Thursday, May 27, 2010

vote for me :)

I have just noticed that you can vote for entries in the Laura Ashley competition!

So if you feel inclined, I would appreciate it if you could vote for me here


Sunday, May 23, 2010


Mr S and I visited Heronswood last Sunday. It was a quick, late afternoon visit. We took an impromptu afternoon tea picinic (scones from Brumby's and Nudie Smoothes from the supermarket).

We had a lovely time wandering around the grounds. Mr S doing more running than wandering truth be told.

And they have some marvelous plants to look at.

Salvia 'White Velour'

Coreopsis sp.

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German Potato Salad

This is seriously yummy.

It was sent to me by an American friend with a German mom

8-10 potatoes
1 large regular onion
1 cucumber
1 teaspoon celery seed
salt & pepper to taste

Boil potatoes and peel while still hot, then slice in bowl and set aside.

Finely dice the onion and add to bowl with potatoes.

Peel cucumber and slice on a four sided grater then by hand squeeze out any juice and add to bowl with potatoes. Add celery seed and mayonnaise to desired consistency. Add salt & pepper to taste. With wooden spoon mix all together.

Then chill in refrigerator and serve cold.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

My New House

I am in the process of building my first very own house! I would like to tell you that it is exciting, but in fact it is a deeply worrying process.

I want it to be beautiful. I want it to be comfortable. I want it to be a home.

But at the moment, what I have is a set of expensive and fairly boring problems that have to be solved before I can move in... getting the septic wired up and connected (pipes from the house to the tank and electrical pump not included in original quote), storm water (nobody mentioned that where I am building doesn't have a storm water system, so each house needs to have it's own), retaining walls, gas and telephone connections... the list is endless (and I haven't even mentioned the non-essentials such as fencing, a front gate to keep Mr S inside, or a made drive way.... GULP)...

And then there is the inside - carpeting or other flooring, curtains/blinds, light fittings, flywire screens, security door and locks... all not included in the house contract... DOUBLE GULP...

I just feel like everything is extremely out of control at the moment.

I was in Laura Ashley yesterday, dreaming about how I would like my new living room to look, and I saw they had a competition to win a new living room make over... so I have entered!!! I never win anything, so I don't actually hold out any hope... but it is nice to dream...

This is the photo that I submitted of my new living room. At the rate things are going, it is destined to remain like this for some time to come!

I am really missing my old furniture. Most of it is currently packed away in a storage facility as my current house is so small, and Mr S needs some room to play and whizz about.

I can't wait for it to be unpacked. This blackwood side board was owned by my grandmother. I think it is probably about 90 years old and is in need of restoration. But I love it very much and can't wait to get it back. :)


Thursday, May 20, 2010

My lighthouse..

well not quite mine - but I wish it was mine....

I just love lighthouses. The mystery, the romance, the loneliness...

I have been thinking of doing something with the theme - not quite sure yet - but here are a few ideas that I have come across...


or perhaps:

Nautical Lighthouse Cushion by Jo Fulham

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Sunday, May 09, 2010

Happy Mother's Day

Mother's Day is a bitter sweet day for me. I think about my mother quite a bit. All the memories - the funny, the sad, the big moments and the everyday. I didn't visit her grave today. I wouldn't have stopped crying if I had. She died a long time ago now, but the pain of loss is still real. I think about her every single day. She walks beside me. I often reflect on how she would react to something or what she might say or think about a particular issue.

But it is too indulgent to only think about such things. So, on a happier note I made a cake for Mr S' grandmother and we went for a visit.

It is a very good Cherry Cake which I have been making since I was a little girl. It is a very good butter cake with chopped glace cherries and a milk icing. Making this cake was entirely intentional. As I made it, I thought about growing up and learning to cook in my mother's kitchen. She was an excellent cook, with many recipe books that I spent hours pouring over as a child. This recipe comes from one of these books. It has stains on some of the pages. It is a good indication of where her popular recipes might be located.

And the cake was delicious!

Basically the recipe is:

Cream together 6oz (175g) of butter and 3/4 cup of caster sugar and then mix in 3 eggs (one at a time). Sift in 3/4 cup of self raising flour, stir in 3 tablespoons of milk and then sift in a further 3/4 cup of plain flour. Lastly stir in 4 oz (125g) of chopped glace cherries. Pour the batter into a ring tin (buttered of course) and cook in a moderate oven for about 30 mins. (cooking time depends on the tin - in a normal round cake tin it will take longer)

The icing is a nob of butter, icing sugar and enough milk to make a stiff paste.

Oh, and this is what my son made me:

I'll make a 'crafty' boy of him yet!!!

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Friday, May 07, 2010

Upside Down Pear Cake

Mr S and I made this cake recently. I can't tell you how delicious it is! Super Yummy. And Super Easy to make.
It is the first upside down cake I have made. The toffee syrup really makes it, but the pears are just delicious too. Pears rock!
Here is the recipe:

1 cup sugar
⅓ cup water
3 firm pears
2 large eggs
⅓ cup raw sugar
tsp vanilla essence
Zest of one orange
Zest of one lemon
100g unsalted butter, melted
1 cup self-raising flour


Preheat fan-forced oven to 170C (190C conventional). Grease a 20-centimetre cake tin with removable base and line the bottom with baking paper. Put sugar and water in a small saucepan and warm gently until sugar dissolves. Increase the heat and cook until the liquid is a light caramel colour. Pour into the tin and swirl around to cover the base.
Peel, core and quarter pears and arrange on top of the caramel, with points facing towards the centre.
Beat eggs with raw sugar, vanilla, orange and lemon zest. Add melted butter. Mix in flour. Place spoonfuls of batter over the top of the pears and gently spread, so as not to disturb the pears.
Bake in oven for 30-40 minutes or until the cake is set in the centre. Remove from oven and turn out on to a plate while the cake is still hot.Serves 6

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