Tuesday, February 23, 2010



These cookies are good for using up spare egg whites! Recipe from my 'Great Big Cookie Book'.

115g blanched almonds, toasted
165g caster sugar
2 egg whites
1/2 tsp almond essence
icing sugar for dusting

Oven on to 180 deg C. Toast almonds by spreading on baking paper lined tray in oven for about 10mins. Reserve 12 for decorating. Grind with the sugar in a food processor. Add almond essence and enough egg white until a soft dough is formed. Roll into walnut-sized balls and flatten slightly then press an almond onto each. Dust with icing sugar. Bake on lined tray for about 10-12 mins. Cool slightly then peel off paper and cool on rack.

Sunday, February 21, 2010



These are vanilla cupcakes from this recipe with butter icing coloured with a little blackberry juice. A nice sweet treat which went down well with everyone at CTF especially the youngest member!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Another home-produced dinner


Last night we had a delicious meal of corned beef (silverside) done in the slow cooker, with mustard sauce, mashed potatoes and beans (OK I'll be honest, the beans weren't actually from our garden..).

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

A gift of beautiful tomatoes


Look what I got today! These tomatoes are acid free and very large. YUM! Thanks K.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Look what we were given

Isn't it lovely to receive unexpected gifts from friends. Our neighbours dropped in yesterday with a big jar of plum jam, a big jar of mustard pickle, a bottle of their very own olive oil and a bay tree (to replace my dead one).

The basket of apples (Cox's Orange) are from our tree.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Where the heck have I been again?

I think the hot sun and constant wind has made me a bit lazy these days. Sorry for the lack of posts but I haven't really been up to much in the garden of late, apart from a bit of pottering about. There are areas that need a whole lot of attention, particularly the soil, so in the next few weeks I'll be systematically digging up spent crops, dead flowers (mainly calendula) and adding peat, chicken manure, vermicast etc.

We are still getting globe artichokes, zucchini (what a surprise!), a few leafy greens, some herbs (although sadly my coriander has all gone to seed in this hot weather) and I recently dug up some onions and shallots. We're still enjoying our lovely potatoes. The Kowiniwini are superb, so will definitely grow these ones next year.

I guess we've mostly been watering heaps, since everything is very dry and we've had little rain. The wind of course dries things greatly also. I've sown some more beans (dwarf French and a couple of Italian flat climbers). The last lot shrivelled up and died when we were in England. I've got some Roma tomatoes coming along with some fruit on them, not ripe however as yet.

One of the recent beautiful sunsets:

Tuesday, February 2, 2010


The Maori potato "Urenika"

Starring here in a potato salad:

Red Rascal:
The Maori potato Kowiniwini:

A big bucket of spuds (Rua and Cliffs Kidney):