Friday, June 26, 2009


i know we're in the middle of winter, but i'm enjoying the vegetables and herbs from the garden now. i put parsley in at the beginning of spring, so i've had a pretty good run, but most of the others were only planted (from seed) about two months ago. the radishes, as were expected, were ready; this is the first time i've planted radishes and they are fast and gratifying. i've had one a day. i keep forgetting to have them with a bit of butter and salt as the french do, and have them au naturel, which isn't bad. i can't say radishes are a favourite vegetable, but they certainly taste better when they're homegrown. other vegetables and herbs i've planted are lettuce, sugar snap peas, regular peas, sorrel, mexican corriander, spring onions, chives, garlic chives, tarragon, greek basil.....buk choy and chillies. not a small list, eh? and to top it off, everything's in pots, save the greek basil. the soil here is very poor; i'm virtually next to the garigal forest, so it's quite bushy and only australian natives seem to thrive here, but that's not going to stop me.
anyway, because i'm only harvesting little bits of everything, i'm just making salad....nothing like it.

Thursday, June 25, 2009


who has a twitter account? i opened one a while it supposed to be my online diary? a bit stalky, methinks.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

which jane austen heroine are you?

i remember after i read pride and prejudice in high school, i wanted to be elizabeth bennet. i was disagreeable with potential suitors, especially one in particular because i knew all the girls pandered to him. we are friends to this day, and i continue to be disagreeable; i think he enjoys it, because, he too, realises everyone is just too polite to him. i might have fancied myself to be miss lizzy, but i think that is biased - i need someone else to make the analysis, someone impartial.
since i can't make my own analysis, i do the next best thing and analyse miss c. while miss c doesn't matchmake, she does possess many similarities with jane austen's emma and modern emma's cher in clueless. her friends provide the charcters - she has met mr elton, mr frank churchill made a knightley has yet to make himself known. of course we can make assumptions as to his identity, but miss c's mr knightley is as restrained as emma's, and is also miss c's only critic while concealing his affections for her. as for miss c, she prefers fictitious heroes in her life, lest real heroes derail her focus (on what is open to conjecture).
to be continued when mr knightley reveals himself.....

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

melting moments

i love these biscuits because they are delicate and delicious, filled with a lovely lemony icing. they are supposed to keep very well in an air-tight container, but they are so easy to eat, it doesn't matter if they don't keep well. i don't know anyone who doesn't love these biscuits because everyone asks for them.

2 cups of plain flour
1/2 cup custard powder
250g. butter, softened
1/2 cup icing sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla essence

3/4 cup icing sugar
60 grams butter
1-2 lemon juice
lemon rind

preheat the oven to 170 degrees celcius.
line a baking tray with baking paper.
beat the butter, vanilla and icing sugar until light and creamy.
sift the flour and custard powder together then add to the creamed mixture, mixing until everything is well combined.
divide the dough into 30 pieces and roll each piece into a small ball.
place the balls on the lined tray, and press each ball with a fork to flatten slightly.
bake for 15-20 minutes until pale golden but not brown.
make the icing by creaming together the second portion of icing and butter, with the lemon juice and rind.
place a little icing on half of the biscuits and sandwich together with the remaining biscuits.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

langues de chat (cat's tongues)

when i was young, there was a french patissier in penshurst street, roseville, which had the most wonderful sweet things. of course, there were the pastries, but there would also be little bags of almond tuiles and madeleines. dad was wonderful and indulged me; i'd choose all the goodies and go home to have tastes of a little bit of all of them.
imagine my delight when i tracked down this recipe. admittedly, they were not for almond tuiles, but they possessed the same buttery crisp deliciousness. i loved making them for dad - he'd eat them with such gusto, a little girl could never resist making them for her beloved father. i loved the way my dad ate the biscuits i made - he made me feel so special.

60 grams butter
1/2 cup sugar
2 egg whites (one whole egg can be used - naturally, the result is slightly different, but still very delicious)
scant 1/2 cup plain flour

preheat the oven to 200 degrees celcius.
line a few baking trays with baking paper.
cream the butter and sugar together until light. whisk in the egg whites until just combined, and fold in the flour.
spoon the batter into a piping bag fitted with a plain 5mm tube.
pipe 5 cm lengths of batter on the lined trays, allowing room for spreading. tap the tray sharply on the kitchen bench to allow the mixture to spread a little.
bake for 7-9 minutes or until the edges are golden - being careful not to let the biscuits burn.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

lemon coconut squares

i know this slice is as old as the hills and most people know how to make it, but i had never made it until recently. i avoided making it because i knew how delicious it was, having eaten other people's creations; i had to show some restraint - if i made it, i'd eat it, simple as that. what was i thinking?

1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk
125 grams butter
250 grams biscuit crumbs
1 teaspoon grated lemon rind
1 cup coconut

lemon icing
1 3/4 cups icing sugar
3 tablespoons lemon juice
30 grams butter

place condensed milk and butter in a small saucepan and stir over gentle heat until the butter melts. stir in the biscuit crumbs, rind and coconut and combine well. press into a laminton pan lined with baking paper. chill for an hour.
make the lemon icing by combining the icing sugar, lemon juice and butter until smooth. spread over the prepared base and allow to set. once set, cut into squares to serve.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

little miss sunshine

miss c asked me to sit and watch little miss sunshine with her, and i'm glad i did. for once, there's a dysfunctional familiy on the screen, not all scrubbed and sugary. dad's a motivational speaker, who's not getting anywhere; mum's trying to keep it all together; grandpa has a drug habit; son hasn't utter a word for nearly a year; uncle has just tried to commit suicide and little olive just takes it all on board.
i cringe with every disaster they encounter, and wonder if uncle realises that he really couldn't justify attempting suicide as he watches his sister's family.
surprisingly refreshing. i will say no more.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

peas interrupted

i've just been outside doing a bit of gardening (in my pots); planted more radishes, lettuce, bok choy, peas and sugar snap peas. i planted some about a month ago, and only the radishes are ready to be eaten.
i'm so tempted to eat the pea sprouts - they are just delicious. i found that out by default - one spout snapped and i didn't want it to go to waste so i ate it - it was one of the most delicious things i've ever had in my life. yesterday, i snapped one off on purpose and can you believe i exclaimed "yum" out loud in the garden? is that a sign of madness? if pea flowers down hurry up and pop out, they won't have a chance - i will have eaten the plants! i've had commercially grown pea sprouts, but they are just nothing compared to these ones i've grown - in fact after buying them once, i couldn't buy them again - they were so tough and stringy. needless to say, i have put down a whole pile of seeds, hoping that they'll serve to provide more sprouts and, hopefully, peas. i'm also looking for somewhere where i can buy the seeds in bulk; that way, i'll be able eat all the sprouts my little heart desires. since the sugar snap pea sprouts are the most delicious, that's the way i'm going.
the pea plants i have are now over a metre high, and still very good to eat....i want to know whether they'll ever make it to the pea production stage....

Friday, June 5, 2009


i never used to feel the urge to buy many kitchen accessories, but lately, i have noticed a whole selection of accessories i wouldn't mind having. some are outdated, but i wouldn't mind getting to know them better before i simply write them off. i want to give them a fighting chance.
on my list, in no particular order, are breadmaker, kitchen aide, pressure cooker, robotic vacuum (i can use that in the kitchen), thermomix. i'm sure there are more, but this selection will do for now.
however, before i start crossing off items on this list, i think there are more important things i have to give priority to.....for, work and more work....
i better go and do some work now that i've reminded myself.

Thursday, June 4, 2009


i'm facinated by ghosts, friendly ones, in particular. i've never seen one, but sometimes, i get the feeling they're there. i'm sure i have one who looks after things for me; might be my guardian angel, but there is something there. definitely.