Basically our time together was one giant feast, as we tried out new recipes together and travelled around Sydney to seek out the best cinnamon scrolls (at Oregano bakery) and chicken rolls (at El Jannah).
Ang also had a habit of making my breakfast in the morning, anything from omelettes to chia seed puddings and avocado and goats cheese on toast. I think Tony was a little worried that I wouldn't want to come home :)
I totally loved sticky beaking during my time in Sydney. Sometimes I feel like fluked my way into adulthood after moving out of home and I was super curious about the littlest things like how they shop and budget for food and spend their weekends. I learnt to stop hand washing and start trusting a delicates bag (may sound obvious but it was a revelation to me) and am now in the habit of doing some food prep before work.
We traded dessert recipes, I finally have the confidence to make a pavlova on my own after watching Ang make variations of them nearly every weekend (wreathes, pavlova rolls) and in return, I showed her how to make super easy mangomisu.
I also witnessed Angie prepare for her annual Christmas picnic that she puts on for friends and their kids. This was no ordinary picnic, there was a spreadsheet and a Pintrest board! And we were up super early the next day (me at 7am, her at 5.30am!) to make sure everything was ready for our midday meet up, from the Christmas themed lunch boxes for kids to the homemade sausage rolls and the pigs in blankets wreath.
Ever the caterer, Angie also helped me make food for my brother and sister-in-law who had just welcomed their first baby, a baby boy called Henry who is the first grandchild on the Curran side. We made shepherds pies and muffins, and I found a fellow food packaging enthusiast in Ang, who lent me all kinds of cute takeaway boxes and little jars, along with her car to make the weekly drop offs. Few things made me happier than pottering around in the kitchen preparing a few things for the new parents come the weekend.
While the trip was meant to be about work, it became the best excuse to hang out with a long time girlfriend, something I don't often get to do when I'm in Wagga. When I first moved here, I remember staring wistfully at groups of girlfriends catching up for coffee on the weekends. I learnt a lot about generosity from Angie and Dave during my stay and was quite humbled by the experience.
And then on Christmas Eve, I landed back in Wagga Wagga on a hot and dry evening and to an unfamiliar sun. I've been re-nesting ever since and came home to a fridge stocked with all of my favourite foods (like fancy coconut ice cream), which Tony very carefully put together. At one point it occurred to me that I'd been living out of a suitcase since September, minus a 2 week stint at home in between the honeymoon and my move to Sydney. It's been a crazy year but one I've totally enjoyed.