Autumn things

22 March 2021

Autumn is my favourite season in Canberra. The mornings are darker, the air is cooler, and the apple orchards are open again. I've been buying hot cross buns from different bakeries whenever I can, and at the end of busy weeks we've been wandering up to a Japanese cafe near us that's started a ramen and donburi night. 

I went back to work the other week for the first time in over a year and am now working one day in the office each week. I've really enjoyed WFH but this year it's definitely felt harder as construction has ramped up in my area. I really love being back in the office and find it really peaceful. Running into people and chatting is also the nicest way to break up the work day and gain a little perspective - at home, it's just non-stop work and my own thoughts.

Some nice things to share: 

Emiko Davies' Italian kitchen renovation 😍

How to pick the perfect avocado (this has been game-changing for me!). 

Hetty McKinnon's quick and creamy ravioli. It's just the kind of dish you want to make and eat when you don't feel like cooking.

I love a chocolate lava cake and these ones by Eric Kim are super easy and can be made just for two! It's also quick, so you can make it on a whim. 

And two very different podcast recommendations... I've been listening to the odd episode of The Dave Chang Show after finishing his memoir and really enjoyed this interview with his executive coach. And Anna Sale, host of Death, Sex & Money, is a guest of this podcast episode that's all about misunderstandings in parenting. She joins two other mothers (both writers) and one of the things that makes it great is they're all at different stages of the parenting journey from toddlers all the way through to adult children with kids of their own. 

P.S It's been the roughest news cycle so hope you've been able to take breaks and tune out when you need to. 


Good stuff

08 March 2021

Hello from autumn! We're at the tail end of a long weekend here in Canberra, and it's been perfect weather for bike riding, shower-time candles and eggplant parm

The last few weeks have felt almost normal. I went back to a yoga studio for the first time in more than a year and it was so nice to not be practicing in my lounge room. I appreciated every little detail - from the music I didn't have to choose to the nice soft lighting.

Tony and I also ventured out to the movies to watch Minari on the big screen. I'd forgotten what it was like to watch a film with strangers, hearing someone really enjoy a funny line or someone else crying in a dramatic scene. I thought the film was excellent and still find it so moving to see a mostly Asian cast (the film centers around a Korean American family who tries to set up a farm with zero experience). If you're curious, this podcast profile of the lead actor Steven Yeun (based on a NY Times article that was doing the rounds a few months ago), is a good taster.

We squeezed in one last beach trip before summer ended. It was on our wish-list and luckily for us, our friends Angie and Dave had a spare room in a cottage they'd rented in Milton. It wasn't great weather for swimming so we spent most of our time going for walks and eating :) I especially loved the lobster rolls at Small Town, an epic salad sandwich from a newish bakery in Burrill Lake and the honeycomb gelato from a chocolate shop in Milton (I regret not buying any chocolate - the choc honeycomb Angie bought was insane!). But mostly I loved the low-key moments - eating bacon and eggs in the yard, hanging out after dinner in our pjs and a super long beach walk in the sun.

Here are a couple of things I've been enjoying lately:

Tony gave me a copy of David Chang's memoir Eat a Peach for Valentine's Day and I loved it. It might be my favourite book of the year so far. It was funny in ways I didn't expect and even thought I've followed his career for years, there was plenty in there that surprised me.

I always turn to recipes by Heidi Sze after weekends away, or anytime I've eaten out more than usual. In this past week I've made her couscous salad with corn, snowpeas and halloumi and her one-pan quinoa with sweet potato and beans

For anyone who occasionally bakes sourdough at home - this book from Pigeon Whole Bakers in Hobart has my favourite recipe so far. It makes one loaf at a time, doesn't take up your whole day and has a high success rate too! I almost gave up on making bread at home but this recipe has changed my mind.

I adored this episode from the Still Processing archive, all about Whitney Houston. I am slowly taking up running (it forces me out of the house while I'm still WFH) which has also meant more podcast time :) 

Finally, on my to-bake list, this apple and blackberry pie

P.S I finally got to see Skywhale today and the new hot air balloon Skywhale Papa!