Hey presto, it's pesto.
Needing to get to the abundance of herbs growing in my garden before the grasshoppers did, I decided to pick off some good leaves and make something quick and easy with them.
Hey presto, it's pesto.
My kid told me she was sick of cereal in the mornings, so I decided to step into the experimental kitchen to serve her… cereal. But not as we know it.
I picked up a box of Weet-Bix (or Weetabix in other parts of the world) but instead of throwing a few into a bowl and sloshing some milk on top, I turned on the oven.
Sausage rolls sometimes get a bad rap. The questionable meat content in the store bought ones have rendered this morning tea snack into logs of mystery meat loosely hugged by soggy pastry.
Actually, that doesn't sound half-bad.
But is there a way to increase both the nutrition content and the taste factor of these iconic party food snacks at the same time?
There is. And I'll let you in on it.
When a waiter positions a squid ink wafer bedecked with macerated prawns and radish purée in front of me, I can’t help but smile and wonder.
I wonder if they know my secret.
All right, I’m aware they likely haven’t garnered the inner-most workings of my life in the ten minutes of our acquaintance; all they know is how badly I can pronounce schlachtschüssel. As far as personal secrets go, mine isn’t exactly tabloid-worthy either. It’s nothing as juicy as a criminal past or an illicit liaison and has nothing to do with how much time I spend watching The Bold And The Beautiful.
It’s also not so much of a secret that no one else in my personal life knows about this. This is just something I don’t openly confess as part of my somewhat public persona.
Until now. So here goes....
Helping a mate move house, buying them lunch or offering to look after their kids (fur babies included) are all good and admirable things to do, but would you run an extra 127.3 kilometres to lend someone a hand?
If you’re John Pearson, the answer is yes.
The inaugural Dead Cow Gully Backyard Ultramarathon last weekend saw Pearson run his own 160 kilometres (that’s 100 miles if you’re a Proclaimer) before almost doing that all over again to help lead runner Ryan Crawford keep going for the Australian Backyard Ultra record.
Because if no one else is out on the trail in a Last One Standing event, it’s game over.
So what exactly is a Backyard Ultra and why are people running around dead cows?
If the traditional blue and white paper face masks are cramping your style, here's an easy way to make your very own nose and mouth cover without the need for a sewing machine.
This pattern takes about an hour to make from start to finish, so can be smashed out in just one sitting of Married at First Sight, or with six Bluey episodes playing in the background.
I am notorious for not exactly having an eye for detail (I am a strong advocate of the 'good enough' movement). If you're anything like me, this mask pattern can be done without any precision whatsoever- it is very forgiving.
If you're ready to dazzle with your muzzle, head out to your local fabric store, grab 1/2 metre of a fun pattern, and prepare to turn heads.
Fresh out of lockdown, I had another very fun chat with Kyrin from the Mere Mortals Podcast before we took to the trails on a run together. In this episode we talk about pot noodle, how to dig a hole, and other - deep - topics.
And Kyrin wears a fan.
0:00 - Eating, drinking & running
1:46 - 'Born to Run' book and barefoot running
6:20 - Road running vs trail running
13:14 - Zone 2 training
16:18 - Fasting and free time
19:51 - Run-walking 21:38 - Powerwalking (also known as racewalking)
24:43 - Eating during an ultramarathon
27:00 - Rural living on a farm
32:26 - Psychological benefits of living rural
35:16 - Screen time for kids
39:30 - Climbing trees and digging holes
Three years ago I signed up to my first running event since cross country at high school (which I totally didn't sign up for but was pretty happy about getting out of biology that week). That event was 4.2km long.
In the lead up to that particular run, I'd recently had a baby, was floundering in feeling good about myself and knew I needed to change things up so that I wasn't just existing through life, but actually enjoying it again. Ironically, an activity that (let's face it) feels hard and crap a lot of the time you're in the middle of it, was key for this to happen.
Fast forward to this year, and I've just completed a 100km Guzzler Ultramarathon. While there were many, many challenging moments in the 23 hours it took me to complete the course which included 4,270km of elevation (that's half of Mt Everest witout a Sherpa), at no point in this run can I honestly say that I felt sad, angry, or resentful. I felt tired, I felt my blisters pop in my shoes, I couldn't actually feel half of my toes and I didn't feel excruciatingly joyous at all times, but I never once felt down in the dumps.
The runner's high is real, and even more so after traversing river crossings, stopping for ice blocks, and making friends with equally crazy people looking to go the distance on their own two feet- cars be dammed.
To give you an idea of what you can also have a crack at if you want an excuse to eat family-sized chocolate slabs while running and finish off with triple cheeseburgers five days in a row for breakfast, take a look at the journey below, condensed into just over a minute.
And one more thing I learned through this whole experience- 100km events aren't ever 100km. I actually had to complete a bonus 7km to reach the finish line, but that was just fine. Otherwise I would have only justified double-cheeseburgers.
For those that haven't listened to the Mere Mortals Podcast before, it's great banter from a couple of local Brisbanites chatting about a whole range of life-enhancing topics such as mindset, book reviews, and fitness.
I was lucky enough to natter away with Kyrin in a recent conversations episode where we talked about a lot of the above actually.
If my golden nuggets on life aren't enough for you to tune in to the Mere Mortals Podcast or YouTube channel, there are some other really interesting locals doing great things that the guys have spoken to in recent months. But if you do want to know about eating cake while running, watch on below.
0:00 - Introduction
1:53 - Tanya's MMM
4:09 - Going from no running to ultra marathons
14:51 - The mental process while running
20:08 - Barefoot running & the run-walk method
25:53 - Australian Foodie
30:02 - Separating the creative and financial
36:16 - The Broccoli Volcano
42:21 - Optimism and struggling with postpartum depression
46:33 - Getting out the demons vs reinforcing positivity
50:21 - Anti-goal setting: living in the moment
53:54 - Impactful & influential books
1:00:50 - Going within and accepting contradictions
Some people say they’re such bad cooks they burn water.
I firmly believe anyone can cook from scratch if they just get a little bit excited about what they’re going to make and they find an easy recipe.
Beer damper had three ingredients, and one of them is beer.
Now that’s freakin’ exciting!
Forget Nigella, let’s all turn Nigel for a few minutes and make breakfast together. With a drink in hand.