My Pins

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Memories Of Blue

(Scroll to the bottom and hit the play button so you can listen while you read)

My father is visiting from interstate in a couple of weeks so he can visit with all the family here one last time and meet his great grandson, Julien.
Julien was also his father's name.
The blue china on the dresser is called "Envoy" by Royal Doulton and very popular after the second world war and often sold by door-to-door salesmen. This is the set that my grandmother used everyday and the one that my father grew up with. It holds memories for me and must do for him too I'm sure. I've also mixed it with some of the white Hutschenruther china that he gave me for a wedding present.

It's so good to be getting familiar things unpacked and the Matthew Simms doll has finally found her home. I bought her just before we moved thinking she would fit so well with our Georgian cottage. 
Matthew Simms is a local artist/eccentric and he paints and makes these extraordinary dolls by hand.
Here is an extract from his site

"With a hand saw I cut blocks of willow wood, split them and stack to season. 
Then I cut the dolls to shape with an axe, finishing off with a rasp and pocket knife.  
The legs and arms are put on, clothes made with a hand sewing machine.  The clothes, in almost every instance, are silk, linen, cotton or wool.  These dolls are not copies, nor are they unlike dolls from history."

Memories Of Blue by Vangelis

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Tools Of The Trade

A beautiful find this old tool box.
A bit of a clean up, a little light sand, not too much as I want to preserve it's integrity and some nourishing oil.
Over the years it may find many uses but for this next incarnation....

it's holding MY tools of trade!

And rolling pins are so beautiful why would you hide them away!
I have the original little turned one my mother had starting out and a French taper of maple, a massive Huon pine roller up for the biggest jobs and tiny Indian roti rollers.
The perfect spot for seasonally abundant herbs, handy for happy cooking.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

A Shared Table - Garden Style

Summer has been hot and perfect!
The halcyon days, blindingly bright and bluer than blue skies above.
The clouds and rain so elusive.
Gardeners in Tasmania have been able to grow melons this year, truly a rare feat.

The children have flown back to China and we were pathetically wandering for a couple of days trying to find our rhythm again. The house seemed so quiet and our days filled with hours.
Before they left we had a BBQ for family and friends to catch up with them, escaping the heat within the shade of the giant cherry plum trees.

Our garden is abundant and provided so much for our shared table
Crisp lettuce salad with peach slices and purple torfino beans
dressed with balsamic and oil and a scattering of fetta.
Roasted root veg tumbled through greens
Cous Cous with the first of the season tomatoes and plenty of fresh herbs
and the classic
Beetroot and Carrot salad with currants and pumpkin seeds
for dessert
Peach and rhubarb with vanilla bean Crumble

Great food, good friends and happy family.
It doesn't get any better than this!

Friday, February 12, 2016

The Old Bridge

Number 1 son and DIL returned from China for a weeks visit. They have been travelling two and a half years so it was very exciting but far too brief. It was a whirlwind of visits and visitors, staying up talking till 2am every night and trying to cram lots of missed and longed for food in, like bacon. They currently live in Nanjing and have missed being able to harvest from the garden for meals. Perfect timing for them with the plums and peaches just ripe.

We took them to see the oldest continuous use bridge in Australia. It was the original bridge built over the Elizabeth river and built in the 1830s. In the top photo they are actually peering into the grass trying to spot the 4ft tiger snake that just quietly vacated for us.

This is a view of the Red Bridge looking east. It looks so serene and peaceful but this bridge, built by convict labour in the 1840s takes substantial traffic and loads. An almost constant stream of trucks, including double container loads and car carriers. Those early builders would be amazed to see what a pounding that bridge takes now.

This building on the hill above the bridge is said to be the very first inn in Campbell Town and built in 1838 and once would have been the major through route. When the new bridge was completed, traffic was redirected and a new main street was created and new shops built including hotels and inns.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016


The kitchen has arrived just in time for 

This is a very old white peach tree and it hasn't had much loving for the past many years. The lack of pruning has made the tree lanky and weak limbed, especially laden as it is in high winds. I love a white peach variety but this season the fruit flavour is average. I'm sure with some proper feeding and pruning next years' crop will be outstanding. 

You can see why we bought this size oven. Both pots going at the same time, no problem!
The white peach is a free stone variety and tends to go a bit soft with the preserving but the flavour is great. No need to peel the skin of this variety, just a good wash. Remember, peaches don't ripen after picking so only select ripe fruit from the tree. Remove them with a gentle sideways twist.

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