Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Early start

Heading down to Sydney to pick things up, drop things off . . . a little concerned about the extreme weather conditions that I'm apparently going to be driving through . . .

These little snow pea sprouts growing in front off our eyes on the kitchen windowsill are making me happy.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

The little food co-op

I recently joined a small, home-based fruit and vegetable co-op. One week we receive an overflowing basket of fruit and vegies, and on the alternate week, I've chosen to get fruit only. This arrangement seems to suit our family and of course, I already have lots of tomatoes, courgettes, cucumbers, capsicums and herbs coming from the garden. 

We had many more vegetables last year, but with other work commitments and the local wildlife discovering our 'buffet', this year isn't going to be quite as bountiful. But that's okay. It's hard to do everything and I like the 'community' feel of the co-op. This afternoon I went and gave a hand sorting the produce into the baskets. It's nice to meet some different people from the area.

It's also a lovely way to bring food home and has cut down on the amount of time I need to spend in the supermarket (a very good thing!). Last week, through the co-op, I was able to purchase 1/8 of a cow!  It came straight from the farmer, who lives out near Oberon. There is a really good mix of cuts and everything was bagged up and labelled, ready to go into the freezer.  I'm looking forward to some lamb soon too.

So, with this new arrangement Thursday mornings have seen me using up some of the left over fruit in a cake of some sort. Today, I've made this plum cake, that's featured on the cover of the March Delicious magazine.

The cake is made up of three layers - a flour/butter/brown sugar one, another that is cream cheese, vanilla and a little bit of caster sugar and of course the plums. There are two layers of each one, finishing with the plums. It looks beautiful and I don't think it will last long!

Plum tray bake

Another great thing about the co-op, is that we are getting out of a bit of a food rut. Instead of buying and making the same things each week, I now look at what I already have and make something with that. This sometimes means I need to have a quick look online or through a recipe book for inspiration, but I find I am enjoying the planning and preparing of meals much more. It also means we are eating a bit more seasonally, and I really like that.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012


A new painting went up on the weekend.

It is up quite high in the family room and is probably the most abstract painting I've done.  I found it a little bit tricky to get going but then it got to a point when it started to feel right and the process became very enjoyable.

I deliberately stepped back and stopped before I normally would.  We put it up in place and decided to leave it there.  I'm happy that it doesn't look 'overworked' and still has a fresh feeling.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Like snow

Well, our crazy weather this summer continues.  Apparently it's the coldest summer since 1965, and I don't think we've had two days in a row that have been without rain!

Yesterday, an amazing hail storm swept across the mountains. Looking out of the window, as I listened to the incredible noise the stones were making on our tin roof, I thought it looked as though it had snowed.

Many plants have had their leaves shredded and the strawberry patch is a mess. All will recover though and no doubt bounce back. The same can't be said for our modem . . . lightening zapped that at the start of the storm and I had to go into town today to buy another. (A few people around here were starting to get a bit twitchy without internet connection . . .)

Please let the sun come out tomorrow.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Early morning sunshine

On Sunday morning the sun came out for the first time in quite a while.

There was lots of activity in the garden - tidying up, planting, mowing and finishing off the climbing wall project. 

The wall, outside the childrens bedrooms, consists of four panels of timber attached to the side of the house. We painted the wood a colour that blends in with the earth walls of the house and then Keith and Cal drilled many, many holes and attached bolts into each of them. This way the holds can be moved around and added to without taking the timber off the house. We will need to get a few more holds as it gets very difficult further along as the holds become less frequent!

Cal testing his rock climbing skills

(Photos by Keith)
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