Friday, 27 December 2013

Christmas 2013

Christmas was enjoyed this year with a mixture of family from both sides.
Just us who had been left at home with the rest of the family in different part of the country and world.

A Donna Hay inspired Christmas Lunch - a beautiful piece of rolled pork with a sourdough and sour cherry relish stuffing - roast vegetables, beans with a beautiful lemon and mustard vinaigrette followed with the most beautiful cranberry and raspberry trifle

Followed on Boxing Day by a day in the office.
And then it was over!

Sunday, 15 December 2013

A Little Baking....

Time worn utensils.

Favourite recipes...


and new recipes.....

A lovely day indeed.

Friday, 15 November 2013

Birthday Tea Party

Our niece has recently turned 21.  Where have the years gone I wonder.  Rachel asked if we would host her birthday afternoon tea in the garden.

It turned out to be such a perfect day.  Often the wind roars through our garden in the afternoon at this time of year.  It was a little hot to start with but as the afternoon went on it turned out to be just perfect.
Casual seating areas and picnic rugs seemed to work really well. 
It was lovely to see her family and friends enjoying their afternoon with her.

I used Nana's old washing trolley for the bottles of drink.

Fresh flowers hanging from three shepherd's crooks around the edge of the paved area looked beautiful.

Macarons, little cakes and other beautiful food was very much appreciated by the guests.

I was so happy with the way the cake turned out - layered sponge cake with cream and jam with fresh flowers on top. Pretty and fresh!

Rachel enjoyed her afternoon and we enjoyed hosting family and friends to celebrate with her.

Saturday, 28 September 2013

Egg and Lettuce...

The girls from the bottom of the garden and certainly doing their thing at the moment.  After weeks of no eggs they are giving us plenty of eggy goodness.

Lettuce from the Potager....

Eggs from the girls at the bottom of the garden.....

Curry and mayo......

Curried Egg and Lettuce sandwiches for lunch - yum!

Wednesday, 25 September 2013

A Favourite Moment...

With the garden being open for the Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers at the moment, we have had beautiful visitors from all over the world.
I enjoyed a lovely moment with a dear Italian Nonna when she wanted to know where she would be able to buy a red pelargonium (geranium)  because mine reminded her so much of the ones that used to grow in the window boxes in Italy. 

That's why I enjoy welcoming visitors to the garden - what a joy and privilege to share a garden.

Saturday, 21 September 2013

Carnival of Flowers 2013

Two months have disappeared since my last post and now Spring is here!
Goodness what a busy time. 

We have prepared and entered our garden in the Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers once again.

This year we were awarded with
First - Outdoor Living Area
First - Family Friendly Garden
Second - Cottage Garden
Third - Design Concept Award

We are looking forward to sharing our garden with all who choose to venture to our little corner of the world.  Today is the most glorious Spring Day - almost perfect. 

Saturday, 20 July 2013

Citrus Fruit Harvest....... Making Marmalade

My house currently smells all citrusy!  Delightful.....
This morning in the rain I went out and picked some of the fruit that was ready.  Since it was a rainy day I couldn't really paint and certainly not garden.

I don't think it really gets much better than fresh fruit covered in raindrops.

My tiny cumquats weighed in at 200 grams! Not much to work with at all.


The limes weighed in at 1.2kg - so that was a little better going.

This is the most limes I have ever harvested - two is the biggest crop before this year!


I've finished up with six bottles of lime marmalade and 1 1/2 bottles of cumquat marmalade.

I also made two bottles of lemon butter and used one whole lemon!  I've got a bag full of them still to go - so had better come up with some ideas so they don't go to waste - like last years harvest did!  Maybe some lemon delicious pudding will be the order of the day.

Still to pick is the orange tree - yum - I love making orange marmalade. I think there might even be a orange and almond cake in there somewhere too.   Hopefully now to just get the time to enjoy some more kitchen fun.
I love getting to fiddle with baking and cooking when I get the time.  I loved today being able to use my lovely big boiler that belonged to Nana - beautiful Bakelite handles and knob - and of course the juicing with a lovely old depression glass juicer.  I will admit though that the cutting of the fruit was much more up to date - my wonderful new food processor!!

Wednesday, 17 July 2013

A corner of my home....

Just a little corner of my home today......

The roses have been pruned and this is what was left....

Another garden job finished and now to wait for the Spring to come.  I love being able to bring blooms inside and enjoy them in my home.  How much fun to play with displays too especially with a new to me vase!!!

Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Pumpkin Soup...

I love beautiful winter foods.  Comforting, nourishing...

I particularly love Pumpkin Soup.  I had never really made it before a couple of years ago.  My Mother's recipe seemed tedious with all the cutting of of the pumpkin.

Then I found the Donna Hay recipe for Roasted Pumpkin Soup.  It is so easy - pop the pumpkin in the oven to roast and you are more than half way there.
One word - yum!
Donna Hay Roasted Pumpkin Soup


1 x 2kg butternut pumpkin
1 onion
Olive oil for drizzling
sea salt
3 1/2 cups chicken stock
1 cup cream
1 tbs honey
sour cream to serve
Preheat oven to 200 degrees celcius. Cut pumpkin in half lengthways. Scoop out seeds. Place pumpkin {cut side up} & onion on baking tray. Drizzle with oil and salt & bake for 1 hour, or until golden and roasted through.
Once pumpkin has cooled slightly, scoop pumpkin into a saucepan. Scoop onion into saucepan.
Add stock to saucepan. Add cream and honey. Puree with a stick blender. Turn on a medium heat. Heat through. Serve with a dollop of sour cream.

I make it for the Bakery along with a Beef and Vegetable soup - full of beautiful vegetables and pearl barley and split peas. 
Beautiful comforting, deliciously warming, winter foods.
What do you love to eat in Winter?