Monday, November 13, 2017

November garden

The weather has warmed up here. We're having a mini heat wave and it is wonderful.

The garden is at it's best at this time of year and I went out this morning to capture some of it to share.

Monday, November 6, 2017

The 141st annual Millicent show

Our local show was held over the weekend.

Every year before the show, our Gymnastics Club, where I am a coach, and committee member, pack down our entire gym to hand over the youth hall for the show's indoor exhibitions.

It's been a busy few weeks, as we hold our end of year concert before pack down.

I don't have to tell you, how quickly the end of October/November has rolled around, it has been hectic. Somewhere in between we also squeezed in Halloween.

With all that has been going on, I didn't have time to get together a lot of show entries. I did win a first and second in photography(mind you, I was the only entries for the black and white section of 'people or portraits'). A first for cut flowers, and a first for a bunch of parsley. I like the parsley bit, because there's an old wives tale that says, 'It only grows well in a garden, where the woman is the boss!' I won second for my mixed herbs.My total winnings was $8. It went on a bottle of wine.

Summer did well. Amongst her produce(broad beans, eggs, and parsley) she got a first for her parsley bunch. Her flowers she got firsts in sweet peas, purple flowers, and cut flowers. One of her cut flowers received best exhibition, and she won a sash. I can't remember if she won anything for her white flowers.

She was so elated, telling everyone with so much pride and excitement. The same went for her first, in the honey crackles section.

The icing on the cake was a first, and best exhibit for her chocolate crackles. She was even more amazed and excited. This kid is so full of awe and love for life. Her winnings totalled $22. It's in an envelope in the filing cabinet! She also won a pair of kiddy gardening gloves for her efforts.

I was so proud of her, for her two light blue best exhibit sashes. Her first ever. As we picked up our entries and winnings on Saturday, she danced around with her sashes, carefree. Oh to be five, nearly six again...

What was even more important, we were supporting our local show by entering in the first place. Local shows need entries to keep them going. If not for normal people like us putting in entries for classes such as cooking, produce, photography, art and flowers, there is no show.

You never know your luck!! 

It was a fantastic show. The fireworks display was better than ever and the entire weekend was a credit to the new committee. 

Monday, October 30, 2017

Growing broad beans this season? Here's two ways to use them.

I am well aware that broad beans are an acquired taste, and not everyone's cup of tea.

A bit like Brussels sprouts really. Both can be cooked up in the same way. If I had the choice, I'd choose broad beans, hands down.

Broad beans are easy, they are not fussy and easy as to grow.

At the start of Spring, choose a patch (a metre by a metre). Dig it over and sow some seed(about 12-16 seeds). You will soon be rewarded with loads of yummy beans.

1. Broad bean and bacon creamy pasta.

Boil up two cups of pasta shapes( I used curly macaroni here), in the last couple of minutes, add a cup of shelled broad beans. If they are large and older broad beans, you may have to peel the beans (once cooked), as the skins are usually tough and chewy.

While the pasta is cooking, fry off the bacon. Add the garlic and stir, add the cream and simmer for a few minutes until the cream starts to thicken. At this point add salt and pepper.

Add the pasta to the cream mixture, stir through and serve with a sprinkling of Parmesan cheese, if liked. One of my girls loves the stuff and won't eat pasta without it. 

2. Broad bean and bacon fry up.

This is one of my favourite broad bean side dishes, as it takes no time and is ready in a flash, and Oh. So. Tasty.

Slice a small onion, a few rashers of bacon and cook them on a medium heat until the onion is soft.
Add two cups of cooked broad beans and stir until combined and the beans have warmed through.