In search of suburban beauty

You want kale first or last?
Tonight: kale in nachos.
My kids don't like nachos made with a tin of refried bean mush. They also don't like the vegetable mixture to arrive touching the chips. We never have a meat version because if I had the time to make a meat version, we probably wouldn't be having nachos.


Peel one large kumara. Chop into cubes and steam until soft.

Wash, chop out the central rib and chop up quite a lot of tuscan kale (also known as cavolo nero). Peel and chop 4-6 cloves of garlic. Roughly chop the contents of one container of anchovies (50g, sometimes less). Sautee it gently in a pan with the lid on top after the first minute or two (sautee may be the wrong word for experts but it seems the best fit to me). Add some cumin, stir and add the kumara. Mash it up a bit with a fork and turn the element off.

Make some guacamole. I made mine with the juice of an entire lime. This is too much lime juice. Half is better. Otherwise, a couple of avocadoes, the leafy contents of one of those plastic containers of fresh coriander from the supermarket (I cannot grow the stuff at all as of the last eighteen or more months), more chopped garlic. I forgot the paprika until now as I type.

Tip the nachos on to the roasting dish. Grate some cheese over them. Heat them in the oven until they are hot. Dish everything up onto separate parts of the plate. This worked well for three out of four people.

This week I have had only one glass of wine, which was when I went out for drink/dessert with friends on Tuesday night. I am indeed a good girl. Of course I felt a quiver of guilt as I typed that sentence, the sense that only the undeserving liar writes such a sentence, but then recovering Catholics are always recovering, never quite divorced from their gothic, sinful heritage of indulgence and self loathing.

Tonight I bought a home decorating magazine called Your Home and Garden, specifically because it has a feature on Melissa Wastney of Tiny Happy. Tiny Happy is a blog of delicate and beautiful gorgeousness such that sometimes I feel a little clumsy just reading it. It is also lovely and completely lacking in pretentiousness. Your Home and Garden had the usual effect of making me wonder what on earth other people did with their lives to find the time to make their places so gorgeous, before I remembered that it is a magazine, Sandra, and please remember both the artificiality and the capitalist-acquisitional-greed-provoking purpose of magazines. And we have painted a lot of things hot chilli or wild thing or a very bright red on the fence which I cannot remember the name of and I like them all. I might enter the competition to win a holiday in Samoa, just to feel that I didn't squander my money on home decorating unease without redemption.

The four chooks are still alive. I don't know that we are going to be very good at this killing part of the suburban homesteading project. But we have five new ones arriving in just two weeks, so we can't back out now.

With the school and kindy term almost done, and the house in need of cleaning, I'm gearing up for a new and more interesting project on care workers for an exhibition at the Blackball Museum of working class history. In Blackball. I have the great benefit and pleasure of working with Denise, who has lots of work and personal experience with care needs, care advocacy and care provision for the most vulnerable in our community. There is or was a court case not so very long ago about the rule where if non-family members provided care for dis-abled people, they were paid, but family members were not. Time to follow that one up, and then find some people for whom that case is very relevant.

The title. I am. In search. Sometimes I find it, even when I am grumpy.


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