Catching Up – Sunday July 11, 2021

The Citizens of The Great Barrier Reef sculpture

Alrighty, where to start?

There’s been plenty happening since we last spoke, but let’s just concentrate for now on the past week – most of which I spent on holiday in Cairns, in Far North Queensland. Thankfully our snap three-day lockdown was lifted in time for us to fly out on Sunday morning as planned and even though I was back in the day job on Friday, it was still a lovely break.

I’ll give you more detail later in the week, but for now…

One thing I baked

These gluten-free things-to-do-with-leftover-egg whites chocolate biscuits. I’d made vanilla ice-cream (to which I’d added broken up Flake chocolate so it was like a vienetta icecream) so that meant I had five egg whites to use – which was, coincidentally, the exact number I needed for the biscuits.

Oh, and I baked these crumpets too…for breakfast last Saturday morning.

One thing I did for my health

Cairns Marina

I almost left this category out this week as while we were away I ate all the food and drank all the wine. (And yes, I will do a foodie post over the next week or so…) I did, however, walk between 15,000 and 20,000 steps a day each day we were away. That’s balance, isn’t it?

I know…the hard work begins again on Monday. Heavy sighs.

One tree

Curtain Fig Tree in the Atherton Tablelands

I’m participating in Becky B’s square challenge this month – the theme of which is trees…in a square format. I’m not sure whether I’ll continue posting each day, but I’m loving trawling through my old pics to find trees I can crop into squares.

Rather than link them all here, just go to my home page. Oh, and this tree counts as todays #treesquare.

One Waterfall

There were plenty to choose from last week. This one was the first we came across at Malanda. I’ll show you more later in the week.

One book I read

I finally finished Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre. When I say finally finished, it wasn’t because I found it slow-going, but rather that we’ve been reading it in book club – a number of chapters at a time, discussing those and then moving on to the next section.

I didn’t quite finish it in time for last month’s monthly reading round-up (which you’ll find here) but there were so many passages where the story took my breath away. A fabulous book made even more fabulous because I shared it with the fabulous women in my fabulous book club. That’s a whole lot of fabulous, but absolutely no exaggeration.

One surprise package

I was delighted to receive this hand thrown pottery mug and biscuit tray from a writerly friend who is very obviously super talented – as well as being super generous. It’s just perfect for tea.

One thing I wrote

While I’ve barely touched It’s In The Stars over the last week, I did finish my structural edit for The Little Cafe By The Lake and even sent it off for copy edit. The quickest structural edit ever. I wrote about that here and a little bit about how Cairns features (albeit briefly) in the novel.

One thing I bought

It will probably come as a surprise to absolutely no one that while I detest shopping (in general) and mall shopping (in particular) I make an exception for books and kitchenware. And yesterday I splurged a whole $20 and bought what I like to refer to as a pasta tree. (Note to self, I could have used this in the #treesquare challenge.)

It breaks down to pack away, but is the perfect way to ensure my pasta doesn’t stick together and get railroad trackie.

For the record, the pasta recipe I use is this one by Angela Hartnett. It’s super easy to remember: for each serve, 100g 00 pasta flour, 1 egg, a teaspoon of olive oil.

Okay, that was my week… how was yours?

Author: Jo

Author, baker, sunrise chaser

41 thoughts

  1. Love, love, love the pasta tree, Jo. I definitely agree that that counts as a Trees Squared photo.
    So glad that you and Grant had a great time a way. I can’t wait to catch up@

    1. It’s a Curtain Fig Tree so what looks like moss is actually roots. It’s a fascinating tree – and there are a few like it up in Far North Queensland in the old growth rainforest.

  2. Jo, Your baking looks delicious. Magnificent trees and waterfall. You could definitely use the pasta tree for the #treesquares challenge. Glad you had a good trip to Cairns and well done with your walking and writing. Thank you for linking with #weekendcoffeeshare.

    1. We got very lucky that lockdown lifted in time. I have Kiwi friends who had ducked into Sydney for a few days who are now stuck there.

  3. I am really happy to hear how you did get away for a break, Jo. Your food photos are always wonderful and many of the recipes seem doable. You often inspire me. Kudos on all of the walking! I was in awe of the waterfall photos on Instagram. A cute photo of you and your main squeeze.❤️ I agree with the “fabulous.”

  4. What a lovely week Jo and I was following your Cairns trip on Instagram. Those cookies look delicious and aren’t you clever coming up with a way to use the leftover egg whites. I’m also impressed with your pasta making but more than that the thingy thing you hang the pasta on. Another cooking lesson for us perhaps? I think the break away for you and Grant was just what you needed and you both looked so relaxed. Enjoy your week, it’s always hard to come back to reality after a break away isn’t it? xx

    1. My freezer is full of little bags of egg whites, Sue, so I’m always looking for something new to do with them.

  5. Fortunately I read this post just before we are leaving to have dinner at a friends house. If I hadn’t I’d for sure be raiding the fridge… although I know there is nothing yummy in there. I think your pasta tree is perfect for the challenge!

  6. That pasta tree is perfect for #treesquare Jo, and deserves it’s very own post I think! Your time in cairns looks brilliant and just what you needed, I’ve enjoyed seeing your photos of what you got up to along the way. Your bookclub sounds like a stunning group of women, if i do say so myself 🙂

  7. Sounds like a lovely break! Those chocolate biscuits look deliciously evil. The pasta tree is great! I would never have thought there was such a thing to be perfectly honest. I hope you’ve had a lovely weekend and hope the week ahead is a good one, Jo!

    1. I’m sure there’s a different name for it, but I happen to like pasta tree so am sticking with that.

  8. Hi Joanne, I loved your tree photos and am generally a lover of all-thing tree related.
    During Marsha’s recent story chat, I discovered the tree-square project, but it was a busy day and I missed the main point that photos had to be square ( I know, I was distracted, but I saw and acted on the tree part by sending over links to several tree-related stories with a few photos that weren’t even square. . .
    ugh, but okay, I’ve caught up with the idea and will do better.
    Your photos make me want to visit those trees and just admire and learn about them. Maybe daydream about climbing them as I reached that age where I really don’t belong up any tree anymore.

    I laughed and can’t understand how you resisted submitting that photo of your pasta tree. I would not have been able to resist that stunt.

    Thanks for a fun post to start my day.

    1. Thanks for dropping by Gary. My concentration span isn’t normally good enough for the month-long challenges, but this one is trees…and I have a lot of photos of trees. Have a great week.

  9. My youngest has been making pasta almost daily in lockdown so we are getting good use of our pasta tree. Your pics are so joyful – I love that sculpture. #Lifethisweek

    1. I love that sculpture too – it really says what it is: citizens of the reef. Have a good week.

  10. I know just how you feel; we just spent our weekend away pigging out on all the foods. We did a lot of walking too but I’m not sure we walked enough to counter balance all the good foods. Your baking looks delicious!

  11. Your getaway sounds fabulous Jo. The waterfall reminded me of when we were in Malanda many years ago on the Qld bike ride. I love the way your book club is just reading a few chapters at a time, instead of an entire book. There is so much to discuss with Jane Eyre so slow is perfect. I’ll have to try to find a new book club as it looks like ours may not get going again post Covid. I do miss it

  12. I’m the same about shopping and that pasta tree is a total gem – I love that it folds away to store! A level and degree level English put me off the classics but maybe I should revisit some of them! The biscuits look yummy but you really had me at Flake ice cream! Can’t wait to hear about your tropical adventures and travel vicariously through you – it all looked pretty amazing on the ‘gram! Hope you have a great week! x

  13. Nice to see all the baking, fun outings, water and tree pics etc Jo – obviously a great week – and I’m sure all those steps burnt off the extra calories! The chocolate biscuits and flake icecream sound delicious and I think I’m glad I live a long way away from you for the sake of my waistline!

  14. Ok I have to admit I don’t think of crumpets as something you can make, only buy. Weird how some things are that way in my brain. Nothing interested to report in my life, the past 5 ish weeks have been in bed, post surgery, and then bronchitis so… really nothing!!

  15. Go you on the #treesquare challenge. I knew I could do it as a weekly blog post so that’s how I approached it. That Curtain Fig tree…I remember being in awe when I saw it in 2010 on my day in the hinterland tour. Yay for an additional tree…the pasta one!!

    Thank you for linking up for LifeThisWeek. It’s always good to see you link up a post. Next week, the optional prompt is 29/51 Please. 19 July. I will be sharing a post about Head and Neck Cancer in the lead up to World Head & Neck Cancer Day 27.7.2021. Gotta keep the awareness happening! Take care, Denyse.

  16. I love all the photos…that mug is gorgeous…I want to make homemade pasta….those cookies and crumpets look yummy. I think i’d like to try making crumpets.

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