Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Doilies and All

Setting the table for morning tea with friends today.

I got a bit carried away layering vintage cloths and doilies.

Going for the un-ironed look ...

.. obviously.

Well, ironed after the last laundering, but pulled straight out of a drawer today.
I think it's a bit more relaxed.

On the menu:

Crackers and crudites with two dips

Hummingbird Cake

Tea Bun

Button Shortbreads

Hedgehog Slice

... all served on mismatched china today.
I want to use as many of my pretty things as I can!


Sunday, October 17, 2010

How Rich am I?

At church we've been having an excellent series thinking about Money. It's given me lots of food for thought and I'd like to make some changes, and soon.

One thing that I have been reminded of is just how rich we are, living in one of the richest cities in one of the richest countries of the world. We have a roof over our head, clothes to wear (and plenty more to choose from) and 3 good meals a day (plus snacks!).

I've just looked at this website, and discovered that with our combined income, I'm the 43,497,897th richest person in the world! That places me in the top 0.72% of the world, income-wise. So we can definitely afford to do more to help those less fortunate.

I have a sponsor child named Angelica. I sponsor her through Compassion, and she lives in Peru with a family like ours, 2 parents and 2 girls, but her parents only work some days. I struggle with writing letters to her, as our lives are so disparate. They struggle to put food on the table, I'm sure, and yet Angelica is always concerned for others, for example the "poor people in the mountains" who can't keep well and warm in winter.

What would she think of our life of excess, I wonder? What would she think of this photo of a box of fresh fruit that was delivered to our door, with so little effort on our part? What would she have thought of my girls, who were picky about what they would, and wouldn't eat from that box?
But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that.

Command those who are rich in this present world ... to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share."
1 Timothy 6:6-7, 18
I believe that God created everything and owns everything. I don't know why he's chosen to bless us with more earthly possessions than Angelica's family has, but I am realising more and more that that's not the end of the story.

From this point on, I want to more be more wise, and more giving with my money and my possessions.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Springtime Cottage Garden

Thought you might like to take a walk up our front path ...

.. to enjoy our spring flowers.

I can never remember the name of this native, but it has sweet purple flowers and is huge and happy at the moment.
We have geraniums, wallflowers, some bulbs, westringia and lavender.

The banksia rose is climbing joyfully over the verandah ...


... and all together they create the perfect cottage garden.
So happy-making!

I hope your garden is making you happy too!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Food, Glorious Food

Over the past few months some interesting things have been happening ... first I got a vege garden started, something I'd been thinking about for a year or so, and now I am crazy about vegetables and fruit and different ways to cook them.  I am reading recipes like fiction and spending much more time preparing every meal.  A complete turn-around for me, although I've always enjoyed baking and don't mind making dinner, I've never bothered with lots of dressings and sauces and fancy preparation.  But now all that has changed!

Some delicious foods we have enjoyed in the last 10 days:

Parsnips roast in a burnt butter sauce with orange  (this was so good we had it again a few days later!)
Feta, Asparagus & Baked Sweet Potato Quiche
Lots of asparagus - favourite dressing is 2:1 wholegrain mustard and honey - yum!
Tomato, Basil and Feta salads

Fresh Peas with Caraway & Parmesan
Lemon Pepper Fish
Rosemary Chicken with Pumpkin and Spinach Salad

... and the list goes on.

a very colourful salad - had this one plain without any dressing
My inspirations:
French Women Don't Get Fat and the sequel

Fast Veges

One Magic Square (growing vegetables and ideas for cooking them)

and Table Tucker - which I am trying as a complete menu and shopping plan, but adding more yummy vegetables.  So far we have enjoyed every meal from this book, which we started using last week.  I am especially enjoying not having to choose the meals for the week, but still creating some delicious side dishes and lunches when I feel like being creative.

From our garden we are currently eating snow peas, spinach, coriander, parsley, tatsoy, basil, chives and shallots.  Soon we will have broad beans and broccoli.  They are not large amounts each day but they are enough to add to other types of bought vegetables and make a difference to a meal.  For the summer we are growing capsicum, carrots, radishes, zucchini and probably tomatoes too.

Where will my food adventures take me next, I wonder?