December 24, 2015

Merry Christmas!

Wishing all my bloggy friends a happy and safe Festive Season.  It will be reasonably quiet for us this year - and relatively stressless which is always good.  Off to lunch at rellies, so I'm off the hook! Though I have mananged to get cracking with some brandied fruit from my Mum's retro recipe book. It had to sit in the fridge for a month, but I 've bottled it up for presents and all looking (and smelling) great.

Enjoy the holiday break, stay safe and I look forward to powering on with some more interesting posts in 2016!

cheers for now

November 9, 2015

What's happening - Rainy Day Flowers, Funghi and a Koala!

On a rainy day - a few flowers to brighten the place up a bit!
Lots of hippeastrum, agapanthus & day lillies coming along. 

 These toadstools come and go with the rain and seem to like it in the damp of the chook yard.

I spotted this chap in our back paddock when I was out and about in the rain.  He has been very vocal the last few nights, so I knew he was not too far away.
 He woke up a bit for one photo
 but found it all a bit of an effort ....
That doesn't really look terribly comfortable though!

We are seeing fewer and few koalas every year.  Plant a koala friendly tree if you can - if not in your own back yard, then on a community planting day.  The amount of clearing of their habitat in our immediate area is disturbing.  These guys are very vulnerable.

cheers for now

October 23, 2015

1970's style recipe #1 - Simplicity Chocolate Cake (Good)

So I baked a cake recently using a recipe from my dear Mum's 1970's recipe book.

Just choosing radomly I found Simplicity Chocolate Cake.... and it certainly was simple~

Here is the original recipe in my Mum's handwriting:

and here it is in clear format~

Simplicity Chocolate Cake (Good)
from my Mum’s 1970’s recipe book

3 tablespoons Butter or Margarine (melt)
2 level tablespoons Cocoa
1 cup SR Flour
1 cup Sugar
½ cup Milk
2 Eggs
½ teaspoon vanilla or almond essence
Melt Butter
Put all other ingredients into large bowl and pour melted butter over.
Beat really hard for three minutes.
Pour onto greased tin and bake in moderate oven.
(Be careful not to burn)
This will stay fresh for days.


My comments - I used wholemeal SR flour because that is all I buy.  It worked out fine, nicely chocolately, moist and dense.  I cannot confirm that it stays fresh for days because it didn't last long in our household!

As oven temps were not given I cooked mine at 180 deg. for about 35 minutes, but I watched it carefully the last 5 minutes or so, being mindful of Mum's warning not to BURN!  It may need a little longer than 35 minutes, but my oven tends to hot.

So I thought I would use some of my retro props which is likely to happen more often as I change the tempo somewhat with my little blog.  Don't worry - I'm not going to morph into another Martha (or anyone of that ilk) but would like to incorporate more of a retro theme.  So watch this space - more change is on the way!

Feel free to use this recipe, I'm sure Mum would not have been happy to share. 

cheers for now

September 30, 2015

What's happening today

spring freesias from our garden 

favourite nasturtiums on kitchen bar

this sleepy Dexter face on the couch

Having a lovely day here - after big storms yesterday!

cheers for now Wendy 

September 15, 2015

Is this the way to Tamarillo?

It's a while since I have written about Tamarillos.  Well let's be honest here, it's a while since I've written about anything really.
However when I made up these yummy poached Tamarillos the other day it reminded me of some earlier posts I had written - like here, also here too..... and noticing that I am still a very irregular blogger!
The Tamarillo is an easy fruit to grow.  The tree looks remarkably uninteresting. However it produces fairly consistently.  The fruit is tart tasting.  A little like a cross between an acidic passionfruit and a tomato (if that makes sense!).
We have found the best way to eat them is lightly poached.  They are fine raw - however like passionfruit there is only really one scoopful of seed and pulp.  Once skinned (dunked into boiling water for a few minutes, the cold water the skin will peel off nicely like a tomato).  Photo below shows pre-peeling.
Then I just add some sugar, vanilla and a spoon of honey.  This all sounds very sweet, but I taste as I go and it is not necessary to add too much of each.  The end result is lovely!  Particularly nice over fruit salad.
or plain Greek yoghurt.

Has anyone tried Tamarillos? You can read more about facts about growing them here.

That's all for now.
cheers Wendy 

April 19, 2015

Just hitting the pause button for a while ......


Oh that's right, the Pause button has been on for a while now.

I've said on several occasions that I'm an erratic blogger.  I think really I'm just a lazy blogger who loves to read and comment on other's blogs!  My apologies.

I will be back soon.  Some major ideas are bubbling away and hopefully next post will be enthusiatic. Summer 2015 has really drained me of ideas.  Bring on some cooler mornings and nights and all will be well!

cheers for now

March 13, 2015

Just some traffic passing by .....

alternate title could be - what I found at the bottom of the garden!
It seems they were just passing through.
A small muster - not sure if that is the right term for a group of 3 peacocks and 1 peahen.
I do not have a very good zoom lens. This was taken looking up to roof of our workshop.
and a view of one on the workshop roof..... and yes there are fairies at the bottom of my garden!

In the morning they had gone  They all appeared quite young, the males had lovely colour but not much plumage.  I think a lot of acreage owners buy these birds thinking they are decorative, not realising that they are difficult to contain in a pen.  However they do make a lot of noise - so I was happy they had moved along.  

Then a few days later I spotted these regulars down past the back gate.
Often we see groups of them on our block.
Quite happy to have them around!

Our trip to Tassie was lovely.  A bit of a break from the hot weather - however it was straight back into the hot humid weather on our return.  At least we missed all of Cyclone Marcia.  
Now waiting for an autumn change sometime soon thanks!

A quick glimpse of our 10 day, 2000k holiday - and what an amazing, diverse State.

cheers for now

February 11, 2015

drumroll please .....

and we have a winner!

Apologies are in order.

Firstly, this is a very quick post.  I am packing, we are off on holiday tomorrow.  Tasmania is the destination.  Nearly made it there last year.

The catchup link is here  if you'd like to see what happened on the way to Tasmania last time.  We didn't get there (long story short) but we are definitely flying off tomorrow for the Apple Isle.
 (from our last road trip to Tasmania!)

Secondly I have drawn the random winner for the prize link to Grow Your Blog.   I used Random Picker which was very easy.  I had to bring the date forward on account of our holiday.

There were 36 entrants ... and the winner -  Debbie1/26/2015 4:53 AM .     

So Debbie could you please email your postal address and I will be mailing to you some vintage hankies and an Australia tea towel which I hope you like.

Thanks to everyone who left a comment.  I hope you keep on reading!

Cheers for now Wendy 

February 6, 2015


If you are looking for the Grow Your Blog link ...... it is here.  Just leave a comment and I will draw random winner on 11 February.
However - this  a gratitude post.

2015 is my year with some weekly gratitude posts.  Keeping it simple might be the way to go for me I think.

Today I am grateful for online friends - and sharing some links.  I have been inspired by these two lovelies - Sue from Living the Good Life and Sue from You Can Call Me Sue to actually make something from all those plums.

The jaboticabas were eaten just as they came from the tree.  However I really wanted to be creative with the box of plums.  

I haven't really had much luck with preserves in the past.  However I decided to soldier on and try it.  By jove I think it worked.

Using this receipe - thanks baby-mac - it was all pretty easy. 

So now that I have had success (all worked out) I will  tackle some other preserves. Certainly we have gluts of fruit and veg at some times of the year.  Chilli jam next I think.

cheers Wendy 


February 2, 2015

and then there were lots ......

This is one jaboticaba

and a gathering of jaboticaba!

if they are not picked promptly they end up on the ground 
and they have a very different growth pattern.  Not a good photo as it was taken after fruit had been picked.  However I have noticed they are often referred to as the grape tree, and often spelt Jabuticaba also.
It's an easy tree to grow, ours is about 6 years old I think.  The main problem is remembering to pick the fruit before other critters get to them, or they fall off the tree. 
We usually just eat jaboticaba raw, but I might investigate a few recipes. 
They are an unusual fruit with a tough skin and an a grape like texture.
Not a lot of flesh with 2 of 3 seeds inside. 

However this picking co-incided with my impulse buy at the markets! 
A big box of blood plums (not sure of variety) for $7!
Another bargain.

So I'll be washing, cooking and maybe even bottling some plums. Plum Jam, Plum Jelly, Plums in port maybe? Personally I just like them lightly poached/stewed with yoghurt. 
Plum Crumble could feature too.

cheers for now
Thanks again and waving hi to my lots of new followers!    
I'd be happy for you to leave a comment on this or other posts too.

January 29, 2015


2015 is my year with some weekly gratitude posts.  Keeping it simple might be the way to go for me I think.
Grateful that all the rain we have received recently has topped up our little dam nicely.  

A big welcome to my new followers.  I'm grateful too for the Grow Your Blog hop! My giveaway continues - if you leave a comment on my blog - anybody can enter, including international readers.  

I have a little parcel with several pretty vintage hankies and two vintage Australian tea towels to be mailed to the winner. Giveaway drawn on February 11.   - any comments added to this post will be to the February draw. 

Please note!  I've had to change the draw to February 11 as we will be away from this date until the end of February with no computer access.

Back to the dam though - we are on town water, but use the dam for watering the fruit trees, the vegie garden, washing the car etc.  

However, recently the dam was so low we could not pump from it.  I don't have a 'before' photo, but this is how it looks 'after'.
Not only is it of use for watering the garden, but it is also our outdoor entertainment area!
The little upside down feature is our paddle boat which gets quite a bit of use. Perfect for sundowners on a sunset cruise!
Another feature is our 'Iron Bar' (side view) our dam-side entertainment area.  It is actually a re-built horse shed and quite a popular spot for entertaining.  

The front .... with big spotlight on awning.
and viewed from inside, facing the dam.
Some lovely big gums we planted, they are about 10 years old. 

I thought this might be interesting to some readers and now the secret is out. 
You all know where we often sitting on a hot day to watch the sun go down! Certainly much nicer to look at when there is plenty of water in it.

cheers for now