Monday, 29 September 2008

Long light nights.

Oh daylight savings, thank you for arriving so soon, what a pleasant surprise! After months of dark and wet it is so lovely to switch to light and dry. And warm right now too.

Even though it's not advisable to do so soon (there are still a couple of frosts to be had before spring is sprung), I just couldn't resist planting some veges out. I chose the hardier ones - caulis, broccolis and cabbages and a couple of fennel bulbs (I'm hoping to recreate a sorrel and fennel salad I had at Pegasus Bay Winery on the weekend). I'm a little apprehensive and worried for the little things but hopefully they will withstand any final insults the weather will throw at them.

Hopefully they will be ready by summer. Speaking of which, this summer is going to be really special. As of 7th November I will no longer be employed. I'm taking a couple of months off from working and will spend the time sewing, gardening and looking for a new house for us to live in. I am also planning on drinking large amounts of gin, during the day, while lying on the grass reading. And, although it's slightly at odds with this, I am hoping to get fit. As in exercise fit. I have never really achieved this before, so thought I may as well start now. I may even enter some sort of event, like a duathlon, but I don't want to get ahead of myself here.

Anyway, we are feeling so good now the sun's come back.... bring on summer. Bring. It. On.

Sunday, 28 September 2008

Misty spring morns

We have had some cracker mornings over the past few weeks - some warm and windy, others - like this one - misty misty misty. Just like it probably is if you live near the moors in England. I reckon anyway.

Quite a lot of the mist in this photo is actually coming out the back of our car...

Calves in the mist - not quite as good as gorillas, but close.

Monday, 22 September 2008

Jams, pickles and preserves

There is absolutely no doubt now that spring is here - we had a howling Nor'wester last night that necessitated turning the tele up a notch it was so loud. And nowhere is it more evident that spring is present than in the Lil and Matt kitchen. The past week has yielded:

1. a batch of marmalade:

Which, by the way, I won't be entering in this year's A&P show. I think it'd be nice to let someone else take the prize this year.

2. some pickled onions:

They aren't actually pickled yet because it takes a few weeks, but hopefully they will be yummy. Matt and I both enjoy a pickled onion with cheese before dinner.

3. and just tonight... preserved lemons!

I have never preserved lemons before, and used a Stephanie Alexander recipe which is a Middle Eastern version with cloves and cinnamon. I am so excited but they won't be ready for eating for at least a month. Preserved lemons were mentioned in the book The Rabbi's Daughter by Reva Mann, and they sound good.

I have a few other spring projects on the go, but more about them in another post.

Thursday, 18 September 2008

ps The coolest Christchurch kitchen ever?

Turns out the people who bought this house promptly demolished it. Kitchen included. Crumbs.

Tuesday, 16 September 2008

My new bike

You may recall that I mentioned that I was on the lookout for a new bike for when we move into town. Well, I went to the Waimakariri Refuse Centre with our recycling one day and found a poor old abandoned thing not unlike the style I am in the market for:

Upon getting it home I realised that it was actually totally un-road-worthy... for one, the handlebars are on backwards, and secondly there is LOADS of rust (invisible to my so-excited-a-free-bike-that-might-be-really-cool eyes).

Fortunately, I found a much more useful and cooler version on trademe. It's a 1955 Phillips Ladies Bicycle, and has working front and rear dynamos.. I take it up and down the farm tracks with Boo running behind.

Dot commented that our back doorstep looks like somewhere in Amsterdam, what with all the old red bicycles lying around.

Saturday, 13 September 2008

The coolest Christchurch kitchen ever?

We have been trying for several weeks to find ourselves a house to live in in Christchurch, but so far the search has be fruitless. Anything we like is well outside our budget, or not for sale. Matt has been mainly concerned with the house itself, whereas my demands focus on the surrounds - namely enough room for a vege patch and a decent washing line. However, after he found this gem online I think I may start to pay attention to what's on the inside.

The colour is putrid, but those slanted cupboards! Man! They are choice! What a cool kitchen; my Denby Arabesque would fit right in.

Thursday, 11 September 2008

Monday, 1 September 2008


Yay, FINALLY spring has arrived, sun, wind and dryness. Winter went out with a bang though - more flooding last week and more mud, much to our (and Boo's) disgust.

Today I started prepping the garden for spring planting - basically this involved walking over to the cattle yards and shoveling cow shit into bucket then spreading this out over the vegetable patch and digging it through. The vege patch is currently empty but in not too long I plan to have it sprouting forth with all sorts of edible bounty. Unfortunately I forgot to take a photo of the cow shit spreading process, but I might do a second round and post a photo for all to takes me back to the days of being a cow vet. Ahhhh.....cow poo.

And as an aside, I just wanted to share my favourite Olympic moment.

Go the Bouncing Kangaroo!!