Monday, 28 April 2008

After the rain

We have had lovely rainy days! Everything is wet and thriving. The ground goes, 'squish, squish, squish' when you walk on it. What a marvellous sound. The water tanks had quite a bit of water going in, too.

A few pictures of plants and animals after the rain.

Sheep pretending to have a miserable old life at our place.

Friday, 25 April 2008

Today's pickings

A good handful of chillies, several varieties of zucchini and squash, a few tomatoes, 2 Golden Nugget and the few figs that actually made it inside the house.
Together with some semolina gnocchi (the semolina has to cool first before I cut it into squares or diamond shapes) we'll have a gorgeous meal tonight. The carnivores in this household will have a good piece of meat with this selection.

Thursday, 24 April 2008

Guardian of the rose

This rose was inhabited by a green guardian for a few days.
Is this a mantis by any chance?

Saturday, 19 April 2008

Roast beetroot

Wash and quarter beetroot, if the beetroot is bigger than a golf ball, or if you don't want to wait that long till it's done. Wash stems and young leaves. Place in baking dish or alu foil. Add crushed garlic (plenty of that!), salt & pepper, olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Roast covered, or in alu foil parcel at 200C for 1 hour or until skewer goes right through beetroot.

Ps.: Add radishes if you haven't eaten them by then. They are absolutely delicious roasted.
This is very nice warm or cold.

Autumn Harvest

Pulled some beetroot and radishes.A little side dish for tea tonight?

Friday, 18 April 2008

Kiss me quick

...and make my heart go crazy!
Ox Tongue Lily will do that to you!


This Sunburst Cherry is flowering! The buds look great, too. Just way too early.
The poor things are pretty confused - and I am not surprised, as the seasons have been rather strange/extreme.

Globe Artichokes

It's amazing what a difference the first good rain of the season makes. Here we have the globe artichokes peeking out again. I shall divide them and then mulch them thickly. We should have a glut of artichokes again in spring.

This is only one clump!
The whole patch.
If anybody would like some globe artichokes, give me a yell and I shall pass them on to you (provided you are somewhere in the Adelaide Hills, or not too far away).

These would have to be one of the easiest things to grow. Hardly any maintenance, apart from harvesting them in spring, cutting them back in summer, mulching in autumn. No water, no fuss. Good tucker! They look stunning too, with their silvery foliage. They do need a bit of space, though.

Wednesday, 16 April 2008

Have lemons...

....will make Limoncello.

Even though I have never tasted Limoncello before, I can imagine that it would be rather nice.

So here we go. Print out the limoncello recipe. Get your lemons and vodka. (I am only doing half the quantity. Just in case you are comparing the recipe with the amount of lemons and vodka in the picture.)Unfortunately, I only had thin-skinned lemons, so I couldn't peel them with the vegetable peeler. Never mind. I am determined.

Everything is in the jar, ready to infuse. Now we wait.
A big thank you to Mama Gnome's friend who supplied these wonderful lemons!

Sunday, 13 April 2008

Pink Eyes

Aren't they pretty, with their pink lipstick? Uh...eyes, I mean. I keep thinking they look like pretty girls all dolled up and ready to party. But they are not going anywhere - I locked them up.Dug up leftover potatoes from the raised (compost) bed.
They'll make a nice meal in the next few days. :)


Sunflower & Sultana bread. Cooling on the rack.
2 radishes - Candela di Fuoco - from the garden.
Thinly slice radishes. Cut bread, apply some cream cheese, then a layer of thin radish slices.

Figs from the garden.

Tuesday, 8 April 2008


The first raised bed is now in use. Filled it up with more sheep manure, compost, mushroom compost, soil and a thick layer of pea straw.

I left the star dropper in the middle as I thought it'll come in handy if I wanted to grow some climbing stuff. Well, it's time for peas. Strung some wire between the posts on either end, through the star dropper. Then planted 3 varieties of peas and 1 snow pea variety.

Planted some spinach and leeks at the edges. The good thing is - there is still room to plant more veggies around the edges in the next few weeks.

The whole thing would look less messy if that weed..uh..compost pile wasn't just behind the raised bed.


How often do you have the opportunity to use the word 'tilth'?! I have been waiting for a very long time for this day. It's tilth day!

That's the first word that popped into my mind when I was preparing the onion bed. Look at this. That's tilth, isn't it?

After the planting. Grow, little seedlings, grow!

Sunday, 6 April 2008

Almond & Cranberry Bread

Make your basic bread dough with 500g flour.

Add 1 cup roughly crushed almonds, 1 cup dried cranberries, zest of 1 orange (or fruit of neighbour's lemonade tree).
Very, very nice. :)

Sorry about the slightly out-of-focus picture. I was hungry when I took the picture.

Thursday, 3 April 2008

Home alone

... at lunchtime!

It is very unusual that I have to provide lunch only for myself. (Boy, do I have fun, though, when that happens! Just don't tell anyone.)

So I had a look in the fridge and bread pan to see what I could make for lunch. A knob of bread, 3 leftover bocconcini. Garlic, basil and tomatoes from the garden.... Yes!

Slice bread, put on tray under grill until golden. Rub with cut surface of garlic, add a few drops of EVO. Top with slices of tomato, a little salt, then basil leaves. Then cut bocconcini thinly and add to bruschetta. Freshly ground black pepper. Place under grill until bocconcini is melted.

Yum, yum, yum!

Wednesday, 2 April 2008

More Weather

The whole day was a mixed bag of fierce wind, good rain, a few minutes of sun followed by more rain.
Shortly before 7pm we had a short hail storm that whitened the garden and paddocks.
The rain gauge so far? 26mm since 8.30am. :)

Wild and wooly weather

I am not keen on gale force winds, but I can put up with if it is accompanied by rain. We had 9.5mm in the rain gauge this morning (8.30am). The wind is still fierce and squally out there, but it's also raining. I zipped out quickly at 10.30am to check the gauge and we had another 12mm in the gauge.

You know you have been longing for rain, when you get really excited about it and snap tons of pictures of it. From all angles. I restrained myself and posted only one here.

Tuesday, 1 April 2008

The Swiss Spaghetti Harvest

I always knew the Swiss were clever, but this beats everything!

They are true inventors - and I am glad they now have a bumper spaghetti crop in southern Switzerland.

Read all about it here:

Preserved Crabapples

Yesterday's experiment - Preserved Crabapples.

1 batch with sugar syrup and 1 batch with sugar/vinegar/spice syrup (same syrup as in Spiced Crabapples).

Had a nibble today and they are rather nice.

Pricked the crabapples with a skewer (hence the big holes) before putting them into the jars.

Then fill up with syrup, seal and put in your preserver.

Just out of the preserver.