A bit of work in the garden followed by a day off to make a rustic meal to share with some special visitors.

I cannot believe how fickle the weather has been, but I certainly was not going to complain when confronted with two glorious sunny days….

Gary decided to head off to my hometown (a mere 5 hours drive to get there…) to get another load of wood. I opted to stay at home and work in the garden. There is a grand old weeping rose in the garden that I am sure has not been pruned in at least a decade and it needs some TLC… The trunk of this rose is at least 15cm/6 inches in diameter, no-one can believe the size of it, and she stands tall enough that I can easily stand underneath

After Gary headed off, I set to, and spent a little more time DSC03779than I should, trying to work out a plan for the fruit trees – I think I was delaying the inevitable, but had to move the pots so I could access this “Grand Old Dame” of the garden. Anyway the jury is still out on that plan for the fruit trees. They are to be espaliered in The Corner Patch with a view to maximizing the amount of garden left to grow vegetables.

Anyway, finally with two pair of secuteurs and a small saw I went in…It is a slow tedius job and will take a few days. At the end of the day, I was a little disappointed to see the clouds coming in, but that disappointment soon led to shear delight when I was confronted by the most stunning sunset…DSC03781

The next morning, I checked the weather, and I think the weatherman was a little confused, it wasn’t supposed to be such a nice day, you know, possible shower, maybe up to 15… I went out to have a chat to our beautiful Duchess, (AKA Border Collie) and it was simply beautiful – a bit of wind, but not cold at all – in fact it was so nice, I decided to cook a simple barbeque on the terrace for our lunch. Gary arrived home mid morning with the trailer load of wood, and while I went and did the grocery shop, he set to unloading it. When I got back I got stuck in, and helped with the stacking. We enjoyed our simple lunch of tasty sausages and barbeque veg salad.

Lunch over and it was back to work on the Grand Old Dame. By the end of day 2 I was almost 2/3 of the way through, I think, and feeling somewhat like a pincushion!!!! She is not being very kind to the person who is trying to give her a new start… What I found as I went in, was that old canes had sent down roots, so have several rose brambles to deal with as well. I think she will be looking rather naked when I am done with her, but hopefully, she will come back to life in all her grandeur!

Today was a little different….

We were expecting visitors, my Aunt and Uncle, who we get our fire wood from, were on holiday with cousins in Melbourne, and they were all coming to visit us. We were very excited, as we didn’t think they would ever have the opportunity to see our new home, and I knew that my Aunt would love it. But what to cook???? I didn’t have a lot of time given that I’d been making the most of the weather and working in the garden, so we decided on


Delicious slow cooked lamb shanks

Slow Cooked Lamb Shanks with mash, and in the centre of the table we had dishes of oven roasted coloured carrots with carrot top pesto (an adaptation of my Roasted Carrot and Beetroot Salad) and broccoli dressed with lemon juice and a lovely peppery olive oil that I picked up from the farmer’s market on Saturday. In fact all the vegetables I used were from the farmer’s market, with the exception of the onion and celery.

For Dessert, a simple Cherry Clafoutis dusted with icing sugar and served with just a little double cream (the cherries were some that I had preserved during the summer).

We had a lovely time together, we walked around the garden and my Aunt believes that the work I am doing on the Grand Old Dame will bring her back to life, I am very happy. Together with Betty, we discussed roses, camellias, azeleas, gardenias, iris’s and rosemary. Finally inside, we did a tour of the house before settling into the kitchen for the rest of the visit. While we all talked, I finished off the meal and he we sat, ate and talked more. It was a great meal, lots of laughs and reminiscing, but alas, they had to return to Melbourne. We took photos and waved them off for their drive home before heading back in to finish tidying up and moving on to other things.

Oh, and my wonderful husband takes the time to read through all of my blogs and recipes before they are posted, and as we were sitting by the open fire the other night discussing my work, he mentioned to me that he did not understand some of the terms I used, and thought it might be helpful if I explained them so that people would not be put off trying my recipes.  So I have now created a “Glossary” page and if I use a term that may need some explaining, I will add a link to that page so that you can find out what it means.

Until next time…

Bon appétit!


 Slow Cooked Lamb Shanks

Cherry Clafoutis (Clafoutis aux cerises)

Roasted Carrot and Beetroot Salad with Poached Egg, Carrot Top Pesto & Dukkah


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