Wednesday Blogging Challenge: New Hobby I’m Trying (or would like to try)

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It’s week three of the Long and Short Reviews Wednesday Weekly Blogging Challenge and today’s topic is an interesting one indeed.

New Hobby I’m Trying (or would like to try)

This has given me great pause for thought. I haven’t taken on a new hobby in ages. My favourite pastimes are cooking, reading, morning walks, restauranting and golf, and there never seems to be enough time for anything else.

I did get very enthusiastic about cross-stitch several years ago. Sewing was another hobby for a while. I even went through a phase of making my own shirts and dresses, but it didn’t last. Mostly because I wasn’t very good at it.

One thing I do want to do this year is learn about distilling and have a go at blending my own gin. Local distillery Earp Distilling Co. has recently opened a classroom and are taking bookings for their “Spirit School” and I’m keen to have a go. I’m not much of a spirits drinker but I do enjoy gin and what fun to blend my own. I could label it Cathryn’s Curlies or something, or Hein’s Howler if my writing isn’t going well.

The Farmers Wife ginIn the meantime, I’ll just continue slurping this. The Farmer’s Wife Gin comes from another local distillery, about 45 minutes north of Newcastle on the Buckett’s Way, and is very, very tasty.

Just doing my bit to support local rural businesses, you understand.

I also want to get back into making my own limoncello and orange liqueurs. I started doing this when we lived overseas and continued when we moved back to Newcastle. I stopped when we relocated to Melbourne in 2012 and have yet to take it up again. Now’s the time. Making liqueurs is fairly easy, fun and they make lovely gifts, and it’ll give me a great excuse to make my favourite limoncello plum tart recipe. It’s scrumptious. I’ll have to remember to share it when I do.

Other than that, I think 2020 will see more of the usual – cooking, golf and checking out local eateries. Travel too, I hope. And books. There’ll be plenty of those for sure!

What about you? Are you going to be hobbying this year? What hobby are you keen to try?


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22 thoughts on “Wednesday Blogging Challenge: New Hobby I’m Trying (or would like to try)

  1. AvatarMalvina

    I crossstitch, mainly while watching television. Eventually something gets finished and I can enjoy it or give it away! But reading is my favourite hobby. Always and forever. Good luck with the distilling, wow!

    1. Cathryn HeinCathryn Hein Post author

      I really enjoyed cross-stitch when I was into it, Malvina. It’s very relaxing. I still have all the gear too – just in case I decide to have a go again. But yes, reading is a hard to surpass hobby. Reading is like having another life.
      Ta for the good luck. I suspect I’ll need it!

  2. AvatarMarianne Arkins

    Brewing beer is HUGE right now… my neighbor’s husband and son have been doing it for a while. I don’t guess I ever thought of distilling hard liquor (yanno, except those moonshiners down south, lol). Is it very complicated? I’d love to see more about how you make your liqueurs. I’m intrigued!

    1. Cathryn HeinCathryn Hein Post author

      Beer brewing is huge in Australia too, Marianne. Craft beers on every corner! But distilling gin has really taken off over the last 3 or 4 years. Seems like everyone is doing it. It’s not something I’d try at home – I’d be likely to blow our house up – but working on a gin project in the safety of someone else’s distillery sounds a lot of fun.
      As for whether it’s complicated… I guess I’ll find out.
      If I get the chance I’ll do a post on making liqueurs. They’re very easy. All you need is eau de vie or vodka and flavourings and away you go. My bible is book I picked up in France called Alcool de Fruit: Aperitifs, sirops, liqueurs, cremes et ratafias by Jean-Louis Desailly . It’s very simple to follow (once you translate the French!).

  3. AvatarMegan Slayer

    I used to cross stitch back in the day, but I got bored and had kids. Lol. Takes time to have them. Making my own gin sounds interesting. I’m not much of a drinker, but hey, it’d be neat to know how to make them. Go you for wanting to learn.

  4. AvatarDixie Jackson

    What a unique and fun thing to take up. I love that! I have a friend who’s really into all things bourbon and I wonder now if she’s ever looked into a class.

    1. Cathryn HeinCathryn Hein Post author

      I’m sure they’d have classes, Dixie. Bourbon is not my thing but I did an Irish whiskey tasting class in Dublin years ago and it was a hoot!
      Thanks so much for checking out the blog.

  5. AvatarHeather Boyd

    Making your own spirits sounds so fun, but I’m not much of a drinker unfortunately. This year is about living — healthier, fitter and more relaxed than previous years. I hope to do a lot more reading and collecting new books by fab authors this year. 🙂

    1. Cathryn HeinCathryn Hein Post author

      I’ve seen them, Alexa! Been eyeing a Tasmanian sourced kit off for aaaaages but I haven’t bought it because I already have three bottles of craft gin on the go and I drink it so slowly it’ll take forever to get through. I figured I can drag my other half to the distilling course under the pretense of bonding, and score more gin from it. Too many wins!

  6. AvatarSue Gerhardt Griffiths

    Ooh, I love liqueurs just a shame I can’t drink them because of my health. Enjoy the distilling, Cathryn, should be fun! My son-in-law makes his own Mead, which is honey wine, I think.
    Gosh, I have gone through heaps of hobbies in my time, hobbytex, long stitch, sewing, crocheting, making craft items, folk art, yoga, now I just enjoy cycling, morning walks, travelling, meditation, reading, and trying different cafes and restaurants. Oh, I did take up a painting class a few years back I thought it would be fun and easy to do abstract painting, but nope, not easy at all and I only stayed for a few lessons. April was teaching me how to play piano about 4 years ago though, after one year I gave up as April was too busy to keep teaching me but I’m thinking of learning again either that or learning a new language or perhaps do both. Would love to learn Italian but I’m thinking unless I have someone I can speak the language with it might be too hard to master.

    1. Cathryn HeinCathryn Hein Post author

      I remember Hobbytex! My mum was mad for it in the 70s. I had Hobbytexted patterns and patches over half my clothes. Loved it!
      Learning Italian would be wonderful, Sue. As would playing the piano. I learned for years and every now and them I get the urge to buy one and play again but we don’t have room. Maybe a keyboard one day. They’re so good and you can fold them away.
      Thanks so much for sharing your hobbies. I’m impressed by your list!

  7. AvatarAnne Gracie

    Love the idea of making your own gin. Am not so keen on the name “Cathryn’s Curlies” — makes me think of . . . a certain kind of hair. LOL
    I love the sound of your limoncello plum tart. I’ve made limoncello a few times and as you say, it’s easy and yummy, especially if you get the right kind of lemons. (I prefer meyers)
    I like making jewellery, and at some stage I’d like to learn silver casting. Not that I need any more jewellery — I have more than I could possibly wear, but I hate selling stuff.

  8. Cathryn HeinCathryn Hein Post author

    Ha ha ha ha ha ha!!! Yes, Cathryn’s Curlies does sound a bit… um… not nice.
    You’d love the plum tart, Anne. It’s beautiful. I’ll have to share.
    Interesting about the lemons. I just tend to use what’s available but it sounds like it’s worthwhile tracking down Meyers.
    I’ve seen your jewellery and it’s lovely. Which reminds me, the earrings I have of yours will work perfectly with today’s going out for lunch outfit. Ta!

  9. AvatarAnne Gracie

    “Interesting about the lemons. I just tend to use what’s available but it sounds like it’s worthwhile tracking down Meyers.”
    My parents had an ancient magnificent Meyer lemon tree that always had masses of lemons, and I was utterly devastated when we had to sell their house. I had a lemon tree that never thrived, and eventually died, so I was reduced to supermarket lemons and the occasional gift from friends. Some of the gift lemons left quite a bitter taste in the limoncello and so it wasn’t as yummy.

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