The Tomato Thief

I wanted to bring a little country gardening to my city house by growing our own veges as we have a sun-trap wall perfect for tomatoes. The tubs overflowing with basil, parsley and mint are waiting for fresh tomatoes! I bought some seedlings from our local Farmer’s Market at Orange Grove that looked promising. They flourished  and grew gangly limbed until just recently. After an attack of caterpillars that I fought off, their leaves have now started to die and the stems dry out. They get plenty of water and fertiliser so they are well looked after but I’ve got no clue how to revive them.

I’ve rescued 6 off the vine and brought them in to ripen on the windowsill. It’s all I’ve been able to save as any effort I make is thwarted by an unknown lover of tomatoes, as they disappear overnight, snatched in the dark. Possum perhaps? I’ve even been counting them at night, and the next morning, gone. The dogs aren’t the culprit as they spit out any tomato I try and feed them. I think it’s a bird with good taste in tomatoes.Neil Young 001 Neil Young 002

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Last of the summer gin

The Bombay Blush. Try it!

Fill a martini glass with crushed ice. Pour in a capful/2 of Bombay Gin (or more, I won’t look)  A squeeze of fresh lime then top with sparkling pink grapefruit juice.

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There’s wisdom in them thar biscuits

A few fortune cookie quotes and predictions plus lotto numbers from my party. Some of them came true :)

  • You should not confuse your career with your life
  • You have a deep interest in all that is artistic
  • All change is not growth; as all movement is not forward
  • You will be lucky in love tonight
  • You will be advanced socially without any special effort on your part

And my fav…

  • Have a mouth as sharp as a dagger but a heart as soft as tofu

 

Hey pesto!

And just like that the cupboard is re-stocked with staples and stand by instant dinners. I spent the last week of my holiday being domestic and now the pantry has an awesome looking jar of homemade brilliant green pesto just waiting to be stirred into pasta, and a bottle and a half of sweet chilli sauce that packs a killer punch. The biccie jar is also re-filled with jam-drop biccies. Quick and easy to make and even easier to eat. So that means #2 on my list of making my own pestos/preserves/sauces has a big tick next to it :)

June report

Well there goes June and I’m a little closer to my list deadline. I’m starting to slowly achieve goals on my list. I can add ticks next to…

  • Making handmade gifts – look out Jeans there’s a pressie coming your way!
  • Books, I finally finished “The Lacuna”, bit of a struggle at the start which I hate to admit about this author cause I don’t think Barbara Kingsolver can do no wrong, happily this book began to shine about 1/4 way in. I stayed up late many nights powering through the pages. Also just finished “American Rust” by Philipp Meyer, I’m on a roll with American authors right now
  • I just spent an incredible few days on a foodie photo shoot and came away with a bunch of contacts and a brain buzzing with ideas
  • The cookbooks are coming off the shelf at last, I’ve earmarked a few recipes to try out this week for some dinner parties. I’m starting the week with a roast pumpkin and coconut soup. It’ll be the most expensive soup I’ve ever made after buying the ingredients at my local farmer’s market, Orangegrove. 18 bucks later for half a pumpkin and some leeks it better taste amazing!
  • 83276, that’s my number for City to Surf. There’s no going back now…

The importance of tradition

My chocolate collection was great this year. 2 years in a row the Dark Choc Lindt Bunny has made an appearance. Looks like this tradition is alive and well. Win!

Culinary nirvana

I walk past Trattoria Nerone  daily, eyeing off its menu, as it’s about halfway along the street from the hostel. They promise a ‘beautiful private terrace’ and it is. Private and candlelit, pity it’s still very hot even at 8:30pm. White wine is on its way and I’m adding to the carb heaven I’ve had here so far. Risotto alla Zafferano (Saffron Risotto) served in a cheesy saffron pappadum style shell with a little silver pot of grated parmesan for sprinkling. Whereas pasta should be cooked al dente (to the tooth), risotto is meant to all’onda (wavy, or flowing in waves). And it is. Risotto is a welcome change for my bread weary body.

It’s my last night in Italy and the end of my Europe travels and I’m going out in style. After dinner I toddle over to Cafe Cuco  where they have a sign up proclaiming “best tiramisu”. I like a dessert challenge. I pop in and buy a takeaway. “Will it last the 5 min walk home?” I asked. “Yes” he replied after a moment’s thought. “But not 6, definitely not 6”. Well this alcohol soaked sponge with chunks of bitter dark chocolate and cream was rich and incredible in flavour. They knew it too. Confidence is a quality Italians are not lacking.

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