My Garden ~ a Kiwi's take on life

Life is a lot like a garden

My Garden ~ the heat is in the garden and in the kitchen




As the weather gets muggier and warmer, growth in the garden is rapid and a conflict of interest happens as work gets busier with end-of-year reviewing and forward planning and pre-Christmas socials. The heat is also on in the kitchen. Friend Trish brought some grapefruit picked from her tree for me to make marmalade – just as my thoughts were on making cauliflower pickle. And I keep hearing the retail message that it’s-55-shopping-days-to a jolly Christmas. So, Christmas baking has been added to my To Do list. This year I’m making it easy on myself and like my sister, am using a favourite boiled fruit cake recipe which only needs three eggs and is quick to make. Food prices here have increased of late – but it’s still cheaper to make my own cake.

base-recipe-1.jpg   boiled-fruit-cake.jpg  I sometimes wonder why I say I use a recipe when I nearly always modify it in some way and the end-result is different every time. This time, I substituted organic muscovado sugar for its rich flavour and texture and added brandy.  What my sister and I tend to do because we’ve usually cook for large numbers, is to double quantities in such a basic recipe. The texture is lighter and slightly more crumbly than the richer cakes I usually make. Later, I’ll cut the double-sized cake into smaller pieces and then wrap them to be given as gifts.

grapefruit-marmalade.jpg  The marmalade set well, is sharp to taste as we like it and clear so the shredded rind shows.

The cauliflower has been cut into small florets, the onions are finely sliced and salt has been sprinkled over the vegetables to be left overnight. I have two recipes I’m using. One includes finely chopped fresh mint leaves, turmeric, cayenne pepper, allspice. The other includes crushed pineapple, dry mustard and curry powder.  Both simmered in white vinegar and then thickened.

Well, it’s Saturday evening. People throughout the country will get together, may be enjoy a barbeque and set off some fireworks to ‘celebrate’ Guy Fawkes. Fire-fighters don’t ‘celebrate’ – there’s always the idiot factor at work somewhere, I guess. Local councils are doing their best to encourage families to enjoy organised public displays. Sales of fireworks were restricted to about four days and then it’s only over-18 year olds who can buy them. Not the same sense of freedom as when we were kids.



Author: Jenny

My garden is where I lose myself, or as Himself likes to tell others, I lose either my coffee mug or wine glass. Well at least I put them on a gatepost so they are easily found. As I see it, we are here on this place to respect and to preserve nature, not to develop the land. I love how the totara trees stand in silent witness to our human activity. They keep me honest. I love to wander along the stream bank. I like being able to grow fruit and vegetables. I enjoy green open space. My son challenged me to write a blog using my garden diaries to start. Writing a blog is quite different to my diary scribblings. It is for a different audience. In every post, I have to make a conscious effort to get free of an academic style of writing. I write about things I know and do in my everyday life. I am not a photographer but the images I use are taken by me. I believe this adds veracity to my voice in each post. Learning to setup and to manage a blog has been a major effort and remains a work in progress. Who knows where this will lead. Himself and I thought we had retired, about to define this older phase of our life together. But family commitments continue. As it happens, I share this place with Himself, son and grandsons and living creatures who live charmed existences. I watch on as they serve as actors weaving their ways across the stage of daily life. Shakespeare wrote in As You Like It: All the world’s a stage, And all the men and women merely players; They have their exits and their entrances; Always, there's something to write about life lived as I know it.

4 thoughts on “My Garden ~ the heat is in the garden and in the kitchen

  1. Reading your blog ,you seem so much like me..What a great site,thank you I really enjoyed reading it and will be back.

  2. So glad you dropped by, Jackie. Stay in touch – I enjoy knowing and learning about others elswhere. I love the recipes you have on your site. Cheers Jenny.

  3. Just looked up Guy Fawkes Day but still a bit confused. Is the celebration about their failure to blow up Parliament or about the notion that someone would try?

    I understand about fireworks – the one and only time (after years of saying no) I allowed my kids to shoot off a bottle rocket it went straight into the brush at the edge of the lake and started a small fire. Go figure.

  4. Hi in21 – it is confusing. Guy Fawkes was obviously a failure – so why celebrate? Why we observe this day in this country I have no idea. The reasons are lost I suspect in the mists of time – may be it’s a relic of our colonial past ties with England. It seems to have become an excuse I suspect some to let off ‘steam’ – more likely those with money to burn -akin to lighting $5, $10 … etc dollar notes. An annual madness. Cheers, Jenny.

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