Sunday, 30 June 2013

inspired by pomegranate

In line with my other hippie tendencies, I like buying produce in season*. How do you tell something is in season? Is there an app or something? No pawpaw. (See what I did there, a fruit pun...) Just look for produce that is cheap, or cheaper than usual.

Unless the government is subsidising a specific industry. In which case, it will always be cheap. Not a concern in SA, our government couldn't organise a subsidy in a brewery. So to speak.

Which brings me to the not so humble pomegranate. I first remember this fruit back in the day before widespread exporting and globalisation (and no I'm not THAT old, it wasn't that long ago) in Aladdin. This makes sense because pomegranates are thought to have originated in the Middle East and we all remember the flying carpet and camels and souks. Farmers have recently begun growing pomegranates in SA, so the ones I saw at my local Food Lovers for a steal were grown locally. Even better! We really need to support local farmers.
I took out the little arils (the red seeds inside that contain all the yumminess) and ate them just like that with some Greek yoghurt. And took a picture of course.

And then I was so inspired by their red juicy goodness that I made this...

Pomegranate cake recipe
shots by Jamie Oliver
print fabric
Etsy photography

*The South African season for pomegranates is late Feb to July.

Wednesday, 26 June 2013

just for fun: quiz

When I'm not writing heavy posts on baby-making hormones or sanding the skirtings for our house or doing crazy 10km challenges with my friend have probably realised that I love trawling my favourite blogs. And even though I'm old and married and have moved onto other issues a girl can still dream and remember the most perfect day of her life right? (Not to mention imagining her perfect wedding day in shades of grey and white instead of green...or a short dress inside of a gown...)

Just for fun, take bloved's "What's your wedding style" quizMy results did not surprise me, I mean this inspiration board could be straight out of our wedding I LOVE it.

Saturday, 22 June 2013

baby oh baby

This is going to be a controversial one I just know it. 

I am 27 years old. I have been married for nearly 18 months and I have a mostly happy, fulfilled, God-centred, baby-less life. Every so often someone asks me "So...when you are you having a baby then?" and I lose it. Inside my head, of course, because I was well brought up and so taught not to physically assault people EVEN when they ask you questions you DO NOT want to answer.

My answer, honestly, is "I have no freaking clue. Now leave me alone."

I learned long ago that women can be a slave to our hormones. That is when our hormones kick in, rational thought packs its bags and books off. Think about when you are ready to rip your hubby's head off, BECAUSE HE WAS AT HOME ALL DAY ON STUDY LEAVE AND DID NOT MAKE THE BED! And then he says "Honey, don't you think maybe it's because you are PMSing and so over-reacting? Just a little?" And then the well brought up-ness kicks in and you hold yourself back from punching him in the FACE.

About 6 months ago, what I like to call the Oh Baby hormones kicked in for me. A lot of my friends were having babies, falling preggers and spreading their mommy hormones all over the place. I was broody. I didn't want to be broody, I liked my life with just the Hub and me and our four-legged kids. And my career was on the up and up and we had just bought a house and I was happy. But these darn hormones. They would NOT listen to reason.

Photograph by Monica Dart
Then 2 months ago, the Oh Baby's packed their bags and shoved off. Relief. No idea why, no idea when they will be back. But I feel a weight has been lifted off my shoulders. Read this article. Then read the comments below it. It's enough to put even the most Nigella-like creature off motherhood.

All I know is that I want to be a Mom. Sometime. I want to have a little blonde, curly haired child with Nic's blue eyes and my...probably nothing. Have you noticed how often the first child looks only like the Dad? Perhaps its God's way of pushing us to give them a sibling to prove we mothered them both! But I digress. 

This has been a tricky life stage for me to face. I put a lot of my self-worth into my career, what I can achieve using my intelligence. The thought of having a baby and losing myself, the ME I know so well, is horrifying. And I love my husband. I don't want to lose him in a fog of sleep-deprivation. I don't want to ignore my dogs because they have been replaced by something biologically mine. I think that especially older women look at childbearing through rose-coloured glasses. There is 20 or 30 years between them and the terrifying act of bringing a new baby home.

So I look forward to you checking back in here in a few years to see what new motherhood has really been like for me. But for now Stop Asking.

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

food adventure: vegetarian chilli

I'm a veg. Not like literally a vegetable. Duh. But I eat fish and other seafood. A vegaquarian. Actually a pescatarian.

It's part of my overall hippy aesthetic (which is at total odds with my day job and my left brain default setting from years at Boot Camp for Kids - but more about that in another post). I'm always looking for tasty veg recipes - mostly to get my hubby to eat less meat and come over to the fun side. Where all the veg hippies are. This recipe is totes amaze. It is tasty and spicy (without the need for ice cold loo roll) and nutritious. The recipe is mostly from this book.

Enough oil to fry 1 finely chopped onion (I use red onions, they have a sweeter taste)
1 clove of garlic
2 tbsp ground cumin
1 tbsp ground coriander/dhania
1 tsp ground cinnamon (do NOT put more in, it's rather overpowering)
1 tsp chilli powder
1 can chopped tomatoes
375ml vege stock
2 cans chickpeas
1 can red kidney beans
1 little tin of tomato paste (2 tbsp)
1 tbsp sugar
Salt and pepper to taste

1. Open all the tins. You will forget and the onion spice mixture will burn and you will be bleak.

2. Fry up the onion in the oil for about 5 mins
3. Add all the spices and garlic (and a bit of extra oil if it's catching) for about 1 minute
4. Add all the tinned stuff (tomatoes, beans, chickpeas) and the stock to the onion spice mixture but NOT the tomato paste
5. Bring to the boil, then simmer for 20 mins, stirring every now and then to mix in the spices nicely
6. Now you may add the tomato paste, sugar and salt & pepper
7. Simmer for another 5 mins
8. Chow.

Easy peasy, and even the hubby will like it! I like it with a bit of plain yoghurt, but then I'm a real baby when it comes to spicy food. The Indian aunties at work are trying to help me.

Saturday, 8 June 2013

smile it's saturday!

After a MAD week at work doing complicated number-crunching related things, we are spending the weekend chilling. Hubby has to studying auditing (what could be more boring right? Shame.) and I have to indulge in some of my favourite blogs and catch up on Pinterest. Bliss.

Found this beautiful image by Lizelle Lotter on one of my Pinterest boards. Makes me think of summer.

Monday, 3 June 2013

parquet my love

As promised, here is the magical transformation of our little granny of a house...

Yes your eyes do not deceive you, that is indeed an IRON imprint on the carpet in one of our guest bedrooms. How any self-respecting home owner makes such a booboo and then simply LEAVES IT like that is beyond me. Honestly.
The before and after - I feel like we should have been on a home makeover show (look at this poor young couple, with their undeniably crappy little house...and...LOOK at it now. Oh that's disappointing. Why is there no furniture? Oh yes, they are POOR as well as saddled with the little house. Or maybe BECAUSE they are saddled with said house.) Home ownership is not for the fainthearted people. But it brings its rewards...

And yes, there are many skirtings missing. I spent a lovely Saturday morning vibrating my arms into oblivion sanding the jolly things. Then we have to paint them white and we (read: hubby) has to install them. The floors were not stained, just sanded a couple of times and then sealed. The teak came out beautifully!

PS: that pattern is called criss cross
PPS: no it's not, I made that up, go and google it yourself