I have an enormous fondness for delicious food. It’s very comforting.
~ Teri Garr
I turned 24 this week, and friends, family and circumstances have all contributed towards making it a truly splendid birthday. It does makes me laugh, though, to think about the fact that each year I get an extra number awarded to me; a number to stick on my age and recite with pride. To be able to say “Hey, I’m 24, no longer 23!” feels like a prize I don’t deserve, for each year, I am more humbled by people, by life, by myself; I am more conscious of just how much I don’t know.
I wonder if I’ll ever really grow up. There’s just so much to learn and explore.
About love and family, for instance. Recently, I spent an entire morning with my Dad. I didn’t realise how much I didn’t know about him as a man, a person. I didn’t realise just how much he loved me. I didn’t realise how he has grown so much in humility. We talked in the sunshine, sharing stories and secrets. We admitted our faults. We talked about dreams.
There were points at which I could not hold back tiny streams of tears; but they fell in the midst of such happiness.
It is a mistake to underestimate the ones we love, or to think we couldn’t know them better. It is a mistake to think that secrets protect us; the opposite is true. There is a powerful, magnificent freedom in truth – a glorious thing to really know and be known.
Recently, I also came to realise a few things about myself. The last few months have been hectic with lots of things happening – challenges in every area – country relocation, job uncertainty, relationships… I had wonderful moments in the midst of things, of course, but I also experienced despair, anger and other indescribable feelings.
I came face to face with some things I’ve never resolved. It was scary and tough, but it felt good to face them and deal with them.
A few nights ago, I cried heavily, only this time – the tears felt hopeful, and I did not feel crushed. After the tears, I saw only clarity.
It’s great getting to know myself. To explore. To know others. To seek. To find. To touch and wallow in life – thrills, horrors and all.
I do hope this journey never ends.
Before I sign off, I’d like to share a recipe for some delicious crumble (too good not to share – and thanks Matt, what a treat tonight)!
As always, recipe writing doesn’t come naturally to me – but there is great fun to be had in experimenting, so take the recipe as a guide and make your own yummy version!
- Sweet and spicy crumble
3 cans of fruit (we used apricots, mangoes, pears)
Light brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp chinese five spice powder
1.5 tbsp amaretto
50g fresh ginger, grated
- Crumble topping:
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups rolled oats
100ml olive oil
3/4 cup light brown sugar
1 tsp chinese five spice powder
Preheat the oven to 180°C.
- Slice the canned fruit, and arrange the fruit slices in a flat layer on the base of an oven-proof baking dish. Sprinkle cinnamon, grated ginger, amaretto and sugars evenly across the fruit.
- In a separate bowl, mix together the ingredients for the crumble topping until well combined, adjusting the quantity of oil if needed. Spread this evenly across the fruit mixture.
- Bake the crumble for approximately 45 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and it is bubbling inside. Your house should also be smelling wonderful!
- Serve with a generous scoop of French Vanilla ice cream. If you can, pour yourself a glass of sweet late harvest too – perfection!
- Yields approximately 5 servings.
hi mel, lovely blog and glad to read about you and your dad. that is probably the best birthday gift that no money can buy.
No butter crumble *thumbs up*
A belated Happy Birthday, Mel! (Oh to be 24 again…)
Happy birthday! (I turned 24 this week too… must be a good week!) Here’s to a good year.
Beautiful post Mel, got sweaty eyes reading it. You are so right about cherishing those special moments you have with the people you love. They are wee treasures that will keep you going on dark days. Happy Birthday babe! xox
Aunt Sara – too true.
Haidee – just for you ;-)
Anne – thank you, and oh I sometimes wish I was 17 again – I guess we can only try to be content sometimes!
Millie – happy birthday to you too! And yes, yay for another year.
Nessie – yes I know! Thank you sweets :-)