How was your weekend? We had one of those ones that was quiet but busy – a lot of catch-up from the week that was and an appointment or two here and there. In between were, as always, the farmer’s market at 6am on Saturday and a little pool time.
Anyways, without further ado – and because I haven’t long before I have to log in to the day job – here’s the five:
Sarah’s up in Airlie Beach on the Whitsunday coast (about 1000kms north of where we are) and the house is very quiet without her. I dread to think how quiet it will be when she moves out in January (gulp).
She’s up there with a couple of girlfriends to celebrate finishing uni. They’ve been snorkelling and gone out to have a look at Whitehaven Beach which was, she said, every bit as beautiful as Instagram promised it would be.
They hired a car that has been an absolute comedy – if you go left the open door light comes on and the glove box is held together with duct tape which gradually loses its stick as the day gets warmer. They’ve been up and had a look at some of the coast in it so it’s served them well – and has given them some laughs.
Yesterday they took a scenic flight over the reef – she said the pictures really didn’t do the experience justice. Now, of course, I want to go and have a look around up there…maybe next year after summer is done.
2. Banana peels
From the “I’m not sure how I feel about that” file comes banana peel cooking. It is, apparently, a thing – and not just from a reducing waste viewpoint.
Nigella has a banana skin and cauliflower recipe in her new cookbook (note to Santa – it’s at the top of my list where you can’t miss it) and it’s being used in everything from cakes and muffins to jam. If you’re interested in the nutritional benefits of banana peel – and why wouldn’t you be? – check out this article.
3. Word of the year
The Australian National Dictionary Centre (yes, there is such a thing) has announced its word of the year for 2020. It’s…wait for it…iso. Iso had to beat off some strong competition to win the gong. Iso was used during the year on its own and in conjunction with other words – iso baking, iso kilos and iso waistline, being just a few. Also in the top 5 were:
- covid normal
- driveway – as in driveway drinks, driveway parties and the driveway dawn service we all attended for Anzac Day
- black summer – a reference to the summer of fires
In case you’re interested, the Scottish word of the year was lockdown.
4. Writing Update
I’m still plodding through the first draft of what I’m now tentatively calling The Lake. I’m still behind on my word count and need to hit 2000 words a day consistently between now and next Monday to make my 50,000 word target for the month.
I’m resisting the urge to edit as I go along and because I haven’t plotted anything (and still don’t know how it’s all going to end) at the moment it’s about getting a first draft down and then having another pass to bring things into order before I send it off for the first read-through.
I was reminded the other day by Timehop where I was sitting word count wise this time 3 years ago. The book would become Happy Ever After and it was the fastest book I’ve ever written.
5. Foodie stuff
Yesterday was stir-up Sunday so out came my trusty and tattered copy of Delia Smith’s Christmas and the Christmas cake was made. Grant decided that he was going to make tomato chutney at the same time – which meant, of course, that I had to constantly read the recipe for that for him as well as concentrate on what I was trying to do with the Christmas cake. Anyways, it’s out of the oven and in its foil and will now be progressively fed brandy through until it’s cut.
I also attempted sorbet for the first time and made two flavours – raspberry and lychee. The favours were amazing but I wasn’t happy with the texture – it was a tad icier than I would have liked. I think it has something to do with the sugar content but, as they say, practice makes perfect.
What else? I cooked these Hervey Bay scallops on a pea puree (made with frozen peas) and topped with chorizo which we had as a starter on Saturday night. They tasted nice than the photo looks. To follow was red snapper cooked en papillotte ie in a paper parcel with some fennel, white wine and lemon.
Finally I made these zucchini and feta fritters for lunch yesterday. I featured them in Wish You Were Here but they’re also in the new novel and the recipe will be in that.