The sugar snap peas are climbing up their tripod in the raised vegetable garden beds. My children often eat these peas before they reach the kitchen bench. Now that is what I call fast food!
The camellias and azaleas are in full bloom and dripping with flowers. They adore the acidic soil.
Some of the blooms are bigger than my hand - bold and beautiful! These are not shy, retiring flowers and they do not hide in the background. What a beautiful greeting each morning as I draw back the curtains in the living room - they are planted just outside the window.
I prefer the smaller blooms and buds - perfect for displaying in tiny, glass vintage bottles. I cannot wait for more of these to blossom, they will be coming inside to be set out on tables. No arranging necessary - now that's the simplest way to decorate with flowers
It is such a beautiful winter's day I thought of going for a walk in the fields that adjoin our property but I needed to start preparing dinner.
So I was thankful for a teenage son who offered an invitation to those who wanted to go for a walk and was prepared to take his little sisters to go and greet our equine neighbours.
They were drawn home by the aroma of a home cooked meal. My older children come home from their afternoon dairy job and when they reach this paddock they say they can often smell dinner and when it is bread baking or lamb roasting they walk even faster. To think the aroma from my kitchen travels several kilometres!
On this occasion it was a fish, leek and cauliflower bake browning up nicely under the grill. Would you like the recipe? A one dish meal that combines fish pie with cauliflower cheese. It is a delicious family meal perfect for a winter's day and so easy to prepare.
Mashed potato - for the topping
1 cauliflower steamed.
1 large leek thinly sliced
1 tin tuna, salmon or any steamed fish of your choice
1 tablespoon flour
1 cup of grated cheddar cheese
green tomato chutney (the magic ingredient)
1. Boil a pot of potatoes to make mashed potatoes and if you have a steamer basket steam your cauliflower at the same time. I tell you steamer baskets are the best time saving invention ever!
2. Place your steamed and drained cauliflower in a baking dish.
3.Break up tuna chunks with a fork over the cauliflower and combine.
4.Fry sliced leek in a knob of butter.
5.Add flour and stir in until dissolved.
6.Add milk about 500ml stirring until sauce thickens.
7.Stir in grated cheese and a good dollop of green tomato chutney (or any fruit chutney)
8.Pour the leek and cheese sauce over the fish and cauliflower and combine.
9.Top with mashed potato and some extra grated cheese. Decorate with cherry tomatoes halved and snipped fresh chives.
10.Bake or place under the grill until cheese melts and is bubbling and golden on top.
11. Serve with a garden salad and crusty bread ensuring that the crusty, cheesy topping is evenly distributed among children or face unending requests for 'plenty of the top stuff'!
Fruit, flowers, food, family. Notice that some of the best things in life begin with the letter F!
Hope you are having a wonderful week. We are attending a riverside wedding this weekend. It is being held in a beautiful location in my valley, a ten minute drive from my home. I have to go and put the finishing touches to the handmade gift I am preparing for the bride and groom.
With Love and Joy,