5 things – Saturday April 17, 2021

Saturday morning, we’ve been to the farmer’s market, had a catch-up coffee with a friend and now it’s time to settle down with my cup of tea and catch up on the week.

There’s not a huge lot to report this week – it’s been one of those weeks in the day job which hasn’t really left room for very much else.

Anyways, without further faffing about, let’s wrap the week up…

1.The Aussies are coming

The Aussies, in this instance, are the national surf lifesaving championships, and they’re being held this year here on the Sunny coast across three beaches: Mooloolaba, Alexandra Headland, and Maroochydore.

Over 7000 surf lifesavers of all ages from about 350 clubs around the country will be competing. With friends, family and spectators it means this is a massive event – and held in a covid safe manner.

The ocean swims and beach run events will take place at Mooloolaba and we’ve been watching the beach get event ready all week.

2. Vintage China

jam drops on Royal Albert Thistle plate

I’ve been pulling my vintage china out of the cabinet over the past couple of weeks. Partly because I love the look of it with whatever it is that I’ve baked, partly because there’s a FB group I’m in that shares the vintage china love, partly because I think I should be using it more often, but mostly because I’m researching the book next after next which will feature plenty of it.  

I’m loving learning more about each piece – like this trio by Shelley, an op shop from years ago. Googling the back stamp tells me that it was probably made between 1925 and WW2. 

3. Writing

In what free time I’ve had this week I’ve been working on the rewrite of The Café On Beach Road. I wrote a little about it and the real life café that inspired Beach Road Café here.

4. Blogging 

I wrote nothing new during the week for my main blog (ie. this one) but did publish a few pre-written pieces on BKD.

I’ve been very quiet on The Nigella Diaries front of late – remember my mini challenge to cook my way through her book How To Eat? I am in catch-up mode though and popped up the Carbonara episode. If you’ve read Escape To Curlew Cottage, you’d know that I used Nigella’s carbonara in a scene in that book. You can find it here – the post, not the scene.

Also on BKD is this recipe for chocolate chip butter cookies. These would definitely be in the massive cookie jars on the counter at Beach Road and are an easy and very tasty bake. Hello, butter and choc chips. 

For those who are interested in the vintage plate used to style these cookies (and I do, as always, use the term “style” very loosely), it’s a Shelley plate “Blue Anemone” and dates back to about 1934.

Finally, there’s a cookbook review: Nick Nairn’s Wild Harvest. It’s part of a mini-series I’m doing whereby I pull out my old favourite books and cooks something from them. I’ve had this one since the mid 1990’s and still cook from it. The recipe I’ve featured is tarragon chicken – a recipe that I included in Happy Ever After. No photo of the tarragon chicken (which I made on Thursday night – bad lighting an all that) but there is a pic of the Dauphinoise Potatoes I prepared on Easter Saturday to go with the lamb I slow-roasted in a bottle of red wine (which was also from this book). Anyways, the post is here.

5. In the kitchen

From an excess baggage viewpoint, I’m experimenting with the 16:8 diet – which means I’m experimenting with the principles of intermittent fasting and minimising starchy carbs and midweek alcohol but pretty much making up the rest as I go along. What can I say? I’ve never really been great with rules or structure or, indeed, moderation – which means, of course, that there’s also an element of 5:2 thinking as in eating well 5 days a week and relaxing whatever rules I have put in place on the other 2 days. 

This week I had a couple of days where I had breakfast for lunch – this really tasty Marsala Omelette from Nigella’s Nigella Bites. With eggs, spices and whatever veg I have lying around it’s both healthy and yummy. The photo of the one I made the other day does it no credit at all. 

We also made up this Tom Yum Soup the other night for dinner. I bought the paste from Alice at Life’s Good Curry Pastes at the farmer’s markets, poached some chicken breast and added the poaching liquid, some cherry tomatoes, mushrooms and green beans. Grant had some noodles in his, but I had it as is. I love tasty dishes like that that are accidentally healthy, but also quick to prepare – this was on the table in 30 minutes.

Okay, that was my week… how was yours?

Author: Jo

Author, baker, sunrise chaser

20 thoughts

  1. I love all your vintage china! I had a friend in college when we’d have tea at his house they had a whole cabinet of mismatched china cups and saucers that we’d pick from and I just loved that they used these beautiful cups everyday and didn’t just save them for important occasions.

  2. Jo, I’d love to watch the surf lifesaving championships. Those sports events bring a huge amount of energy. Your vintage china and all your food photos look beautiful. I love the one with Kali eyeing the cookies 😀 Thank you for sharing this. #WeekendCoffeeShare

  3. Hi Jo, I love your vintage china and I agree we should use it rather than look at it. I must show you the 60s style set my Mum gave to my cousin as an engagement gift. It is a cup with an extended saucer so you can fit the cup and a biscuit of cake. My cousin returned it to me as a momento of Mum and I treasure them. All I can say Jo, is that I’m inspired each week to try cooking new things and I so definitely want to have a coffee at the Beach Road Cafe – just love that name. Thanks for sharing your week and enjoy your weekend. xx #WeekendCoffeeShare

  4. Jo, the china is such a good thing to get out and use every now and again! I’m popping over to look at some of your links to recipes as I need inspiration! Beach Road cafe sounds like it could be my kind of place 🙂

  5. Hi Jo, I’ll definitely be making the omelet and the soup. What’s not to love there? The trio by Shelley is very unusual. Place settings with odds and ends dishes are always fun. I’ve been wanting to have a ‘girlfriend’ lunch, and this was the inspiration I needed. Thanks and have a great week.

  6. Oh, that soup looks amazing! Perfect for a chilly night. The photo of the jam cookies on the vintage plate is so appealing. Everything looks beautiful. And I would love to have a little cafe like the one in your photo to visit.

  7. It seems we all agree that it is wonderful that you are using your lovely vintage china. I don’t have any really pretty dishes and always struggle about what to photograph my recipes on. Maybe I should buy a few pretty pieces!!

    That surfing lifesaving event sure provided you will terrific photographs. You can almost feel the warmth of the suns rays in the second photo. Gorgeous.

  8. So now you’re a vintage china expert – is there anything you can’t do? I like how all your interests seem to interweave with each other – the books, the china, the cooking etc (and I’m sure the travel if you were allowed to do it). Nice checking in and seeing how your week went in between all that pesky paid work x

  9. I agree with everyone who said that it’s wonderful that you’ve been using your vintage china. Oh and you so make me want to bake too.

    Glad you’ve enjoyed writing.

  10. Oh my that vintage china! I love it but alas don’t have much and would love more but don’t really have that much space to store it! I’ve been doing 16:8 although I’ve really slacked off since Easter and we’re also trying to limit the carbs with limited success! That said, when I stick to the routine, I feel so much better and generally find I’m eating better and less. It’s more a lifestyle than a diet, don’t you think? I must say that Tom Yum looks amazing – it’s one of my all time favourite dishes. It was great catching up, have a wonderful week!

  11. I thought about you recently, Jo (always in a good way) when I saw a front page news photo of a NZ and an Australian hugging, recalling your heartwarming story. You have an eye and a knack for capturing gorgeous photos! The plates do make everything ‘pop.’ Lots of drooling here…….

  12. THe life saving championship sounds cool…LOVE your vintage china…so pretty. I’ve always thought it would be fun to find a cookbook and cook my way through it. I just haven’t done it. Your recipes all sound amazing. I’m not a structure person either when it comes to weight loss, etc. it does’t work well for me. I just really try to be intentional. Enjoyed your update this week.

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