Weekend Reading, Gardening and Baking

11 September 2021
This week went by so fast and I didn't get everything done that I wanted to do. But there is always time next week. Hanno had another bleed into his eye and had to have a minor operation at his eye specialist's rooms. I drove him over and got him safely back. I had my hair cut yesterday and the rest of the time I've been doing my normal chores and gardening. I'm pleased to tell you that the garden should be finished tomorrow. I just have to put down some weed mat, which I've cut out, plant a new rose - Elina and lay mulch on one garden. Kerry dug a hole for the rose last week so tomorrow I'll half fill it with our compost and water the area well. The rose is soaking in Seasol at the moment and will be planted this afternoon when it's shady. Roses can live for 100 years so it's a privilege for me to introduce it to a new home. I hope it has a long life and continues to watch over this land when I'm gone.


It looks like a bandicoot has been digging around the roots of my climbing rose.  I'll cover it with weed mat today and hopefully the bandicoot will look for food in other parts of the garden.


A trug full of rainbow chard for lunch yesterday. I used it to make a pie.  Photo below.








These are baboon flowers - a flower from South Africa that baboons eat. They're planted next to the mini pickling cucumbers. 



Here is the more practical side of the garden, I've just moved a mauve trumpet creeper there but I have to move it to a larger pot today. It's also an area where I put plants I want to keep but have no room for - now an agave and a clump of iris. Also a bird bath, bee hotel, comfrey clump and compost heap.

I'm looking forward to having the garden finished and the start of the pruning, watering and maintenance stage. It's a wonderful place to sit and think and will be worth every minute I've put into it. I've got a pair of binoculars now so I have a better view of what the birds are doing even in trees far away.


This is the pie I made with the chard. It's filo pastry with chard, onions, garlic, eggs and cream.


And for morning teas - a vanilla cake with lemon icing.


These biscuits will go to Jamie and family. They're dark chocolate with pulverised Brazil nuts.

One final piece of good news, I'm featured in the next edition of Taproot Magazine, Sustain. Savitha Rao wrote an article about four of us simple living bloggers. I'm looking forward to reading it. Thanks Savitha.

Thank you for being here today. I love having contact with my readers and it always inspires me to write more. Have a wonderful weekend, take care of yourself and take it easy.

🍋 🐝 🍋 🐝 🍋  

Weekend Reading

35 comments

  1. Your days sound just lovely, Rhonda. Things are ramping up in the garden for you just as we're reaching the end of our garden season. I've planted a few more green beans I'm hoping will produce until the first frost. And I'm still harvesting luffa - those things have gone crazy! Looks like I'll be making more scrub sponges in the near future. You and Hanno stay safe! (HUGS) from Texas! ~TxH~

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    1. I used to grow luffas but I've bought them lately. I love using them in the kitchen and bathroom. We're both fine, I hope you are too.

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  2. What a wonderful week in the garden Rhonda. I hope the weather has been lovely and warm for you.
    I’m also sorry to hear about Hanno’s eye - hopefully it’s all better now. Send my well wishes to you.
    How did you make the vanilla cake with lemon icing? It looks delicious!
    Take care xx

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    1. Thanks Dana. I use two-thirds of this vanilla cake recipe mainly because it's really easy too make and it includes options for other flavourings to be used. https://www.taste.com.au/recipes/easy-vanilla-butter-cake/24c764b0-22f1-4ba2-aa0a-78966d183f94. The icing is just sifted icing sugar with lemon (or any citrus) juice added.

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  3. Your garden looks lovely Rhonda, and your food delicious! I made the raspberry and coconut slice from your book this week - try stopping at one:) Have a great weekend. Best wishes, Margaret

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    1. I'm really pleased you made the raspberry and coconut slice. It's always very popular here. I hope you and your family enjoyed it too. xx

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  4. These photos and especially your initial entry for 9/11/21 were lovely.. thank you Cecilia xoxo

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  5. I have just read Making Your Life Your Job and all the wonderful encouraging comments that readers left for Ceri. I can never understand why a 'housekeeper' is a respected person in a responsible role, while a 'housewife' or 'homemaker' is viewed as a loser who doesn't have a job. We are not losers, we are winners. We are 'self employed' and proud of it!

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  6. Your garden is looking beautiful! I love the baboon flowers. I look forward to reading your feature in Taproot Magazine. Hope Hanno’s eye heals quickly. Enjoy your weekend. x

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  7. Hi Rhonda, Would you mind sharing the proportions for the chard pie? It looks so good. I don't need the recipe for the crust, just the custard. It looks so good and creamier than the custard recipe I have been using for my quiches and savory pies like this...thanks. Give Hanno my good wished for a good recovery!

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    1. Peascod, it's not really a recipe, I just go by eye. It depends on the size of pie you want to make. The closest I can get is 6 eggs, ½ - 1 cup cream, cup of shredded cheese, salt and pepper, added to one large chopped and cooked onion, garlic, and the amount of chard (cooked) in the trug photo above. It made a good serving size for us and the pie lasted two days. If you want a larger pie, add more eggs, cream and cheese, or less for a smaller pie.

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  8. That pie looks lovely! I may try it soon, as we have plenty of eggs to use up. I love quiche, but have never tried filo as the crust.

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    1. Try the filo, Helena, it makes a light pie and it's quick meal when you don't make the pastry.

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  9. Rhonda, I'm glad Hanno is doing better after his latest procedure. Congratulations on appearing in the article in Taproot! I just looked online and my local library has a subscription, so I'll look forward to reading about you and the other bloggers. Your garden is looking lovely and so is your food, especially that cake - yum! Beth in MN

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  10. The Landline feature on the sewing pattern designer, Madam Wiegel was simply wonderful. I have been sewing for most of my life and I had never heard of her. I am so glad that these wonderful women and bringing her efforts back to life.

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    1. Hi Jane. I hadn't heard of Madam Wiegel either. What a woman!

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  11. Hello Rhonda. Thanks to you, my day starts well with the reading of your post...
    Your garden is so beautiful, I am inspired by it! As soon as I read your blog,I want to get down to work !
    Today, after my housework, I will make applesauce with apples given to me by my neighbor. Then, I will do some sewing (a tunic from a homemade pattern)
    Hanno and you, have a good week.

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  12. Julie from MooroolbarkSeptember 12, 2021 2:41 pm

    Your garden is flourishing and the perfect sunny days just adds to the happiness of it all. Your photography of the wonderful creations from your kitchen is so mouthwatering that I could almost taste these delights as I read your blog. This week I put in place the beginnings of a succulent and cactus garden in the north west part of the garden. Full sun all day. I have so many pots of these that it was time for them to gather round and make a statement. I finished the project with white decorative stones underneath the plantings to enhance the colours. Project for this week is for me to list the contents of my craft cupboards. Yes I am a natural list maker. It is time to identify those UFO's (unfinished objects)and reconcile what I have in regard to wool supplies. This will give me incentive to plan new projects for the months ahead and either remake UFO's or complete.

    I love your bee hotel Rhonda. I saw something similiar in Aldi a few months ago. I have noticed Blue Banded Native Bees around my Rosemary bush. Busy little critters they are.

    Rhonda I am an avid bird watcher too and what a wonderful idea to use binoculars for closeups of my visitors. Never thought of it. I have a birthday coming up and my family are always asking me for ideas so binoculars would be wonderful. So from one " Tea Jenny " to another may your days be as bright as your beautiful garden xx

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    1. Your cactus garden sounds lovely, Julie. We bought the bee hotel at Aldi - and modified it for our conditions. Some bees are using it. Enjoy your week. xx

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  13. Hi Rhonda...so glad Hanno is doing better..bit of a scare there am sure.
    Your garden is looking wonderful and so healthy. All your cooking looks amazing and delicious. Great ideas for me there.
    The article about raising children made me smile. I was a Mum at 22...didn't have a clue! But my husband and I did our best, made mistakes, and are grateful that we do have two kind and caring adults who are always helping others. What they decided to do job wise was not as important to me as their character.
    I did spend some time in our very chilly garden today in between showers....emptying pots and replenishing soil. Also protecting some seedlings from the weather coming in the next couple of days.
    Have a good week Rhonda, Hanno and Gracie ☺

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    1. Hi Karen, I was a mum at 30 but apart from that, your ideas about raising children are identical to mine. I hope your seedlings grow strong and true. xx

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  14. Hello Rhonda. So good to hear Hanno gets such swift medical help. I hope he´s feeling better now. That tale about Madame Weigel was fascinating. How these women worked to clothe their families and yet keep the fun of fashion alive and kicking.
    Our signs of autumn are increasing and I must say I´m glad to (almost) see the end of this year´s tomato crop. Note to self for next season: downsize! We have our garden pond and feeding stations just outside our kitchen window. It´s a never-ending joy to watch the birds...and our visiting squirrel - when we sit at the kitchen table. Our binoculars are always on hand. Especially at this time of year we can get unusual species coming for a quick bath or feed, I find I´m flicking through the morning paper faster and faster. Who needs the outside world? lol
    Keep well and take care
    Ramona/Sweden.

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    1. I love that you've set up a bird watching station at your kitchen table. What a nice way to spend some time when it's cold outside. Stay safe and take it easy. xx

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  15. Good morning Rhonda, Hanno and Gracie. As usual my favourite is my dose of lovely garden photos! Spring is starting to bud down here,we had some unusual warm days and have now gone back to cool,damp and windy 'proper' weather for this time of year! Silverbeet, chard and the perennial spinach are big convenience and money savers in my tiny garden, always able to throw some extra greens in a meal or a pie. We are in partial lockdown here, doubly vaccinated and hunkered down. Have a good week 🙃

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    1. Yes, it's always worthwhile to grow leaves like chard and spinach. Such a money saver. We've had windy weather here for the past few days but it's warm. We have a couple of cool nights coming but when they go, I guess summer will be beating down our door. Enjoy spring in your garden. xx

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  16. Thank you Rhonda, I have some eggs my neighbor girl brought me that I need to use up...this will be a good recipe for that and this week's breakfast. I love your recipes and the way you cook!

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  17. Dear Rhonda,
    Thank you for the inspiration through the years. It was great to speak with you and look forward to many more conversations, IG and blog posts. Best wishes to Hanno for a speedy recovery.
    Savitha

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    1. Thanks Savitha. I enjoyed working with you too. xx

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  18. Just saw you have shared the "recipe" Thanks.

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  19. Oh I just had a look at my local library and they don't have Taproot. Oh the despair! I have signed up for their newsletters so hopefully that serves its purpose and I don't need to pay for the print mags.

    I have my veggie garden all planted out and enjoy visiting our little seedings to see their growth. The anticipation of picking produce is almost unbearable. lol

    Thank you for all that you have done for this part of the internet Rhonda. After hitting submit, I will pick up your two books and have a comforting flick through as I have done many times before. I have also just realised with horror I am missing your first book; The Simple Life. I lent it to someone in good faith. Bummer!

    Keep enjoying life Rhonda, it still has so much to offer us.

    Vicky

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  20. As a subscriber to Taproot, I look forward to reading about you there. I also follow Grandma D's blog and it makes me smile to know you two are talking together. To me, you two are so much alike and both of you have helped so many in making their lives better. Thanks to you both and I always look forward to the Weekend Reading post! There is always something new to learn in them or something just magical to see. Best wishes to you and yours. I wish Hanno speedy healing.

    Darlene

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    1. Thanks Darlene. I enjoy seeing your occasional comments. You've been here for so many years! Donna and I think we're alike too - alike but different. I love talking to her, hearing about her life with Charles and how they're adapting to older age just as we are here. I hope you enjoy the Taproot article.

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  21. Your plants look so colorful and healthy. I love seeing your baking too. It makes my mouth water. Love the new haircut; it looks fabulous on you!

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  22. I love reading your Blog Rhonda, I always learn from your writings. I hope you have a wonderful weekend.
    💜💜💜

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