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November 30, 2012

he's a man, he's a guru | endings and beginnings

Endings and beginnings are bittersweet. Tonight we farewelled our lovely lounge-dwellers T and L - we will miss their humour, stories, cooking ... and their lovely faces around the place. L made a soup (a Hugh recipe, of course, recipe to follow), and they gifted J and I a copy of our dream cookbook: veg everyday by none other than our favourite Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall. We have had a long term loan of another copy and the question was often raised: "what will happen when Hugh has to go back home?" But now, our very own annotated Hugh remains in our kitchen, propped up at the end of the kitchen table .. 

Do you write in cookbooks? I never used to but ever since T said "It's a way to make the cookbook your own," I think I will be writing my thoughts and experiences in the margins of veg everyday - the pages are perfectly laid out with just the right amount of white space for a comment or two. 

We often make vegetable stock from leftover, slightly wilted, forgotten about vegetables. I've mentioned it before, and usually I just put bits and pieces in a pot and boil it for a while. I did learn the hard way that garlic roots are very strongly garlic-flavoured, but apart from that one failure, most of the times stock was made it turned out well. However, why continue making stock that's perfectly fine when you could make excellent stock if you just take a few notes from ... Hugh, of course! He has a recipe for stock in his book and L followed it for the soup. The main difference is that his recipe involves lightly sautéeing the stock ingredients, then boiling them with fresh herbs (from the garden). Hugh's stock recipe resulted in a stock which was darker in colour and more robust in flavour than previous versions. 

If stock is one beginning, breakfast is another. The muesli pictured was made and toasted by L a few weeks ago and was completely delicious. It contained chopped dates, seeds, almonds, oats, a little puffed millet .. all the good things. We enjoyed it with "Merrell's milk" (raw milk from Merrell's farm). If you're an Australian reader, Nikki over at the wholefood mama is giving away some delicious looking muesli..

I've been thinking a little bit about "this time last year" in the lead up to Christmas. The sunset shown above is the sunset of my 2011 Christmas day, spent under the stars in the desert. And the view from the camel is what I saw for much of Christmas morning and afternoon, pleasantly wandering atop a camel through the desert, with "We Three Kings" in my head. Being atop a camel reminded me of yoga - you had to completely relax and surrender to the camel's movements, and then you'd be naturally balanced. 

And here we are - a seemingly random collection of pictures tied together somewhat by my words. Tomorrow morning J and I are off up the country to Auckland for PowerShift - but we're taking the trains and the ferry, including a two-day stop in my hometown and an overnight visit with more extended family in Christchurch. It's the beginning of a journey. 

Happy weekend and happy beginning of summer (or winter for you Northern-hemisphere folk)!


day 4/365
I'm grateful for house-dwellers, who add doses of humour, stories, music into the fabric of your life at home, and teach you the difference between good spoons and not so good spoons.. T & L xo

title from nick cave & the bad seeds - red right hand


  1. Such beautiful images. Have been thinking about this time last year too - it seems much longer than a year ago xx

  2. It is certainly that time of year to reflect on where we have come from.. It's December already??

  3. Gorgeous photos here. I always write in cookbooks, they feel like they are truly mine then - just little notes about cooking times or oven temperatures.

    My sister is a veggie and swears by Hugh's veg book. I want the river cottage every day one, it looks excellent.

  4. Such a big fan of your photos, G.
    That last one is too amazing for words. Straight out of a movie.
    Ronnie xo

  5. Sigh, these photos. You have a true talent you know... xx

  6. I had one stock mishap a few years ago with the peel of a butternut squash and ever since I've been very wary of going outside of the carrot, onion, and celery box. I love putting herbs in my stock, too! I will say though... never thought to saute the stock scraps. What a great idea!

  7. firstly i have to mention your nick cave reference in the post title, he's my faaaavourite! :) also your home made muesli looks delicious and we tend to make out own vegetable stock at home too, but i haven't made my own muesli before. might have to give it a try!


  8. I do write in cookbooks, and I make a mess in them with food splatters too :) I sometimes put mushrooms in my stock and I love the flavor. It is different from the standard, but I enjoy it.

    xox Lilly