Lunch under the tree

On Monday (was that 6 months ago now?!) when we had to write out Maggie’s recount of what we did on the weekend she looked at me and said “we did nothing Mum” and she was right. Kind of. We did do nothing and that is the going to be the case for many months ahead it seems.

I mean we did do some things: I had a busy day of cooking on Sunday making some pesto, a pavlova and of course the odd cocktail. I got some pine mushrooms locally and cooked them up for Breakfast. Rob and I caught up with friends via Zoom or House Party..see? BUSY Mags.

And we had lunch on Saturday under the beautiful autumn tree in the garden. I made the effort of dragging the table out, setting it with proper linens, putting some music on and making a lovely lunch of roast beef, potatoes and salad and of course my favourite sauce of all: béarnaise.

The weather was not perfect but as Rob said to the girls “we are eating outside for Mum so let’s just sit down and enjoy” as they looked at the dark clouds forming (and probably the ones around my mood).

For lunch we had a piece of beef which I roasted for about an hour (I spread with some mustard, olive oil, salt & pepper and place into a 200 degree oven for 30 mins for every 500 grams. Make sure to let it rest as well when it is done to give it a chance for the juices to settle.

I roasted some local potatoes tossed in some olive oil and fresh rosemary until crispy and of course for my béarnaise I followed this recipe. Remember with the sauce if it all seems a little thin just make sure you add your mixing bowl over a small saucepan filled with boiling water and keep stirring until it thickens – it works a treat for me every time. I also have a version you can try with a stick blender. I also found some leftover beans that were from the restaurant pack we got: I boiled some beans and then tossed in a herb butter with some pancetta that crisped up – they were magnificent. And of course for dessert, Harper whipped us up a lemon delicious pudding.

For a hour or so it felt like a normal lunch in the garden, on a normal March day, happy kids, great food and wine the only thing missing were some more members of our family.

I will continue to force us to sit arounds the table and enjoy the simple pleasures in life because right now we need to remember those more than ever. We have each other, we have our beautiful garden and we have the simple joy of preparing and sharing a meal for people that we love.

It might just be a lunch under a tree, but right now that’s everything to me.

What are you doing to keep your sanity right now?
Cooked anything delicious we need to know about?
I CANNOT WAIT until the school holidays when the pressure gets taken off a little and we can all have a little break.


  1. Rob said to the girls “we are eating outside for Mum so let’s just sit down and enjoy”
    Omg that sentence made me cry, so much love and support in there, he’s got your back. 💖

    If I was you I’d be calling holidays early, if ever there is a time for a mental health week it’s now.

    Keep caring for yourself
    Cheers Kate

  2. I started the Easter holidays one week early and it was the best decision ever! Home schooling can wait. Immediately felt less stressed and anxious and we’re all feeling so much better for it!

    • Good on you – girls still have lots of work coming through that the teachers have worked hard planning so I feel bad if we pull the pin but we are almost there x

  3. Kimberley Atkinson says

    teacher here who is dying at Maggie’s handwriting and sentence writing after so little time in school ! WOW. I’m enjoying the lockdown for the moment (and NZ is *really* in lock down in comparison to Australia where we’re all going OMG you guys are still doing what?!/can still get takeaway/hair cut etc etc!). And the lemon pudding looks delish!

  4. Beth, what was your cocktail? I’ve decided my lockdown project is building my bar stash and finding new favourite cocktails. Yours looks delish.

  5. I have made Rogan Josh, flank steak tournedos with mock hollandaise sauce, chicken mango Thai curry, Dutch Baby savory pancake with burrata, herbs, parm cheese, topped with arugula in lemon juice. (Twice, because husband loved it so much–it may become our Sunday dinner.) Also stuffed cabbage casserole, chicken fajitas, a watermelon salad with blueberries, feta, mint, olive oil and balsamic, homemade pizza, lamb burgers à la our son in Hobart, new red potatoes baked in olive oil, garlic & mint, fish tacos with fiesta lime cole slaw, and, and, and… there’s nothing left to do here in Florida but shop & cook & do laundry. Take a walk. That’s about it.

    • That all sounds amazing – can’t wait for the school holidays for a chance to get stuck into baking and cooking rather than school work.

  6. That meal and table under the tree looks devine. I have been baking cakes, slices, scones and made my first focaccia. And getting ingredients together to make hot cross buns for Easter 🐣 Carb overload but so yum 😋
    Have a great Easter

  7. I feel the same Beth, we are a small family and it is a bit hard for our seven year old to hang out with mum and dad day in, day out. But we all love where we live and we are lucky to have a beautiful garden to be in when the weather is fine. I’ve turned in to some kind of crazed domestic housewife – not so much the cleaning, but the cooking is next level for me! After husbo doing a roast chook on Saturday, I made stock from the bones, then made a vegetarian lasagne from scratch on Sunday, then soup with the stock and left over roast veggies and now just trotted out some scones, because – well, I have no idea why! It helps to feed the family, so that is what we’re doing.

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