Tuesday, 23 February 2010


A baby Elephant has been born in our town and my brother in law not only was instrumental in the pregnancy but also was part of the birth and now care of the little baby. It is amazing what people do with them selves and we were lucky enough to go and see the little one. It was quite a strange feeling to see something so familiar but on a scale that was so surprising. To see an elephant small enough to fit into the front seat of your car was quite baffling and it is so sweet and tumbly with its little trunk waving about copying its mother and its stumble legs making it look like a man in an elephant suit.

Sunday, 21 February 2010

The Professional

Sometimes all you see are the dirty dishes in the sink and then a friend flies half way around the world and takes a photo of your sink and all of a sudden you can see the beauty in it. Here is my back yard taken by a professional, in my mind it looks this good all the time.

Saturday, 20 February 2010


Our friend came over for a delicious breaky this morning with fresh eggs from our chickens, and tomorrow is my pretend Birthday as early January is no time for celebrations and we are going out for a beautiful lunch. But today we went and got my present. A charm bracelet to replace the one I had since childhood that was stolen when I came home and there was a burglar in my living room. I now have two charms that tie in nicely with the domestic theme of my life at the moment. One is a replica of my favourite charm from my old bracelet, a tiny house that opens up and has a little bed in side and the second is a pair of tiny scissors that open and close. It is just the beginning but I love it.

Monday, 15 February 2010


You woke up so early today. It’s our watering day so we go out to the garden together. Three balloons float over the house close enough to wave at the passengers. It is the first ones you have ever seen. One day we will go up together in a hot air balloon, your Dad is scared of them so he can wave from the ground. I never thought of it until someone pointed it out that there is no wind when you are in a balloon as you are travelling at the same speed as the air current. Sounds good to me.

Fibonacci flowers

I have to confess beyond the fact I know it is the formula for making perfect spirals I don’t know much more about Mr Fibonacci. Looking up this page helped a little, well the first paragraph did where it explains you just add the two previous numbers together to get the following one. Once those diagrams kicked in I was lost.
Anyhow the point is for the first time in three consecutive years of planting I managed to grow two Giant Russian sunflowers. They were massive, a good two metres tall with thick trunks and flower heads at least 60cm across. I have just picked them and will dry the seeds for planting next year

Pickle part two

We ate them on bread, no butter, with smoked trout, dill and yoghurt sauce at an evening picnic with friends and it was lovley. We also had nutmeg cake, Vietnamese coleslaw and tomatoes and basil from the garden.

Wednesday, 10 February 2010

Bread and Butter

Is it just Summer that makes you feel like there are a thousand things to cook?
You will have to excuse me if I am all about food for a few weeks while I get all these things in bottles.
Today I made my first ever Bread and Butter cucumber pickles. I watched this guy to learn how to do it. He is hilarious and the video goes for so long because he keeps doing long shots of his dogs for some reason. I hope you pay attention to the background music. He also stuffed up the recipe half way through but rather than re shoot it he continues valiantly on. I just got the ingredients for pickling solution and made the rest up. In 24 hours Ill let you know how it went. No bread or butter involved yet.

Monday, 8 February 2010

Flash back

My mum used to make the most delicious desert when we were little, she was an amazing cook and everything she did was fantastic but this was a signature dish, its so 70’s and tastes amazing. You can only make it for a few weeks of the year when sweet sultana grapes are in season. That time is now so I whipped some up. You pick small, golden coloured sultana grapes, they are the sweetest and remove them from the stem. Mix up some plain yoghurt with a big sprinkle of nutmeg and a little brown sugar and coat the grapes. It comes out looking like nothing out of this decade and tastes delicious served chilled on a summery evening.

Saturday, 6 February 2010

Old times

all images Kit Keith

A lifetime ago I lived far away and was surrounded by talented folk. I was just thinking of an old friend who I haven’t seen for years who was a wonderful painter and through the power of the Internet I can look at her paintings and remember those times and feel pretty happy about it.

Thursday, 4 February 2010

Law of the Jungle

My vegetable garden is going great guns and it makes me so happy to see all those different plants flourishing away, quietly going about their business and making us food, no longer do I buy potatoes, spring onions, tomatoes, basil or zucchini. Rogue pumpkin vines keep springing up from long discarded seeds from the compost bin and I had started to develop a theory that the ones that sprouted on their own accord never bore fruit. A particularly large one was threatening to engulf the back yard and seeing the tiny pumpkins shrivel and fall from the vine made me think it was a good for nothing plant sucking precious nutrients from my corn. I had my hand around its prickly neck about to tug it out of the ground and then though I may as well leave it for a day or two and see if any of the new fruits stick. Well Pumpkin you showed me, I now have hefty pumpkins peaking out all over the place.
It looks like we are heading for a bumper crop this Autumn. Hooray!

Wednesday, 3 February 2010

Wednesday night

I have never cooked from recipes except for cakes, when the chemical engineering can be a bit more crucial. Anyhow I realised that while I cook a lot of things there is a general cycle that I roll through and don’t really go out on a limb that often. So this year I am starting to make meals that are completely new for me and to follow recipes to do it, or at least use them as a springboard. Witness my chilled avocado and cucumber soup with sashimi tuna!! Oh yeah just an everyday evening meal in the suburbs people. It was quite delicious and very refreshing although then I ate three Swedish ginger biscuits and two pieces of Lindt dark chocolate, which changed the mood somewhat. Make that four Swedish biscuits.

Tuesday, 2 February 2010

White wash

I never used to own any clothes that were white as even with the best intentions I would somehow end up crawling around in the roof space or using spray adhesive and rolling around in the dirt or deciding right then was a good time to change that bike tire.
I used to think how different my life would be if I married a professional tennis player and had to wash white things all the time. I guess they wear lots of colour these days and now I think about it the washing would be the least strange aspect to it all.
Now I do load after load of perfect whites and its quite liberating to see such freshness fluttering in the breeze. I even own a few white things of my own and try and remember to get changed before getting swept up in the moment and cleaning out the chook shed. Sometimes I remember and if not there is always Sard's Wonder Soap.