Tuesday, October 4, 2011

The Russians are coming!

I know it has been said a trillion, million times, but garden really is a wonderful tonic. I was feeling a little down today, and so finally I took myself outside and started to water part of the garden. This led to watering the vegetable patch, which led to cleaning out some bok choy that had raced away to seed.

In its place I planted at tomato plant that had volunteered in one of my pots. I am not sure what species it is at this early stage, but I suspect that it may be a cherry tomato. It was growing very strongly, so it would have been cruel not to give it more soil and a chance to grow.

To make room for the seedling, I also cut some lettuce. As I pulled one head from the garden a wriggly worm fell back into the soil and raced back into the moist dirt and out of sight. It was a thrill to see that our new garden already has a nice healthy population of worms. Go worms, go!

Before going inside I harvested a couple of the black Russian tomatoes as well. Well, at least I have the salad for dinner - tomatoes and lettuce!

Black tomatoes are known for their strong, earthy tomato flavor, which often has a slight saltiness. Black tomatoes have a very dark skin that starts as dark red or dark green, but becomes almost black as the tomato matures and ripens.

Nearly 50 varieties of black tomato are now found in Russia,. he best-known black Russian tomatoes are the black Krim, a sweet and salty dark greenish tomato named for the Crimea; and the black Russian, a large purple tomato with greenish-black flesh.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

French Bread Recipe

French Bread Recipe.

2 TBL. Dry Active Yeast
2 TBL. of Sugar
3 Cups of warm water.
1 TBL Sea Salt
4 Cups of Unbleached White Bread Flour
2 Cups of Unbleached Whole Wheat Bread Flour

Mix sugar and yeast in a small mixing bowl.
Add warm water and let yeast mixture dissolve for five minutes.
Your yeast mixture should be frothy.

(Kitchen Aid instructions)
If you don't have a kitchen aid, hand knead your dough.

While yeast is dissolving, in a separate small mixing bowl mix white flour and sea salt.
Once yeast has dissolved pour into kitchen aid mixing bowl.
Add white flour mixture to yeast mixture one cup at a time, hand whisking mixture until 
smooth, after every cup.
Attach your dough hook and mixing bowl to your kitchen aid.
Add wheat flour one cup at a time mixing well with the dough hook.
Knead the finished dough with dough hook for five to seven minutes.
Your dough should be slightly sticky.

Cover with damp cloth and let the dough rise for a total of one hour.

During that hour punch down the dough and slightly stir every 10 minutes,
this gives your dough the unique french bread texture you are looking for.

On a floured surface divide dough into two sections.
Roll each section into a long rectangular form.
Fold over rectangle length wise then fold into french bread form.
Pinch all edges.

Place both rolls on a greased jelly roll pan.
Make 1/4 inch deep slashes across loaves.
Let loaves rise for 20 minutes.
Bake at 400F for approximately 18 to 24 minutes,
or until the bottom of the loaves are golden brown.

original recipe link

Monday, February 1, 2010


who are mo and jo

and what do they have to do with my life?

Friday, January 29, 2010

clutter and crud

I have an issue with clutter. The main sections of the house, the down stairs areas are fine - tidy, cleanish and presentable.

The second floor, the private areas are less so. Disclaimer : it is not all mine. The two men in the house have a lot of computer gear and thousands of cords that seem to go along with that. Two daughters have moved out and left some. lots of their belongings. However, I can't blame anyone but husband and I for our bedroom.

I have lots of books and magazines - in two bookcases, beside my bed, on the floor. I also don't like to sort clean laundry so I often have a basket  or two of laundry in there to sort. Did I say it was a very large bedroom? Husband's share is that he travels a lot and neglects to unpack or put away suitcases when her returns. He just throws out the dirty clothes for launder and puts the suitcase on the bedroom floor for next time. At the moment there are two suitcases on the floor.

But wait there's more - I have a writing desk that looks out over the bushland near our house. Lovely spot to sit, but I can't. There are currently clothes over the chair and the desk is covered in my scrapbooking - which I have not touched for over a year!

How do we allow this to happen? I can cite a busy life, illness, lack of energy, abundance. However, despite all that, I know in my heart of hearts that my life would actually be better if I just got rid of come of the clutter - the crud of life.

Yesterday I left the air conditioner on in our bedroom all day as I intended to start work on our bedroom. I didn't. Today I am more motivated and so have left the airconditioner on again - it really is too hot to work in there without it during the day in the Australian summer heat. It is now 1.30 pm and I am yet to go up there and start on it and I am feeling bad about the waste of energy use with the air conditioners.

So as a last resort I am writing about it. If I write about it, I will commit to it and I will guilt myself into starting. Right?

Stay tuned. I may have to fall on my sword yet!

Thursday, January 28, 2010


It has been so hot, for so long, that it is really starting to become exhausting. I can't wait for autumn! I was pegging clothes out on the clotheslines today and husband called from his home office;

"My wife is one hot chick!"

As I had a large straw hat on, and perspiration streaming down my face I instantly knew what kind of "hot" he meant. Funny sod!  He was sitting under a ceiling fan and beside an aircooler! At that moment I was also imagining him spontaneously combusting...

Too much summer

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

night talk

Mr FD was sound asleep when he announced "After you get on the bus, what are you going to do then?"

I don't think he meant me, do you? I hit the road for no one.

what price to pay?

Would a jury convict me for murdering a husband who woke me in the night, not once, but twice, until I could not sleep and had to resort to coming downstairs at 4am?

I am willing to risk it.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Australia Day!

Australia Day, 26 January, is the anniversary of the arrival of the First Fleet of 11 convict ships from Great Britain, and the raising of the Union Jack at Sydney Cove by its commander Captain Arthur Phillip, in 1788 . Though 26 January marks this specific event, today Australia Day celebrations reflect contemporary Australia: our diverse society and landscape, On Australia Day we come together as a nation to celebrate what's great about Australia and being Australian

On Australia Day, many people attend either an organised community event, or get together with family and friends with the intention of celebrating our national day. Many more spend the public holiday relaxing with family and friends at the beach, playing cricket or going to the movies (air conditioning!)

Pull on your thongs [flip flops], chill the beer and kick back with us! Cheers, mate!