I went home on the weekend for the first time in five (!!) months. I had some time off work and really just needed home. Somedays my abnormal ‘normal life situation‘ makes me want to eat a whole jar of peanut butter. In one go, with a spoon. And I’m not sure I’d be able to decide between smooth or crunchy, so better make that two jars. Nevertheless, I feel like I’m dealing with it well (there is nothing PB can fix) and really, I can only take each day as it comes.
The jobs have been a huge learning curve & I’ve started a new blogging endeavour – did you see my first post as a staff writer over at Scoop Nutrition? I also came really (really) close to a bit of life stability too, and well, dementia has well & truly came to play at home, which quite frankly just sucks.
I just feel like I’m on a bit of an emotional rollercoaster. I’m laughing lots but I’m also crying. So, as you can see I really needed home, some TLC & some lamb shanks on a bed of mash potato.
So I went home. I drove 545km in one day. I stopped twice: once for Saturday #breakfastinmelbourne with a dear friend, and second for petrol. Neither is hardly surprising. It seemed that Melbourne did a petrol price hike for the occasion too.
But it was worth it.
Oh, it was so worth it.
I spent a good four days spending much needed time with my family, and a lot of time in the kitchen.
My grandparents bought a new car. It’s not-surprisingly red and much easier for my grandma to get in to. It starts with a button & I spent five minutes sitting in the car with grandad trying to work out how to turn on the radio without the engine. But we got there in the end.
I had the chance to do a bit of reading & sounding out words with my little cousin.
It’s so lovely to see her grow and develop, and there was a proud dietitian moment too when she couldn’t say a word & reached for the mandarin. ‘This will give me energy and help me’ she said. Although the not-pictured freddo frog from Grandad was the first to go after school, and ‘Grandma always lets me have two liquorice allsorts’ was also voiced on two occasions. Aren’t grandparents just the best.
I spent a lot of time with mum. We explored the new Coles store, we shopped for living room mats & discussed room revamps. We brunched (if you’re ever in Hamilton, be sure to check out Tosca Browns), we had more than one in-the-supermarket-carpark-what-to-cook-for-dinner discussion & I learnt about her addiction to facebook – which she’ll deny.
I caught up with my cousin and her darling miss Layla. She’s found her legs and is busier than ever.
I did well in the food department. We went out for dinner at with friends. We had corned beef, done in the slow cooker, which to me screams home-cooked meal. I whipped up a sweet potato shepherds pie, and seconds were had all round. We had Mexican too. Honestly, the addition of lime to sour cream is one of the best things ever. Second to guacamole ofcourse.
I did a fair bit of baking too. There was banana & choc chip muffins with a necessary swirl of peanut butter. I used wonderful things like extra virgin olive oil & greek yoghurt, which made them quite moist and a touch nutritious.
And there was apple, blueberry & ginger crumble.
The point of yet another life reflection.
This one makes me smile on the inside.
You see, my grandad has this apple tree. Super shiny granny smith apples cover this tree like the plague – the branches have so many apples on them that they are tied to the shed for support. It’s ridiculous. The shed floor is often covered in buckets of apples. And when there are lots of apples, there are lots of stewed apples. I’m pretty sure Mum had at least four containers in her freezer.
Grandma has been making lots of apple crumble lately. Mum reports most days in fact. Our phone chats often have ‘I went to grandmas today… she was making apple crumble again’. This is good. It keeps her busy & she needs the extra energy.
So naturally when the silverside went in the slow cooker on Sunday, not only was an obligatory dessert on my mind, but so was apple crumble. Plus, I had recently seen a divine sounding apple & rhubarb crumble recipe containing gingernuts, so really, I had no choice but to defrost a container of apples & whip one up. I had some Goodness Superfoods clusters at hand, which I thought would be a great idea in a crumble.
It was. I’ve posted the recipe below.
I didn’t actually use the defrosted apples though – the consistency was far too smooth. But I didn’t let them go to waste. I had intentions of using them in a ‘healthier’ recipe where I replaced the sugar with applesauce. I ended up making an adaption of this slice, and using the rest of the bag of clusters. It was a great decision. Not only because of the devoured-not-in-moderation taste but I also scored a new rolling pin out of it. A replica of my late grandmothers – it’s huge and perfect for making a batch of her date scones. My dad’s pretty handy.
Please do make sure you go home. I’m really glad I did.
Apple, blueberry & ginger crumble.
4 small apples – peeled, cored & sliced
1 cup blueberries – I used frozen
1 tsp ground ginger
dash of water
1 cup Goodness Superfoods Cranberry & Macadamia nut clusters
1/4 cup chopped almonds
1/2 cup shredded coconut
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tbs marg/reduced-salt butter/coconut oil – softened
1 tbs brown sugar
1. Preheat oven to approximately 160 degrees.
2. Place apples, ginger & a dash of water in a microwave container & buzz in the microwave for few minutes – until the apple is tender. Remove and combine with blueberries.
3. Combine topping ingredients in a bowl, make sure the marg is spread through evenly.
4. Place filling in a pie dish, top with the crumble & place in the oven for approximately 15-20 minutes. The clusters are already crispy so do keep an eye on the oven and prevent unncessary blackening.
5. Serve with greek yoghurt or custard or ice cream or whatever tickles your taste buds.
Oh, and by the way, as Mum & I left my grandparents house on Tuesday night: ‘do you need any more stewed apples?’