Monday, September 1, 2014

Amazing Chinese Five Spice Recipe

I know what you are thinking: Does that spice ever make it out of the cupboard? Have you ever made Salt & Pepper Squid? This spice not only enhances the flavour, it IS the flavour. And WOW!

Having thrown out some old spices from my pantry I did not have a jar on hand so I searched for a recipe to make my own, and I found this amazing recipe and gave my own twist.

My secret? Long Pepper from Beach Organics (Middleton, South Australia).
Scored this from the Willunga Farmers Market.

Amazing Chinese Five Spice Powder


1 teaspoon ground Cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground Cloves
1 teaspoon Fennel Seeds
1 teaspoon Star Anise
1 teaspoon Long Pepper
1/2 teaspoon cracked Black Pepper

  1. Grind up the Fennel Seeds, Star Anise, Long Pepper and Black Pepper in a coffee bean grinder or similar.
  2. Add the ground Cinnamon and Cloves.
  3. Mix the spices together and store in an airtight jar.

The original recipe says to toast the fennel seeds first. I did not do this.
Szechuan Peppercorns are used in the original recipe.
I have substituted the peppercorns with Long Pepper and Cracked Black Pepper.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Rusty Bird Garden Jigsaw

Click on the image below to start today's jigsaw. Have fun!

preview120 pieceRusty Bird Garden

Spring is Door Knocking in my Garden

Spring is door knocking in my garden already. It always seems to make an appearance in my garden around the 23rd of August every year. The days are become just that little bit longer and the sun shines more warmly. This week I found buds appearing, new flowers bursting out and a personal flurry of activity in the garden. You couldn't have stopped me, the weather made me do it. Ha, ha! What a great excuse♥

Here's a look around my garden at the end of August this year.

Camellia Nuccio's Pearl flowering

Camellia Japonica - Angel

Camellia Japonica - Beatrice Emily

Double Poppies - my first try - seeds from a friend at church

Helleborus in full flower
Potted Freesias

One of my shade loving plants under the apple trees. Possibly an anemone.

Potted Arum Lillies

Meanwhile in the edible section of my garden, there's some activity brewing...

Dwarf Meyer Lemon is heavily laden with flowers

Dwarf Santa Rosa Plum is already budding, but the Satsuma Plum is still dormant.

Brown Turkey fig is not only growing leaves but fruit at the SAME time.

Garlics are growing well. Lost two earlier on in the season, but their replacements have caught up.

Growing Green Manure crop around the base of the Curly Kale to add more nitrogen to the soil.

On my list of Never Fail Crops - my leeks are growing well.

Broad Beans have started to shoot up fast

Turned over the compost bins. Beautiful stuff!


Baby Fennel is almost ready to harvest. Oh yum!

August always makes me feel excited in the garden. How is your garden going this year?

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Helleborus Jigsaw

Click on the image to begin your jigsaw. Exit any time, it will save where you are up to. Enjoy!

preview108 pieceHelleborus

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Manning's SALA Sculptures 2014

Every year the SALA Festival has grown in popularity throughout South Australia as more people find local artists displaying in their local area. The creative whimsy and technical flare of these artists are the real draw card, that gets people hopping into their car to drive across town to go see them, too.

South Australian artists of every physical medium display in selected locations throughout the community, bringing their art to the masses in an ambiance that reflects their creative efforts. You may not go out of your way to visit an art gallery, so the gallery comes to you in the form of a cafe, winery or even a plant nursery. Seeing art displayed in your relaxed environment helps you to see the potential of it being displayed in your own home.

I have really grown to enjoy SALA. Its one of those events where even the hardest person to market art to can develop an interest, and I confess that is me. I need more than just a painting on canvas, I need to be able to touch the art that I love, and I want others to enjoy it just as much.

So this year, my hubby and I drove to Newman's Nursery at Tea Tree Gully to view the amazing rusty garden sculptures by Manning Sculptures.

You may have seen a Manning Sculpture before and not known it. Brighton beach in Adelaide plays host to many of their sculptures throughout the year, and also at the Royal Adelaide Show, where they display year after year in the Goyder Pavilion amongst the garden displays in the fruit corner. Its there you can buy something large or small for the garden. I started out with a small wren and a rooster that take pride of place in my espalier garden.

Manning Sculptures at Brighton Beach, Adelaide 2013
Rod, Ty & Judy Manning

SALA Festival - Manning Sculptures at Newman's Nursery, Tea Tree Gully August 2014

Other beautiful sights at Newmans too...

Look what followed me home...
So excited to add this to my garden, finally! Much planning, scrimping and saving. It will make it's way to my front garden, hopefully, to stand proudly in front my new fruit trees.

If you would like to explore the Manning Sculpture range and prices, you can find them here:
Facebook: Manning Sculptures

Manning's current price list can be found on this page at the top to download.

They are also showing at two other locations during SALA (August 2014). Visit their website for more information.

An amazing event, bringing it to the people of South Australia!

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Daffodil in Winter Jigsaw

Click on the picture below to start the jigsaw.
Exit anytime and it will save where you are up to.

preview120 pieceDaffodil in Winter