Tuesday, June 30, 2015

a less judgmental food attitude



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This post is kindly brought to you by EatNow. When in Sydney you can try it’s very own EatNow page: Sydney CBD Food Delivery and Takeaway. Lots of my friends recommend this site for ordering in because the restaurants available are, well, yummy!
 
If you’ve been reading my blog for a little while now you would be well aware of my love for country living and desires to have a more wholesome, simple life. I am a promoter of home cooking, growing our own food, raising chickens, establishing gardens, planting more trees and giving my child the kind of life that is more aligned with my own wholesome childhood amidst the clashing and clanging that seems to surround the kids of this generation. It’s a hectic living generation. Doing, doing, busy, busy, not much time to rest and relax and get your hands dirty.   No time to stop and smell the roses let alone plant some.

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I have lots of issues with this society, lots. I continually feel the pull of it’s grip and I struggle to fight it off and live more simply everyday but I would say that now, more than ever, I am feeling the benefits of living this redefined life. I know where much of my food comes from and  I have worked towards creating an environment that is as ’away from the rat race’ as I feel possible for Lew’s childhood.

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OK…so with that said, I wanted to raise something that I have experienced within my group of friends and community of the simplistic living sort, and something I have participated in myself, that I’m not feeling all that proud of. 

The judgment thing.

There seems to be a lot of judgment that  goes with people who are trying to move against the grain and live a little less conventionally. I notice it in a lot of my social groups and I’m starting to really feel a concern for the attitude that some people tend to have when they take a  strong stance against the majority. I’ve seen it and felt it within myself as well and I am really trying to make a committed effort to be more balanced and less judgmental on those who do partake in the normal, less simplistic goings on.
So what exactly am I rambling on about? Well, the thing that gets up my nose the most in the simplified living cliques, is the attitude and judgment on others around food. Have you come across it?
Let me give you a couple of little scenarios. I bet you that at least one of them has happened to you, unless of course you are one of those purists who shalt not let a morsel of anything other than organic, wholesome goodness pass through your simple living lips {at least not when anyone’s looking!}.

Scenario 1: That moment when one of these judgmental looks with utter disgust inside your shopping trolley  at the processed bread, God forbid, that your child has flung on the top of your organic quinoa and coconut oil.

Scenario 2: The scowls that are thrown your way when you are caught coming out of your local golden arches drive through.

Scenario 3: The look of horror in the eyes of your simplistic living friend when they notice, inside your bio degradable bag lined recycling bin, a bunch of takeaway containers from the night before.

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That stuff actually really saddens me. I’ve been to children’s birthday parties where one of those simple living fanatics have gone out of their way to explain to the host of the party {a stressed out mum of three who has spent her entire morning baking and preparing with love food for her precious birthday child} why the lemonade she served up was totally inappropriate for human consumption and most certainly would not be partaken of by her two boys – who, at that moment, sat crying in the corner because that lemonade was not organic and sugar free.
What’s happened to the sharing of fun food that, yeh, OK, if eaten all of the time and in large quantities may very well be unhealthy but when taken in small doses is absolutely harmless and more than that, absolutely delicious to devour. Why are we all getting so stressy and judgmental over food? Honestly.

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I’ve learnt my lessons well. I’ve been that controlling, self righteous simple living foodie. I’ve probably even scowled at people’s shopping trolleys. It wasn’t nice. It wasn’t right and I plan to continue avoiding judgment as much as I possibly can while enjoying the lovely life that comes with living more simply and wholesomely. But I want you to know that I sometimes have take away, I sometimes buy processed bread, I sometimes eat from less desirable multinational food chains and I sometimes have a sip of non organic, sugar laden lemonade. And you know what, I’m still breathing, I’m still alive and I’ve still, most importantly, got friends.

Oh, and by the way, next time I go to Sydney I’m going to be looking up EatNow and getting some Turkish yummies from Lezzet Grill and Pide House in Surry Hills just for something fun to do.
Food is meant to be enjoyed so let’s enjoy it and stop being so darn judgmental.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

hello!

 

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Man, I’ve missed this little space!

The past 3 months have been filled with computer issues and so my blogging life had to be put on hold until the hiccups vanished. I honestly didn’t think I’d make it this long without blogging and it has definitely been difficult but there’s been so much going on in this little neck of the woods that life just kept flying right on by and before I knew it autumn left and winter had arrived. So I’ve spent some nice time pottering in the garden trying to get it all sorted since it’s huge neglectful phase over the past summer. the lawn is finally manageable now that the cooler weather has set in and I feel like I can breathe again…for a little while at least.

The past 6 months have been pretty life changing. I don’t share too much of my personal life on here, mainly due to the respect I need to have for the other people involved but I feel the need to share just a little right now because my life has definitely been changed…

But where to start?

I think I’ll just type and see where my words lead me.

So there was a time, not so long ago, where I had a bit of a blogging break. You may remember this post? It was a bit of a personal one about my marriage breakdown.

That was then.

Since that time there has been a lot to deal with in terms of facing my marriage as well as my future. I came to the realisation that I had been living in a lot of denial as I put aside my feelings and needs and made a life for my child based on fulfilling his needs. Thinking I was making a superior parenting/unschooling decision I went about pouring everything into Lew.

But then I woke up one day and realised that this gig of having a child to take care of wasn’t always going to be my main role in life. There would be a time when he would flee the nest and make a life for himself and I would be left with …well, an empty nest and a pretty lonely heart.

The lonely thing began consuming me. I’d wake in a panic thinking about it. I started worrying a lot and my anxiety increased. It was time to pull my head out of the sand and start looking at my life a little more closely.

 

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And then I met someone.

I met a man. A beautiful man. And we clicked.

And after a little while our hearts joined.

 

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And I can honestly say that my life feels complete with this person by my side. He is like that missing puzzle piece. I have never felt so nurtured and cared for and loved in all my life.

I feel so very blessed.  I’ve failed at one relationship. I thought that was the only chance I would get at love. But God has been so generous to me in giving me this gorgeous man and I am constantly tearing up when I think of His grace and mercy in the blessings He has given me.

I couldn’t not share this with you. It’s been too lovely and wonderful not to let you in on it. I feel changed on so many levels. I feel whole. I feel alive. That overwhelmed feeling that I didn’t realise I carried with me all of the time has been lifted. My load feels so much lighter and freeer and easier. I still have troubles, don’t get me wrong. There are many hurdles to be overcome and tensions to be smoothed. But facing life with someone who cares deeply for my wellbeing makes the troubles seem so much more able to bear.

I have found love and I am so very thankful.

Monday, March 23, 2015

garage sale treasures

 

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Three garage sales and three lots of treasure. It was my lucky weekend!

 

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I find it hard to go past pretty glass insulators without taking them home. These purple ones  are extra pretty, I reckon. Loving that big one, extra especially.

 

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This little treasure I bought for the frame but then I realised how much I love the painting so the whole thing will stay together now. I bought this from a garage sale in Bemboka but the actual frame used to hang in the old house at Kameruka Estate. Now that’s special!

 

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OK, I know what you’re thinking. I need another old suitcase like a hole in the head…but…but it’s green. Green! How could I leave it there all alone with no place to call home? I’m not that unkind.

So off home she came with me.

 

Here’s where the frame ended up …for now.

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And here’s the new home of one of the insulators.

 

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The suitcase has been floating around from place to place. She’s been a tea and cake table, a wine and bikkies table, turned up the other way as a spot to rest my cuppa table. I can also see her in my bedroom as storage and an added bit of zingy green.

Hmmm…decisions decisions.

 

 

So, how about you? Have you found any lovely little treasures on your travels lately?

 

Kim x

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Tuesday, March 17, 2015

country show: stills

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Yah, Lew! And a prize for overall winner.

 

There’s something about a country showground that gets me all inspired.

Old buildings. Rooflines. Flaky paintwork. Corrugated iron. Fresh produce. Crowing roosters. Old tractors. Kids laughing. Serious locals revealing their produce. Felt hats.

So much to love about a country show.

Kim x

Monday, March 16, 2015

unschooling days

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There have been swimming days and

catching up with friends days and

film club days and

gaming days and

drawing days and

art class days and show days and

relaxing days and stressful days and

happy days and sadder days and

busy days and slow days and

writing days and reading days and

computer days and book days and

adventuring days and cosy at home days and

cooking days and eating out days….

But every single day learning has been happening.

That is the beauty of unschooling.

 

Happy week!

 

Kim x

Monday, March 9, 2015

the trials of life

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Another long gap between blog posts.

There seems to be so much going on, so much taking up my time, so many words but few moments to let them fall out onto the screen.

These times are definitely times of trials. Trials that I’m going through and trials that people I love are going through.

 

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The death of my friend’s beautiful Dad. Serious health concerns of two friends. The death of a 15 year old friend. Trials that no one chooses. Life changing trials. Heart breaking trials.

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But it’s in these times of trials that I find myself growing the most spiritually. When things are rosy and smooth I tend not to read my Bible as much, I tend to pray less reverently, I tend to not be so mindful of God. But when the trials come I am forced to take my eyes away from looking at myself and up to Him. That is where I get my comfort and my strength.

I don’t often talk about my beliefs here. I’m fairly private about it, I guess. But lately I’ve been writing some things based around my beliefs, on paper, yep, I still use pen and paper from time to time:) and I feel like sharing some.

There’s always a risk involved with sharing this kinda stuff. A risk that I’ll be judged. A risk that I’ll be scoffed at. A risk that people will turn away. I’m going to share anyway in hope that maybe someone going through their own trials might find some sort of understanding or comfort here.

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In Times of Trials.

She’s felt grace.                                                                                                               

She’s felt mercy.                                                                                                              

She’s felt love.

Yet her wandering mind continues in the wilderness. Away from all of that.

Around and around and around.

Worry.                                                                                                                          

Rumination.                                                                                                             

Perpetual thoughts that won’t leave her alone. Not for a moment.                                        

Not good enough.                                                                                                              

Not enough.                                                                                                                  

Never enough.

Back and forth.

Pain.

Sadness.                                                                                                                     

Regret.                                                                                                                            

Guilt.                                                                                                                        Constant, nagging worry.

 

Not good enough.                                                                                                              

Not enough.                                                                                                                  

Worry.                                                                                                                                

Pain.                                                                                                                               F

Fear.                                                                                                                                

Guilt.                                                                                                                                     

Regret.                                                                                                                                  

Worry.                                                                                                                          

Never enough.

 

“Enough. Be still,” He whispers.                                                                                  

“Look unto me,” He gently lifts her face upward.

Upward and away from herself and her trials and her worry and her fear.

Away from her thoughts and her wanderings.

Grace.

Mercy.

Love.

There it is once again.

She noticed it  and she knew that it had never left.

She noticed it’s awesomeness and sturdiness, it’s gold and silvery beauty.

The worry, the fear, the anguish, the not enough flees her mind.

She is stilled.

Humbled.

The thoughts of self dissolve and her heart is filled with grace and mercy and love.

Perfect grace, mercy and love.

Why does she continually look inward?

Why does she continually look down and away?

 

“Look unto me,” His gentle voice calls.

“Be still and know.”

 

Ahhhh.

That grace.

That mercy.

That love.

Always there. Despite her.

The comfort above all comforts.

Never ceasing.

 

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Kim x

Saturday, February 14, 2015

when life gives you apples make …apple crumble: new blog feature

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It’s that time of year again when there seems to be a bit of a glut in the garden. Tomatoes, zucchinis, cueys, apples. I had a bit of a glut of tomatoes this year though it was an early glut, a pre-Christmas glut and now I’m flat out trying to get more seedlings to hurry up and grow before the cooler autumn weather hits {which I am really, really looking forward to!}.

A lovely friend of mine has had a glut of apples on her trees over the past few weeks and so she’s kindly shared her them with me. So it was out with the peeler {though I often don’t peel the skin off apples for cooking} and on with the oven…apple crumble was in order.

 

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This apple crumble wasn’t going to be eaten here, it was going to be given away and shared.

As I was peeling the apples I started to think about how much I enjoy making food for people. It really does give me a lot of joy. I’ve always loved to cook but the sharing of the meal or cake or crumble or whatever it is I’m making with others is always the thing that brings a smile to my face. Oh, except that time when I was 16 and I made an entire, almost non-edible meal for my new aunty to be on her first dinner at our place. Oh, and the chocolate pudding that I’ve made at least 100 times before which I took to someone’s place, the first time I would be having dinner with these people who are more mutual friends of friends, and it just wouldn’t cook so we had to eat it all gluggy and half raw. Oh and the caramel mud cake that I made for my step mother which had icing on it that I couldn’t break through. The hard as a rock caramel iced cake. My Dad offered to get his chainsaw out. Let’s just say that was a memorable foodie moment of all of ours. Mmmm….not!


Back to happier cooking days. Let’s hope.

So, as I drizzled vanilla into the appley concoction bubbling away on the stove I thought about how nice it would be to have a bit of a blog feature here from time to time that focuses on the making and sharing of food. Not so much a recipe feature but more about the sharing part. I thought how lovely it would be to have the person I share the food with take some photos of the food as they style it and eat it and share with me some of their memories around food sharing in their families and their lives. A bit of a shared post all about sharing food:)

What do you reckon? 

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I’ll need a name for this regular feature so let me know if you’ve got any suggestions. I’m a little bit stumped on ideas at the moment.

So, you want to meet my first food sharer guest?

OK then, well here we go….

 

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Pete is someone close to me but who I really haven’t known for very long. He lives down the coast a little bit but happened to be in town on the day I passed on the apple crumble. He knew that I had taken quite a few photos of the crumble, some of which I shared with him via phone while I was clicking and styling away during the day. As I handed the crumble over to him,  I said to him that there was just one thing I needed. Straight away he knew what I was talking about and told me that he’d already thought about it. I, of course, assumed he had no idea what I was talking about and so I said, what do you think I was going to say? And he said, you need a photo of the crumble served up on an old plate with some fresh cream.

Mind reader or what?

 

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For someone who hasn’t known me for very long I was pretty impressed with his response. And I really loved that he wasn’t totally annoyed by the thought of taking photos {though over time he quickly got sick of my suggestions and tweaks}. He takes a pretty nice photo so when he sent them to me I had a smile on my face from ear to ear. Not only had he taken gorgeous photos but he’d also used a lovely old violets china plate to eat the crumble from.

 

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photo taken by Pete

 

Right away I wanted to know more about that plate. What food was shared on it? Where did the china come from? What were some of Pete’s food sharing memories? Were there food memories attached to this plate?

I wanted the story.

The food sharing story. 

 

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photo taken by Pete

 

The violets china belonged to Pete’s Oma and Opa.  Pete has some lovely memories of meal times being shared around  his Dutch grandparents’ dining table. Hearing about those times had me wishing I could’ve been sitting around the table where that plate once sat, listening to the conversations they would’ve had as a family eating and sharing food together. I realised that some of my favourite memories are based around the sharing of food. It’s such a basic thing that we do each day but it is filled with so many opportunities to connect with the people we love and to communicate and to share.

 

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Pete spent a lot of time with his grandparents growing up. He remembers their dining table which always had a runner down the middle of it. It was a rug kinda material and it was always on the table. His Oma had a china cabinet full of china. These pieces were often not used at meal times but more for display in the house. When Pete was given some of his Oma’s precious things in later years he decided that he wanted them to be used and enjoyed rather than stored away collecting dust. Now his kids will be able to eat from these plates, sharing food and memories together. I love that thought.

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 photo taken by Pete

 

Pete remembers eating an orange at the table after every evening meal and he remembers his Opa always sharpening their old bone handled butter knives with his steel. Those knives were always sharp.

I love how the sharing of someone else’s memories triggers my own. As soon as Pete mentioned the sharpening of the bone handled knives I was instantly taken to my Nan’s kitchen. She always cut tomatoes and things that needed a sharp edge with her favourite bone handled knife. It was {still is!} as thin as a wisp from all of the sharpening that it’s endured over the decades. It would be a quarter of it’s original width and has a wobbly blade line and I cringe at the thought of cutting with it…it’s that sharp!

I also thought of my Dad and how he loves to sharpen his bone handled knives. I can never get it in my head that they are sharp and I’ve cut myself with his knives on more than one occasion.

Back to Pete…

Pete’s grandparents had a long outside pantry between the house and side fence, about 4 metres long, which was always full to the brim of preserved food. They would pick out the dark plums  and eat them for dessert with freshly whipped cream.

He also has beautiful memories of making chicken croquets with his Opa. It was a bit of a ritual, it seems, and something Pete really treasures when he talks about it. He remembers his Opa’s old hand mincer and only very recently Pete’s mum gave him the original  mincer for his own kitchen. How special is that? There was a fairly intense process to the making of the croquets which all began with the mincing of the meat by hand. Actually, I think the croquets need a whole post to themselves and a recipe. Oh and a photo or 10 of Pete’s Opa’s gorgeous old mincer. Of course:)

So stay tuned.

 

Happy weekend!

Kim x