Saturday, May 29, 2010


Yes the 'rainbow quilt' is finally finished. I put the binding on yesterday and now my DD has it on her bed where it makes a very bright addition to the bedroom decor.

Something else was brought to completion this weekend. My husband's mother died at the age of 91, after a long and fruitful life. Mum died at home in her sleep, having been declining with dementia for about three and a half years. My sisters in law did a fantastic job of caring for her and Dad over these years. It is not inappropriate to say that it is a relief for all, including Mum, that she has now come to the end of all of this.

Mum had a very strong and active faith. She and Dad worked in the Church for many years, side by side. In the last months, my DH used to take communion to her and Dad at home, and she always seemed to be making some kind of response to the prayers. We are quite at peace with the thought that she is now with God, whole and full of life and laughter again, as she was in her youth, and with her loved ones by her side.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

First ever preserved fruit

I have never seen anyone preserve their own fruit, and so it has taken some time to build up my courage to have a go. I decided that if I never tried, I would never be able to do it, so here is my first ever attempts using the water bath method, the most trusted method around.

I bought the jars for $2 each at a second hand shop in Albany, where the proprietor has been surprised at the interest in them lately.

I got new lids, clips and rings.

I followed an excellent website where the method was explained.

These are just apples and pears -which were the cheapest fruit per kilo in the market yesterday.

The reason I am interested in learning this new skill is that I want to be able to preserve the produce from our garden, when we have a glut (one day perhaps). It is also a thrifty way of exploiting the natural glut of seasonal fruit in the markets. Preserving gives me total control of what we eat, including how much sugar or salt, and that is a good thing too.

So, the question will be -have I done it right? Will they be edible in a month's time? Watch this space!

Monday, May 24, 2010

South Coast holiday

We have been away to our favourite south coast town of Albany. The weather was so warm for this time of year, we were able to enjoy all of our favourite view. Here are a few to share with you.

We went to the wonderful Bluff Knoll -and no, we did not walk up. It is ahard 4 hour round trip. My DH used to climb these mountains in his younger days.

And we have been to the little town of Denmark on WA's south coast. This is the river in the centre of town.
And now we are home again.

There is nothing like a quiet lovely holiday like this to restore the soul.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Eat what you grow

This is a recipe for Bok Choy, which is growing well in my garden at the moment. We usually use it in stir fries. By harvesting the outer leaves only, we can keep this useful vegetable growing for quite a long time. As we have been quite successful at keeping the caterpillars away we have a good supply, so the time has come for more uses to be found for the Bok Choy...Thanks to Stephanie Alexander I found a recipe that inspired the soup below.

I offer it in the spirit of making sure we can eat what we grow.

Bok Choy Soup

I litre or more of good quality home made chicken stock
About 12 Bok Choy leaves
Olive oil for frying
Soy Sauce
Udon Noodles
Any other green vegetables to hand -eg asparagus, broccolini

Heat the stock.
Whilst this is happening, stir fry the Bok Choy and other vegetables for a few minutes and sprinkle with soy sauce.

Add the vegetables to the hot stock and then add the Udon Noodles - I like to snip these a bit so that they are easier to eat.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Flowers for Mother's Day

Spent a lovely morning in the garden, among all this loveliness. Since we had the first rains followed by cooler nights and warm days, my garden has emerged from its stressed summer look to lush growth, in which each plant tries to outdo it's neighbour.

There is both pink and blue rosemary in flower, white and yellow and pink daisies, red and purple and cerise pelargoniums, and lots of lavender cultivars. The bees are still very busy.

I found a volunteer (self-seeded) rosemary and lavender which I have replanted out in the back to encourage the bees out there where I need the bees to pollinate vegetables and fruits.
Speaking of fruits, this is one of the gifts from my family for Mother's Day - a lovely kalamata olive tree. We planted it in the front yard where it will be some light shade in the summer time.

I got other lovely gifts -two books on preserving, and two seasons of Hercule Poirot on DVD!

Tonight we are going to a concert version of Rockwiz - a favourite TV show which celebrates rock music and I know we will have a whole lot of fun.

Happy days!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Busy Bee

There were lots of bees in the garden today. All through the lemon blossom, the lavender and the daisies. They were busy bees!

I have been busy too, sourcing flower arrangement paraphernalia for a certain celebration in September. You have to practice these things! These strange purple beads swell up in water and I am testing them out with some asters to see if the flowers stay alive.

I have made a Stargazy set of quilt squares. I liked it once I saw it come together like this.

The myer lemon has luscious fruit-just a few.

DH planted a Kaffir lime -thank you darling.

The potato beds got extra mulch.

The 7 year beans have their first bean pods.

And there is a new addition waiting to be planted - a giant kalamata olive! Just in time for Mother's Day ! WoHoo.