Thursday, 20 February 2014

Bok Choy Coconut Noodle Soup

A bowl of yellow creamy comfort
For three weeks running we received bok choy in the veggie box. This in itself
is not a problem.  We like bok choy, it is tasty and good for you.

The problem was my limited kitchen apparatus.  I usually stir fry bok choy or at least use a fry pan to wilt it when using it in Gado Gado salad or something. But until our stuff arrived from the UK I had no idea what to do with it all, but I had to do something as we were out of everything else until the delivery the next day.

Google is my friend.

The recipe I used came from Hooked On Heat - a blog on "Indian inspired flavours" I intend to return to once Pickle is here and I can resume eating spicy food without incurring painful heartburn.  I made this very mild using only a small teaspoon of curry paste in place of the Sambal Oelek in the original recipe.  The paste was an Indian variety - with tomato and cumin instead of the ginger/galangal and citrus flavours of South East Asia - so I added a bit of fresh ginger - it turned out great.  It was also really quick to make.  I think I spent more time googling what to do with my bok choy than putting the meal together.

Fertility Focus:
Bok Choy (also known as Pak Choy and Chinese Cabbage) is nutrient dense and a full of vitamins A, C, K and folate.  It is also a good source of calcium as its oxalic acid is low and the body is able to absorb the calcium more easily
Coconut milk is a source of healthy saturated fat which aids in vitamin absorption and balancing hormones
Ginger promotes blood circulation and proper digestion in which the body absorbs the nutrients in foods


  • Onion
  • Garlic
  • Ginger
  • 1 teaspoon red curry paste
  • Tin coconut milk
  • Water
  • Bok Choy
  • Egg noodles (I use one nest for two servings)

Soak egg noodle nest in a covered bowl of boiling water until soft.

Meanwhile slice the onion thinly and finely chop the garlic and ginger.  Heat curry paste and a splash of water over a medium heat and stir in onion, garlic and ginger until coated.  Add coconut milk and enough water to make up to approx 2 cups. Wash and roughly chop the Bok Choy.  Add stems to coconut milk (reserving leaves) and bring to boil.  Allow to simmer for a few minutes to infuse the coconut milk with all the flavours.  Turn off the heat, add the roughly chopped bok choy and cover.

Drain the egg noodles and place in the bottom of soup bowls.  Use a spoon to fish out the veggies and divide evenly between the bowls.  Top with the coconut soup liquid.


Thursday, 13 February 2014

Crying over novelty socks

Holey Socks Batman.
Yesterday morning Mr Duncan was wittering on to me about a pair of his socks.

Freshly laundered, he went to put them on and found them full of holes.  This was no big surprise to me.  I don't know how he goes through socks as fast as he does, but he is regularly throwing out socks with holes in the toes and heels so I wasn't paying close attention to his complaint, especially once he started going on about moths and mothballs.  We have not developed a moth infestation in the three days since he last wore those socks.  I'm not saying that something didn't try to eat them while they were drying on the washing line though... we are not yet closely acquainted with all of Australia's creepy crawlies.

When I was first pregnant with Poppy I noticed a pair of Homer Simpson novelty socks at the pound shop in the days coming up to Fathers Day.  Mr Duncan is a Simpsons fan and we enjoy a couple of in-jokes based on Homer Simpson statements.  So I purchased the socks and gave them to Mr Duncan with a Homer Simpson Fathers Day card, from me and Poppy, assuring him what a great Dad he'd be.  We lost Poppy less than two weeks later.

Time has passed and old wounds, if not exactly healed, are less immediately painful.  Poppy's due date and first birthday have come and gone and in that time we conceived and lost Pipkin and now are hoping for Pickle to arrive safely in June.  While I frequently think of both Poppy and Pipkin, what they might have been like if they had been born, how our lives would be different...  its like a nostalgic feeling for what might have been and it doesn't trigger tears in the way it did in the past.

Later in the day I noticed Mr Duncan's Homer Simpson socks in the wastepaper basket by his desk and burst into a fit of hysterical crying - complete with red face, heaving chest and breathless gasping.

Grief is a funny thing.  Just when you think it is subsiding it rushes in unexpectedly and sweeps you off your feet.

Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Its been a while...

Pumpkin and Green Bean Salad with Tomato Basil Couscous
Its been a while since I last posted.

Although I compose a half paragraph or two in my head nearly every day, I've not found the motivation to actually commit any of them to a post.

If I started this blog to foster and record my creative efforts with some vague ideas about correlating creativity in general with creating new life, now I'm pregnant and living in a mostly empty house I find myself at an all time creative low.

We moved to our new (rental) home a few weeks ago.  It is lovely and spacious with big windows affording lots of natural light and only a 20 minute walk to the sea.  I love it.

Our furniture being shipped from the UK spent an unscheduled two week stopover in Singapore so we had to rent a bed/couch/table and buy some pillows and a blanket to make do until our shipment turns up.

Same old, same old but on plastic plates.
I thought it was bad in the serviced apartment but now I have only a camping set of two nesting pots to cook with which severely limits my options.  I feel like I'm making the same meals all the time.  Our dining set consists of some plastic plates we brought in our luggage and a backpack picnic set we bought once we found out the shipping was going to be so late.

It feels the most creative I've been lately is with some old telephone books we found in a cupboard - I tore off the covers to use as placemats to keep the rental table in good condition and I'm using some of the books piled up under the bed to stop the rental bed from rolling around the bedroom as its castors don't have any locking mechanism.

It took two weeks for the internet to be connected so I had lots of catching up on other blogs to do, but feeling so blah haven't had anything positive to comment. I am still reading though and thinking of you all.

Tomorrow our shipment is due to be delivered.  Unfortunately no one involved in shipping/removals here seems able to provide confirmed dates/times in advance so I haven't been able to sequence the pickup of the rental furniture before the delivery of the shipment from the UK.  Both sets of companies will phone me with a 'window' tomorrow morning, so I am expecting some level of chaos to ensue.

But it heartens me that as of tomorrow I'll have my kitchen stuff back... and my desk... and my sewing machine and with any luck my motivation and creativity will come back too.  I have an essay I need to write and submit to complete a course I did last year and there are some things I want to sew for Pickle before he/she is born.

On the Pickle front...

The fetal anomaly scan was, in the words of the technician, 'as expected' so that is probably good.  Pickle was extremely active wriggling away from the ultrasound wand as much as possible and frustrating the technician to no end.  I am definitely getting rounder and living in the clothes I altered while in Brisbane although I do worry that I'm not putting on enough weight.  In the UK I used to weigh myself on those machines in Boots but haven't been able to find any public weighing machines here so I guess I have to wait until my next hospital appointment in two weeks.

I now have the reassurance of feeling Pickle kick to let me know everything is okay with this pregnancy. Pickle is pretty inactive in the day but come 10.30pm tap-dances up a storm.  I try not to worry but its hard not to and I know it seems crazy but I still fearfully check for blood every time I use the bathroom.

I tackled the tricky problem of how to tell my family... There always seems to be lots of feuding in my family.  I am the only one who is always talking to everyone else.  I was worried about triggering accusations of favouritism if I told one family member before others.  So I sent them all a card with the same information - our new address and that we were expecting an addition to the family in June.  My mother and sister seemed to think we were getting a pet. My Aunt and Father both sent notes of congratulations.  No word from my younger sister, but that is to be expected.  I work on the premise that no news is good news with her.

I've added a new pic to Pickle's page for those who want to see baby bumps.

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