Hi Everyone 

I think this is the start of week 4 for the Ocean Blue team to be working from home and to be honest I have lost track, but that’s okay.  There are certainly worse things to be have to do then to work from home right now.  I think most of us at OBCR are homebodies anyway, so not too bad at all.  Our homes are definitely our places of sanctuary and HOME has always been at the centre of our focus and aims at Ocean Blue, to create homes from home in our holiday accommodation.  Somewhere you can go and feel at home with the people and pets that you love. 

As we are SO good at being at home, we thought we might start an our own Isolation Survival Kit and share the things we love doing and making at home.

This week the team has come together to share a couple of our favourite isolation recipes, card games & podcasts.


Sian’s Favourite Ham Hock Soup

Recipe for Ham Hock Soup

Serves 6 – 8
20 mins preparation
2 hrs 40 mins cooking


1 tbsp coconut oil, duck fat or tallow or other fat2 onions, cut into thin wedges3 litres (12 cups) chicken stock, preferably homemade or salt-reduced, or water1 large smoked ham hock (1kg-1.2kg)2 each carrots and celery stalks, thinly sliced1 turnip (150gm), peeled, cut into 1cm dice3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced1 tsp ground turmeric½ tsp ground cumin300 gm pumpkin, such as butternut, peeled, cut into 2cm dice2 zucchini (330gm), cut into 1cm dice


1.  Heat oil or fat in a large saucepan over medium heat.  Add onion and stir occasionally until tender (3-5 minutes).  Add stock or water, ham hock, carrot, celery, turnip, garlic and spices, and bring to the boil.  Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer, adding more water as necessary to keep ham hock just covered, until meat is very tender (about 2 hours).  Add pumpkin and cook for 10 minutes, then add zucchini, and simmer uncovered until vegetables are tender and meet is falling from the bone (15-20 minutes).

2.  Remove ham hock from soup and, when cool enough to handle, shred or coursely chop meat (discoard skin and fat), add to soup, bring to a simmer, then add silverbeet and simmer uncovered until just wilted (2-4 minutes).

3.  Serve soup warm, seasoned to taste with lemon juice, a generous grind of cracked pepper and chilli flakes.

Recipe by Pete Evans

Dig out your favourite cook books

Robyn’s favourite Choc Orange Almond Cake

This recipe has a lovely background story from Robyn.

‘I lost touch with all my high school friends after school finished as I didn’t live in the area so it wasn’t that easy to catch upp.  When I was pregnant with my third child, I got a message out of the blue from an old school friend who had just returned to Australia from overseas in Scotland and was looking to connect with some old friends.  It turned out she was pregnant with her 2nd child and the two babies ended up 2 months apart and the have been the best of friends for many years.  We caught up over lunch at my house and got along so well that we now see each other about every 3 weeks for lunch.  This cake was one of the first cakes she made for me and is a favourite of mine.  Given the current isolation, the last catchup we had was a virtual one thanks to Zoom.  Baking this cake makes me think of my lovely friend, Lisa and the fun times we shared.  Best served warm with a big dollop of cream!’

2 large oranges, washed
1 tsp baking powder
6 eggs, beaten
100g dark chocolate
250g ground almonds
250g sugar
Icing sugar to dust


Preheat oven to 190 C/170 C fan forced and line the base and sides of a springform tin with baking paper.  Pierce skins of oranges with a fork and microwave in a closed container for about 8 mins on high.  Turn them a few minutes into cooking.

Blend oranges and remaining ingredients thoroughly in a food processor.  Stir through dark chocolate.  Pour batter into prepared tin and bake for 1 hour.  If cake is still very wet cook a little longer.  Cool in tin before gently removing.  Dust with icing sugar.

Our Favourite Podcasts for Isolation Survival

Our favourite podcasts for Isolation Survival

The Allusionist

The Allusionist scratches the surface of why we say the things we say. English is a big messy mutt of a language, formed by military invasion after military invasion, plus countless tiny idiosyncratic decisions made by its users along the way. Find this podcast here

Oprah's Super Soul Conversations - our favourite podcasts for isolation survival

Oprah’s Super Soul Conversations

Awaken, discover and connect to the deeper meaning of the world around you with SuperSoul. Hear Oprah’s personal selection of her interviews with thought-leaders, best-selling authors, spiritual luminaries, as well as health and wellness experts. 
Find this podcast here

Card Game of the Week

Our isolation survival kit

A game of cards has always been a great way to spend time as a family, and even more so when surviving isolation. One of our favourite games is Crazy Eights.

Age: 4+
Players: 2, 3, 4, 5+

The Pack  Standard 52 card pack

The goal is to be the first player to get rid of all the cards in your hand.

The player who is the first to have no cards left wins the game.  The winning player collects from each other player the value of the cards remaining in that player’s hand as follows:
Eight + 50 pointsK, Q, J or 10 = 10 points
Ace = 1 point
Each other card is the pip value

Deal 5 cards one at a time, face down, beginning with the player to the left.  The balance of the pack is placed face down in the centre of the table and forms the stock.  The dealer turns up the top card and places it in a separate pile; this card is the “starter”.  If an eight is turned. it is buried in the middle of the pack and the next card is turned.

Starting to the dealer’s left, each player must place one card face up on the starter pile.  Each card played (other than an eight) must match the card showing on the starter pile, either in suit or in denomination.

Example. The Q of Clubs is the starter, any club may be played on it or any Queen.

If unable to play, cards are drawn from the top of the stock until a play is possible, or until the stock is exhausted.  The player must pass if unable to play when the stock is exhausted. A player may draw from the stock, even though there may be a playable card in the player’s hand.

All eights are wild!  That is, an eight may be played at any time in turn, and the player need only specify a suit for it (but never a number).  The next player must play either a card or the specified suit or an eight.