Tuesday, March 31, 2009


Well, the job is done, and it took no time at all. I have six of these little bottles which will see us out until the next crop is ready. If you'd like the recipe - here it is !


250g coarse or sea salt
6-8 lemons scrubbed and cut into quarters
1 bay leaf, 2-3 cloves, 1 stick of cinnamon (for each bottle)
some extra lemon juice
6 small glass ja
rs, with metal lids, (sterilised by boiling in large container for 20 mins)

Place the lemons in a large plastic mixing bowl, cover with salt, and massage the fruit firmly pressing out a lot of the juice as you go.
Put a spoonful of salt into the jars, then pack the lemons, skin side out, inserting the bay leaves, cloves etc. as you fill the jars. Press down hard on the fruit to release the juice, then spoon the residual salt and lemon juce from the bowl to top up the jars. Wipe the neck of the bottles with a damp cloth to remove salt residue, then screw the tops on firmly.
Store in pantry for about 6 weeks, turning them upside down a couple of times to distribute the salt.
Once opened, refrigerate....they seem to keep for ages...if they last that long.

ps. Only use the peel....(toss the flesh into the scrap bin for the compost), and rinse well before chopping finely and adding to your dishes. Enjoy !

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We've had a great crop of lemons this year.

The lemon tree is the preserve of the man of the house, and I don't go there..... The only thing I'm allowed to do is pick them, but only when I've been given permission by the boss of the tree !

These are the last of the crop, and some are about to find their way into my pantry in little bottles. They'll be ready for active duty in about 6 weeks

I just love the taste of preserved lemons. They add tang and flavour and give a real LIFT to many of the dishes we'll have during the winter..... Tasty tagines with their middle eastern spices.....rissottos cooked to perfection (sometimes), with fresh salmon....and the wonderful pastas with pesto, smoked salmon and a good splash of olive oil. Yum...I can taste them already.

But duty calls and I must away to the kitchen.......

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It's almost impossible to get a decent cup of coffee in my home town. What passes for a flat white is usually a poor imitation of the real thing.... no crema ..... no depth... terrifyingly hot (and filled to the brim).... And the price....unbelieveable !
Most coffe shops here would go broke in Melbourne.

Ah... Melbourne. Home of great food, great restaurants, and great COFFEE... and we'll be there in less than a week!

But the real reason we visit Melbourne, apart from all the abovementioned is - OUR FAMILY .

Many years ago my two daughters chose to leave the confines of a provincial city in Queensland to establish their careers, meet the men of their dreams and provide us with three delightful grand daughters. And we'll be there with them all soon....It can't come soon enough.

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Friday, March 27, 2009


I'm a gardener, or so I like to think. But I'm always amazed when I watch the gardening programs on TV, just how little I know.

I become very enthused after watching Peter Cundall (now retired ) and his ilk, making things look just so easy......mmm...I think to myself, I could grow/ do/ make one just like that ! But does it ever happen. You guessed it. By the time I've made the trip to the back garden, if the enthusiasm hasn't already waned, the sight of the weed infested plot soon puts paid to any ideas I might have had to try something different.

The thing that really gets me about these TV shows is, how come the soil looks
so rich and moist, just like a chocolate cake, yes, almost good enough to eat ?

Mine on the other hand.....well enough said, but it's not for lack of trying. I've got the compost bin, the grass clippings, the shredded paper, the veggie scraps, blood and bone. My garden shed is filled with all the goodies needed for success (environmentally correct of course) and I've got the books, the newspaper cuttings et al. I even belong to a garden club, and regularly discuss my failings with other members, who sympathize but don't have the answers.

However.....things are starting to change. What do you think of this great pumpkin ! Isn't it something ? Huge !!

Unfortunatley.... it's not mine. It's one that grew in Pete's Patch in the Botanical Gardens in Tassie. I'm hoping for one just like it soon.

I'll keep you posted.....

Thursday, March 26, 2009


We've been talking about it for weeks now and we've finally come to a decision - it will have to go.
So we are saying "goodbye" to the local rag, our daily paper.

It's been part of our life since we moved to this city 30 years ago, but enough is enough. Perhaps it's getting old and tired just like us, but even with all the bells and whistles that have appeared on the pages to keep our interest, it has failed the most important requirement - good and accurate reporting !

We've tried to put up with the bad spelling.... the inaccurate captions.... the "crazies" on the Letters to the Editor page.... articles which we've read days before in "The Australian" .... the fence sitting of the editorials.... the hundreds of fish photos (and I mean hundreds)...and the SMS column, but our frustration is palpable as we flick through it all in a matter of minutes, the Funeral Notices capturing our attention as we check to see if we need to pay our last respects to friend or foe.

So it's goodbye....thanks for the good times, the laughs we've had - but really your time is up.
Go quietly.........R.I.P


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