On Monday night of this week Archie, Arabella and I were invited to attend a lecture by Al Pacino.
Which is of course, your typical Monday night for a suburban housewife.
This eight-time Oscar nominee and one-time winner for Scent of a Woman was speaking to around 70 people about the craft of acting, his life, theatre and his movies. The three of us sat on the edge of our seats as this man of Sicilian background who grew up in the South Bronx sat amongst us and kept us entertained for over two hours.
But after the event and after the driver had whisked this brilliant man to the next appointment in his hectic schedule during his week in Sydney, Archie, Arabella and I lingered in the foyer of the theatre building, soaking up the atmosphere. It was during this time that Archie spied a man he met about a year ago. This was a man of influence and Archie wanted to re-introduce himself as he believed this man could help him with his career – which is a strange term seeing Archie is on a Gap Year and has no career, no qualifications, and not even a steady job.
But Archie, who is not lacking in boldness, headed over to the man of influence and I followed behind, quickening my step to keep up. As I did so, Archie turned around with a frown and said, ‘Mum, what are you doing?’
I said, ‘I would like to meet this Andrew chap’.
He said, ‘Mum, I’m trying to look independent here. What’s he going to think if I’m here with my mother?’
And I was stunned.
I’m sure it was only a few sleeps ago where he wanted to be with me every second of my day and he allowed me no personal space. I couldn’t even shower on my own. When he was eight months old he followed me into the shower, fully clothed, then slipped over and split his head open. When he started school he refused to go into the classroom and told the teacher he was ‘going home to be with mummy’. When he was seven and had his appendix out he made me sleep beside him in the hospital – wouldn’t even let me leave the room to clean my teeth. When he was 12 and went to boarding school he was missing me so much he cried himself to sleep.
And now he’s a big boy. All grown up and forging a path along the road he wants to take. And he can do it without me, thank you very much. And I suppose that’s a good thing.
I’m starting to think about Christmas and during this festive season I always like to be busy in the kitchen. I’m making Christmas Bark which is so easy to do plus it looks great and tastes fabulous. It also makes a lovely hostess gift.
Cost: Inexpensive and a great way to use up ingredients sitting around in the pantry like nuts and dried fruits.
Serves a small crowd.
400gms white chocolate
200gms toasted chopped walnuts or pecans
100gms dried cherries or dried cranberries or dried blueberries or a mixture – I used cherries and blueberries but cranberries are great because they add that splash of seasonal red.
Line a baking sheet with baking paper. Melt chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water but don’t let the water touch the bowl. Stir until smooth then remove from heat and stir in 3/4 of the nuts and cherries. Spread onto baking sheet then sprinkle with remaining nuts and cherries. Allow to cool and harden then break into chunks (irregular looking shapes like bark is ideal) then store in and airtight container for up to one week.