in 2013.

in the past few weeks, my job has taken me to some unexpected places. some weeks I'm hanging around new mums at a playgroup and then I'm recording a local band, enthusiastically covering a song in a courtyard that backs onto the lagoon.

lately we've been shopping for christmas presents (we're all done and wrapped!), visiting our favourite cafe in town, and helping a friend celebrate her last day of work with some super rich brownies and a delicious lamb dinner.

this week we also started planning our wedding cake, which was very exciting. it involved listing our favourite cake flavours, and sending photos of cakes we liked. we're hoping that tony's friend's mother-in-law will make the cake. she is a professional cake baker and we like the idea of going with people we know and like - it makes the planning seem less wedding-y, which is good because the wedding industry can be intimidating and off-putting sometimes.

maybe the highlight of my week was skyping my sister and her family. it was the first time tony got to meet my niece, and we had so much fun shouting at each other and giggling at the baby, who was apparently very curious about what was happening. 

and finally, a few good things to share:
today the plan is to make pancakes for lunch, watch a movie in the afternoon and bake some kind of cake :)

Saturday, November 16, 2013

a trip to the coast

hello, sorry it's been awhile. I'm finally spending a weekend at home, after making mini trips to canberra, sydney and the coast for the last 5 weeks. it's lovely to be home, and to have tony back as well. he ended up drawing 194 portraits during his drawing stint at the national portrait gallery, and got some nice media coverage too, if you're interested this interview is especially good.

this weekend, we've watched movies, eaten chocolate cake at dinner time, had breakfast at our favourite cafe and gone walking around town.

and today, my main mission is to recreate this super yummy tofu burger I had at a vegetarian cafe in bega last week. it was my first ever tofu burger and I've been obsessed with it ever since.

I spent the last weekend in bega, and I was so excited to see the sea. I had never been to the south coast before, and I had the best time. it was a trip that had been a few months in the making, and I carpooled with a work friend after getting the bus to canberra.

here are a few highlights, starting with the view from the greyhound. the driver was actually really reckless, which made for an interesting trip. at my pick up point in wagga wagga, he hopped out of the bus and forgot to put the handbrake on. still, I managed to fall asleep on the way to canberra (listening to a podcast which was a slightly freaky experience), and I made it to canberra in one piece.

in bega I was the very first person to stay in my friend's guest room - an amazing vintage caravan that's parked out the front of her place. she'd only just finished restoring it.

I fell asleep to the sound of frogs (I was actually really scared that a frog would find its way into the caravan, spiders too) and woke up to the sound of birds and a beautiful bush view. I read comic books and peeked out my window to see when my friends in the main house were up. it was so relaxing.

the caravan had these cute battery powered paper lanterns, and I also had a candle and a headlamp for light.

here are a couple of shots from inside the main house. there was no shortage of food, and we had lots of local treats, from special jersey cow milk and yoghurt, to lamb and breads. I brought some homemade banana granola and sean brought a giant pear tart which we snacked on after dinner each night.

we spent the weekend going for drives and walks. I saw dolphins, a seal, a goanna, an echidna, a massive stingray and a (dead) snake during my stay. we picnicked by lakes had the yummiest gelato in bermagui and on sunday, went for a long walk to the coast where we sat on rocks and snacked on chocolate coated licorice and apples. 

that's it for me for now, I'm off to buy tony's birthday present and veggies for the week. this afternoon, I'm meeting up with my work friends to plant seedlings in our office veggie patch.

have a good week!