Nice Summer, that was . . .

Yesterday, after our long visit to the garden centre, my friend A and I had a lovely lunch at The Tea Place, where I had a chicken chipotle panini and a watermelon passionfruit bubble tea (with mango stars; my favourite!); friend A had a ham and cheese panini and a mango orange bubble tea with tapiocs bubbles. We love The Tea Place and it was good to sit by the big front window and catch up on each other’s lives. I could have taken pictures, but was too busy eating, drinking and chatting to think of it. But you probably want a picture anyway, so here you are:

20130429-152210.jpg that’s two crows, two grocery bags and one seagull on a grassy back lawn, spotted after I was back downstairs at my Aunty’s. Looks so lovely, doesn’t it? Like spring might really arrive . . . and this morning I woke to this:

20130429-152812.jpg It continued all day; here’s a couple more shots:


20130429-185423.jpg. . . snow on the Narnia lamp
. . . and more snow . . .

20130429-185558.jpg I think I’ll send any more ‘special delivery’ AND ‘overnight express’ to my friends downunder πŸ˜‰


32 thoughts on “Nice Summer, that was . . .

    • Thanks, Stacy! Actually, I may whine about the snow, but I’m really glad we aren’t up in the 30s (C) yet . . .

      I hope spring is more than a wee pause before the heat, dust and noise of summer . . . I do like a warm spring πŸ™‚

  1. I’m with Rabid here…we have had rain twice this month (does that qualify for a flood yet? πŸ˜‰ ) BUT the skies are blue, it might be 15C but it’s fantastic weather for working in and we are outside most days prepping things for our massive effort to create a large enclosed garden out of carnage…at the moment carnage is winning but “slowly…slowly…catchy…monkey” as they say! I plan on catching me a barbary ape! πŸ˜‰ I can’t do it! I can’t pretend that I am not totally and utterly enraptured by that snow! It’s gorgeous linnie and I am envious πŸ™‚ (where those crows and seagulls and plastic bag are I am imagining a Narf7 snow angel right now πŸ™‚ )

  2. I do feel for you all. Will it NEVER end? We were discussing plans for a lamb (to become known as the fatted lamb) but at the moment we haven’t had enough rain for the grass to grow! I mowed the front last weekend but it hadn’t been mowed in probably a couple of months in reality. The grass may be riz, but it sure ain’t growing. You’re hogging all the precipitation! πŸ˜‰

    • Still some dregs of snow, but much of it is gone now. A bit of greening on the lawn, too; but I’m not getting my hopes up . . . here it can snow in ANY month!! What I get for living so far north . . . but at least it’s not the arctic!

      Fatted lamb sounds good to me . . . we never had it growing up; mutton was the main thing served to the army guys during the War and my Dad couldn’t stand to be reminded . . . he was over there for several years.

      I started eating lamb after I left home and it’s a favourite of mine; I like the shoulder chops or a roast with slivers of garlic and rosemary inserted in slits all over, then roasted slowly . . .

      PLEASE, take the precip!! We do need rain here, but I’m sure the snow could be melted once you get it . . . warm n rainy would suit me just fine; other folks here will be whinging about the wet, though πŸ˜‰

      • Mmmmmmm roman lamb is divine (rosemary and garlic) but I must admit I’m a sucker for a plain roast with teeth-breakingly crunchy spuds, roasted pumpkin, green beans, cauliflower cheese and mint sauce. All time favourite meal and both my mum and Nanna made a mean version thereof. Except the spuds. My mum never managed crunchy spuds.

      • Mint sauce! Rabid, how could I have forgotten that? I love it, too.

        My Mum made cauliflower cheese sometimes, and I like it, but never tried it with lamb . . .

        Pumpkin was always pie for us, but nowadays I sometimes make a mean smoothie with it.

        How do you do the crunchy potatoes? I’m planning a pork tenderloin roast dinner for us all tonight and am going to put carrot, onion and potato chunks in the pan around the roast. Sweetlet peas on the side . . .

      • Crunchy spuds a la Martin is cooking and I can’t screw them up. πŸ˜‰ He parboils them until just starting to soften around the outside, drains them then back into the saucepan with the lid on. He then shakes them like billy-o to fluff up the outsides. If you’ve cooked them too much you will end up with mash. Then they go into a pan with hot melted lard (we used half lard half olive oil (not great heating olive oil I know) and they were DIVINE) and cook til crispy. Make sure they’re all oiled over though so put them in and turn them or brush them til covered.
        I find it strange what other countries do with pumpkin. Pumpkin pie sounds really strange to me as pumpkins are savoury yet pies are sweet. I love it steamed, roasted or best of all in soup! Butternut pumpkin (squash to the UK) soup. I LURVE pumpkin soup and with Thermy it has skin and seeds all blended up smooth together for the ultimate in healthy soup. πŸ™‚ Pumpkin smoothie just sounds weird to me. Sorry. I wonder if our pumpkins are different varieties and yours are sweeter or something. Hmmm.
        We have a family friend in Louisiana and when he comes out he always asks for a roast with the full trimmings and pumpkin soup. One year he came to visit us in the Summer and on a 37C day we sat down to that for dinner. Only the love of our friend kept us there I tell you. lol

      • Saw this too late, but quite co-incidental . . . Mum was downstairs with her sister, so I made it up as I went akong . . . thanks to your inspiration!

        Put the roast in at 2:00, after oiling it and the pan with veg oil, then rubbing it with garlic salt and poultry seasoning (not a large selection of spices up there). I peeled the spuds and cut them into eighths, more or less. The oven had been pre-heated at 450F; I turned it down to 350F.

        I kept thinking about the ‘crunchy’ . . . I put a quarter of the spud pieces in a bowl and drizzled olive oil over, using my left hand to mix it up; into the pan and repeat ’til all were done. It was 3:30ish.

        Scraped the carrots (I don’t peel if cooking for just myself; potatoes or other veg either), cut into chunks, dumped them in the bowl but didn’t add oil, just used what was there and mixed them up; into the pan and back into the oven they went . . .

        At 4:30 or so I removed the pan, stirred up the veg a bit (now crisping up QUITE nicely!) and added two onions, peeled and cut into chunks. . . . back into the oven.

        I had set a pan with about two cups of water in it on the back burner (electric stove) where the heat vents from the oven to warm up; it simmered without being turned on, so at 5:00 I threw in the tiny frozen peas and left the burner off. The peas turned out oerfectly!!

        We ate at 6:00 and everything was just right!! Thanks for the inspiration, rabid!!

        Mum says she would have parboiled the spuds, too, but I didn’t know that; next time . . .

        For myself, I would use small new potatoes, unpeeled and uncut, not parboiled, but coated lightly with olive oil. Unpeeled carrots ditto. I’d try peeled parsnips and what we always called turnips, but are really mangel-wurzels (the yellow ones with purpley tops; just lovely!) as well. A hearty winter dish, eh?

        If I was doing lamb, I’d stick to the milder flavours of veg.

        So . . . the meal was all I’d hoped and a resounding success with Mum and my Aunty; all I could hope for!! Tender, delicious, crispy where it counted . . .

        Thanks again, rabid!! and sorry there are no photos; I was focused on timing (crucial with my Aunty) and then it was leftovers in the fridge . . .

      • With no Thermy, we use canned pumpkin. Mum likes the canned pumpkin pie filling, which has sugar and spices added, but she always adds more spices. I do, too. I use cinnamon, nutmeg, a touch of cloves, allspice and ginger.

        I buy the unsweetened and add brown sugar, also vanilla. Spoon into a raw pie crust (no upper crust) and bake at about 325 or 350 F until a toothpick or thin knife poked into the middle comes out clean. Serve hot, warm or cold with whipped cream or ice cream. Yum!!

        I found the smoothie recipe on The Pioneer Woman blog, then, as usual, adapted it a bit. I start with about a cup of 1% yogourt, add about a galf cup of canned pie filling, more spices plus vanilla, a half cup of 1% milk and maybe a few ice cubes. I inherited a “Magic Bullet” last year (a sort of mini blender), so all this goes into the container, gets whizzed up, then the drinking ring replaces the knife unit and I’m ready to go!!

        I don’t have these often, but they are really good! I’ve thought of trying them with honey or maple syrup, too . . .

      • I ‘lurve’ pumpkin soup, too, rabid! Butternut and kabocha are my favourites, but green-skinned hubbards (those BIG ones!) are my all-time faves for eating and I’d love to try them as soup . . . we rarely see them in the stores here, for some reason.

        Our pumpkins are savoury, too; we just add sugar and spice to make pies (and smoothies!). I try to keep my sugar intake down, so pumpkin pies are for Thanksgiving in October, and for Christmas. Pumpkin soup is for anytime, of course πŸ˜‰

      • I’ve grown some this year from seeds I’d saved from some organic pumpkins I’d bought. I think they were called eastern grey pumpkins but they’ve grown through with some shaping that looks a bit like Turks turban so I think they must have been cross pollinated. Taste great though. πŸ™‚ I’ve saved the seeds though. πŸ™‚ I will have Carvae pumpkins. πŸ˜€
        I love Jap or Queensland Blue for roasting though but I’m a butternut lover for soup. πŸ™‚ I’ve never heard of the pumpkins you mentioned but I’m not exactly a pumpkin expert. πŸ™‚

      • WOW, I have never heard of most of these varieties. I’m thinking that I know very little about what I claim is my favourite vegetable. 😦 I know Jap and Queensland Blue are our most popular varieties here in the spuermarkets at least, aside from butternut of course. I’m going to have a look at the diggers catalogue now and see what other weird and wondrous varieties I can find to grow. I would like to try a very small one to vine up my trees in the food forest garden though. πŸ™‚ If they cross pollinate each other then that’s fine by me. πŸ™‚

      • Did you know you can use pantyhose to make hammocks for the fruits when growing heavy stuff like squash vertically? Also good for tying up the vines without strangulation. I’d have to beg some from my more dressy friends, though. I only have long skirts, partly so I can wear socks underneath. Hope you have some fashionista friends . . .

      • Or friends that work and wear skirts. I don’t think I own a pair of pantyhose and my tights are too thick to ladder easily so they tend to outlast a few seasons.

      • Don’t look to me! πŸ˜‰ I’m too tall for most tights or pantyhose, hence the socks. But I used to have friends who worked, were shorter and into fashion.

        Maybe you could ‘cultivate’ an office block or two, offering to pick up clean laddered PH once a month or even just once or twice a year . . . a nice upcycling project . . .

      • Yeah, I was surprised at the varieties, too. I\m thinking I’m gonna need a quarter section . . . (160 acres) πŸ˜‰

      • The only problem with playing with different pumpkin varieties is that they will cross pollinate so you won’t keep your pumpkins pure. Still, there could be some very tasty and quirky results.

      • True (tasty and quirky). You could, if you want to breed true varieties, share the growing. Say Kym grew one variety, you another, a third friend yet another. You could share the harvest and grow a different type the following year. Fran could share seeds, as she’s likely too far away to share heavy pumpkins . . .

        On a large property, one could have separate patches, but then there’s the fencing, watering, etc.

      • I like the turbans, too; when I have a place to grow them, will talk to you (and a few others) about seeds . . .

      • 37C?? I think I’d be cooking that in the early morning, going out for the day (preferably to a lake, river or ocean), then eating it cold later in the evening. But some people only eat roast dinner hot and some eat by the clock, as I know alk too well . . .

        You deserve a medal!! That’s a special friend, to inspire such love . . .

Thanks for stopping by my blog! I look forward to reading your comments. ~ Linne

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