In My Backyard

Beautiful Plants Make a Pretty Garden.
It is mid Autumn, the weather is cool but pleasant. Where I live we have enough rains, and sun shines which make gardens grow very well. In my backyard now my potted plants are at their best, they are in flowers and the orchids has spikes, plenty of buds and the herbs are green and good.

Pictures: Potted Salvia,  Nasturtium, Rosemary Herb is in flower and Potted Cymbidium Orchid.
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I planted a pomegranate tree in 2007, it’s a gift from my daughter Melanie,  it grows to a healthy and smallish tree.  I have been waiting for the flowers and fruits patiently, but at last this year it is in flowers.   I was so excited to see some flowers, but only one of them matured to become a fruit.  Took me nine years to harvest a pomegranate fruit.  I am very grateful.
This is the picture which Rayner took the other day.

My roses are still in flowers and the red roses are budding again, giving us the flowers for the second round this year. The climbing pink Cecil Bruner is still in flower and I could enjoy it through the window of our study.  100_5548 Other perennial flowering plant which give the best colour is the Gallipoli Heath, and these are the pictures.
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In the vegetable garden grow eggplants,  jalopino and of course the herbs that they have been there for sometimes.  I had apple cucumber which gave us a lot of fruits and I forgot to say that I had two tomato plants too.  Here is the picture of the cucumber plant intertwined with the tomato.
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This year I added amaranth but I planted it in a pot, it has been good, I have harvested and cooked it for my family.

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The harvest: eggplant, apple cucumbers.   It is so good to have fresh vegetables from the garden.
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I must tell you that I have new Australian native plants for the backyard.  Two are planted in the ground and one is potted.

The potted Australian native-correa Baeuerlenii and the other two are Banksia and correa Reflexa Dusky Bell. They are beautiful plants and easy to care for.
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The garden in the backyard is looking pretty enough, but the tall wall-the hedges need trimmings.  Rayner does it meticulously and sometime he gets help from a gardener as the job is getting too much for him.

I found my peace in my backyard  – in the backyard and loving it.



Until Next Post




We had a lovely Easter, almost everyone was there. It was good to have the family together, in fact our grand son who lives in the Netherlands, was with us and of course his mama and papa too.  Melanie and her family were spending their Easter in Tasmania, we missed them, but we knew that the were having a good time too.

I am showing you pictures of the Easter feast and delicious dishes which I cooked during the Season. A recipes of my chunky meatballs is here if you wish to try. Enjoy!

Easter Crown, Easter Buns and Easter Lamb for 2016

The Easter Crown was made  of brioche and decorated with boiled eggs in herbs and tea.  Indeed it looked good.  And the Easter buns, were brioche buns filled with chocolate cream patissiere.  And our Easter Lamb was amazingly delicious, the salam-daun salam did it and the golden spiced sauce for the lamb was perfect.

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My Recipe

Chunky Meatballs


700 g diced leg of pork

500 g minced chicken breast

100 chopped bacon

100 g fresh breadcrumbs
2 eggs

2 tablespoons oil

1 chopped red onion

2 chopped celery stalks

2 chopped cloves garlic

¼ teaspoon white pepper

1 teaspoon salt

½ tablespoon roasted fennel seeds.

Mix all ingredients together, until are combined.

Make 16 meatballs,  about 99 gr each ball approx.

Prepare tomato sauce:  chopped fresh tomato about one kilo gram and cook in a deep saucepan with ½ cup olive oil, stir and toss, let it cook until soft.  Add in a bottle-600 mill tomato pure, and continue cooking over a low heat for one hour.  Add in herbs and spices: oregano, basil, garlic, and salt and paper to taste.  Continue braising for 30 minutes.  This tomato is ready for braising the meat balls.

To cook the meatballs

Pan fry the meatballs until brown all over.
To braise:
2 cups meat stock
The tomato sauce
Use a heavy based saucepan to cook – braise the meatballs.

Place the meatballs in tomato sauce which had been braised well, and bring to simmer, add in the stock, and a cup red wine, and braise the meatballs for two hours over a low heat.

During braising maintain the same low heat until the meatballs are cooked and tender.

To serve:

Serve with pasta and leafy salad aside.
Or Serve pasta with the sauce garnished with Parmesan Cheese and followed by the meatballs garnished with fresh leafy salad.

Preparation and cooking of the chunky meat balls.
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Fish for the Feast

Pan fry ocean trout served with mustard sauce and garnished with salmon and spinach roulade.  It is a very delicate dish  light but delightful.  It was a very successful cooking.  The roulade was prepared a week before and it kept well in freezer.  Chocolate, honey and coffee cake was one of our sweets, and served with fresh strawberry.

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We shared with friends our savoury brioche and sweets brioche with chocolate eggs.  We love our decorated boiled Easter eggs, but we enjoy our chocolate Easter eggs too.

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Easter was celebrated well, and now the children and grand kids in Australia are back to school, and the grown up are back to work.  Milo, his mama and papa are enjoying the holiday in Australia and New Zealand.  Me and Rayner are back onto the daily routine, happily. We are blessed.

I do hope your Easter were great and very happy one.

The weather is getting cooler but it is still pleasant.  Keep well and stay well.


Until Next Post


Steak and Salad

One of my favourite dish to cook for my family is steak.   It is easy to prepare, quick to cook and yet so delicious.

The cut I like are T bone, Porterhouse, and Rump steak.  I love these steaks as they have their deliciousness.  T bone steak is the best as it has two delicious flavours and texture.    I love to serve them with salads, any type of salad is great for these steaks.   Rump steak is more economical to buy and yet very flavoursome.

A time when I feel rich I would buy eye fillet steaks or whole eye fillet.  Not long ago, I cooked  a beautiful and delicious whole eye fillet of beef for the family and it was very successful.  The meat was so tender, and juicy, pink in the middle.

January is a hot month, but we love our meat and fresh salad for a treat.  This whole eye fillet of beef was the answers. 

100_5176100_5172It is delicious to serve with fresh mixed tomatoes with basil.  Dress lemon juice and olive oil.

Now it is Autumn, the weather is cooler, instead preparing steaks and salad, we could have baked or roasted meat.  It was March in 1974. dear friend of ours took us out for a dinner in the Southern Cross Hotel in Melbourne which is no longer here now.  I remember vividly what I had, it was a large porterhouse steak served with white steamed rice.  Oh my word, the serve was so generous, the steak was very big, larger than the plate.  Indeed we had a good time but we could not finished the meal.  Father Fulton took us there (he was the vice principal of the school where Rayner worked as a teacher).
It was a great night and I had  a good experience of dinning out Australian way,  for the very first time.


Steak for dinner is one of my family favourites.


Next post will be about Easter 2016, we had a lovely Easter with the family.


Stay Tuned.