Relishes, Extension and Delights.

When I first moved to my home, it was a dinky 2 bedroom house, with not enough room to swing a cat – if I’d wanted to – which I didn’t!cat

But… I have so many interests, so many books, that I had to weave my way though it all like a rabbit in a cornfield. It became fairly obvious very quickly that I needed to do something – and so the L-shaped snug wrap around extension was born.

It was wonderful! I could spread all my detritus around with gay abandon.

Well … you know what that means, don’t you? The old saying ‘you always fill the space you have’ has worked admirably in my case. How did I fit all this ‘stuff’ in such a small house before? My books have bred with alarming fecundity, my material goods have wheelincreased threefold ( a spinning wheel and loom added to the floor space) and my extra cupboards are now full of jars over flowing with delights for the palate.

I have made preserves of all kinds, sauces and marmalade, jams and jarschutneys. I have experimented with cordials and different butters (lemon and peanut), flavoured vinegars and pickles, and even pastes and relishes.

When my garden gives me a glut of anything, zucchinis to apples – I work out a preserve for the lean times.

Recently, a friend gave me some mangoes. Now, I know you will all be horrified ( and mangorightly so) – but I don’t like mangoes!

Mango relish is a different story tho’. Here is the recipe I used.

MANGO RELISH: –

900g/2lb mangoes (peeled, de-stoned and sliced)

!/2 tspn salt

225g/8oz peeled,cored and sliced apples

200g/3/4cup raw sugar

1 onion – chopped finelyrelish

1 tspn crushed garlic.

Place the mangoes in a bowl (non-metallic) and sprinkle with salt. Set aside for a while.

Put the vinegar and sugar into a large saucepan and heat gently, stirring, until the sugar dissolves.

Add the mangoes, apples, onion and garlic, and bring to the boil (stir occasionally).

Rn hour, until the mixture is thick.

Spoon into sterilized jars and seal. Allow two weeks to mature before eating.

******

So …

Now my house is full again, my pantry is bulging and my bookcases are groaning. What else is left to do?

My dreams are reality – and at 70 years of age, that is a wonderful thing to admit. Now the only thing that I would like is a man to love. But – be careful what you wish for – not only do I NOT want a married man, or a young stud, or a drunken old man, or a widow who is still grieving his past wife, or a gambler, or a smoker, or an angry personality, or a violent man, or a sick personage that I have to care for, or a sports fanatic, or a  ……………. you get the idea? I’m very hard to please!!!! An impossible dream and fantasy at my age.

With kindness

Maureen

BookCoverImageSLF

 

P.S. I love fantasy and gentleness. Here is the second book in my chapter books about  fairies and elves that I wrote for middle school age children. Interested? email me at maureenlarter@gmail.com

Book 1 is called ‘Broken Wing’ and Book 3 is titled ‘Cave of the Golden Bowerbird’. I wonder if I’ll write a book 4?

 

 

 

Radishes, Eastern and Dahlias.

Did you know that after the atomic bomb hit Japan and there was so much destruction, the first things that were grown – on a hospital window sill – were radishes?

This gave hope to the devastated people.

War is so terrible – innocent people get hurt with horrific wounds, let alone be killed. I saw the effects in Cambodia, and yet – still – somewhere on the planet, there is war. It doesn’t seem to matter where you are, peace is hard to maintain. It makes me sad.

I live on the Eastern side of Australia, and even here, there are crimes, anger and violence within homes and communities. Seems to be that humans can’t learn – and the urge to violence is in all of us. If we can’t get along with our family or friends or near community, how an earth can there ever be peace on Earth?

What with guns used indiscriminately and cruelties against women, the world, for all its beauty, is an uncomfortable place to be at times. I have just about finished a novel about domestic violence – so much in the news at present – and it wasn’t an easy book to write. It is called ‘Ordeal by Innocence’ and should be available soon. Book cover by Francessca Wingfield. OrdealbyIa

OK – enough! Lets\’s talk about other things.

Here is a lovely salad recipe, using radishes, from Coles free magazine – February 2017 Page 4 – feel free to go and look at all the free magazines at you leisure. img257

( http://www.coles.com.au/magazine#view=catalogue2&saleId=15442&page=4 )

The other thing that happened this week was our local country town show. Country shows in Australia are the event to show off our produce, stock and horses. imagesaSo there are judging for cows and calves/ sheep and goats. Even poultry. In the pavilion, we have knitting, crotchet, quilling, quilting and dressmaking. We also have flowers such as Dahlias,downloaddroses, lilies and plants of all kinds. Everything is judged and gets a ribbon.

The schools also enter displays.

clownSide-show alley is alive and well, and stalls sell all sorts of things.

 

Tractors, mowers and machinery are all on show. We have a rodeo one nightdownloadf, and a demolition derby on the next.downloadb

 

 

 

 

Great fun for all ages and on top of that gives the next year’s entries something to dream about.

With Kindness

Maureen

P.S. – Here is a lovely picture book for children about a concert or show. “Ben Brolga’s BenfrontBand’ is about Australian birds that dance, and they form a band, giving a concert to all there friends in the bush. It is FREE if you email me for it. My email is maureenlarter@gmail.com

This is also shown on my next page.

 

 

Rest, Effects and Decorating.

Finally we all get a rest from the heat of Summer. This year has been dry and hot, and as I age I’ve felt it more than previous years. With Autumn came the rain, and a better temperature. My garden thanked the Nature Gods and the plants that had almost expired, re- hydrated and lifted their leaves to the heavens.

plantI find the effects of rain amazing. I water diligently in the heat, and the plants wilt – along comes the water from the sky, and they rejoice. The grass becomes green overnight and the flowers perk up and buds and new leaves form.

Now I whinge about the wet! And I worry I haven’t got my seeds in soon enough, and that I’ll need to mow more now the grass is finally growing.

Aren’t humans contrary!

I can’t believe that I went from sitting at the edge of a stream, fanning myself and wondering whether I could breathe, to looking at the possibility of donning a cardigan or hoodie! All in the space of twenty four hours.

While I think of it – I haven’t given out a recipe for a while – here is a delicious cake/bread to be served warm or cold, with butter or not – great picnic fare.

Barabrith:-

250g mixed dried fruit of choice

125g raw sugarbread

250g SR flour

1 egg

½ tspn mixed spice

1 cup cold tea.

  1. Soak fruit overnight in the tea with the added sugar.
  2. Next morning, preheat oven to 180-200°C.
  3. Add egg, flour and spice to the fruit mixture. Mix well.
  4. Place in 2 greased loaf tins or one large square cake tin.
  5. Bake for approx 45 mins.
  6. Serve cool, sliced with butter. Serves 8-12.

Enjoy! It can be decorated with a sprinkle of icing sugar, or a lemon icing goes well too. I prefer to eat it warm – nothing except a pat of butter – YUM!!

These days, I love to cook – it is better to know what I put in the food I eat. Maybe, the escalating of weight and disease can be attributed to the preservatives and other things that the manufacturers put in our food to give it a long shelf life. Of course, that is only my opinion, and there are many influences in our 21st Century lifestyle that contribute to our health. One day, maybe, the dream of a long and healthy life will be the norm. (As an aside, it probably should be pointed out, that a check on our population would not go astray either!)

With Kindness

Maureen

Here is a little children’s picture book celebrating the changes in life, and the beauty around us. ($20 Australian plus postage)Candy Cow Front

If you would like a copy to read to the children in your life, be they sons, daughters, grandchildren or nephews and nieces, please feel free to contact me on maureenlarter@gmail.com