Almost new kids on the block

On the weekend we had our monthly Metung Market on the village green.  I have blogged about this before but this time there were a couple of stalls that I hadn’t really noticed before.  It is a while since I have been to the market so maybe they have been there for a while.

Wombat Gully

One stall that really caught my eye was this

I had a chat to the owner of the stall just to find out a little more about it.  The owner had moved to Metung two years ago and the flowers are the product of her labour.  She operates the stall with her daughter whom she said was the creative side of the enterprise.

flowersThe flowers that were on display had been beautifully presented and my amateur photography doesn’t do them justice.  There were beautiful little posies which were ideal for children to buy for a couple of dollars as a gift  for their mum for Mothers’ Day.

Wombat Gully Flowers

It is so nice to see a local enterprise making a go of things and I wish them every success in their endeavours.

Another stall that was new for me was one that was selling Soy Candles and melts.

I didn’t take any pictures of the stall but the candles were very reasonably priced and the scents were delightful.  My sister-in-law and my brother bought me some melts for my burner.



Almost floored!

concrete floorWe are in the process of having our kitchen, family room and hallways re-floored.  The previous covering was carpet and tiles and both were looking very dated and the carpet was well worn.

We have chosen a laminate floor and we have been through the process of having the tiles  and carpet lifted.  The carpet was easy but boy what a mess when the tiles were lifted.  The floor had to be ground back to the concrete and there was concrete dust everywhere.

wood laminateWe now have a floor ready for the wood laminate to be laid today.  There will be a bit of paint touching up to do when it is all finished.


Plenty of pumpkin

A local farmer has been selling pumpkins from the back of his ute.  The pumpkins are at a bargain price and even though there are only two of us at home I decided to buy a full pumpkin and see what I could use it for.

The first cab off the rank was our usual pumpkin soup taken from the Australian Women’s Weekly Barbecue cookbook. Pumpkin and Cumin Soup.  I froze a double quantity batch which I had made in the pressure cooker.

pumpkinI still had three quarters of the pumpkin left so I then made some pumpkin tortelli/ravioli with Sage butter. I haven’t made ravioli before although I do make my own pasta.  The first batch I made I put too much filling in them but they still cooked ok.  By the time I made the last batch I felt I had finally got the hang of it. We ate a fresh batch and I froze the remainder so we have a few ready meals in the freezer now.

The recipe for this was from the internet. Manu’s Menu : Tortelli di zucca

This is the first batch.

pumpkin ravioli

After the ravioli I then made Allan and Michele’s Asian inspired pumpkin soup from the Stephanie Alexander cookbook The Cook’s Companion.  That soup was delicious and we now only have about a third of the pumpkin left.  I think I might make some pumpkin scones.  Do you have a favourite pumpkin recipe you might want to share with me?

I haven’t read an Australian author in a while

With my love of crime fiction I am always interested when I find a book recommended on the Radio National program Books and Arts.  One such book was Bitter Wash Road by Gary Disher.  The title had been on my list for a while now and I was able to pick it up at the library recently. You can listen to the audio of the interview by downloading it here.

Bitter Wash RoadFrom the book jacket:

Hirsch is a whistle-blower.  Formerly a promising metropolitan officer, now hated and despised.  Exiled to a one-cop station in South Australia’s wheatbelt.  Threats.  Pistol cartridge in the mailbox.

So when he heads up Bitter Wash Road to investigate gunfire and finds himself cut off without backup, there are two possibilities.  Either he’s found the fugitive killers thought to be in the area.  Or his ‘backup’ is about to put a bullet in him.

He’s wrong on both counts.  But the event s that unfold turn out to be a hell of a lot more sinister.

How refreshing it was to read a fantastic crime fiction novel in a beautifully portrayed Australian setting. I had read many of the young adult novels by this author when I was teaching but none of his adult books.

I will now search out some of his other crime novels as I can choose from a few.

Gary Disher crime novels



A slight reduction in the wool stash

My most recent bit of knitting was using up some of the left over wool from the cardigan I had crocheted out of granny squares and some white wool left over from another project.

The pattern was from the internet and it is a free pattern from the website Dropsdesign.

I did vary the pattern a little as I didn’t include a back opening. I am happy with the result.

colourwork jumper

The brown pattern is supposed to be squirrels.  You need a bit of a stretch of the imagination there.

yoke sweater

Anzac Day in a small Australian village

This year was the hundred year anniversary of the First World War and all round Australia Anzac Day ceremonies were taking place on 25th April.

Metung is only a little village but the turn out for the ceremony showed how important the remembrance ceremony is to the people here as it is in other parts of Australia.

Anzac Day

The ceremony had a contingent of Air Force personnel from the local Air Force Base and there was a strong turn out of local returned service men and women.

The Light Horsemen were represented.

LighthorsemenThe local school children played a part in the ceremony with students telling a short history of each of the nine local residents who were killed in World War 1.  The students then planted a cross for each of the soldiers.

World War 1 crosses

There were two excellent guest speakers and then the ceremonial wreath laying

Anzac Day wreathsfollowed by the Ode.

“They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old;
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.”

Lest we forget.

A traditional part of Anzac Day is the baking of Anzac biscuits.

Anzac biscuits

These biscuits were sent to the troops during the War.

ANZAC Biscuits

During World War 1, the wives, mothers and girlfriends of the Australian soldiers were concerned for the nutritional value of the food being supplied to their men. Here was a problem. Any food they sent to the fighting men had to be carried in the ships of the Merchant Navy. Most of these were lucky to maintain a speed of ten knots (18.5 kilometers per hour). Most had no refrigerated facilities, so any food sent had to be able to remain edible after periods in excess of two months. A body of women came up with the answer – a biscuit with all the nutritional value possible. The basis was a Scottish recipe using rolled oats. These oats were used extensively in Scotland, especially for a heavy porridge that helped counteract the extremely cold climate.

The ingredients they used were: rolled oats, sugar, plain flour, coconut, butter, golden syrup or treacle, bi-carbonate of soda and boiling water. All these items did not readily spoil. At first the biscuits were called Soldiers’ Biscuits, but after the landing on Gallipoli, they were renamed ANZAC Biscuits.

A point of interest is the lack of eggs to bind the ANZAC biscuit mixture together. Because of the war, many of the poultry farmers had joined the services, thus, eggs were scarce. The binding agent for the biscuits was golden syrup or treacle. Eggs that were sent long distances were coated with a product called ke peg (like Vaseline) then packed in air tight containers filled with sand to cushion the eggs and keep out the air.


Everything to do with vegetables

My husband had a birthday recently and one of the gifts he received was this cookbook.

I gave him the cookbook after checking it out at my elder daughters’.  She had a copy and was extolling the virtues of the book. I have to admit that the book is certainly a joy to look at.  The photos are inspiring and hopefully the food that is produced will taste as good as the pictures look.

The first recipe we tried was  Fried cauliflower with mint and tamarind dipping sauce.

The dipping sauce doesn’t look appetising but it tastes delicious.  We will certainly be cooking this one again.

The author of this cookbook was the Guardian newspaper’s vegetarian columnist and from this sprouted his first book called Plenty.  Obviously Plenty More is a follow up to his first publication.

From the bookcover:

Vegetables have moved from the side dish to the main plate, grains re-dressed with colour and flair.  It’s a revolution that is bold, vibrant and ever expanding.

A fabulous book.