The weather has finally turned a tad on the chilly side here in South-East Queensland. The days are still fine, but we are needing jackets or jumpers for the 6am walk. It’s lovely to feel cool again.
It’s a public holiday here today – Queensland celebrates Labour Day on the first Monday in May (when most of the rest of Australia celebrate it in October). That’s okay though – we celebrate the Queen’s Birthday in October while most of the rest of Australia does that in June.
On the covid-19 front, there have been no new infections on the Sunshine Coast for some days and we have just one active case in our region. Over the weekend some of our movement restrictions were relaxed in Queensland, and while our state borders are still closed, we can now drive short distances for recreation and we can also have picnics outside (with immediate family or one other person) and use our parks and beaches for reasons other than exercise.
Okay, onto the five things that made me smile, think or wonder…
I smashed out the steps last week – almost 120,000 of them. As I mentioned last week, I’m having a few problems on the headspace front and walking and fresh air helps with that.
Sarah had to do some work in Caloundra yesterday so dropped Grant and I at Moffat Beach with the intention of walking the Coastal pathway to Golden Beach.
Her work went for longer than she expected, so our walk did too. We ended up doing just over 13kms.
It was, however, perfect weather conditions – the sun was shining and a light breeze blowing. Gorgeous.
2. Orchestral Manouevres
Just after 8 the other morning, the kid over the back fence began practicing his trumpet…so did the kid up the street and another a street or so away. Then it hit us – school was back in session (virtually speaking) and so, therefore, were the music lessons that would normally take place before school on a Wednesday.
Speaking of home-schooling, I saw a fabulous meme the other day (somewhere that said:
It might take a village to raise a child, but it takes a vineyard to home-school one.
And, on the subject of virtual learning – not that it’s virtual learning, but I needed a segue – one of the hihlights of our week at the moment is Goggleboxing Masterchef ie watching the elimination round of Masterchef each Sunday night virtually with my brother and his wife via the magic of Facebook Messenger’s video.
3. Album covers reimagined for social distancing…from @activistla
4. re-reading old favourites
My first read for May was Jan Austen’s Persuasion. I’ve always loved this novel and it’s been way too many years since I read it. Not that this was a read as such – I listened to the book on Audible as I walked. It might possibly be one of the reasons why I did cover as many steps as I did last week.
5. In the kitchen
The meat-free experiments continued with this Yellow Curry Cauliflower. I roasted the cauliflower with cumin and coriander for some extra spice and we added beans, red peppers and handfuls of baby spinach to amp up the veggies and declared it a winner.
One of our favourite local restaurants, Sum Yung Guys, is selling their fantabulous curry sauces, so this was the base for midweek meal.
Saturday night’s destination theme was Italian and I cooked some pork belly in milk. It’s something that I read in Elizabeth David’s Italian Food, but also Annabel Langbein’s Free Range Cook. Essentially you give the pork belly a blast in a super-hot oven to get the skin crispy and then pour milk into the pan and bring the temperature down. The result is a really tender piece of pork (you throw away the pan juices). We served it with some glazed whole carrots (I even used the carrot-tops as a herb), some broccolini with lemon and parmesan, and some thyme-roasted potatoes.
Dessert was home-made hazelnut ice-cream with the easiest chocolate sauce in the world. The recipe is below. Sarah enjoyed it again on Sunday night in a banana split.
What you need
- 200g good quality chocolate, broken up
- 200ml cream
What you do with it
- Pop the cream into a saucepan over a medium heat.
- Bring it to that point just before it starts to boil.
- Remove it from the heat and pop the chocolate in.
- Leave it there for 2 minutes. Yep, just leave it.
- Stir well until the chocolate has melted into the cream. Believe it or not, it will start to come together- even though you doubt…
- Once the chocolate has all melted, grab a whisk and get some arm action happening. It’ll thicken and go all glossy – just like a real chocolate sauce.
- If you’re not using it just yet, pour it into a glass jar or bowl and pop into the fridge – It’ll keep for a couple of weeks.
- You can either heat it slowly in a saucepan or whack it in the microwave for 30 seconds to warm it up.
On the blog
Okay, not a lot of activity here last week, but I did post a round-up of my reading for the month. You’ll find it here.