A Care Package for the Grand Boys

Since the pandemic hit I have tried to avoid writing about it, but as we must live with it, it often gives us a reason for doing something.

As we entered yet another lock down in the middle of the year, we had no idea of what lay ahead.  For those of us lucky enough to live in the country, our lock downs have been much shorter than for those who are living in Melbourne.  In Melbourne it is ongoing.

When I heard that the restrictions were being increased to prevent children’s access to playgrounds, I just wanted to do something for my grandboys who were being home-schooled, and now they were no-longer permitted to go to the playground.  Continue reading

Majestic Magenta

Hmmm… I started with the title Pretty and Pink…, then thought maybe Radiant Red…!

But really I think Majestic Magenta describes the colour at the end…

A while ago we were in Melbourne for a few days to spend time with our son and his family.  This meant that I was able to visit my sister, Sonnie.  Sonnie is an amazing cook, and had just finished making a batch of her late husband’s grandmother’s pickled red cabbage, a jar of which, she had kindly set aside for us, I was so excited and very grateful.

Since then I’ve started receiving a regular delivery of fresh, mostly Gippsland grown, vegetables, and the fun thing with the vegie (Farm) box is that each week is different.  With produce that we don’t normally use, and being one who hates waste, I’ve just had to get a little creative.

After receiving red cabbage in my mystery veg box, I instantly knew what to do – I would make Grandma Martin’s Pickled Red Cabbage.  I often prepare braised red cabbage, but this time it was definitely going to be a batch of Grandma Martin’s Pickled Red Cabbage, and with my beautiful sister’s permission, I can now share the recipe with you. Continue reading

A Surprising Turn of Events…

Not long after we returned from our lengthy visit to France, I was asked to consider locating a commercial kitchen in order to cook for a local business. We thought about it, discussed the idea, and the search began. We needed a public hall with a commercial kitchen available for hire on a daily basis. It took a little while, but finally we located one just 20 minutes from our home. The next stage in the process was training. I enrolled in an appropriate course and this was done on line. Then there were council applications to be submitted and meetings/inspections held, along with a plethora of other issues to deal with, and then of course the testing of recipes and menu planning …

This week we finished our fifth cook. It has been a crazy and hectic journey, but we are now becoming far more efficient and time savvy. We are very proudly using locally produced ingredients and it is around these ingredients that our recipes are created. At this point, the beef, eggs, cheese, olive oil, and the majority of our veg are produced very close to home – within a 25 kilometer radius, and our milk is also local, but from a little further away. How lucky are we to be able to source such beautiful ingredients so very close to home.

For me, our packaging needed to be environmentally friendly, and with some advice we ended up with a beautiful product, in fact the bases are fully home compostable and the lids can be placed in your recycle bin. On top of this, I think it looks amazing.

So what are we cooking… We are preparing pre-packaged meals in single and family size, such as

Lamb Kofta in a Rich Vegetable Sauce with Handmade Gnocchi,

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Paradise Pears

When we made the tree change nearly two years ago, we brought with us 40 plus fruit trees to be planted. One of these trees is a Paradise Pear…

Now that they are all happily growing in our garden, they are still too young to produce any substantial crops, and this year the Paradise Pear has borne just two beautiful little fruit that have had me intrigued about their texture and flavour, and most of all, what I would be doing with them in the future! Continue reading

Just a little too warm!

With the temperature predicted to hit 40˚C (104˚F) no-one was looking forward to the day last Saturday. All you could do was try and be prepared. Gary had spent Friday watering the garden while I was at work, and I purchased a few ingredients with a view to making our favourite, Caesar Salad.

Saturday dawned and it soon warmed up. Gary decided he would spend the day in the garden and would follow the shade! I decided to scrub the bathroom from top to bottom, before cleaning out the larder! As the temperature peaked at 42.2˚C (108˚F) the power failed. This is not a huge issue for us as we do not have air conditioning. The only issue was that if I was going to make the Caesar Salad, it would all need to be done using the gas BBQ, because we cook on electric induction in our kitchen. I put the Caesar on hold and come up with a more simple plan B!

After lounging for some time in the pool, I ducked inside and whipped up Olivia’s Amazing Avocado Dip, grabbed a couple of kransky and sliced them up, put some sour cream into a dish and doused it liberally with some of my chilli jam. Then fired up the BBQ on the terrace to cook the cransky slices “et voilà”, a simple, light, casual dinner by the pool.

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