Friday, March 30, 2012

Baking, Slow Cooking, Fast Food

Banana and Zuchinni Muffins, a gift for a friend with sad news.
Using some of the garlic harvest.  A bamboo steamer makes an excellent storage container for the bulbs that were lacking stems to plait.

Cherry tomatoes ready for slow roasting.  Halved, salt and peppered, garlic cloves scattered between.  Bake slowly for 2-3 hours on 100 degrees Celsius.I have read recipes that suggested drizzling with oil but I forgot and found it wasn't really necessary.

The little Bowerbird loves garlic, she ate 12 cloves and stank of garlic for two days - some of the cloves could have been a bit more cooked but came out as the tomatoes were done.  It's amazing how they impart their flavour to the things around them, even when in their papery parcels. All that garlic must have served the Little Bowerbird well as the first of the Autumn bugs is doing the rounds in our house, and she's the only one who has been spared.

The biggest Bowerbird couldn't stop eating these slow roasted tomatoes and she doesn't even like tomatoes. So sweet, intense, delicious. I couldn't stop pecking at them.  We had some with pasta and some smeared on toast with marinated fetta.  I froze a bag as well. A great quick way of preserving some of the harvest. I've already made a huge batch of chutney and have another harvest basket demanding my attention.

More home grown tomatoes cooking.  The green ones are green zebras, this year they are huge and quite thin skinned, only lasting a few days when picked, but very tasty.
Used my slow cooked tomato, onion and garlic mix for a pasta sauce and a vegie lasagne.
The home grown carrots keep giving.
An unanniversary dinner.  We never married, so we celebrate the day we met, 21 years ago on the 21st, sounds auspicious.  Wine, takeaway wood fired pizzas, devoured on picnic rugs in the lounge room. Because I was sick of cooking and dishes, and feeling a little lazy, I had the revelation of using newspaper for plates - straight to the compost when finished. Special I know. We rarely get takeaway so this was quite a treat, and our local pizza place under new ownership produced some pretty tasty pizzas.

We've talked about going out for a desert share plate at Mr Carsisi in Kyneton, to continue the celebration, but have all been hunkering in with colds. I got the most beautiful gift from Mr Bowerbird of 20hrs bossing about the house or garden (he even laminated it for me with a month expiry date). Where to begin. So much to do so little time.

I am still daydreaming about that desert share plate. We've had it twice and I am in love.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Beautiful Gifts, Cuddles and Corn

My poor mum is not well, these are some pictures I know will make her smile. 
Wishing I could hop on a plane and give her a cuddle.

 Like a little Alice falling into Wonderland
A beautiful dress smocked by my Auntie Dossie who is even sweeter than the frock. This arrived in the post late last year. Finally the little one wanted to wear it! She is a force to be reckoned with, and no cajoling will make her wear anything other than that which she desires.  This is proving quite tedious as the weather cools, she has a real aversion to jumpers and jeans. Fortunately we hadn't missed the boat, the dress fits perfectly!


How to know your corn is ripe - the silks are brown and dried out, the cob feels fat, apparently the kernels run clear if you prick them with a needle - but whose really doing that?  I also find the flower heads of the ripe corn look quite grey and dying which helps me to choose which ones to inspect. 
 The remains of the last corn peeling fiesta. I have to keep her from picking the cobs before they ripen.
 Little one couldn't resist a nibble before we brought the corn in. Nor could I - so sweet and juicy.

Used the corn to make Asian corn soup - delicious!
Sweetcorn Soup

This elephant costume arrived over our fence from a kindly neighbour whose boy had grown out of it.  The little Bowerbird was delighted and immediately donned it for an Autumn Equinox BBQ - not entirely practical (not so great near fire) but the gumboots (also gifted by a friend) helped.  I love the way children's clothes make their way around the neighbourhood - it's so good to see things used again and we need to buy very few clothes for our children. 

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Frogs are Calling

Dad came in with something exciting. Everyone wanted a hold.
A Southern Brown Tree Frog.  These are calling a lot at the moment, some have taken up residence around our bath pond.  I love their conversation while I'm pulling weeds from the garden.  Often they call before rain but they have been a bit off the mark of late. You can listen to one cree cree creeing at this website

 I just adore frogs, so kooky and fragile. Look at those alien like padded toes. Any frogs calling at your place?

Monday, March 26, 2012

Potatoes, Blankets, Butterflies, Sawdust and Sandpits

I have a bit of a backlog of blog posts so have lumped a few miscellaneous items together. A bit like the last box you pack when shifting house.

All the reject potatoes ready for roasting - garlic, rosemary, olive oil and salt and pepper. Tiny potatoes, shovel chopped potatoes, slightly bug eaten potatoes. None would be good for the shop yet all were delicious. I've been thinking how you eat a lot more dirt when you grow your own food, home grown produce is never quite so sparkling. I bet it's good for us.

 Some newly thrifted woolen rugs, vintage picnic blankets which are also lovely to lie under.

A new hat and a new sandpit made by daddy Bowerbird.  Some old red gum sleepers upcycled , we found them near the railway line with "take me" on them, and $22 worth of sand.

Getting right into the spirit of it. After seeing the little one besotted with the beach we decided a bit of sand was definitely required.

Harvesting , harvesting, harvesting
 Laying saw dust paths. 
 A change of hat and change of spirit.
 The bigger Bowerbirds were very enthusiastic about this project and helped shovel and rake.  Sawdust is a lovely light, textural medium for children to play with.

Bit of attitude, actually I think she got sawdust down her top and wanted it off. 

Back scratch
Peering over our neighbours fence and taking photo, sounds very wrong but was perfectly innocent. Much butterfly excitement. The tree was so covered in butterflies at one stage it looked like bracket fungi.  The butterflies, birds and bees are having a sappy feast. Poor trees look like they have seen better days, it is some sort of wattle that is splitting and falling, nature is making the most of it's demise.