Happy New Year, pals. Wishing you plentiful happy moments and lots of warm chatter with your favourite people.
It’s been a bit nuts here in New Norfolk, to be honest. So much happening and so much to do on a very, very tight budget.
The truck finally came with all our things. My study is piled high with boxes and the cats are loving this new adventure playground. They’ve started scratching at the corners of some cartons, clearly determined to start unpacking if I don’t. So helpful.
Max’s girlfriend and her little boy arrived a few days ago, hoping to get ahead of a possible border closure. They were due in a couple of weeks time, but speedily rescheduled when the New South Wales COVID outbreak began to creep across the Victorian border.
They have their own space downstairs which is brilliant. They even have their own fireplace to keep things cosy. Not that we need it right now. The weather has been beautiful, sunny and warm.
My brother (who owns the house we are renting) and my mum (legends!) got things ready for us before we came, but naturally there are things to be done now that we are actually here. Furniture to track down, gardens to be tidied and planted, window coverings to be reassessed, and on it goes.
It’s a beautiful house, though. Big and light and airy with those gorgeous, giant windows that look out over the valley and onto the hills.
Because we’ve been dealing with the sad aftermath of my Nan’s passing, there has been no time to explore or do fun things. I guess that can wait, but I am itching to visit my favourite childhood beaches and trek some ferny national parks. And to visit Michelle!!! All in good time, I suppose.
We did make time to go down to Constitution Dock and buy mussels off the Mako barge for New Year’s Eve dinner, though. I cooked them in a tomato broth and we gobbled them up with too-big chunks of baguette. Delicious!
I’m excited to start work again with some mentoring sessions to help some good folk get a brilliant start on the year. I have lots of other work-related ideas, but need to get that box room clear and sorted before I can launch into those in earnest. And come March I start studying again after a hiatus due to the move and Nan situation. I always find that helps to focus and motivate me, so I can not wait to get cracking.
I’ve been doing a LOT a LOT a LOT of cooking and sharing the results on Instagram pretty religiously. I can’t get enough of the beautiful kitchen view and the lovely light in the late afternoon. Counting my lucky stars as I bake those almost-daily focaccia, I tell you! (Recipe below!)
550g of strong white flour (bread-making flour)
7g sachet of dried yeast
400ml of warm water
1 tablespoon of olive oil
1 teaspoon of salt
toppings: fresh or dried herbs, chilli flakes, salt flakes, whatever you fancy!
Mix the yeast into the warm water.
Pop the flour into a large bowl and make a well in the centre.
Pour the olive oil and the yeast water into the well.
Mix until well combined and shaggy.
Let the dough rest for ten minutes.
Add the salt and mix again. I like to slap it around a bit.
Cover with plastic wrap (or your preferred wrap) and let the dough rise for one hour.
Plop into an oiled baking sheet (one with low sides – about an inch or so high.)
Press the dough out to the corners as best you can.
Poke holes into the dough with your fingertips. Sprinkle with your toppings and more olive oil.
Bake in a hot oven for 30 minutes or until golden and nicely cooked.