So tomorrow’s the big day. Back to reality. Christmas, New Year, and now my maternity leave have all come to an end. It will be hard to get back into the swing of things but part of me is looking forward to it. The thing about being home all the time, or being on holidays, is that my routine falls apart. Sometimes that is absolute bliss, not having to be anywhere or do anything, but in truth my house looks less than fabulous and I don’t feel in control. If I’m really honest there was even an occasion on our holiday where I had to borrow a pair of my Mum’s knickers because in my super relaxed state I had left the washing pile go one day too many. Lesson learned.
As usual our holiday season budget was tight but we managed to have a great little holiday away from the city. Rather than pay through the nose to stay somewhere fancy we drove up to our family farm where the only costs are $5 a night per adult (to cover our electricity usage etc) and our food and alcohol. We had been putting aside a small amount each fortnight so the money was ready and waiting come holiday time. We used a Christmas Savings Account from Teachers Mutual Bank which allows you to set up direct debit and a regular savings plan so you don’t even have to remember to put the money aside, it’s all done for you. Plus you can’t touch the money until November- great if you have self-control issues! So our holiday wasn’t glamorous or adventurous but it was amazing. It was wonderful to have a change of scenery and not be exposed to all the reminders of work at home. Plus I relished being a total dag! We were so isolated I could wear whatever was comfortable and even if someone came to visit we could see/hear them coming as the cattle grid entrance is quite a drive from the house, leaving me time to throw on something presentable.
I like to start the new year fresh so I have been going through the freezer and pantry (I don’t really have a pantry, just drawers and open shelves) and using anything and everything lying around. It’s good to take stock of what I have and see what gets used most often. Speaking of stock, I have to share this amazing photo of my bone broth I had frozen in the freezer.
Check out that thick layer of fat with all that gelatinous goodness poking through! Sorry if that grosses you out but I find it fascinating, and kinda beautiful. Chilling or freezing bone broth (or stock or soup for that matter) reveals the fat content and it’s up to you what you do with this information. I usually leave it as is, for flavour and nutrition, but you could scoop the fat off the top and use for other cooking (if you’ve used chicken bones that fat is called ‘schmaltz’, which you may have seen mentioned in Jewish recipes), or discard if you have something against fat. It’s also great to see how much gelatin you managed to produce as this is a sign of a good bone broth from healthy animals. I think I’ll do a post on bone broth and stock in the near future. Let me know if this is something you’d be interested in. I hope to post more regularly once I’m back into routine.
Anyway I’ll leave you with a few more photos of the end of 2014 and the beginning of 2015. I hope your holiday season was wonderful and 2015 is the best year yet! I think it will be, I can feel it in my bones. xx