Labour Day at Blackball

Yesterday I went up to Blackball for Labour Day celebrations. It was fantastic. I was completely humbled by the awesome job Denise had done on the care workers' exhibition. I was pleased that my small contribution of Brenda's story was there because I am so proud of what Brenda does for our community. But the story Denise had woven with her information on care throughout the last 100 years or so was both fascinating to me and clearly very engaging to the people who were there and who had been through earlier in the weekend.The very talented local artist Tony Manuel has made a beautiful carving for our building which you can see in the photo above.
The choir was fabulous as always.

I felt sad that I wasn't able to do more for this project as I enjoyed the afternoon talking with lots of wonderful people and admiring what has been achieved in recent years on this site. You can see the memorial wheel for the Pike River 29 behind the choir. At the same time, I have to look reality in the face: if I had time to do more, I would have achieved more already.

Before my trip to Blackball, I took Mary K to the cemetery to lay flowers to mark the fourth anniversary of her husband Lou's death. Death has been a big feature of our lives recently, but what matters most, I think, is supporting those who remain behind, left and bereft.

I've hardly sewn at all lately, instead gazing blearily at the screen in an activity recently and aptly described as 'sewing blog porn'. Although it is safer to read than to turn on the sewing machine when I am slightly drunk with tiredness (then there is slightly drunk with alcohol on the other nights), it isn't yielding much in the way of finished projects here at the messiest house.

I have a 'ten new meals' project. I got so sick of cooking and eating the same foods endlessly that I got my Best of Annabel Langbein book out and identified ten meals which appeared affordable, weeknight-friendly and like we would want to eat them. My challenge is to make them happen and hopefully at least half will become regular meals. Tonight was smoked fish and kumara pie. Smoked fish as in the cheap tinned stuff. I added spinach and sweet corn because the point of pies is surely that everything goes in one pot and I don't have to coordinate timing of side dishes.

The next nine dishes are:
caramelised onions
greek pumpkin spread
sushi sesame rice balls
chicken laksa
spicy sausage and chickpea minestrone
chilli ginger whole fish
mussel and corn chowder
salsa verde
potato rosti

Some of these things I have cooked before, but I have put them on the list because Langbein has a more promising method (e.g. rosti in the oven) or because I would like to get practised enough to cook them easily on a weeknight (e.g chilli ginger whole fish).

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