Monthly Archives: October 2012

Weekly photo challenge: Foreign food

With a little bit of english thrown in … you get the drift? 

Don’t you think food sounds so much more exotic in a foreign language? But then, absolutely everything sounds enticing in Italian, even a toilet!

Photographed on the Cinque Terre walk, Italy.

Weekly photo challenge: Big

Like giant pebbles – I’d love to caress the smooth surface!

No, these are not giant candy-coated pebbles…

This is one of the sculptures gracing the streets of Wellington. This one is called ‘Protoplasm’ by sculptor Phil Price. Made from composite plastic and steel, Protoplasm stands 6 – 8 m high. During the gale force winds we endured last week, the kermit-like discs spun crazilyon their axis, like whirling dervishes. It was incredible – I’ve never seen Protoplasm so alive.

In case you’re like me and have no idea what a protoplasm is, with reference to the above, Protoplasm is the active part of any living cell.

It certainly lived up to it’s name last week!

Weekly photo challenge: Happy ravioli

Ravioli a la Rossi – please excuse the steam.

I had a birthday recently. One of my gifts – from my youngest son – was a cooking class for two at one of  Wellington’s favourite Italian cafe/delis  La Bella Italia (a lot of self-interest there!). The ‘voucher’ was handcrafted and covered in his favourite motivational quotes and expressions of his thanks.

“The world is but a canvas for our imagination,” he said.

I was absolutely thrilled, even more so when reading the fine print telling me I was signed up to learn how to make spinach and ricotta ravioli. The voucher allowed for two people, and when asked who I might like to take the class with, I of course said him.

However, that was not to be – he had to go to Auckland. So he organised for me to go along with a friend of his (a girl or course!).

The day came … I was very excited at the prospect of an evening up to my elbows in flour. Seriously, I was. I was hard at work when I heard the familiar chime of my cellphone … a text. Chloe, his friend, was in hospital. Overnight she’d had to go in and was now minus an appendix – no longer in a position to make ravioli. She was gutted …. literally!!!

After a quick and unsuccessful whip around my colleagues to see if any of them were up for the challenge,  my neighbour came to the rescue. We had an absolutely hilarious time with 11 other people sipping champagne, nibbling on antipasti, learning about pasta and ricotta, throwing flour and semolina over the workbench with gay abandon, kneading dough, rolling dough through the pasta wringers, lining lengths of dough with little mounds of filling, and laughing!

It was SO much fun.

At 9.00pm we went home with four dozen ravioli (uncooked) each: 2 dozen spinach and ricotta, 2 dozen pumpkin and ricotta. They looked pretty damn good and authentically hand-made…irregular sizes, irregular shapes, one of mine even had a pasta bandage covering a little hole where my dough ended up being a tad thin.

Being the good mother that I am (!), rather than succumb to a late evening sampling session, I put them in the freezer to share with my son.

Despite having been given a lovely monogrammed apron to wear while working on our masterpieces, my flour covered clothes went onto the washing pile.

Two days later, son returned.

The spinach and ricotta ravioli were duly devoured then next night. They were sensational. There’s nothing quite like good food and good company to warm the heart is there?

What a happy mother!!!

Fast food? I don’t think so … not in our hands anyway.

Weekly photo challenge: Mine again

This time of day – it’s mine!

You should have by now discovered that my favourite time of day is early morning … the light is so beautiful, it’s peaceful and quiet … the only sounds being bird songs and – in this case – the surf washing gently up to the shore … shwish, swhish.

It’s so easy now to capture special moments, like this one, with my trusty phone come personal assistant come media player. I look at the photo and it evokes the feelings I experienced.

But this blog isn’t about possessions – it’s about the special moments that are MINE and MINE alone. Like my solitary meander among the tulips.

My emotional response to what I see is different to yours, different to anyone else.

It’s mine.

Photographed in the Noosa National Park, Sunshine Coast, Queensland. September 2012.

Weekly photo challenge: Mine

Early morning tulips

The cup of coffee is already gone – it’s no longer original. Besides, in previous posts I’ve already stressed the importance of my first cup of coffee in my daily routine.

And you know I like striding out!

But what you don’t know is that I snuck out of bed extremely early last Sunday morning, just so I could stride down to Wellington’s Botanic Gardens and photograph the gorgeous display of tulips without anyone else being there. I wanted them all to myself – mine, mine, mine!

I absolutely loved wandering through the gardens with only the birds, the magnificent trees, my favourite magnolia blooms – which never last very long in Wellington winds – rhododendrons, camellias, cherry and apple blossoms, and the bright and beautiful tulips for company.

The birds were singing their glorious songs of daybreak for me, and for me alone.

The pleasure was intense and it was all mine.

Even better than coffee … that came later.