My yesterday, today was a creative way I communicated with my partner while he was on the other side of the world in Nashville, in another time zone. My day was Rob’s night, so I would write him an email before I went to bed most nights and he would get it upon waking in the morning (you get me?). It was a good way to fill him in on the goings on of my world – it was initially a humorous one-off thing but I enjoyed it so much that My yesterday, today became a daily habit for the whole of his two months abroad.
And I miss it! So I’m bringing it back, food-orientated with a little mention of music.
Where – Nashville, Tennessee. USA
When – Thursday 25th March
Weather – Spring is taking shape here, and there has been loads of warm sunshine. BUT NOT TODAY! Instead it was grey, cold and raining most of the day. (I had a very unfortunate run in with it, minus required umbrella, waiting for a bus that never showed up. THANKS METROPOLITAN TRANSIT AUTHORITY.)
All I wanted to do today was – Drink tea and read. There’s a tree I’ve been sitting under lately to indulge these two things. The grooves of the trunk fit perfectly with my resting-against-a-tree-position (you think it would feel awkward right?), it’s supremely comfortable and even the noisy clang of traffic close-by can’t burst my satisfaction bubble. But alas, the rain can.
On my mind – Comfort. If it were a photograph, it would show a family crowded around the kitchen table, eating roast lamb dinner on a Sunday evening. And if it were a smell, it would be my mother’s honeyed carrots. If it were a taste, my dad’s kitchen specialty – tiger toast (stripes of butter, Vegemite and grilled cheese). Were it a feeling, it’s a thick knitted blanket on a rainy afternoon, and a sound, the restless ocean, heard from what was once my bedroom at my parents’ house.
Music I cooked to – Regina Spektor’s 2012 record What I Saw From The Cheap Seats. I may have also snuck in the song Us from her earlier album Soviet Kitsch. When a younger version of myself listened to this song I thought she was singing about dinner thieves. Only years later did I realize that she was actually saying den of thieves. Naturally I was relieved that no one was stealing her dinner.
Favourite thing I ate today – A handful (okay maybe two) of roasted pumpkin seeds with a little sea salt. I’ve included a recipe below.
Roasted Pumpkin Seeds
When I cook with pumpkin I like to save the seeds that are in the middle of the fruit (yes – pumpkin is a fruit!). Warm, straight from the oven with a little sea salt these seeds are a tasty snack full of nutritious fats, magnesium and potassium. They make for good party fodder too, just make sure you have some napkins close-by so oily fingers don’t make their way over your things. I roasted this particular batch of pumpkin and made pumpkin soup.
Seeds from 1 medium butternut squash pumpkin
1 tablespoon of extra virgin oil oil
Generous pinch of sea salt
1. Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees C.
2. Cut pumpkin in half length-ways and scoop out the seeds along with the pulp.
3. Place seeds in a strainer under the kitchen tap and run water over them gently, using your fingers to remove the (inevitable) stringy pulp. Use paper towel to roughly dry them.
4. Bring a medium-sized pot of salted water to the boil and once boiled add the seeds and simmer for ten minutes.
5. Drain them in the strainer and dry them out again with paper towel (last time I promise!).
6. Spread seeds out on a baking tray lined with baking paper and drizzle with the extra virgin olive oil. Give them a little stir with a spoon and place them in the oven for 10 minutes.
7. Take the tray out of the oven and give it a little shake. Return to the oven for another 10 – 15 minutes.
8. Salt while hot and wait for them to cool before you try one (I didn’t wait. I burnt myself.)
Store them in an airtight container, they will easily last a few weeks.
At the moment, being a transient traveler and what feels like a world away from my home in Australia, comfort is a cup of tea, a book and a soft patch of grass under a perfectly formed tree.