Thursday, December 21, 2017

What's wrong with gluten free?

And still we get to this point. The gluten free bread is about to be thrown out again. I totally get that some people cannot deal with gluten in their diet but let's not kid ourselves that gluten-free is the same as non gluten free.

I have always been disappointed, I have found flat and dead and hard to work with. I have tried to make bread and waffles and scones with gluten-free products but they have always sucked.

Maybe I just suck.

So has we look at the bread that is sitting out here for everybody to use, the one that is getting old and going to the chickens is the gluten-free.

I hope they don't reject it.

Sunday, December 17, 2017


Once upon a time I was told how valuable and slow growing these plants are. I don't know whether that was true or not - the value part.

I certainly know these cycads are slow growing though. I've had this one for about 16 years but it is coming into some sort of majesty now. It had three leaves on it and was in a 6 inch pot when I bought it.

I love the fresh growth each year, and this is the best so far.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Poultry welfare guidelines

It has been a while since I had to buy eggs. I love the fact that purely by living my life the way I want I happen to be doing something that's reasonably sustainable.

The accidental greenie.

Sunday, November 26, 2017


It's a weed. The leaves collapsed when touched. I once thought they were an ornamental plant but here in the tropics they are a disaster.

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Broad beans will be perfect by Friday

They are growing and they are fruiting and they will have some beautiful large pods by Friday. I am away until then so that is what the garden gives us - it keeps working while we can't be there.

But I think that was a big one is ready to take right now.

Yes, it is.

A Hoya has flowered

They are a bit of a mystery to me but my mum and grandmother had these plants and I don't think really got them to flower very much.

One of them has flowered today though, so that's nice.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Retrieving from the kid's bag

Ever eaten late at night from your 13yo son's schoolbag that you prepared 17 hours before? I now have.

Monday, October 9, 2017

A perfect egg

Is there nothing more perfect than an egg from your own chooks, frying off, perfectly?

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Sunday, September 24, 2017

At least somebody eats leftovers

I cooked a really nice boneless lamb meal but only 2 out of 4 people turned up for it.

So I have leftover lunch packs that I can be sure nobody will be eating. So if you see me in the next day or two don't bother to ask me what I've got for lunch.

Chicken food one week from now

I cooked a lot of corn because I thought I would have people to dinner. I didn't.

So I will be putting a lot of corn into the fridge. In the sort of world that I live in this would be food for the next week. But anyhow with 4 people I can assure you that this will not get eaten.

And so I am glad that we have chickens.

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Friday, August 4, 2017

Rotkol: Something new for me!

I thank my friend Danny Beger who prepared some of this the other night when we came around for a lovely meal.

Rotkol is a sort of stewed cabbage but that description doesn't do it justice.

This sweet, savoury, tasty food is really nice. Thanks Danny.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Sneaky little sister plantings

Years ago I took some seeds from Mum's native frangipani and planted them. They have language to as baby trees for the last 3 years or so and I planted one out at my sister Kirrily's place last week.

Another two I have planted on the edge of my driveway and in 5 years somebody is going to say wow those trees are big what happened there?

And I'll just mumble.

Few people offer encouragement when I have a vision and I've only really got tree-planting wrong once in about 30 years.

When it's time to squeeze...

When you have a tree full of lemons that needs to be stripped it's time to pick whenever 10 kilo bag of lemons it's probably time to squeeze.

I'm sure I'll have a use for it probably lemon barley water in summer.

Friday, July 7, 2017

Glace oranges

Yes we can get fruit at this time of the year. So an excellent way to preserve citrus and in this case blood oranges is to dissolve three quarters of a cup of sugar and gently simmer thick slices of the oranges.

I also do it with Meyer lemons and just having them sit in the fridge for snacking is excellent. Sure sure sugar and all that.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Recipes don't matter: Meat and Beans for winter

I love winter cooking. And one of the favourite things I had during winter was what my Nana would call Goulash. In what was probably one of the first examples of cultural appropriation in my family Nana would fry up some mince and put all sorts of other things in it and call it Goulash.

Now, I have had Hungarian Goulash and it is fantastic, but it's nothing like what we cook here.

So welcome to meat and beans.

One day I might be able to call it "Nana's Goulash" but for now:

I fried off onions
I fried off beef mince
I put granulate garlic on it
I put in some frozen bolognese sauce that just made sense
I put in about a litre of V8 vegetable juice
I put in 1/2 a cup of pearl barley
I put in a half a cup of pearl couscous
And as those two previous ingredients soften I will progressively put in chickpeas, corn, kidney beans, Borlotti beans and butter beans.

And so we have meat and beans. Or Goulash. Or whatever. I never got a recipe - I just got a feel for it. Because cooking can be a form of love.

And when the cooking is love, recipes don't matter.

And as you look at the finished product you might ask "is it pretty" but basically I don't care. It's home food.

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Perhaps neglect can be a good thing

Just leaving a plant in a place under the right conditions and perhaps giving it some water. Sometimes that's a good thing.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Firewood on the edge of autumn

It has been a long time since I have gone into autumn with this much firewood stacked up.
My friend Lee came out and took a few limbs off. For $400 I ended up getting at least a half a tonne of firewood which is about $250 worth. Now that makes all sorts of sense.

Saturday, March 25, 2017


There was a lot of stuff laying on the lawn this morning.

Sewing again: Thanks Mum.

Dead mum's sewing machine. I've had these shorts with a hole in the pocket for about 3 years. Now that Mum's sewing machine is back in service I have been able to provide my own tight arse solutions to some of my everyday problems.

Thanks Mum.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Mum's sewing machine got I workout

Mum died over 2 years ago and in the wash up I got her sewing machine. I was pretty good at it when I was young but never really had any need for it. Skydiving however makes fools of us all.

And before I go on this overseas trip my weight belt needed to be compartmentalised. I had the tools and I thought I had the talent. So I got the job done.

It was a nice job to do -for a number of reasons.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Yet another skill

A good friend got me some oysters and I have never really spent time learning how to open oysters. 6 oysters in and I am starting to get it.