Thursday, 28 March 2013

Meal Planning

I realise we are heading into a long weekend but I have some thoughts to share with you and I would like to make a start and continue on next week. There is method to my madness and it works well for me in my home. You might find some tidbits that will be of help in your place.

I was given a pad of meal planners a few years ago and I have used it since. Until recently I would have 3 weeks stapled together and it lived on the island bench in the kitchen. I found I was always clearing the bench every few days to make more room to cook or serve extra guests. Now, it is 'blue tacked' to the back of the pantry door. Perfect! I do not use a pen to fill out, for obvious reasons, but have a pencil on the pantry shelf that has a rubber on the other end.

You cannot see them, but I have the dates next to the days at the top of the planner. I then check my daily planner and Family Calendar to see what plans are for the week (we are a household of 4 adults, 3 work out of home, I work @ home).

For eg: above you can that there will be 1 home for dinner on Tuesday evening, so I kept some leftovers from the previous day. Friday evening was blanked out too. It is handy for others to see what coming up for meals and if I happen to be out and late home for lunch, hubby knows what to help himself to. If I know ahead what to cook, it saves waste and makes good use of what I have on hand. I must admit, most weeks (which happens to be this week), I am filling out 2 days ahead at a time. There is a reason I can do this and I will share it with you next week.

Have a great Easter....Dot

Tuesday, 26 March 2013


Hi Everyone!!!

We have had a few days of rain which has been welcomed by everyone. Come Monday morning we were informed we would have 2 days without rain, so we got outside. I have been for a morning walk the last 2 days and also been downtown a couple of times and it is interesting to see people taking advantage of the weather. Over the weekend D2 stubbed her toe and after an Xray today it was confirmed to be broken. She has the week off work to see how it improves. D3 came down with the flu and is still getting over that, but is much improved.

I decided to relocate my herb garden from the vegie patch to the back door. I can now look from my kitchen window and view the beauty.

Hubby helped me carry our old wheelbarrow from the vegie patch. He secured it in place and I filled it up this morning.

This is where the corn and carrots were last season. To keep in line with my rotation scheme I prepared this bed today and planted a few rows of peas. As you can see the peas I planted are protected from any birds that may want to feast (as they have done in the past, much to my displeasure)

And in front of the compost bin/other side of the 2 coconut shells on the ground there I planted the last of the tape radish seed. This side of the coconut shells I planted some spinach seed. One spinach plant is already growing well in the black cup.

I will keep you updated with the progress of my garden. I am hoping and praying it does progress well...Dot

Friday, 22 March 2013

In the Air

Hi!! Where has the week gone!
At the end of the week I thought I would share a few photos with you of my hubby's last time up in the air. He had a great flight and the day was very clear as you will see.

thats all for this week....Dot

Wednesday, 20 March 2013


Welcome to another week. Last Friday night we enjoyed a family birthday get together on my husband's side of the family. It was dad's birthday and so most of the siblings and some grandchildren were able to make it. We put our orders in at the local store for a Hot Potato. There were a few toppings to choose from so there was something to tempt all taste buds. After our potatoes there were a couple of desserts to try. We had a great night as always!!!

The birthday boy aiming up to blow out the candles.


Friday, 15 March 2013

And More

I have not just worked with fruit in my kitchen but also with some local vegetables.

I made some fresh corn into a Chicken and Corn pie and yesterday I used the last of the corn in Ministrone Soup. Instead of using frozen peas, as I usually do, I replaced it with fresh corn. Delicous!!! (Leftovers for today's lunch)

Tomatoes are ripening all over the place this year. I will have to take some photos for you. They are beautiful. I have made Tomato Conserve which I plan to use some next week. I have dried some tomatoes and have them in oil stored in the fridge. They turned out rather crispy as I think I dried them too long. I will try again as my supplies build up again.

have a great weekend...Dot

Wednesday, 13 March 2013

From My Kitchen

At this time of year with all the fresh produce about you never know what is going to come out of my kitchen. This year I have found new recipes to try and have been having lots of fun in the process.

I volunteer each week in a local garden and last week I was given quite a bit of fruit.

These are crab apples and I read that they make good jelly or jam. I remember my mother used to make apply jelly which we loved to eat but I thought it was time consuming. I soon found that it did not take long to make; just needed a good piece of muslin to help with the sieving process.

I have given the first jar away as you can see it is the better of the 3. The others managed to get some 'scum' in with them. It is still ok to eat, just does not look as presentable.

These are dark plums. I used some of them to make a Plum & Apple Crumble....

...and also some Plum Sauce.

And these are Greengage Plums. We are just eating these fresh from the bowl!


Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Long Weekend

Twas good to have a long weekend!! We kicked it off Friday night by having my brother and his wife over for a barbecue. We used our new Weber for the 2nd time. It was trial and error but it all tasted pretty good.

We enjoyed gourmet sausages from our local 'prize winning' butcher along with some of my rissoles.
It was a beautiful evening. This was the coolest spot to be and so we had a great time.

On Saturday morning the 4 of us drive out of town to my brothers orchard. We wore closed in footwear (2 of us in gumboots) as there is always the possibility of seeing a snake. Thankfully we saw no snakes (mind you, we sang, stomped etc) but we all had a great time picking some yummy fresh produce.

One of us found this tree of Cape Gooseberries. At first we did not know what it was. We tried one and it was very tasty and after 'googleling' we were all the more wiser. It is an easy shrub to grow and bears fruit in 6 months. The fruit is used for snacking, pies or jams. We chose to make a pie out of them.

One of my favourites, blackberries, and they were everywhere! We might have wore closed in footing but most of us had bare arms and so after picking a nice amount there was also quite a few scratches to go with them.

Last night we enjoyed a yummy blackberry sponge with fresh cream.

(plenty of leftovers!) I cooked it differently this time. Normally I make my sponge and pop it on cold fruit. I found a recipe that said to make sure the sponge was put on hot fruit otherwise the sponge would not rise. I think I need to try again. In the past I know the sponge take 2-3 times longer to cook but this one the sponge seemed to sink into the berries. But it was yummy all the same. The berries are so sweet and juicy.

My brother brought a crayfish for me which he had caught and cooked a few days ago. I made it up into a curry and served it on rice. It immediately got the '3 tick score' from all the family and so I share the recipe with you below.

Fish Curry
30g butter
1 onion, diced
3 ts curry powder
2 teaspoons chicken or vegetable stock powder (I used TM Veggie concentrate)
3 cups milk
2 teaspoons smooth-textured chutney (I used my hm Plum Sauce)
2 Tb cornflour mixed to a paste with bit of milk
3/4 cup grated cheddar cheese
1/2 cup each of frozen peas and corn cooked in microwave
400g cooked fish, cubed
Melt butter in saucepan and fry onion until transparent. Add curry and stock. Cook for 1 minute. Add the milk and bring to the boil. Thicken by stirring in the cornflour paste, then mix is chutney and grated cheese. Add the fish and vegetables and heat through.
Serve with rice.

And there were numerous apple trees. The apples at the back with the bit of red on them are delicous eating apples. We don't know there name. The other apples here are golden delicous and granny smith.

My hubby is amused with all the fresh produce lying around the kitchen. What to do with it all!!!
Over the next few blogs I will share what I have been up to and share some recipes with you.

I am having lots of fun....Dot

Take a lesson from the ant...learn from their ways and become wise! They labor hard all summer gathering food for winter (Proverbs 6)


Friday, 8 March 2013

All things...

...come to an end.

The day our family from WA were due to go home we were all up extra early. I fired up the coffee machine and made us a 'wake me up caffiene' fix.

We were going to get breakfast after we saw our family off and so a coffee kept us going.

However, the littlies had some breakfast. (Hard to believe the mornings were so cold a month ago and lately we are having very warm days, all day, yesterday was over 30)

Have a great weekend! It's our long weekend here so I may not be back until Tuesday....Dot

Thursday, 7 March 2013


Hubby took advantage of the perfect flying weather one day and took his paraglider up.

D3 joined him for the ride, and when he landed....

...Littlies wanted to be strapped in.

Dot :-)

Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Hide and Seek

This is always a fun game with little ones. Each child has their own way of playing the game. We found little lady could not keep quiet for long when she hid and so this made it easy for her sibling to find her. Lots of fun!!!

Pop was called to play. Gran cleaned out the recycle/broom cupboard which made a great spot and they played here for a while. Little munchkin loved it!!!

"Papa, again"


Tuesday, 5 March 2013


The day after our family arrived (most of them, our son-in-law was arriving in a couple of weeks), hubby had a wedding to take. It turned out to be a nice but windy day.

Yes, a beach wedding!

We called in home in between the ceremony and wedding breakfast. Little Miss loves the outdoors and so it was not long she had Poppi taking her exploring our outdoors.

Every time she ventured out the door while here she would not last long out the backyard but make her way out the drive. It is quite steep and those little legs got some workout. I would often have to pick her up to bring her back as she was not always happy to do so.

Tucking into breakfast at Gran's little table and chairs which Gran received from her parents when she was a little girl. (Note: I repainted it in the new brights colours)

And there was many a time that one of the adults joined one or both of them here for a meal; hence the spare chair.


Monday, 4 March 2013

I'm Back

Hi to all my readers. I am back!!! The last couple of months have been taken up with family and we have some great memories to hold on to. We had some wonderful times together of which I will share some of it with you over the next few posts.

A few days after Christmas, following the packing away of the Christmas tree and making up beds etc, we drove to the airport to meet a special part of our family.

I was about to explode with excitement and wasn't allowed through those doors. Patience!!

And as usual 'my little lady' jumps up for that first 'wrap around' hug. Oh what a feeling!!!

They were very 'travel weary' and so we tried to keep the chatting to a minimum which was hard to do. The grandies certainly have grown since we last held them.


D3 for taking pics for me

My beautiful family