“Why is everything in this country so SWEET?”

Just popping in to say I’ve been locked out of my Flikr account… no photos.
We all know that you can’t blog without photos.
Shame because one of the things I’ve been doing is getting my house painted. It’s BLUE and white.
Looks amazing. Seriously. I’ve already had 2 people approach the painter to ask about the paint colour. I’m setting a trend!
Stay tuned….

Thermomix recipe: Actually, not. This is a video with Aussie people tasting items from a supposedly Aussie restaurant, ‘Outback Steak’, in the USA

Posted in Just for fun. | Leave a comment

Give me a head with hair….


Look at this! We’re in the lecture theatre at school all weekend for the last rehearsals for the year 12 Theatre Studies play and the kids put Evan18’s studio shot from the play last year up in the foyer to give me a laugh.
We’re on for 4 nights this coming week and the clock’s ticking! We were in here till 10PM last night… the kids were keen to stay longer but we were all dead on our feet so I booted them out just as the cleaners arrived. We were back at 8AM today and we’ll be back tomorrow.
I’ve brought the thermomix in with me to make us all soup for lunch and hot chocolates and sorbet. :)

A couple of nights ago I brushed Evan18’s hair and took these photos. He’s sporting a full beard and long hair – a symbol of freedom from the opression of high school student managers and their irrational obsession with good grooming.


First time I’ve ever been able to play with a child of mine’s hair and make it pretty!

Thermomix Recipe: Steamed Pork Dumplings Too easy!

Posted in Children., work | 3 Comments

A lovely surprise.


I was going into the city for an excursion with my year 12 Theatre Studies class and I had to get to work early. I was running late (no surprise there…) and had no time to spend on making an elaborate lunch. I raced out to pick an apple from my Ballerina ‘Polka’ tree. I’ve been eating the Granny Smith and Pink Lady apples, but I’d left these ones alone until now as they were well hidden from the lorigkeets and I wanted them to get bigger.


As I picked one, another fell to the ground. ‘Fine,’ I thought. ‘I’ll have two apples and a couple of hard boiled eggs for lunch.’ After the show, I grabbed one of the apples from my bag as I was walking back to the station and took a bite.

OMG. I have honestly never tasted a nicer apple. It had a fizzz of a pink lady and it was very slightly tart. The texture was amazing, which you’d expect of any fruit that had been alive only 4 hours before. I thought my lunch was going to be slightly sad and deprived, but I relished every bite. :) I’m seriously going to buy more of these trees.

Have a look at this story from Karen at Edible Eden. She’s the one who’s designed my front yard food forest. (After Europe; watch it happen!) This is her garden.

Independence Days Challenge:

1. Plant Something: 

2. Harvest Something: 1. Eggs 2. Warrigal Greens. 3. Rosemary. 4. Apple Cucumbers 5. Apples. 6. Tomatoes 7. Capsicum 8. Parsley 9. Sage 10. Bay leaf

3. Preserve Something: 1. Dried lime verbena leaves.

4. Waste Not: 1. Three bananas are going yuck. Using them up in baking.

5. Want Not: 1. Opened up the potato cupboard and caught a whiff of Something Not Quite Right. Found one spud in the bag that’d gone, so washed all the others and used lots in a roast that night. Also used up every skerrick of veggies in the same roast because I was going shopping the next day.

6. Cook Something New: 1. The Muesli slice from ‘In The Mix’. Excellent for Uni lunches. Tastes really good. 2. Dog biscuits (Peanut butter, banana and oat) when I had to use up some bananas.

7. Manage Your Reserves: 1. Delayed going shopping till we were dangerously low in things like shampoo and toilet paper. Used up quite a bit of food. :) 2. Rotated my stock of tomato tins.

Thermomix recipe: See the link to the dog biscuits above.

Posted in Fruit trees, gardening, Independence Days challenge | 5 Comments

Interesting link to a garden.

Wow, look at this garden.

Not bad for only two years!

Thermomix Recipe: Fresh Rice Noodles.

Posted in balance, chickens, Flowers, Fruit trees, gardening, Quality of life, vegetables | Leave a comment

Skinflint Sunday: Befriend a makeup artist. Comes in handy.


David21 went to a party as a zombie. His girlfriend looked stunning dressed as a phoenix, but true to his upbringing by my good self, David21 went the zombie route. One of his friends from high school is doing a makeup course, so she dragged out the fake blood and latex and turned him into something special. *soproud*

Thermomix Recipe: Mexican Spice Mix. Tacos, here we come!

Posted in Children., Skinflint | 3 Comments

Those Cheeky Chooks!


I was clearing out one of the veggie beds and saw that the kale had been attacked by cabbage moth again. I pulled it out and went to feed it to the chooks. Normally I’d just throw it over the fence but I wanted to place it near the fruit trees so that they might get fertilised as the gerls eat.
As I was standing there watching them happily eat the kale, I noticed two small chat potatoes on the ground, where I normally throw the leftovers for them.

After a minute, I thought, “Hang on… I never throw spuds in here…”

No wonder I haven’t been getting many eggs lately! Lady Grey’s egg in the middle was the only one that was in its proper place in the nesting box. The other 11 were in a pile under a shrub in the corner. I’ve started putting shredded newspaper in there instead of rice hulls and I suppose some of them didn’t like it.

Quiche, anyone?

Independence Days Challenge:
Pretty woeful this past fortnight…
1. Plant Something:
2. Harvest Something:
1. Eggs 2. Warrigal Greens. 3. Rosemary. 4. Apple Cucumbers 5. Apples. 6. Tomatoes 7. Capsicum 8. Parsley 9. Kale for the Chooks 10. Sage 11. Thyme 12. Lime Verbena

3. Preserve Something:
4. Waste Not: 1. Ate the last of the pea soup that was in the fridge for lunch today instead of eating something else.

5. Want Not:
6.Cook Something New:
7. Manage Your Reserves: 1. Realised we have over 5KGs of brown rice to use up, which is a priority as brown rice doesn’t keep for very long. We’ve been having lots of brown rice salad lately. :)

Thermomix Recipe: Crustless Quiche

Posted in chickens, Independence Days challenge | 5 Comments

Just a quickie…

One of my year 8 boys in the poetry writing class we had yesterday: “I can’t write, Miss! Teach me how to poem!!”

Thermomix Recipe: Garlic, Feta and Olive Pull-Apart Bread.


Posted in work | 1 Comment

Skinflint Sunday: See a garden for entertainment and Inspiration.


(I have an iphone3, so the photos may be slightly fuzzy.)
When Karen came around with the garden design for my front yard, she mentioned that she was having an Open Garden weekend in Feb. Blogless Sandy and I popped along yesterday for a bit of a look. Stupidly, I didn’t take any shots of the garden as a whole, but I’ve got bits and pieces that I found interesting along the way.


She’s utilised the nature strip out the front, with a few nut trees, perennial herbs and plants and lots of bee-attracting flowers. She also has a bee hive on her roof and was selling honey as well. Her front and back gardens are utilised to the max, so it makes sense to use the nature strip out the front as well, providing the council is supportive.


It’s a very shady block of land, but she’s got lots of plants growing happily and all contributing to a really productive block.

A vertical garden. Notice the irrigation at the top? She also has an aquaponics set up, but I didn’t take a photo of that. No fish were in there as yet.


See the avocados in the tree?


She is growing the most divine grapes I’ve ever tasted. They’re a heritage Italian variety that taste like strawberries. Can you believe it? We tasted one each, and that was it. I’ve come home with grape vines. As long as the boys can keep them alive while I’m in Europe, I’ll be happy.

Lots of brick and stone paths here. That’s what I want to do… the less chance weeds have to sprout the happier I’ll be.


If you peer at the bottom of the netting, you’ll see that in the main central growing bed there’s little brick paths wending through. The netting is covering thornless blackberries.

Well… almost covering. I guess the birds and the chooks have to take a few!

I was wondering why these cages were set up a garden like this in the suburbs. They reminded me of the cages foodnstuff has made to keep the rabbits away from her plants. I was thinking that the possums over this side of town must be pretty brazen, when someone mentioned that she lets her chooks free-range. Mystery solved!

I’m SO loving this. A couple of days ago I had to chop the chook yard lemon tree back to just a stump growing out of the ground, because of these little horrors. I have no idea if it’ll even grow back, but it had to be done. Now I just have to find out how to get my hands on some of these.

Here’s the tree growing above the table and chairs in the first photo. Can you imagine just sitting out there on a summer’s evening with a glass of bubbly, then reaching up to pull an apple from the tree?

A very blurry photo of a native plant called Old Man Saltbush. (I think.) The leaves taste of salt. I also bought a couple of native pepper plants (one male, one female) so I can grow my own peppercorns. When the zombie apocalypse hits, the last thing you want to have to deal with is incorrectly seasoned meals.

And this is what taro looks like.

I came back with a lemon myrtle plant too. Karen gave a tour of the garden and she was saying that she used lemon verbena in summer for tea, while in winter when the verbena has died down she uses a leaf of lemon myrtle in a cup of boiling water. Sounds good to me.
We had a lovely time and learned a lot. Can’t wait till Europe is done and dusted and we can start putting the garden in. It’s going to be amazing.

In other news Tom23 moved out yesterday. He gave me this as a farewell gift:

Ryan20 has moved into his old room. A new stage has begun!

Thermomix recipe: Salmon, Pea and Feta Pasta

Posted in Children., Fruit trees, gardening, Quality of life, Skinflint, vegetables | 3 Comments

Apples and Rhubarb… mmm


Look what my trees made!
I also picked the apples the lorikeets were muching on and saved some that were only a little bit nibbled. I picked the first EVER stalks of rhubarb and used the sad apples in a stewed apple and rhubarb dessert. I’d forgotten how nice rhubarb is.
Amd I still have all these apples to eat. Most are Granny Smiths, with a few Pink Ladies mixed in. Nice to think that I only bought the Granny Smith tree because it was a sad crooked looking thing at Bunnings and they knocked about $10 off to get rid of it. Who’s laughing now, hey?

Thermomix Recipe: Chicken Wonton and Noodle Soup Saw a photo of this on someone’s FB page tonight… looks lovely.

Posted in Fruit trees, gardening | 3 Comments

Skinflint Sunday: Sample pots are a good way to go.


So I thought I might go with some colour on the walls of my entry hall. I’m getting a bit bored with my life and I wanted a change. I saw “Scarlett Ribbons”….

Now tell me, in what world is this colour possibly supposed to be Scarlet? Screaming Barbie-doll pink is more like it! I’m outraged, people. Outraged.

My hallway to the bedrooms and bathroom leads off the entryway. It’s on the south side of the house so it’s quite dark. I’ve always gone for light colours here but I’m going to break with tradition and go with the darker of the two sample colours. Also thinking of putting a skylight in at the darkest point of the hallway. It shouldn’t cost too much… I just want to make sure that I can stop heat from flooding into the house on those really hot 40C days in summer. The dark walls won’t ‘gloom and doom’ it if there’s more light.


And finally: naked thermomixes. Evan18 had friends around for a fire last night and when I got up all 4 bowls were in the dishwasher. They’d had dips and cocktails, I think. Noice.

Thermomix recipe: No recipe today but a blog post I enjoyed reading. Have a lovely Sunday everyone!

Posted in renovating, Skinflint | 2 Comments