Author Archives for sbaskitchen

My Morning Commute…

I love my morning commute – I cannot believe how lucky that I am to be driving the country roads, as I head out early in the morning to collect the produce required for our weekly cook.  The only problem is that nature often stops me in my tracks, quite literally!  I tend to drive the back roads, and have now taken to carrying my camera with me to try and capture natures beauty.

The morning light, the morning fog, the morning frost, the morning rainbow…  My Morning Commute #12

Today I almost stopped to take a photo of a puddle, but decided to keep going.  Wish I had stopped to take a photo of the puddle.

I often find myself smiling as I drive, thinking of the lifestyle change we have made.  Who would have thought that this ex-(city) secretary, is now cooking food for a local cafe, providing catering for meetings and even supplying a local farm gate with product.

This is where I live, and this is my morning commute, no traffic lights, almost no traffic, though occasionally stopping to allow the cows to cross the road, and of course, often stopping to take in nature’s beauty..

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Until next time…

Caricature

Gifts from a Neglected Garden

The last twelve months have been nothing short of chaotic, resulting in so many things being neglected, one of which is our garden. The vegie patch was overrun with weeds and I felt that I wasn’t getting the produce that I should from it, given that I didn’t have time to care for the soil, plant out all the seeds and seedlings that I had planned to, etc.

I had planted some sweet potato slips in late spring/early summer and they took over, neglecting to climb the wire that I had set up in preference to rambling all over the footpaths and garden beds. I eventually got so frustrated with the mess that, about a month ago, I decided it was time to pull them out, telling myself that I would never to grow them again. I had planted one little row, about one meter, or a tad over 3 feet long. What a surprise when I started digging down. My neglected garden had provided us with a lovely basket full (almost 4 kilograms / 8 lbs) of beautiful tubers destined for our kitchen.

The tomatoes did not do as well as they should, but it appears that it was not the season for tomatoes for most that I spoke to (it was a very harsh summer), however we had enough for everyday use and for making the annual batch of tomato sauce, a much sought after family favourite. The pumpkin vines that I had growing up archways provided a few fruit and the beans were plentiful resulting in a well stocked freezer.

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Persimmons from the Blue Mountains

A recent trip to visit family and friends provided us with the opportunity for a brief stay in the Blue Mountains in New South Wales. This was my first visit, and nothing could have prepared me for the majestic beauty that Mother Nature had created. As we walked to the viewing area from our car, I was in awe of what was before me – the size, the beauty, the colours… I had heard of the “Three Sisters” and now here they were before me in all their glorious, natural splendor.

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Apricot and Lavender Jam & Beautiful Memories of La Cascade de Saintonge

I have been struggling to know what to write about since my last post, but recently the inspiration arrived in a couple of plastic bags handed to me by a fellow volunteer at Segue.  When I looked inside I was initially delighted to see apricots, however, upon closer inspection, it was apparent that they were very ordinary looking apricots.

Arriving back home, I walked into the kitchen and put the bags on the kitchen bench while I got on with my work.  It was as I worked that it occurred to me I had been handed the inspiration I needed to write this blog, and also what I needed to do to turn the ugly apricots into little pots of deliciousness.

I would make Apricot and Lavender Jam!

With no French lavender growing in my garden, I needed to try and find some, I knew there was a little over at Segue, so hopped into the car and drove over to check it out.  But there were only a few tiny sprigs, simply not enough.  Later that evening I picked up my phone and sent a couple of quick messages to ask if anyone had French Lavender that I could use in cooking…  Bingo!  The same volunteer who had handed me the apricots, had French lavender growing in her garden.

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Recycle, Reuse, Repurpose!

I’m always on the lookout for new bits and pieces for the garden, not necessarily always plants though. I recently picked up an old patio chair that someone no longer had any use for and had thrown away. I think that Gary thought that I had lost the plot!!! The old chair had plastic straps across the seat which weren’t really strong enough for what I wanted, so Gary replaced them with metal strips. Then armed with a spray can of metal undercoat and a pot of very pretty blue paint, I got to work transforming the dull old grey chair into a piece for the garden. I love the final result and can’t wait for the ivy geranium to get growing and mingle in and out of the pretty blue structure. On the same outing I also managed to get a small broken base of a metal table that has been turned upside down and secured in the raspberry patch – it is holding a little pot ready to be planted up – and then there was the rack from an old golf buggy that I have pushed into the ground and placed an old baking dish filled with stones on, and then topped it with a pot of strawberries – What a wonderful treasure hunt…

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