Most of August has been spent in Lockdown 6. I can't wait until the pools open, children return to school and I can visit family outside Melbourne. I am a little tired of the 5km outside my house but it seems it could be months until we are able to see much more of the world and our social circles. Thank goodness for friends who live close by to walk and chat with. Watching case numbers rising is scary but is tempered by hope of seeing more and more jabs in arms, which is our passport out of this lockdown. I have now had my second vaccination, as have many of my family and friends. I also have recently had a covid test as exposure sites grow in our area in the north of Melbourne. There have been lots of zoom meetings, walks and bike rides. But not many plans!
Above is a plate of working-from-home lunch. I had some leftover Mexican rice, which I served with avocado on sourdough bread. The Mexican rice was a huge batch that lasted a while and was great with different vegies added in on different days.
I had my second vaccination at the Exhibition Buildings during lockdown. It was a far longer ride than I had anticipated when I booked a location near work. Before I left home I made myself a snack. These savoy dry biscuits with brie and strawberry kept me going long enough. On the ride home as I passed the pub where I sometimes go with colleagues and was hungry for an eggplant parma and a laugh.
I have been sewing and knitting and darning. Seems anything counts as excitement in lockdown. I have had to sew up sheets that have had holes scratched in them by a naughty cat. Then I took up some knitting because it is a nice thing to do in front of tv. Then I decided I would have a go at darning the heel on some old socks. I much prefer shopping in store so the less I need to buy new clothes, the better. Darning socks late at night felt so old school but I have got to admit, it is more of a hobby than a necessity. I was so curious about darning for so long that it still seems like a miracle that I can do it.
Banoffee Tim Tams sounded intriguing. They were disappointing. The banana smell was a bit much, the vanilla biscuit was inferior to the chocolate biscuit, and the caramel filling was too little. I had one (or two) after baked beans and cheesy garlic bread for another working from home lunch.
Sylvia and I have been rather partial to these Choc Berry fruity pillows for a snack. The jam flavour was more prominent but I still like that they are a chocolate cereal.
Chocolate has been a bit of a comfort in lockdown. We were tempted by the Raspberry Smash Mars Bar. I am a sucker for trying a new flavour. These ones were ok but these ones were no match for the originals.
Following on from a successful lockdown zoom quiz night in July, my workplace had a another in August. Every participant was given an UberEats voucher. I decided to try a local dumpling restaurant that I had been hopping to try. I ordered spring onion pancake, panfried vegetarian dumplings, panfried vegetarian buns, vegetable spring rolls and crispy eggplant in teriyaki sauce. I was a little confused about which dish each sauce was meant for. The meal was rather beige and deep fried but fun to try some different dishes. The spring rolls were the best - wonderful and crispy. The dumplings had quite a lot of mushroom in them and the I wasn't sure about the buns filling but think it was quite a lot of egg. UberEats just does not give the chance to quiz a waiter about your order. The eggplant was not a great choice by itself and was quite pricey for a side dish at about $22. It would have been better to order rice with it. However it was a generous serving and great for leftovers.
Here is one of my leftover meals with eggplant. I chopped some to put on a home made pizza together with tomato sauce, mushrooms, capsicum, olives and cheese. It was excellent (thanks mum for encouraging me to try it). I also had some mixed into Mexican rice and some mixed into a noodle tofu and vegetable stirfry.
My garden is thriving with some warm weather and spring rains. I am really pleased how healthy my lavendar is looking. If you look closely you can see buds just ready to flower. A friend of mine showed me how you can put a sprig of lavendar in your face mask for some floral fragrance.
There is much hope in the pots in the backyard. The blueberries at the back have many promising blossoms. Parsley and mint are vying for real estate in the left pot. My johnny jump-ups (wild pansies) are starting to grow back. I love how hardy they are and their pretty and edible flowers. And the pot at the front is geraniums which have a flower about to bud. As it gets warmer I have to be more diligent with watering again. I have a couple of days leave this week so might be able to give the garden some attention.
This is not my finest photo but I am sharing it because the red cabbage kraut was given to me by a friend. I rode to her house for a walk along Edgar's Creek recently. It was so lovely to get out into nature without a crowd. (Merri Creek is great but gets so busy.) I took her a fresh loaf of sourdough bread because it had been her birthday recently and her husband brought out a jar of the kraut. It is great with bread and cheese or just sprinkled over dinner.
Last week a friend dropped by to gift me a bottle of her fine lockdownade. Kerin is has fantastic craft skills and made gorgeous labels saying "when lockdown gives you lemons, made lockdownade". The lockdownade was made with lemons and lilypily berries from her garden. It was absolutely delicious, especially as it was made with generosity and kindness.
I am sending this post to Sherry of Sherry's Pickings for the In My Kitchen event. If you would like to join in, send your post to Sherry by 13th of the month. Or just head over to her blog to visit more kitchens.