Saturday, 21 December 2013

Mutant Monster Vegies

Hello there, we are back from a visit to Perth to catch up with family.  My god it was hot, I thought I was melting! 

Just before we headed to Perth we had our Embroidery Xmas Wind-Up.  The special green tablecloths came out and decorations were scattered.  One lady made the most magnificent floral arrangements using flowers from her lovely garden.  Lots of chatting occurred...
 And lots of eating of the yummy food everyone contributed.  None of us needed dinner that night!
Our secret Santa swap this year was that we all had to make a potholder with a bit of embroidery on it.  After we have opened our gift we lay them out on the tables and everyone cruised round to have a look.  I made the butterfly one in the top left corner. 
Then it was back home to continue the gathering of the gifts to take to Perth.  I had been furiously cooking and cooking as I wanted to give home-made basket of goodies to the family members.  Here the cranberry and pistachio biscotti is cooling.  I also made ginger and orange biscuits and vanilla bean shortbread.
Then it was on to the preserves.  Here we have the strawberry jam in progress.  Along with that was mango chutney, apple butter, spicy meat marinade, pickled beetroot, pickled onions and lemon butter.  Although I ended up not taking the lemon butter due to the heat as I wasn't sure if it go off or something dreadful.  Not to worry, it is all sitting in my fridge in nice, cool Albany ha ha ha.  I did attempt making turkish delight too as I found a microwave recipe, but it went a weird, solid, jelly-like texture so that was abandoned.
I also made Michelle a moss terrarium.  Steve kindly helped out by making me a hobbit door to sit in my moss hillside.  :-)  Steve made Michelle a wooden book sculpture as an early birthday present too.  Paul (the gadget boy) was delighted with his Pebble watch and proclaimed our local distillery's whisky liqueur the best thing he'd every drunk.  :-)
The dress-up box was finally ready.  I made a glitzy skirt and cape each, and gathered hats, a pink wig, a coat, various things to fling around one's neck and other assorted items, so it was a nice big box of variety.
 Ooo, said Stevie and Riley, what's in the box?
 Yay, dress-ups!
 I wonder how many dress-ups I can wear all at the same time, and in 38 degrees no less!
On our return home, we were greeted with a large cache of eggs.  The hens had been left with ample water and food, however they missed their treats and made it plain by not laying quite as many eggs as we were expecting.  They have forgiven us now and once again are enjoying porridge for breakfast and hand-picked grass (since they have obliterated every blade of grass in their yard!).
Steve very kindly made me a new clothes line using some angle iron and line our friend Mel generously gave him.  My makeshift line using a few star pickets and some rope has been okay, but a bit low and not enough hanging space, so my new double line up nice and high is terrific.  Thanks darl!
I finally got my cliveas planted.  I have had a heap of them in pots since we left Perth nearly two years ago, and they were starting to protest.  It took me a while to find the right spot, clivea like shade but will tolerate a titch of early morning sun.  Under this huge peppermint tree seems the ideal location, and it is fairly central so we can enjoy seeing the green, strappy leaves and beautiful orange winter flowers.  And the roos and rabbits don't eat them which is a huge bonus!
We recently bought two huge rolls of barley straw from a local farmer and have been busily mulching everything.  We are on sandy soil and it dries out so darn fast, so a good thick mulch should be invaluable over the summer.  These are our citrus trees, that are all looking so much happier and healthier.  I don't know if you remember, but half of them were reduced to dead looking sticks for a few months, but with reducing the grass growing close to them, pouring masses of compost and fertiliser into the ground, netting them off from rabbits and roos, and now the thick mulch, it's all go hopefully!
This photo was taken a month ago, it's the newly fenced area for vegie growing.  At the front is corn and potatoes at the back.  They had been in for about five weeks and were growing well.
This photo was taken yesterday.  It is back to front from the one above but as you can see, in the past four weeks there has been massive growth! 
To give you an idea of the size of things, can you see Steve's head poking up behind the corn?  Holy freaking monster vegies Batman!!  In only nine weeks we have massive corn plants already setting tassels, and huge potato plants flowering profusely, we can't quite believe it!
Normally Steve would expect tiny new potatoes after about 12 weeks of growing, but he had a tiny dig yesterday and found some 1/4 kilo spuds after only nine weeks!!  Yum yum yum is all I have to say on the matter.  :-)  We thought we had only planted Dutch Creams and King Edwards but we suspect this one is a rogue, possibly a Nicola or a Nadine.  We saved our small King Edwards to replant and I think a few of the other sorts have got in there too.  No matter, home grown potatoes of any variety are nice.  King Edwards are a bit pink around the eyes.  Steve has picked some King Edwards, some Dutch Creams, some Norlands (red ones from last year) and these ones, so tonight we are going to have a taste test!
It is always good to catch up with friends and family, but it is also really good to be home.  In the cool!  It has been really dry here over the last month and grass is drying up everywhere, but we had a wonderful 25mL of rain a couple of days ago so there is a green tinge happening, not to mention the satisfaction of seeing the water tank measure creeping up again.


  1. Wow you have been busy. Love the dress-up box present.

  2. Wow! Wow! Wow! you've been so busy all with wonderful results!