Why This Psychic Blogs About Cooking!

Raspberry Tiramisu

“No one who cooks, cooks alone. Even at her most solitary, a cook in the kitchen is surrounded by generations of cooks past, the advice and menus of cooks present, the wisdom of cookbook writers.”
~ Laurie Colwin

“If you are careful,’ Garp wrote, ‘if you use good ingredients, and you don’t take any shortcuts, then you can usually cook something very good. Sometimes it is the only worthwhile product you can salvage from a day; what you make to eat. With writing, I find, you can have all the right ingredients, give plenty of time and care, and still get nothing. Also true of love. Cooking, therefore, can keep a person who tries hard sane.”
~ John Irving, The World According to Garp

 

Someone sent me an email yesterday. I present an excerpt here for your interest;

Nicole, I’m really puzzled over your blog. You are a psychic. What the *#@^ are you writing about cooking for? Also, enough with the photos of your garden and your dogs. Anyone can write about that so leave it to them. More how-to’s about being a psychic and your psychic stories. That’s what I want.

Hmmm…

I made myself a pot of tea, went and hosed my vegetable garden, and thought about how to respond.

It’s true. I am psychic. And that is a very big part of my life. But it’s not ALL of my life.

Further to that, this person also wrote:

“It must be wonderful to be psychic. How glamorous and exciting.”

That made me laugh. Glamorous? Not much, my friend. Exciting? Not really the word I would have chosen.

It has been a big week for me – as well as dealing with my horror Lyme meds I’ve been reaching out to support a friend as she suffers a major health crisis, holding the space for others coming through grief and trauma, and guiding a student experiencing a major spiritual breakthrough. I also advised authorities over a difficult matter, comforted a client who had received a positive cancer diagnosis after finally going to the doctor at my insistence, and guided others through life’s major crossroads.

That’s a normal week for me.

I cannot speak for others who are psychic, but I can speak of what this life is like for me.

I adore what I do, but it is also a great responsibility.  Being psychic, being aware of the thoughts and feelings of others, having knowledge of situations and possibilities, being compelled to come to the aid of people – it’s exhausting.  I can’t turn off seeing auras and energy all around me.  I am constantly aware of things others cannot see, some of which, at times, I would rather not know.

And I am always, always on duty.

I’m not talking about the times when I am working with clients, or running workshops or retreats.  I’m expecting to do psychic work then, and I’m prepared and ready for that.

The truth is I cannot plan my days with any certitude. It doesn’t matter whether I am healthy or unwell, busy or on a day off.  It does not matter what time of the day or night.  If I am called to serve, I must heed that call.

I might wake from a dream, or emerge from a meditation with the need to contact someone, provide information and then support them. Perhaps I will need to try and prevent a suicide.  I might spend time helping a lost soul cross over, comforting a child and guiding them with their own spiritual and psychic connections, or helping an unborn twin save their sibling. My holidays get interrupted, even when I’m in the middle of the ocean, or I might be suddenly called to intervene with healing a past life trauma for a complete stranger.

The images, information and emotions are like constant background noise.  And then sometimes that volume gets cranked way up.

My main method of coping – besides tapping into nature, community and the grounded joys of everyday life – is meditation. Meditation clears the energetic debris at the end of the day, and I can reach out and send love and healing so that others feel supported. Meditation also starts my day.  I can set my intent, tune in and open myself to what most needs focus or support, and direct my energies to that end.  Meditation makes room in my mind, and it uplifts my soul. It’s one of the reasons why I include so many meditations in my blog.

Here's a particularly annoying photo of the blossoms on my lemonade tree. It's shame this isn't a scratch and sniff blog - these blossoms smell so good!  :)

Here’s a particularly annoying photo of the blossoms on my lemonade tree. It’s a shame this isn’t a scratch and sniff blog – these blossoms smell so good! :)

But that’s not cooking, is it? Meditation is still kind of psychic…

Here’s the thing. Every day I see humanity in all its glorious wonder, frailty, beauty, brutality and ugliness. I taste and feel life as viscerally as if it is all happening to me, and through me.

At times I feel the weight of the world on my shoulders, and at other times I feel uproariously free, grateful and alive. I am privileged to see and feel with this weird kind of subtlety and sensitivity.  It is an honour to peer into the fabric of the Universe and glimpse some of its magic.

It’s a path I take very seriously.

But it’s not glamorous, or particularly exciting. Instead I find it humbling, hard work and at times extraordinarily rewarding.

So why blog recipes?

Cooking is actually very important to me. Sorry, that may sound a bit trite. Let me explain. It’s where I feel my grandmothers’ hands guiding mine – although they are now passed over. And I really miss my grandmothers! Cooking helps me feel them in the kitchen with me. Preparing food is one of the ways I can show care for my family, friends and community, and it’s the thing I do to stay sane in my often crazy world.

Cooking is often my lifeline, and the thing that normalises me when life feels so very strange. It connects me to my ordinary self. It’s a way to unwind, a form of moving meditation. It’s a way to nurture me and others. Plus… yum!

Also my Nana’s Curried Sausages Recipe beats Jamie Oliver’s and the Women’s Weekly’s in Google rankings. :)

Anyway, I digress…

Getting my hands into the dirt in my garden or rambling around my farm talking to the cows keeps me grounded too.

Nurse Bert!

Nurse Bert!

My dogs? They are sometimes the rodeo clowns who prevent me being trampled, sometimes my nurses, sometimes the ones who understand best what I need, and who give me love, comfort and reason to laugh after a hard day.

I’m glad you are keen to develop your psychic skills. But how’s your cooking? How’s your compassion? What are your coping skills? How’s your humanity?

How will you handle being psychic, and all that entails, especially looking after and guiding other people with wisdom and kindness, if you cannot also be rounded and grounded as a person?

Sorry, but I’m going to keep blogging my life – ALL of it – I hope you understand.

All the best,

Nicole

PS – I couldn’t help myself. I guess you mightn’t be reading my blog again after this, so I thought I’d better include one last photo of my awesomely magical dogs…unicorn dogs

A Very Good Day!

Bert

“I love people who make me laugh. I honestly think it’s the thing I like most, to laugh. It cures a multitude of ills. It’s probably the most important thing in a person.”
~ Audrey Hepburn

 

What a wonderful weekend it has turned out to be. Good friends have come to stay at our little farm. Yesterday we laughed, and played in the garden with the dogs, and made dinner together, and stayed up talking. Our two dogs, Harry and Bert, are overjoyed to have children here who don’t tire of throwing sticks or going on long rambling adventures

On another exciting note, Ben brought me home a magical blue Triceratops dinosaur.

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He’s the kind of dinosaur who can fight off bad dreams while doubling as a pillow. Right now, I think that’s the best kind of dinosaur of all. Here’s another jaunty pic of him bringing home the groceries.

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Today is Drug Number Four day for me again, but I’m going to delay taking it until this afternoon. That way I can enjoy a morning of feeling relatively okay. We’ll visit the Bangalow Sunday Markets, have some lunch on the veranda and do a tour of the farm before  our lovely friends head back to the city, and I do battle with lyme once more, on this latest regime.

Last night our friends urged me to take photographs of dinner for my blog. I protested that there wasn’t a recipe worth blogging. Barbequed steak and sausages, local new potatoes in their jackets, a big salad and green beans from the garden. It’s just food I said. Anyone can make that.

So I’ve decided to share a photograph of the last time we had dinner at their place. Homemade lasagne! It was incredibly yummy. That’s Hannah, Mitchell and Milo in the photo, with their mum’s outstandingly good lasagne. I promise to get the recipe for you!

lasagne

Things that make my heart glad!

“Our brightest blazes of gladness are commonly kindled by unexpected sparks.” 
~ Samuel Johnson, The Idler; Poems

 

The New Year is almost here! As part of my sacred promise to live a heart-centred year in 2014, I am aiming to make sure I fill my days with more of the simple things that make my heart glad.

Here’s my list, below.

1. The ever-changing light here at our farm: a brilliant blaze of sunrise, that quirky green haze before the afternoon storm, the dove-grey gloom of dusk. Taking a moment to stand barefoot on the ground and drink in my surroundings is good medicine for my soul.

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2. A cup of tea – on my own, with my husband, or with friends. Tea is such a comforting brew, and there are so many flavours to choose from. There’s always one to suit my mood.

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3. Fresh flowers. These ones are from weeds and vegetables in my garden that have gone to seed. No matter, they still give me joy. There is loveliness everywhere once you start to look.

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4. The beach. Summer or winter, morning or evening or any time in between. Swims in the briny sea, lungfuls of good clean air, the tang of salt on the breeze, sun on my skin, sand between my toes.

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5. Meditation. I swear meditation has saved my life. I fall into its arms twice each day and it never fails to soothe me, restore me and connect me.

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6. Writing, and reading books. One of the great loves of my existence. To be able to sit at home, or at a favourite cafe, and let words tumble onto the page is a form of magic for me. So is reading a book and being transported to a whole new world for a while.2012-05-17 07.34.52

 

7. Fairies. Being able to sit quietly in nature and see who’s there, or talking with Sokli, my most favourite fairy of them all – that always makes my heart glad.

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8. Hanging out at the farm. Down by the river, watching the platypus. Cooking up treats in the kitchen. Communing with the cows. Exploring with Harry and Bert. Dancing in my gumboots. Listening to the birds. Searching for the noisy koalas. Chasing away the wallabies from my vegetable garden. Picking oranges in the orchard. It’s the little ordinary things that bring  a smile to my face. Truly, living here makes me feel so blessed.

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Life is a precious gift. This coming year I am going to fill it with the ordinary miracles of being alive. How about you? What things will you open your heart to in 2014? What makes your own heart glad?

Much love to you, Nicole xx

My Big Promotion

May Day Queen Being Crowned - 1937.  Image from University of Kentucky

May Day Queen Being Crowned – 1937. Image from University of Kentucky

“Give me my robe, put on my crown; I have Immortal longings in me.”
~ William Shakespeare

“A crown is merely a hat that lets the rain in.”

~ Frederick The Great

 

Yes, it’s true. I have been promoted!

A position of great tradition and, dare I say it, possibility. The sort of opportunity that truly excites me…

I am the newly elected Branch Cookery Officer for the Bangalow CWA. (Country Women’s Association)

Image from zazzle

Image from zazzle

It’s a dream job. I get to host cooking days, organise our local part of the Land Cookery Competition, and showcase the fabulous recipes for which the CWA are famous.

I promise to blog some of these recipes for you in upcoming posts, as well as hints and tips to help you have success whether you are cooking at home, or for a competition. There’s a wealth of talent, wisdom and kitchen magic here in this organisation, and I’m keen to share it with you!

Well, back to the kitchen for me. We have a fundraising cake stall this Saturday, outside our rooms in the main street of Bangalow. Perhaps we’ll see you there! :)

Unpacking cakes for judging - Image from John Oxley Library

Unpacking cakes for judging – Image from John Oxley Library

 

Getting ready for a bumper harvest!

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“Care less for your harvest than for how it is shared and your life will have meaning and your heart will have peace.”
~ Kent Nerburn

The picture at the top of the page is part of a stand of Bunya Pines along one of the fences at our farm. Each year the pines produce giant cones the size of a football or bigger, but the harvest varies from year to year. The last decent harvest we had was four years ago. Last year we had maybe six cones in total over the entire season, and the nuts inside were small and barely worth bothering about. Today I looked up and counted nearly sixty cones, and these were just the ones that I could see. 2013 is going to be a bumper crop. :)

It will still be a few months before they ripen and begin to fall, but already we are putting a management strategy in place. The trees provide a shady place for our cows, who like to use their dense lower limbs as shelter from sun and storms. But once the nuts start to fall they become a dangerous place to be. Being hit by a falling Bunya cone would not be dissimilar to being felled by a cannonball. So we’ll move the cattle to another paddock before the nuts are ready.

Byron bunyas

The Australian Aborigines used to have huge feasts around the Bunya season. Tribes would come from coastal, plains and mountain districts, put aside any differences, and spend time together harvesting and eating the rich nuts. The feasts were a time to build friendships, to trade and to organise marriages, alliances and ceremony.

Bunya nut factory

I think this year I’ll plan a feast of my own for Bunya season. There are so many cones and some of them will be heavy and full of nuts. The nuts can be roasted, boiled, fried or sprouted and they taste like a floury sweet chestnut with a hint of pine-nut. Absolutely delicious. They even make amazing pesto!

There’s a lot of work in harvesting, breaking and dehusking the nuts, and even more work in preparing them for cooking. It seems the perfect time to invite a bunch of bunya-nut-loving friends to come help with the harvest, and to share in the bounty.

And anyway, I love a house full of hungry people. It gives me an excuse to cook!

Bunya Nut Feast

The Magic of a Cup of Tea

cuppa

“Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love.” 
~ Mother Teresa

There are a few things that have helped me to feel human again in the past twenty-four hours after days of being wretchedly ill. Such simple things, but they nurtured me, body and soul:

  • a long hot shower, with neem oil soap made by a friend to soothe my burning, itchy skin
  • clean sheets; fresh and soft and smelling still of sunshine
  • clean pyjamas; old favourites – warm and comfortable
  • a cup of milky tea – after a few days of no food it was bliss to sip and savour
  • vegemite on toast – just a few bites, buttery and the vegemite not too thick
  • an open window, and a gentle breeze
  • lots and lots of sleep

The clean sheets and pyjamas were waiting for me after my shower.  The tea and toast followed after I was tucked up in bed again.

It’s the simple things, always the simple things, that bring comfort, a sense of safety, and the knowledge you are loved.

What simple things can you do for yourself, or a loved one today?  Everyone benefits from care and comfort.

Thanks for all your lovely well-wishes and messages of support. Am off to see my Lyme Doctor today. I’ll be back to normal blogging tomorrow.  Much love to you ♥ xx

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Easy Easter Treats to Make

“Easter tells us that life is to be interpreted not simply in terms of things but in terms of ideals.”  ~ Charles M. Crowe

Hooray.  After a huge 14 hours of sleep I have woken feeling revived, optimistic and ready to cook!  We have a CWA Fundraising Cake Stall in Bangalow tomorrow morning, and I am making some Easter treats to contribute.  If you’re down our way, holidaying in Byron Bay or heading off to Bluesfest, why not pop in and say hi?

I thought I’d share some of the recipes I’m making. Don’t worry if you’re not an experienced cook – these recipes are EASY, tasty and lots of fun, and there’s plenty of ways to get the kids involved too.  Giving home-made treats at Easter is a lovely heart-felt gift.

Or of course you could just eat them all yourself!

Here’s my Best Coconut Ice Recipe - a creamy concoction with the perfect texture and flavour.  This has won me many prizes at our local and State Agricultural Shows!

coco-1

I’ll also be making Homemade Rocky Road which is a simple concoction of chocolate, jellies, marshmallows and nuts – all that is required is a little melting and stirring!

rocky road

You can’t have Easter without Marshmallow Treats – some pretty eggs for the kids, and a few batches of traditional marhsmallows for the grown ups.  This marshmallow recipe is gluten-free and perfect for people who also need dairy free and chocolate free. :)

eggs-and-mallows-in-coconut

 

toasted-coconut-marshmallows

Or you could try your hand at a few batches of sinfully good and incredibly easy Five Minute Fudge, which really does take a mere five minutes to whip up, and probably less time to devour!

fudge

fudge2

 

I encourage you to give these recipes a try.  Hopefully some of them will become an Easter Tradition in your household too.

Much love to you, ♥ Nicole xx