What’s been making me happy: July

What’s been making me happy: July

Midwinter is upon us and it certainly feels like it. This month has been damp, cold and over the last few weeks the COVID situation in New South Wales feels like it’s gone from bad to worse. Deepest, darkest winter is certainly living up to expectations. On the flipside, the rain’s been good for the garden and local farmers; there’s been ample time for snuggly stories with Paul; and I’ve been able to wear my favourite jumpers on repeat. So there’s that – and a few other things too.

This is what’s been making me smile this month…

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Adam’s jacket potatoes

Adam’s jacket potatoes

This weekend just gone has been a tough one for many people in Australia. COVID infection rates are on the rise again, there’s been new lockdowns announced and restrictions affecting day-to-day living are back. The situation is evolving rapidly and perhaps that, combined with the fact that it’s been chilly, wet and dark for a few days has got me craving comfort food.

Comfort food is highly personal. For some it might be sweet,but for me it’s savoury and specifically in the form of a potato. Yes, the humble spud whether it be mashed, roasted, in the form of a hot chip or a crunchy crisp, makes my heart sing.

In recent years the jacket potato has triumphantly made its way to near top of my potato products line-up. For years I was of the understanding a jacket potato was any potato in its skin, generally boiled, and then often cut open and served with sour cream, bacon and spring onions. Then I met Adam and he introduced me to jacket potatoes of the English variety and I’ve been a convert ever since…

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What’s been making me happy: June

What’s been making me happy: June

It’s been a bit of a month. Between my head-cold (which dragged on for around a fortnight) and Paul’s stay in hospital, June has felt a little underwhelming to be completely honest. The days are shortening rapidly and we’ve had a run of foggy, drizzly days , but I think that’s been a bit of a blessing. It’s encouraged recuperation and resting and I feel like I can confront these last few weeks of June with a renewed energy. Despite the stresses of the last few weeks, as always, there were still moments of joy.

This is what’s been making me smile this month…

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What’s been making me happy: May

What’s been making me happy: May

May seems to have absolutely flown by and I can’t quite believe that we’ll be half way through the year in a matter of days. It’s been a busy month workwise for both Adam and I, and also a month of seeing people I care about go through the lowest of lows and highest and highs. We’ve had our first mornings frosts of the year and the darkness seems to close in quicker and quicker each evening now too.

Here’s what’s been making me smile this month…

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Old fashioned lemonade

Old fashioned lemonade

On a grey, cool morning just the other day I decided it was time to pick the first lemons from our tree. Big, bulbous fruit had been ripening on the branch for a few weeks and the lemons looked and felt just right. If you’ve been around here for a little while, you’ll know I love pretty much anything lemon-flavoured and normally when our tree bears fruit I gravitate towards making a dessert. After trawling recipe after recipe though, I just couldn’t find anything that really whet my appetite. Then one night I got a real hankering for proper old fashioned lemonade. The type that’s a cloudy lemon colour and not too sweet. The type you’d drink out of a straw from a nice glass, sitting under a tree on a sunny day while picnicking, Enid Blyton The Famous Five style. Again I trawled through recipes until I found one that had minimal ingredients and could easily be rustled up with little notice.

The end result hit the spot perfectly…

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The week that was

The week that was

It’s been a rather quiet seven days for me, as I stepped away from the normal routine to care for Paul who was struck down last week with a combination of viral and bacterial infections. As the week went on though the cheery, cheeky toddler returned and I tried to make the most of the one-on-one time we had. It’s been a week of glorious weather, of subdued pottering and of heightened perception of the world around me.

This is how my last seven days looked…

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Raspberry and chocolate hazelnut swirl muffins

Raspberry and chocolate hazelnut swirl muffins

I woke up the other day and the morning light outside looked different. The harsh, bright light of the summer had gone, and in its place was a slightly mellower, more golden glow. Right on cue, the change of season had arrived. The time of year where there are cool mornings and warm afternoons; bare legs and long sleeves; and golden leaves and green grass. That change of light also changed my mindset about food – suddenly frozen icy treats didn’t seem appealing, but something warm and pudding like – yes please.

So one afternoon I whipped up a batch of muffins. Half trusted recipe, half made up recipe and I’ve discovered they’re just the thing for these early autumn days…

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Something to share: the miscellaneous collection

Something to share: the miscellaneous collection

It’s been a long time since I wrote one of these posts and it’s mainly because there hasn’t been one standout find I’ve wanted to share with you. Normally it’s something I’ve read, watched or discovered that feels a little under the radar. It’s something I’m always bursting at seams to tell others about. I was feeling a little dismayed at all, but when I started to think about it, there were a few ‘little things’ that have put a pep in my step recently. Everyday items, that are new to me, that have quickly become favourites. And really, it’s often those small objects that you use day in, day out that make the biggest difference…

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