Thursday, 13 November 2014

What a difference a week makes!

It never ceases to amaze me how much a garden changes in just over a week. When looking at the plants each day it seems as if they aren't growing much but you really notice the growth after being away for a while.

While it didn't rain a great deal during the week what we did get obviously was beneficial. I was very excited to see my first blueberries ripening as I have never grown them before.

There aren't a lot of them growing but it is a start. The mulberries are all but finished but the...

...boysenberries are now ripening and hopefully the birds will leave some for us to eat. 


Despite being greatly neglected there were five cauliflowers ready to be picked when I got home yesterday. I will be making some Curried Lacto-Fermented Cauliflower as well as a few bottles of Cauliflower Pickles. This recipe was the one used at our first Simple Living Toowoomba workshop.

Cauliflower Pickles

900gms      Cauliflower cut into neat pieces

450gms      Onions cut into small pieces

1                  Cucumber cut into small pieces

8 Cups        Cold water

½ Cup         Salt

4 Cups        Vinegar

1 cup           Sugar

½ cup          Flour

1 ¼ tbsp     Mustard powder

1 destsp     Tumeric

1 teasp       Curry powder

1 teasp       All spice

½ teasp      Pepper

Make a brine of 8 cups of cold water and ½ cup of salt, soak vegetables over night.  Next morning scald well (in the brine) roughly 10-15 minutes but do not boil.  Strain thoroughly.

Make a paste with part of 4 cups of vinegar, 1 cup sugar, ½ cup flour, 1 ¼ tblesp mustard powder, 1 dessertsp tumeric, 1 teasp curry powder, 1 teasp all spice (if Masterfoods spice use half teasp as Masterfoods is very strong flavour) and ½ teasp pepper.  Add remaining vinegar to vegetables and bring to boil and thicken with flour mixture and simmer for 5 minutes.  Bottle hot.

 I checked the Jaboticaba tree to see how the fruit is progressing and it should be ripe in a couple of weeks. This will be the second crop this year as we picked oodles of them last June when I made Jaboticaba Jelly.

I was also very excited to find a couple of packages waiting for me including these two lovely dishcloths made by one of the Down to Earth forum members who I had sent some calendula seeds and petals to. I think I scored the better deal though. :-)

True to form, my Canadian penfriend who I have known since we were both 15, sent me a calendar of beautiful scenes of Canada. I have had both a Canadian and English penfriend for over fifty years. 

Photo used with permission from Pimpos Australia

To top it all off, Vicki from Vees Easy Vegan emailed me to let me know that I was one of the three winners of a pair of children's shoes from Pimpos Australia which will make a nice birthday present for my granddaughter.

Photo used with permission from Pimpos Australia

I asked her which shoes she liked and she chose the ladybug ones. Seeing as the only shoe shop where she lives closed down earlier in the year, I am sure the shoes will be much appreciated. Aren't they just the cutest shoes you have ever seen? Many thanks to Vicki and Pimpos

It is nearly 10pm and the next heatwave starts tomorrow when it will be 33C and then go up to 37C on Saturday and Sunday so I had better go and make up the brine for the Cauliflower Pickles as the vegetables need to be soaked overnight. Then I will need to cook and bottle them up early in the day before the heat sets in. Once the heat arrives my energy goes out the door! Is it the same with you?


  1. How tall do you have to be to harvest those Jaboticabas?

    1. J, we are both fairly short so I am not sure how the CEO picks them. Perhaps he shakes the tree. There are plenty on the lower branches within reach though.

  2. So nice to hear about gardens producing and berries putting on! While we are at the beginning of a deep freeze... :) Thank you for brightening my day!
    We have a hard time going away for a week during our producing summer season. But then it is always something... cows calving, hay making, gardening, canning... I don't think it ever stops around here. We are now into hay FEEDING.
    Interesting tree with the fruit on it. Never heard of it before. Is it native to Australia?

  3. Joyful, it is native to southern Brazil. I believe it is also called the Brazilian Grape Tree. The fruit grows along the stems of the tree.

  4. Hi Chel, Back to normal programming then. Nice to see you home safe and sound.

    1. Yes it is back to normal in more ways than one, Barb 😄

  5. That is the strangest tree EVER!!! Really weird looking. Yes, i love the ladybug shoes as well and she is one lucky little girl. Could you imagine such a thing when we were little. We had one pair of brown school shoes (usually second hand), a pair of patent black leather for church (usually second hand), thongs and gum boots.

    My blueberries haven't ripened yet and i am watching them everyday. I think i might net them on the weekend.

    1. Lynda, our blueberries are covered by wire so much so that I call it Fort Knox. 😄 I have the wire around the dwarf mulberry, the blueberries and the strawberries. Very frustrating for the birds but they can get to the boysenberries which have been growing on the fence for years.

  6. Chel,

    Thrilled you won the shoes. Great choice on the Ladybugs :)
    It is very special to have pen pals for so long. I had pen pals oh 20 years ago and lost touch.
    It is 42 degrees here today though I see rain coming! The garden will love it. Have a great weekend.

  7. Wow, that is hot for you isn't it, Vicki? It is going to be 42C or so when I visit my grandchildren next month :-( Not quite sure how I am going to survive. My granddaughter will be over the moon when the shoes arrive.

  8. Beautiful berries! It is lovely to have a holiday but lovely to get home and everything is ok! Congratulations on those little shoes they are so cute!
    I loved your swap with the Down to Earth member. I love swaps! And I really love knitted or crochet wash cloths and dish cloths! We had one day of 38 but it has cooled down thank fully. xxx

    1. Yes I am very excited about the blueberries, Annabel. The dish cloths are really lovely...almost too nice to use :-) I am not looking forward to the weekend of 37C but it is going to be even hotter in Brisbane where the G20 is being held. Records will be broken apparently for the hottest November day.

  9. Hi Chel,

    Generally it does get to the 40's but later in the year. It was a scorcher. Calmed down a bit today and there is rain coming :)

  10. What's the best yarn to make dishcloths from?

  11. Phil, I just use the cotton from the $2 shops but you can get better quality yarn from the Bendigo Mills and Ecoyarns for example.

  12. I am home from a vacation as well and agree - lovely to go but nice to be home. My bed and my pillows are looking very good right now! Thanks for the cauliflower recipe - this is something I have wanted to try for an age. Glad you are back home safe and sound!

  13. I was wondering where you were, Kathy. I hope you had a nice time away. The recipe made about five bottles of pickles.


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