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Archive for the ‘Cottage Life’ Category

It’s feijoa time again, and thanks to the generosity of friends I have an abundance of these fruit.  My own tree has produced well this year, but not enough to allow for baking as well as eating.  A couple of years ago I found a great recipe for Feijoa and Ginger Loaf, which I’ve since shared with a number of friends.  Recently I bought some mini loaf tins (or rather silicone moulds), and today I thought I’d try making little loaves.  The recipe suggested it would make eight mini loaves, but my mixture easily filled twelve, and they are superb.

Easier to manage than a large loaf which can be inclined to fall apart and require a cake fork.  It’s possible to freeze and store the mixture for this loaf, but our small freezer doesn’t really have room to do this.  Plus I like to eat things when they’re in season, rather than having everything available all year round.  If Myrtle Rust creeps south, feijoas may become endangered, so we may as well enjoy them while we can.

“Let’s relish our feijoa feast.
Hope they escape the Myrtle beast.”

 

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Peek-a-boo Petals

I’ve encouraged my Naked Ladies/Amaryllis to peep through the fence so passers-by can enjoy their beauty.

There are some inside the fence as well, which we can see from our bedroom window.

“There’s absolutely nothing shady
about this bright pink snazzy lady.”

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Myrtle rust has invaded the North Island, threatening native species such as pohutukawa, rata, and manuka.   I’m concerned about that, of course, but my more immediate worry is that the rust also attacks feijoa trees.  I can appreciate their relationship to pohutukawa, because in our garden we enjoy our feijoa’s Christmas display, similar to pohutukawa in the North Island.

Feijoa tree at Christmas 2009

I always thought feijoa might be related to citrus, because it’s recommended to give them citrus food.  Because of this I haven’t put feijoa skins in my worm farm, but I’ve learned today that worms are happy to eat feijoas, so that’s a habit I will change.  This year we’ve had the best harvest ever from our “Unique” feijoa which we planted in 2000.

Today I’ve baked a Feijoa Loaf – yum!  I just hope Myrtle may be contained in the North Island and keep away from the Avon Loop.

“I hope rust spores will cease to hurtle
down here I would not welcome Myrtle.”

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The year’s first snowdrop appeared today (actually it’s a snowflake).

It has a slightly chewed look, maybe it isn’t quite open yet, but I look forward to soon being able to pick whole bunches.

“I’m pleased to see this first wee gem
and looking forward to more of them.”

 

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Recent rain has encoraged the growth of fungi, and there were lots on the path to the beach.

Dark toadstool

 

Golden toadstools

 

Twin toadstools

Orange toadstools

Back home, there’s a small colony at the back of the garden.

Cottage toadstools

I can’t identify any of these,  and I definitely won’t be sampling them.

“It seems to me that only fools
would try to eat these odd toadstools.”

 

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24 hours after the patio was flooded, we were breakfasting outside in 20 degree sunshine.  Our weather is certainly changeable!  Now that we’ve stepped aside from paid work, every day is a holiday, but we can’t help joining in the general pleasure of a holiday weekend.  For Easter Saturday Stephen made us a special breakfast of Oefs en Cocotte.

Chicken and mushroom, together with a baked egg, make this especially delicious.  We sipped our tea or coffee, leisurely read the “Press’, and thought lazily about how we might spend the rest of the day.  I hope my readers are all enjoying their Easter break.  Great to hear that so many volunteers are helping those in the Bay of Plenty to sort out the aftermath of Cuclone Cook.

“Although each day’s a holiday
today’s a special time to play.”

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Continual rain overnight (thanks to Cyclone Cook) meant that our patio was flooded when we got up this morning.

Patio Pond

We’ve not seen it like this before.  There was 40mm of rain overnight, and the ground underneath must still be saturated from the previous week’s rain.  Luckily it’s draining now the rain has eased.  The river was also high, and was over its banks in several places.

Avon/Otakaro near Barbadoes Street Bridge

It’s flowed onto Fitzgerald Avenue near the Kilmore Street intersection.  We’ve been spared the high winds that have caused problems in the North Island, and a fine afternoon is forecast.

“I’ll stay inside, the river’s high
and I want to keep warm and dry.’

 

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