Sunday, 29 March 2015

A little bit of Western Australia

We've been a week in Western Australia with Mum and it has been busy with seeing family, a spot of gardening and some short walks to take some photos.  On our way up to the farm, hubby and I stopped off at York where Mum and I stayed for a few days last year.  I'll do a longer post on that when I return to Victoria but thought I'd share the photo below of the Avon river which runs through the town.

 When we first arrived at the farm, my brother and nephew were in the middle of shearing so hubby went over to the other farm a couple of days to help out.  He was on the broom cleaning up the wool scraps after the shearers had finished shearing each sheep.  The shearers in the photo below are not young men, I don't know how they do this hard work on consecutive days.

That's my brother Eric in the striped shirt.  The fleece is thrown flat over the wool table to be checked for scraggly bits and then  packed into bales.

After shearing on one of the days, my brother received a large load of fertiliser for this year's cropping season.  

 The ever present pink and grey galahs, these ones are in a dead tree just outside from Mum's back yard.

 Hubby set off to go fishing in Walpole early Thursday morning and his accomodation in the caravan park where they are staying is this hippy van we hired.  It's decked out with a bed and little kitchen and fridge in the back.

 A couple of nights ago there were some beautiful thunder clouds which created a perfect photography opportunity.

 The dusk light was beautiful and created gorgeous colours in the landscape.

It's lovely to be back where I can see 360 degrees.  Some of the nicest photos I can take are always back here in Western Australia.

Anne  xx

Monday, 16 March 2015

Busy in the kitchen

Hello, how are you?  I can hear the sigh of relief in the northern hemisphere from all the peeps who are longing for spring and warmer days.  I know it doesn't really warm up for a bit but I hope the appearance of bulbs poking out of the ground, the lengthening of days and a little sunshine here and there is cheering you up.  I'm not ready for autumn yet let alone winter as we had far too many grey cool days this summer in Melbourne.  Over in the west on the farm they are longing for cooler days after a long hot summer.  I guess the challenge is finding lovely things in all the seasons and making the most of it.

So late February is when the tomatoes start to ripen nicely and then we have to find different ways to use them before they spoil.  I've already posted about oven dried tomatoes here and have made another batch since.  I've also made some tomato chutney and used the few dodgy apples from the tree in the back yard that the parrots didn't get to.

Chutney cooking up nicely.

 This is cherry tomato tart we had for dinner one evening.  Delicious.

Hubby and I visited a farmers market recently and bought a couple of kilos of blood plums, my absolute favourite plums.   I used some of them to make this upside down cake.  Recipe can be found

With yet more tomatoes ripening in the garden, a mix of cherry and grosse lisse, the making of tomato sauce/ketchup was next on the agenda.  I used the recipe found here
a slightly corrupted version using red onions (all I had to hand), balsamic and apple cider vinegars and brown sugar.  It was quite a process and you need a good three hours to make it but it is SO worth the effort, the sauce tastes amazing.

After the sauce had finished cooking I blended it with a stick blender which reduced the amount of pulp after sieving.

All that remained after sieving and that went into the compost.

The finished product.

 Hubby and I are off over to Western Australia next weekend for two weeks to visit Mum and for hubby, my brother and his mate to go on a fishing holiday for a week down to the south west coast.  On our return we will have some exciting news to share but until then I just have to be patient.

Anne xx

Friday, 27 February 2015

Photo Scavenger Hunt - February 2015

It's time once again for the monthly Photo Scavenger Hunt.  Thank you Greenthumb at Made With Love blog for organising this fun blog activity.


Something a little different, a female cucumber flower.


This photo encapsulates the word love beautifully on many different levels for me.  The love I have for my farming brother (love him to bits), the love I have for the farm where I grew up in Western Australia, the love of fresh milk, non homogenised and non pausteurised milk, the love of recycling - using an old tractor seat and turning it into a milking stool.....


Birthday invitation.

Something beautiful

Our beautiful daughters Genevieve and Charlotte.
Favourite colour

Green in all its shades.


My lovely cousin in England knows how much I love owls and made this handsome one for me.

On the road

With Louise of Ramblings of a Roachling blog in 2012.  Somewhere in Staffordshire or maybe Derby county.  Louise? 


The tap on the gas meter, very boring.


The price of the book below found in an op shop.


A garden ornament I made a couple of years ago.

 A corner of your home

In the lounge room.
 Whatever you want

Our three animals showing a definite interest in the dinner plate being removed from the table.  So funny but so very naughty.

 Looking forward to seeing what scavenging we will be doing for the March list.

Anne  xx

Thursday, 26 February 2015

Oven dried cherry tomatoes

Summer is my favourite season of the year.  Melbourne has more cold and cool weather than warm so when it is warm and sunny I get out and revel in it.  It also means things happen in the garden.  I love my flowers but I'm also enjoying growing vegetables.  Which brings me to the subject of cherry tomatoes of which we have many at the moment.  We've given them away, eaten them in salads, had them on quiches and on pizzas.

 Don't they look good?  Not being able to eat all these before they spoiled, I decided to make some oven dried tomatoes.

This is what they looked like after being the oven for about 30 minutes.

The dried tomatoes are in extra virgin olive oil, an Australia brand and flavoured with rosemary, basil, thyme and oregano which I have growing in the garden.

I used a recipe found here adjusting it where needed to fit the quantity of tomatoes I had.  I also adjusted the oven temperature and cooking time as needed.  I made another jar today so we now have two jars.  We also have a surplus of Grosse Lisse tomatoes so today I made some chutney but that will be the subject of another post.

For all the lovely peeps in the Northern Hemisphere who are longing for spring, I hope this post reminds you of all the good things that come with warmer weather.

Anne xx

Saturday, 21 February 2015

Late summer

There are still some lovely things flowering in the garden late summerlike these roses which smell divine.

Some Johnny jump up violas I planted from seed.

Prepping peaches for making an upside down peach cake tomorrow.

 Aren't the colours glorious!

I hope you are having an enjoyable weekend.

Anne xx