Sunday, 26 February 2012

The Queen Of Golden

and the green, green grass of summer!
Our paddocks & hillsides are still verdant, a most peculiar state of affairs.
 I do know that it is in fact late summer as the golden queen peaches have arrived, along with the omega plums & naked ladies in the garden. As I was contemplating these seasonal visitors, I wondered to myself just how long golden queens have been around for? As I recall, everyone used to bottle back in the day (when I was a child) 20lb or 40lb cases at a time.
 I made two discoveries through my pondering. The first, that we have a New Zealand encyclopedia called TeAra & the second that, 
"The Golden Queen is reputed to have first been grown in New Zealand in the garden of a Mrs Reeves in Tauranga. Velvety skinned peaches were once popular for bottling."
Now would you just look at that...and me being a Mrs Reeves & all!
 It is time to gather some firewood..well have delivered. Bit of splitting to do but it's lovely wood. Old man pine they call it.
 The cranberries are ripening up nicely but won't last long as they are right near my washing line & smell so enticing. They are known as the New Zealand cranberry on occasion & also "Mrytus Ugni"...not sure that is quite the right title for a successful marketing ploy, however.
 In my fossicking around this week I found this oil pouring can & the butter yellow handled knife or implement sharpener. The little chap was an excellent find considering we have a master sharpener in the house presently. What a huge difference it makes to have properly sharpened knives. Anyone fancy borrowing The Boy?
Rob discovered the wee green clock amidst the abundance & fluff of a stall at The Bazaar on saturday morning.
 Apparently our local SPCA is in dire financial strife & may not be able to continue past the end of the month so I am more than happy to support their new op shop just down the road..which is where I found the green teapot. I feel that my macadamia nut cracking hammer might like to reside along with other useful implements in the oil can.
 If you can find macadamia nuts in their shells they are fun to crack & so much cheaper to buy. Being a little skittery & on the fiddly side is a good thing...stops you eating too many at once.
 I thought that this was a perfect addition to the kids book shelf in the sunroom. I just can't help feeling a little queasy though looking at all those screeds of hose...rather reminded me of intestines, ok saghetti then!
 I love the look on the dog's face.
 Oh yes, found a Sanderson cushion at the Bazaar. The inner is filled with duck down.
 I have been making kefir for quite a few months now. No, I hadn't heard of it before either. It is the easiest thing in the world to make & I like it a lot more than yoghurt. Turkish in origin I believe..well not mine obviously. I began with a powdered starter from the organics shop, but now, just make the next batch from the last one.
 Just pour the milk in to the clean jar, add a tablespoon from the last jar, cover & leave on the bench till the next day...done! Pop in the fridge. Kefir is packed with really helpful bacteria & has a much softer, more digestible curd than yoghurt.
 When I bought some fish during the week I noticed a bag of very cheap fish heads & bits. I have never actually made fish stock before so I decided to follow the motto from the "Origin Earth " people at the Farmers' Market
"Try something that scares you everyday" & I bought the bag of fish...heads. Eeew eyeballs & all.
Next, I stopped in at the library to return some books, had a quick check through the just returned shelves & noticed "The River Cottage Fish Book." I opened to a page & what should I read , but how to make fish stock..only took half an hour & didn't smell too fishy either.
My other grand find was "Grow Your own Drugs...a year with James Wong."
David & I are plotting all kinds of concoctions from this wonderfully inspiring book.
 I have had so many people asking for more Luisa plums..never seen them before.. bit scary to some people. But once tried best loved.
 One old dear asked Rob, "What are they liked stewed?" He wasn't too sure on that one so I thought I'd better have a go...what astonishing colours. Quite unexpectedly tangy I must say, but wow what a plum for jam!
You might have noticed these little coconut balls peeking out of a little container a wee way back. I am learning to use organic coconut oil. In that journey I came across a great little recipe which you can find just here if you're interested.
 I have a sneaking suspicion that this isn't a children's book that I bought the other day. Perhaps best not read it to my nephew, but thought you might enjoy a couple of excerpts, even if you don't love cats.


  Have a wonderfully tiddily week.
Lovely to see you.
MUCH
 ♥♥♥♥♥

Saturday, 18 February 2012

Wings and Ripped Sheets

Creativity is a funny old thing.
Especially free-flow, make-it-up-as-you-go-along kind of creative.
I adore the atmosphere that bunting evokes
..the this is a celebration & a special kind of day feeling.
I have been inventing other forms of bunting & decided that a birthday bunting would be fun.
I got to here. I need to find some more velvet ribbon, I think to go in it.
It is a good start because I love it & you know how important that is when you are creating...you have to love it or else it goes in the back of the cupboard or out the door.
I am waiting on the next step...I'm sure it's coming any time soon...
Making stuff & giving new life & purpose to the work of others that comes from another time & era is a rewarding past time which has the happy side effect of making you extra appreciative of the workmanship of those other industrious dear souls.
It's probably a little demeaning really, to be able to buy some of this handworked linen so cheaply, but at least once it comes home to my house it is loved & admired a very great deal.
This beautiful pristine afternoon tea cloth with sooo much filet crochet was only $5 a little while back & the hand towel below is such a lovely texture & the crochet is amazingly fine...$1 from Connections today.
 I also found a big bag of carded wool..wonderful to pop into lavender blanket hearts & the such-like. There is way too much for me so please, if you would like some do let me know.
I needed to change the bed in the "Parlour" & decided on these sweet embroidered pillowcases & a striped sheet..the other one is softest pastel pink & wonderful old cotton.
We love cotton sheets so that's all that lives in our linen cupboard.
As a child I always loved the clean, crisp, white, ironed cotton sheets of my Nan's linen cupboard.
She probably starched them too..they were very crisp indeed & so wonderful to sleep between.
So, the other day when I was taking our sheets off our bed I was sad that I managed to tear one of those lovely old white sheets. When I told Rob, he said,
 "Oh that's a shame, why don't you find a doily to fix it!"
Which reminded me of the Hey Girl pictures that I have seen coming through Pinterest from time to time. Like this one. (Ryan Gosling played the young Noah in The Notebook...did you ever see that movie? It's lovely. I even read the book too! It's by Nicholas Sparks)
 so...
New & bright & shiny doesn't appeal to me very much.
So many things become better with age..that's good!
Like these girls in my garden...
 I am so pleased that I have managed to propagate this gorgeous double impatien. I have just taken another cutting now & it already has roots showing just sitting in water.
 I thought I'd have a go too at growing some micro-greens.
I bought a huge packet of bulls blood beetroot seed & have only used about a 10th of the packet to grow this tray full..which makes the cost per tray around 75 cents.
When I was out in Havelock North this week I went to the apiary & bought this divine liquid gold. This is Rewa Rewa my favourite flavour. I am trying to use more honey & less sugar. It's a lovely idea. 
 I found a lovely blue brie at half price just in time for Valentines day. In fact, I bought several, as cheese freezes amazingly well. (I overheard a cheesemaker at the checkout one day.) And it's true it's a marvelous trick. Defrosts very quickly too.
 I needed to use up some quark so I made these wee raspberry desserts. They were delicious...just raspberries, quark, honey & eggs...baked in a bain marie & then chilled.
I have been dying to tell you about Nettie..
 I feel sure that you'll love her.

You can find her here.

 Just the sweetest story.


 And darling pictures.





There's more to the story..I love reading it to children. That, of course, is  always helpful when you find yourself reading it for the 56th time.

Thank you so much for checking in on me..it means the world to me.
I hope you have a lovely week.
Hugs &
MUCH
 ♥♥♥♥♥

Sunday, 12 February 2012

A sweet-heartly sort of month...

I've had little creatures visiting in my garden!
 and large ones,
 and ever so sweet ones too!
 There's been a full moon arising!
 and love is in the air.
 My dear friend Ruth picked this heart especially for me..isn't she sweet.
 I've had strange things hanging out of my trees..
 they are hairy & a little bit scary..
and sometimes the light shines through,
 but it has to be said that this is a very strange summer indeed.
No wonder Mutabilis is known as the butterfly rose.
Basil doesn't appear to have been put off by the lack of sunshine.
I am amazed at the colour of the flowers on this purple one.
 I adore bumble bees.
 I love their furry little fat bodies..it makes me want to hug them but I don't think that that is a very good idea somehow.
My friend Cheryl sent me this. I think I will just keep it close so that I can see the cover lots.
 Do you like my "Krispet" box? I think it'll be lovely in the old pink fridge out the back. I found it at the Mart in Havelock North just recently. Such a handy little place to check out. Rod & I agreed it is probably quite an uncommon sort of find.
Old & new it all goes together & makes me smile.
The new seasons "Sunrise" apples seem to go soft quite quickly so it seemed like a good time to make an apple cake. 
This recipe is so easy... you can find it in with an angel in the kitchen just here.
 Of course you could make it any shape you like...
to share.
 I added some of these Luisa plums. They go perfectly with the apple. I think they are almost the nicest plums I've ever tasted.
 A little while ago I bought this tea party hat from Trade Me. I have been fiddling around with it, adding some extra bits to tidy it up...
& I adore it! 
Hope your week is filled with simple joys & appreciation....& a few hearts along the way.
I, for one, think you're lovely & I'm so glad you came by.
MUCH
 ♥♥♥♥♥
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