Monday, November 23, 2009

Good to be back home........................

after two days:  probably trapped in a garage, or garden shed somewhere. Anyway, this cat was more than pleased to be greeted with his plate of food; two more helpings, and a little saucer of milk..




It was a couple of hours after the letterbox drop around the neighbourhood before a sheepish Harrison came sauntering in and made a beeline for the fridge.
And will his curiosity be getting the better of him any time soon...?  Probably not.............


'You see, I just kind of walked into this - without giving it much thought.'  It's also possible he well and truly outstayed his welcome: it's all the fuss he kicks up when he wants to come in. Prancing back and forth outside any bedroom window, wowing and wailing; on and on....................

Perhaps he couldn't be heard from where he was, hence a couple of days of solitary confinement. Or maybe, after coming across the note in the letterbox, the homeowner was only too pleased to see the back of him.............. and the wailing.

Needless to say, he would have been in full flight in his dash for freedom. But, we love him, despite his funny little ways, and it's lovely having him back home again.



Saturday, November 21, 2009

Roast dinner in 30 minutes.......



 
Of late I have been freezing all sorts of vegetables, sauces, soups and casseroles; ready for another day. It's all about planning ahead, cooking in quantity, and making the most of supermarket specials as you come across them.

Yesterday I cut several pumpkin pieces, washed potatoes (leaving the skins on), peeled and cut carrot pieces as well as a lot of small onions. I put all these together into a large pot of salted water:  after coming to the boil, reducing the heat to a simmer and when nearly cooked, I strained off the water before allowing them to cool slightly, then placed them onto a large flat plate, ensuring they were not touching, before putting them into the freezer. The large plastic bag of free-flowed vegetables will be come in very handy, later.
I came across a large beef bolar roast on special at Pakn'save for just $7.99kg: the $10.00 piece of meat, cut into five pieces provides for five meals. Some pot roasted, others casseroled.

Broccoli is well priced at the moment, mostly under a dollar, and lasts for several days in the fridge.

Now for the 30 minute roast..........

This small piece of bolar steak would be enough for one or two people. Start by heating a small piece of butter in a large saucepan, add the salted, floured piece of beef, and brown all sides. Add about a quarter of a cup of water or thereabouts, (enough to stop it burning to the bottom of the pot),  cover with a lid and cook for 15 minutes. I usually cut into the middle of the meat at this stage to check: if the meat is pink, it's ready. Otherwise, longer if you prefer.
While all this is going on, the vegetables will have finished roasting in the oven and should be crisp and brown. It would probably pay to thaw them a bit in the microwave beforehand.

I usually cover the broccoli with a lid before bringing it to the boil, then turn the element off and let it steam through. Some of the boiling stock can be added to the gravy mix;  brown onion is my choice.

I am sure you will enjoy this delicious meal, which is effortless to put together, costs less than four dollars and gives you 30 minutes to unwind after a busy day.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Roses in full bloom.........





Buff Beauty and Graham Thomas flaunt their beauty and the fragrance is quite heady.




Graham Thomas nestles beneath the Copper Beech.




Bantry Bay sprawls over the gazebo, upstaging the lilliums at the front: however, they will be flowering shortly...




Command Performance, living up to her name, soon to be dwarfed by thirty tomato plants and the grapevine just takes things in its stride. With so many birds in the garden, there's not an aphid in sight.

These days, rose sprays are a thing of the past.........................