Saturday, 30 May 2009

Jerry's latest creation

Out in the blogosphere recently I came across a nifty item someone had made - a stand to dry your plastic bags after washing them. It was such a great idea, so I showed a picture to Jerry and asked him to make me one.

Here it is - pretty nifty eh? It's certainly easier than trying to prop them over cutlery or plates.

Thursday, 28 May 2009

Capsicum Harvest

With a long line of frosty mornings ahead, and the soil and air temperature declining into winter, it was time to harvest the capsicums. All up I managed to grow about 3kg. Not spectacular, but about 2.9kg more than last year so I'm going to consider it progress!

This year I interplanted eggplant and capsicum after reading on the web someone else having great success with this method. I'm certainly a convert. Both varieties grew very well, and the plants are still looking healthy even now.

The red and chocolate ones we will enjoy in the next few days - I think I might do stuffed capsicums for dinner tonight - but I'm not sure what's best to do with the green ones. Chop and freeze for winter soups? Roast?

Any suggestions would be most welcome!

Saturday, 23 May 2009

Late Autumn in the veg patch

I love this time of year - crisp mornings and gorgeous days in the high teens / low 20s. After a busy morning I spent a few hours pottering in the garden. Here's the latest pics of our autumn veg patch.

The onion and garlic bed is storming along (L), and we have a good crop of rocket, plus silverbeet and more garlic in another bed (R). In fact I've got garlic everywhere!!

Then there is what I'm calling my 'impatience' bed. So named because I got impatient when things didn't germinate so kept planting more seeds. Consequently after the good rain a month back all kinds of things started growing. So far I've identified beetroot, carrot, welsh onion (seeded from last year) parsnip, garlic, leek and a few turnips! I suspect some of these self-seeded from last year as I certainly wasn't quite that impatient!

I'm so optimistic about my brassicas this year. I managed to get them going at the right time and plant them out at a good time so they are looking very happy. And thanks to the wisdom of Scarecrow, who put me on to net curtain, the seedlings have emerged cabbage moth-grub free! In this bed I have chinese cabbage, Jersey Wakefield cabbage, cauliflower, Green and purple sprouting broccoli, collards, russian red and dwarf blue kale, and some red cabbage.

I haven't forgotten my soil though. The tomato beds have been planted with a mix of clover (dalkeith) and BQ mulch (brassicas) as a green manure crop for the winter. In last season brassica bed I've also planter a green manure crop of broad beans. I'll plant the ones for eating a bit later so they aren't flowering when there is a frost.

And here's the makings of dinner and a large batch of green tomato chutney: baby leeks, rocket, 2 chocolate capsicums, kipfler potatoes, rhubarb, and 4.5kg of green tomatoes I found behind the peach tree!

I'm thinking warm kipfler potato salad with baby leeks and char grilled peppers on a bed of rocket will be oh-so-lovely with our pork chop. Followed by rhubarb crumble and cream. Is it dinner time yet?

Sunday, 17 May 2009

A-line skirt heaven

I have a confession to make.

I'm a Trinny and Susannah disciple - '"the rules" changed the way I shop for clothes (well, most of the time) and almost make clothes shopping fun.


However, I have an almost constant dilemma. T&S say A-line skirts are my friends - and I also like wearing them in winter and feel good in them. I bought one in the UK about 7 years ago from Fat Face, but it's just about to give up after years of faithful and almost constant service. So I need a new skirt (or two).

But alas they are almost never in fashion, and therefore never available anywhere within cooee. And the older and grumpier I get the less inclined I am to pay out lots of $ on something that doesn't fit quite right and doesn't really suit me. Plus I have loads of "grown up" city clothes that just sit in my cupboard as I never need to get that dressed up anymore. But I don't want to live in jeans (I'm not a big fan of trousers).

The solution - learn to sew, and make my own skirts.

The problem - I hate sewing.

The even better solution - get my mum to make them for me!


My mum used to make all my clothes (waaaaaaaaaay back) and her own too, and in spite of increasing hand problems she still sews like a champion. A trip to Spotlight and about $100 later I have 3 new skirts just the way I like them, and a pinafore style dress.

Good on ya mum........

Friday, 15 May 2009

A quick 1 dish salmon dinner

  • salmon fillets
  • new potatoes (or any other sort really)
  • capsicum
  • leek
  • peas / snow peas
  • olive oil
  • Orange juice
  • Honey
  • Grainy Mustard

Turn on the oven to about 180.

Mix together about 1/2 cup OJ, with a tablespoon of grainy mustard and one of honey. Pop the salmon fillets in this while you geet on with the potatoes.

Par boil / microwave the potatoes until just tender. Drain

Cut peppers into the shape of your choice, slice leeks and put in the bottom of a baking dish with peas/snowpeas and the potatoes. Drizzle with some oil. Stir a bit to combine ingredients.

Pop the salmon fillets on top of the veg medley, and drizzle over the marinade.

Into the oven for 20-25 minutes until the salmon is cooked and just starting to brown.

Serve and enjoy!

Saturday, 9 May 2009

Tomato Tally

The last of the tomatoes have been harvested, so I can give you the final tally
  • 45 kg ripe tomatoes
  • 5 kg green tomatoes
So, 50kg of tomatoes. Not bad really. Just taking the ripe ones organic tomatoes are about $5 per kg - that's about $225 worth of tomatoes for an outlay of about $15 in seed and maybe the same again in potting/ seed raising mix.

Most of the ripe tomatoes have been bottled, and a few have been dried, and of course we ate quite a few fresh. That's the tomatoes taken care of for the rest of the year.

The green ones I have made into chutney, and a spicy green tomato sauce.

The eggplants and the peppers are still hanging in there, but I will have to pick them soon as I don't think there is much more growing to be done.

Thursday, 7 May 2009

And now for something completely different

In the last 6 months or so I have become strangely obsessed.

With knitting.

...pause whilst those that know me well compose themselves after rolling about on the floor laughing hysterically...

Better now? Can I move on? Good.

Right, where was I ... oh yes, knitting. Last year it was a knitted Christmas all round with hats, fingerless gloves, scarfs and lapghans all around. Not to mention the knitted dishcloths, face washers and kitchen fingertip towels.

This year, however, it's time to make something for me. So I've made a poncho/ wrap (still needs to be sewn up), and a matching basic beanie style hat and a pair of fingerless gloves. I will be the style queen of my little town LOL. If you are VERY good I may post a pic of me wearing the entire ensemble. After all, we all need a good laugh now and then.

I think this beanie needs a pompom...or maybe even a few pompoms - what do you think?

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