Catching Up – May 29, 2021

It’s early on Saturday morning and I’m sitting up in bed writing this before I get into whatever Saturday has in store.

I’ve been a tad all over the place since we last spoke. The day job has been busy (no surprises there) and there has been plenty happening family wise as well.

Just when we thought we were seeing the light at the end of the the covid tunnel, the state of Victoria has gone into another 7 day snap lockdown – which, of course means, our borders are again shut to that state. Thankfully there are (so far) no cases here in Queensland so life for us continues in the way it has done for much of the pandemic.

Anyways, without further ado, grab a cuppa and let’s catch up.

Pomona Distillery

Pomona is a small town at the base of Mt Cooroora just under an hours drive north of us.

The town might be tiny but it boasts a distillery that has become quite the destination for weekend day trippers.

I tried a “paddle” of their gins,

and we shared a few small Asian inspired plates for lunch – the gochujang chicken wings. the duck bao, and the massaman curry spring rolls.


Sydney skyline from Chatswood

I haven’t been to Sydney since we flew back from the UK in January 2020 – before all of this started – and I haven’t seen my parents since March last year. While the state borders have now been (mostly) open for a couple of months, our premier has a habit of slamming them shut without giving you sufficient time to get home. I haven’t wanted to be caught either on the wrong side of it or forced into expensive hotel quarantine so have delayed my trip until now.

While there was definitely a lot of catching up to do, this trip was all about family first and getting back into the office.

Before all of that though, I have to tell you about my mother’s pumpkins. Mum has always been one of those gardeners who plants in between things, in the smallest of spaces. Her father was the same and, to an extent so am I.

The pic below is just a portion of the pumpkin harvest Mum has had this year – and there are still more on the vines.

They’ve all come from this narrow patch of vines growing in the terrace above the pool. In between the pumpkin vines are sweet potato plants – she’s just begun digging these up.

I took a walk through the nearby state forest on Saturday morning…

On Sunday we had a memorial afternoon tea for a family member who had passed away during March…

and on Monday I went into the office for the first time since before all of this began.

I caught up with friends, and I caught up on dumplings.

Family History

Speaking of family and catching up, I also caught up on some family history I’m (slowly) documenting for Mum. She’s done so much work over the years and has folders of research at home. I’m trying to get as much as I can uploaded into the family tree on Ancestry. It’s a long process, but one I’m learning so much from as we go along.

At present I’m capturing the facts, but the next layer to add is the stories – and she’s uncovered so many little factoids along the way.

She’s taken some branches of the tree back to the early 1600’s, but has drawn a blank on my paternal great-great grandfather who came out as a convict using one name (Hayes) but began using another (Lyons) once he was married with children.

Anyways, it’s all quite fascinating – and an absolute rabbit hole.

In the kitchen

Because I’ve been away there hasn’t been a lot of kitchen activity.

Before I left, I did, however, make this fabulous apple brioche frangipane pudding. It’s the perfect pudding to make for perfect pudding type of weather.

My book club is currently working our way through the Bronte sister’s backlist. We’ve just completed Agnes Grey (which we all enjoyed). Just as we did when we finished Wuthering Heights, we had an online cooking class to bake something inspired by the novel. This time it was soda bread. I’ll have the recipe up on BKD over the next few days.

Okay, that’s us all caught up. Time, I think, to crawl out of bed and get this Saturday morning started properly. There’s a batch of Baileys ice cream that needs to be made if I’m going to have a pudding to serve our dinner guests tonight.

Have a fabulous weekend.

Author: Jo

Author, baker, sunrise chaser

26 thoughts

  1. So much wonderful food here! That last picture of your bread with a thick spread of butter reminded me that my mother often referred to bread as a “butter transportation device.” Like mother, like daughter… I enjoy good bread, but, even more, I love butter!

    1. I’m with you on the butter front. The Danish have a word for it that loosely translates to tooth joy.

  2. I thought that apple brioche frangipane pudding was scalloped potatoes at first 😅. I imagine that would be a shock biting into it and expecting something totally different!

  3. What a great catchup Jo, I’m so happy you got to see your family again after all this time. How good is that bread!!

  4. What a fabulous catch-up, Jo. I love the pumpkins from your Mum’s garden. A coincidence that we both wrote about distilleries. Your pudding and soda bread look delicious. Thank you for linking with #weekendcoffeeshare.

    1. Your distilleries have whisky though where mine just had gin – and that makes yours so much better lol.

  5. Hi Jo – so lovely you could spend time with your parents (and the incredible pumpkin crop!) and also it must have been good to go back into the office for some face to face “real” interaction after all this time away. It sounds like things are settling back into some semblance of saneness for you and I hope you’re enjoying the weekend back home again x PS that apple thingie looks delicious and Bailey’s icecream – YUM!

  6. Hi Jo. Great to catch up again. It’s so good tgss as t you were able to catch up with family. Like you, I haven’t been brave enough to go interstate yet n case border gets shit down. My son and grandsons were coming from Noosa to visit next week. Unfortunately no go now. Your food photos are making me salivate as always

    1. I really feel for you guys in another lockdown and missing your family. I had delayed going to Sydney for exactly that reason – a fear I’d be stuck on the wrong side of the border. Take care.

  7. Hi Jo, lovely to catch up with you as always and another post full of beautiful photography, especially the food! The Sunshine Coast certainly has some little gems to visit, doesn’t it? I should organise a weekend to explore with Mike and maybe catch up with a certain author I know 🙂 My cousins on both sides of my family have completed family histories and I am intrigued by meeting people from my past. It certainly can get to hooked that’s for sure but I also think it is important to keep the documentation of our history going. Have a beautiful week my friend. xx

    1. You should come up for a weekend…and catch up with that author you know. Who knows, she might just cook dinner for you…

  8. Those massaman curry spring rolls look amazing. And sound good.

    I’m glad your trip to Sydney went well and you didn’t get stuck.

    Do you think you’ll find any inspiration from doing the family history work for your writing? Any salacious stories of relatives long-passed?

    1. There are so many stories, Deb. And yeah, I do have some ideas, but the ideas are beginning to pile up one behind the other in my head at the moment!

  9. I am so sorry for the loss of your family member, Jo. Glad you got to finally visit your parents. I am sure they were thrilled to see you again after more than a year. It is wonderful for things to be opening up again. All of my friends and family members are vaccinated, so we have been able to gather again. That distillery looks like an excellent destination. Good drinks and good food!

    1. Thanks Laurie. It was certainly good to finally see family again. Here’s to a great week.

  10. That distillery looks neat. The food posts look yummy. Love your moms pumpkins. My son in laws parents and brother have a pumpkin patch that is a big part of our community and I’ve helped work at it for several years.

    1. I always love rummaging around in Mum’s garden to see what she’s got coming up. Have a lovely week.

  11. I would be afraid to travel and get stuck outside the border too; our regulations change often but at least we can get from state to state without having to worry about not getting back home.

  12. Thank you for making time to see me – it was so good to catch up, especially over dumplings! Super impressed and very envious of your mum’s pumpkin patch, they’re amazing. I love that you’re researching your family history, I wish I’d asked my mum and my nana more questions and listened better when they talked about the old days and the rellos! Hope you have a great week x

  13. I can’t stay to write a long comment….because I have to go grab a snack now.
    This post has made me very, very hungry. 😀
    Your food photography is excellent … and taken from a side angle as recommended. You are always way ahead of me! 😀

  14. I see so much happening here in recent times…gosh you covered a lot of ground. I am so pleased you did get back home and wow…those pumpkins. I imagine the Big Smoke was OK for a while but you were glad to fly north again.

    Thanks so much for being part of the Life This Week Community by linking up. I always appreciate my blogging friends comments on my post too. Have a great first week of June. See you next Monday I hope. The optional prompt is: Motivate. Denyse.

  15. I can’t believe end of May was two weeks ago, Jo. I am enjoying catching up reading my favourite blogs. I have been out of the loop on the recent shut downs, such as the state of Victoria. Awesome photos, which reminds me I want to catch up on the two classes I missed. The city photo of the buildings looks even better enlarged.

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