Sunday, March 27, 2011

Aww, they’re just babies





Well, as you can see from the photo’s above, the little rock melons that I tried to grow in the grow house this year just ran out of sunshine. The kiwi fruit is just a normal size and it’s a side plate not a dinner plate. I’d like to be able to say that this one tasted delicious but as much as there was plenty of juice the sweetness wasn’t there. I will be trying again next summer and the plants will go in a lot earlier.

We were going to have the second one this morning, but after a very late night (4am) and a considerable amount of champagne, fruit didn’t get to the breakfast table. Maybe the second one will sweeten in the warmth of the kitchen?

At least we got to the breakfast table, and stayed there, this week. My friend who stayed over didn’t get to the table and when her partner came to collect her, out she went to the car in her pyjama’s! She did not look well and I certainly commiserated with her as I had looked the same a few weeks ago. All these 50th birthday celebrations seem to be speeding up my ageing process somehow.

And there’s another one next weekend……….


Thursday, March 24, 2011

Help – Let Me Out of Here!



No, Terry isn’t in for a waxing….

Poppy M and grand-daughter D have been making a canoe out of cardboard boxes and masking tape as it’s too wet to play outside.

I think maybe Terry got in the way, or perhaps he was trying to help. Whichever one it is he wasn’t happy, and boy I felt sorry for him when I pulled the tape off. He does have plenty of fur left but there was quite a bit on the tape itself. It took me back to the time of days long gone when I used to submit myself for a leg waxing – all because I believed what magazines and society dictated. Oh doh! Not any more that’s for sure.

Incidentally, Terry’s hanging out with me and the computer now.


Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Just Remind Me

Was it only last month that I was complaining that everything was green? Tomatoes in particular?

Boy, I should have kept my big mouth shut! I have soooooo many tomatoes now I can’t keep up with them. The tiny wild currant tomatoes are the grand-daughter’s favourite and there is always a bowl of them on the table – better than lollies!

I think both M and I really prefer the Tigerella for flavour and looks but the Napoli Paste are fantastic to dry and the taste mmmmm. The Black Russian are also coming in now and they’re huge. To be honest it’s like a jungle in the grow house and I need to prune back quite a lot as I can’t see the labels of the different tomatoes in there because of the undergrowth!

I’ve already dried about three kilos, stewed and frozen 2 kilos and given away almost twice as much as that and I’ve still got tomatoes all over the kitchen and in the fridge. I think I’ll be drying a lot more soon.


I’ve just realised that I forgot to get the tiny wild currant tomatoes out of the fridge!

The corn had to come into the house in one go as there were insects working their way down the cobs and munching out. So in they came, blanched and frozen. There is approximately 25 kilos of frozen plums (I might be repeating myself here, my apologies) in the freezer, along with 3 kilos of rhubarb and only 1 kilo of apricots. The freezer in the kitchen is an old tucker box type and I think that it will only be holding fruit and veggies this year.

The spaghetti squash is still going strong and I have given away a few of those. The zucchini is still producing but my hopes for the rock melon, well, there are two tiny teeny ones in the grow house but the vine has totally dried up and I can’t really boast about them. They’re so small it will be one each for breakfast – that’s if they’re edible.

Eggplants, the reason for the grow house. Masses of flowers but so far no fruit. I have my fingers crossed for a couple if I can just nurture them on. I have obviously put too many too close to each other (after reading other blogs) but I still hope. The mini chocolate coloured capsicum has lots of green fruit but I want to see them brown! All the chillies are still green too but the lemongrass is going strong.

I still have all the prune plums to process – and then the apples. Then it will be outside pruning all the trees ready for next year! Mind you, the pear tree is very confused, there’s already a flower or two on the unpruned tree, sigh.

Today is wet and windy and a perfect day to stay inside in the kitchen. I’ve made the pastry for an egg and vegetable flan for dinner tonight and that’s cooling in the fridge.

I have yet another 50th birthday party to attend this weekend and I have crocheted a hat and scarf for her. I’ll add some goodies from the kitchen and that’s sorted. But, the following weekend there is ANOTHER 50th birthday and this time it’s a guy. Why are men so much harder to give presents to? I refuse to resort to the obligatory bottle of red wine or port. A couple of weeks ago a male friend had a birthday and he received one lemon cake; a small bag of homemade ginger nut biscuits; a jar of smoked oysters; an assortment of apples and plums and a jar of plum jam. All home made. I’m pleased to say he was so happy with his gift he dashed inside to show his wife. She was very grateful as later she confided “I get to share”. This is the couple of friends who look after injured native wild life. They currently have a baby wombat in house. She requires feeding every three hours or so, hence the bleary eyes of my friends! But she is so cute! I was allowed to sit quietly on the floor and she came over and had a little sniff and snuffle at my jacket and then just wandered back to my friend. I even had a little pat. When I went back outside to the party I informed M that “I want one!”. But, feeding every three hours – been there done that. I’ll settle to be an auntie I think.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Eternal Hope

Back on January 24th 2011, I wrote about a honeymoon couple who stayed with us. They were from Japan. Aki is from Sendai.

I have sent emails to both Aki and Hori, his wife, but I don’t know if they’ve been received. I do know that they haven’t bounced back to me – yet. I don’t think that I can do anymore at this stage and it’s terrible. I will continue to hope.

On a more positive note we finally heard from our friends in North Queensland. They got through cyclone Yasi with K’s mother in Innisfail and Randall the dog. Randall is an old, delightful dog and couldn’t allow himself to have a wee in the bathroom or laundry. So, in a brief lull of the cyclone K opened the back door and Randall rushed outside, did what he had to do and rushed back in for a very long lie down! When it was all over it was with some trepidation that they returned to the old house perched on top of a hill in Mission Beach.

Not one window was broken! The garden was totally trashed but the house was fine. Now, of course, they’re stranded by the floods. But they’re all safe.

And Randall can wee when and where he wants.


Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Here we go Again!


Yes, it’s that time of year when the powers that be start the burning of the debris that has been left after clear felling. Once again, carpenters and artisans who use beautiful timber have not had access prior to the high intensity burning.

I hate to complain, after witnessing the total destruction of some of Japan and its people, but I really would appreciate the forest industry moving into the 21st century.

On that note I have to leave it. I can only think of Japan and its people at this time.


Saturday, March 12, 2011

A Project Finished!

No, not the boat. That will be many, many, long years yet. And no, not the house. But then is a house ever truly finished? Usually when you start a “little” job on a house it ultimately will involve “other little jobs”, and so it goes on…… I’m not referring to any knitting or crochet and of course cooking and baking is always on the go.

It is actually something that M has been talking about doing for a couple of years, since we moved into our current house. The timber for the project has always been in the shed, as have the tools. But last week the project bug hit and every day he went out and worked, using the noisiest tools I’ve ever heard! But it was all worth it as can be seen below.


We have used a wooden outdoor table and chairs in the kitchen for two years. We always had a tablecloth on the table to hide the hole in the middle for the outdoor umbrella! That was okay except the salt cellar kept slipping into the hole!

But now I have this beautiful celery top pine and myrtle wooden table that is the perfect height, so it’s functional as well as beautiful. It’s almost an optical illusion happening, as the new table is longer and higher than the old one and yet the kitchen looks much roomier. I just love it. I can’t stop walking past and feeling the smoothness and warmth of the timber.

Thanks M, a job well done. It was definitely worth waiting for.


Thursday, March 3, 2011

Plums, Plums and more Plums

plumjam                plum jam


I have made the plum jam and stewed and frozen 22 kilos of the juiciest, yummiest plums from the garden. They were all Victoria plums, black on the outside and green/yellow on the inside. I didn’t get enough greengages to cook as we ate them all up fresh! I now have three trees of prune plums to tackle, sigh. If it ever stops raining I’ll start picking them tomorrow.  When I stewed the plums ready for freezing, I put freezer bags into yoghurt containers and scooped the plums into the bags. Once cooled down I fastened the bags and put the container (with the bag inside) into the freezer. The next day I remove the bags from the containers and I have nice little blocks of frozen plums and all the containers back to use again. I think that the freezer is going to be full of fruit, as after the plums I have rhubarb and apples to process. I have numerous apple trees so I will dry some too. I’m happy to say that I have been able to bring some tomatoes into the house and that the next batch of radish and lettuce are ready too. The spaghetti squash is taking over the grow house and I do wonder about cooking it. I’ve already given two away to friends who have cooked them before. The little rock melons are still that – little. I just don’t know if we will have enough warmth for them to complete their growing cycle. I have lots of flowers on the eggplants too – but no fruit. But I will not give up!

I went off for my dentist appointment on Monday only to be told that he couldn’t do anything for me and that he would refer me to a peridontist (? apologies for spelling) as I have a gum disease that needs fixing. I did ask what would happen if I didn’t do anything and he sternly warned me that at some stage I will lose my teeth! I have a referral and an appointment requirement for a full mouth x-ray prior to me visiting the great man…. Naturally I haven’t made an appointment -  yet. I will do it, sometime. I’m such a wooz when it comes to things like that. I’m just not used to medical and dental stuff as I’ve been fit and healthy most of my life. I’m not sure that this ageing thing is all that it’s cracked up to be!

It seems that Tasmania has decided to skip autumn altogether and go straight to winter this year. It’s 10 degrees outside – 10 DEGREES. And wet and windy. I have  a winter jumper and socks on today, as I did yesterday, and probably will again tomorrow. If anybody has any influence over the weather patterns, could you put a word in for my tomatoes? Please?