Monday, 30 August 2010

For those who missed it...

The tour moves to the front yard...

The front water tank - 1,000 litres; in summer it is nested under the wisteria.

A few daffodils out. No sign of action from the Dogwood yet.

The magnolia is about to burst forth.

Saturday, 28 August 2010

The tour continues...

The back yard is split into two unequal halves - about one third is vegetable garden (over the other side of the brick wall on the left) and the remaining has a lawn of sorts in the middle. The short brick wall on the right divides a wooden patio from the garden, giving the backyard a feeling of entering a series of rooms. There is a big Jacaranda in the middle of it.

The naked trees are Manchurian Pears (non-edible, I would have chosen differently now) that shade the back of the house in Summer.

Last autumn we put in four water tanks and have since had the wettest winter in 10 years. (More on that in another post.) But I am sure the water will come in handy over summer.

Looking back the other way you can see the Manchurian Pears are slightly angled, as is the grass rectangle. The round tree at the far end, the only tree I prune for shape, is a bay tree. If you need bay leaves, let me know.

Across the other side of the back area is the faux paddock. There is about 8feet of stuff behind the fence - including birches to block out the neighbours in Summer. You can't see it but there is a picket gate on the opening in the middle and there are bulbs and Flanders poppies growing through there. There is a nectarine in the far corner that hides the shortness of the fence when in leaf. The lemon is heavy with fruit. While it looks to be in the gateway, the birdfeeeder is in the garden bed in front of it.

Friday, 27 August 2010

15 minutes, 20 second slices.


Yet another brief appearance in TV. Always gets me how an hours worth of filming ends up in a 20sec clip.

Never mind.

Did a cameo clip on the quality of minced meat available at a local supermarket after another lab had done a pretty terrible job. We were involved in the rebuttal of the dodgy report and a 'good news story' about the supermarket.

Andy Warhol (I think) said we all get 15min of fame. He never allowed for the editing suites of the TV studios who would cut it back to a 20sec sounds bite.

Sunday, 22 August 2010

Vegetable garden takes shape.


The main winter vegetables in full flight. Silverbeet, parsley, various onions, Chinese greens, turnips, cabbages, coriander, broadbeans, garlic and a few stray bits and pieces.

Apologies of those of you whose winter garden is somewhere under a few feet of snow.

Asparagus grows behind the compost bin. Red fleshed potatoes in teh old rubbish bin.

Strawberries on the post. And the last of the limes. Potatoes and snow peas in the foreground. Green manure in the back. Raspberries on the fence. Lemon grass in the silver tub. It doesn't like winter.

The cold area of the garden in winter.

How do you fool a rhubarb?


Irish Gumbo asked about the ingredients of a 'rhubarb fool'.

All fools are quite simple (!).

All they are is a mixture of stewed fruit (so, fruit & sugar, cooked and cooled) and whipped cream - either served in layers or gently mixed to retain the appearance of streakiness, pink and white in this case.

You can also get excited and do mixtures in your stewed fruit (add ginger or apple etc).

Some recipes have custard in the mix too.

Saturday, 21 August 2010

Thursday, 19 August 2010

The menu evolves...


Finally settled on the first course: Departmental Leeks.

Monday, 16 August 2010

Election Night food

This Saturday is election time in Australia. I was asked in a poll today "What would need to happen to change the way you are going to vote this Saturday?" Pretty odd question so I replied "If Martians came down and took one or both of the party leaders, I would vote for the Martians".

But to more important things - Saturday night dinner. Obviously pork must be centre stage but what else should I have for the fateful meal?

Greens on the side, obviously.

Rhubarb for dessert - but Fool , Snow or Crumble? A waffle, perhaps?

Any thoughts on the right foods for an election night?

And drink? A Budgie Smuggler Beer? A Steely-Eyed Red?


Saturday, 14 August 2010

Pantry lights

A bit of mid-winter warmth in the pantry...

...from a little fairy in the window.

Sunday, 8 August 2010

A foodie weekend.


It has been a food weekend.

A chicken and corn soup with crusty bread for Saturday lunch.

A three course candle lit dinner on Saturday - mushroom soup, Portuguese Chicken with herb rice, pear & cumquat tart (can you believe that one of the finalists in Masterchef didn't know what a cumquat was?), a stir-fry with veg from our garden tonight, a big plastic container of muesli and a Moroccan casserole for sometime during the week. Oh, and a few coffees.

And I kicked off a homebrew kit - Dark Ale. Making buloop-buloop-buloop sounds in the garden shed.

In between times I was working on the veggie garden. The Tamarillo is wishing that I had never visited the site and read up on how to prune the thing. I told it that it was all for the best.

That's it.

Friday, 6 August 2010

A nasty little cluster


An international treaty banning cluster bombs was signed last week.

There was just a nasty little cluster of absentees: China, Russia, Israel and the U.S.

Hopefully, in time, international pressure will work on these countries.

Sunday, 1 August 2010

Secateur Fatigue

Winter is pruning time.

I mulch (do you say "mulsh" or "multch"?) everything I can in the garden so, when I prune off branches, I also chop them up into 4" bits that line the front garden with coarse rubble. (There is no grass in the front yard.) So this pruning lark becomes a seriously therapeutic affair; people talk to you, Magpies watch you, wives bring you coffee...

And your muscles say "It's Ok for the moment but speak to us again tomorrow!"