What a beautiful Sunday we had. One of those rare Sunday’s where we had no plans and so we made a conscious effort to make a date with each other, before we got caught catching up on chores and frankly, all of those other things that can wait……. if only we would let them. I usually find this hard, I admit it …….but I managed today and the earth did not stop turning.
In the early morning, we set out for a gorgeous family bike ride. I got a little ambitious, as the leader of our bikie gang, and rode a few kilometres further that we usually would or could. Nobody complained so I kept those peddles moving, feeling fitter than I’m sure I am and relishing in the moment. There was a detour on the track that almost forced us to turn around and head back and with that, it suddenly struck me that we had had a tail wind the whole way and now we were facing it head on (that and the smirk of Michael that I now faced, head on, who clearly thought I had been a little ambitious setting out). With more pedal power and less of that smug ‘I’m on top of the world right now’ feeling, we opted for a mini break halfway to home and we walked our bikes down the beach track, weaving the tea trees. We landed at a beach where I spent my childhood. It is at this beach where I hung out with my siblings, where I kissed my first boyfriend, where I learnt how to sail and how to windsurf and where I spent day after glorious summer’s day just lying in the sun and the water with my friends (it was a different time to say the least). It is now the beach where we take our children, where we meet our mutual friends, where we enjoy our fish & chips on a hot Summers night, where our previous old dog, our precious Max, had his final swim with us before we had to say good bye. This has and always will be a special, special place.
We enjoyed our hot drinks which were much needed as our bodies started to cool down and went for a lovely stroll along the pier. The comment was made that it felt like we were on holidays and yet we were now no further than 5 km from our home. There were so many other sweet moments this day but of course there were the tasks a family just has to do to prepare for the week ahead and yet for some reason, they just didn’t feel like such a big deal this time, not so much of a chore. Perhaps it was because we broke it up a little, who knows. Another highlight of this day was a wedding we were invited to. I am sure you are curious why I didn’t mention this earlier but it was all very last minute. We were so glad to be a part of it though. So pleased to be invited. All by their own doing, our daughters dressed up and played a starring role in the ceremony and celebrations. It was the wedding of ‘Lola’ and ‘Spikey’. For those of you who need a little bringing up to speed, ‘Lola’ is the soft toy rabbit that comforts our youngest daughter and in return, is loved like no other. Ettie got so caught up with the ‘happy feeling’ (her exact words) that we were all feeling on our morning ride and our beach trip that she shouted against the head wind “today is going to be extra special. It is the day Lola is to be married”. Our eldest daughter dared query how a 5 year old bunny can get married at such a tender young age but was confidentally reassured by Ettie that this is what happens in ‘rabbit land’ and that today, was definitely the day. What we loved most was that our eldest two girls got completely swept up in Ettie’s excitement and enthusiastically stepped in as Ettie’s wedding planner’s / assistants. Invitations were sent, the room was decorated, banners and signs were made, petals were thrown, an aisle was set out which led beautifully to the Priest (Ettie) standing up the other end, bible in hand and taking her role as seriously as any Priest or celebrant should. Guests who had not caught up in years, were now lining the aisles and having a jolly old time, relieved to be out of their dusty toy boxes and retrieved from under beds. You may think me completely weird and I sincerely would not hold it against you but it was a sweet treat to be part of this and feel the magic that you couldn’t help but feel – I think it is aptly called ‘being a kid’.
What for me ends a perfect Sunday? ……..I know you’ll find it easy to guess. Yes, I love our big dinners around our big old table – they are everything. No matter how well you know somebody (family included), eating together bonds people and creates an intimate connection. It is certainly not every night though that we finish a good meal and our shared table time to have dessert. Dinner time is often just a simple ‘one dish’ affair but we did finish off this simple but meaningful day this time with an oldie but a goodie. I made a tangy lemon delicious pudding and served it with dustings of icing sugar and homemade vanilla bean ice cream. The girls eyes were pretty much rolling back in their head – the sign of a great day indeed.
Lemon delicious pudding
What I love about this dessert is that it takes 10 minutes to put together, cooks whilst you’re enjoying dinner and with it’s light spongy top and tangy self saucing goodness, it is the perfect way to enjoy and use the lemons that are likely falling off those bulging branches right now.
60g butter, out of the fridge for a little while before using (to soften)
2 lemons – Grated zest of 1and the juice of 2
1 cup caster sugar
3 eggs, separated
3 tablespoons of self-raising flour
1 ¼ cups of whole milk
Preheat the oven to 180oC.
Using an electric mixer or food processor, cream the butter with the lemon rind and sugar. When it is creamy and light, beat in the egg yolks. Stir in the sifted flour alternatively with the milk to make a smooth batter. Blend in the lemon juice.
Beat the egg whites until creamy and firm and fold gently into the mixture using a metal spoon.
Pour the mixture in to a buttered ovenproof dish (I use a casserole dish) that will fit inside a bigger dish. Fill bigger dish with enough boiling water to come halfway up the sides (this is called a water bath). Bake for approximately 40 minutes.
If you want individual puddings (they do look a little fancier!), divide the mixture in to 6 individual buttered ramekins and bake for 20 minutes.
Allow to cool a little, then dust the top of the pudding/s with icing sugar and serve with cream or ice cream.
I do hope you enjoy! What do you cook for your simple but happy ending?