Welcome back to the My Open Kitchen podcast! We took a little break over Christmas and January but are back with a lovely long episode for you here. And while we were gone, guess what, co-host Skye had her baby!! A beautiful little girl called Florence and she gurgled quietly in the studio as we recorded this episode last week.
But before we start properly, a big huge thanks to Country Style Magazine, our sponsor for series two. We just love this magazine and everything it stands for so are very proud to be collaborating with them for this series.
This episode we are slowing down.
My Open Kitchen is all about social media and how we can use this crazy powerful thing to grow our businesses, make new buddies, build nurturing communities and find awesome people to collaborate with. But it is all consuming and totally addictive, and can easily take up every spare milli-second of your non existent time. So today, we dedicate this show to putting the phone or the computer aside, and making a conscious or purposeful effort to slow down and rejuvenate.
Interview with Trish Dixon (pictured below)
We couldn’t think of a better guest for this slow episode, than author and photographer Trish Dickson. Trish lives in the Monaro district of NSW and for a long time was a writer and photographer for Country Style. She also runs tours all over the world, has authored many beautiful books and is an incredibly talented gardener and we chatted about her piece of country garden heaven quite a bit on the podcast so thought you guys might like to see a few of Trisha’s photos of her garden here below. She is a great advocate of going slow, and even dedicated a whole book to the subject; Adagio.
One quiet cup
We are starting a hashtag! And it’s #onequietcup. So, starting today, both Skye and I are going to make the time for one quiet moment every day. To just sit with a cup of tea or coffee or whatever you like and our thoughts – not reaching for our phone. Five minutes without any distractions – no phones, computers, tv, music radio. Just notice the light, the sounds, the smells and breathe deeply. Use the #onequietcup hashtag to tell us your perfect five minutes of calm. But not while you’re in your quiet moment, that would kind of defeat the purpose! If you want some nice inspiration for quiet moments with cups of tea, check out Xanthe Berkley’s hashtag #slowmoteatime for lots of beautiful slow motion tea moments like the one below;
We also loved hearing Marte Marie Forsberg talk about the power of quiet moments to foster creativity;
And finally – this piece in the Huffington Post gives a great guided meditation all about your morning tea or coffee. How on trend are we!
Morning tea – Skye’s lemon yogurt cake
This is another one that has done the rounds with my friends and I. It’s super easy and great for when there are a mass of lemons around and it tastes delicious sprinkled with herbs from the garden.
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1 tbls grated lemon rind
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 cup greek yoghurt
1 3/4 caster sugar
2 cups self raising flour, sifted
Preheat oven to 160C and grease and line a 20cm cake tin. Mix oil, rind, juice, sugar, eggs and yoghurt together with a whisk until combined. Add sifted flour and combine with wooden spoon then transfer to your cake tin, smooth over the top. Bake for about 30-40 mins or until a skewer comes out clean. Cool for 10 mins and then move to a wire rack or cake stand. To make it pretty I love to use a simple lemon icing, pomegranate seeds, mint, thyme and a hint of chopped rosemary.
Skye’s top 5
1. The Stop scrolling project. I have just signed up to this fantastic initiative. Basically it’s a daily task delivered to your inbox, to try and make you more mindful about your social media consumption. Its creators don’t really believe in a total digital detox or completely turningoff, it’s more about taking a break and making it work. Starts on Sunday’s.
2. The Morning Pages Project by Julia Cameron
This mindfulness exercise recently came across my desk and I’m so keen to have a go. The idea is that every morning you sit down and write three pages in longhand, a stream of consciousness writing. Creator Julia Cameron explains how it works in this video. This should be done first thing, and you write down anything and everything that crosses your mind – for your eyes only. Early mornings are the BEST and writing is the all-time release for me – so I’m in,I’m a fan! I’ll put a short video explainer in the show notes.
This one’s for all the insomniac’s and worriers out there. The SleepTalker podcast really will put you to sleep!! Smooth and serene …. and soothing. Its guests share their own unique sleep tips, sleep patterns and struggles.
Basically a gymmembership for the mind, this app sets out to help with the meltdown moments. They have a 10 day trial to do 10 minutes of mindfulness for 10 days.
Plant something. Mow the Lawn. Pick some flowers. Prune a tree. It is the best way to slow down and be productive at the same time!
Sophie’s top 5
My number one favourite thing last month was just being at home! We don’t usually go away much in January because of the risk of bushfire, also we need to be around to ensure the deer have plenty to drink and eat so its a time to just shut the front gate, watch movies on the projector in the garden, have last minute dinners with friends and just enjoy summer in the country. And there’s no rushing around to school, no lunches to make, sleep ins to have. January is the slowest month for us.
A super clever app offering modules of mindfulness training and guided meditations for all ages. It’s all about using your senses to stay in the present moment, improve your listening skills, practise mindful eating and learning how to step back and pay attention to your thoughts and emotions.
This podcast is full of great ideas about habits than can make us happier every day. For example, one of the most practical, achievable pieces of advice she gives is to just make your bed every day. This does seem like a rather prosaic, small step towards happiness but as Gretchen says – it’s achievable, it’s instant and it’s satisfying. Your room looks ordered, more peaceful and it’s a good way to star the day.
4. Tricia Eco
She’s all about the beauty of making do, simple things, growing, foraging, simple things. I really really loved this recent blog post of hers about being overwhelmed and prioritising what’s important over what’s urgent. She says we can never really be on top of our ‘to do list’ so we just have to priorisitise leisure time and make nice things happen otherwise we are always thinking, ‘oh I’ll just fold the washing before I play with the kids, or send those emails instead of going outside for a walk’. I have been very guilty of that recently and need to change. So, I’m going to try and incorporate more leisure, or as she says ‘uncontaminated time in my life’. In this post, Tricia quotes author Annie Dillard who says, “How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives.”
This is such a wonderful initiative – a place where people can leave virtual postcards from all over the uk, all talking about their favourite place, where they feel safe, happy and calm, and why. I adore this idea and would love somebody to do it here in Australia. In the meantime, its just so lovely to read where people feel good – their garden shed, their local library or park, a certain cafe at a certain time of day.
Interview with Cherie Hausler
Cherie Hausler is the woman behind Scullery Made Tea and a big believer in the importance of daily rituals (around tea of course!). She is based in the Barossa Valley but spends time in Sydney working as a freelance food writer and stylist and also co-owns a restaurant in Bangkok (wowsers!). Last year she was Country Style’s Campaign for Country ambassador for her home town in the Barossa and she is just so full of great ideas, passion and inspiration. We hope you love this interview as much as we do!
Thank you again to Country Style magazine for your ongoing support of our podcast – we couldn’t do it without you!! Sophie and Skye.