Monday again, already. In most of Australia it’s a public holiday for the Queen’s Birthday – but not here in Queensland, we celebrate that in October when the rest of the country is commemorating Labour Day…which we take in May, which is actually closer to the Queen’s actual birthday, which is in April. Follow?
Anyways, it’s been another week of not wanting to watch the news so rather than dwelling on what’s going on in the world, we’ll talk about the five things in my world that made me smile, or take notice.
I must have left the teeniest of nodules in the pot that my bay tree is in when I harvested last year because I dug all of this out of that same pot on Saturday.
Yes, that’s a lot of ginger – over 500g from a teeny tiny piece.
While we use fresh ginger regularly – and can buy it at the farmer’s market super fresh – we can’t use this much. I’ll be turning some of it into jam, but as for the rest? I’m not sure yet.
The part of the Sunshine Coast that I live in is famous for its ginger – Buderim Ginger is exported all around the world. It all started with a few ginger plants around the time of WW1, became a commercial concern when farmers joined together to form The Buderim Ginger Grower’s Co-operative Association Limited and pretty much went from there.
The operation is no longer in Buderim – it moved to Yandina in the Hinterland many years ago – but my little haul is true Buderim ginger. Buderim Ginger 2.0 perhaps?
2. In the news
I was sad to read about the clearing of the Sugar Pine Walk in Laurel Hill which had been damaged beyond repair in the bushfires earlier this year. The story is here.
3. Wardrobe wins
I was thrilled when we moved into this house to have a walk-in wardrobe. Back in our old house I had the tiniest space possible – while hubby had the larger half of our wardrobe and had also spread into the wardrobe in the spare room.
I have, however, spent the last few years jamming clothes into shelves. No more. Yesterday we made a pilgrimage to IKEA and bought me some drawers and yesterday afternoon Grant put said flat pack drawers together…without one argument. Yes, that’s right. He was so methodical to watch (no, I didn’t help – then there would have been arguments and swearing) and at the end of it there were no screws leftover. Job. Done.
4. Book wins.
I’ve finished, finally, the draft that I thought would never end. Escape To Curlew Cottage is done… for now.
Normally I really enjoy the structural editing part of writing – it’s when the characters and the story really take form – but this time? I’ve been working on this edit since, well, for most of this year – that’s longer than it took me to write the first draft.
Anyways, it’s done. I suspect that I’ve now missed the slot with my editor, and feel dreadful about that given that I preach about how indie publishing has to be done in the same way as traditional publishing and deadlines need to be met, and I’ve now broken my own rules, but there you have it.
The next step is back to my editor for wrangling of my dreadful grammar. In the meantime, I need to think about covers and also scone recipes – because this novel is about scones. Of course it’s about more than that, but there are a lot of scones.
Plus I’m itching to get into something new. In fact I’ve been wondering whether my restlessness and angsty-ness has a lot to do with me not writing anything new since April last year – when I finished the first draft of this book. It feels as though I’ve been editing something or other ever since.
5. In the Kitchen
This Saturday’s Destination was China – so that meant blow-dried chicken. Actually, it’s Shandong Chicken. This was Sarah’s favourite dish at the Chinese restaurant we used to go to in Kellyville, but we haven’t been able to get it here.
Traditionally this chicken is twice cooked. It’s boiled, then deep-fried, and served with a sauce of black vinegar, soy, sugar, garlic and chilli.
The recipe I use is this one by Adam Liaw. In this, the chicken is marinated in Shaoxing wine, dark soy and ginger juice. You then dry the chicken skin with a hairdryer (hence why Sarah calls it blow-dried chicken) and roast it. Not only is it much healthier than the original, we think it’s tastier and the blow-drying gives a really crispy skin.
We serve it with lettuce and some quick pickled carrot and cucumber (to cut through the sauce) and rice.
Also this week I made this teriyaki salmon poke bowl and tried a chilli pork and black beans recipe that I’ve been meaning to try from Matthew Evan’s Winter on the Farm. It was okay, but not great.
What was great were these scones – my Not Posh Scones, or Beginner’s Scones, or Can’t Be Faffed Scones. Whatever you call them, the recipe is here.