Saturday, 20 March 2010

The long way home.

I worked a night shift for the first time in quite a few weeks recently.  I decided to take a pictorial journal of what I did on the way home.  
Sunrise from the windows of where I work.  This would be about 6am or a bit earlier. Sadly my camera just could not do this particular cloud or the colour its true justice.

I left work at about 8:00 normally I would leave earlier, but as I had some things to do I waited and talked with my day shift colleagues for a while.

My first stop out of town was the tip shop, there are three in the Hobart surrounds. This is the one on one of my ways home.
I love stopping at the tip shop.  I have purchased some amazing bargains here and some things that have been very useful in the garden and house.  The dinner set we currently are using is Wedgwood and whilst is not complete, it  has enough pieces for us to use and entertain with, plus it compliments my other bits and pieces.  23 pieces and only $30.  I wanted to get two more plates these will cost me $25ea!  

It can yield unexpected wonders or absolutely nothing.  From this tip shop (both pictures) there have been one couple who have built and furnished their own home all from recycled materials.  From rubbish that other folk have bought out to dump at the tip!

Can you believe the view from the tip as you leave?

These little treasures are found near one of my faviourite vegetable stalls called Meridith's it is just a shed and they have great deals on fruit and vegies.  They are made out of corrugated iron, and painted.  They change them around at times.  There is also one of a fox, but he was elusive this day. Tasmania used to be fox free, though there are fears that they are here now.  If this is true they would really decimate our wild life and compete with devils.
This is a photo of another Smithfield dog I met at               The topiary mother and baby duck are just the
Meridith's on my way home. Toby is a Smithfield too.       other side of the road.  Pretty fun vegie market!

The sign and little vegie stand under neath is an organic vegie grower, who also has alpacas.  I stop here because she has great value onions and I did not have a great success with onions this season.  So I buy hers and of course usually come away with some other items.

Added to our own bounty, lots of delicious, sweet, tasty cherry tomatoes and our own eggs. I picked and gathered these on my return home that day.
We do have a paradise within 100km to source our food from.

Just to let you know the four girls are all laying eggs now.  My neighbours are sharing in their produce currently.  I will begin to freeze some for the quieter time ahead.

Off course no long day shopping and chasing up messages after a night shift would ever be complete without a coffee from my local cafe.  The Lotus Eaters.  Great food made with love and incredible skill for flavour.

Sunday, 7 March 2010

Zucchini Cake Recipe

Zucchini And Walnut(peacan) Cake

Cook Time: 55 minutes


  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 cup sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 tsp. vanilla (I alwaysuse pure vanilla extract)
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 2 cups grated zucchini (leave skins on)
  • 1 cup walnuts


Mix oil and sugar. Add eggs, one at a time beating well after each addition; blend in vanilla. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and baking soda. Add sifted dry ingredients to first mixture; alternating with grated zucchini. Fold in chopped nuts. (Batter will be a bit thin.)
Pour into greased and floured 13x9x2-inch pan. Bake at 350° for 55 minutes.
 You can use less oil, I used 3/4 cup of good olive oil.  I also used mixed spice instead of cinnamon. Just for a change.

This is a lovely moist cake. I slice it and freeze the slices sometimes iced other times plain.  

Icing is cream cheese. 
I used 1/2pack cream cheese
Juice of 1/2-1 lemon depending on your like of lemon and how much juice is in the lemon.
You can also add butter.  not sure how much..sorry makes it more soft and flavoursome
One cup of icing sugar, but sometimes I use just depends on how much icing I need and whether I want it thick or more runny.  I beat it all together with my rotary hand mixer.  Till it is creamy and fluffy. 

Saturday, 6 March 2010

How come I have so many zucchini's when my plants did not fruit?

I was shopping at my local health food store, getting real peanut butter, just ground up peanuts..yummo!  As I was leaving the lady asked me if I liked zucchini, yes was my response, I was given three lovely dark green zucchinis, not huge but good size and lovely steamed with butter and garlic.  Very nice on the BBQ too.

I was chatting to my neighbour on Monday over our sort of fence, which is mostly blackberries.  She offered me a zucchini, it was the size of a marrow.  But so full of taste. 
We had zucchini fritters with lamb stew and mashed potato and a tomato salsa that night.  All I did was cut the zucchini slices a bit thicker than normal, cut them in half and dip them in a very runny batter made with cornflour, water and yogurt.  Pan fried in oil shallow. (you could I guess deep fry them).Oh and these ones I topped with parmesan cheese after they were cooked.  
Shows the size of the zucchini used.
 I would add cummin next time I think to the batter. They were lovely and crisp on the outside and soft on the in. 
I made 1 zucchini  and walnut cake.  I use pecans though as I am not so keen on walnut. I also ended up with six small cup cakes.  I have enough zucchini to make another cake.  Which I will do tomorrow and freeze it. 
This is one of the cupcakes.

We went over to visit this neighbour for a drink this evening and she gave me another large zucchini, so we will have more cake frozen.  I usually do a cream cheese icing on it but it is pretty fine without it too.

Men and their toys.

So my DH had an appointment in Huonville.  I had the dog and we drove down to Franklin (which is on the other side of the river from us).  If you ever visit the Tahune Airwalk you will drive through it.  They have a lovely place for camper vans to pull in by the river, it is basic but beautiful scenery.  They also have an off leash area for dogs. 
So Toby and I drove on down and he jumped out of the car to do what dogs do run and sniff and leave his mark/s.  I walked up the side of the river aways and noticed these sail boats skimming along rapidly, only there was no wind and they were very small.          
Then I noticed the men with the remote controls in their hands.

I sat and watched for a while, taking in the concentration and stress evident on some of the mens faces it was serious stuff racing remote control boats. 
Just looking about the rivers edge  whilst walkind with Toby

Looking back towards where we live    

On the drive home

Tuesday, 2 March 2010

How can it be Autumn already?

It is not possible that it is Autumn.  It has come around so fast.  However we have been having lovely  warm days and quite cool no cold nights for us at this time of year.  We had a fire on over the weekend all day.  However this week is set to see temps warm up again.   Mind you I feel a wimp talking about cold when I look at blogs in the Northern Hemisphere where record levels of snow have been falling, I really have nothing to say about cold.  lol 

On a drive home from Cygnet (our little village closest to us) two days ago  I saw so many beautiful scenes and end of summer and colours that evoke cooler weather.  These rose hips just too attractive to not photograph.

The grape leaves have begun to change into their Autumnal colouring after the couple of quite cold nights we had
My DH's eldest daughter bought me a bunch of these the other day
such an amazing colour. I am not sure what they are called, 
they last for ages as cut flower

I have been getting some delicious cherry tomatoes, and runner beans.
The summer garden has not been a success as previously mentioned.  I am delighted to have any vegies coming from the garden.

My beautiful chooks are laying two eggs a day at present and my youngest one is finally looking as if her combs and wattles are beginning to grow.   I think I have two girls laying good eggs firm shells and lovely dark colours as Barnevelders should be.  I found an egg two days ago that was thin shelled and very flexible and fragile, it was also very pale.
 My four Barnevelders having their monthly worming treat.
This is one that weighs in at 43gms and
has this amazing speckle appearance.
Which you can see more clearly in the close up

I went out a bit later in the day when their had been a raucous lot of clucking to be able to take this photo.  No other chookie was about so I think she may have been singing out to celebrate, or is it moaning from the exertion?
Yes that is a golf ball.  It is my fake egg.
Seems to be working.
It is amazing what I see sometimes when I walk out the back door.  I was watching a Kookaburra sitting on a branch, and I decided to go and grab my camera.  He was sitting watching something in the undergrowth and just after I arrived back and took this shot he swooped down.  There was a rustle in the long dry summer grass, up he flew with a small rabbit in his mouth.  I was not quick enough to capture it, well the one photo I managed was just a bit of his wing. 

Away from home

We were away at the amazing east coast of Tassie in a delightful town called Bicheno last week.  We put our lovely Burmease in a cattery, but Toby could come with us.  The place we stayed had a five paw rating for Life Be In It  Dog Friendly Accommodation. It was called the Aspley Holiday Unit.
  It is a little way out of town about 3km, but really fantastic if you are travelling with your dog, or want to holiday with your dog.
 The property is fenced off so your dog can run about the large 1/4-1/2 acre yard which is full of native trees and has views off the ocean in the distance and you can hear the sound of waves.
The beaches in Bicheno are fantastic and the largest one with its lovely safe swimming and long stretching beach is dog friendly.  How Toby loved it running along the sand and into the water.  Last time we were in Bicheno he lost his dog collar and tags, we got home and several days later someone had found them, gone to the trouble of contacting our council and sending it home to us.  We did pop in and say thankyou a few weeks later and pay for the cost of mailing it.  This time we lost a fantastic brand new frisbee, last seen heading on its way to New Zealand.  lol  Toby just would not go in to the water far enough to get it.  I began to the water was lovely and clear and warm.  I waded in (having taken off my trousers) and about 4 metres out found myself in water too my under arms.  The frisbee was still quite a way I can see why our dog, who loves water but is a little reluctant to actually swim far was not keen to go out. 
You can learn more about this delightful sea side town on these sights.
There is also a fantastic large deck that can be closed entirely off.  We left Toby there for several hours he was safe and secure.
 We went to an amazing animal park,   just 2km down the road from where we were staying.  I am so annoyed that I forgot my camera, as you would have loved the three young Tasmanian Devils that were chasing each other over the two peices of meat.  These and several other pairs that live here are tumor disease free.  Two wedge tail eagles, who had been hurt and not able to live in the wild anymore, but they were not in an enclosed cage.  The devils and young wombat sleeping on his back stole my heart.
I must admit I used to think devils were horrible creatures, until many years ago DH and I went to a wild life park close to home; now closed due to all the very expensive extra insurances they had to have saddly. Seems Australians are going down the US road of sueing for anything and accepting little responsiblity for yourself or simple accidents that are truely no one fault.  I do not mean any offence to any Americans who read this! Just my opinion on a very sad state of affairs when beaurocracy has made it very hard for long standing businesses to keep going due to more and more regulations and insurance requirements.  For me it is a very sad comment on our society and leaders.  (I now step down off my soap box, brush myself off and move on).