It seems to have been cold and wet for months now, although winter doesn’t officially start until June 1.
We had a nice respite from the bleakness at the weekend, down the coast. I woke up at six on a freezing, drippy Saturday morning and walked a kilometer to the shop to get the newspaper. It hadn’t arrived. I often have trouble getting the newspaper early in the morning. We once went camping near Finley in southern New South Wales and the local shop had the Melbourne papers by five every morning yet I can’t get the blasted things in an inner suburb an hour later. I read yesterday’s instead, grumpily.
After breakfast with yesterday’s paper, we drove around the bay and by the time we reached the pointy end of the peninsula, morning shards of cloud had slowly contracted away to the north east revealing a perfect azure sky.
At lunchtime we pushed the stroller up and down a few hilly Moonah-lined streets and wound our way down to the Blairgowrie café. Here, a table outside is like a front row seat to the bay and we sat there watching it sparkling in the sunshine. I inhaled a couple of coffees and a toasted sandwich: chicken, avocado and tasty cheese. Cheese and salad on sourdough for T. The sandwich was only about a foot high and the slab of carrot cake we shared afterwards was about the size of one of the sailing boats out on the bay trying to sail but not really getting anywhere because there was no wind. Meanwhile, William, sitting in a highchair, studiously picked up little pieces of cheese with his forefinger and thumb and ate them with the intense expression of a research scientist discovering a new element.
Later in the afternoon we sat on the sand feeling the warmth of the sun and William tried to crawl into the water, remembering summer and his very first crawl on the sand. Too cold, we told him. Your little fingers and toes will turn blue! He ignored us and made his little hand into a fist, except for the index finger, which he pointed at a seagull sitting on a pylon. He points at everything now.
Dinner was another old favourite:
Pasta with tuna and peas.
Try this with pasta shells. It’s one of the easiest dishes you can make. No wonder it’s an old favourite around here.
Boil the pasta until done. A couple of minutes prior, throw in a cup of frozen peas. Drain. Toss in a can of your favourite tuna. Tuna in brine is OK but tuna in oil provides a more unctuous dish. Now add the cheese and don’t hold back. Plenty of mozzarella and some grated parmesan but any cheese will do.
Pasta shells are ideal for this. The cheese melts and holds the tuna and the peas in little clumps and they gather in the shells and it’s like eating little soft boats of silken, melting cheese, tuna and peas. Yum.
Don’t forget to sprinkle with chopped parsley and grate some pepper over. And don’t forget a nice, big, peachy, buttery chardonnay. Not too cold.