13 September 2009

Could there be any greater day than today...

I've got to write this down right now because today verged on being so perfect that I never want to forget it.

1. I stayed in bed until 8am - unheard of!!!

2. The weather was glorious today, the sky was cornflower blue, not a cloud to be seen. It was delightfully warm with just the slightest hint of a breeze.

3. My boronia is smothered in flowers which means the most heavenly fragrance is sitting right outside my kitchen window and as the smell just makes my senses reel. There is simply no smell on earth more divine than boronia.

4. The kids were good today which for them is a real achievement. The boys helped deliver the catalogues today with no complaints and we walked further than normal and they were really good. They played outside for most of the day with the minimum of fights (well they cant be completely perfect).

5. Because the weather was so nice, we had a little picnic lunch in the backyard. It feels like forever since we've done that.

6. I fixed up the kids whiteboard/blackboard much to their delight (and even had chalk/markers so they could use it immediately).

7. I got so many jobs done, I spent a lot of time today just pottering around the backyard doing odd jobs plus I got 4 loads of washing done.

8. Chloe used the potty for the very first time (and ok it probably was a bit of a cheat because I put her on there as soon as she woke up but I dont care there was wee in the potty and that's all that counts).

9. I logged onto the computer tonight and found out that I won a blog give away. I never win anything let alone gorgeous material. So here we are my first blog give away win courtesy of idey spidey. And the fabric is to die for.

10. Now that I've finished this I'm going to have a lovely shower, climb into bed and rest my weary head. Because we've had a very full, very busy, very fun day. And I so hope we have lots, lots more of them.

Sweet dreams everyone!!!

31 August 2009

The birds and the bees...

Well actually, its just about the bees today. I love that my fuzzy, buzzy friends have returned in force. Of course they are still around during the winter but not in such large numbers. And they absolutely love the lavender at the moment... as do I.

Its definitely shoe time though, bees and bare feet arent such a good combination for little people.

I cant wait until my other garden friends start to return. My roses are definitely going to need some ladybug assistance soon, the aphids are happily sucking away already.

12 August 2009

He says it cheating....

Apparently if you buy a fruit tree at the nursery and it already has two pieces of fruit on it (albeit green pieces of fruit), then its cheating to call those fruit your own. Never mind that those two pieces of fruit have been tenderly watched and care for as they gradually turned from lime green to sunny yellow. Never mind that the tree is being nurtured with the utmost care by yours truly. The fruit growing moral squad has declared that you cant claim that you grew the fruit when it was already there.

Fine, I'm not going to argue, I guess the only thing you can do with cheating lemons is make a cheating cheesecake...

You'll need:

A packet of plain biscuits, granitas are always our weapon of choice but we aren't pedantic around here. You only need around 200g so I generally give a few to the vultures that inevitably hang around
Around 80g of butter or margarine, melted
A handful of nuts, but this is totally optional
about 3 really ripe lemons. This isn't going to work if your lemons are even slightly tinged with green. You'll need about 1/2 to 3/4 cup of lemon juice. You can also use the bottled lemon juice if you don't have fresh lemons but it doesn't have quite the same tang.
1 packet of Philly Cheese take it out of the fridge and let it soften for a while
1 tin of condensed milk, try not to cut your tongue when you lick the lid

Smash the biscuits into bread crumb size pieces. Mum used to do this by hand with a rolling pin and plastic bag. Why I dont know but anyway. I whack them in the food processor with a handful of nuts (I used hazelnuts in this one but pecans are nice too or dont use nuts at all, its totally up to you). Once its all nice and fine, add the melted butter...

Mix it in thoroughly then pop it all into a pie dish lined with foil (trust me, forgetting the foil makes for difficult removal of cheesecake, dont ask me how I know this)...

That's it, crust is done, pop it in the fridge and lets move onto the yummiest bit.

Juice your lemons (or squeeze a bottle if thats what you are using). Now my two lemons were actually pretty small but they were unbelievably juicy and hardly any pith. I got half a cup of juice out of these guys. I also used one store bought lemon which was twice the size of these babies and it gave me less than a 1/4 of a cup. When it comes to lemons, its not the size that counts!!

Now I said between 1/2 and 3/4 of a cup of juice. I always use 3/4, mum always uses 1/2. You might find that 2/3 gives the perfect tang for you. But suffice to say anything between 1/2 and 3/4 will set your cheesecake.

Pop your (now soft) Philly cheese and condensed milk in a bowl and get out your electric beaters. Beat until smooth, no one likes a lumpy cheesecake!! Smooth yet?? If not, keep beating. Once it is smooth, add the lemon juice and beat a little bit more. As long as your lemons are nice and ripe they will start reacting with the milk and cheese causing it to thicken and set. My too little babies must have been perfect cheesecake lemons because this mix was firm in less than a minute. I mean literally hold-the-bowl-upside-down-nothings-moving firm.

Once you are happy that everything's mixed, smooth, tangy etc etc, grab your crust from the fridge, pour the cheese-y bit in and bung it back in the fridge to set completely. Thats it, no cooking, just lick the beaters and the bowl!!! I decided to zest my little lemons to sprinkle over the top and honestly the zest was sooooooo yummy, really sweet with a definite citrus tang. Little sprinkles of heaven...

So there we have it, super quick, super easy cheesecake which is smooth, silky and oh so tangy. And if you look in the background of this picture, you can see where it all began, out the back in the blue pot sits my little lemon tree. Here's to many more delicious cheesecakes next year.

This cheesecake recipe was taken off the back of a Philly cheese wrapper lord know how long ago by my mum. Lemons were generously provided by my lemon tree - a Lot o' Lemons dwarf variety which is suitable for pots and gives full sized fruit.

19 June 2009

Meet Orville

I'd like to introduce you to Orville. I'm rather passionate about Orville because you see he's one of my firsts. I've had others in the past but unfortunately they didnt make it very far. Orville's stuck it out though.

Just to make it clear, I'm not in the habit of naming fruit but Orville's the very first orange that we've had on our little orange tree. We've had a couple of others which started to grow but failed to continue so I'm just a little bit excited about Orville.

Looking forward to the day when we get to eat him (doesnt that sound dreadful LOL). I think we'll have to do something special with Orville. I'm thinking about making him the guest of honour on a Jaffa Cheesecake. Whatever it is it'll have to be very nice, Orville's practically family afterall.

04 June 2009

Before the weather turned

I think we can officially say that winter is here in Perth. I do believe that we completely missed autumn though. Not that I'm complaining or anything, the weather up until recently can only be described as heavenly. This photo was taken Friday just gone...

And then this storm just 3 days later...

Crawly friends

I like to take photos of all the friends (yes ever the ones that eat you out of house and home) that come to visit the garden.

Samuel found this gorgeous one recently. Given that we have a grape vine out the back we came to the conclusion that he is probably a Hippotion celerio or better known as a Vine Hawk Moth Caterpillar...

Now normally caterpillars that visit the garden are put on the "Caterpillar Relocation Programme" ie they get taken to the park across the road (I simply can not squash a caterpillar) but seeing as this was a pretty one off, his lease was extended.

Autumn Colour

I'm glad I took a photo of the chestnut recently because its blowing a gale here today and its now all but leafless. Up until this morning it was looking like this...

Its interesting to see it change each year. This is the first deciduous tree that I've had, all the gardens I've known in the past have been native. I think this year it coloured up beautifully because we haven't had the strong winds and heavy rains which normally strip the leaves off early on in autumn.

Actually I'm sitting at the study window writing this and the ground is absolutely covered in pretty leaves, they've pretty much all fallen all at once.

Its so lovely to see the gorgeous autumn colour this year, I've really enjoyed (and noticed) all the lovely yellows and reds for a change. I'm tempted to get a dwarf Japanese Maple. I saw a gorgeous bonsai one once, wish I had have bought it at the time.

And just another because I love the colours...

27 May 2009

My dirty little secrets

Yes its time to get it out into the open... I engage in dirty behaviour... alfresco style.