Wednesday, December 29, 2010


The Vege garden had just taken off - it's a a jungle out there, but at least all the melons and pumpkins growing are stopping the weeds coming through.

We are having huge success with Cucumbers this year, don't know why as they are usually a failure for us.

The Blueberries are rocketing along, a couple more months and the girls will be full to the brim with the little vitamin packed superfruits.

The Palm garden is really happy and lush too, they are all baby palms (which barely made it through the winter) but are growing well now. The ornamental Banana Palm is just so vibrant and lush!A favourite of mine at this time of year has to be the Echinacea (Purple Coneflower). It dies off completely but every summer pops its head up again and erupts in the most bizzare shaped daisy type flowers. I know I'm supposed to dig it up for the medicinal properties in the roots but I just can't bring myself too - it's too pretty.

One of these things is not like the other.....;)

I just made the Strawberry Cloud Cake from Annabel Langbein's new book "The Free Range Cook" (thanks Mum), it tastes DIVINE, but doesn't look a lot like the original.... A little less meringue. Don't know why but it's so rich anyway that it really doesn't matter.

Don't tell anyone - it's incredibly easy to make.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

New camera finally

Thanks to my darling husband who gave me a new camera for Xmas, hopefully that motivates me into posting more as at last I will have decent photos to go with it.

It's been very humid here over the last week or two, with heavy rain last week and now brilliant sunshine. The first decent rain in months (we had just been declared a drought zone again) combined with the humidity has meant that the garden (and the weeds ;) ) have just taken off completely.

I got my first few Callalillies of the season in the last few days, just such perfect form.

In a few days The Chief has some time off work, so if its not too hot we will have some days in the garden, as well as a few trips to the beach with the girls.

Before I go I just want to share this shot of my big girl and her Daddy - just lovely!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010


I get pretty bad hayfever at this time of year, and I'm not a big fan of too many over the counter medications (although I do take them if it gets too bad), but I have a cup of sage tea to relieve the itchy throat and it works wonders.

Everyone should grow Sage... It's yummy shoved under the skin of a roast Chicken, or with Pork Chops too.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Beautiful day here, catching up on piles of washing after a lovely weekend away. Off to school athletic sports soon, and then swimming. Busy busy!! Time for a quick swing for the little one though :)

Monday, October 25, 2010

Labour Day - no time to rest!

Christmas Cake day today. I always make mine on Labour Weekend, just the right distance from Xmas for the cake to get properly sozzled in Brandy.

Fruit has been soaking for two nights, now mix the other ingredients and get it baking. Yummmmm.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Where has the nice weather gone?

We got tricked into thinking summer was on its way - luckily we held off on planting those tender vege seedlings as its freezing today.

But we have *procured* a whole lot of plants from Mum and Dads before they shift house so lots of gap filling going on today.

Made some detangling spray and lip balm for the girls today so that should keep them happy. No baking though - that will be Wednesday afternoons aim....

Friday, October 8, 2010

Full Bloom

Our Macadamias are in full flower at the moment, that reminds me that I must get round to cracking some of last years lot ;) Looks like we will have a bumper crop this year.

A favourite of mine this spring is Florence Fennel. We'd never grown (or eaten it before) but The Chief wanted to give it a go. What a huge success it is!! Risottos, Fennel and Orange salads, Chicken, Fennel and Kumara bake to name a few. This is to become a regular in the vege patch.

Natural remedies day

Only one child home so it's a little more peaceful ie not having to stop sibling rivalry all day, so I'm taking the chance to make a few homemade products today.

Firstly liquid soap - I use the dregs of my lovely non chemical soap made by a lady that lives not far from me, Linda, and add water boil it up, then add glycerine. Since I've been doing that I have no more problems with Dermatitis on my hands.

Secondly Bug Repellent - Clara has pretty big reactions to insect bites, and I'm not into using DEET based products (too nasty) so I thought I'd try a few home remedies. This one contains Witchhazel, Apple Cider Vinegar and Lemon Essential oil in a spray bottle. Trying it on my skin to see how it goes first. Smells nice anyway.

Hmmm what to make next?

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

I just LOVE the colours in this Silverbeet. Think I'll chop some up and add it to the Bolognese or Lasanga tonight.

Tea and Cake anyone?

I've just made my famous Spiced Apple Cake (I am truely sorry to the original owner of this recipe as I can't for the life of me remember who it was - but I have claimed it as my own for now ;) ) This one sunk a little in the middle, but the taste excuses all baking crimes.

Loving my grandmothers' Aunt Daisy's Book of Hints that I'm flicking through again. It even has pieces of paper in it where Nan has handwritten some of her notes.... Sentimental much?

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Well, lets get started here

A place for my ideas, creations and discoveries in both the garden and in the kitchen.

Spring has sprung on ou
r block - I'm blown away (like I am every year) of just how quickly the garden has taken off. An explosion of greenery and blossoms. My favourite at this time of year has to be the Borage popping up everywhere. It's pretty, it attracts the bees and best of all it's edible (flowers taste little like cucumber) and the leaves can be added to salads and used in soup. The flowers are fantastic in ice cubes for those summertime afternoon pick-me-ups (hic...)

Another favourite is the Wisteria, which I would dearly love to grow around the pergola but The Chief isn't keen on that idea (something about lifting up the plastic roofing blah blah ;) )

But it's just so "purdy" ..... I'll work on that one.