When my mother had her birthday two weeks ago, my brother and I gave her more than just the pleasure of our company at The Ginger Room’s swanky dinner of deliciousness. For her 60th birthday gift, we bought my mum two places (so that she could take a friend) at one of Simplicity Retreats’ half-day yoga retreats here in Canberra.
I was utterly honoured that my mother chose me to attend the retreat with her. (We would have loved for my brother to come too, but alas! He be residin’ in Melbourne.)
I must give a big shout-out to PJ of Simplicity Retreats for being so wonderful with helping me secretly arrange this gift for mum, even sending through a gorgeous blank card for us to write in and offering to drop the vouchers to me in person to ensure they arrived in time. Moreover, PJ made sure that the vegetarian lunch at the end of the retreat was not only gluten-free and dairy-free, but that certain options were free of tomatoes and capsicum for my mum. Thank you Simplicity Retreats!
After four body-and-soul-enriching hours of hatha yoga on Saturday morning, mum and I nibbled on a vegetarian nicoise salad, a pumpkin and rocket salad, a gluten free sandwich, fruit, and gluten-free and dairy-free friands.
We couldn’t help applauding and laughing at the magpie that hopped right over to my plate, snatched the last piece of friand, then ran away as fast as its little dinosaur-esque legs could take it. Well played, bird. I too would be enticed by a piece of cake bigger than my head.
Back at my parents’ place after the retreat, it amused me greatly that, when I started to say “Would it be antithetical to the ethos of yoga to make coffee right now?”, I only got as far as “antithetical” before mum was saying “Definitely not!”.
We love our afternoon coffee and chocolate on the weekends. Not going to lie.
The day got even better when I opened my parcel from the lovely Vien. I won a Go Natural giveaway on Vien’s blog last year, and I can’t wait to delve into these resulting treats. I’m particularly excited about the “fruitnut” bars, because they look akin to the raw vegan treats and truffles I constantly make.
With all due respect to Go Natural, though, the best part of Vien’s package was her homemade pumpkin butter. This stuff is incredible. It’s like the sweet potato casserole my brother made at Christmas, but thicker, more subtly spiced, and addictive enough to eat by the spoonful.
I may or may not have eaten a third of the jar in one night, predominately on a spoon but also spooned onto a toasted English Muffin along with my other current favourite discovery, black sesame spread.
This spread is like crack, y’all. It has a subtle sweetness that makes it reminiscent of black sesame ice cream, and has 1010mg of calcium per 100g to boot. That’s even more calcium than cheese or broccoli.
I rest my case. (No, I don’t really know what the case was either.)
Question Time: Are you a fan of yoga? And have you come across any unusual nut or seed butters lately that you’d like to share with the class?