I’ve been a bit quiet lately, and for good reason – since my last post I’ve moved to London. I was granted a five-year ancestry visa and within a month I was on a plane with as much of my life crammed into a suitcase.
When I tell people I’ve moved overseas it takes them by surprise, but the truth is this move has been on the cards for at least a decade. Circumstances have meant that I wasn’t able to do it until now, although I came close a few times.
Winter has well and truly set in in Sydney – I’m already dreaming of warm sandy beaches and short sleeves but that’s a long way off yet! To keep warm I’ve been doing a fair bit of baking lately and thought I’d try these muffins as a cold afternoon’s snack. They turned out rather delicious, and they’re even better with a piping hot cup of tea.
Terrariums are making a big comeback – I remember the terrariums of old which were usually an ugly plastic globe-shaped container on a stand that darkened the corner of every 1970s lounge room. Thankfully much has changed since then and they are now an artform in themselves (see Paula Hayes and Clea Cregan).
So the other day I was buying something in one of those junk shops – you know the ones, they sell everything from pet collars to feather dusters and Batman costumes – and saw a bowl that would be perfect for making a terrarium. It’s also my Mum’s birthday this week and I was toying with the idea of making one for her too if my first one was successful. So far, so good – here’s how I did it.
We’ve just had the Queen’s Birthday long weekend and the weather was pretty miserable which got me thinking about a nice hearty dish I could cook. When I was in Indonesia a couple of months ago I had the most fantastic Beef Rendang which I’ve been dying to try at home, so this seemed like a pretty good opportunity.
I made a trip to Meat Emporium in Alexandria for some beef – I usually buy my beef from The Free Range Butcher at North Sydney produce markets (their New York steaks are the BEST), but Meat Emporium is always a reliable backup and stocks some great quality grass-fed beef. I picked out a tray of cubed rump steak and searched far and wide for an authentic Indonesian recipe. My version is a bit of a mix of several recipes and my own additions, and I can say it came pretty damn close to the Balinese version.
As the seasons change from autumn to winter in the southern hemisphere, I’m surprised to see so much colour in the garden. There are still some flowers in bloom and the leaves are changing colour daily from yellow to red before falling in great drifts along the driveway. Here are a few photos I took around the garden for colour inspiration.