Saturday, March 22, 2014

Getting around to it

I remember being very amused as a child when someone gave me a "round tuit". The idea being that when you had one you didn't have an excuse not to do things straight away. If only it really worked! It is so very easy to put things off, especially those things that are only done out of an interest and which don't have a real impact on daily life. Which brings me to hot cross buns.

For years each Easter I've intended to try my hand at making hot cross buns. I love them and purchase many a half dozen over the weeks leading up to Easter. I also love cooking, particularly baking, so it seems an obvious thing for me to have a go at making and yet I never have.

Today I finally did it, filling the house with delicious yeasty, spicy scents, peering under the tea towel as they rose and finally enjoying one smothered in butter.

I used this recipe from the Taste website but following the comments I doubled the spice and could potentially have tripled it. However, what resulted was delicious, fluffy, yummy hot cross buns. I don't know that they are so much better than those you can buy that they are a must make, but they are very satisfying.

And best of all, I finally got around to it!

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Happy International Day of Happiness

"Happiness may have different meanings for different people. But we can all agree that it means working to end conflict, poverty and other unfortunate conditions in which so many of our fellow human beings live." Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

Today is the UN International Day of Happiness. I hope today everyone finds a reason to smile and better yet, finds a reason to make another person smile. You can read a few of my thoughts on how to be happy here and more will be coming soon!

Friday, March 7, 2014


Every year I grow a bountiful supply of tomatoes in our veggie patch. Home grown tomatoes are wonderful things, so bursting with flavour and perfect for the tiny space we have available. I've experimented with many other crops over the years with mixed success, but I may have just found something to compete with the tomatoes - cucamelons.

Cucamelons, also called Mexican Sour Cucumbers, are tiny bite sized cucumbers. They are the size of a grape tomato, look like a miniature watermelon and taste just like a cucumber. I'm still getting used to the experience of eating them. They don't have the explosion of flavour that you get from a grape tomato but have more crunch than a piece of cucumber. And they are prolific! I can see why there are so many recipes for pickling them, I would say that in the next couple of weeks we are going to be inundated.

I grew them from direct sown seeds (bought from the amazing Diggers Club) so they have taken a while to get to fruiting stage. Next year I think I will grow them as seedlings so that I can get them in the ground earlier, but now that they have hit the fruiting point, I'm thinking of all the possibilities of what I can do with the fruit.

I find it really exciting to be growing a vegetable that I've never seen before, only read about and having had a browse of the Diggers Club website I realise there are so many options out there. I can imagine that at some point in the future when we have a decent sized back yard I will grow all sorts of amazing things.

Do you grow your own veggies? And have you discovered any unusual and exciting crops along the way.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Slouchy Saturdays

I read something the other day that said "never trust a woman who says she doesn't own track pants". Now I wouldn't say I would go as far as not trusting her, but I'm not sure we could be good friends. You see track pants are an important ingredient in slouchy Saturdays, which are one of my most favourite things. Other important ingredients are a complete lack of plans, to-do lists or time pressures. A slightly grey sky is helpful, as it negates any chance that you feel compelled to take advantage of perfect weather by leaving the house.

Slouchy Saturdays are not lazy Saturdays. In fact quite a lot often happens on them. It is just that with no to-do list needing to be ticked off by a certain time or having to leave the house, things happen in a relaxed, pottering kind of fashion.

Silk flower cleaning - the kind of chore that only gets done on a slouchy Saturday

Sleep-ins are often involved. Followed by some chores done in a random, as I feel like it, order. A bra is optional, track pants are not.

At the end of a slouchy Saturday I generally feel incredibly relaxed, and yet I have a tidy house, something delicious simmering on the stove and a neat garden. It feels like without any effort I've done everything that is needed.

With a busy life slouchy Saturdays are fairly infrequent. Usually we have plans, something that needs to be done, or people we are seeing, activities we are doing. Those weekends are great, but there is something so refreshing about a slouchy Saturday.