We’re talking leisure activities on the blog this month.
I’m tempted to say I write for fun (because I do), but I’m thinking this post should include a few of the things I do besides write (plus I gotta make my word count 😉 )
Like most people, my leisure time is a precious commodity, and while I’ll try new things now and then, there are definitely the tried-and-true activities I pursue that I know will bring me satisfaction, restore my creativity, and refresh my soul.
They aren’t in any particular order, but the things I like to do are:
Yes, cooking can be a got to. As in…I’ve got to cook dinner tonight. But nine times out of ten, I find myself in a happy mood when I’m cooking.
Where else can you take something incredibly disgusting (raw chicken, for instance), add some spices, capsicum (that’s bell peppers for you Americans), a little bit of heat and voilà!
Baking is also a lot of fun. I have a cookbook called “Bring a Plate” which is full of vintage New Zealand recipes of old-fashioned slices, biscuits, and cakes that I’ve enjoyed learning to make. But my favourite baking staple is what my kids call ‘Clifford Cookies’ and it is the ultimate chocolate chip cookie recipe EVER.
Ultimate Chocolate Chip Cookies
- 225 grams/1 cup softened butter. Don’t even think about using margarine.
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 3/4 cup white sugar
- 2 eggs
- 2 generous teaspoons real vanilla
- 2 1/2 cups flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 cups bittersweet chocolate chips though what I do is chop up half a block of Whittaker’s 50% Cocoa Dark Block. Mmmm.
Directions: cream together butter and sugars (don’t skip this step!), mix in eggs and vanilla. Now, recipes always say you have to mix together flour, baking soda, and salt before you add it to the butter mixture. But…I don’t. I just dump in the flour, try to scatter the baking soda and salt, and stir it all in until well mixed. Stir in chocolate chips. Drop a teaspoon of dough on an ungreased baking sheet. Bake at 180C/350F (make sure your oven is preheated!!) for 8 – 12 minutes, watching carefully and taking them out as soon as they get slightly browned. Cool on a rack.
Yes. I am a Nana.
I moved to New Zealand and thought, there are 11 million sheep here and only 3 million people, I’d better learn to knit.
First it was a scarf (is there a knitter anywhere in the world who doesn’t start with a scarf?!?)
That got boring fast.
So next, I tackled a knitted bunny rabbit.
A little more challenging.
Then I found my groove with cabled merino socks. Beautiful and warm and they make great gifts!
Of course, reading had to be in here somewhere. What writer isn’t also a passionate reader?
In fact, reading is probably my default. If I’ve got a few spare minutes, I’ll pick up a book. I love children’s books, YA, fantasy, science fiction, historical, classics, memoirs, mysteries…well…pretty much anything.
I prefer real paper books, but I’ve got a list of titles on my Kindle, too, for those pesky queues at the bank or wait at the doctor’s office.
I’m sooo blessed that I’ve got a gorgeous Redwood forest about a kilometre from my house with countless trails through it. And now that summer is almost here, I’ll be making my way through it once again.
Yes, I’m a fair-weather walker, and while I’ll occasionally bundle up in a raincoat and beanie if I’ve got cabin-fever, I much prefer it if it’s fine.
I love to go backpacking, or tramping as it’s called here in New Zealand. And this is the country for it. If you love beaches, mountains, lakes, or forests, New Zealand has a tramping track for you. Most of them have huts you can sleep in, too, with a nice comfy mattress which is waaay better than sleeping on the ground. Our family has accumulated most of the gear necessary to get well and truly lost in the bush. In the best way possible, of course!
So those are the things I love to do.
Be sure to check back for what the other Quills & Inkblotts contributors like to do for fun in the following weeks.
Until next time!
What about you? What do you like to do for fun?