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Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Summer days at home

So, Christmas is over for another year.  To be honest, it took me a while to get into the Christmas spirit this year but once the day finally arrived our day was fun and low key.   We enjoyed a manageable amount of food, drinks and gifts with various parts of our families.


After lunch on Christmas afternoon, I am a big believer in having some sort of an expedition or activity.  I find staying in and around the house all day long quite claustrophobic and getting out and about in the fresh air creates further opportunities for conversation and fun.  This year we gathered together some friends and food and headed to one of our dams.  We watched the full moon rise while the kids set yabby nets and lit a little fire.  As the night progressed a spectacular storm rolled in creating the perfect ending to our Christmas Day.


On Boxing Day we lit our wood oven and kept it steadily burning for a few days.  With some cooler days and a little extra time on my hands I felt like getting stuck into some cooking that I hadn’t managed to get done before Christmas.  This big batch of home-grown apricots went into the wood oven to dry, following on from a Boxing Day lamb roast.


The vegetable garden is also enjoying the cooler days.  It has become an unruly tangle of cucumbers, zucchinis, tomatoes, beans, basil, rock-melons and chickpeas.  


For Christmas my love gave me some gorgeous, indulgent gifts.  Just for fun he also gave me this little caravan, car and a girl with a camera.  Looking at this little set up just makes me smile.  


With the wood oven back in action there was always going to be bread and bread photos.


How are your days looking?

Have you recovered from Christmas? 

I wonder if you love a Christmas afternoon expedition?

20 comments :

  1. Gosh the veggie garden is looking good! Mine suffers so badly over summer, that this year I've stopped planting, it's just too hard to keep up the water and keep away the mildew issues in our humid climate.

    My son would love that car and caravan, where did he get it? He is a toy car addict, and I've never seen a little caravan like that before.

    PS My bulging belly hasn't recovered yet! LOL

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    1. Thank you Cheryl, you are so kind. We are very lucky to have had some 'slightly' cooler weather and just a few sprinkles of rain to help things along in the garden. The caravan and car came from Siku toys online :) Happy New Year to you x

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  2. Often our Christmas afternoons with family end in a water fight and laying on quilts under the evening sky. Mr Sparky says he likes Christmas more when people do something like and afternoon game of cricket. Your Christmas sounds lovely and what a nice way to end the day.

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    1. Thank you Country Mouse. Water fights sound like a great option at Christmas. Happy New Year!

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  3. We've had a run of 45°C+ days here and my vege garden is looking pretty sad. Can you write a post about your patch - how you care for it to keep it looking so good?

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    1. Hello and thank you Amanda. I might think about a vegetable garden post. We also experience very hot conditions at this time of year. We are very fortunate to have had some slightly cooler weather just recently and a little bit of rain to keep things looking greener than they sometimes might in the summer.

      In the autumn and winter I work hard on my soil preparation with green manure crops, mulch and manure. I mulch heavily in the summer, using old hay. My tomatoes grow under thick shade cloth otherwise they would simply not survive. We are also lucky to have access to a good water supply at the moment, so I am fairly generous with my watering. By the way...I have plenty of disasters along the way! :) Happy New Year.

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  4. Beautiful Jane. I was disappointed as there were no yabbies here this year. Our Christmas expedition was out to the pool this year. That certainly worked off the one slice of roast pork too many with so many little people in at once. Looking forward to catching up soon. Kate xx

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    1. A Christmas expedition to the pool sounds perfect Kate! Happy New Year xx

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  5. That little caravan is adorable. All your food sounds amazing as usual.
    Your veggie garden looks a darn sight tidier than mine! We've been having cooler days too - isn't it lovely to have a break from the harsh summer heat?

    Best wishes for you and your family in the New Year,
    Sarah x

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    1. Hooray for some relief from the heat Sarah, I agree! Happy New Year x

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  6. We set off for a bushwalk this afternoon. Cleared the air. Ate a burger. Walked around unfamiliar waterfronts and pondered life in another's neck of the woods. Lovely.

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    1. Sounds lovely indeed Katie. Happy New Year!

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  7. Your Christmas Day sounds blissful. It gets dark over here by about 4.30 so we walk before our meal rather than after. Our extended family gathers for a glass of champagne and some smoked salmon and then go for a good long walk around the farm, coming back as the daylight fades to sit in front of a roaring fire and eat roast turkey.
    Currently enjoying unseasonably warm days and wishing my veg garden looked as productive as yours. Happy New Year. Anne x

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    1. Thank you Anne. We love to eat smoked salmon too...some things are universal! The contrasts in our traditions are wonderful aren't they? Happy New Year x

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  8. Your Christmas sounds as though it was a good one Jane. Like Anne, those of us who want to walk our dog in the morning before the eating, drinking, etc. This year it was blustery and drizzly rain and very mild. I do wonder whether a White Christmas will happen again... I wish you a splendid and happy New Year. Sam x

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    1. Thank you so much Sam! I can only imagine a white Christmas! x

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  9. It sounds like you had the perfect approach to Christmas Jane, just lovely. As always I am very envious of your abundant veggie garden, summer vegetables are just the best aren't they? And those apricots just look heavenly. Perfect for a Maggie Beer dried apricot pavlova I say!! A big happy new year or Kali Xronia to you and all your family xx xx xx

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    1. Oh dried apricot pavlova sounds delicious Mrs M! So lovely of you to call in x

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  10. Jane how do you manage to get your bread and apricots so perfectly cooked in the wood oven? Do you have a thermometer that you gauge it all with, or just lots of practise?
    Your caravan and camera girl are super cute. It's good to have things that make you smile.

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    1. Thank you Brydie. I would have to say that over the years there has been a lot of trial and error and some burnt loaves and meals along the way! Now it mostly comes down to a few little tricks we have learnt and a lot of patience! But, we do have a digital thermometer that we can point around the interior of the oven to give us an approximate heat reading. The heat can vary a lot in different parts of the oven, depending on the fire. It certainly adds to the challenge, especially with bread! x

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Hello and welcome. I will try to reply to all comments eventually because I love the conversation! Jane