Back to Basic’s

Mel+Sarah-Dean Raphael-9

Dean Rapheal Photography

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Sorry in advance about my vent. I just really need to write about this. 

So here it goes.

Mel and I have recently spent some time brainstorming ideas for Thymes Two and what has really got us thinking is what our Why is. What do we want to achieve, where do we want to go with it all, who do we want to connect with and who do we want to inspire. These are heavy questions that we’ve started to break down over early morning coffee and late afternoon vino. Typical us.

 Despite the fact that we’re still struggling with our why factor, we have managed to pinpoint the core of our values and actually how we’d like to live. We want to live a back to basic life. Live like our Nonna did. Consume less. Create more. Inspire more. Cook more. Cuddle more.

We also want to grow our own food. Support local designers. Collaborate with like minded people. Travel to beautiful places. Raise a beautiful family and live a beautiful life.

 Unsure of where our drive to live a basic lifestyle has stemmed from, Mel and I have slowly discovered that the older we become, the more obsessed we become with this idea.

 The idea of Basic Living.

 We are constantly striving towards a basic, local and organic approach to life. I can admit that this may sound really ‘wanky’ but we honestly mean it and we legitimately live by these principles as much as we can.

 I am now aware that this is all a direct reflection of our mum and the way she raised us along with dad of course.

 Mum has such a no fuss, minimalistic approach to living. She is the least materialistic person I know. She likes to spend her whole afternoons delving into books rather than going out shopping. She rarely buys herself new clothes and due to her sensitive stomach, she usually cooks for herself and dad rather than offer to eat out. She does however love Japanese food and the fantastic Melbourne cafes that this glorious city has to offer – like we all do! She has also recently started to make beautiful linen dresses, skirts and pants for Mel and I. I haven’t actually bought a dress or a skirt in god knows how long. When we do go out shopping, we either shop at opp shops or we spend a little more money seeking out local and honest labels.

 Mum’s lifestyle had quite an influence on our early years in life. Cooking rather than dining out, walking everyday to the park rather than driving there, spending afterschool playing for hours in our rooms, at the playground with our friends or in our garden rather than watching television and yearly visits to mum’s side of the family in Switzerland are the memories I’ve kept. Others that I keep close to my heart are those of our Nonna and Nonno spending hours in the kitchen making sauces, soups, slow cooked meats and pastas from scratch. They introduced us to the world of honest food, strong coffee and delicious wine. They were Italians after all. They cooked with ‘amore’ and that is one of the things I miss most about them. That and their endless encouragement and support. I don’t think anyone has encouraged or praised us more than our Nonnie. She was adorable.

 Anyway (wipe away tear). as the years went on, our form of friday night takeaway was home delivered sushi. I don’t think we ever asked our mum to take us to McDonalds or KFC (that came later, you know in those early teen drinking years…). Now for every family occasion we usually opt for a delicious feast at a fine dining Japanese restaurant. We all love the cuisine and it’s the kind of food that we wouldn’t normally cook at home so in my opinion the money spent is somewhat justified. As a family, and also nowadays living in Carlton with Mel, we rarely eat out, rather opting for home cooked meals prepared with local and organic ingredients.

 In terms of food, it’s quite obvious through our instagram, that we share a deep love for it, along with coffee and wine of course! With a lot of time and research, we’ve found, local, ethical and organic sellers to buy our produce from. We buy our meat, our fish and our vegetables from all separate sources and yes it takes a chunk out of our week but it is most definitely worth it. Knowing where your food comes from is the foundation of good nutrition. There is also something so special about it. When you’ve walked an hour to get to a sustainable fish monger, or carried 2 kilos of veggies in your backpack or spent your morning trekking all the way to a market to only by ‘off cuts’ of meat or bones, then you actually start to develop some what of an intimate relationship with your food. Cooking then becomes fun rather than a chore. It really is quite nice. Some say it’s a love affair.

Our basic approach to living also touches other aspects of our day-to-day including modern technology. Our (well ‘my’ – Mel is much more gifted in this area) inability to use technology is probably due to the fact that growing up we always had afterschool sport of some sort so we literally just didn’t have the time for hours and hours of television and video games. To this day, Mel and I still rent videos from the video store or borrow them from the library as 1. We don’t know how to download movies… 2. Isn’t downloading movies illegal anyway!? and 3. Borrowing movies from the library is so much more fun. Ditto with CDs! We play our DVDs on our laptops as we do not own a TV and instead of streaming music through spotify or ITunes, we have a little CD player. We’ve named it ‘The Egg’ – if that is of interest to anybody. Oh but don’t worry, we are able to use phones and love social media. Like many more like most people living in this modern society, we are slightly attached to our iPhones.

 Trying to live like our grandmothers did, we also don’t really ‘work out’. We adore yoga and have found an amazing studio literally down the road from our home so we enjoy between 3 – 5 sessions of yoga per week. This plus walking everywhere is how we currently choose to move our body. Although we grew up with sport, it was mostly gymnastics, dancing and swimming so it’s these sorts of movements we love. We no not love CrossFit, boxing, hectic gym sessions or marathon running. We do, however, certainly take our hats off to anyone who does enjoy these types exercise. Maybe in our next life we’ll have the motivation, endurance and mental strength for it. For now though, yoga and walking suits us just fine. It’s what our Nonna did too. She walked everywhere and also did weekly yoga. Again, she was adorable.

So that’s that. Basic and conscious living. Honestly just becoming aware of how we spend our time and our money and ensuring they’re in tune with our values.

 Well done. You made it to the end of my vent.

 Ciao,

 Sarah x

 

 

 

 

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Spring Salad Series #2

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We’re off to Europe in exactly 10 weeks. It’s no secret that we are completely, 100% obsessed with everything to do with the European culture. The fresh food, old buildings, their train systems, cute bakeries, red wine (lots of red wine), the coop (only a few people would understand this), friendly people and most importantly our family in Neuchatel, Switzerland.

Our love for Europe has come to a stage where we are trying to set up camp over there, permanently. This means a lot of research, visas, Italian passports, what do we do with our clothes?! how much money do we need? etc. It has been quite a headache. But so worth it.

Amongst this research, we have been taking our time in the kitchen, cooking and creating beautiful recipes to share with the world. As we have started our Spring Salad Series, this week we had to come up with salad number 2! Feeling a bit sluggish today, we opted for a lighter salad, bringing us back to our European summers.

Hope you enjoy this meal! Make sure to share it with family and close friends, no one likes eating alone.


Fennel, Celery, Rocket and Sardine Salad with black Sesame

Organic Ingredients

Serves two

Half a fennel

One celery stalk

Two handfuls of rocket

Two small oranges (we picked these from our garden)

One can of sardines in olive oil

One teaspoon of black sesame seeds

Few sprigs of fresh parsley

Two teaspoons of extra virgin olive oil

Himalayan salt (to taste)

Pepper (to taste)


Method

 Quite simple, no need for the stove or any other appliances

– Wash fennel and celery thoroughly

– Roughly (julienne) slice the celery and fennel

– Prepare two plates, and place one handful of rocket on each. Then top with the fennel and celery

-Peel the two oranges, and slice into thin circles (we’re not too sure how to explain this but we’re sure you will understand what we mean..). Place oranges onto the plates

– Divide the can of sardines in half and top onto the salads

– Sprinkle with black sesame, EVOO, pepper and salt. Oh and don’t forget the parsley!

– Serve with fresh dark bread (we had ours with some wholemeal organic spelt crackers)

– Bon Appetit!

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Spelt Pasta with Greens, Poached Chicken and Goats Cheese

Who doesn’t love Pasta..?

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Ingredients: Serves two hungry twins 

Organic spelt penne pasta (one uncooked cup)

One organic chicken breast

Organic spinach (one generous handful)

One small organic broccoli head

Six small organic asparagus

Half a cup of organic green garden peas

Split green olives (around 10)

Organic goats cheese (around one heaped tablespoon)

Pine nuts (one heaped teaspoon)

Fresh basil (for garnish)

One tablespoon of olive oil

Pinch of himalayan salt

Pepper (to taste)

Method: Easy Peasy 

1) Bring two pots of water to boil

2) Meanwhile, but up chicken into cube ‘bite sized’ pieces

3) Wash all vegetables

4) Cut up broccoli head and asparagus, shred the spinach (or simply tear up)

5) Once water is boiling, place chicken in for around 4-6 mins (test a piece before serving)

6) Place pasta in the water and cook for 10-15 mins (roughly)

7) Once pasta is cooked, drain and leave it in the pot. Add goats cheese and mix it through, then follow by adding the green vegetables, spinach, olives, chicken, olive oil, pine nuts, pepper and salt

8) Divide into two beautiful bowls and garnish with fresh basal

BON APPETIT!

xxxxx