Tag Archives: Chocolate Sponge

A little boy’s holiday

I recently took a trip to visit my beautiful 87 year old mother. She lives in a nursing home in Stawell which is a 500 plus kilometer drive from where I live. I thought it might be the perfect opportunity to take our three year old grandson, Cooper, for a little holiday, but chose not to tell her.

When I told mum that I would be visiting, I also told her that I had been making quince jelly, and slow cooking and bottling the fruit as well, because our beautiful old quince tree had been loaded – I think we picked two wheelbarrow loads! Mum loves quinces and asked if I could bring a jar of jelly and a small jar of the quinces. While the food at the nursing home is wonderful, she obviously doesn’t get the homemade treats that she used to make herself, not so long ago. Continue reading

The Joy of Cooper

Recently our gorgeous three year old grandson, Cooper came for a sleep over, I am not sure who was more excited…

Our son, Christopher and Cooper visited me at work, and we made all the purchases for the weekend ahead. I asked Chris if Cooper liked fish fingers, and he said he likes food if he can hold it. So included in our purchases where some lovely little flatty (flathead) tails, freshly in from Lakes Entrance, along with some favourites, bananas, blueberries, strawberries etc. They left with all our purchases while I continued to work for the rest of the day – Cooper was super excited about seeing his Papa.

By the time I arrived home that night, it was quite late, so we kept it very simple. A BBQ with everyone hopping in to help. Continue reading

We have a vegie patch!

It is safe to say that there has been a lot of hard work going on in the Corner Patch, particularly over the last week or so, and I can now, with much delight, tell you that the Corner Patch is now the Vegie Patch! Yes, on Monday of this week at about 6 pm we finished making the last of 12 garden beds. While we were both exhausted, we are both really pleased with the end result and all being in order, are looking forward to enjoying the fruits of our labour for many years to come. The fun now begins with planting up the beds, nurturing the seeds and seedlings into food for our kitchen and store, family and friends.

Just a recap on how we got to this stage:

  • Trees were cut down, cut up and removed.
  • Stumps were dug out
  • Plans were drawn up
  • 31 fruit trees were planted
  • A slab was put down for the garden shed
  • The garden shed was erected, and everything that belonged in it, relocated accordingly
  • Holes were dug for posts
  • Posts were purchased and concreted in
  • Holes drilled in the posts
  • Wires strained accordingly
  • An old gate that we found behind the garage was cut down and given a lick of paint before being hung.
  • Timber and pegs for the garden beds arrived
  • A bit of creative use of old posts, rescued from the pens on our family farm, before it was sold, have been put in place to stop the beautiful Duchess (border collie) from entering.
  • Careful measuring, cutting, nailing and screwing of timber into place to box each bed.
  • A mountain of soil was moved from one place to another and finally into each of the boxed beds.
  • Well rotted manure worked in
  • Seeds sown in anticipation
  • One inexpensive archway erected to train fruit trees over the entrance

Left to do:

  • Plant out the seedlings.
  • Plant seeds
  • Espaliering of the fruit trees
  • Three inexpensive archways to be erected, one more for the fruit trees over the entrance and two for the runner beans to trail up and over.

 Click here to see some of the activity leading to this point

While all of this hard work was going on, we did have a little reprieve with a visit from our son, Chris and his family, to celebrate his birthday. It was a quick visit, just one night, as they had to return home for his work. But while they were here, we enjoyed two meals together. I can tell you that seeing our little grandson, Cooper, enjoying picking strawberries, and eating blueberries straight from the bush was a real treat.

Don’t you love it when the little ones are around, it also meant we could have cake before our main course, because he had to go to bed and he made sure he got to take a bite of almost everyone’s cake – Nana’s Chocolate Cream Cake of course!

When we did get to sit down to our main meal we enjoyed the beef brisket that I had had cooking in the smoker all day – another one of the Old Fat Guy’s amazing recipes, adjusted somewhat as the brisket I had was considerably smaller than that called for in his recipe. I also slightly changed the rub, given that I did not have any onion salt – I used a combination of home made porcini mushroom salt, together with celery salt. There was plenty left over, so we were able to send a container full home with them, together with other goodies. The rest has been sliced, vac packed and frozen for quick meals when we need them.

Until next time…

Happy Gardening & Bon appétit!



The Vegie Patch

Chocolate Sponge – AKA Nana’s Chocolate Cream Cake

The Old Fat Guys Beef Brisket


The Grand Old Dame



The Magnolia Bed

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