April has us holding our breath as we wait for the federal election to be announced. Meanwhile we are still concerned about Covid numbers, flood victims and the Russian invasion of Ukraine. I am taking a bit over a month of leave to rest and look after Sylvia. The school holidays start tonight and Easter and ANZAC Day are soon upon us.
Above is a photo of the goodies that my mum sent home with me after I recently visited for lunch and also went to the beach for a swim. I read The Age newspaper online these days but I miss reading the weekend magazines in hardcopy so my mum sometimes saves them for me. She was also making jam so I came home with a quince jelly and a dried apricot and pineapple jam. She had also made a batch of hot cross buns - not her most beautiful but great warm and buttered for breakfast.
I really enjoyed these beetroot and gouda crackers. They are such a vibrant pink and have a lovely cheesy taste and snap. I was surprised after starting the packet when I checked and found they were gluten free. It is amazing how much more quality and variety there are in gluten free products over the past 15 years since my family first had celiac diagnoses.
I have done a lot of working from home this year but I have enjoyed it when I have gone into the office. Sylvia helped me make these blueberry muffins for a morning tea recently. They were lovely and fluffy with jammy blueberries. I was glad I took them in as the other person on morning tea made some stunning (but very non-vegetarian) maple and bacon cupcakes.
My mum bought me this vegan moussaka which I really enjoyed for dinner with some bread. I really loved the nuts and seeds decoration on top of the vegan cheese sauce.
Our No-Junk-Mail sign on our letterbox fell off so I had to buy a new one at Bunnings hardware store. After the purchase, I fancied some pesto and rode on up to O'Hea's Bakery which sells a good one. I was also tempted by the spaghetti hoops and milk chocolate raspberries. I was spared further temptation because I was limited in what I could carry on the back of my bike because it was an impulse detour and I had not taken decent bags with me.
I remember a time when I was frustrated that I could not grow parsley. It grows like a weed for so many people that having it wither in pots felt like a great failure. It feels like I have really succeeded with parsley in the garden now that it not only grows in a few pots but had also is growing abundantly on the edge of our astro turf!
Do you remember the supermarkets had alarmingly empty shelves at the start of the pandemic in March 2020? One of my significant purchases was a 3 litre bottle of rice bran oil. I usually buy 500ml bottles but there were none on the shelves at the time. So I chanced on the massive bottle and took it home thinking it would get me through. I have periodically decanted some into a smaller bottle which I find easier to handle. I decanted the last of this huge bottle a week or so ago. It seems like the bottle has lasted a long time, especially as I have cooked less over the past year or two. However I suspect I would have been shocked in March 2020 to find that it would last me two years but would not outlast the Covid pandemic!
This photo is of some interesting recent supermarket purchases. The caramel choc chips are fascinating. They are like a cross between something to eat as finger food and something to bake with. The salted caramel biscuits were extraordinarily rich and creamy. It was no surprise that I loved the Chokito Bites with their fudgy centres, given that I love a Chokito chocolate bar. The Sourdough Crisps have a very moreish cheesy flavour and a pleasingly light crispness. I have always loved McVities chocolate digestives but these hazelnut caramel ones take them up a notch with a chewy caramel between the digestive and chocolate. And I am yet to open the Heinz soy and vinegar street sauce. I bought it both because it was on special and because I wondered if it was similar to Ponzu Sauce that we love.
One of my nicest afternoons lately has been spending time with a friend browsing an op shop. It was probably my first time at the op shop since the middle of last year so I really enjoyed seeing bargains, wanting beautiful crockery and sharing possibilities for odd plates. The photo shows what I did purchase: some cutlery and an ice cream scoop. I guess I am not doing enough dishes lately because we keep running out of good knives. I have some knives I bought in a bag from an op shop that aren't great quality. I tried not to get tempted at the op shop but 20c each for second hand cutlery seemed pretty reasonable.
Friday night has been pizza night in our house for years. Lately we have bought more pizzas than I have baked. Recently we had had a thing for Crust Pizza. They don't have the vegetarian pizza that I had a lot in my 20s but I order the Hawaiian with no ham, and add in capsicum and olives. And yes I am one of those people who love pineapple on my pizza! Sylvia loves the margherita pizza and the garlic bread. We both love the brownie bites that were 2 for the price of one for a while (but sadly no longer). They come with a fudge sauce and were especially good warmed up.
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 and her wonderful hand drawn header.