Saturday, February 11, 2017

2017 so far

Not long after I published my last post, we headed out for New Year's Eve and possibly the most Canberra activity there is - climbing the Parliament House lawn (while we still can!) to watch the fireworks:

Canberra has two sets; we watched the 9:00 ones and were all home and in bed well before midnight.

A few days later we were off for our annual beach holiday - a week of sun, sand, and as much floating in the ocean as I can fit in.

Then, as usual, the day after we got back from the coast I set off for my annual trip to London for work meetings - an intensive week, followed by a relaxing weekend in my old stomping grounds in Oxford, including cooking a Saturday night spread for my hostess and our other visiting friends.

I also got to peruse the cookbook section of my favorite Oxford bookstore, and flirted once again with the idea of getting involved in a relationship with sourdough starter. But I can't commit....

...and always end up reverting to my tried-and-true bread recipe. These days, it's my go-to gift for other people's houses; when they tell me not to bring anything, this is what I bring.

Also as has been usual for the last few years, I was overseas on my birthday, so when I got home I made my own cake - which looks rather small and overpowered by candles here.

It was nice to come back to summer weather and summer fruit after a week in frosty England...

...get back to the regular kitchen routine, and try some new things. I've been working on making my own flour tortillas lately, working off this basic recipe...

...I also made homemade gnocchi for the first time, using leftover mashed potatoes and this recipe from River Cottage Love Your Leftovers. They were a rousing success...

...this chocolate fudge bundt cake, not so much. Tastes great, but half the cake stuck in the pan despite copious greasing. I think in future I'll stick with this one.

And this week's flower selection - hydrangeas from the farmers' market (with special guest provided by Miss B).

Before I finish, I would be remiss if I didn't mention that all of the above are examples of my continuing to try to focus on positive aspects of daily life and practice meticulous mindfulness. It's all part of my ongoing attempt to grapple with, among other things, the uncertainty and anxiety engendered by the current state of affairs in my home country, and the knock-on effects and similar trends abroad. This article has confirmed my fears, but also bolstered my courage, and I share it for anyone who may be in similar need:

A Clarifying Moment in American History

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