Showing posts from July, 2011

Welcome Cheddar and Brie

An exciting day here at the farm, with the birth of our first goats. With no fuss at all Elizabet gave birth to twins. A boy and a girl. The boy was born first and is called Cheddar, Brie followed soon after. They were up and about in no time at all and are now safely tucked away in a fox proof shed with their Mum.

The New Roses Have Arrived

The new roses arrived yesterday. They have been on a bit of a journey. The couriers rang me on Thursday to say they were in Orange, about an hour from here. They wont deliver them out of town! So we agreed they would drop them at the Post Office. They didn't turn up either Thursday or Friday. Yesterday I chased them up and the couriers told the rose company they were at the Post Office, not so....eventually they turned up.
They are very well packed so don't appear to have come to any harm from their prolonged journey. They look a lot healthier than last time we purchased a big order from Treloars so hope they will do well. It is quite a bit investment. I think i have about a hundred and twenty roses now and this new lot is another thirty three.
Twelve standards, alternating Joeys and Icebergs from along the veranda.
Twelve Joeys for the new Joey garden. Six Katie's Delight because the babies are her delight! They also sent five free roses because it was a large order. They…

The Stars of my winter garden (part three)

I was fortunate to attend a great talk on garden design over the weekend. As I don't pretend to have designed my garden at all it was quite a surprise to find that I found the talk very interesting and that we have done a lot that is right, at least according to that particular designer. His topic was a garden for all seasons and in a way that is what these past few posts have been all about. It has been interesting to record all the lovely things that we have in the winter. From a design point of view what I have noticed is that the vegetable garden side of the house is quite colourless in winter so we will need to fix that.
Today's photos are of some of the shades of purple we have in our winter garden.
Starting with a native climbing vine that has just emerged of its own accord in the rock area we are developing. It is a very spectacular plant I think. quite a few of these have come up but this is the best example.  I think this is what it is called Hardenbergia violacea &#…

The Stars of my winter garden (part two)

Undoubtedly one of our winter stars in the garden are the China Bells as we call them or Chinese Lanterns as they are commonly called. (botanical name is Abutilon x hybridum). My sister gave me four of the orange ones a few years ago in the middle of the drought. I thought they might not be frost hardy but they are and they have been a huge success. I'm not sure how many we have now but they are planted right along the back fence.

They are very easy to propagate, just stick them in a pot with some soil and away they go. 
I now have a bit of a collection of these as I have found apricot ones.

Yellow ones.

And most recently a white one.
I am going to inter plant the fence plantings with all the different colours and make a little garden just of China Bells.

They flower most of the year but are at their best in the winter. On a recent garden excursions I cam across an orange one that had a dark, reddish calyx, very attractive and I thought a different plant. I begged a cutting from t…

The Stars of my winter garden (part one)

Winter is not generally regarded as a great time for the garden but i have to say i am very pleased with the amount of colour and interest that is in my garden in the depth of winter. This has occurred more by good luck than good management but now that we know how stunning some of these plants are in the winter we can plant more in the places that are a little lacklustre.
When i initially thought of this post I thought it would only be a few things but there are so many winter beauties it will take a few days.

Blue Wrens in the Garden

When we first came here there were very few birds in the garden. Over time as the garden has grown the bird population has grown as well. For the past two years there have been quite a lot of birds and species. I particularly wanted to encourage small birds as they are lovely and great insect predators. There have been little yellow wrens around for a while but the real milestone I wanted to achieve was a population of Blue Wrens. These along with the tiny, tiny red breasted ones, add so much colour and interest to the garden. A couple of times in the last few days I thought I had spotted a blue Wrens and then yesterday there is was a clear as day in the rose garden. Hooray!

Pumpkin soup with Morocan flavours and chickpeas

Its a rainy day here today. A welcome change from the dreary, cold, overcast days with no rain. It was starting to look quite dry again and a lot of people are feeding their stock. A great day to eat soup for lunch. I think soup is one of the great pleasures of winter and i am more than happy to eat it every day of the week for all of the winter months. I do get tired of the same old flavours though so put a bit of thought into how I would make my latest batch of Pumpkin soup. I also wanted to make it a bit more substantial with the addition of some pulses. What I settled on was a roasted pumpkin soup with a vaguely Moroccan sort of theme and the addition of Chick Peas. I've had the wood stove on in the kitchen most days and found the dried cookpeas cooked wonderfully well when I placed them in some cold water, brought that quickly to the boil and then put the lid on and pushed them to the back of the stove to cook on a slow simmer for about four hours.
I cut a Jap pumpkin, from o…


I think i am suffering from Seanonal Affective Disorder, it has been so bleak and gloomy here of late. Today however the sun is shining. No time to Blog, i need to get out in the garden and enjoy the sun and the relative warmth.

The Local Show

Eugowra is very fortunate that a dedicated and hardworking group of volunteers have kept our local show going through the drought, recessions and the general downtown of the community. Many communities no longer have a show. Last night I went along to the show meeting so I can write an informed article for the Eugowra News. One of the things that struck me was that the Show is all about things that are becoming a bit fashionable again and I wondered if I could help capitalise on that. For example home cooking is very popular at the moment, thanks to masterchef I think. Maybe it is only popular in theory and not practice but at least people are talking about it. When I was growing up cooking in the local show was a pretty daggy thing to do and certainly not something I have ever done but these days it is becoming valued again. Two weeks ago on Masterchef a lady called Merle, who is from Cudal, a village near here, was the guest chef, she cooked cupcakes and a peach blossom cake. Appare…

Some Favourite Recipes for children (and big kids too)

Whenever we are having children to stay I make a double batch of my choc chip and oatmeal cookies. Always popular with children and adults alike and quite a healthy cookie I think. I didn't discover these until after my girls were grown up so they used to get the much less healthy version. It didnt seem to do them any harm.
Choc chip and oatmeal cookies
150 grams softened butter
1 cup soft brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla paste
1 egg
1 cup plain flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 1/3 cups rolled oats
1 cup choc chips

To make
cream the butter and sugar
add vanilla and egg
add flour and baking powder and mix
stir in rolled oats and choc hips
form into balls and place on a baking tray lined with baking paper
press down with a fork
Bake at 180 degrees until golden
You might as well make a double batch they will be gone in a flash
While cooking for Jemima last time she was here i made an old fashioned pasta and salmon bake. I used to make this a lot when the girls were little. I hadn't realised th…

Feeding fifty (My Big Catering Adventure)

Last weekend I cooked dinner for fifty people at our Lions Club changeover dinner. This is a big event in the Lions club year. Normally it is held at the Eugowra Bowling club and catered for by either the resident cook, if we have one at the time, or external caterers. This year it was to be catered for by the current Chinese Cook. Until the Monday before, that is.
Invitations had already been sent and accepted.
It was far too late to hire caterers and we hadn't charged enough to get anyone good in any case. So I said I can do that, no problem. I've catered for quite a few big family events in the past. Cooking for fifty doesn't faze me. As it turned out the cooking was not a problem and went without a hitch. The hard part was transporting everything to the Bowling club and serving hot food in what was a very inadequate kitchen. 
I worked out the following menu that I thought had:
universal appealcould  be mostly cooked aheadwas economical and value for moneyeasy to reheat…