Saturday, June 1, 2013

Saturday digest

Cooking chocolate from Germany - food souvenirs are the best kind

How can it be the beginning of June already? Here’s the roundup of the latest doings round here.

Work/school Term 2 is nearly half over, and Miss B is trucking along happily. (Bouncing along might be more accurate in her case.) The other week she had her first experience of full-blown standardized testing, taking the NAPLAN along with every other Year 3 student in Australia. Her school did their best to make it a non-stressful experience, but I for one am glad it’s two years until the next round. DP, who promised us his workload would ease up somewhat around this time, has been as good as his word and has been sighted at home on the occasional weekday between the hours of 7am and 6pm. I’ve had a fairly quiet week – not one nighttime conference call! – but my To Do list remains chronically overstuffed. I did record a significant milestone earlier this month: my organization’s Twitter account, which I manage, hit 20,000 followers, a little more than four years (and nearly 3,000 tweets!) since we first joined up. So I’m pretty pleased with that.

Recreation The big news is that this week we booked tickets for our trip to North America later this year, which involved sorting out a fairly complicated itinerary and then spending 2.5 hours working through it with a travel agent (after both DP and I crashed the Qantas website trying to do it ourselves). But it all looked right at the end and we should be good to go (fingers crossed). Other than that, Miss B has been having a steady stream of afterschool playdates, and I’ve been plowing through this month’s book club selection: Cloudstreet by Tim Winton, widely hailed as a ‘modern Australian classic.’ The jury is still out on that, but it’s definitely educational for a non-Australian. More to come when I finish, perhaps.

Food Shorter days and colder nights have meant lots of familiar, rib-sticking comfort foods lately: 

  • oatmeal for breakfast at least twice a week (savory oatmeal, that is)
  • the disruptive bolognese sauce continues to prove its worth - and the longer you cook it, the better it gets
  • lemon-mustard chicken remains a reliable workhorse in my recipe rotation; one of the first things I learned to cook on my own, and still going strong
  • I found curly kale at the farmers’ market for the first time in nearly a year! So it’s back to a steady supply of kale salad
  • and an old favorite – Nigella Lawson’s Dense Chocolate Loaf Cake (known around here as Brownie Cake) - which I was reminded of recently and have made twice in the past two weeks in response to demand (apparently it’s the best thing for morning tea ever)

Weather Cold, grey and wet this weekend; described by a fellow transplant to Canberra as ‘fabulously miserable’.

Miss B’s Quote of the Week During a conversation about jellyfish:

Miss B: So why does it hurt when they sting you?

RL: Well, they must release some kind of chemical when they touch you that makes your skin hurt.

Miss B (obviously finding this explanation similar to another one I had provided recently): Oh, so they’re like the onions of the ocean!

How are your onions?



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