We had another quiet stay-close-to-the-hut weekend. At least the weather was nice enough this week to go outside, open windows and get some sun. Maybe our quiet life might seem a little dull to others but I wouldn't have it any other way. I posted this photo of the hut, reflected in our dam yesterday on Instagram. One of the comments said it looked like a fairy tale. Which made me think about our life at the hut. Rob and I often walk around the block, checking on our trees, looking for thistles and enjoying the dogs running and wrestling nearby. There have been many perimeter walks, mostly with the hut present only in our imaginiation. There were times when I dragged my feet, that I didn't enjoy it, because I didn't think we'd ever live there. Seeing the empty spot where the hut should be just made me feel upset. The problems seemed insurmountable, but still we couldn't think of anywhere else we'd rather be. I guess that's being a little melodramatic, but I hope I never forget the difficulties we had to get there, as it makes me all the more grateful for the quiet weekends we've had recently.
We've put a moratorium on going into Hobart on weekends at the moment. With the shorter days it seems such a waste to be driving around shopping so we've been trying to get organised on Friday evening for a weekend in. Having said that, our washing machine is becoming quite temperamental so shopping for a new one may be a task for a Saturday morning soon. So our weekend started with some shopping and then a quick lemon linguine with a glass of wine, then reading new library books on the window seat.
Saturday morning is becoming our sleep in morning now, and I was treated to bacon, eggs and baked beans with freshly baked rolls in bed. Claudia was very interested in the bacon, both dogs got a little taste afterwards. I borrowed some novels from the library for once, normally I stick to cooking or gardening books. So I enjoyed reading Eat, Pray, Love and an old Rosamunde Pilcher novel set in Cornwall.
I made some meatballs to freeze for future meals, and cooked some quinces for a tagine I had in mind. Rob spent his morning on his hands and knees shoving aluminium fly screen underneath the cladding of the hut, in an attempt to keep the mice out.
Rob came in after lunch and made a massive batch of shortbread cut out as foxes. Which I have just realised I have failed to photograph. I think he was a bit over it by the end, as the mix was quite crumbly but they were very tasty.
Claudia has obviously decided to take the mouse problem to task. She snuffles around in the tufts of grass looking for them. Up until now I didn't think she'd been very successful. On Saturday afternoon she was pouncing and pointing and then just stood there until we came closer, then she picked up a poor mouse and ran off with it! I guess she didn't think it was fair if she had caught it that we should get it. Apparently it was quite comical to see me running after her, and her running with the mouse's tail hanging out of her mouth. I'm still not sure if she swallowed it or spat it out somewhere.
I cooked the beef and quince tagine, we've become quite obsessed about chuck steak at the moment and are dreaming up all sorts of slow cooked casseroles to use it in, serving it with a roasted pumpkin and fennel couscous.
Sunday was so sunny so we took the dogs for a walk on nearby Manuka Hills through some dry sclerophyll forest. The dogs loved it and ran around pretending to be timber wolves. We headed back to the hut and listened to Radio National's coverage of the Sydney Writer's Festival while we oiled all the timber window frames, doors and skirting with tung oil, a job we'd been meaning to do for awhile. We planted the red ranunculus in the flower garden, quickly walked another perimeter and then headed inside so Rob could help me dye my hair. I'm not sure it looks very different though, the colour was just called Chocolate, but looks a bit red under lights.
How was your weekend?
On our plate this week, chicken soup, scrambled eggs, steak and those potato stacks again, my breakfast, quince and beef tagine, tomato and meatball soup, lemon linguine and chicken and roasted vegetable risotto.