Friday, March 27, 2015

Things are much calmer now

We have really settled in beautifully. Lulah has assumed her position on top of her dad.

Banana has assumed his position on the most expensive piece of furniture we own, obviously!

And I have finally had some time in the kitchen. Friends of ours have just moved up from Auckland and something that makes this even more lovely is that they have a sweet chestnut tree in the garden. ( The one Lloyd and I planted at the farm didn't have time to give us even a single chestnut - so I hope the new owners like them!) I plundered their garden and within about 5 minutes had filled a carrier bag. I shared it with Simon and Ali and pretty much ate all my share at one sitting!
Sweet Chestnuts remind me of my childhood. Dad used to get them, boil them then roast them on a shovel over our coal fire. When they were done we tipped them onto newspaper on the floor, opened them ( burning our fingers!), sprinkled them with salt and scarfed them down. 

I couldn't quite replicate this, I just did them on the stove top in a pan! But they tasted almost as good. 

I've also attempted macarons again. I had lost the knack completely.  They still tasted lovely, but either cracked a bit, had no feet, were hollow, or all three!  I reckoned new house, new oven, give it a go again. First lot were fine; No cracks, but no feet. However they were blooming tasty. I made apple shells and filled them with blue cheese buttercream - do not knock this until you've tried it! And yeah, they had glitter on them.

Second batch I tried something completely new. I've always made them with the french recipe. This time I tried them by making an Italian meringue. Supposedly this is a more stable way of doing it. Meh! About half of them had feet and half of them were cracked. However there is one big difference - they are a much more fluffy texture inside - not hollow at all. Less sweet and very delicious. I'm definitely trying this way again, oven temp lower and let them dry out for a lot longer before putting in the oven. I'll keep you posted!

These were chocolate shells and strawberry buttercream filling. They were also lovely.

I've also been gardening! bahahahaa! It's a somewhat smaller scale here. I took white hydrangea cuttings and gardenia cuttings before we left the farm. I have plans to rip out some ugly ground cover stuff and put gardenias and some hibiscus down the side of the front garden. 

Finally,  woke up to this today. Whats not to love?


  1. There ya go! You've settled in already :D

  2. Hurray for all of you!

    Enjoy ~ FlowerLady

  3. Excellent. This all sounds excellent. Life, getting back to normal, a new normal maybe, but normal. Baking, growing, petting. We had chestnuts at Christmas this past year. Matt started working at a small grocer and one of the customers talked them up so much Matt had to try them. We roasted ours in the oven. They were good. We just ate them plain, but next time I'll have to try a little salt.

  4. I'm green with envy. That view! And the renos are just lovely...the kitchen is to die for!


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Laura x