Thinking of you all – friends, family and people I’ve never met who read along as well – as my Wolf and I quietly see in the new year together from the couch. 2017 has been equal parts amazingly good and extremely hard for us, and I can’t bring myself to feel sad for seeing in 2018 quietly with the love of my life.
My wishes for 2018, for all of us…
May our Ancestors, those of the blood and of the heart, and Our Mighty Dead stand with us through the trials that life throws at us, and our spirits soar through the year to come.
May the year to come be one of abundance and laughter, of good times and resolutions to old hurts.
May the powerful who deign to stand above us fall, and the humble who work for the greater good rise. Let us stand with them.
May we create. Create things, create life, create a better world. Let it be a year where kindness rules above all.
May it be a year overflowing with love. God knows we need more of it in this world.
Above all, may it be the year we live as best we may, as authentically as we may, and as honestly as we may.
My mum has been making curried sausages for us since I was a kid. I love them, but when I went low fodmap I kind of ruled them out. At the time onion free pork sausages weren’t easily attainable. Thankfully that’s changed. This is yummy, easy, comfort food. I’m going to list the original recipe with the low fodmap switches in italics and a quick change of instructions for the “I’m too tired to life” slow cooker version at the bottom.
Also, this freezes really well. If you want the peas/beans to stay bright don’t put them in before freezing.
Vary quantities to accommodate your family. This is what I put in for 4 people with left over for lunch.
1 onion – 3-4 spring onions (green parts only) + Aesofoetida
2 medium carrots
2-3 medium to large potatoes
Canola oil or spray
Keen’s curry powder
Frozen peas – green beans chopped into bite-sized pieces.
Cooked rice (white is usual but works well with brown as well)
(OPTIONAL) Boil your sausages. Allow to cool and remove the skins.
Cut your sausages, potatoes and carrots into bite-sized chunks.
Dice your onion into reasonably sized chunks.
Heat oil in the pan, saute the onion (Spring onions).
Put in your sausages – if you skipped step one brown these up a bit before proceeding.
Add carrots, potato and curry powder to taste* (Usually a solid tablespoon or more at our place).
*Add some aesofoetida to taste here as well if you’d like to strengthen the onion flavour for low fodmappers.
Brown everything up a bit then cover with water and pop a lid on. Simmer until potatoes are tender.
Add frozen peas/beans to heat through. You want them to be bursts of flavour and not mushy.
Taste, add more curry powder if needed.
Thicken with a good amount of cornflour mixed with water.
Serve with your cooked rice.
We tend to end up cleaning the bowls out with bread and butter post meal!
SUPER LAZY CAN’T BE FUCKED SLOW COOKER METHOD
Cut up raw sausages, potatoes and carrots, dice your onion/spring onion, and throw the whole lot in your slow cooker.
Mix your curry powder and, if using, aesofoetida with around 1/2 cup of water.
Cover and put on low for around 6 hours (until your potatoes are cooked through)
Add peas/beans to heat through. You want them to not be mushy.
Check that it tastes good and add more curry powder if needed.
Thicken sauce with cornflour and water mix as per normal.
*WARNING: In order for this to set properly it needs a solid half day or more in the fridge post baking. Make it a day ahead*
Ok, so my mother, the wonderful woman that she is found a recipe years ago for ‘Kit Kat Cheesecake’. I’m assuming this recipe came from Nestle or Philadelphia Cream Cheese packets. Over the years it has been well loved and then it’s been tweaked. I promised cheesecake for Christmas, I didn’t want to do the same old thing, so this is my latest build from the original recipe.
For a super basic, but delicious cheesecake, you just need to make the base and the cheesecake part. Maybe do a chocolate swirl for decoration on top. When making a plain Kit Kat Cheesecake we use sour cream in place of regular cream (yes, still lactose-free) and do a mocha swirl on top. It’s very rich but delicious.
This recipe is super easy to make lactose and gluten free. We don’t need completely free, just low in both, but there will be notes as we go of what to change.
To make plain caramel take one 395ml can of sweetened condensed milk, remove the label and, put two small holes on opposite sides of the top of the can. Place the can in a pot (easiest if it comes with a lid) and fill with water till it’s halfway up the side of the can. Pop the pot lid on or cover with alfoil and cook on low heat for 1.5-2hrs. Allow to cool before touching it (trust me, the burns will hurt if you get this on you hot).
To salt – grab yourself some decent salt and sprinkle it over top the caramel once it’s spread on the base. It is about 50g salt recommended to a can.
Step 2: Prep Your Pan
Line a baking pan of your choice with baking paper. I use a spring coil pan because getting this out of a regular pan is a nightmare.
All of this can actually be done in a cupcake or muffin pan using paper liners for cupcakes and muffins. You’ll need to shorten the cooking time to 25-20 minutes per batch (they start to brown slightly on top)
Step 3: The Base
The Original Recipe: Take 2 packets of mini Kit Kat bars and blitz them into a fumble in a blender, alternately beat them with a hammer or rolling pin until thoroughly destroyed. Add 2 tablespoons of melted
butter or butter alternative (Nutelex and margarine both work fine) to the crushed Kit Kats and mix thoroughly. Tip the mix into your pan and press firmly down to make a solid base. Chill until the rest is ready.Alternately – The easiest is a basic biscuit base made with a gluten free and dairy free chocolate ripple style biscuit. 2 packs gluten free, dairy free chocolate biscuits/cookies blended with enough melted butter alternative to make the mix moist, press into a pan as you would the Kit Kat mix and either blind bake for 8 minutes at 180c (crunchy base) or chill (for a firm but not super crunchy base).
Step 4: The Cheesecake
Would you believe this is the easiest bit? First thing, having a bench mixer or something makes this a lot easier just remember to scrape down the sides occasionally. If you’re using an old-fashioned spoon or beater please, for the love of your own sanity, leave the cream cheese out to soften.
Super simple, grab yourself 1/2 a cup of white sugar and 2x 250gm packs of lactose-free cream cheese and cream them together. Beat through 4 large/extra large eggs, one at a time, and 1tsp vanilla. Fold through 500ml of lactose-free cream. Cover and pop in the fridge if your base and caramel aren’t done yet.
Step 5: Put It Together and Cook
Grab your chilled base out of the fridge. Pull out your cooled caramel and pop it in a bowl, if it’s not particularly smooth give it a good stir – that happens and it’ll smooth out with a bit of mixing. Put a layer of caramel over the base, leaving a bit of a gap between it and the edge of the base, and sprinkle with the salt (You don’t need to use all of the caramel or salt). Pop back in the fridge for a little bit to cool it off completely while you pre-heat your oven.
Pre-heat your oven to 160c
Once the oven is up to temperature grab your base with caramel, pour the cheesecake mix over top and bake for 1hr. At the end of that hour turn off the heat, and check the cheesecake. It should have set to roughly the consistency of a wobbly jelly if you gently shake the pan, and it may have browned on top a little. Crack the door and let it cool in the oven. Once cool refrigerate – overnight is best, but long enough for it to cool all the way through and set is what you’re aiming for. 4-6 hours at least but overnight is best. It can be eaten with a liquidy centre but it’s not as nice.
This photo was taken yesterday at the start of their work Christmas party before the great foodening and drunkening began.
I’d be lying if I said they were anything short of the love of my life. I have never met anyone who could make me happier, even in my absolute worst of depression states, than my mate. 6 years, one mortgage, a wedding and a surprise pregnancy later…
Nothing has changed. The love of my life who makes me happier than anyone has right to be, and I will stand by them and support them through the years. I chose, every single day.
I either go into the new year with a war cry or actual goals. This year coming is a goal year and as usual, I’m well ahead of January in putting them together. I like to actually think these things through and plan them. I’ve gone with 6 goals this year, and I think all are achievable. 1 is kind of an ongoing thing but I think I’ll want the reminder when I look back at this list given how much energy a newborn needs from their parents.
Overall though I have a personal goal, a family goal, a study goal, a creative goal, a super-mundane goal and a magical goal. 6 distinct parts of my life covered ;p
Remember to keep on top of my self-care. I can’t achieve anything else if I’m completely falling over.
Be a good parent to Rabbit. She’s joining us in early January. I have no idea what I’m doing, but I’m sure I’ll figure it out. Pretty straight-forward as far as it goes, but also easier said than done.
Do well at my university studies. Again, rather self-explanatory as far as it goes. I want to achieve good grades. The degree does call for an honours year.
Learn to spin yarn and weave. I have now got two lovely looms. One is a small tabletop rigid heddle and the other a large four heddle loom I was given. I also have a spinning wheel in the garage. I would like to pair this goal with sourcing sustainable, ethically produced, materials and dying methods.
Do something about my wardrobe. It’s over-flowing with things I don’t wear, and clothes that really need replacing despite how much I love them. I own a sewing machine, there’s a charity store nearby and I’ve spent a reasonable amount of time already thinking about how to go from this mess to capsule wardrobe.
Stick with the Hekate work I am doing. Routine is often unfamiliar in my world and it’s time I developed it.
So I was somewhat oblivious to the whole pregnancy thing, basically didn’t think I could get pregnant so I was about 10 weeks when I finally found out… and that 10 weeks was hell. I was so horrifically nauseas and tired ALL THE TIME! Now, I have some seriously stupid ongoing digestive issues so I didn’t think too much of it except that I suddenly so tired I couldn’t focus on anything.
At the time I was undertaking a full load of distance study in psychology. I could see I wasn’t going to be able to manage that with the tiredness and dropped a class and then I had to ask for two extensions on an assignment for the other one despite normally being able to ace a subject whilst working full time, let alone the 3 days I was working at the time.
A friend who, at that time, I didn’t know well suggested pregnancy and the idea got stuck in my brain. 2 days later I was getting the whole thing confirmed and calling my mate (in Hong Kong for a conference) to tell him the news all whilst freaking out about the timing and whether or not they wanted this…
And dropping my remaining university class. There was no way I was going to keep up between work and what I knew would be ongoing nausea and exhaustion. I was literally getting home from work, falling asleep on the couch, getting up for dinner and going back to bed.
I was studying the pre-entry classes for a Psychology degree. Something I had considered on and off for a few years. I wanted to make psychology services more readily available to queer people like me, and to queer disabled people. I still do, which is why I have finally re-enrolled. Starting in late February 2018 I’ll be back at study part time to finish those prerequisite classes whilst Rabbit is still a wee tiny thing.
Using a Pump water bottle to model the tiny newborn beanie I made today. It whipped up reasonable fast for a slow crocheter, someone faster could probably do it in a few hours. Click the picture to be taken to the free pattern.