Because the simple things in life are often the best

A basket with one egg

Miss Fruitarian toils (and delights) on the farm

Once we get away from our regular lives it’s possible to gain a bit of perspective on them. From the luxury of a relaxed holiday, the craziness of our day-to-day is clear. The odd things we pour energy into!

The Vegie Smugglers family is on holidays at the moment. A week on the beach, then a week on the farm. Bad weather hasn’t halted the relaxation process. The first week was a strange ebbing of stress. The second week is a revelation. Personalities shift, priorities change.

I thought my kids were pretty chilled out little individuals, but I’ve been surprised to see the change in them too. I didn’t realise how stressed out they were. I’m a bit ashamed.

At the end of last year I quit my job, knowing that the constant push and pull of daily deadlines wasn’t doing any of us any favours. This year we’ve been deliberately unscheduled. Just one extracuricular class for Miss Fruitarian. Mr Meat & Potatoes does short daycare days and nothing else. Not even swimming classes (too frantic, noisy and cold). Weekends are empty.

The choice to make home a sanctuary and respite from the world has been deliberate. But also, apparently, not entirely successful. Here, away from the pressures of mum and dad needing to make a living and the kids needing an education, I’ve watched them de-stress in the same way adults do.

Are we making a mistake, thinking these resilient little people are immune from life’s stresses? Usually we have no choice, so we blinker ourselves from seeing their distress. We have to wake them or we’ll be late for daycare and work. We have to snipe at them to get them to hotfoot it to the bath, or put their shoes on and get to the car. Some days in big city life it feels like my sole role is chief pesterer and nag. It’s not a good feeling.

So what a relief to revel in the simple things and remind myself of what’s important. And of course when we return to the big smoke we’ll maintain our relaxed state… at least until we’re late for school and the kids haven’t yet got their shoes on.

Simple baked eggs

Each ramekin can be filled with ingredients that suit the different tastebuds of your family members.

For each portion:
Sprinkle of sliced ham
2-3 cherry tomatoes, halved
Finely chopped english spinach
½ spring onion, finely sliced
1 egg
Sprinkle cheddar cheese
(on an indulgent day, add a little drizzle of pouring cream)

Preheat the oven to 180C.

Grease a small ramekin dish (or ovenproof cup) with butter. Add in the ham, tomatoes, spinach and spring onions to taste.

Carefully crack an egg into a cup, then pour over the mixture, keeping the yolk in tact. Season.

Bake for 10-15 minutes until cooked to your liking.

Serve with sourdough toast.

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