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A few weeks before I began this blog three years ago on Christmas day I woke up to try my hand at Eggnog, something that has never traveled as far south as New Zealand’s borders. In the warmth of summer, opening the fridge to this creamy custardy brandy delight made me question why, with all the advances in society, this isn’t available everywhere all year round.

I say this despite having one-and-a-half tumbler glasses of these and soon going to bed made me realize this was too much in the span of five minutes. ten-year-old self reflected in the darkness with thoughts of ‘when will I learn?’ running through my mind. Drinking beverages slowly has never been a forte of mine, and somehow I’ll never learn the lesson despite several head rushes.

Let’s not forget the time I filled myself so efficiently and effectively with limeade that the only way to get over the ill feeling was to lay on the ground groaning. Yes, drinking beverages really slowly is something I have not yet mastered, any tips welcome.

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When I was a little girl, (way back in the 90s) my dad used to make home brew, aka, made his own beer. The most exciting part for lil me was when we first opened a bottle and would pour the top of the beer into a glass as this was the ‘bad’ part and put a slice of cheese in it.

Somehow the cheese was magic or something, but I got to eat the cheese and suddenly his home made beer was always an exciting time to eat more dairy that tasted like beer. I remember running to him with excitement whenever he pulled one of these out of the trays.

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How is your December treating you? Is the winter breeze sweeping you into a shiver? Or is summer really heating up? Obviously, I’m still riding the mulled wine express through the cold December air this is a recipe I knew couldn’t wait for a year to be tried and shared.

It’s a planning time of year and I’m at the helm leading the office towards the end of year function in probably the shortest time ever with someone who hates making phone calls. They picked the wrong captain is all I’m thinking as I googled places that aren’t booked out for this next week.

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The Christmas markets are popping up all over London and in traditional sense they have a German theme, because its well known the world over that the German’s with their gingerbread, pretzels and best of all mulled wine know how to warm up from the cold.

Growing up in a country where the weather is warm and the holiday season is spent on the beach and wading in the waves, I had never enjoyed mulled wine before last winter. Standing in the crowds of Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park on a busy Saturday and the cool air wrapping around us we walked up towards the stand, handed over the money and drank the deliciously warming beverage with smiling faces.

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Most months are spent in a whirl of routine. Getting up, going to work, meeting up with friends, etc etc. When you’re trying to find work routines are a little more loose and my November was a mixed bag of applying for jobs, seeing two of my favorite people on the globe.

Walking alongside the Thames with Sarah and Helena here in London was surreal and getting to show them the most important sights during their whirlwind eighteen hour visit was so worth it on their first adventure outside home shores. Naturally the travel bug has now bitten them and they are planning more adventures in the future.

As for my adventures, there are plans pencilled in for next year and hopefully those will be cemented into concrete so more countries, cultures and cuisines can be experienced. Meanwhile, November has passed by and here it is in photos:

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“Keep not settling.”

Since relocating to the ever crowded space of London I have continued to work as a temporary worker, in fact my CV is starting to look like a pick’n’mix of industries and this was never apart of the plan when I left my last permanent job almost five years ago.

I have slowly and surely expanded my skills in ways I could have never done if I had stayed where I was. Yet returning to the industry I actually wanted to work in has evaded me and this is where the difficulty of striving for growth and expansion has to be tempered. There are countless inspiring quotes about being motivated and not settling, yet moving forward in a career is never simple or clear and sometimes the path is very very murky and decisions don’t often give you much time to figure out the right choice.

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Whenever the weather gets colder an instant reaction is to imagine the warm weather on the other side of the globe and wish I was there. This has happened for as long as I can remember, maybe because I am a child of the Southern Hemisphere, therefore, I am wildly aware of the different seasons on the other side of that invisible line. This feeling could also originate from my addiction to travel and being blatantly aware that the sun is warm and shining in some far away land and I want, no need, to be there.

Yet, seven years ago when the frost was getting thicker on the ground and the clothes were being piled higher and my journey was about to take me to Central America for the first time, I didn’t even have a crossing thought of abandoning ship because it was Thanksgiving and the culmination of a few years of conversations about spending it with one of my closest friends was about to become a reality.

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Thank goodness its Friday! Amirite?!

Suffering from insomniac induced writers block I’m short on words today, despite my best efforts to fall asleep earlier last night and get a good nights sleep the two prior nights I have fallen well short of my recommended daily sleep intake.

But tomorrow is the weekend and that means sleeping in and learning new things, reading, watching films and preparing for next week with some stuffing that I’ll be sharing at the beginning of next week.

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November should be renamed ‘Apple and Pie’ month. The apple sense that it should be in the kitchen, put in baking and devoured at any and all occasions. And the only other food group consumed is pie – pumpkin, pecan, maple sweet potato, apple, bacon and egg, meat or vegetable fillings of your choosing. Anything you can place into a pastry or double pastry crust can be consumed with glee while dietary restrictions are thrown out the window while everyone prepares for the inevitable month of booze and meals in December.

The days are only getting shorter and colder so lets admit that this is really for the best. Let’s embrace the adaptability of these crisp juicy fruits in all their varieties and imperfections and indulge while we can. Life is too short to not eat apples any way you can think to make them – baked, stuffed, wrapped in pastry then opened and covered in caramel while warm. For now it’s being kept simple in the kitchen with this no fuss, easy on the eye galette.

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I’ve been trying to find a job for a few weeks now, long enough that the creeping self doubt which grows over time of a job search has kept me indoors searching with crossed fingers that something, anything will come up and I don’t have to go begging to my dad for help.

This has also meant eating rice and beans which I won’t complain about, although my body is hungering for some smoked salmon from this recipe or chicken or slices of perfectly crispy bacon. Meat, though, is not a pauper’s choice. These things have all been added to the list of things to do when money and I are better friends. Oh those lists of what to get are always made when jobless and rarely do they ever get completed, it’s fun to daydream though.

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Growing up apples were one of those fruits I ate because it was seen as a treat not because I genuinely liked them. Sure, they are plenty adaptable and ‘one a day, keeps the doctor away,’ but I never awaited their season with excitement like nectarine or feijoa season (only the best fruit around and currently in season in the northern hemisphere where available).

My mom’s apple slice was great because of it’s presentation, the fact apples were involved was neither here nor there. The fact I got to eat apples after brushing my teeth was great because it meant food that was good for my teeth and a pre-bedtime snack. This year I have waited ever so patiently for this season as apples have become something I just couldn’t get enough of.

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Yesterday after a little miscommunication I caught up with two very special friends, people who I’ve known their whole lives on their very first overseas adventure.

Taking them from Tower Bridge along the Thames past Globe theatre, over the Millennium bridge that stands outside the Tate with them sitting on St Paul’s steps for a photo before returning to the pathway cut alongside the river we made our way to Southbank, underneath the London eye then across Westminster Bridge to hear the chime of Big Ben before walking towards Charring Cross and standing in Trafalgar Square with a lot of other people who had only hours earlier protested for the Fifth of November.

We ended up finishing with drinks and dessert and soon I was saying goodby and on my way navigating the streets home in the icy temperatures of the early morning hours with birds chirping. Our night spent walking mainly to give them a glimpse of as much London as we could fit into the few precious hours they had before going on their way to their next destination with fireworks banging in the clear evening air somewhere out of sight.

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October should mean ‘golden leaves’ or something along the beauty of the light hitting the leaves before they float to the ground. Yes, fall is in full swing and it’s been rather gorgeous in the bright clear days we’ve been gifted. Yes, it was a gloriously golden month with more sunshine and warmth than usual.

Overall, I began and ended the month with more free time than usual thanks to lacking work, but it meant I’ve been able to enjoy the hours of daylight with the clocks now having fallen an hour backwards and the sun setting ever earlier to the dark months of winter ahead.

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One summer night with cicada’s humming in the warm lit air, it was time for me to begin the words of this journey. Starting the journey had crossed my mind a few times previously, but I never was certain of what it was I could or would say or how to even say it on a platform.

Fast forward almost three years and there have been more adventures than I can count, more meals that have left me reeling with their full flavors and the discovery of more dishes than I could have ever imagined possible before pressing ‘post.’

On the front of foreign cuisine, however, the list of things to make grows ever longer with each new country I’m able to visit within my radius. German Black forest cake, Dutch Pancakes, Spanish Paella and French Macaroons all things that will be attempted at some point in the forthcoming future and hopefully before the four hundredth post.

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