Somethings can only be achieved by doing the opposite of what comes by default to you.
Join me as I walk & cycle my way around Brisbane – one surburb at a time.
Indooroopilly ♣ Chelmer ♣ Graceville
On my latest Friday off, I set out for a one hour walk along the Brisbane River from the gorgeously leafy Radnor street, across the Indooroopilly-Chelmer bridge and within the beautiful surburbs of Chelmer and Graceville. It was a beautiful autumn day for any old walk and there were lovely little surprises to be enjoyed and captured.
Nothing makes a day off feel like a holiday like walking beside the river, wind on your face as you listen to the relaxing rustle of leafy boughs.
I love the bright Brisbane autumn sky & lovely views from the bridge.
Stunning flowers, cute house numbers and enshrouded paths.
I stumbled upon this streetside library called a mighty fine book swap.
I like to strategically make my way to an interesting local cafe to sample their flavoured lattes.
On my scale of Caramel Lattes with the UQ Lakeside Cafe ranking 8 out of 10, Goodness Gracious Cafe ranked 6.5. Not bad.
Oh, and I loved this house on Twigg Street. 3 next door neighbours were selling up though – FYI
What’s a walk without a selfie to prove it
This guy was a friendly passerby who wanted a chat. One is always up for a chat with a random stranger on a day off with an empty calendar. He was smiling and he looked quite happy. I always walk past people and wonder what their life is like –Are they happy? Are they going through a rough patch? Are they wondering what to do with their millions or are they wondering if they can afford a decent cup of coffee this week? Well, upon chatting with this fellow, it turned out that he was very unhappy. He and his wife and little daughter had moved from India three months ago and he really missed his extended family and all his networks. He is currently an uber driver and he thought that perhaps he might be happier when he gets a new job with better pay. I told him that starting over in a new country was always difficult and that I hoped things turned out better for him soon. I suggested getting in touch with his community group here, wished him farewell and asked if we could take a selfie.
It was still a beautiful day as I walked back to my car, contemplating the bits and pieces of life I’d just seen during my walk – houses: big ones, cute ones, unkempt ones where I thought a snake might crawl out from in any minute; businesses: bustling ones, loud ones, quiet ones with bored shop assistants; passersby: some walking their dogs, others running alone with their music, some walking past with an acknowledging smile and those keen for a chat. We’re all dealing with life – happy, sad or inbetween – or for some of us, life maybe dealing with us.
Sundays are not made for rushing about – they are best spent lazying a little bit longer in bed, lingering over breakfast with a newspaper, connecting with friends at church or saturating your home with the delicious aroma of home baked yummies. Last sunday was one of such beautiful days and I enjoyed puttering about in my kitchen baking for the week.
The thought of my filling my kids’ lunchboxes with home made treats which don’t have numbers as ingredients always makes me feel blessed – blessed that I have the time to cook and bake; blessed that I enjoy being in my kitchen; blessed that I am healthy enough to stand for hours in the kitchen; and blessed that I have loved ones to cook for. Now, whether or not they always enjoy my cooking is another topic – I like to think that one day they will appreciate all I do for them – the hours it takes me to work out which dishes are healthy and yummy at the same time. One day, they will reminisce on the good old days with their mama, pick up the phone and tell me how MUCH they miss those days when I baked various treats for them – and I always imagine myself on the other side of the line, full of the wisdom that old age will bring, nodding with understanding and twirling my gray dreadlocks with my spare fingers while I say, “I did make you the best treats, didn’t I? Well, you know I will rustle up your favourite treats when you visit!”
I wasn’t sure what to make for the lunchboxes so I asked the kids and they had different suggestions: “Chocolate cake?” No, I don’t have baking chocolate; “Peanut butter cookies?” Hmmm, no, it has to be nutfree for school. “Cake?” Well, I want something with vegetables or fruit – Carrot cake? “NO! We had that everyday last week” Oh, I have bananas. Banana bread? “YES!” I’ll make it super healthy – I’ll use honey, some superfood and wholemeal spelt flour! *Faces fall* “Healthy? Superfood?” *Eye roll & Groan*
I considered giving them a lecture about the many benefits of would-be ingredients – flaxseeds, sunflower seeds & honey – and why at least one of them was considered a superfood but I didn’t think it would enlighten them further, so I just mumbled something along the lines of banana being healthy and how they never had to worry about what came out of my kitchen as it was always good for them.
Soon, the delicious aroma that can only be attributed to banana breads resulted in “When can we have a taste Mum?” questions. I was very hopeful. Tinkering with recipes by replacing sugar with honey always worries me because you never know if your measurements were correct – and there’s nothing more devastating than a failed baking project that smells delicious! Imagine my joy when beauty came out of the oven.
Slice, butter, munch….And love it they did! “You are the best cook in the whole world!” No, not really, but thank you darlings. Then I thought to myself, even though I know their compliments are usually temporary, swayed by things like the visibility of vegetables, I know they would pass on this recipe – Mama Nancy’s Superfood Wholegrain Banana Bread to their kids. Eventually. Because it was that good.
1 cup plain wholemeal flour (I used spelt)
1/2 cup self-raising wholemeal flour ( I made this up with spelt and baking powder)
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
1/4 cup flaxseeds, ground coarsely ( I mixed this 50:50 golden linseeds & flaxseeds)
2 Tbsp coconut flakes
1/4 Tsp salt
100g Olive oil
2 eggs, whisked
2 ripe bananas, mashed
1/2 cup honey
- Grease and line a deep loaf pan
- Preheat oven to 180°C or 160°C fanforced
- Combine all the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl
- Whisk the eggs, add the remaining wet ingredients and whisk until combined
- Make well in flour mixture and pour in wet ingredients, mixing gently in one direction until just combined
- Spoon into loaf pan and smooth the surface
- Bake for approximately 45 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the loaf comes out clean
- Set the loaf aside while still in the pan for about 10 minutes
- Turn out onto a wire rack and serve warm with your favourite spread – butter or peanut butter are made for warm banana bread.
I adapted this recipe from Taste
Lemon & ginger tea, English breakfast, green tea bags, loose green tea, Chinese loose black tea, chai tea – I collect them and when you drop by my place, you’ll find them proudly displayed on the little shelf in my dining area. There’s also a T2 fancy name tea which has pomegranate and apple pieces among many things. Surprisingly, tea isn’t the thing on my mind when I wake up – coffee is. Continue reading
My other half has been spending a lot of his time in China lately. He’s obsessed with international trade and even tries to sneak business talk into pillow talk (smh). So we decided that it would be a splendid idea for me and the kids to fly to China and see what this craze was all about. As I anticipated our trip, my emotions where a mixture of excitement and apprehension – I knew it would be a neat adventure but I didn’t quite know what my own experience would be.
I needn’t have worried. I mostly loved China – I was pleasantly surprised; I was immersed in a rich culture; I was surrounded by Mandarin, Cantonese and broken English; I tried new toilets I never knew existed and I indulged in authentic Chinese & Hong Kong cuisine that I now crave daily. My husband was thrilled that we embraced China because the country seems to be very much in his future and most likely in our future too.
I’d like to share a few pictures that captured some of the delightful moments I was priviledged to enjoy during my visit to China.