Jamon, Olive and Haloumi Spirali This was a bit of an experiment. Saute sliced leeks sauted in marg and olive oil and then black peppercorns and white wine. Reduce wine. Add sundried tomato strips, kalamata olives, lots of basil leaves and some sauted mushrooms. Then at the end mix in strips of Jamon (spanish proscuitto) and fried pieces of haloumi cheese. Some parmesan sprinkled on top. Pretty good! Next time I'll use halved cherry tomatoes rather than sundried.
Mexican chilli beef, chorizo and bacon casserole Boom boom! Great! Cubed beef cooked in a casserole with a mixture of guajillo chillies, tomato, garlic and onion - also kidney beans, chopped celery, red capsicum, cooked slices of chorizo and smoked bacon. Served with rice cooked in coconut milk and ginger (leftovers, actually) with coriander and lime. And home made tortillas on the side. You
have to love proper mexican chillies! flavour, not heat. Of course some sour cream at the table.
pork with blood orange sauce and baked vegetables The orange on the far side is the first and only so far from
our tree! The veges are potatoes, sweet potato, leek and
fennel. It was a boneless shoulder of pork. ie. rolled and tied when I bought it. Sauce worked really well - reduced home made chicken stock,
blood orange juice, pan juices from the pork and Grand Marnier!
We've spent the weekend visiting three university open days with our youngest daughter. It's really a special time when you get to walk around the big wide world of future options with one of your kids. A part of me feels like I'm exploring uni for the first time too, and I hear about all of these things that it would be wonderful to study.
At the same, time there are a bewildering array of options and many young people feel pressured to make the right choice and make it count. I've been bothered for a long time by how much pressure our education system, and indeed society, places on young people in their last two years of high school. Andrew Fuller and others have suggesed that what our system does to them is developmentally inappropriate, since their brains are much better developed when they are in their mid-20's. Our schooling model is fundamentally WRONG (well it was designed to keep people out of the workforce for several years, wasnt it?)
The biggest problem of course is the suggestion that you only have one shot at this and you have to 'get it right'. The reality is that you can study almost anything you want later in life, that most people have at least 3 different kinds of jobs in their life, and that at 17 or 18 no-one knows their long term plans. Add to that the increasing evidence that today's young people learn through experience - they want to try things out - and its mainly about helping them choose something that they enjoy with the clear understanding that ultimately its not about failure.
Grace Mitchell has an art piece in an outdoor installation exhibit at Blackwood Forest for 3 weeks. The exhibit is called "Drawn In" and its part of the annual SALA Festival (South Australian Living Artists). This particular work is by a number of UniSA art students. aka "The Elvis Collective"...
The forest represents life, and the kites (more behind me) represent the loss of childhood as we grow, hence them being caught in the trees and gradually disappearing... that's the short version... I'll have to take a better photo because most of the kites are behind us...
I love this work by Derek Sargent!
There's something really nice here about a fence made of wool - flexible, fragile, temporary, and spun...
For the local who walk there often, there's suddenly a fence across the paddock. we watched them and their dogs looking perplexed. then choosing to follow the fence line. unlike a wire fence, you felt reluctant to step through it. I mean, you could easily, but because of its fragility you'd rather walk around it. like a spider web.
and its a fence thats soft, springy and nice to touch. a gentle edge. almost an invitation to walk around or follow it. we saw the fence yesterday and I first assumed it was permanent. I stood next to it and didnt really look at it. then i found out that it was wool and part of the exhibition.
today I saw the spinning wheel for the first time. I'm quite enamoured with this piece. the posts are regular fence posts. the fencing looks like proper fencing. its a proper fence! the posts aren't temporary, but the wool seems to be, so perhaps they are as well... I can see myself using this image in a conversation about fences and barriers in our lives.
My free copy of the 2013 Upper Room Disciplines just arrived in the mail. I was asked to write a week of daily reflections. The resource is used worldwide, with the readership of about 60,000 people. I think its the only time in my life when I'll get to be in a book which has Will Willimon as a co-contributor!
The editor and I had a real battle over a number of my reflections in terms of either biblical interpretation or modern application, quite unlike my previous work for the Upper Room on other resources. It was worthwhile, rigorous discussion, and shows how seriously they take their role in producing prayer resrouces that take Scripture seriously. I had done my exegesis carefully and wasn't prepared to back down. It also showed me how difficult it is to work with an editor whom you've never met face to face when the two of you just can't seem to 'get' what the other is saying.
One of the debates was about my writing of a modern parallel of Jesus entering Jerusalem for Holy Week, and making the main figure a female. I was told that someone thought it was a pro-Sarah Palin statement! In fact, it was written just after Kevin Rudd got shafted by the Labour Party. I was thinking about how forces so easily turn against a perceived saviour.
Anyway, my prayers go to the Upper Room team, and to those who might use this resource next year to aid their spiritual journey. Here in Australia you can get it from MediaCom.
[I'm not sure that they'll be asking me to write for this again...]