A stroll through the garden – October 2017

Duchess and I have decided to take you on a stroll through our garden.

It has been a dry and cold winter and we are hoping to get some spring rain sometime soon. In fact I had a grin from ear to ear one morning earlier this week as we received just a few mls – it was nice to watch and listen to the rain falling.

The garden is coming along nicely and our citrus are now happy with their new home, luckily they survived the harsh frosts, unlike many in the area.

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The Frozen Garden!

We have recently endured a spate of heavy frosts, and for us it was very cold – minus 7.6 celsius etc. The first morning I got up and wandered down to the vegie patch, before heading into the garden for the community in Stratford. As I worked in the garden there I was kicking myself for not having got up earlier and taken photos of the beauty that a frost creates. I know that it also causes devastation, but all I saw was beauty. Continue reading

A Thai Banquet – Sweet, Hot, Sour, Salty Bitter – Delicious!

While it sounds like someone has gone crazy in the kitchen, this is what Thai food is all about, balance and flavour, and there’s one thing I learned when taking a class in Thailand… That is if you need to adjust one element, you must slightly adjust other elements as well. This sounded a little strange – needs more salt? Add more salt – but also a little more sweet and sour as well!


Wat Chalong – Phuket

The combination of sweet, hot, sour, salty and bitter is wonderfully refreshing, and leaves you reaching for more. Chilli is one of the most important ingredients, providing the heat in Thai Cuisine, but there are a number of other key ingredients used to provide the balance, flavour and aroma unique to Thai food. These ingredients are fish sauce, coconut milk and cream, galangal, kaffir lime leaves, palm sugar and lemon grass.

Like many of us, the people of Thailand love to share a meal together, and a Thai banquet is the perfect way to share a meal with family and friends. There are no individual courses – Everything is placed in the middle of the table for everyone to share – a soup, a curry, a steamed or fried dish, a salad, a vegetable dish, the sauces/condiments, and rather than fried rice, a large bowl of steamed rice is served. A platter of seasonal fresh fruit makes the perfect simple and refreshing finale to such a delicious meal.

Over the next week or so, I will be sharing a number of dishes that we enjoy when we plan a Thai banquet. We hope that you enjoy the flavours and aromas of Thai cooking as much as we do. The first dish on the table is Tod Man Goong (Deep Fried Shrimp Patties).

Tod Man Goong (Thai Prawn Cakes)

These fantastic little patties, are packed full of flavour and a Thai Banquet in our home would not be complete without them.


  • 300 g green prawn meat
  • 1 egg
  • 1 clove garlic (chopped)
  • 10 g coriander (finely chopped)
  • 1 tbsp oyster sauce
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp soy sauce
  • 1/2 tsp Maggi seasoning sauce
  • 1/2 tsp sesame oil
  • 40 g breadcrumbs
  • 40 g minced pork fat or lard
  • Ground black pepper to taste
  • Sweet plum sauce (to serve)


  1. Mince the prawn meat and lard/pork fat.
  2. Combine with remaining ingredients and mix well.
  3. Form into small patties.
  4. Coat in breadcrumbs and place on try in fridge for half an hour or longer if possible.
  5. Deep fry in hot oil until golden brown.
  6. Serve hot with sweet plum sauce, separately.


  • Adapted from’Thai Country Cooking from Laguna Beach Resort’ (2002) p35.
  • You can substitute minced white fish meat for the prawns, the dish is then called Tod Man Pla.
  • These make a wonderful dish to share as part of a Thai Banquet, equally, served with a green mango or pawpaw salad, they make a delicious entree or main course.

Phang Nga Bay

We are slowly getting the Thai herbs and aromatics growing in our garden, and our Kaffir Lime is looking wonderful.

Until next time…

Happy Cooking & Bon appétit!



A Stroll Through The Vegie Patch – The End of Summer

Today I thought you might enjoy a stroll through our Vegie Patch. Lots of photos and very few words – A break from the kitchen…

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Aubergine / Egg Plant






Courgette / Zucchini

Cucumbers & Cornichon


Green Stuff

Herbs & Aromats


Other Stuff





Rhubarb from Navarre

Rock Melon

Seed Saving

The Bees



My favourite pics…

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I hope that you have enjoyed joining me on a stroll through our vegie patch.  It’s one of my favourite places to be.  Can you believe that just three months ago, we did not have a vegie patch!  I am looking forward to working and watching it through the seasons ahead.

Until next time…

Happy gardening and…

Bon appétit!



The Vegie Patch