A moment of stillness in the day.
For each sunrise, I feel totally blessed.
Linking to bushboy‘s “last photo.”
My Journey Towards Retirement by the Sea
A moment of stillness in the day.
For each sunrise, I feel totally blessed.
Linking to bushboy‘s “last photo.”
I served the pudding as it was out of the oven. I let it cool slightly and then cut it into wedges, to serve with the sauce and icecream. Pouring the sauce over immediately prior to serving.
* The recipe recommended letting the sauce sit and permeate through the whole pudding, however, I prefer a slightly firmer texture better, than a soggy pudding.
It is up to you how you tackle that!
Follow this blog for more recipes. They are posted weekly at the Home by the Sea
The Blurb –
To those of us who have read Camilla Lackberg’s crime fiction series, set in Fjallbacka, Sweden on the Bohuslan coast, the characters are like old friends, so familiar and comforting. They are all so similar to real people that we have met in our individual lives, with the exception of Christian.
His tragic childhood and adolescence is told over the course of the book, and ultimately the secrets are revealed in the most unexpected way. It might be easy for experienced Lackberg fans to detect the clues the author sprinkles throughout the book, but nevertheless, I feel this story satisfies her regular readers far more than others in the Erica Falck series.
I tend to find in this book, Erica’s character herself, is sometimes a little too perfect, akin to one you might find in a soap opera. Yet, it is here that you will find that Erica settles more into the background, and Patrick’s voice becomes the more prominent than in earlier novels.
Despite the melodrama of Erica and her sister being simultaneously pregnant, I enjoyed this novel and reacquainted myself with the Bohuslan coastal communities described in the story.
Visiting them and walking around the streets of towns like Fjallbacka and Hunnebostrand was such a joy for me as it brought the stories to life.
More importantly, the novel also touches on aspects of bullying, prejudice jealousy, and the all too common ostracism of anyone who is perceived by society to be ‘different.’ Those at the fringe of society and their sufferings can be and often are, invisible, even to the benevolent agencies that are purported to help them.
As the cover suggests, there are grave consequences to selfishness and jealousy, disguised as sibling rivalry, and the story highlights how we as adults, often dismiss the vulnerability of a child’s ego and mental state when exposed to stress.
This is the fifth book in the Erica Falck series, previous titles include: The Ice Princess, The Preacher, The Stone Cutter, The Gallow’s Bird, The Hidden Child, The Drowning, and The Lost Boy. If interested in the writer, you can find out more about Camilla Lackberg.
Although they are stand-alone books, do try to read the series in order, not as I did, missing the novel titled “The Hidden Child.” For, as Murphy’s law dictates, the novel you next read will contain a spoiler for the one you just skipped. It may only be one sentence but that words might relate to a central theme! Ponder about that before you dig in and read them out of order.
The Good: Suspenseful story-building to the final climactic end.
The Bad: Slightly predictable plot. Soap opera-type details of the main character’s personal lives. But they are like old shoes, they fit easily and are comfortable to wear!
The Ugly: Tragic consequences of child abuse, bullying and jealousy highlighted in this book.
That is it. Winter is done and dusted in this, the so-called Sunshine State.
Nature knows. The signs are there, for anyone who cares to look.
Clear blue skies and gardens sporting new foliage and flowers, (well some never stopped). All doubt were washed away when I spotted the first insect swanning around my Dining room, just before lunch.
Even that fly knows that warmth is on its way.
Whilst Blogger Snow over in Finland, laments how the first day of August heralds the end of her all too short, warm summer weather, I can empathise with her, for all the opposite reasons. The southern hemisphere is already warming up for its hottest season yet.
The earth has turned and so must the weather. It is the Yin and the Yang of life.
Technically there is still one more month of winter – August and yet the cool crisp mornings are receeding far too quickly for me. Living here in August means you can be caught wearing one layer of clothing too many, or a cardigan/jumper at 10 am in the morning. The body screams in response: “Take this hot thing darn well off!”
Even though the public seems to have forgotten about it – climate change isn’t in quarantine from Covid-19 and is real. Evidence is here for all to see.
At 11 am today, I had a moment. For me, this moment happens every year.
No matter how cold the winter is, the realization that we are close to the start of a lengthy, hot summer causes this winter-loving bunny to have a personal crisis. The endless glare of the ultra-hot Australian summer sun and the eternal sweaty, smelly bodies that are consistent with subtropical life in Queensland, make hibernating in air-conditioning as essential as oxygen itself.
Then there is the unsettling feeling that our Summer of roughly five months, now might extend to eight or nine months!
The combination of the spectre of Bushfires, soaring temperatures and months without rain are worrisome indeed.
I shouldn’t complain, should I? There are worse things in life. And yet, everyone whinges about the weather no matter what kind of weather they have, nor no matter where they live, don’t they?
Is the weather turning in your part of the world?
Are you a winter or summer person?
When you are in the midst of your working life, the morning can be rushed.
Not so, in retirement.
I delight in a stroll towards the lake at sunrise, watching for the old man fish Sir Mullet, jumping high above the water.
To show off his physical prowess like a maritime body builder or as a way to energize himself for the day’s forage feast for food.
On the banks and weedy littoral zone, algae trails dance rhythmically with the tidal ebb and flow of the waters. Always moving, always dynamic.
Meanwhile, triggered by the sun’s first rays, the Willy Wagtail frolicks and flits back and forth up and around on the grassy lawn, in a courtship dance sure to impress a mate.
Me with my dogs alongside of me, skirt the lake’s perimeter, soaking in the natural forces of sun, earth and wind about me.
This place energizes me, urging me to rise with the light and optimistic for the day ahead. Something not felt in my previous chapter.
A meditative time for newly retired me.
Speciality delicatessens and bakeries in my part of the world offer Lemon Yoghurt cupcakes to die for. Mostly they come from one or two bakeries, ones that are Italian in origin and their product offerings. Yet, it seems that the Lemon and Yoghurt Cake may have been French in origin:
Grandmother all over France are renowned for Lemon and Yoghurt Cake. In French, this cake is called Gâteaux de Mamie, which translated is: Granny Cake. The part of the story I love, is the way these French grandmothers measure the cake ingredients – with yogurt jars!https://thecafesucrefarine.com/french-grandmothers-lemon-yogurt-cake/
You can try that version of the recipe out at this site.
This week, the cake for #onecakeaweek comes from Best Recipes, however, I wanted to produce a cupcake experience, rather than make another ring cake. My ingredients vary slightly from the French version in that there is more yoghurt and sugar, but less eggs and oil. Yeah – nah! – probably evens out, doesn’t it?
Variation: I added Pearl Sugar and an Almond on the top prior to baking. White chocolate chips could also be added for an extra measure of decadence.
Donna Hay, Australian cook and Cookbook Author, uses almost an identical recipe to mine, but decorates the cake with icing and strangely of all, thyme leaves. If you want to try that variation?
More lemon cake recipes from other bakers are found here
The uptake of families using their pandemic down time to create things at home, has led to shortages of essentials, in some places.
It is as if we have rewound the clock, to an earlier time, when takeaway was unknown and we prepared all of our own food. Which is such a better way to eat than packaged, pre-prepared foods that are preserved beyond comprehension and have a shelf life that Cro-Magnon man would envy?
In my house, the baking frenzy – and the #onecakeaweek has been in full swing during the length of the Covid pandemic. Yet, I still bear the title of ‘Repressed baker.’
Or, perhaps it was likely that I was a baker in a former life?
I venture to say the joy of kneading bread dough, for me, borders on the therapeutic. Kneading, folding, creating and then of course the joy of eating. It is almost blissful.
It is not the first time, this lapsed baker has made bread, but it has been a while.
When I turned 21 years old, I had been baling bread with my own recipe half white/half wholemeal for about 2 years, when I decided it was time to hang up my bread-making apron for other pursuits. Not only was the process of making bread time-consuming, but good yeast, the fresh variety, was hard to find and quite expensive. As a 20-something, the novelty of making my own varieties of bread wore off.
Like others, the enforced leave the pandemic has brought from work, coupled with adult kids who have (mostly), left the nest, means the urge to bake all kinds of things has returned with gusto.
Now in the midst of lockdown, I returned to the kitchen to make sourdough bread. I have already made loads of different kinds of cakes and sweet treats and was growing a sourdough mother under the expert tutelage of my blogger friends and bread-baking mentors, Sandy and Peggy.
Once I was able to secure some wholemeal flour, which was a feat in itself, given the shortages under Covid, I tended the sourdough starter lovingly for days and made a pancakes out of the discard.
At the end of the week, I produced these wonderful Wholemeal Sourdough bread Rolls from Peggy‘s recipe.
I had enough to give some to my son and a friend. Surprisingly, the friend who happens to be Danish, is used to beautifully cooked bread, and she raved about my sourdough rolls.
I was a little surprised she liked them, as I found them quite dense in texture and sliced them thinly to toast them. But then compared to Rugbrød, the Danish Rye bread, they are most likely light and airy; given that the Danes like their bread really heavy and solid.
The Sourdough Mother has now gone, so I will have to start the process over again, which is a lot of fun.
Next time, it will be with Rye flour and linseed, just like the Danes, I think.
I was racking my brains to find the location for a recipe for Carrot Cake I had saved somewhere. It has been sitting in my file notes for I think, several years.
Last week, I made it. The M.o.t.h. loves Carrot cakes as he figures as it is a vegetable, it is all healthy and he can have a larger helping! Although it doesn’t work like that, at least he is getting a bit more fibre in his diet!
The added bonus of cardamon gives it an aromatic hint of something more. Something a little Nordic.
Research online tells me that this recipe is adapted from the bakery of the iconic Rosendal trädgården (a horticultural garden in front of Rosendal Palace) in Stockholm.
I don’t ever ice my cakes, they are sweet enough, already – for me. And cake icing and a sub tropical climate doesn’t make a good marriage. It is melts everywhere and is so messy.
If you do want to ice the cake the cream cheese icing works really well and provides a slightly savoury and sweet combination, so popular in Scandinavian cuisine.
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Preheat the oven to 200ºC – (390º F) bit lower if using a fan-forced oven.
To make the icing by beating together all the ingredients until smooth.
Recipe originally from The New Nordic by Simon Bajada
Linking to the Trent’s Weekly Smile and Curl’s and Skirls Tea Party
The morning sun rising over water can be one of the most invigorating feelings for the spirit and the body. Stimulating, within us, a bundle of potential energy to begin our day.
Sunrise is a time to bear witness to the opening of the universe’s portal to eternity. Untouchable and surreal.
When the sun breaks over the low, scudding clouds that persistently hang on the horizon, we are blessed with a fleeting splendour of golden rays that nourish in our spirit endless possibilities.
After hours of restful slumber, being present and mindful during a sunrise brings feelings of anticipation and promise: a myriad of potentials for a day we have yet to explore.
The amazing thing, about where I live, is the experience of both sunrise and sunset over the water. This is the beauty of living on a peninsula, with sea water on three sides.
The evening light show that Mother nature provides, is more often subdued than her morning counterpart.
More mellow, the tones of sunset can be at times be ever so thrilling, so excitable you cannot look away, lest the magic of what you are seeing, disappears.
Mostly laid back energy, the sunset is evocative of our time to chill out, to prepare for the evening and its accompanying slower pace. The light show nature lays out for us in a glorious sunset such as this, changes from a deep luminescent orange and gold, to a deep purple and hot pink.
The artist that is our Mother Nature is the consummate colour harmonizer. Sunset colours blend seamlessly. She never gets it wrong!
Life at my Home by the Sea is always satisfying.
Reaffirming something I have been waiting my whole life to experience.
I breathe a deep breath of satisfaction.
Right now on Cresting the Hill, you will find my post as guest blogger for Leanne’s MIDLIFE SYMPHONY series.
In this series, bloggers discuss what we are doing to make the second half of life the best half of life. Arguably, the best years of your life?
My house move to the Home by the Sea turned into a better than expected lifestyle change just the way I had dreamt of it. Read more about my sea change.
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