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December 16, 2012

all the silver girls gave us black dreams | things lately

I've been a bit quiet around here, after the intensity of last week I've been enjoying evenings spent at home or in the garden, taking pictures here and there ..

1. As authentic as I could make - dal makhani. One of my favourite Indian curries that I made for dinner tonight to celebrate the fact that this time last year I was heading to India.
2. Ginger and cracked black pepper - crucial additions to the perfect cup of chai tea. Saffron is another decadent addition!
3. This afternoon was a wet, warm one - quite unusual for Dunedin. The windows were open and the pot was steaming, just like the ground outside. 
4. Rye bread and Bonne Maman cherry conserve - delicious!
5. One of many coriander plants in our garden that I harvested this week.
6. Coriander roots, ready for processing.
7. Simple crostini made with going-stale sourdough, home made coriander pesto, tomato, red onion, feta for the annual Maitland St barbeque which started outside in our courtyard and finished much later in our landlord's place with dainty small glasses of cointreau "that's not for the parsley!" and the trying on of vintage hats from the 1920's. A most excellent evening!
8. One from India last year - a rooftop restaurant in the desert city of Jaisalmer.
9. Spice paste - I made four different types of kratiem prik thai spice paste with our big coriander roots harvested this week from the garden.
10. Spice paste, frozen in convenient usable amounts in our ice cube tray.
11. Sunrise in Wellington last week - photo taken at 5:30am, the beginning of a beautiful day. 

I cannot write a post without mentioning the unmentionable - the tragedy of the loss of 28 lives this week in Conneticut. I've avoided news articles on it, as it is just heartbreaking. It makes me realise the value of taking time to be grateful, being mindful, and appreciative. I also sometimes think how incredibly lucky I am for all of it - every single thing I have, lucky to be born to the supportive parents I was born to, to be blessed with brothers and a sister, to live in a house, to have a wide range of friends, to enjoy the food I am able to enjoy. It's overwhelming how lucky we all are, against the most incredible odds. 

This year we're not doing Christmas presents. My sister and I might make small crackers for our family members (she might not know this yet... Hi loo lah!) but apart from that we'll just be enjoying the time together, just the six of us. If the weather is nice we will drive up to a secluded piece of land in the middle of the forest, and stay in a simple hut and possibly sleep under the stars. We won't have a huge Christmas dinner as we'll be limited to what we can carry on our backs into the hutt - it's a 40 minute walk from the end of the road. It's going to be simple and relaxed, and I for one am looking forward to it. What will your Christmas look like?

I leave you with this video - I thought of the story of stuff after I watched it, and implore you to recycle, reuse, make something for your gifts. I read a lovely post today about making a vegetable garden for a Christmas present. Show people you care by caring also for the planet.


day 6/365
today I'm grateful for gardens and all the goodness they provide - the satisfaction of nurturing a seedling, watching it grow, and harvesting it. Our coriander produced a bumper crop this year that got made into pesto, kratiem prik thai spice paste, and gifted to a few friends. We still have some leaves frozen for future garnishes! 


title from conversation 16 - the national


  1. Just gorgeous images, making me absolutely hungry. And your Christmas day sounds perfect, it is about being with the people we love after all.

    x Laura

  2. your photos are amazing and I'm with Laura, they are making me a bit hungry. Have a lovely week.

  3. All of this looks absolutely delicious... wishing I could come over for dinner right about now!

  4. Beautiful photos and beautiful blog. New follower! Xoxoxo Hanna

  5. A really beautiful post. I love that you freeze spice paste! What a good idea. x

  6. yes, the recent news is just so awful. in saying that i loved reading this post and seeing your beautiful photos. i particularly have my eye on the one from india. xo

  7. Beautiful photos, G.
    Mourning with those families...
    Ronnie xo

  8. lady, i need the recipe for that curry.

    I too have avoided news coverage (easy without tv) and find myself crying every time i'm reminded of the tragedy on Facebook. It's too much.

    xo em

  9. Thanks for the lovely link! I'm so chuffed. I love your idea for Christmas day. So adventurous yet simple. I'm sure you will make beautiful family memories. x

  10. Very lovely images here...I love that one of the steaming pot.

    The news is just awful. It was very much in my mind when I dropped my two at school and nursery this morning.

  11. Love these snippets. I'm a pepper in the chai gal too x