Some Gardening, Some Cooking

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These hippeastra have bloomed for months.

Clivias are blooming, too.

Bought a worm composting farm and dug it into a garden bed in dappled light.

It’s citrus time in Western Australia, so I made a Lime Cake. This recipe has olive oil instead of butter and was very moist.

Neighbours put out a basket of oranges at their gate so I made an Orange Cake. It was very good.

Another neighbour gave me some lemons, so we had Lemon Delicious Puddings.

These Brussels Sprouts were oven roasted in olive oil. I stirred through sweet chilli sauce and put them back in the oven for 15 minutes. They tasted wonderful!

Cooler weather means our son uses the slow cooker to make delicious ragu. He serves it with pasta or couscous. The smell wafts enticingly throughout the house for hours before we eat it!

A recent article in delicious.com.au (A Wasted Opportunity) talks about the cultural, environmental and economic problem of food waste in Australia. I have redoubled my efforts to not throw out food, so more Bread and Butter pudding.

How did you celebrate International Nurses Day?

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WORLD READING DAY

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Except in the UK and Ireland.

We are a family of keen readers. We had shelves built on three walls of this upstairs room and all the shelves are full. I think we need to curate this collection!

Some recent holiday reading.

We have another break coming up and have already bought a pile of books to read, ready to pack when the time comes.

Just finished this bookclub book, Alias Grace by Margaret Atwood and really enjoyed it. Based on historical fact and rounded out with some fiction, it was a good read.

Tomorrow, the 25th of April is ANZAC Day in Australia and New Zealand, when we remember those who courageously fought to keep Australia and New Zealand free. These biscuits were made from oatmeal, flour, sugar and golden syrup to  stay fresh for long periods. They were sent by sea to the Middle East and France to the soldiers and all those men and women who supported them and we eat them on Anzac Day. ANZAC stands for Australian and New Zealand Army Corp.

Read a great book for World Book Day!

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Easter Blog

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Good Friday

The very moist centred chocolate cake is delicious!

A special Good Friday treat to share with friends and family.

The thermal wrappers were bought online and were very easy to use.
Boil the eggs, let them cool, slip the egg into the wrapper and then place it on a dessert spoon.
Dip the spoon into a bowl hot water, submerging the egg, hold for a few seconds then remove and allow to cool.

Very pretty eggs!

I hope your Easter time is restful and lovely and spent with people you love.

Did you enjoy World Scrabble day yesterday?

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Sculptures by the Sea

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Sculptures by the Sea on iconic Cottesloe Beach is an annual event which has been running for 14 years. The concept began at Bondi Beach in NSW in 1997. It is enormously popular, featuring works from various local, national and international artists.

The landform on the horizon is Rottnest Island, a favourite holiday destination.



In cooking news, I watched Food Author Harold McGee cook pasta by an unconventional but fast method and tried it myself. Put the pasta in a wide frying pan and cover with cold water. He says the larger surface area and shallower depth means the water heats more quickly and the heat is more evenly distributed around the pasta. He recommends using the smaller and thicker amount of leftover water as a great base for sauces. Verdict….took 25 minutes to cook al dente but tasted really good! I used an entire packet of Spaghetti No 4 from the supermarket and it tasted home made. I’ll do it again.

Hope you enjoyed World Meteorological Day yesterday, where ever you were.

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St Patrick’s Day and Visiting Australind

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Soup

Celebrated St Patrick’s Day with Pea and Ham Soup served with Irish Potato Scones. I froze the ham bone in January and made the soup on Friday because it needs to be boiled for several hours and it’s becoming a bit cooler. My parents married on St Patrick’s Day 67 years ago.

Lavender

Visited my mother for the day in Australind, a town on the Leschenault Inlet. Her swathes of lavender are full of bees, smell beautiful and look lovely.

Chinese Gooseberry

Her Cape Gooseberries (physalis peruviana) known as Goldenberry and the French name amour en cage, (love in a cage), are so pretty and she loves eating them.

Roses

I helped myself to some of her wonderful roses. They smell divine!

Chillies

Our chillies love this hot weather. Delicious curries coming soon.

Enjoy International Read To Me Day where ever you are in the world.

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Summer Salads and Dressing for Retirement

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Salad1
Roasted kumara, beetroot with beans, dressing and toasted pine nuts.
Salad2
A garden salad with a vinaigrette dressing.
Cannas
Too hot for too long to have many flowers to choose from in the garden, so cobbled together cannas, carnations, alstroemerias and one Father’s Love rosebud.
Fitness
For years I’ve had a well established work wardrobe but now I’m semi-retired I’m not sure what to wear at home. I’d like clothes suitable for gardening, housekeeping and craft activities. I want to look reasonable if people drop in, I’d like wash and wear but can only come up with athletic gear! Not sure I’m quite the right shape for all over Lycra! Any ideas?

Hope you enjoyed Plant a Flower Day yesterday wherever you are in the world!

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Some Watching, Some Reading, Some Cooking

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Books and Mug
Reading Death of an Owl by Paul Torday about British politics and really enjoying it. Also re-reading Annie Poulx’s unsentimental but carefully researched story of immigration to America and the ownership of an accordion through many generations. Drusilla Modjeska’s Timepieces is a snapshot of the energy and beliefs of the women’s movement in the 70s told through her memories of family, love, place and friendship. A Manual For Cleaning Women by Lucia Berlin has great reviews but I’ve only read three stories so far!
Coco and Igor
Watching Coco and Igor, a partly fictionalised affair between Coco Chanel and Igor Stravinsky set when she launches Chanel 5 and he has just written the poorly received music for The Rites of Spring. Anna Mouglalis is superbly dressed in Chanel. Just as wonderful are the interiors of Chanel’s country house Bel Respiro and her apartment in Rue de Cambon.
Beef and broccoli
Eating Beef and Broccoli made by my son.
Lemon Drizzle Cake
The first sign of ripening lemons and I make Lemon Drizzle Cake.

Hope you celebrated International Women’s Day this week!

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A Tourist In My Own Town

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Kings Park

Our friends from China are in Perth for their daughter’s graduation from university.

Freshwater Bay
Freshwater Bay

We had a lovely day showing them around despite the heat and humidity.

Enjoyed a very coastal type of lunch at a beach side restaurant. The sea breeze had arrived and it was less humid and hot than in the morning.

 

 

 

 

 

 

These Haemanthus have bloomed in the sun bleached garden. When the flowers have died down two thick, dark green leaves will appear from the bulb.

Enjoy Women of Aviation Worldwide Week wherever you are in the World.

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Edible Garden Workshop

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Spent the morning at an Edible Garden Workshop. Such a lot of great information.

Qunice

Passionfruit

We have three small courtyard gardens and what grows well is determined by the sun. I have espaliered an apricot tree and would like more fruit trees.

Espaliered Fruit Trees

Trying not to throw away food so bread and butter pudding has become a regular in this house.

Bread and butter pudding

And baked apples for variety.

Baked apples

The roses bravely bloom in this constant heat. This red Pierre de Ronsard is like a tree. The stems can be a metre long.

Roses

Wherever you are in the world Happy Grammar Day!

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