February – all wrapped up…

Did you know that the word February comes from the Latin word februa, meaning “to cleanse”? It was named after the Roman Februalia, a month-long festival of purification and atonement. Well, so I read somewhere… 

The month the rains came.

Grant waiting for the excess water in the pool to empty…again

This year the weather gods have taken that “to cleanse” part to ridiculous degrees and February has been wet. It’s been easier to count the number of dry days than wet ones (hint – you won’t need all your fingers). Not only has it been the wettest February on record, but one where here on the Sunny Coast we had almost 90% of our annual rainfall in just…wait for it… 4 days. That’s over 900mm of rain in just 4 days – 300mm of which fell on Friday in just a few hours. That day I was running the backwash on our pool constantly for a couple of hours and it was still overflowing.

Thankfully we’re sitting quite high and proud so other than a few leaking spots in the roof and a swimming pool that currently is the approximate colour of a muddy river in flood, we’ve come through it okay. That hasn’t been the case for thousands of others in Gympie, Maryborough, Brisbane, and Northern NSW impacted by rising rivers. The pictures and statistics are heart-breaking.

The single road in and out of our estate was closed for most of Friday and Saturday due to floodwaters – I’d show you the videos, but they’re all posted on a private Facebook page. Let’s just say the water was moving quite fast and was, in places, waist-high.

It was quite the tourist attraction down there for a time with the usual number of idiots attempting to drive through, stalling, and having to be rescued from their then abandoned cars.

the road into our estate

What I watched…

It was a good month for telly, with new episodes of Death in Paradise (Foxtel), Vera (ABC TV) and Midsomer Murders (ABC TV). I also enjoyed The Long Call (SBS) and a couple of new series on Acorn: Madam Blanc Mysteries and Chelsea Detective. Plus, The Great Australian Bake-off (Foxtel) is back.

What I read…

Obviously you’ll need to wait until What’s On Your Bookshelf for the full lowdown (mark your calendars for March 18, but here’s what I read… As for my favourite book of the month? Again, you’ll need to wait for WOYB…but rest assured it definitely was not Multipliers (which I had to read for the day job).

What I wrote

I began February strongly, but as the rain came down, so did my energy levels. Hey ho.

I did, however, manage a blog each week:

And over on BKD:

Out and About

One of my resolutions this year was for Grant and I to do more things together.

To that end we did a cooking class at Spricers Tamarind (which you can read about here), had a date night at a local restaurant,

at Honeysuckle, Buderim

Sunday lunch at a Hinteland pub

and also went for brunch one Sunday morning down at the beach.

In the Kitchen…

I didn’t realise how busy I’d been in the kitchen until I began typing this up. No wonder I:

  • didn’t lose any weight in February and
  • didn’t get as much written as I would have liked.

Cooking is, however, my way of coping when I feel as though I’m not coping, so I’m not going to beat myself up about either of these things.

While I lost most of my garden veggies in the rain we had early in the month, my eggplants were still producing so I experimented with a few new recipes to use those – my favourite of which was Neil Perry’s spicy eggplant and pork stir-fry.

What else?

Pickings have been limited for most of the month with supply chain issues as a result of covid at the beginning of February. The shelves have again been bare over the past week, but this time as a result of the floods and loss of both fresh produce and the highways being closed. Nevertheless, I did try a few new recipes during February.

This asparagus with eggs and anchovy dressing, this cauliflower soup, this spicy pork with noodles, and this Asian bolognese – also with pork mince. Yes, we could get pork mince.

After an absence of a few months, we reinstated our Destination nights on Saturday nights and visited Scotland with this chicken with a whisky, mustard sauce, and Venice with figs and ricotta, the best home-made pasta I’ve ever made (which we had with prawns, calamari, lemon, chilli and olive oil) and poached peaches with amaretti. As usual, my night photos aren’t great.

Also making a return in February was the Sunday roast. Generally we had friends over to share it with and I experimented on Diana Henry’s roast chicken cooked in milk (surprisingly good), Diana Henry’s Pacific Lime Roast Chicken, classic roast pork with crackling, and roast beef with Yorkshire puddings.

Okay, so that was my February…how was yours?

Author: Jo

Author, baker, sunrise chaser

9 thoughts

  1. I am so sorry to hear about all that rain but so glad that you are okay. I too tend to turn to cooking (and eating) in times of stress and your month sure does sound yummy.

  2. That seems like an awful lot of rain! Did you like the Madame Blanc Mysteries? I enjoyed it and hope she does some more of them.

  3. The rain up there has been relentless Jo and I really feel for all those impacted, and you too of course! All your recipes and food links made me quite hungry, I will definitely go look at that mini lemon pav. Love catching up with all doings, hope March is a bit drier for you!

  4. Despite the rain (which we missed out on completely over the last 2 months – it’s as dry as a dead dingo’s donger here in WA) it sounds like you had a good month. Our shelves at Coles are quite bare too and it’s an adventure going shopping to see what might or might not be available on any particular week. Coffee and cat biscuits are missing in action – so our cats and I are going to be VERY cranky soon if things don’t pick up in the near future! Other than that, my February was pretty Fabulous (as per last week’s catch up post) xx

  5. How are things now? Hope you are drying out. Hard to believe two years ago there were forest fires. Lots of lovely food there and love the idea of a destination night!

  6. Those are bare shelves. Good grief. Is that because of the tremendous flooding? Covid repercussions? Something else? Wow. Bless your heart, you may lose that weight in the very near future if things don’t get restocked soon.

    I am trying to keep a very full pantry because of the situation in the Ukraine. And the inflation taking over our country. Shopped yesterday and things were pretty much available with a few bare spots.

    That photo of the cooking school is gorgeous. All that green. What a quaint little cottage. Hope you both enjoyed that experience. We do a lot of things together, PC and I, but would like to take a course of some sort together. Writing. Photography. Line dancing!!

    Hoping you all are drying out and life is returning to normal. Is it this Christmas coming that you return to England? I loved all of the photos and descriptions from your travels a few years ago. Can’t wait for the next edition.

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