Tag: holiday

Thanksgiving

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On Thursday we celebrated our first Thanksgiving with some good friends, wine and plenty of food. The smallest turkey we could find was almost 8kg, so we cut it down the middle and just cooked half of it. I had never cooked a turkey before, just watched my mother do at least one killer turkey every Christmas, but was rather happy with how it turned out. I roughly cut carrot, celery, onion and halved three satsumas to cover the base of my roasting dish. I lay the turkey on top, put generous amounts of butter, orange zest, rosemary and thyme under the skin, and then wrapped it with bacon. This meant it was succulent and tasty. No dry turkey breast in sight.

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I served it with gravy made from the almost disappeared vegetables from the base of the roasting dish, cranberry sauce, sweet potato, carrot, leek, beetroot and red onion roasted in honey and thyme, crispy roast potatoes, brussel sprouts fried with bacon, a cauliflower and pomegranate dish and stuffing balls. These were made with roasted chestnuts, herbs, bread crumbs, pork mince, bacon and an egg to bind. I want to eat stuffing balls every day of my life.

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We had prosecco, mulled wine and red wine. Apple pie, pumpkin pie, home made gelato and a persimmon and pomegranate fruit salad. And it was glorious.

Bring on Christmas!

Climb Every Mountain

A few weekends ago Ollie and I spent three days in Yosemite National Park, staying at in a tent at Camp Curry. It was cold and frosty, sunny and autumnal and we did some amazing hikes up and down the cliffs that make this National Park one of the most visited in the US. Over the three days we put away nearly 50km and a large amount of dried apricots, nuts and dark chocolate.

 

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Speaking of climbing every mountain, tonight Grace and I are off to a singalong screening of The Sound of Music at the beautiful Castro Theatre. Excitement levels are high…

Fast Times in Tahoe

When I go travelling, I like cities. I like galleries, museums, bustling streets, cafes and bars. So when Ollie and I booked to spend four days at Lake Tahoe, (obviously, I prepared mentally by listening to Fast Times in Tahoe on repeat) I was excited but never expected to have so much fun. To get out of the car into the cold, clean, dry air was like heaven. We stayed at Basecamp Hotel which was perfect, it is run by really helpful people and has a great breakfast to make full use of before setting out for the day. We did outdoorsy things- we hiked, we biked, we climbed up mountains and through forests and had the most amazing time.

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Even when we close our apartment windows at night, we can still hear the traffic outside, so to be in the silent, crisp air was refreshing in so many ways. Although Tahoe is an alpine region, it still has plenty of deciduous trees to give me my autumn leaf fix (I miss seasons so much living in San Francisco). It made me realise that when you live in a busy city, it can be nice to get out amongst nature when you need a break.

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If you are visiting Tahoe, I would recommend doing the Mt Tallac hike. It is a 16km round trip climbing 3300 feet through forest, past lakes, and over rocks to the Mt Tellac peak. We had lunch at the top, surrounded by breathtaking views. Luckily we were a little better prepared than the day earlier where we set off with just a jumper and a brown paper bag with our lunch in. This hike needed jackets, thermals, water, suncream and a camera.

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This is us at the top! I was feeling especially proud of myself as I am now sporting an ever expanding bump that has been leaving me rather exhausted and nauseous.

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We have now decided we are going to set out and explore the hikes within driving distance of San Francisco, so any tips are very welcome. The perks of not drinking- waking up early in the weekends, ready to go adventuring!

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Pancakes for the 4th of July

Firstly, please excuse my absence over the last few weeks. My family have been over from New Zealand and we have been too busy exploring and adventuring for me to be blogging. Now I know some people shudder at the thought of family holidays, all that time, all that family. I happen to rather like them. We have always enjoyed holidaying together so when I left home and then when my sister left home, somehow the holidays didn’t. We continue to meet up somewhere new every year, and this year it was the U.S. of A.

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We spent some time eating and exploring in San Francisco, and then went down to Monterey and Carmel for a bit of a beach holiday. Known as the fruit bowl of America, the fresh produce was incredible. So many berries, nectarines, cherries, peaches and artichokes! As well as the food, the seals and otters were pretty awesome- look at them all!

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To make things even better, while they were here my work visa came through. This means I have started the arduous process of trolling through job websites and sending my CV to anyone I think could be interested. But before I started that, we celebrated with the family all together at Bar Tartine- an absolutely incredible evening, by watching Dangerous Minds- to get me in sorted for teaching in America, and by celebrating our first Fourth of July eating pancakes- before spending the day in Dolores Park with friends.

My sister is actually the pancake queen in our family, but seeing as she had just got on a plane, I decided I would give them a go.

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Raspberry and Coconut Pancakes

1 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
2 Tbsp brown sugar
30 g butter or oil
1 egg
1 cup milk
1/2 cup frozen raspberries, broken up into smaller pieces
2 Tbsp shredded coconut

This is so easy! Simply mix your dry ingredients and then add your wet. If you are using butter, melt it first. This mixture will make four small pancakes, perfect for two people. I served them with some natural yoghurt and some of my kind of strawberry jam.

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Happy Fourth of July, and here’s to family x