Giving thanks (and a few travel photos)

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I have been tempted, intrigued, frankly amazed by Thanksgiving in the US, and Thanksgiving related recipes in the blogosphere. So many ways with turkey, marshmallows as a main course, green bean casseroles? – and that avalanche of pumpkins!

It’s the end of Spring in Australia. In recent weeks, we celebrated friends’ birthdays, attended a beautiful wedding, and as part of all this travelled to Canberra and the Jindabyne / Snowy Mountains region. In the spirit of Thanksgiving, I am thankful for having such good friends, though we don’t see some of them as much as we would like. These trips also promoted me to reflect on the year that was, and what lies ahead.

This blog is just over a year old (no proper blogoversary, yet, unless you count our recent Moroccan feast and That Cake). I have ‘met’ many gorgeous bloggers, discovered such creative ideas, and learned new baking and cooking techniques.

Can you believe that I was terrified of yeast even last year? And now I can look croissant and brioche and baguette in the eye. No flinching. Along the way, we’ve also had a giant cookie, rosewater savarin, fig caramel tart, tea eggs, profiteroles, and galettes. And bundt cakes, large (with persimmon) and mini (with blueberries)

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I’ve befriended our little camera. Last year, I only knew auto mode, and couldn’t tell you about any of those buttons. And we are not talking about a DSLR, this is a point and shoot with some manual functions. Baby steps!

And the next year? More cooking and baking (maybe balanced with more yoga). Hopefully more travel. Maybe learning techy blog stuff like CSS (eeep!). And above all fun with blogging and non-blogging friends.

What prompted this bout of introspection?

This …

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This …

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This child, enjoying his moment alone, oblivious to the bagpipes.

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A moment of life imitating surrealism imitating life, in our national portrait gallery.

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The happiest car I’ve seen in a long time.

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Sunset, moody, brooding, breathtaking.

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Oh, and we had a pumpkin after all. On the weekend, when we had Dorie Greenspan’s pumpkin stuffed with all things good. How could we go wrong with Dorie?

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Til next time, with popcorn cookies!

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16 thoughts on “Giving thanks (and a few travel photos)

  1. Liz 29 November 2013 at 4:07 am Reply

    love your pictures and your stories and your musings :-) No way you were afraid of yeast only a year ago. You? Wow. Love when folks find a passion and run with it! Thanks for all you share.

    • saucygander 29 November 2013 at 10:44 pm Reply

      Yeast just seemed so strange and uncooperative, until one day, it all clicked somehow, strange right? Thanks for visiting, and hope you are having a great Thanksgiving holiday!

  2. Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella 29 November 2013 at 8:56 am Reply

    Happy one year blogsoversary! What a journey it has been and may there be many more fun filled years! :D

  3. Johnny Hepburn 29 November 2013 at 10:59 am Reply

    Those little cars are so cute! I’m not really into cars, apart from what they do. In fact, I don’t even hold a licence. Never bothered to do it. Yet, I can see myself nipping around in one of those :) Happy first year blogging! I’m very surprised you had never used yeast before. You’re giving me confidence to start – if it wasn’t so damp right now.

    • saucygander 29 November 2013 at 10:50 pm Reply

      Those cars were the best. Fiat 500s were everywhere in Sicily, and I was so tempted to bring one back (we used to joke one would fit in our carry on luggage!)
      Yeast really seemed terrifying, not to mention moody and uncooperative. Then one day, trying to make pizza dough, it just clicked. Give it a go – after the first few rock cakes (or so they seemed), it’s become fun!

  4. Gather and Graze 29 November 2013 at 9:38 pm Reply

    Lovely post and many congrats on your first blogiversary – you’ve created a beautiful place for us to come and visit! A few very familiar photos there… we’ve possibly passed each other on the street just recently! :)

    • saucygander 1 December 2013 at 6:21 am Reply

      Haha, just imagine passing each other! Thanks for visiting, the connections in the blogosphere is one of the best things about keeping a blog.

  5. tworedbowls 2 December 2013 at 1:56 am Reply

    I love this post. Thanks so much for sharing your journey with us :) I’d never baked with yeast before this year, either! Funny when something that seems so foreign and intimidating becomes manageable. And that shot of the tea eggs is just phenomenal! I love it beyond words.

    • saucygander 3 December 2013 at 6:50 am Reply

      Thanks so much for your kind words! Yes, yeast down. Next is a real sourdough starter, which is much more intimidating – a live thing in our kitchen?? Doesn’t mum always tell me not to leave food out until it grows legs?? :-D

  6. Anne ~ Uni Homemaker 2 December 2013 at 5:34 pm Reply

    Love your photos! It’s hard to believe you were terrified of yeast a year ago. Doesn’t seem so at all with all your baking recipes. Happy Blogiversary, by the way! :)

    • saucygander 3 December 2013 at 6:47 am Reply

      Thank you, I’m so glad to have ‘meet’ people like you through blogging! :-D

  7. nancy@jamjnr 3 December 2013 at 11:17 am Reply

    Gorgeous photos – I love the life imitating art one what a great capture of a moment in time. Happy blogversay!

  8. Jody and Ken 8 December 2013 at 8:06 am Reply

    You become friends with all kinds of things (including manual mode on your camera) after you start blogging… and baking. Both, after awhile, begin to feel “real”–at least that’s the way it’s been for me, the first time you make a successful sourdough loaf, or make a picture, thinking it through, instead of just taking a snapshot. Great photo, my fav, of the bowl with the tea egg. And congrats on making it this far. Ken

    • saucygander 8 December 2013 at 2:17 pm Reply

      Yes, all of your words ring true, and blogging has made me that much more aware of what we eat, even for simple weeknight dinners.

      There is always stuff to learn our do better. Am trying to get a sourdough starter going (and compulsively googling about what it should smell like…), and then, learn more about the basics of food rather than just reproduce recipes. Will see how I go! :-)

      • Jody and Ken 8 December 2013 at 4:06 pm

        The best instructions for getting a starter going I even found were in Maggie Glazer’s ARTISAN BAKING ACROSS AMERICA, a wonderful book with a wild variety of takes on sourdough, and great great breads. But very simple, effective starter process. Forget the fruit, forget the massive quantiies of dough. Just flour + water. Then, a short time later (about a week, I think) it’s time to rock and roll! Ken

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