Wednesday, April 27, 2011

The Garden Post

Whats been happening out in my garden lately? A Little and a Lot!
My small Veggie patch/Herb garden has been overcome with shade but few things are finally starting to grow and we are producing once again.
Some nice fresh beans for dinner,  we usually get a small handful like this everyday, it's nice to enjoy a fresh bean for dinner if they make it to the table...Last night we all got one each! 
Lettuce almost ready for the Table
Is that a cucumber Flower?
Yes It Is!
Some perfect looking Basil
 Young Pea Sprouts
And the Passionfruit . . .
Have you ever seen so many?
The Wild Mulberries plants I tore up from the side of the road have grown so well, even though they have been transplanted a couple of times already it seems to be very hardy plant this one...Can you see it's little Mulberry? 
(where I am pointing)
And the Black Mulberry Tree has a fruit!  Don't get too excited, no Mulberry picking adventures just yet, I'll need about 99 more of these to make a Pie!
 A small Papaya has so far escaped they eye of my little gatherers.
We have very nice looking Mandarins, just starting to show a tinge of orange on their skins
and I picked one of these Oranges yesterday.....
Yum, sweet young Navels.

BUT by far the  most exciting thing that has happened in my garden this week has been the Completion of my long awaited 
New Veggie beds...

I'm so excited, I now have a 
Hubby managed to get them finished just in time for 
Mother's Day. 
Now just awaiting a big fat truck load of Organic Soil, and one of these Fabulous Diggers books I am hoping to Win from the 
Stay tuned for regular updates on The Garden Post!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Give the poor guy a break!

I had an unexpected visit from my old friend the Easter Bunny a couple of nights ago, he popped in to have a cup of tea and rest his tired big bunny paws. He had been hopping around shopping malls and day care centres all day giving the little ones a small taste of Easter. Poor Bunny, he works so hard.  To take the pressure off him this year I have decided that the children and I will make our own easter eggs.
Is the Easter Bunny coming tonight Mummy? Of course he is and when he gets here he will get a nice surprise because this year, we will be giving him some Easter eggs.  

So the Marshmallow was whipped 

The Cookies were cut 

 the Chocolate was melted
and our Easter Goodies were ready
Happy Easter to You Easter Bunny, Hope you like your Treats 
Did the Easter bunny come last night Mummy?
 Of course he did,  See he has gobble up all his goodies, drank his milk and LOOK, over here by the gate, he seems to have got his little tail stuck in the fence on the way out!  
Happy Easter

Friday, April 22, 2011

One a Penny, Two a Penny

Freshly baked for Morning Tea

Hot Cross Buns
340ml water
2 tabs oil
2 teasp salt
3 tabs brown sugar
4 cups bread flour
3 tabs milk powder
1 tabs mixed spice
1 tabs- Cinnamon
2 1/2 teas yeast

Mix together
1/2 cup icing sugar
1/4 teasp all spice
1/4 teasp cinnamon
1 tab water

Place all ingredients in order into Bread Machine and place on dough setting. (Anything that saves me time has to be a good thing)
Once dough is mixed knead in 1 &1/4 cups of sultanas
Chop dough into 18 pieces and shape into rounds
Place close together on a baking tray
Place in warm position and allow to rise for a further 20 minutes or 
doubled in size
Blend a batter of 2 tablespoons of water with 1/4 cup of plain flour, spoon into plastic bag. Cut of tip and pipe a cross onto each bun
Bake in a preheated oven 200 Degrees for 20 minutes or until Golden brown. Brush with Glaze.
Slide off tray and let stand for 5 - 10 minutes before serving
 Break apart, spread with butter and serve with a nice cuppa Tea! 

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Someones Handy Work

I've been sneaking in quite a bit of op shopping in over the past couple of months and have managed to pick myself up quite a few treasures...  I had to have these unusual little crafty pictures as soon as I saw them, all four of them, Two Bunnies a Pussy Cat and a little French Poodle. 

These are the sweetest little pictures I have ever seen... I wonder if they were once made as a special gift for a lucky little girl?  I think they are Masterpieces and I actually had them hanging in my living room for quite a few weeks until I decided to hang two in the little girls rooms and two above my new craft table.
They have quite a unique style, I don't know what to call them exactly, the animals seem to be cut out furry fabric shapes and stitched onto the backing fabric, then decorated with embroidery and beading.    I think she was a very clever lady who made these, it's almost sad to find them sitting in an old op shop, I couldn't think why anyone would ever want to give them away...
They have found a lovely home now though, and I'm sure they will be treasures in this Family for many years to come....

This  Bunny one is my favourite.... Orange eyes and all. . .

  They cost only $3 each...

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

So Cosy. . .

My latest and most favourite Op Shop find , Looks like it will 
get a lot of use around here. . .

'Show us Your Cosy' over at Enchanted Moments

Friday, April 15, 2011

Choko - Is it a Fruit or a Vegetable?

Funny little thing this Choko, I remember my mum always feeding us Choko with dinner, sliced up, boiled and smothered in butter with a sprinkle of salt and pepper, sometimes she outdid herself and served it with white sauce, a bit like you would with cauliflower.  I LOVE IT, and I also serve it to my family regularly.
 The choko, technically speaking is actually a fruit as it has a seed, and it belongs to the  Gourd Family. However I believe it fits into the culinary term as a vegetable that can be cooked 
either savoury or sweet.....
I picked up a couple of green chokos from a stall on the side of the road last week and then I found a white variety at my local market on the weekend. I have never seen the white ones before, apparently they are exactly the same in taste
just a different colour... 

   A choko has quite a bland flavour and when cooked with sugar or syrup it can be disguised as apple or pear, quite popular in the old days when everyone had a choko vine in their backyards and fresh apples and pears were hard to get their hands on.  It is also commonly used in pickles and chutneys and can also substitute fruit to add extra pulp to Jam.  It is also rich in Pectin.
I decided I would try a sweet recipe with a couple of them, just to see what it was really like.  I've stewed up a couple of chokos with about 1/2 doz granny smith apples, a good handful of sugar and some cinnamon...

   APPLE & CHOKO PIE  MMmm smells delicious. . .
I have some special visitors coming over for dinner tonight, I wont tell them its a mix and we'll see if they'll be asking for seconds....
A couple of the leftover choko's have started shooting so I'm popping them straight into pots, Imagine how much fun I will have when I get my own loaded vine full of Chokos...There will be a bit of  Frugal cooking going on here,  thats for sure.
Lets hope these little babies grow for me now!  I'll leave them to shoot in the pots for a while and get their roots established then get them planted and see what happens....
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