Still coming down from the overindulgence of the silly season, the ambling back into routine has been slow. All of a sudden it's the end of January and because I declared the other day to my workmates that it just felt wrong being at work this early in the year, easing the shock to the system has been essential. I've tried to keep my weekdays reasonably sociable, with just enough gym and salad to make me feel like progress is being made, and enough wine and trash talking to keep one sane. On that note, my weekends lately have been met with spontaneous trips out of town. And goodness it's been fun.
Last weekend while Wellington basked in 9 degree winds, I managed a getaway up the coast: Firstly to enjoy a delightful lunch in Te Horo (not unlike this one and which also featured that amazing limoncello ice cream) and then on to the glorious Hawke's Bay for ciders in the sunshine, amongst other things.
This weekend was reasonably devoid of plans, and a sunny Saturday morning saw me mosey down to the Aro shops for some bread from the bakery, fruit and veg from Aro Fruit Supply, the newspaper from the Four Square and a perfectly executed flat white at Aro Cafe. A chance phone call to my Mum and sister once enjoying brunch at home meant that a couple of hours later I was flying home to Auckland. There was a reunion of sorts and a 5th birthday, so flights were booked and all of a sudden I was eating beautifully barbecued lamb with a wine in hand, surrounded by family aging from 1 to 92. Laughter with my sister and Dad, wine with the cousins, gossip with my Aunty, posing and photo taking with the 3 year old, present unwrapping with the 5 year old - it was all go and it was awesome. I didn't quite make it on to the bouncy castle, but that was probably just as well.
Sunday night, after kicking it with my Gran for most of the day, Mum made a vege-laden feast for dinner before my flight, including these amazingly simple and tasty stuffed peppers. She went with the small sweet ones, and after removing the cores simply stuffed them with fresh basil from the garden chopped up with feta. Long and slowly roasted in the oven with olive oil and some sea salt and pepper, she also slow roasted some cherry tomatoes alongside too. Served over cooked orzo or risoni pasta drizzled with some good olive oil, we had this vegetarian dish with panfried fish, crisp iceberg lettuce and roast baby cauliflower.
And just like that this spontaneous little piggy slept all the way home.