Sunday, September 27, 2015

Vale, Olive Jean "Babe" Winter 2/3/1923 - 24/9/2015

Mum with great-grandchild Pippa in July 2015

Mum and Dad at their wedding in 1955
We lost mum last Thursday.  Mum survived 17 hours after life sustaining drugs and ventilation were stopped. Doctors thought she would only last a few minutes.  Stoic to the end, that was Mum.

Ever since the early 1930s, when as a child in ringlets she stood on the stage of the Thebarton Town Hall reciting poetry and winning prizes for elocution, Mum has loved poetry.

Lucid and with a wonderful memory right to the end,  Mum took solace in reciting and listening to poetry.

In her final weeks Mum particularly found comfort in George Gordon Byron's "So we'll go no more a roving."

So, we'll go no more a roving 
   So late into the night, 
Though the heart be still as loving, 
   And the moon be still as bright. 

For the sword outwears its sheath, 
   And the soul wears out the breast, 
And the heart must pause to breathe, 
   And love itself have rest. 

Though the night was made for loving, 
   And the day returns too soon, 
Yet we'll go no more a roving 
   By the light of the moon. 

Olive Jean "Babe" Winter, forever in our hearts.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

1920s Gentleman's Bungalow for sale #1920s #bungalow #realestate #Adelaide

There is something so Adelaide about stone buildings with wide tiled verandahs, overlooking a lawn tennis court. Can't you imagine sitting here in a seagrass chair sipping on a lemonade (or gin and tonic)  on a warm summer's day, watching a set of tennis?

This 1923 Gentleman's bungalow is built from Mt Lofty stone. It is a rambling 5 bedroom, 2 bathroom home set on 1,858 square metres of land. It is for sale.

The extensions are in keeping with the 1920s "hollywood" style.

While I'm not a fan of fussy looking swags on curtains, the original part of the house is generally decorated in a neutral way.

Australians are not big fans of wall paper.  Nor are they in favour of too much clutter, especially in kitchens. Isn't it interesting how a fashion and style can be so specific to a country?

The classic lines of red brick, terracotta tiles, cream fretwork and woodwork in these extensions exudes calm. It looks so neat.

Whistler Ave Unley Park is adjacent to Heywood Park and close to the shopping precinct of King William Road. Interested?

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Renovated terrace #architecture #design #moroccan

As promised, here is a post on our renovated terrace.  It still needs more plants and painting but it is getting there.

 Sam, our daughter's poodle, still going strong at 17 years of age! Cute.
He moved out when our daughter moved out and now has a large yard to run around in.

This photo (above) is of the terrace before we moved to Brisbane and rented out the house. The tiles were neutral and the plants were mediterranean.  I liked it a lot.

This is the scene that greeted us when we moved back.  Despite an automated watering system, every plant was dead. :(  As this is my place of "niceness" I won't elaborate on my view of the property manager who was paid to look after the home.

On top of the dead plants and filth, somehow the terrace waterproof membrane was breached and we had waterfalls cascading through the ceiling into our lounge room below the terrace.  Not good.

It's a long story but the decision was finally made to lift all the tiles and the old membrane and start again.

New waterproof membrane

Given we had to lay new tiles, we decided on a bolder look. An added benefit is that these moroccan tiles are anti-slip, not a feature of the old tiles (again, what was I thinking?)

We've picked up the blue in the tiles in a few of the accessories.

Not sure if the black and white stripe works in this setting??

The walls and pergola still need repainting and perhaps a mirror next to the bird of paradise?

The terrace needs more plants but we are fortunate to have a native frangipanni tree on our boundary.  The bird life at dawn and dusk is amazing. It's like sitting in a hide. Parrots, doves, honey-eaters etc. all roost in the tree.

With the warmer weather approaching, I'm looking forward to some star gazing.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Preserved lemons #preservedlemons #orangesandlemons

Continuing the lemon and orange glut theme, today I preserved some lemons.  Why haven't I done this before?  It's so easy.

Firstly, scrub your lemons.

And then leave the washed lemons in fresh water, changing the water each day for three days.  Yes, that's right, three days.  In one of the recipes I read it says the soaking helps to rid the lemons of gas(?) and assists in softening the rind.  Okay.  Sounds reasonable.

Sterilise some jars.  ( I just put them through the sauce-pan setting in the dishwasher, or you could wash them and them warm them in the oven).

Cut the lemon into wedges and sprinkle each wedge with about half a teaspoon of salt and drop the wedge into the jar.  Keep doing this until it is packed full.  During the packing stage you can add some spices.  One recipe I read suggested adding bay leaves and birds-eye chillis. I added fennel seeds and star anise.

Lastly, boil water and fill the jars with the water.  Screw the lids on tightly immediately. As the jars cool, a vacuum should occur, sealing the jars. You should hear the lids make a "popping" noise at some stage, indicating that the jar is sealed.

Leave the lemons for at least 40 days to cure. When the lemons are ready to be used, keep the open jar in the refrigerator.

The rinsed lemon rind (the flesh is bitter) of preserved lemons are great for marinades and a range of recipes.  Simply google "preserved lemon recipes".

Or, you could use the whole lemon wedges for stuffing poultry etc. I use lemon wedges, along with a couple of bay leaves, to stuff chicken prior to roasting.  I think the preserved lemon wedges will add a more intense flavour than fresh lemons.  I'll let you know how it goes - in forty days.

Wednesday, September 09, 2015

What to do with a glut of oranges? Orange Cake of course #orangecake

So it is the end of winter, with a glut of oranges and lemons.  What to do? This display of oranges and lemons on the kitchen bench would be about 1/100th of what is left on mum's trees.  So what to do with oranges and lemons?  We've already made vats of orange marmalade and orange and lemon marmalade.

Scrub the truckload of oranges well.

This orange cake recipe calls for a whopping 2 whole oranges!  At this rate, I'll be making orange cake every day for the next year. But maybe I'll have to preserve them first? I'm also trying out preserved lemons.  I'll let you know how they go in a few days.  I'm channelling Elizabeth David.

Boil oranges on the stove for 2 hours. I had to add water a couple of times because of evaporation.

Puree whole cooked oranges once they have cooled to room temperature.

I'm very fond of this Sunbeam Super Freeway.  It was given to me by my brother Ralph as a wedding present back in 1983. Wow, it has performed well.  I may have lost a few of the attachments over the years but as a blender, it has been wonderful.

See.. they're pureed.

Crack six eggs and 250 gm or 2 cups of caster sugar into blender or mixer.

Blend together sugar and egg mixture with pureed orange and 250gm  or 2 cups of SR flour
 For those of you who are gluten intolerant you could use 2 cups of almond meal and 1 teaspoon of baking powder instead of the flour. My daughter is allergic to almonds, and knowing that her and her friends will likely hoe into the cake on their next visit, I chose the wheat option. I try my best not to harm her.

Pour into a baking-paper lined spring form tin. I find with this teflon tin, I only have to line the base.
Good. I don't do fiddly.

Cook for an hour to an hour and a quarter at 150 degree celsius (300 farenheit)
Test with a skewer.
Okay.. I forgot to set the timer.. but good enough!

You can sprinkle the cake with caster sugar, or even put many holes into it with a skewer and pour in a
nice orange liqueur like cointreau.
However, I chose to make butter and orange marmalade icing, using my 3 generations marmalade.
Very cool.

Butter and marmalade icing

For the icing you need to blend:
3 cups of icing sugar
2 teaspoons of marmalade
1/2 cup of butter
small amount of water to ensure a thick spread.

There you go.  Two more oranges used up.  Anyone have other suggestions?

Postscript:  My husband says this is the best cake I've ever made! Wow. That's a compliment. While I don't make cake a lot.. I've made my fair share, so to say "best ever" is a big call.  What I'm amazed at is that the cake is so moist, even days after it has been made, and yet there is no oil or butter. I must be the oil from the orange skin that helps to keep it moist. Not sure.  But I will definitely be making this again! The orange/ citrus flavour is devine.