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Gardening joys.

I have been a little bit occupied over the last couple of weeks and haven’t had much time to sit down and write a blog post. I still don’t have much time as i’m off to work soon at 730am but want to give you all a glimpse into what I’ve had going on recently.

We’ve been waiting since June for the man to come and gyprock/plasterboard a few of our back rooms, the hallway and the entrance to our home. He decided to come the day before our youngest daughter arrived for a much awaited visit!!!!!! We managed to get him to just do the room she would be staying in and he did but will be coming back this week now that she has left to finish the job.


Talk about timing. He is a very busy man but I hate feeling like we’re in the wrong when we phone him to ask when he’s coming. Gotta man up and be more forceful. 😀

We have finally had a few nice days in a row and have been able to get some soil/mulch/manure mix delivered for our fruit trees and potted plants and have been shoveling and distributing it like madmen.




We had it tipped from the truck onto the tarpaulin from where we shoveled it into our little wheelbarrow. You can see the outline of the “tipping” and we have a couple of barrow loads left wrapped in the tarpaulin above for my tomato bed. It is such a joy to see how happy and healthy the garden and plants look with a bit of good soil applied. Here are a few more shots of my flowering dwarf Granny Smith apple, Santa Rosa plums and Sweet Williams which grow all year round it seems. Such a cheerful little plant and one of my favorite border plants.



I also took the time to replenish my fruit fly baits as the little beggars are already eyeing my tiny fruits off. I also made my own batch of baits out of a jar, apple cider vinegar and plastic bag with hole in top.


Next weekend I’m thinking I’ll need to start netting my fruit trees to protect them from the parrots I can hear chattering away in the gum trees.

I have 3 weeks of full time work ahead of me so am seriously going to be looking forward to some days off as I have become accustomed to my week on, week off regime now 😀

I hope you all have a lovely Autumn/Spring wherever you may be and are looking forward to the fruits of your labors at the end of it all.

Visiting old haunts.

Yesterday, Friday the 30th August, I took myself out of the house for a drive over to my old home town of Denmark (Western Australia).  I had a wee touch of cabin fever and needed to get out and see the world. The first place I went to was the beach and I took photos of the sand bar opening. It is opened most years around mid to late August when flooding of farmers fields and rivers leads to this bridging of the sand to alleviate the flooding of Wilsons Inlet. You can see the lovely green sea water pushing in to regenerate and oxygenate the inlet. Thousands/millions of baby snapper and adult fish that have been breeding and growing in the inlet congregate around the sand bar waiting for it’s opening so they can head off to the ocean for whatever it is they do out there (have wild parties and wake up in strange unusual places?) 😀


Here is another angle of the bar opening taken looking back into the inlet.


You can see the old Denmark surf club building perched to the left of the shot. The way the bar has opened, it has torn away most of the beach and dug out a huge big trench along the front of the club rooms.


The little black dots you can see here just out from the mouth of the bar opening are a bunch of dedicated surfers that wait eagerly each year for the bars opening to make full use of the new big waves that form here. Myself, I would be wearing wetsuits that don’t make you look like a seal as some pretty big old sharks like to congregate here waiting for the fish escaping from the inlet :O

In years gone by, I would come over to Denmark and take my Mum out for a meal. Just the two of us usually. Sometimes we’d be joined by my daughters and sometimes by my partner but more often than not, it would be me and Mum. Now she’s been dead these past 2 years, I haven’t gone back to one of our favorite restaurants for a long time. Yesterday, I plucked up the courage to go it alone and I had a most wonderful meal even if I did feel at odds with my memories. I had a wonderful bowl of Mrs Jones Gnocchi served with a basil and cream pesto, sundried tomatoes and parmesan cheese. Such a heartwarming and delicious meal of little fat, fluffy potatoey morsels in a rich sauce with some lovely crisp potato skins on top.

Mrs Jones Gnocchi with Basil and sundried tomatoes and parmesan

Sorry it’s a bit blurry. My phone camera was salivating apparently 😀 I also had a yummy cappuccino to help me on my way.

I also lashed out and bought a “Trevatt” apricot tree and 3 potted Winter Lace Lavender plants that have bees buzzing about them already! I’m not allowed to plant out the Apricot till new year the garden guy said as he had just transplanted it into the big garden bag so it can grow new roots. I just soaked it in a good fish emulsion (Seasol) as soon as I got it back to Albany and the plants are looking mighty fine this morning. I’m hoping this apricot will be producing very soon and can be well established by the time my poor old other apricot finally dies.


The above group of pictures shows a few of my fruit trees, in order the Satsuma Plum and the double grafted Yellow and White Nectarine and my gorgeous blue Iris that are flowering or attempting to 😀

I leave you with another springish like flower that curiously likes to grow around the base of certain rose bushes in pots. I call it Bubbles Pussycatus 😀


See you all in the Spring!

Get your laughing gear around this!

It has finally become the cold winter I’ve been longing for. All those red sky sunrises (red sky in the morning-shepherds warning) have come to fruition and given us cold wet days as well. I know they’re not as cold as Tasmania or other cold areas of the world but they are nice and chilly. I figure, what with all the shivering I’m doing, extra calories are being used up just to keep this bulk of mine in warmer pastures so what better for a calorie burning season than a rich and luscious Baked Lemon Cheesecake? It’s baked, thus it fits into winter with all the other baked goodies we eat 😀

Gluten Free Baked Lemon Cheesecake (with a twist)


Here’s my twist, I used a whole jar (1 cup, 250mls)of my homemade Lemon Curd. Use the juice and rind of one lemon instead if preferred.

1 1/4 cups of crushed biscuits. I used a gluten free mix of gingernuts and macadamia nut shorbread.

1 tablespoon of gluten free flour. I tend to choose Orgran brand but any would do.

2 x large eggs, lightly beaten

3/4 cup of caster sugar

70gm melted butter

750gms of Cream cheese, softened


First assemble all your ingredients.



Then process and combine the biscuit crumbs with the melted butter and press into base of prepared tin.


Beat the cream cheese and sugar using an electric mixer until smooth. Add Eggs one at a time and beat till smooth. Fold in gently the lemon curd and tablespoon of gluten free flour.

Poor mixture onto prepared base and bake at 150 degrees celcius for 45 minutes or until slightly wobbly in the centre. Allow to cool in oven with door ajar, then chill.


I serve this with a dollop of thick cream and it is divine!

Don’t be concerned if the top cracks on cooling. It wont affect the flavour at all and you can cover any cracks with a good dollop of cream anyway 😀

Just the thing for a cold winters day.


Lemon Curd-Quickest preserve ever!


This is my amazing lemon tree. It grows in what looks like a pitiful buckets worth of soil, clinging grimly to the side of the big granite rocks our house is perched on. It never stops producing day in, day out. It always has flowers, green lemons and ripe lemons on it all at the same time. I never water it as it gets all the runoff from rain on the rock and I imagine it is feeding off all the minerals and organic matter that comes off the rock too. Not sure what type of lemon it is but it isn’t a sweet one and has thick pithy skin on it. I’ve never made lemon curd before so thought i’d give it a go to use up a few of the lemons I get. If ever I need a lemon, I just pop out the door off the side of my kitchen to the right of this photo and pick one.



Grated zest and juice of 4 large juicy lemons

4 large eggs

350gm  Golden (raw) caster sugar

225gm unsalted butter, room temp and cut into lumps

1 dessertspoon cornflour (I used gluten free cornflour, real cornflour)


Whisk the eggs in a medium sized saucepan, then add the rest of the ingredients. Place over a medium heat and continue to whisk till mixture thickens. When it does, lower the heat to low and let the lemon curd simmer for a minute whilst whisking still.

Remove from heat and pour into hot sterilized jars. Seal immediatley and store in a cool dry place till needed. This all took about 10 minutes to make once everything was prepped and ready to go. So quick to make.

I used 4 one cup (250ml) capacity mason jars and it filled all to the brim.


Now all I need to do is discover some yummy recipes to use it with. 😀

Bon appetit!

Gluten Free Carrot Cake.

This recipe was found whilst looking for gluten free recipes for my fiance who has coeliac disease amongst other auto-immune diseases. It is a really good carrot cake and he loved it. I found it in Donna Hays latest magazine at the back. Very nice.

Assemble your ingredients


5 Eggs, at room temperature

1 and a half cups brown sugar

1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

Half a cup of Oil, I used Rice Bran

3 and a half cups of Almond Meal (440gm)

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground ginger

Half a teaspoon ground nutmeg

1 teaspoon GF baking powder

400gm finely grated carrots

1 cup of shredded coconut

Half a cup slivered almonds (recipe says roasted but I didn’t, no point unless you like the taste of roasted)

Half a cup of currants


Add eggs, sugar and vanilla in an electric mixer (or hand held electric beaters) and beat for 15 minutes or until thick and tripled in volume. It should look like this,


Place all the other ingredients in another bowl and mix thoroughly to combine while your egg mixture is whisking away.


I wasn’t sure if the recipe was telling me to fold this through the egg mixture or fold the egg mixture through the other ingredients so I tipped the mixture into a bigger bowl and poured the egg mixture over the top and folded in gently till it was all combined.


Spoon this mixture into your prepared tin and bake for 1 hour,20mins to 1 hour, 25 mins or until a skewer inserted comes out with a few crumbs attached. In my oven, fan forced, it seemed to be cooked by an hour so I just popped some cooking paper on top for the last few minutes, just in case.


Looks too full doesn’t it! If you have a higher sided cake tin, use it but it didn’t overflow the tin that I used. I did put it on another tray just in case 😉

When cooked, allow to cool completely in the tin then refrigerate still in the tin for 2-3 hours or until firm. I left it in the fridge overnight.

To ice this cake, run a knife around the edge of the cake and remove from the tin, spread with the following cream cheese icing recipe.

Cream Cheese Icing

250gm cream cheese, chopped and at room temperature

Half a cup of icing sugar

1 tablespoon lemon juice

Beat the above ingredients all together for 5 minutes then spread over the top of the carrot cake.


When cut by me, it looks like this 😉


Obviously, a profressional would not have left cream cheese icing down the side of the slice but I ate this for breakfast! Hahahaha!

Give this recipe a try. It is one of the nicest gluten free cakes I’ve made.

Bon appetite.

My Chilli Marmalade tryout!

All praise for this delicious recipe must go to Emily over at chillimarmalade.com. She has the best food site i’ve discovered, plus she’s an expat Aussie so she’s great in my books 🙂


Here is a picture some of the ingredients you’ll need.Recipe follows.


10 Red capsicums (Peppers), diced small

10 Long Red chillies, sliced with seeds left in

1 head of garlic minced

1 thumb sized piece of fresh ginger, sliced finely

750gm Raw castor sugar

250ml Red wine vinigar

Combine all on top of stove and cook, stirring often until it resembles jam. Bottle into hot, sterilized jars and seal with lids immediately.


I made a heartful of chillies!


Boil all together just like this!


And this is what you end up with! It actually made 3.5 one cup jars of lovely sticky hot (but not devestatingly hot) chilli marmalade. One of the nicest I’ve tried. Great with cheese, steak and inserted into stirfries. Yummo!

Bon appetite!