All The Little Things

Sometimes life gets so busy that I don’t get time to attend to all those little things I’d like to do.

Enter a global pandemic that has me ‘doing the right thing’ and staying at home.

But rather than couch surfing, or that other type of surfing (either literal or figurative), I believe I am using this time productively and have so far accomplished many longstanding items on my ‘imaginary’ To-Do List.

Yes, I’ve been busy – just like this little bee.
(You can click to enlarge this photo.)

First up – besides photographing bees, I have been playing with the setting on my camera.

I think this shot of a dewdrop turned out rather well, but I know I have a lot to learn about photography and I’ve promised myself I will dedicate more time, effort and energy into doing so.

(I also need to remove that diseased leaf.)

My pantry shelf well-stocked.

I’ve made lots of Rosella Jam and perfected the inclusion of chilli.

Last year my experimental batch was so good that Dean declared I should always include chilli.

There are only two jars left from last year – neither have chilli included, but plain Rosella Jam is nice too.

Seeds are ok in Raspberry Jam.

I’ve also made some Raspberry Jam using frozen raspberries.  I had purchased them to have with my breakfast, however, the seeds were a bit of a nuisance in a blitzed fruit smoothie.  So I decided to do something else with them as because the packets were just sitting there.

I also included some frozen strawberries and blueberries and a little bit of lime juice and think my efforts were rather successful with 780 g of frozen fruit yielding 4 x 250 ml cups of jam.

Dean thinks it tastes just as good as my Rosella and Chilli jam.  (But he won’t say it was better.)

My first (tentative) ride for over two years.

I hopped back on my bike for the first time since before I broke my arm in February 2018.

I don’t know what I was so afraid of, but believe me, I was virtually petrified of going for a ride.

I needn’t have been, it was just like riding a bike. (Ha, ha.)  I held on to the handlebar easily, and my wrist didn’t feel ‘funny’ afterwards.  I am though, glad my bike has these special handlebar grips that provide a little resting area for the wrist – they really helped.

More than two years after the fact, my hand has recovered about 95% of its mobility. (At my age, I know I’ll not regain that missing 5% but I still massage my tendons every day and live in hope.)

A new Fiddle Leaf Fig in the making.

I’m experimenting with propagating a Fiddle Leaf Fig.

Apparently, cuttings should be taken in late Spring, early Summer and can take six to eight weeks for roots to appear.

Ok, so I know we are heading into Winter here in Australia, but the area in which we live doesn’t get that cold.

I’ll keep you updated on the progress of this little cutting.

How Tasmanians see their state.

I discovered (quite by accident) that, having been left out during the release of Vegemite and Cheese Shapes, Arnott’s have more than adequately made up for it now with the inclusion of an enormous Tasmania.

I believe this coincided with the release of their two new additions to the Aussie Legends range – Meat Pie, and Sausage Sizzle.

Just look at how great Tassie is!

(Tassie now makes an appearance in the Vegemite and Cheese Shapes packets too.)

Not quite sauce.

I finally got around to making my own Spicey Plum Sauce (with Chinese Five Spice) for using when making stir fry veggies.  The plums were reasonably priced, and 1 kilo (@ $4.39) produced 5 x 250 ml cups of sauce.  By my calculations, and given the amount I usually add for the two of us, that’s 20 measurements of sauce – roughly $0.29 cents per ¼ cup.

But of course, that’s just the cost of the plums.

I had all the other ingredients on hand – sugar, spice, ginger, vinegar, etc –  and working out how much their quantities cost (or at least, attempting to), as well as striving to guesstimate the cost of cooking, my calculation comes in at $0.37 cents/serve – much less than 20% of the cost of store-bought plum sauce.  It is infinitely tastier and did I mention I have enough for 20 serves?  The sauce will last almost 6 months if we have stir fry veggies once a week.

What I didn’t have was a red onion so I used a brown one and what the sauce lacks in colour it makes up for in taste.

This lunch was amazing.
These rolls were so good.

After trying my hand at home-made, no-knead bread, I tried my hand at making bread rolls.

(OMG!)  They were so good.

We had them for lunch one (lazy) Sunday and while I thought they were only slightly bigger than sliders (at perhaps three bites each), they turned out to be much bigger than that.

With sesame seeds and poppy seeds on top, I was amazed at how delicious they were.

I will be cooking this again.

On the same day (I was in a cooking mood), I tried my hand at a KFC copycat recipe I found online.

Chicken tenders with coleslaw and creamy mashed potato with gravy – and one of my freshly baked bread roll on the side.

Rather than deep fry the chicken, I cooked it in the oven and Dean said: “It tastes just like KFC, only healthier!”

I shared this image with our daughters and our eldest, who lives in Brisbane and is looking forward to visiting as soon as the authorities allow, has already put in an order for dinner when she does get here.

I love successful experiments.

And speaking of dinner orders, she has also ordered a slice of Sour Passionfruit Cheesecake – another recipe experiment using fruit I had in the freezer.

In this ‘cooking experiment’ I only used a half quantities, and as such, this slice looks a little small.

As my so-called experiment was a huge success – it tasted like passionfruit, it had the right cheesecake consistency, it had a slight sour hint of lemon, and the passionfruit jelly on top set perfectly – next time, I’ll be confident to use full quantities.  (And a slice will look twice this size.)

Yes, I guess I’ve been doing a lot of cooking, but I’ve also been doing a lot of other things as well.  Things I either can’t or don’t photograph.

  • My pantry has been cleaned top to bottom and had a complete rethink, hence, a complete reorganisation.
  • Actually, I’ve cleaned my own hose – top to bottom.
  • I’ve repotted every plant that needed repotting, and I’ve still more work to do in the garden.
  • I’ve been doing lots of Toastmasters ‘things’ too:
    • Getting comfortable with meetings being held online.
    • Writing, and subsequently, presenting speeches.
    • Updating various club documents/documentation.
    • Playing with website development (and its software).
  • I’ve started crocheting an oversized throw rug for the lounge to keep me warm during Winter.

One thing’s for sure, I’ve not been bored and can hardly wait to see what I get up to in and around our home next.

For now, though, today is May the Fourth – Star Wars Day – and I’m off to watch Star Wars: Episode IX – The Rise of Skywalker with my husband.  Thanks to Disney+ we get to watch it in the comfort and safety of our own home.

Have a great day and May the Fourth be with you.

Author: Clare

Ever expanding one star at a time, my cosmos is a galaxy of thoughts and creativity where you can find poetry, short stories, photography and so much more.

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