On My Mind…


Waiting for Cyclone Yasi to hit… 

Hi everyone, I haven’t had time to post a menu plan or recipes this week (or last week, due to the cyclone), but I thought I’d just share a few photos and thoughts of things that have been on my mind lately.  This post is linked to “On My Mind” at Down to Earth, a wonderful blog about living simply.

The photo above is one I took of my youngest daughter on the night of Cyclone Yasi, when we had no power and were waiting for the long night to end.  I just love this photo – she looked so peaceful and unworried about the cyclone. I felt the same way – I was concerned, but not frightened, knowing we are in God’s hands. Not long after this she went to bed and slept through the worst of it. How wonderful to have the faith of a small child, that God is with us and all will be well! 


The boys decided to sleep in the bathroom, ‘just in case’.  But they were not worried enough to stay awake – they slept through the whole thing too!  The kids wanted to make sure the bird and the two guinea pigs would be safe, so they put their cages in the shower for the night, and they were fine. Until last night, when the neighbour’s cat got the guinea pigs… oh well.  

Writing stories by candlelight

All in all, the cyclone was scary, but not as bad as we thought it would be, thankfully. For a while there it was heading straight for us, but it veered south at the last minute and hit Tully, Cardwell, Mission Beach and Dunk Island. A lot of people down there have lost their homes – I’m sure you’ve seen the photos. It’s so awful. All we had was a couple of trees down and a sleepless night, and no power for six days… which was enough to make me a little crazy!! I coped okay without phone, mobile, power, hot showers, Thermomix, oven, etc… but when I couldn’t get onto the internet I started to lose it! Lol…  Most of the time I could keep in touch with my T-Touch, by sitting in the car and plugging it into the car charger, but for a while there we had no reception. I was so happy when it came back! 

Cooking without my Thermomix was a bit of a challenge – we had a small metho burner (which my husband used for boiling the billy for cuppas) and a small gas cooker. I came up with a few ingenious ideas!  Like this one for heating up my spelt tortillas… I wrapped them in foil, placed them on a cake rack, and warmed them over the gas camping cooker on very low heat.  It worked great! (Note: I learned that you don’t lean over the metho burner with your hair down – I burnt the ends off my hair and gave myself a fright!!)


We still ate well despite only having a little gas cooker to cook with – although I think the kids got a little tired of fish, as we had it for three meals in a row to use it up…  Thankfully I didn’t have a lot of meat in the freezer though, and only lost a couple of bags of grains that got wet and damaged in the thawed out freezer. At least I got the fridge and freezer cleaned out, which desperately needed doing, just in time for my half yearly bulk order of grains, seeds, flour and Rapadura!

Fish cooked in the frypan (coated in cornmeal, flour, sesame seeds & seasonings) – served rolled up in spelt tortillas with mayo and salad.


This was my husband’s favourite ‘cyclone dinner’ – spicy Mexican chicken (halved) cooked with veges in a pan on the gas cooker (with a little water in the pan and the lid on, over low heat – took about 45 mins).  It was very tasty!  (The chicken stayed frozen for a few days in our big freezer. We cooked whatever was in the freezer as it thawed out.)

After about six days without power I was REALLY missing my Thermomix, so a friend lent us his generator as his power had come back on. The first thing I made was a cranberry relish (I needed to use up the last of the thawed berried from my freezer) which we had that night on a meatloaf, also cooked in the Thermomix. Of course, once we had the generator all set up, it was only another hour before the power came on… typical!  But at least I got to try out the Thermomix with a generator, which I hadn’t done before. (It was a 2 kva generator with an inverter – I wouldn’t recommend using one without an inverter for your Thermomix, and don’t use it at the same time as your fridge and freezer are plugged in, as they can cause power surges.)

So now the power’s back on and all is well… it’s taken me a while to get the house back in order – it looked like the cyclone hit inside worse than outside! Lol. Now I’m frantically getting ready for my trip to Perth for Junior Group Leader training (for Thermomix) and the allergy friendly cooking class I’m running there on the 18th. I’m really looking forward to meeting some of you there! Can’t wait,  Here’s the menu for those of you who are interested – it’s all dairy free, gluten free and naturally sweetened, with some egg free and raw dishes too. I’ll be posting the recipes on the Thermomix Recipe Community for those who want to try them (although most of them are here on my blog too).

Menu for Allergy Friendly Cooking Class, Perth:

Raw Cashew Cream & Cashew Milk

– ‘Green’ Sorbet (cashew milk, berries, rapadura, baby spinach, ice, egg white/frozen banana)

DF Cream Cheese Dip with rice crackers

GF Pizza with DF Salmon Salad Topping

Chicken & Cashews with Coconut Rice and Cashew Satay Sauce

DF Chocolate Mousse with Berry Nougat

Grain Free Pecan Cake (served with cashew cream)

– Samples of ‘Almost Raw’ Chocolate

I’ll also be explaining why it’s best to avoid refined sugars and what to use instead, how to cook gluten free breads, how to substitute for dairy in recipes, and lots more.

So it’s going to be a busy week next week with training and cooking and all! It may be another week or more before I get back to blogging, but I’ll keep in touch via my Quirky Cooking Facebook page. Please drop by and say hi! Hope you all have a great week.


17 thoughts on “On My Mind…

  1. Becky says:

    Sounds like you weathered the storm quite well. It’s always fun to realize that we can survive on so much less than we think we will ever be able to.

  2. rhonda jean says:

    It’s good to hear you all came through it fine. That photos is lovely. I have friends in Townsville and they had a similar experience. It looks like you all coped well with the inconvenience and that food! Looks like you didn’t go without too much.

  3. Jo @ Quirky Cooking says:

    Thanks everyone 🙂 It is kind of fun to make do with what you have, and see what you can do – I enjoyed that side of having no power, just didn’t like not being able to chat to everyone as much as usual!! 😀

  4. Kathieunder100 says:

    Just after a mini cyclone went through Brisbane when I was child, one of the best things my Mum told us to do, was write down how we all felt and our experiences of it. It is so amazing to read back on those accounts and is such a good bit of history to keep!

  5. Anne says:

    Hi Jo

    About your trip to Perth, I am interested in your allery friendly class. is it open to the general public ? Could you post some details?

  6. Jo Whitton says:

    Hi Anne, it is open to the public, but there’s a limit of 30 people in the class and it filled up so quickly that I didn’t really advertise it. But if you email me, I can find out for you if they can fit you in! It’s on the 18th at 7pm in Balcatta, at Thermomix head office.

  7. Shelly says:

    This is quite a story, how creative you were getting you and your family through this ordeal. Hope everything is returning to normal.

  8. ThermomixBlogger Helene says:

    Thanks for sharing these personal treasures with us Jo. I’ve been thinking of you and your little ‘clan’ en route, on your mini adventure… How I wish I could be there to attend your class too. (No worries though, I don’t fly well, so I won’t be surprising you by trying to sneak in at the last minute…)

    Have fun 😉

  9. Cookie1 says:

    Jo your class was wonderful and I loved meeting you. The photos of your children during the cyclone are beautiful-the innocence of children.
    Thanks again Jo.

  10. Madame Thermomix says:

    Thought of you and your family often during the cyclone days, Jo. So glad you’re all safe and well. Your account reminds me of weathering hurricanes in my native New England as a child. It was always an adventure and my parents were very good at keeping any worries from us. As Cookie1 said, “the innocence of children…”

  11. Marie says:

    Jo – this is so inspring – and I am a newbie, so have a lot to learn.

    I’m just wondering why you buy baking powder, when it’s so easy to make it with the Thermomix?


  12. Jo Whitton says:

    Thanks Marie 🙂 I sometimes make my own baking powder, but I find it’s cheaper if I buy it bulk because I can’t get the ingredients in bulk to make it myself, just little grocery store sizes. But the last lot I bought bulk wasn’t real great, so I think I’ll have to start making it again even if it costs a bit more…

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