Thursday, June 21, 2012

Roasted Jerusalem Artichoke and Celeriac Soup

I have a bit of a penchant for Jersusalem Artichoke.  So when I discovered some grown locally in the suburbs of Canberra at Choku Bai Jo recently I grabbed a bagful and planned some soup.

As so often happens when I google ingredients I have at hand I find a number of recipes from which I gain ideas and inspiration and end up with something which is quite different from each recipe I view.  So here's my version just for you.

The flavour of this soup is second to none.  It was ravenously devoured by all soup eaters in my home this evening.  Hence I have no photo to share (sigh).

Roasted Jerusalem Artichoke and Celeriac Soup
Chop and roast some celeriac and jerusalem artichoke (washed and cut into chunks, no need to peel the jerusalem artichoke) with olive oil and pink rock salt and black pepper.
Later add stems of fresh thyme.

Meanwhile soften some onion in a saucepan, add garlic and one chopped potato.
Add 1L stock and bring to boil.  Cook until potato is soft.
Add roasted vegetables.  Heat through and allow flavours to meld together.
Blend and enjoy.

Do you enjoy the flavour of Jerusalem Artichoke?  If you haven't tried it, I recommend you do. It has a delicious flavour unlike anything else I've tried and I can't find words to describe it.  Apparently the French Explorer Samuel de Champlain sent the first samples of the plant to France, noting its taste was similar to an artichoke.  The texture is quite like potatoes however and perfect as a soup vegetable.

I'm off to market again this weekend hoping to find some more delicious Jerusalem Artichoke.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Ripple Progress

I have loved this crochet project.  Loved snuggling up underneath it waiting for my baby to call me.  I have enjoyed the colours as they throw a brightness into my home.

Yes the wool ran out, all the balls I thought would finish my ripple blanket.  It was slightly too small for my bed, or perhaps that was just an excuse for me to purchase the same colours again and continue this wonderful blanket allowing it to envelop me this winter.  I really should place it on the bed again soon as I've crocheted a number of rows since these pics were taken.

I'm feeling like I'm fighting a virus or the like at the moment so I'm going to snuggle up again under my bright ripple and let it nurture me as I rest this evening.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

My Unintentional Break

It's been a while hasn't it!  Don't think I haven't longed to be able to pop in to say Hi!, to share our life's adventures.  I have missed being able to be here, missed you.  Yet life has changed so much since I started blogging and I just don't seem to have the time, space, words and mental energy to be here as often as I'd like.  There are many days I have had words forming in my head, a post ready to share, yet not the moments to sit and type before I fall in a heap in the evenings.  There have also been many days when I seem to have lost my words.

When I started my blog almost 5 years ago I had just had my second baby - by precious little Eee.  We were very settled in our home in Adelaide and I needed something new to stimulate and inspire me.  It was the inspiration of Ess Cox which gave me that final jolt to start my own.  As you can see, she has found busyness in other areas of her life as well.  Little Eee was a delightful sleeping baby.  She would sleep three times a day and all through the night.   I needed to be home with her to let her sleep. I was at home with her asleep, with my Ess at Kindy, I also had a bright and rested mind which allowed me to think and reflect and share easily.

Things are different now...

Now my third baby J is 20 months old.  She has been a delightful little one to care for but is very much more hands on than my Eee was as a baby.  She has not liked to sleep ever since we moved when she was 3 months old and just starting to sleep 12 hours overnight.  She catnaps during the day  and is very wakeful at night.  It has not been uncommon for my husband and I to be up every two hours and more to attend to her.  We started to take it in shifts to nurture her as I slept early in the evening and he in the early hours of the morning.  It was how we could cope with all that was happening alongside the other issues of moving and having to go to court to resolve our house matter last year.  Thus I have not had a rested mind.  I've been sleep-deprived with more demands meaning I needed to focus on my family first.  Now Ess is at home being educated as an 8 year old and my little Eee is enjoying emerging literacy - a crucial stage of her literacy development I must be mindful of.

It is only just now that it seems baby J is able to sleep for most of the night, only waking us once or twice for a few nights a week, other nights she still wakes numerous times.  So we are starting to be able to sleep when we need to and stay asleep.  I am noticing that perhaps I do have a little more inspiration to write.  My mind is perhaps a little more rested.

As well as that, I am not at home as much as I used to be with my baby Eee in the early days.  We have connected with two very interesting and functioning networks of home educators here in the capital and we always have things to go out and do.  I am home on Mondays and every second Friday but I have to work very hard to keep those days free of outings.  We are home on the odd Thursday as well but most weeks we are out over lunch time then.  When I am out socialising I lack the energy to do so again on my blog, such a serious introvert am I. ;)

Baby J exploring autumn leaves
Honourable Mention
I've also found another online community of people I really enjoy.  When my niece was born in Belfast last year I joined Instagram so I could see pictures of her as she grew.  I subsequently found a group of people sharing photos of great quality, photos which inspired me. I found my photos were enjoyed and I became part of a couple of groups and participated in challenges. I was delighted to receive an Honourable Mention recently after entering the Autumnal_Shades_in_the_Capital competition.  So I will continue to show my pics there.  Follow along if you'd like to see a pic or two everyday.  I'm @CeeLew. :)

So that is some of the change that has happened for me in recent times.  A little of the reasoning I give myself when trying to explain why this place I have so enjoyed remains vacant for many days in a row.

Here are some of the things we've been enjoying recently:

:: Finally getting to explore Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve.  On our first visit with the Discovery Club (our home education friends) we walked the Birrigai Time Trail to view a Rock Shelter used by our indigenous people.  It has been dated to 40000 years ago (although indigenous people were here prior to then).  We then found the Discovery Playground which we returned to recently to share with Dad over a BBQ lunch.

:: Completing a couple of yarn projects.  An owlet knitted for my baby J and a capelet for my eldest, Ess.  She chose the pattern herself and loves it so.  I've really enjoyed sitting down to some crochet these past days.  My ripple blanket is still in progress, waiting its turn.  It'll be there a while longer. I can't bear to finish it.  I love the process so much.

:: Making plans for changes to our garden.  My Generous Gentleman would love to get his hands into some dirty work and has some great ideas to make our lovely new backyard with beautiful well established cold-climate plants into something more useable for our family.  Let's just say lots of digging and water seems to be involved.

:: Enjoying visits from both my Mum and my Dad over Easter and beyond.  They are both 70 years old this year.  They are both wonderful with my girls and enjoy their company.

:: Reading Stradbroke Dreaming as we journey around Australia on the Australian Book Traveller.

:: Spending many days out at excursions and picnics with our home educated friends.  There is so much to do in Canberra.  So much to do that we cannot do everything and have to choose regularly what we will participate in and enjoy.  We love Questacon and the National Botanic Gardens, the National Museum and Lake Burley Griffin.  There are always extra programs on for us to attend.

:: Enjoying a new church family and small group.  My big girls love going along to their kids program.

:: Having new friends over to lunch to enjoy a Roast Vegetable Minestrone with husband-home-baked spelt bread followed by home crumbed fish and oven-baked chips on a relaxing Sunday afternoon.

:: Exploring Lanyon Homestead with Mum who found it just like being back in the home of her youth.

:: Today we enjoyed holding a 1 day old chick, a little Chinese Silky.  See its little fluffy, feathery feet.

So do tell.  Have you missed my presence here in blogland? Would you like to hear from me more often?  What would you like to hear about?  I'd love to know, as I do so value your comments in this space.

Our New Treasure

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