Christmas in February (!) and other fun things

20 February 2021

We had a Gee family reunion last weekend, to coincide with Chinese New Year and because the Sydney and ACT border was open once more! Lockdowns happen so quickly these days that I didn't feel sure it would happen until everyone was on their way.

We went to yum cha, exchanged Christmas presents (!) that'd been held onto from our postponed December gathering, and just enjoyed being in each other's company for two jam-packed days. I sent my brothers home with granola for the week ahead - it still feels weird that everyone comes to us. It used to be Tony and I jumping in the car for Sydney family celebrations, and I really appreciate being able to play host.

On New Year's Day I took my first ever cultural day of leave at work - something I only learned about this year. It meant I could spend the day with my parents. I can't remember the last time I was with family for the New Year, especially after we left Sydney, and think it may have been around 10 years ago! We had lunch, went the the art gallery and just hung around at my house. It was lovely.

In other news, Tony made a label for a local winery. It's a pet nat that's just gone on sale and we've been having fun spotting it in wine shops around the city.

We also might be moving. We learnt this week that our apartment is for sale, which could mean staying on depending on who buys it. Every other time we've moved in the last 10 years, we've had just 2-3 days to find a place and do a frantic search and see what we get offered. But this time we might have a couple of months to look and find a place, which is kind of exciting. I'm hoping to find somewhere we'll really love rather than a place that'll do the job. And having been home and working from home for so long now, I'm thinking a change could be a very good thing.

Finally, some fun (and bleak) stuff to share: 

I laughed a lot while listening to Louis Theroux interview his cousin Justin Theroux on his podcast Grounded. My friend Farz recommended this ep - I didn't know much about Justin Theroux and wouldn't have listened otherwise but it made my Thursday. 

Remember the Reply All Test Kitchen series I recommended a few weeks ago? Turns out the company that made it is just as toxic as the one they were reporting on 😑 While it's not totally surprising, it is very disappointing and confusing.

My friend Sean's father was on Conversations, telling the story his time as a teacher of a one-room school. It's an incredible story and I've just reserved his book from the library. 

I watched the final instalment of To All The Boys I Ever Loved Before: Always and Forever on Netflix last weekend and loved it. I only got into the movies after a cousin recommended them and I'm so glad I did. There's something very powerful about watching a teen rom-com with an Asian girl as the lead.

And I'm really enjoying Under the Influence with Jo Piazza, a podcast series about the rise of mum influencers on the internet and Instagram.

Hope you're well!


Pasta, pickles and podcasts

06 February 2021

We passed this cute flower stand in Exeter last weekend, during a visit to the Southern Highlands. It was such a lovely trip, we had lunch at Moonacres in Robertson, visited the big potato (!) and stopped into Pecora Dairy to buy some cheese. Tony's mum made the nicest buttermilk chicken and cous cous for dinner and I also visited my uncle's place and admired all his fruit trees. It's super rainy in Canberra this weekend, so I'm going to make poke bowls and watch The White Tiger on Netflix. I am keeping everything crossed for next weekend, when my Sydney fam is coming to visit for Chinese New Year. So looking forward to it - I still have some Christmas pressies to give!

Some things to share: 

I'm listening to The Test Kitchen, a Reply All series about Bon Appetit and systemic racism. 

Hetty McKinnon made a cheese and Vegemite scroll recipe for ABC Everyday and it's super fun!

Highly recommend making Zuni-style pickles. They're super zingy ands so good for pickle and cheddar melts. 

My latest WFH afternoon pick-me-up is Heidi's chocolate oat milk.

I'm really enjoying Lisa Marigliano's new podcast Tough Love, which drops every fortnight. It's about this weird slow-motion pandemic time and also about the big things you think about in your mid thirties - work, family, and having kids.

I made fusilli alla Vodka this week and it was so good. 

And finally, I really liked this interview with chef Roy Choi. He has such an interesting and open outlook on life. I've mostly seen him in Chef show, and have started watching his LA show Broken Bread and am definitely going to hunt down more episodes. 

P.S My tomatoes are ripening! Every morning I go out and see what's ready for picking. It's daggy and nice.