Okay. it’s the end of another week, what’s brought smiles my way?
I know this is titled 5 things, but who keeps count? It was another tough week in the day job, the rain came down up here on the Sunshine Coast, but there was still plenty to smile about.
Christmas at Curlew Cottage…
I’m on target – word count wise. Not only am I on target but the story is making sense to me, my characters are coming to life and I think I might just be glimpsing how it’s going to end…which is probably a good thing when you think about it.
Weirdly for me, there is no playlist for this book, no music that’s brought certain scenes to life and no songs that really are what this novel is about. Every time I hear Elton John’s “Something About The Way You Look Tonight” I think of Happy Ever After. WithWish You Were Here it was Ed Sheeran’s “Photograph”. With this novel, there is no song…yet. There is, however, a collection of photos, pictures, images, and scenes. And I have an image in my head of what my hero, Owen Gallagher, looks like…more on that later.
Something that always brings a smile to my face. As did the young guy at Woolworths who was so diligent about slicing the prosciutto as finely as he could for our homemade pizzas.
The Thong Tree…
I’m just a couple of weeks away from sending Christmas At Curlew Cottage to my editor so that means my schedule is pretty manky at present. I’m up before 5am to write, out the door for a walk by 5.45, another half hour of writing before I log in to work at 8.30, more at lunchtime, and then again when I knock off from the day job.
A few hours away from my desk on Saturday wasn’t only welcome, but necessary. So down the Bruce Highway we went to Bribie Island. For fish and chips on the jetty. Naturally, we went for a look across at the surf beach and took photos of these trees that had thongs (jandals/flip flops if you’re not an Aussie) hung from the trees.
The soundtrack to my day is this one snoring beside me. I love it (both the snoring and the dog) more than I can say – although do occasionally have to apologise when I’m on teleconferences and she gets just a tad too loud…
Making friends with aubergines…
I’m not a massive fan of aubergine – even though I feel as though I should be – which is why I bought some at the markets this week and made a dip out of them. I also made a tomato and roasted capsicum sauce with the red peppers to go over ricotta dumplings (gnudi) for a meatless Saturday night dinner – recipe to come.
As for the dip – there’s a little bit of palaver associated with it, but not too much. You prick the aubergine all over with a fork & pop it in a hot oven (about 220C) for an hour. Leave it to cool and then scoop out the (now soft) insides into a bowl. Smash it about a bit and pop the mashed aubergine into a sieve while you get on with the rest. As an aside, it’s the water that comes out at this point that makes it all quite bitter.
Dice an onion finely and grate (or chop finely) a few cloves of garlic. Cook it slowly in olive oil until the onion is soft and sweet. I sprinkled in a little ground coriander and cumin – just because I felt like it. Stir in the mashed aubergine and cook for another 5 minutes or so. Set it aside to cool slightly and then stir in some yoghurt. I used 2 large eggplants and a 200g tub of Greek yoghurt. Scatter some mint and toasted pine nuts over the top and serve with flatbread or pita crackers.
Eggplant is one of my favourites and that dip had me drooling! The thing tree looks so fun – hope the word count keeps increasing! How exciting!
It’s funny, I’ve never been a fan – but lately I’ve had a couple of dishes – at Rice Boi and Spirit House up here – that have changed the way I feel about eggplant. I’ve always liked baba ghanoush, so go figure!
Lovely to read Jo! I remember seeing the bra fence in New Zealand but haven’t seen the thong tree on Bribe yet! It’s interesting that you have songs associated with your books, that’s something I would never have thought of! #Lifethisweek
Oh yes, the bra fence on the way into Wanaka – I’d forgotten about that. I’m a shocker with my playlists – I usually have one with every book that drives my family mad…this time it’s more cookbooks that are inspiring me.
The thong trees are kind of an Ocker way of Yarn Bombing aren’t they? Fortunately I haven’t seen any in WA – they aren’t exactly the prettiest of decorations! You sound incredibly busy with work + the book – you must really love writing to a schedule (I’d be tearing my hair out!)
Totally bogan…& not at all attractive lol. I do write to a schedule – otherwise I’d get nothing done…ever.
Well done on staying on track with your word count for the new book. It’s fascinating hearing about your writing process, especially about often having a soundtrack to bring scenes to life.
Big yes to homemade pizza here too!
Yay for being on target with your WIP. I’ve put my novel aside for 6 months but it might be time to get it out for rewrites/edits. I’m kinda struggling creatively in general at the moment.
Homemade pizzas are the best – your looks deliciously cheesy! The thong tree is pretty cool. Oh and I’ve only recently got into eggplant as well – they’re pretty good grilled with spices
I have’t tried grilling the eggplant yet, but with spices would be good.
Hi Jo – Well done with your writing of your new book. I don’t know how you do it with a full-time job. I like grilled or roasted eggplant with olive oil, which is my lazy way to cooking 🙂 #lifethisweek
Sometimes I have no idea how I do it either, but I think I just do. Head down bum up gingers on keyboard…so to speak.
You are a machine…a cooking, writing, cooking, working, walking….and sigh, tired a bit…woman? Hope Easter gives you some decent time away from ‘the day job’ and you enjoy the days the best way you know how.
Thank you for linking up for #lifethisweek. Next week’s optional prompt is Easter Means This. 16/51 #LifeThisWeek. 41/2019. Hope to see you there!
I’m very very tired at the moment Denyse, but holidays are around the corner.
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