Category Archives: Busy Mums

Store a watermelon.

Big watermelons are a challenge.

Where do you keep them? They take a huge amount of fridge space and are heavy.

We lived in Esk a few years ago. A watermelon growing area. I miss buying huge watermelons for $2 at the farm gate.

A farmer told us this. Put the watermelon in a shady spot in the garden, until your ready to eat it.

We did this at Christmas a couple of weeks before we bought the watermelon popped it on some straw in the garden.

We didn’t eat it till about 10 days after Christmas.

The one in the photo I bought 10 days ago. From the back of a farmers ute. Very fresh.

I’m using it tonight for a family dinner.

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A Labour of Love.

The moment of meltdown. Everything is prepared, the fish has 10 mins left in the oven. The scallops are about to join the chorizo, the clams are ready to go in the wine. The last couple of hours have all been working to this point and suddenly everyone is asking me questions. Where is this? What about that? I don’t have the best focus in the world, all I want to do is  finish my symphony it is at its penultimate moment 10 busy focused minutes and suddenly everyone is clamoring for my attention!!!

Moments later, they have all disappeared and my sister who has seen it all and knows just what is happening walks in laughing and I shrug my shoulders, shake my head and speak…

This is my labour of love, this is for mum.

Mum loves seafood,  she loves prawns, crab, scallops, lobster, oysters, mussels, she loves calamari, ocean trout, salmon, tuna, snapper, and dory.

If it comes from the sea – she loves it.  The best treat you can give my mother is to take her out for a meal, the best meal is a seafood meal. Once on holiday she ate so much seafood she had gout!!!

But she has one challenge, she lives in a small country town in Western NSW where the only seafood that is very occasionally available has traveled hours to get there.  It’s ok but it’s not like walking into Charis seafoods on New Years Eve where the smorgasbord of food from the water is piled on mountains of ice. In Charis bros Fish Market Mum is like a kid in a lolly shop she wants to buy everything.

She only visits us here on the Gold Coast every 12 to 18 months so every visit especially if she is here for New Years Eve has to have a trip to Charis Bros Fish Market and a Seafood dinner. This year is no different, we have bought Snapper (oops forgot to ask for cleaning and scaling). It’s going to be cooked whole in banana leaves, but hang on there hasn’t been a lot of communication here and Mum who is a whiz at cleaning fish has chopped off its head before I notice.  Good job I saw what was happening before she started filleting.

We also bought scallops, to cook with chorizo and brandy. Clams to go in garlic, white wine and lemon juice. Prawns already cooked and a crab that for a little while got lost in the fridge.

I don’t really know how to cook seafood. Out of four in my family two are not very keen, One outright hates (the beautiful daughter had a meat pie for dinner). So it is a challenge, cooking three unfamiliar recipes with 8 people for dinner on New Years Eve.

But I have made a plan,  I’m working to it and it’s all happening!

When my sister laughs, I speak in mock frustration “this is my labour of love”  I realize it’s true. I do this  simply because my mother loves it, she enjoys it so much and is so delighted that I will join her in this wonderful adventure.

Suddenly it’s all worth it.

This amazing mother of mine has had a health scare recently. This fast moving bundle of energy who is so involved with her church, and  community, who gardens, bakes bread, makes cakes and loves having dinner parties. Plays scrabble, reads to the elderly, edits two newsletters and has a myriad of friends.

This woman loves people and always knows what is happening with them,  she is interested in everything and everyone. A few years ago she was awarded Gilgandra senior citizen of the year.

My mum has recently had some health issues, but now she is well. We have had a lovely day, a simple day of shopping, buying beautiful seafood from the Fish Market, fresh vegetables from the produce market, eating Fish and Chips for lunch whilst watching the holiday activity on the broadwater. Following by cooking all this lovely food.

The meltdown only lasted a couple of minutes because this meal with its challenge and celebration was all about Mum and every time she visits we will continue to enjoy this adventure together.

A beautiful labour of love was fulfilled, a very happy content Mother has just gone to bed and what joy it was to cook all that lovely seafood.

Happy New Year everyone. Lots of blessings RosieG.

How to be Happy.

“If you want to be happy for a short time, get drunk; happy for a long time, fall in love; happy for ever, take up gardening.” British playwright and comedian Arthur Smith

Its a long long time since I have been drunk, falling in love was pretty good, 18 years of marriage and beautiful twins bring lots of happiness but it  looks like my Jeremiah life, “building a garden and eating what it produces” is well recognized good advice!!!

It has certainly been good for me. Today my incredible youngest daughter who is 17, cleaned the house, cooked a delicious dairy free lasagne,  adding oregano and basil (from the garden) to her pasta dough and baked cookies, she really is a champion, because I worked late tonight and didn’t get home until 9 pm.  I only had to heat up my piece of lasagne, top it with radicchio micro greens and enjoy dinner.

Thank you for visiting, Tomorrow is my work Christmas Dinner, so I won’t be online. See you Friday.

P.S. planted radish seeds this morning before work.

Kisir – A Turkish salad, involving children in the kitchen.

 KISIR The photo does not do the dish justice.  My sister lived in Turkey for a couple of years and this is one of the recipes she brought home. Similar to Tabouli but with less parsley and tomato paste.  It tastes delicious.

Making Kisir

Soak cracked wheat in boiling water for 10mins. Rinse, drain and dry.

Toss through finely chopped spring onion or purple onion  and parsley.

Add finely diced tomato and cucumber.

Stir through a couple of tablespoons of tomato paste and hot paprika. Serve with Lettuce.

Quick, easy, healthy and delicious.

 and for our leafy greens tonight Darko my lovely young man cooked dinner and made a Turkish style potato salad using fresh herbs from the garden lots of mint and garlic chives.

 The 2nd lot of buckwheat greens are growing madly in the lid of a shoebox. Sitting in the top of a small trolley. They are prolific.  They are great in salad with a mild flavor, a perfect micro green for young children to grow.

I love it when my children cook. I know they will be fine as adults and will be able to look after themselves properly.  Because for years they have been involved in preparing food and shopping for food.

The best way to involve children is to have them preparing food alongside you. Give them jobs to do and make them fun and interesting.  Don’t worry about mess to much. (although make sure they know to clean up after themself)  Tee-Jay has had the run of the kitchen since she was 12 and often has a better idea of what is in the cupboard than I do.  We could do this  because we know she works carefully and cleans everything up after herself.

You could almost guarantee that if a child grew some sprouts, and put them on bread with a little mayonnaise everyone of  those sprouts would be eaten with true enjoyment, with this would come a sense of accomplishment the satisfaction of achievement, and a child that ate their vegies.

these are the ways we build strength and character into children, giving them skills, helping them to become capable and responsible adults who in turn will do the same way with their families.

My dream is to build an inheritance for my children, and I know that the ability to live life, well is the best inheritance I can give them.

Thank you for visiting remember to share your life with children you have so much to offer. Blessings RosieG

 

Coming home from work to Home Made Pasta and Bolognaise Sauce

We bought a pasta machine on the weekend.  I have made pasta before, but what a difference the machine made. We used a Jamie Oliver recipe. The pasta machine rolled it so beautifully. The Pasta turned out perfectly, It was delicious.  My sister and her husband are staying with us. She made the meat sauce, Tee-Jay the beautiful daughter made the pasta. Darko the gorgeous son cleaned up.  What a lovely way to come home from work.

 Strawberry Jam,

 Tomatoes grow everywhere even in a bog.

 More Coriander Seeds

 …and the leafy greens for tea tonight. A lovely salad of Mizuna Lettuce, Sorrel, Buckwheat Sprouts and Mung Bean Sprouts

Thank you for visiting, blessings RosieG

Plant gardens and eat the food they produce. Jeremiahs wise advice

Being in the garden, planting, pulling out weeds, separating seeds from chaff, feeding and watering, growing cooking and eating what you have grown is so good for the soul.  When Jeremiah wrote to the Israelites in Captivity and said to them “build homes and plan to stay, plant gardens and eat the food they produce”  he gave them hope. They had lost everything, their dreams were shattered, their country gone and he said to them “build homes and plan to stay, plant gardens and eat the food they produce”  He gave them a way to live and overcome their broken dreams. Because when you are in the garden you are in a microcosm of life, when you are building and planing your soul is soothed you recognise the cycles of life, you sow and you reap and hope grows in your heart.

Six years ago I had breast cancer and went through the whole surgery (lumpectomy) chemo and radiation saga.  When I was diagnosed I was already in the middle of probably (I hope so anyway) the most difficult and horrible time in my life.  Everything broke, house, car, health, jobs.  We just kept going putting one foot in front of the other, believing that things would work out and get better.

Two years ago I was still struggling and frustrated my dreams in shatters. Like the Israelites I felt in captivity.  Then we bought this house and this garden that I love and slowly as I started learning to garden, my love for food was revitalised I began to cook again. I remembered I had so much to be grateful for and hope once more  rose in my heart.

In the garden I have grown in strength, I am dreaming dreams again  But one thing I have learned beyond anything is that the most important place to  have success is with your family and in the way you handle lifes twists and turns.  To create a home that is a place of restoration, a place of safety and a place of love that is the greatest thing to create.  If other dreams come to fruitition then that is a blessing but if not and all I do with my life is make a safe place for my family be a friend and a wife to my husband, a friend and mother to my children. Be one who encourages and builds into the lives of my friends and neighbours.  Be a person who knows how to enjoy life in the midst of all its complexities then I have had a successful life.

And so my Jeremiah life, my life of planting a garden and eating the food it produces has turned out to be a great life.

Thank you for visiting. Enjoy being a blessing love RosieG

Tinned tomatoes

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The tomatoes in the olive oil tins are doing really well.  I have definitely crossed the barrier into insanity. I came home from work with 4 bags of horse manure.  I have cooked like a mad women, a veal shoulder stuffed with bacon and mushrooms  in garlic balsamic vinegar and oregano. Used the bone to make some stock and cooked the kg of strawberries I got yesterday for 5  dollars into jam. And I came home tired I am definitely crazy. But I do love homemade strawberry jam.  The veal shoulder turned out very well and was sliced and topped with mustard sprouts. And now I am going to bed still tired but so happy.

Gremolata – The best seasoning for Osso Bucco

Gremolata is a delicious seasoning made from crushed garlic, salt and parsley. Tonight just because the marjoram looked so fresh and beautiful I added it to the mix.  The Osso Bucco was made earlier in the week.  It is so much tastier when you eat it a couple of days later. I have heard the Italians never eat their tomato dishes fresh but always keep them a few days to let the flavor develop.  Much of English Cooking is also the same. Thick meat and vegetable soups and stews are always better a couple of days after you cook them.

While my pasta is cooking I make the Gremolata. Crushing plenty of garlic and generous salt in a mortar and pestle.  Placing the parsley and the marjoram in a cup and snipping them with scissors till finely chopped. Then mixing the two together giving it all another pounding with the pestle.  A good squeeze of lemon juice finishes it off.

Add the cooked pasta to the osso bucco sauce stir through till it is well coated.  Then add the Gremolata, stir it through and serve.

Simple, Yummy, hearty food that can be cooked well before you need it leaving time for this busy mum to take her son for a job interview  after she has finished work.

Baked potato topped with Buckwheat Sprouts, Yogurt and Cheese.

Tonight was the first Christmas Carols of the year, it was lovely and all of a sudden Christmas seems very close.  Last year we cooked lots of Jamie Olivers Christmas food.  A Jerk Ham, Turkey and Leek Pie, Chocolate Truffles.  Great Food.  My favorite thing to do at Christmas is to flame the Christmas Pudding. I can’t wait.

Life has been so busy lately there has been extra work, which has given me    extra money for the garden and that has been great, and lots of end of year things for school, It has truly been busy busy busy.  Tonight I planned to come home from work, cook dinner relax and blog but no says Talitha we must go to the Carols, and the Carols were worth it.

So dinner was very quick. Potatoes topped with yogurt, cheese and buckwheat sprouts. A simple salad of mizuna leaf, beetroot leaf and baby choy sum leaves, with left over chicken from the other night. Tasty, quick and  we left the cleaning up to the Good Man.

Life is very good, Enjoying the simple things. Watching things grow plants and children.  Eating good food, working in the garden.  Being with friends and family.  We are very blessed.

Thank you for visiting Enjoy life love RosieG.

Cauliflower in Coconut milk & beautiful spaghetti flowers.

Cauliflower goes so well with spices and coconut milk.

I sauteed sliced onion and garlic till soft, then added some finely chopped turmeric and galangal and about a tablespoon of coriander seeds from the garden. Cooked it all together until fragrant. Added the cut up cauliflower and stirred it through until the cauliflower turned yellow from the turmeric. Poured over a tin of coconut milk added a splash of apple cider vinegar and a sprinkle of garam masala. Turned the heat low and let it cook away until soft.

But what about the leafy green.  Five minutes or so before it all finished cooking a bunch of my staple silverbeet was sliced and stirred in.

I was out in the garden early this morning, weeding the bed with the few carrots and beetroot. The orange peel does seem to have worked there are no signs of the cat.  My plan for this bed now is to plant lots of leafy greens. Perhaps this is the perfect place for my horta plot. It is probably just a bit over a metre of garden which is just the right size.

The vegetable spaghetti is growing, blossoming and blooming getting bigger everyday.

I also have  a stack of Santorini tomato seedlings.  I have to find a space for. I am looking at the broadbeans which are almost finished and think that perhaps they will fit there.

I have had a wonderful book from the library, “One Magic Square” by Lolo Houbein,  It is going onto my christmas list it is chock full of interesting tips and ideas and lots of inspiration.

Happy gardening, Happy eating, thank you for stopping by RosieG