There will be Rhubarb & Rose Petal Jam this year!

A day in the garden is fabulous for the soul, it’s peaceful and calming, allowing time for observation, contemplation and planning.

The weather at the moment is perfect spring weather, warm days and cool nights, although we really could do with a good rain, it has been a dry winter, and the soil is showing it.   We have finished clearing and it’s now time to work on the soil, mulch and prepare for, what they are predicting will be, a hot, dry summer.  The laundry bed is done,

and the citrus bed, needs just a little more work, water and mulch so that it will be easy to maintain. Continue reading

The Great Outdoors – Foraging and Shinrin-Yoku

My dearest Gary once said that I am at my most relaxed when I am outdoors.

A month or two back I was on a mission, that mission to find somewhere where I could forage for pine mushrooms.  This meant time out with a special friend, who, I must say, I’ve had a few adventures with.  Maggie is loads of fun and loves a bit of adventure, so a date and time was set.

On the day, I met Maggie at hers, transferred my baskets to her truck and we headed off, chatting, laughing, catching up and looking for a suitable place to forage.  Many plantations were off limits due to logging, but when we had almost given up, the last one on the list was logging free.  She parked the truck, we gathered our tools (baskets and knives, and entered the edge of the plantation.  As we collected our bounty of mushrooms and pine cones we both found ourselves becoming more and more relaxed in our surrounds, wandering off in different directions, and coming together again, this led us to chatting about forest bathing and the benefits afforded by such a simple pastime.

I was a little surprised to hear that Maggie had never foraged for mushrooms and wasn’t game to try the ones that I had collected. But that was Ok, I brought them all home and cooked, pickled and dehydrated them, Mushroom Bourguinon anyone?

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Evil Pigs, Rocky Road and Crazy Critters!

It is school holidays and we’ve had a visitor – our gorgeous grandson, Cooper, which meant it was time to cook with Granny, play chess with Papa, and this time, there was also a little piano lesson too!

We only had 48 hours, but we managed to pack a lot in.  Cooper had a list of what we needed to cook:

A major search to find the Rocky Road recipe, but more about that later, then he wrote up the shopping list.  A trip to the supermarket and home via my favourite book shop – The Book Shoppe, where I was delighted to hear him asking Janene about his favourite authors.  Yes, there was also time for reading in between everything else!

Back at home, and decked out in Chef’s Whites, Cooper was ready to get to work!  When it come to the meringues – last time we made Evil Pig meringues, I thought that they looked rather sinister, so didn’t even mention them.  Instead I asked Cooper what colour the meringue shoud be.  His answer – purple!  With blue and rose pink colouring at hand, I took a portion of the meringue and began mixing in the colour.  It was then that Cooper suggested that we should make evil pigs again, so we ditched the idea of making the meringue purple, and the Evil Pigs made a return!  After a little more chit chat (and there was plenty of that), this time, we also made crazy critters, aka porcupines.  They were put in the oven and the waiting began – how frustrating that even though they were cooked, they still couldn’t come out of the oven until they were totally cooled! Continue reading

Sisters in the Garden…

Back in March my sisters, Sonnie and Jan visited, you might say we were a little excited.

The day that they were to arrive, the phone started buzzing with text messages advising of their respective departures, Sonnie had a 2.5 hour drive, Jan had a 6 plus hour drive.  We received updates letting us know where they were, something that we do to make sure everyone is traveling safely.

Sonnie arrived first, with Jan arriving a few hours later.  Bags were taken to their rooms, cups of tea enjoyed, and the talking began.  The day they arrived there was to be a street parade, in existence since 1957, the aim of the Maffra Mardi Gras is to give community groups in Maffra, and throughout Wellington Shire, the opportunity to raise funds for their organisation.  Culminating in a family-friendly evening with a street parade, marching bands and floats, market and food stalls, entertainment for all ages and a lot of fun!  This years’ theme was “the circus” and local trucking companies provided the mobile platforms for local schools and community groups to join in the parade.

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it was quite a warm day, so with the parade scheduled for 6pm, it was perfect!   We found our place along the street, and we couldn’t wipe the smile from our faces.

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