This morsel of tastiness was an entree to a great meal courtesy of The Strand in Williamstown. The fat, juicy scallops nestled on a pea puree with a drizzle of grapefruit sauce were magnificent. They were sprinkled with a zesty toasted gremolata that provided another texture to the dish. This inspired offering was followed by a squid ink risotto topped with seafood, and a citrus tart with mango coulis and macadamia ice-cream. Beautiful quality food that left you enjoying the meal, but not overly stuffed by volume.
As decadent and delicious as this meal was, the celebration was to mark the success of a project at work. Big wins are to be acknowledged and reveled in. Reinforcing the great work with a sensory experience builds a lasting memory. Make sure that you enjoy and pay tribute to the moments of success, as it will sustain your energy and drive. Celebrate the victory!
This weeks’ indulgence was a trip to the Nova Cinema to see Ellipsis. I’ve always been a David Wenham fan, from lovable idiot in Gettin’ Square to tough and buff in 300. This time he is behind the camera as the director of a beautiful movie. A serendipitous meeting of two people and their awkward getting-to-know-you provides the merest narrative to this experimental work of visual richness. Jasper and Viv could be anyone and their stroll through the reality of Sydney is both whimsical and heart-warming.
A secondary story is woven in the background about a telephone repairman. His subtle story unfolds with minimal dialogue to tie in masterfully. The title was explained by Wenham in the Q&A afterwards, as an epiphany at a school meeting. An ellipsis is literally “…”, the three dots that move a story from one point to another skipping over the non-noteworthy, everyday mundane. But sometimes this is where the magic is found, the redemption and the renewal. Pay attention to the ellipses of your life, savour them, explore them but most of all enjoy them.
It’s good to be home. Sometimes we don’t see it, but home has so many everyday touchstones that we only miss when we are away.
To sleep in your own bed again is serenity. The pillows are just right, the sheets and doona are a known quantity, even the orientation provides a level of comfort. The sunlight in the house comes from the right quarter. The smells are identifiable. The freedom to relax and flop in your favourite armchair is bliss. Not only have I come back to a world which includes Vegemite and the metric system, but I have come home to accustomed flavours of drinks and dressings and recognisable food.
With fresh eyes, I notice the minute changes in the seasons as Spring takes hold. The bursting blossoms have given way to the feathers of emerging green. The overnight temperatures no longer require a nighttime beanie to keep my head warm (fashion victim!). The sun is up before I leave for work. The changes are subtle and distinct yet familiar, and promote thoughts of warmer days to come. We don’t see the routine things until they are not there. So open your eyes to your surroundings and enjoy the cosiness and sense of belonging they impart.
Devonshire Tea to be exact. Simple recipes are the best. Simple ingredients makes it even easier. In a bowl add four cups of self raising flour with a tub of cream and a can of lemonade. Mix with a knife. Flour a board and flatten the mixture (not too much) and cut out scones with the rim of a glass. Makes approximately 16 scones. Bake at 200ºC for 15 minutes. Done. Too easy.
The scones are best enjoyed straight out of the oven with jam and cream and friends. Something to try, something to taste, something to share. So give this simple recipe a go. It is a good excuse to have friends and family over. You don’t have to follow the traditional Devonshire tea with jam and cream, you can mix it up and add cheese (or anything else) and enjoy them with a spread of butter. Just use your imagination.
I had occasion to drive the Great Ocean Road along the Victorian coastline. I’ve done it many times, generally as the driver – I’m not so good on windy roads. The road is a challenge and requires all your focus and attention. I’ve normally tried to execute the arrival plan in the shortest time possible.
But sometimes road are not merely to get you from “A” to “B”, they can be enjoyed. There are many stopping spots on the Great Ocean Road, above is just one of them. It was a glorious winter’s day with only a slight breeze. The stop was only for 10 minutes but the vista enriched your eyes and the sun was warm on your face. Taking a deep breath, it was good to be alive, being able to appreciate the time and locale. It’s definitely worth it. So next time you’re on the road, pull over and experience the moment.
I took a stroll down to the beach. The light breeze was fresh, straight off the southern ocean. The vista vast, the scenery splendid and the sand underfoot familiar. Where were the people? I know it’s winter and not analogous to a beach visit, but a winter seascape has a lot to offer. The solitude of the beach, the continuous and hypnotic roll of the waves, and the cool brisk breeze to make you feel alive. Today was ideal as the gusty southerly wind had even taken pause for the serenity of the moment. The low clouds threatened and created a picturesque moment, framing the distant Eagle’s Nest promontory. I even poked a digit in the retreating tide (only brave enough for that digit to be my finger – too chilly for toes 🙂
The moment was broken when those burdened clouds began to drop their moisture, but this too was a treat. The light moisture sprinkling my face, the determined dash back to shelter and the squelch of the sand from running feet, all got my heart pumping and cheeks flushed. It reinforced that life is beautiful and serendipitous moments can be fleeting. Make sure you enjoy them all!
Last week Melbourne town was painted green with St Patrick’s Day: green beer, green hats, green shamrock and green leprechauns. My focus this week is a little closer to home. My olive tree is laden with fruit and I will need to pick them soon to begin the pickling process. This year I am determined to beat the possums, who have an uncanny knack of knowing exactly when the olives will turn from green to black, ready for the eating.
Previous posts have celebrated my harvests of passion fruit and capsicums, which are always special when home grown. The olive harvest is the prelude of the coming winter and the need to prune plants and trees before they hibernate. The olive tree will be one target for shaping and pruning, so will the ancient rose bushes with their old-world fragrance. The agapanthus will also need heading and I can save their seeds for spring.
So this Easter I will be breaking out the green thumb and enjoying the outdoors for the next four days. Try out your own green thumb on a project or two. Enjoy the mild weather while you can and if you look hard enough you might find the Easter bunny. Happy Easter!
It was the week of Lotus. While waiting for dinner with a friend, I happened across some caramelized biscuits, The Original, if you believe the packaging and the biscuits were called Lotus. This resonated with me as I had been to the Blue Lotus Water Garden in Yarra Junction recently. It is a lovely, private and spectacular garden.
I bought the packet of biscuits and they were quite delicious, really yum! This was not the end of the Lotus-ness. It’s always fun to make-up words 🙂 makes you sound more creative.
My friend arrived for dinner at my favorite restaurant. It’s a bit quirky, but the food is always tasty and very well presented. For my chilli loving friends, there are opportunities to burn your taste buds off – I’ve never understood the point of seasoning a plate until you can’t taste it, but each to their own. I’m more chilli-phobic, and to find a Malaysian restaurant that makes really good tasty food, that is not laced in chilli, is quite unique.
Guess what I had for entree? Blue Lotus dumplings! I felt that I had to have these dumplings given the Lotus-filled day I was having. Here they are. Yum! They are tasty as well as very pretty.
So whether it’s a biscuit or a dumpling or a scenic view, get out there and enjoy the Lotus.