Wednesday, December 31, 2014

New Year's Eve

Our apricots and plums are ready for picking and I'm trying two different plum jam recipes - Stephanie Alexander's, which involves leaving the cut plums and sugar covering a muslin bag with the stone kernels buried beneath, over night. The other I found on the internet which, like my stock standard Stephanie apricot jam recipe involves warming the sugar. Last year I tried making jam with 2/3 of the sugar recommended and it was OK. Jen and I decided today that really you just gotta have sugar for successful jam. It's a treat. What the heck!

With a rapidly inflating and reddening foot I made a zucchini feast, given they are now prolific. Zucchini flowers stuffed and fried with Meredith's Got Cheese (yep, every bit as magnificent as they sound)and zucchini pie - all fluffy and covered in home made tomato sauce (not our tomatoes yet, but our eggs, garlic, herbs...)There are now 30 kilos of honey on the kitchen table and it's time for a glass of wine and a quiet slipping into the new year. I feel full of family love and good food and I'm looking forward to this coming year without study and more time to paint and sing and romp with our rapidly growing 'babes'! May your New Year begin with those you love, in safety and happiness and abundance. May your jam set and your Zucchinis flower and your hearts be full!   

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Christmas and beyond

 We ate well on Christmas day - Greek style, not too much, but heartily, with wonderful wine thanks to my brother. It is so lovely to have so much family together. Both our families are interstate and we manage to see each other at least once a year. I wish we were all closer - that we could pop in for visits whenever the urge took us, time going so fast and all. The boys went to the Cricket yesterday for some male bonding and we ladies went to the city and bought underwear - as you do!

I am on a mission these holidays , to make new cushion covers, clean out the cupboards, re shuffle a few things. I would really really like to get rid of the television and turn the lounge room into a quiet, music and book-filled room where we can all sit and do our respective things. We have lived long periods of time with no television and can attest to the serenity and mental and creative space that is suddenly opened up. I heard a quote once; 'television is poly-filler for the third eye' - which I find hilarious and true. Our weeks have become so busy that it is too easy to plonk down on the couch and be spoon-fed entertainment. I tend to knit without paying much attention, but the sound of the TV pervades all.

 Been cooking with as much veg from the garden as harvestable. The tomatoes are on their way and I can't tell you how excited I am. Dreaming of them I am. On toast, in salad,  bitten into like apples with a pinch of salt....

The fruit trees are bent with plums and apricots so no doubt the next week will be spent making jam. We only just ran out of last year's stores.

 The garden has had a summer make-over in preparation for hot January and February days. Beds and cement have been covered with mulch so everything is soft under foot. Our backyard is feeling less and less suburban and more country, which is why we fell for it in the first place.

 Abuleo gave me beautiful pencils for Christmas. I've had the same set since I was 18 (nearly thirty years!!) and some of them are the size of match sticks! These are gorgeous! 

What did Santa bring you? What are your post Christmas days filled with? Love and peace and jam, I am hoping.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Christmas Eve

The house is suddenly and momentarily very quiet - a breath beofre the festivities - the first family Christmas since 1995 - too long and so we are all very happy to be gathering here at our house tomorrow.

We do not have families for whom Christmas is in any way stressful. We are a pretty relaxed bunch on both sides and very grateful for any time shared.

This year we have a lamb for the spit - a Greek feast in preparation. Visitors have come and gone today and the neighbourhood has now gone quiet. The house feels abundant and calm and full of love. 

I spent most of the last two weeks making gifts for the family - knitting most of them and painting a Maytroshka set - all of which have been incredibly enjoyable and satisfying projects given that I've been so busy this year that crafting has fallen a little short.

Our garden has had a very Grown Up face lift and I can't wait to sit out there with my lovely family and feast and tell bad jokes and play games. We might even have a slide night just to top it all off. 

 Who are you spending Christmas with and where? May it be happy, safe and spent in good company.


Sunday, December 14, 2014

Christmas crafting, birthday feasting, garden nesting...

Knitting - Socks and more socks for the men folk!

Celebrating -My birthday beret and an outdoor feast in  our garden being transformed by the day..

Crafting - Kris Kringle for the classroom.

Planting - Summer veges happy as Larry....

Wax on...