It was a bit of a mixed-up week here. The day job has been busy, Adventure Spaniel hasn’t been her usual bouncy self, and, as is usual before heading off on holidays, there’s plenty that needs to be done before we go.
First up, every so often the passing of someone you’ve never met has an impact – so it was with the sudden death during the week of celebrity chef, Gary Rhodes. His book New British Classics, now 20 years old, was one of the first serious cookbooks I bought. It taught me so much and is still a go-to favourite when I’m seeking inspiration in the classics.
That being said, there were still things to smile about during the week…at least 5…
I love it when these visit Mooloolaba – it not only introduces people to our little part of the world but also brings good $$$ to the community.
I mentioned a couple of weeks ago that I had some big news. You’re looking at the new president of the RWA – Romance Writers of Australia. Naturally, you’re not looking at her, but you know what I mean.
I’ve been thinking for a while about using my skills in a way where I can give back (in a voluntary capacity) to something I believe in and this is that.
There is, though, a lot in it for me. I realised when I attended the conference dinner earlier this year just how out of touch I’d become. I’ve been so used to my comfort zone – which was absolutely necessary when we went through the year that I refer to as “2016” – but although I’m busy, I’ve also stagnated. It feels like it’s time for me to take on a new challenge and step out of the shadows a tad – so that’s what I’m doing. And I’m excited by the prospect.
Anyways, the news came out in yesterday’s RWA newsletter so I guess that makes it public!
A personal milestone
During the week I hit the magical 10 kgs lost on my Excess Baggage project. I rewarded myself with a cookbook – would you expect anything less from me?
It’s taken 5 months to get to this point and even though I know I have another (at least) 15 kgs to think about, I won’t be thinking very much about that until we get back from our month in England.
I mentioned earlier she hasn’t been her bouncy self. She hurt her back earlier this week and was very sad and sorry for herself. It was a stark reminder that she’s now 11 and not getting any younger. She is, however, back to normal and I’m trying hard not to allow her to make flying leaps on and off things (with her customary half pike and double twist). She, however, continues to do both whenever she can – and with a big doggy grin.
Spirit House Cooking School
Saturday Kitchen this week was a cooking class at our favourite restaurant – The Spirit House in Yandina. These guys are in demand as having one of the best cooking schools in the country and it’s not hard to see why.
The class we did is the most in-demand of them all as it’s full of the classic dishes that have been popular in the restaurant since it opened 25 years ago.
It was extra special because Sarah – whose idea of cooking is to take something (we’ve prepared) out of the freezer and stick it into the microwave – came along with us.
On the menu was:
Lemongrass & Coconut Soup with Tea Smoked Salmon & Oyster Mushrooms. In the restaurant, they serve this in a teapot and tiny little cups. After every visit, I’ve attempted to recreate it and never quite got there. Now I have the recipe.
Caramelised Pork Belly with Green Mango & Nahm Jim Dressing
Red Curry of Duck with Lychees & Thai Basil
Whole Crispy Fish with Three Flavoured Tamarind Sauce. We first tasted this dish at least 12 years ago – and have been ordering it on our annual visits ever since. I recall the surprise on the waiter’s faces when Sarah, then not even 10, dug in. It looks a tad confronting but wow it tastes good. I might not be inclined to deep fry a whole fish in a wok very often, but I will be making this sauce for barbequed fish.
Best of all was sitting down afterwards to eat what we’d prepared.
The upside of Black Friday
Was your inbox as full as mine with emails advertising Black Friday sales? (As an aside when did this become a thing in Australia?)
At first, I cursed, then I began unsubscribing.
Okay, that was my week…how was yours?