Sunny Side Up Sunday

Hello Dear Reader,

Today I am grateful for the wisdom of my Dad. I don't often mention him on the blog, a fact that was pointed out a little while ago by a lovely friend and co-worker. He was a beautiful kind man with a big, soft heart. Both him and Mum found each other later in life and had my sister and I in their late 30's. Dad was firm but fair and an all round lovely man. He passed away when I was 26 from Viral Cardiomyopathy and I miss him everyday.

He had thoughts and philosophies that have stuck with me over the years, like-

Look after your feet
Your health is your wealth
The best drink is water
Go fishing and eat fish
Take care of your belongings
Early morning is the best time of the day
Take pride in your home
A place for everything and everything in its place
Make things last
Family comes first
Talk with someone not to them
Be active, walk, ride and swim when you can
Eat at home
Be humble
A hards days work never hurt anyone
If you are naughty there will be repercussions

I am sure there are many more, but that is all I can think of at the moment.

Join in, what "Dadism's" do you remember from your Dad?

Have a lovely Sunday,

One Year Ago-Rosella Tea
Two Years Ago-This Weeks 5 Frugal Things on a Friday

What we bought, spent and ate this week

Hello Dear Reader,

And welcome weekend, I think about you all week long! This weekend I want to-

-Brew another batch of Kombucha, this was yesterday brew after I drained and sieved it, its nice and sweet with a soft bubbles.

-Catch up with the washing
-Take some more boxes of donations from next door, down to Life Line and do some more sorting
-Hand Wash the new dress I ordered for our upcoming holiday, it arrived and it fits like a glove
-While I am at Life Line I want to look for a half slip or petticoat as the new dress is a little see-through.
-Make a loaf of bread, I think I will make a "5 minute, Like Sourdough" loaf and bake it tomorrow morning
-Do some quilting
-Tidy the pantry, it is so messy
-Do a quick tidy of the house, during the week some areas become dumping grounds and get overlooked and messy

That should keep me out of mischief for a while!

Now on with what we bought, spent and ate this week-

What we bought
Shopping from Marjax Meats and the Northside Discount Fruit Barn

Shopping from Aldi

What we spent
Marjax Meats-$19.25
Northside Discount Fruit Barn-$39.33

TOTAL-$103.64, YESSS! way under
What we ate
Friday-Leftovers, Lovely Hubby had leftover Smoked Salmon and Asparagus Penne

And I had left over Veggie Shepherds Pie

Saturday and Sunday-Pumpkin, Lentil and Spinach Curry with steamed Basmati rice and Papadums

Monday-Our last packet of Whiting, in Tempura with steamed Basmati rice and Bok Choy

Tuesday and Wednesday-Mulligatawny with home made Naan bread

Thursday-Easy Chicken and Pumpkin Tikka Marsala with steamed Basmati rice and Papadums

So that was my week in food, what was on your family table this week? Click the speech bubble at the end of this post to add your comment.

Have a great weekend

This Weeks 5 Frugal Things on a Friday

Hello Dear Reader,

I had a great week, full of frugal fun and finds. I went to the local Op shops on Saturday to have a browse at some clothes for my upcoming holiday. This is what I scored:

3 x 3/4 sleeved tops in various weights, 1 x cardigan, 3 x pairs skinny leg jeans/trousers, in total I paid $33 for these 7 items averaging $4.70 an item. 

Other frugal fun this week involved this-

1. My bike basket has seen better days. The plastic coating on the basket had cracked and the wire underneath was looking quite rusty. So I removed the cracked plastic coating, took to the basket with a wire brush to remove the surface rust and then sprayed it with "Killrust" paint in white. It now looks like brand new and as the spray paint was already at home there was no outlay of money

2. Struck a cutting off my Fiddle Leaf Fig, I grew this Fig from a tiny seedling that I "appropriated" from a place we stayed at a few years ago for our 29th Wedding Anniversary. It has grown into such a healthy, tall plant and I have always wanted a second one without paying a fortune for it. Here's hoping the cutting takes. 

I choose a good sized shoot, cut it with clean secateurs, dipped the cut end in some honey and then put it straight in some potting mix

3. Potted on a tiny Passionfruit seedling that came up in the gravel next to one of our Golden Cane gardens. It's worth a go, I might get another free Passionfruit vine to give away. I did the same thing a few years ago and now my sister has a passionfruit vine clambering up her fence for free. 

4. Froze down some left over tomato paste that the kids (not kids really, but no matter how old they are, they'll always be your kids) used when making homemade Pizzas for themselves last Friday. The individual ice cube holes, hold exactly 1 tablespoon of tomato paste, how great is that? Once frozen I just pop them out into a container, ready for when I need just a couple of tablespoons of tomato paste.

5. Made some Naan bread, using ingredients already at home, to have with a wonderful warming Mulligatawny soup, it is such a simple recipe and so super yummy, I made them two nights in a row! Both soup and Naan bread recipes coming soon.

What did you do this week to save money?

Have a lovely day,

Two Years Ago-What we ate this week

Slow Roasted Boned Shoulder of Lamb with Garlic, Lemon and Anchovy

Hello Dear Reader,

I made this magnificent slowly roasted, shoulder of lamb for Easter, a few weeks back now, and it was totally divine. Please don't be afraid of the anchovies, I promise there is not a hint of fishy flavour, rather a deep, warm, saltiness that works beautifully with the lemon and garlic. I asked my butcher to bone out the shoulder for ease and because it is then roughly the same width throughout, it cooks more evenly. After slow cooking it for 3 hours, it was fall apart tender, with such a wonderful flavour throughout.

I have to say though, the marinade is not such a wonderful colour and really doesn't look great going into the oven but it will be burnished and golden when it has finished it's long slow roast. The edges will catch a little because of the honey but it all adds to the final flavour.

I was totally delighted when I posted the idea of the recipe on Nigella's Instagram and received a response from Queen Nigella, it absolutely made my day. As you may know by now, I just love this beautiful lady, the way she cooks and the way she writes about her love of cooking and eating. She is my inspiration.

Now on with the recipe-

Ingredients for Slow Roasted Boned Lamb Shoulder with Garlic, Lemon and Anchovy, clockwise from right- 2 tablespoons oil, 1 tablespoon Dijon, 5 cloves of garlic, grated on a microplane, zest and juice of one lemon, 8 anchovy fillets, salt and pepper to taste, 1 tablespoon Balsamic vinegar and the boned shoulder of lamb. Mine weighed in at just under 2 Kg's.

In a jug or food processor bowl combine all marinade ingredients 

And blitz until smooth, see, not such a wonderful colour

Pour and scrape the marinade over the boned shoulder of lamb and massage into all the little nooks and crannies. Marinate for a couple of hours if time permits

Pre-heat oven to 150 C, place marinated lamb in a roasting pan, drizzle with a little honey and then add a 1/4 cup of water to the roasting pan

Roast for 1 1/2 hours

Then remove from oven, cover with foil and pop it back into the oven for another 1 1/2 hours

Remove from oven, let rest with foil on, until ready to carve

Meltingly tender with a most wonderful flavour and aroma. The honey causes it to "catch" just a little, adding to the already fabulous flavour

Over to you, what is your fav roast?

Have a lovely day

One Year Ago-Slow Roasted Tomatoes

So Disheartened

Hello Dear Reader,

What is this rubbish? Haven't we got enough plastic rubbish on this earth? I have never seen such S#%T in all my life. I saw the ad the other night when I was watching some rare night time TV, I am a sucker for the movie " School of Rock" and this ad came on a few times during the movie (aimed at kids obviously) and straight away I thought "what on earth" and "what a load of rubbish". Just more single use plastic rubbish for our poor earth to deal (or not deal) with.

I don't often rant and carry on like this, but stupid toys like this make me so mad. I try to reduce my reliance on single use plastics in and around my home, but with plastic rubbish like this on the market, it makes what I do seem so insignificant. I take responsibility for the plastic that comes into my home by recycling what I can, but as I am not in contact with young children a lot, the fact that most of their toys are plastic, never really crossed my mind until that ad. More plastic rubbish that will end up in landfill, never to go away, destined to be on our fragile earth forever.

I know I am out of the loop, but am I the only one that thinks "toys" like this are complete and utter rubbish!

Rant over! Let me know how you feel about toys like these.

Have a lovely day

                          Almond, Cinnamon and Almond Cake

Here and Now 8

Hello Dear Reader,

I almost forgot this wonderful "Here and Now" link up, so today I will be doing a second post. I love reading what everyone else has been up to and it gives me a feeling of being connected and supported. As I have mentioned before I feel that being involved in the Here and Now link up, for me, is a form of mindfulness and I really enjoy the experience of evoking thoughts to the simple questions.

Loving//the slightly cooler days, I am so over the heat

Eating//A wonderful Quinoa Salad for lunch most days

Drinking//My own Kombucha, my lovely Hairdresser gave me a very generous SCOBY and I have already brewed two batches in two weeks. The first one was made with Sencha Tea and the currant one has been brewed with Lightly Smoked Orange Pekoe and is the most amazing colour in the sunlight. I have been enjoying a cool glass of Kombucha every morning while I blog

Feeling//happy that I have made a start on sorting out my late Mother-in Laws home (next door to us). It will be a huge job, but now that I have an approximate date when our Son and his Partner would like to move in, it has given me more impetus to get thing done

A selection of teas from next door, that I gave away on Gumtree, my late in-laws were huge tea drinkers. Tip of the iceberg really.

Making//a lovely Banoffee Pie with two slightly over ripe bananas and a tin of own brand condensed milk, made into Dulce de Leche in the slow cooker

Thinking//how very quickly this year is going by, hello middle of April

Dreaming//still dreaming of a tiny home in my future, some day

Why don't you pop on over to lovely Sarah blog "Say Little Hen" and read the other "Here and Now" link ups.


Future Plans for the Garden

Hello Dear Reader,

Two empty pots that once held Pineapple plants, I have left them there to deter the dogs from digging

I have slowly been winding my garden down, as a plant finishes (or dies back) I haven't been replacing it. I still have quite a lot of big plants in pots, like my fruit trees and such but the collection of smaller pots of herbs are getting smaller. The reason behind this, is that we want to rebuilt the garden from the ground up. Firstly we will remove the 6 Golden Cane Palms that have well and truly taken over, not they don't look lovely, you just can't plant underneath or around them. We then want to replace the fence, as it has warped and is showing it's age and replace it with a heavy duty fence where the bottom half will be a retaining wall and the top half a colourbond fence.

After these two very big jobs are done, we then want to build 4 to 6 large raised veggie garden beds out of treated timber or this idea, along the fence line incorporating the potted fruit trees to get them out of their pots and to give them some more room to grow. The idea behind the garden beds is that I want to do crop rotation to limit or stop the long list of pests and disease that my garden has always seem to be plagued with.

Two sick baby Pomegranates that I cut off the tree, on Sunday, this has happened before and the answer to this problem lies in spasmodic watering. I seem to let the pot dry our too much before swamping it with a good watering. 

I want an abundant, edible garden like the one I see every Sunday on Gardening Australia as well as on Brandy's blog-The Prudent Homemaker. I want to limit pests and disease in my garden and from what I have been reading over the years, crop rotation is the way to go. The raised garden beds will need to be at least 60 cm high due to the little dogs (they are diggers) and because of the size of the root balls of the established fruit trees.

My Veggie garden. This is my only patch of earth, everything else is in pots. At the back is a Lime tree, the Red Paw Paw tree I grew from seed, an expansive Rosemary bush, my $5 compost bin and to the left is a very healthy Sweet Potato vine, I have already harvested a couple of Sweet Potatoes from it. 

This plan is still in its infancy, but as we have learnt over the years if you don't plan you don't do. So with summer out of the way and some cooler weather finally starting to occur we will be planning and doing as much as we can in the next few months. So that when Spring is here I hope to be planting up in my new raised gardens.

You can see the stack of empty pots to the right of the picture. In this shot you can see a pot of parsley, chillies, spring onions and a young tomato plant that came up by itself next to the pot in the gravel so I dug it out and repotted it. The amazing Passionfruit vine has started flowering and fruiting again. 

I have 4 pots of these Lantern Chillies and they are all bearing well, I can see another batch of this Chilli Jam in the near future

A much healthier specimen of Pomegranate, lets see if this one make it. I am sure if this Pomegranate was in the ground it would be much happier

My 3 favourite trees-Lemon Myrtle at the back, Lemon tree and my rescued Fig tree at the front

My garden helper, this is Lulu (she's the Mum), she never leaves my side when I am in the garden, such a sweet girl

Over to you, have you ever started a-fresh with a difficult garden? What would be your best advice?

Have a lovely day,

One Year Ago-Here and Now 1
Back to Top