Sunday, September 6, 2015

New beginnings

Time for another lengthy update - and this time, a recipe! Lots has been happening since my last post, and I do mean lots....

In early July, I went with DP and Miss B on our first trip to Boston in nearly two years. I was so busy doing other things that I didn't manage to take many pictures, but I did record my first-ever taste of a Boston institution - Dunkin' Donuts iced coffee.

I also managed to record a few other highlights...

...a visit to one of my favorite beaches in the world, in southern Maine...

...and my first U2 concert in (gulp!) 14 years. I went with two of my sisters and one of my nieces who was born not long before my last show. She's only been to a few concerts, and this was her first non-pop show (or, as we said to her when the lights came back up and she was standing there looking like she'd been hit over the head, "That's what happens at a real concert!").

I left Boston ahead of DP and Miss B to fly to Mexico City for a conference. I was there for two and a half days and the only time I left the conference hotel was to attend the conference reception at the Museo Soumaya, which had a fascinating and eclectic collection, including this Salvador Dali snail with an angel on its back.

After the conference I flew back to the East Coast to meet up with DP and Miss B in Washington, DC. DP and I tag-teamed work meetings, and also caught up with some friends and took Miss B to see some of the sights. The Smithsonian Natural History Museum was top of our list; we went early to get an unobstructed look at the Hope Diamond before the crowds descended...

...and also spent some time getting up close and personal with some exotic butterflies.

I had forgotten how walkable DC is - much more so than Canberra. Our last day there was unexpectedly pleasant (DC in July traditionally being stinking hot and muggy), so we walked across a good chunk of downtown, taking in views of the White House and the Washington Monument...

...and ending up at the Lincoln Memorial in the early evening.

En route back to Australia, we stopped overnight in LA and had our traditional day out in Santa Monica - a last dose of sun, sea, and American shops.

Back to winter in Canberra, just in time to prepare for Miss B's 11th birthday, a visit from close friends from the US and, last but not least...

...moving house! Having found out a few weeks before our US trip that we had to vacate our rental property, we found a new house and negotiated a move date - 10 days after our return from the US and with overseas visitors with us. It was a frantic couple of weeks, but it all happened.

And to help us recover, we stuck to our plan of taking our visitors to Jervis Bay for the weekend - even if it was in the middle of the move. I ask you - given the choice between spending the weekend unpacking boxes or looking at this, what would you have done?

The unpacking continues, and life is returning to a semblance of normality. We're even seeing signs of spring in Canberra - but before we did, we had our first glimpse of snow in 3 years, which you can (barely) see here.

And finally - now that I've found (most of) my baking supplies, I've resumed making my new favorite dessert, which I mentioned in my last post:

It's so simple I'm not sure it even qualifies as a recipe, but it's delicious and lovely enough to serve to company. Here's what I do:

1. Make up a batch of 2-Ingredient Biscuits; bake half as a cake-sized round and cut decorative shapes out of the other half. Bake at 450F/225C as directed until lightly browned.

2. While the biscuits are baking, place a cup or so of frozen berries in an oven-proof bowl (I used blackberries). Drizzle with maple syrup and cook alongside the biscuits.

3. Whip about a cup of heavy cream to soft peaks, sweetening with a bit more maple syrup.

4: Assemble: cake round, fruit, cream, more fruit, decorative biscuits. Serve immediately.

Kind of like a giant shortcake, now I come to think about it. I frequently make a single one for myself when I want a bit of a sweet treat, and when I do I substitute Greek yogurt for the whipped cream. I like this even better, but I realize I'm probably in the minority there.

Whew! That brings us up to speed. One of the new beginnings referred to in the title is to get back to a more regular posting schedule, so more to come shortly, I hope. And I hope all is well (and calm!) in your worlds.


Beck @ Golden pudding said... Best Blogger Tips

Welcome back from your adventuring Nancy, and glad to hear the move has gone well. Congrats on your newly minted 11yo too - I have one of those as well :)
I’m imagining your dessert also with roasted strawberries, they’re so ridiculously cheap at the moment I’m putting them in everything!

Roving Lemon said... Best Blogger Tips

Hi Beck - congrats to you too! And I love the idea of roasted strawberries in this, especially at this time of year. Thanks for the suggestion, will try that very soon!

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