Sunday, October 26, 2014

Summer flowers and good bugs

With 40°C predicted for today it feels like summer is well and truly here, a full month early.

My garden is buzzing with bugs, beetles, wasps and bees which can only be a good thing. I have worked hard on incorporating flowers into the vegetable patch to keep our bug friends happy and add some colour.  Randomly scattered sunflowers are not far away from flowering.

Cosmos flowers always make me smile. 

Coriander is another favourite and it grows here almost all year round.  The delicate flowers are a bonus and at the end of the cycle I find collecting the seed quite therapeutic. 

These tall, slender Alliums look like mini sculptures as they reach for the sky.  I cannot remember what variety they are so when they finally open their buds it will be a surprise.

It certainly feels like summer with these vibrant zucchini flowers quietly opening underneath the green leaves of the variety Long Florence.  According to the Diggers Club this particular variety has some of the largest flowers.  The ants and bugs are enjoying these too and that makes me happy.  

Does it feel like summer where you are?

What are you observing in the garden?

Wishing you a restful Sunday friends x

Friday, October 10, 2014


Our eldest, Annabelle, celebrated her eighth birthday with a picnic in the bush.  Along with our neighbours and one set of grandparents we shared cake and a simple fire cooked dinner.  To add a touch of spring and celebration to the occasion we created this flower table entirely from wild flowers, bits from the garden and recycled containers. 

I experiment a lot with bread but sometimes it is great to get back to the plain white sourdough loaves that started my bread journey.  Every time I bake bread, particularly in the wood oven I learn something new or take away a little bit of extra knowledge.

Our current horse situation has outgrown this little horse yard.  I have decided to put this space to use and plant it up with summer vegetables.  In particular, pumpkins which have a habit of completely overrunning my actual vegetable garden.  It is the perfect space as it has previously been fertilised by horses, it is fenced securely and there is a water supply.  It doesn't look like much now but watch this space.  

Meanwhile, back in the actual vegetable garden this Long Florence zucchini is progressing well.  

Thyme is just so delicate and pretty isn't it?

Home grown asparagus, eggs and coriander.  Simple ingredients with so much potential to be turned into something tasty. 

Happy Friday friends, I hope you have had a lovely week! 

Friday, October 3, 2014

In My Kitchen, October 2014

Wild flowers from my love; all secretly picked in the paddock while he was out and about checking sheep and tanks.

I have found a shortcrust pastry recipe that has helped to boost my pastry making confidence.  It started with lamb shank and chickpea pies made from a previous lamb shank dinner.

With the off-cuts I made small jam tarts.

We have been picking leafy, green bouquets of celery.  Home grown celery is almost as good as a bunch of flowers don’t you think?

A slab of chocolate brownie and a batch of chewy rolled oat and sultana biscuits to keep hungry workers and children nourished.  

One afternoon I had a quiet, creative moment in the garden and dreamt up these mini skewers made from rosemary and olive twigs.  Later, I used them to skewer chocolate dipped strawberries for a special birthday celebration.

Indulgent yet easy to make, this dark chocolate and cinnamon scroll covered in a shower of icing sugar proved popular in our house.  The recipe came from the winter issue of Fete magazine which has been added to my list of favourite reading material.  

Are you cooking or growing or creating?  I hope so!

As always I am linking up with Fig Jam and Lime Cordial.  Thanks for hosting this fun kitchen tour Celia.