5 things – Saturday April 10, 2021

It’s a beautiful Saturday morning here on the Sunshine Coast. Clear, blue, and heading for a top temperature of 30C – not bad for autumn and a lot better than the constant rain we had over Easter. 

It’s pitch dark on our morning walks at the moment, with the sun coming up as we’re sitting down having our end of walk coffee.

We were up and out at the farmers market by 6am and now I have a Babi Kecap simmering away on the stove. It’s a Balinese slow-cooked pork with ginger, chilli and sweet soy sauce and it’s my offering for a Balinese feast at a friend’s house this evening. It should look a bit like this when it’s done.

Anyways, without further ado, let’s get into the weekly wrap up:

1.In the News

The news filtered through last night that Prince Philip passed away. While we can’t know what goes on behind closed royal doors (but seriously, just how interesting would it be???) one can’t help but admire a life devoted to service and the loss the Queen must be feeling now having lost her husband of over 70 years.

Other than that, this week’s news has been dominated by vaccine issues. By now about 4 million Australians should have been vaccinated, but they’re running about 3 million behind target. The government will now also be offering people under 50 (when it’s their turn to be vaccinated) the Pfizer rather than the Astra Zenica vaccine. Given though that the new stock of Pfizer vaccines won’t be available until October I guess that means our borders will stay closed for longer.

In some shiny, bright news that made me happy dance across the floor though, New Zealand announced a travel bubble with Australia during the week.

While Kiwis have been able to travel here without needing to quarantine for a number of months (all other international arrivals into Australia are required to go into mandatory quarantine for 14 days in a managed facility) and Aussies have been allowed to travel to New Zealand, we’ve been required to go into quarantine there. From the 18thof April we can now travel freely to NZ without needing a vaccine or without needing to quarantine. 

Plans are being made…

2. Graduations

While she finished her course at the end of last year, Sarah officially graduated from university with a Bachelor of Occupational Therapy (Honours) during the week.

It was a very proud moment for her – and for us knowing how hard she worked for it. What was also great was seeing how many of her cohort have secured jobs in their field. Smiles all round.

To celebrate we went to a seafood restaurant, See, in Mooloolaba for lunch. How yummy does this calamari with bush pepper look? It tasted pretty good too.

3. Organising

I spent the Easter weekend organising my blogs. (I also spent a large portion of the weekend binging on Midsomer Murders, but that’s an entirely different story). As an aside, on one episode I noticed a very young Sam Heughan (Outlander) as both a suspect and adding to the body count. How had I not noticed it before?

The content of my blogs has been something I’ve been thinking a lot about of late and I finally transferred across some of my foodie posts from here – namely the cookbook reviews and Nigella Diaries – across to my food blog Brookford Kitchen Diaries. Apologies to those people who subscribe to that blog via email as you would have received one every time a post was published. Thanks for bearing with me.

4. Writing

It was busy in the day job this week, so I didn’t get anything new written for the blog.

The notes are through from my editor following her first read through of The Café On Beach Road (see, it has a title now!). We also talked it through during the week and I have a really good idea of the changes I need to make. I actually love this part – the second rewrite heading into structural edit. It’s where the ideas are refined and the story really begins to take shape.

5. In the kitchen

It rained for the entirety of the Easter weekend – and not just drizzly rain, real rain.

That meant a slow-cooked lamb roast with dauphinoise potatoes on Saturday night, and a slow-cooked beef and beer stew with parsley dumplings on Monday night.

Dauphinoise potatoes

I baked these jam drops,

and Grant channelled his Scottish heritage and made some Scottish Tablet. For those who haven’t heard of this, it’s a tad like fudge but not as creamy. It’s also a dentist’s cash-flow dreams come true. It’s way too sweet for me, but I guess it makes sense if you’re fell-walking through the Highlands maybe. I’ll post the recipe next week maybe.

Finally, to link up with with Donna from Retirement Reflections and her co-host Deb The Widow Badass Blog in their inaugural #whatsonyourplateblogchallenge I posted this recipe for San Choy Bow – a weekday favourite in our house and, unlike the fudge, accidentally healthy.

Author: Jo

Author, baker, sunrise chaser

23 thoughts

  1. Hi, Jo –
    A super big congratulations to Sarah on her graduation. I’ve been following this via your photos on FB (which have all been gorgeous).
    Awesome news about The Cafe on Beach Road coming to life. I can’t wait to read it. (Lack of patience as usual, I know).
    Thank you for joining in on ‘What’s On Your Plate?’ and for linking to it here. Deb and I are delighted that you are onboard!

  2. All your food looks so yummy! I was thrilled to discover yesterday that we can travel through most of New England without quarantine. And I am planning a trip right now.

  3. Congratulations to Sarah and her proud parents! I read about the Australia and NZ travel bubble, exciting news and something to look forward to. All your food photos look delicious. Thank you for linking with #WeekendCoffeeShare

  4. Hi Jo, I don’t visit often enough so glad to see you here. The Scottish Tablet looks interesting, and I will look for the recipe when you post it, although I would also take your word or it that it is probably too sweet. Congratulations to Sarah and you, how exciting. And a question about writing a book. From this end, the edits sound daunting, It is hard to think of a finished work as only being a draft. Although I went through tons of edits on my DMin thesis and survived. But the book I want to do is unfinished, unedited and not organized enough to look for a publisher. Thanks for the pictures and the post. Blessings, Michele

    1. Thanks for dropping by Michele. Edits can be daunting, but watching the story really take shape and pad out is super exciting. Dig that book out and cast a birds eye view over it.

      1. Thanks for those encouraging words. I am co-writing a book with a friend, who is working to finish up her own book, and I have my own collection of things that i have let languish. Fear of success or fear of rejection, I am not sure which. Yet I believe in the stories both mine, ours and hers. Thanks gain. Michele p.s. I did sign up for your site, looking forward to getting the emails.

  5. Congratulations to Sarah! Quite an accomplishment. I wish I could have been there to share her graduation celebration. That calamari looks delicious! 🙂 I hope you are planning a trip to New Zealand in the near future. Hubby and I were vaccinated 2 weeks ago with our first dose (Pfizer). Now I have travel plans dancing in my head!

  6. Hi Jo, what a beautiful week you have had! Such a proud moment for you to see Sarah graduate and she looks so proud of herself (as she should!). I want to live in your kitchen! I love your dishes and you inspire me each week to try something new. The weather has been glorious the last few days – and this is Autumn in Queensland! Have a great week and I look forward to next week’s post. #weekendcoffeeshare

  7. So much happening Jo, and Sarah’s graduation must be the icing on the cake! Congrats to you all. I love the sound of your new book and learning about some of the process along the way. Have a lovely week 🙂

  8. Congrats on the graduation, how exciting. Your recipes and food photos look so good. I’ve always thought it would be fun to travel to different areas to try cuisine I might not otherwise try.

    1. We try and do it each Saturday night – pick a country out of the decision bowl. This time though it was at a friend’s place and the offerings were all delish.

  9. I saw pics of the complete Balinese feast on Facebook and it looked delicious! Congrats to Sara, what a proud mumma moment, I especially loved the selfie of the three of you together! I wish the government would get it’s vaccination act together. I for one, can’t wait for the borders to be opened – I feel like I’m living in a gilded cage! Have a great week!

  10. So nice for Sarah to be done and dusted and graduated (and employed!) Nice to have that all ticked off her list. Also good that you’re zooming through the novel editing and moving to the next stage – and tidying blogs in the process. I’ll pop over for the lamb roast and daphne potatoes (I’d come just for the potatoes – but will blow off my date with Tom Cruise for the lamb – it would be a lot more tender than Tom is these days!) xx

  11. Your photos are stunning, as always, Jo. I appreciate them popping up throughout my day. A happy moment. I am happy to hear the rain has let up for the moment. And, yes, the happy dance about N.Z. And travel bubble with Australia. Congratulations and wonderful photo of Sarah! I can see the family resemblance. Beautiful! And the food photos have me drooling again. 🙂

  12. Please may I have some of everything that’s on your plate in this post? Yes to calamari with bush pepper (is that coarse pepper? mmmm!!) and the tablet (interesting name) and the San Choy Bow or San Chow Boy? I have read it twice but can’t remember by the time I get back to the comment box to write the name!! That looks scrumptious…whatever the name.

    Congrats to your daughter on her graduation with honors. Wishing her the best in this shiny new chapter of life.

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