Home Again Day 14 – 11 April and since 12-13 April
Police farewelling us from the entrance to the Hilton Hotel. This is a screenshot from a video I posted as we left.
Hello and I hope you had a Happy Easter whatever form that took
Well. I was certainly excited to be released from the Hilton Hotel on Saturday morning – and you may have seen and heard my scream of delight on the evening TV news bulletins. The photo above was taken from the beginning of a video I took and put onInstagram and Facebookas we left. I’ve posted plenty more since!
How it feels
Weird in so many ways. When we went to go down in the lift, masks over our faces, a door opened and there were three security guards, no masks, in one lift who asked “are you going down? Then come in”. We declined as surely that isn’t social-distancing???????
Down to the lobby where six police were sitting around a desk and then past army reserves or soldiers outside. We walked down the driveway, I did a short TV interview but again declined to remove my mask though they said I could. That over I had to let out that scream but had to restrain myself from hugging my brother-in-law who was there to collect us.
The streets were almost deserted and we were home in super quick time. We took our luggage upstairs, started unpacking and getting organised and then I found John sitting on the balcony outside. He said he felt a bit strange. I did too – “heady” is the only word I can use for it. My breathing or pulse were a bit odd and we surmised it was the fresh air, rich in oxygen, contrasting with the air with a higher level of carbon dioxide in it we experienced in the hotel room after 14 days. When I emailed fellow quarantinees (we had managed to form a small email group) another found this too, but had thought it was because the air in the hotel was so dry. Strange phenomenon and we had been concerned about air in the hotel.
Thanks again for your lovely messages of support and feedback. And delighted to hear some of you are interested in Zoom cooking classes. Do please feel free to share with a friend.
An abundance of fresh produce – and protein, something I had missed
Shopping We soon felt better and a with load of washing in the machine (yah!) off we went to the supermarket. We were quite surprised to see so many people offhand about social distancing. We are ultra-conscious, wore masks, used hand sanitiser and washed our hands as soon as we got home.At the supermarket, they were counting to control numbers allowed in. However, once inside many seemed unconcerned. We made our way straight to the butcher, meat and seafood counters which were really well stocked. Just for fun we strolled some of the other aisles and were astonished to find that there was still no toilet paper or kitchen towel. I understand production has increased – but what are people doing with it? Crazy.
I do usually prefer to shuck my own oysters, but we couldn’t resist buying some, and for John some smoked fish and marinara he liked the look of, and to celebrate, some smoked trout. I had been fantasizing about Tomahawk steak and was pleased to buy that, along with some lamb cutlets. Again John was after sausages and burgers. We do have quite different tastes.It had been quite hard to take, all the photos of food people have been posting on social media now that they are home and cooking! We went home to finish unpack, hang out the washing and set off on a long-awaited walk.
Saturday was a glorious day for a walk. A view form nearby Ball’s Head.
It was a sensational day, if very windy and we were so happy to walk for an hour. Even better, the local cafes were doing takeaway so we bought a coffee and then went out of the way to drink it.
Having left Australia in February, and having been in London prior to our return where the days were getting gloriously longer, we were surprised to find how early it gets dark now. Something you don’t notice in a hotel room.
Our first sunset at home on Saturday
My Tomahawk steak: first I sprinkled it on both sides with umami salt and extra virgin olive oil, then seared it on all sides on a hotplate, put in the oven for 12 minutes (John likes meat better done than me), rested and carved it. Bliss.
Beef (cooked medium-well for John) with mushrooms, charred onions and silverbeet braised with garlic. Washed down with a fabulous bottle of wine which a friend had sent in to the hotel but which had been confiscated.
I’ll wait till another time to tell you want I cooked last night. It is something I hope to share in support ofCure Cancer and their innovative fund-raising idea World’s Biggest Dinner, whereby we can host virtual dinner parties, have fun and raise funds to help cure cancer at the same time.
However we did finally catch up with our neighbours for drinks and a sing-a-long before the sunset last night. All socially-distanced of course, them on their balcony and we on ours.
Balcony selfie – Geoff and Jo below with drinks, nibbles and yukeleles so we could sing “I am Australian” and “I Still Call Australia Home” to the amusement of some others nearby
Join me – interactive cooking classes from home
I love teaching and demonstrating. This is many years ago at the Good Food and Wine Show where I was representing Good Food Magazine
Thanks for the emails of interest for my planned Zoom cooking classes. I am also keen to know what type of recipes and techniques you may find interesting? Please let me know? firstname.lastname@example.org
These will be intimate, interactive classes on Zoom, which is easily accessed from a computer or phone. It will be done quite simply in my home kitchen. You will need to register to attend the class at a small cost. I will then email you the recipe in advance so that you can have the ingredients. I will then show you how to cook the dish, tips and tricks, all in real time. You will be able to see me and I can see you. You can ask questions which I can answer then and there. The recipes will be approachable and feature easy to get ingredients, how to extend meat, what’s in season in my no-fuss style.
I’m Grateful for …..
I am so happy to be able to wash in a machine and not a hotel bathroom sink!
Last night I posted a video diary on things I am grateful for, on Facebook and Instagram. Click on the links if you missed them.
I thought it worth re-iterating here, there are so many seemingly little things but I am grateful for:
Being able to breathe in fresh air
Being in my own home
Being able to walk from one room to another
Choosing my own food
Walking in nature
Being able to wash clothes in a machine and not a hotel bathroom sink
Eating off real plates, using real cutlery,
Eating at a dining room table
Having wine with dinner, from a decanter
Eating when we like and not just when food happens to be delivered
Working from my home office with a second screen for my computer and back support in my chair
Sleeping in my own bed – 7 1/2 hours sleep on Saturday night and over 8 last night!
Being able to see the sunset
Sitting on the balcony for lunch