I couldn’t resist this little fellow when I saw him in the nursery in Glenhuntly. I’ve been eyeing off their artworks for a while but there seemed to be not a lot of work put in for the money being asked. Then I saw Shaun and his Mum and Dad. My heart keeled over and I fell in love.
At the moment he’s munching on the pineapple sage, but I’m sure he’ll move around as the fancy takes me. I brought him into work and got the year 7s to write a story where he was the protagonist. Those kids live in a weirdly violent imaginative world. You wouldn’t credit what that sheep got up to.
I haven’t posted for a while because it’s been pretty busy in the Frogdancer household. Last week the thermomix 12 months interest-free deal started, so the pace of everything has picked up incredibly, as I’m sure you could imagine. I’m also interviewing quite a few people who are interested in finding out more about jumping on board. (Hey! The more, the merrier, I say!) I heard a set of figures a couple of weeks ago that are really amazing. There are 100,000 thermomix owners in Australia and New Zealand. 50,000 of them bought in the last 18 months. We have 7.1 million households in Australia, so the potential for even more growth is HUGE. Currently we’re running at around 27% growth since this time last year. (Actually, it’s almost certainly a couple of percentage points higher, but I’m being conservative.) Seriously, if you want to take advantage of the interest free deal, or you’d like to do what I’m doing and have your own business, then you know where to find me. Hint: the contact page at the top…
Sorry about the advertorial, but I’d rather you guys knew about the good things on offer than if you didn’t. I like you!
Now back to our regularly scheduled programming.
Here’s a photo of Disney the Lavender Araucana chook, or as she’s now called – Mrs Cranky-Pants. It’s funny how some chooks have such definite personalities, while others just blend in with the flock. Mrs Cranky-Pants carries on like a hormonal year 9 girl. It’s complain about this, whinge about that…. Yet she’s the one who lays the blue eggs so I put up with the nagging.
Another thing the chooks are good for is producing fertiliser. This shot’s for Bek. When I was delivering her Mum’s thermomix we did the cooking demo, then we went out into the garden. (Incidentally, I love this part about delivering thermomixes to blog readers. we all have things in common, otherwise you would never have found me. I’ve seen magnificent knitting, wonderful quilting and the most excellent veggie gardens. There so many talented people in the interwebs. It’s fantastic!) Anyway, Bek’s Mum asked me to taste some sorrel that she had growing in a big clump in the garden, after I said I had some French sorrel in a pot that was too bitter to do anything with, but which looked pretty.
This sorrel was amazing! I could’ve grazed quite happily on the whole clump. So Claudia gave me a little pot that she dug out of the soil and a recipe for sorrel soup. I brought it home and it stayed in the little pot until the beginning of the school holidays. I put it into a really big pot (with a view to putting it into a wicking pot if I ever get those holes drilled) and I put a whole heap of old chook sweepings from their coop in just below the rootline. Somehow I think the sorrel has found it. It looks lush and oh so happy.
A year or so ago I pinched two HUGE empty olive oil tins from the back of a deli and planted parsley plants that Blogless Sandy gave me. They eventually went to seed, but not before taking their part in over 100 herb and garlic dips at demos. Grow your own herbs, people!! It’ll save you a fortune! Every time I walked past the pots to go to the bin, I’d strip off any seed heads and scatter them into the pots, hoping some would grow. I have the parsley that was brought from Italy 70 years ago growng in another patch of the garden under a lemon tree, but I wanted to keep Blogless Sandy’s parsley going too. Call me sentimental…
Trouble is, I may have been a bit too enthusiastic with the scattering. The rhubarb in the wicking pot next to them seems to have spawned some love children.
As foodnstuff requested, here is a shot of the tubs I’ve been using for my wicking boxes. This is the Bunnings mint, named after the place I bought the most pungent peppermint I’ve ever tasted. I’ve been cutting this back and drying it for peppermint tea, but it just keeps sprouting more. I love these wicking boxes! When I eventually find someone who has a drill, I’ll be having a box of Basil mint, Spearmint and Digger’s mint as well as the Bunnings mint. I’ll get rich on the savings from never having to buy peppermint teabags again. Whoopee!
By the way, look at the play of morning light on the peppermint. That was totally deliberate. No lucky shots with this photographer, oh dear me no!
This last shot is something I’m particularly proud of. My wheelbarrow.
Mick from the Gardening club had a wheelbarrow filled with flowers in his backyard and it looked pretty, so when I found a rusty old wheelbarrow at a garage sale a couple of streets away Evan16 and I squeaked it all the way home and Mick drilled some holes in the bottom and I planted things in it.
But nothing wanted to grow. The soil is particularly shallow and it dried out very quickly, so the first few seasons were ugly. Instead of people coming onto the front porch and sighing with delight at the pretty picture, they’d screw up their mouths with disgust and hurry on by so they didn’t have to look at it.
In desperation, I decided to divide up a clump of lemongrass and just shove bits in there. I had cornflowers that sort of grew so I let them self seed. I put some pansies in there, made the sign of the cross over them and at the last minute, scattered the rest of Shane’s marigold seeds in there, figuring that marigolds can grow anywhere, so it’s worth a gamble.
It looks great now… green and full of life, while in a couple of weeks when the marigolds flower it’s going to look even better with the spots of colour through it. There’s a couple of basil seedlings that have struggled through summer but are now looking happier and there’s even a brocoli seedling in there. (I don’t know how that happened, but I don’t like its chances…) The lemongrass absolutely loves it in there, so all in all it’s worked well.
Today the plan is to make some spearmint soap, get the boys out into the jungle that once used to be my front yard and to make enough biscuit dough to freeze for the week so I’m not getting up at the crack of dawn to make the boys things to take to school. Must be more organised!!! I also want to make another zucchini, walnut and cranberry cake for me to cut up and freeze for morning recess schnacks. It is seriously delectable, people. If you haven’t already made it, give it a go. Those of you without a thermi can go and buy almond meal and make it. I dare you. It’s amazing.
Thermomix recipes: Thai Sweet Potato Soup. There’s no reason why you couldn’t substitute pumpkin if you wanted.
Here’s another one , because it’s been a long time between posts. I love this next one not only for the recipe but also for the part at the end where she talks about how to convert your favourite recipes into the thermomix. We met up in Hong Kong and had a mini blog-meet , which was fun. I just love blogging!