lately

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how does that saying go, if you need something done ask a busy person to do it?

sounds about right: i’ve been the opposite of busy these last ten days and needless to say, i haven’t accomplished much. sorting my bedroom out, working on my CV and some application details for next year is as far as i’ve got.

i had grand plans of making a marvellous photo book of my three years at university, writing my sweet friends darling letters and doing masses of language study – but not enough time has passed for me to truly miss dunedin or have massive deep meaningful things to write in letters to my friends, and as for the last item, well i guess the fact that there are no deadlines or tests coming up for either language means i’m just not motivated to study them.

what, then, have i been up to? besides sitting on the couch and drinking coffee, that is…

running – verry determined to keep fit over the summer and managing to so far! it helps that christchurch truly is a gorgeous place to run around – the moniker ‘the garden city’ is very apt. trees line the streets and the new green leaves simply glow in the sunlight!

reading – always a treat to get back to fictional books after a long year of heavy textbook readings. i’ve read we are all completely beside ourselves (good) the girl in the spiders web (masterful) someday someday maybe (average) and currently alternating my time between bad samaritans (a book about economic development my dad’s lent me) and the world to come (a queer little story, reminiscent of a history of love, which i’m enjoying, but feel like it is to be read slowly and not in one sitting).

cooking – dinner for the family! adoring the beautiful asparagus and new potatoes the season has brought us. promise to bring you a fun healthy recipe soon – we have the cookbook plenty which i’m dying to make something from.

checking out christchurch cafés – trip to addington the other day which was lovely as always. we also went to laneway espresso yesterday and the caravan the dukes of sandwich, to celebrate my sister being 5 exams down! i had the most insane sandwich – strips of smoky, charcoal-y pork belly with an apple slaw, homemade gooey bbq sauce, salad and ciabatta bun – and for only $12!

back to work soon, so of course once that begins i’ll start doing much more exciting things in my free time! i’m already excited for christmas and my mum and i have been plotting the dessert we’ll contribute – we saw a stunning trifle recipe which might just pop up on the christmas table (maybe i’ll do a trial run so i can blog about it). only 35 days to go!

ps – while this has been an upbeat blog post, i just wanted to add that my heart has been very heavy with all the loss and sadness in the news lately. paris, beirut, the syrian refugees, the passing of beloved jonah lomu, and many more tragedies have meant that having my eyes well with tears while reading the news has been a daily occurrence. sending all my love to all those who are hurting around the world.

“When I despair, I remember that all through history the ways of truth and love have always won. There have been tyrants, and murderers, and for a time they can seem invincible, but in the end they always fall. Think of it… always.” – Mahatma Gandhi
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blooming anna is one!

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hello from christchurch! yes, that’s right, i’ve finished exams and left dunedin (for good!)
it was the strangest feeling saying goodbye to dunedin – a place i have been so happy and proud to call home for the last three years.

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i have a very lovely dunedin centred post coming for you, but this is not it. instead, we’re celebrating! there are many things to celebrate – one of my most darling friends turns 21 today, happy birthday Jess! my sister has also just begun her very first lot of bona fide, grown up exams (NCEA level one), my brother’s completed first year law school and i of course have completed three years of uni and a bachelors degree!

but there is one more reason for this cake – blooming anna is one year old today! i’m not going to say any platitudes about this blog changing my life, and i certainly haven’t had fame and fortune eventuate from it – but i’ve really enjoyed sharing my stories and recipes on this corner of the internet, and i hope you’ve enjoyed reading them as well!

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right, now for cake. this is quite the hodgepodge of various recipes – i spent a good hour scanning the internet for all the components i wanted! what we’ve ended up with is a tart, moist grapefruit cake, with grapefruit curd filling and a marscapone cream topping. it felt very summery and celebratory to us, and we enjoyed it sitting outside in the garden which is simply glowing green in the sun and the prettiest contrast to the blue sky.

as always, thank you for reading. any comments and compliments mean the world to me – it makes me so very glad to be a source of enjoyment.

Anna xxx

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ps – the very stunning photos were taken by my talented sister sarah. here’s hoping she agrees to continue to photograph for my posts – i’m sure you’ll agree her photos are a million times better than any i could take! xx

grapefruit curd (adapted from here)

3/4 cups milk
1/2 cup sugar
25g cornflour
40g butter, chopped
1/3 cup grapefruit juice
1 tablespoon finely grated grapefruit zest
3 egg yolks

Place 1/2 cup milk and the sugar in a saucepan and heat until sugar is dissolved. Place the cornflour and 1/4 cup milk in a small bowl and stir to combine. Pour into the milk and sugar mixture and stir. Add the butter and then increase the heat to melt. Take off the heat, add the grapefruit juice, grapefruit rind and egg yolks, and whisk vigorously until completely combined. Place back on medium heat and cook, whisking continuously, for 10 minutes or until thickened and beginning to boil. Pour into a bowl and place in the fridge.

grapefruit cake (adapted from here)

1 1/2 cups sugar
3 eggs
2/3 cup grapefruit juice
1 cup vegetable oil
1 cup natural yoghurt
2 1/2 cups flour
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
juice of half a grapefruit

Preheat oven to 160˚C (325˚F) and grease and line a 20cm springform tin.

Beat eggs, grapefruit juice, oil and yoghurt in a large bowl. Add sugar, flour and baking powder and stir to combine.

Pour into tin and cook at 160˚C for 1 hour and 10 minutes, or until golden brown and risen.
Squeeze over half a grapefuit to moisten and add a tang.
When completely cold, using a serrated knife, carefully cut into three equal layers.

marscapone cream

2/3 cup cream
3 tbsp sugar
200g mascarpone cheese

Beat the cream and the sugar to soft peaks. Beat the marscapone in another bowl, then add the cream and beat again until stiff. Put in a piping bag.

to assemble

with a very large tip, pipe the marscapone cream around the circumference of the lowest layer, then spoon 1/3 of the curd into the centre. Repeat with the next layer. For the top layer, pipe bursts around 2/3 of the cake, then spoon the curd into the centre and swirl. Add flowers to decorate (mine were not edible – what can i say, i live on the wild side … and i took them out straight after!)

enjoy!

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