...Homemade Rainbows...

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

procrastinating... again

This morning was cold.
Windy and brisk.
But not quite brisk enough to see me lose the thongs today. I'm not a shoe lover, me. And it takes quite a decent amount of chill to see me don them. It's one of the things I'm grateful for about Australian Winters up here. Perfect for the casual non fuss don't hole me in kinda gal.
But aside, after morning school drop off today, and still flapping around in the flip flops, I found myself heading out as usual with a steaming fresh brew and a recipe book under my arm to my new *perch* in the garden. I'm starting to feel like there's something missing if I haven't ritually *taken my tea* in the garden before I really start my day you know? It's like that deep breath, splash your face with cold water awakening... and sometimes steadying.
On cold mornings like this I find myself coaxed further from my usual stoop to follow the sun which touches now in its warmest giving on the steps of the cubby house at the very back of the garden.
From this warmest of high posts I can look down on the garden and still plan my doings... and plantings and pickings of course.... and chat to the girls right next to me as I sip, while the hot steam condenses on my nose and the sun seems to magically fix itself to my skin all the way through those layers of clothes.
The plan today was to finish an assignment I should be working on straight after the last drip of my tea. But as I sat drifting in that intoxicated blissful sunned state, my vague scrutiny of the edible greens passing before my eyes, the heavy enduring line of chokos across my fence caught my attention again...and again. After all it was recipes of preserves I had that favourite of all recipe books under my arm for... though just not exactly for today.
But alas procrastination wins out again...
or maybe it's the need to not let any of my gardens yields go to waste?
Either way that assignment was (somewhat guiltily) put on the burner for tomorrow.
So with warmed toes and a tea filled belly I headed back indoors for a spell, my jumper quickly converted to a carryall and sinking from the weight of freshly picked fruit to boil jars and bubble chutney over the stove instead.
Well at least I'm a productive procrastinator.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

oranges and lemons....

the bells of St Clements...
I keep finding I'm singing this to myself lately.
Winter is definitely all about citrus.
And winter is also all about warm desserts.
You know helping you add that extra unwanted layer for warmth over the cooler months? Hmm.
Well this year, even though it's still not quite officially Winter yet, I've been blessed with picking my own citrus from the backyard. Finally. My first real lemon harvest and my first ever oranges.
A small modest harvest, yes.
A little seedy, yes.
But super sweet and *real* tasting, oh yes.
Am I a bit chuffed? Yes indeed!
And for me Winter citrus just has to be turned into a warm citrus delicious. Aside from a rustic apple crumble it's my next favourite cold night dessert. A creamy warm tangy self saucing pud with the lightest spongy meringue top. So so good with a hot aromatic cuppa.
So good indeed I've made it twice this week already.
So what's helping you layer your bones for warmth this season?

Monday, May 16, 2011

chayote truths

Casseroled... (is that a word?)
and my new favourite Stir Fried with garlic and a smidge (now that's too cute not to be a word) of cumin. Yum.

My side fence is literally abuzz with bees.... which is exciting enough in itself... but when they are pollinating and helping my garden produce masses, and that is no exaggeration, of chokos it's kind of inhale, settle the warm fuzzy nerdy gardener tummy, and enter grin really grin territory here for me this Autumn.

OK I'm just a little overrun. And the girls at work have all had verbal lessons in preparing my giveaways. But I still have plenty of recipes and prep methods I'm excited about and yet to try out.
I'm really loving their homeliness right now and am honestly finding them most delicious. Maybe it's because of their homegrown stature? Certainly not because of any unfortunate choko reputation.
In fact the only reputation I do believe is their complete willingness to take over the garden and perhaps bury you under an abundance of green pear shaped fruits. I simply won't listen to any talk about them being boring or goodness forbid *yukky*....
and that's my not so ugly chayote truth.
Honest you can read more here if you're a disbeliever.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

plus one

Mothers Day this Sunday just past saw me sharing in the very essence of being a Mother...
the birth of a precious wee baby girl.
Plus one into the arms of our family fold.
Number one for my sister and her husband.

I've been wanting and trying to write this post for days,
but waiting for my beloved sister to share her news first...
and then waiting for the right words to come.
They still haven't.

Was it because it was the first birth, other than that of my own children, that I've attended?
Was it because it was my sister birthing and my niece being birthed?
Was it because of the concurrence of the day and the act?
Or just the miracle of delivering life into the world... this feeble sentimental statement being the very reason I spent so long unsuccessfully searching for the elusive right words for this post.
But whatever the reason for my awe and amazement and the complete euphoria of my experience....
the power of standing with my own mother, beside my sister and her husband as they became parents on mothers day, was palpable.
I breathed with her
and massaged her.
I encouraged her
and reassured her.
I held her
and swayed with her.
I tried to meld all my strength with her
and let my knuckles turn white with hers.
Amazingly I laughed with her
and of course I shed tears with her.
But there was only one thing aside from her pain that I wanted to take just a little bit of... and that was her strength and courage...and later pure joy. We could all do with some of that.

So welcome to motherhood my sister.
And welcome earth side little April Ruth.
We've been waiting for your plus one.
How we are going to cherish you so...
and how I am going to cherish the sweet gift of sharing in your arrival.

Friday, May 6, 2011

preserving autumn

The last minute risky decision to sow my final few rosella seeds in the Summer garden has proved most fruitful this Autumn...
by way of blossom, fruit and jam for our chilly morning toast.
And even though the Autumn shade is encroaching on the garden... a little more than my green fingers would like... my bushes are continuing on with perfect bleeding throated blooms and fleshy finger staining calyxes.
There will be more peeling to be done on the deck... stirring over the stove and steaming thick red liquid locked in glass jars to make that sweet popping sound of a successfully preserved Autumn.