Sunday, October 30, 2011

putting on the spritz

We're having some confusing weather here in Sydney of late - it feels almost like we're going back into Autumn, in keeping with our northern neighbours. Still after the 34 degree day we had last Monday it's almost a bit of a relief. But it made for a strange week. Monday felt like Friday, Tuesday felt like Friday... there was a bit of a pattern going on.

So you can imagine my relief when Friday did arrive and I had the day off to boot! The night before we had gotten dressed up to attend the Bombay Sapphire Design Awards and enjoyed several quite delicious gin variations, along with some pretty nice sliders, salt and pepper chicken shots and a few other tasty morsels. Amazing as those gin cocktails were, I couldn't get another drink out of my head. Just the week before I had been introduced by Deborah, a lovely colleague at work, to the Aperol spritz - the promise of summer in a glass.

The Aperol Spritz is popular in the Veneto region of Italy and is made with Prosecco (Italian sparkling wine), Aperol (an orange liquer) and a splash of soda water.  As an aperitivo, it's a great way to start a meal because the Aperol has a reasonably low alcohol content and the drink tastes light and refreshing - spritz is the word. Here's how you go about making it:

Aperol Spritz

3 ounces Prosecco (or any sparkling wine)
2 ounces Aperol
a splash of soda water
garnish of orange or lemon

Pour the aperol into a glass of ice cubes.  Add a splash of sparkling water then top with the Prosecco. Garnish with lemon or orange slices. Sip whilst leaning back in your chair, pretending you're looking out over the rooftops of Venice, the sounds of evening church bells ringing gently in the background.
Wonderfully refreshing! With Melbourne Cup just around the corner, I may have already found a winner...


Saturday, October 22, 2011

Thursday, October 20, 2011


The light has been amazing in the evenings of late. I'm enjoying getting home and still having time to savour it for a few hours - bless you daylight savings (for the moment at least). It's nice to have time to catch up on reading, to linger over dinner preparation. There's something about having a glass of wine whilst the sun's streaming in the back window that makes summer holidays feel that much closer. I know it's only October still but roll on the festive season!

Some things helping me get into that holiday spirit:
This upbeat song;
Vicarious travelling adventures from my desk;
Compiling summer reading wishlists - I'm especially looking forward to reading Tales from High Mountain by Tara Austen Weaver (who writes the wonderful blog Tea and Cookies) about her time spent in Japan - more vicarious travelling - can you tell I'm ready for a holiday?


Tuesday, October 18, 2011

smakfulle øyeblikk

It's been a little (long) while since I stuck my head out here and said hello... so hello there and hope things are going well with you.

As for me, I've been keeping busy - making salads and birthday cakes, running and reading (lots) but also suffering a mild case of bloggers block. Now and again the internet (and the world at large) can get a touch overwhelming and it's in those moments you sometimes need to take a break to refocus, to find the joy in small things again.

I think Meryl Streep said it rather well in the movie Adaptation:

There are too many ideas and things and people. 
Too many directions to go. 
I was starting to believe the reason it matters to care passionately about something, is that it whittles the world down to a more manageable size. 

Still, sometimes it just takes making a simple cake or a rocket salad or snapping a photo or even a great phrase to get you back on the horse so to speak.

The other day I discovered the wonderfully onomatopoeia-ish phrase smakfulle øyeblikk on this great blog. It's Norwegian for tasteful moments. And my word it's those tasteful moments that you've got to savour. They're not always the big brash momentous occasions you think will be important but the quiet spaces where you feel unexpected peace - in the kitchen, on the phone, in the garden, reading a good book, holding hands. Those words acted like a smack to the head, a whimsical nudge back into the land of here.

So, whilst I'm here, a few things I've been enjoying of late:
Inspiring questions;
This book;
Salads, specifically those featuring rocket, walnuts, parmesan, apple and balsamic - our rough and ready take on the great waldorf;
Inspiring lessons in creativity.