July 2020 has been a bittersweet month – we were meant to fly to England to spend time with Adam’s family, it’s my final month of maternity leave and unfortunately it feels like COVID-19 is starting to strengthen its grip on Australia again. Despite the sadness and anxiousness that the above has evoked at times, I’ve had some really lovely moments too.
This is what’s made me smile in July…
Christmas in July
A couple of weekends ago Adam and I hosted a COVID responsible ‘Christmas in July’ lunch for some of our friends. Despite having lived in Australia for some time now, Adam can’t help but associate winter and grey, rainy days with Christmastime. He worked for days in the kitchen to produce an absolute feast – a nut roast, roast pork and half a dozen aide dishes including roast Brussels sprouts, Parmesan crusted parsnips, Yorkshire pudding and two types of gravy. Contributions included the biggest grazing platter I think I’ve ever seen and a delicious Turkish delight trifle for dessert. There were two Christmas trees on display, mulled cider to drink and the afternoon’s soundtrack included everyone’s favourite Christmas songs. It was a really fun day and I suspect it may become an annual event at our house going forward.
Farmers’ market visits
Every Thursday a farmers’ market is held at Wagga Wagga’s local showground. We shop there sporadically, but Adam popped in ahead of our Christmas in July celebrations and the fresh vegetables he came home with were just beautiful. Firm, ripe and full of colour and flavour. Every time we go I think ‘I must get my fruit and veg there every week’ and needless to say it never happens. I want to change that though, and now more than ever it feels important to buy local, so I’m trying to make it a regular weekly outing. I find it really fulfilling to be eat seasonally – I think you’re able to better appreciate a fruit or vegetable when it’s at its peak. Eat it while its best, then move on to something new when it comes into season. It’s how people from all over the world have traditionally eaten and it’s something I’m really keen to adopt moving forward.
Late July and early August marks wattle season in our part of Australia. Towards the end of winter the otherwise ordinary looking wattle trees that scatter the countryside erupt in a sea of fluffy yellow blooms. The wattle (the most common variety around Wagga is the Cootamundra wattle) always looks so cheery against the season’s regular grey and foggy days and the trees buzz from afar, full of bees making the most of the flowers. It’s become a tradition of mine to collect a few sprigs when the flowers are in full bloom to have in a vase in the house. I adore the sweet, almost honey like smell of wattle flowers and the wily branches make for beautiful, sculptural displays.
What’s made you happy this month?
Have a wonderful week.