Beauty and practicality, I rate them equally

Beauty and practicality, I rate them equally

This post is about a few small things that I've wanted to write about for a while but larger topics overtook me. My life is full of small things that are a part of something much bigger. I'm constantly reminded that not all people live as I do and usually it's the small things that people are interested in. I get that because without time set aside preparing for the bigger things, nothing runs smoothly. For instance, food - shopping list, cleaning out the fridge, checking the pantry etc.; cooking - peeling and cutting vegetables, defrosting meat or fish, menu plan so we know for sure we have what we need during the week; washing - soaking, stain removal, making laundry liquid etc.; gardening - saving kitchen scraps and making compost, sowing seeds etc.; maintaining relationships - keeping up with family and friends' messages, making time for occasional online, face-to-face talks, keeping a calendar with birthdays and important days, invitations for meals and morning teas.  You have to put time and effort into relationships. Life is made up of the big things, but without the small things, the big things fall apart.  So here goes.

Yesterday I visited my friend Nicole Lutze in her gorgeous new home. We'd not seen each other for a long while so it was good to spend time catching up over tea, delicious cake and pikelets. Both of us have undergone significant life changes so we had a lot to talk about and as I drove home I realised that talking with Nicole did me a lot of good. Nicole's blog and Instagram links are in my sidebar so do yourself a favour and check her out.

As you can see in the photo, I haven't been to the hairdresser for almost two years. My hair is usually in a ponytail now to keep it relatively neat and off my neck during summer. I decided not to get it cut short again and to wear it in plaits/braids in a circle around my head. I used to wear it like that when I lived in Germany in the 1970s and it always felt comfortable. I think I'll be able to plait/braid it early in the new year.

As usual there was washing to do which had built up over some rainy days we've had here.

Munstead Wood standard rose.  You can see where this rose is standing in the next photo.

The weather is surprisingly cool at the moment so I hope to get the garden finished this week and all I'll have to do when it heats up again is water the plants and harvest. I'll write about the garden when I finish fiddling with it and show the photos I've taken. It's nothing fancy but it fills my heart up and makes me happy. The garden is on the edge of the verandah and spills out on both sides of the garage door. The rubbish bins are there too - beauty and practicality, I rate them equally. I would never have thought such a space was garden-worthy but now it makes complete sense to me.

I finally got someone to mow the lawn, it cost $210. I didn't want to get a teenager in to mow because I wanted someone who had insurance, just in case. I'm very happy with the work he did and I'll get him back again. I wish the grass didn't grow so fast.  😳

In my previous post I had a photo of some pastries I made recently.  They're very tasty, don't take much time and they'll give you a quick and easy change from your usually baking.  You'll need:

  • 1 or 2 sheets frozen puff pastry
  • 1 egg yolk + teaspoon water
  • jam - I used apricot jam
  • tinned fruit or homemade stewed fruit - I used apricot halves

Before you start assembling the pastry, turn on the oven to 230C/445F - the pastry needs high heat to puff up. 

I cut the pastry into four portions but they were two big and when I ate the first one, I cut it in two. Next time, I'll use one sheet and have three rectangles instead of the four large squares I made with two sheets. Work out the size you want and cut the pastry accordingly. Each pastry has a double layer so cut all the pastry the same size so you can double up. Cut a hole in the top layer, (see photo above) that's where you place the jam and fruit. Brush the egg wash in between the two layers and add the pastry with the hole in it on top of another piece of pastry without a hole - that's the base. Use whatever jam and fruit you have on hand.

When the pastries are made, brush them with egg wash - that's egg yolk with a teaspoon water in it. That creates the golden colour. Put the pastries in the oven and bring them out when they're golden and puffy. When they're cool, you can drizzle water icing on them but I think they're sweet enough without it. They can be frozen and reheated in the oven on a low temperature.

I've been meaning to tell you about this kitchen brush I've been using lately. This isn't a paid promotion, I bought my brush and it does a great job. I use it for my frying pan, saucepans and sometimes I clean the sink with it. It's the German Redecker dish brush ($29.95) and I bought mine here. Although I've used mine a lot, it's kept its shape, no bristles have fallen out and the handle doesn't seem to stain. If you're looking for a good kitchen brush for a reasonable price, I recommend this to you.

When I had spare time this week, I worked on my replacement aprons. I like to have several aprons in the cupboard so I have a clean one to work in every day of the week.  I've worn out most of my aprons that I've used for the past ten years so I thought I'd replace all of them in one go. Aprons do a wonderful job keeping your clothes clean while you work in your home and if you put a big pocket on your apron, you can collect eggs, put pegs in the pocket when you hang out the washing, or just collect bits and pieces that you find around the place. Just don't put scissors in your pocket because if you fall, it could cause a serious injury.  Aprons are so easy to make so if you're not a sewer yet, it's a fantastic first project. Here is a YouTube apron tutorial and here's another. I hope you give it a go.

Thank you for the lovely comments on my last post. It really makes a difference when you comment, not just for me but for all bloggers. I appreciate the time you take to connect with me.  xx
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