1 July 2024

I've been cooking and gardening - what's new!

I've been enjoying winter meals over the past couple of weeks - pea and ham soup, Swedish meatballs with cabbage and potatoes, curried chicken and others winter warmers.   One of the meals I still enjoy is a Sunday roast lunch. I grew up eating them, yes, EVERY week, but when I had my own family, it was more like twice a month. However, I did want to continue eating roast pork, chicken or roast lamb after Hanno died but initially I couldn't work out how to get around the large pieces of meat. I'd never eat it all even if I made a second meal of curry or a pie. But now, I buy pork belly and cut it into four pieces before I freeze it. A quarter of pork belly does me well for two meals, one roasted and one cut up in bite sized pieces, salted and served with a little leftover gravy the next day. The beef roast I do now is beef fillet. It is expensive but I like how there absolutely no waste. I carefully cut my fillet into four pieces between 2½ and 3 inches long, freeze three of them and roast the first one. Delicious! I usually have some left over for the following day which I slice thinly and have as a roast beef, mustard and lettuce sandwich.

This is what the garden looks like now. 

My main task has been to get my garden growing. I've had all the old vegetable gardens removed but I just can't give up gardening so I'm creating a floral container garden. I'm mainly growing roses with a couple of foxgloves, a new double lavender recently bred in Australia, buddleia - the butterfly bush, Texmax pelargonium which I'm growing for the colour, two blueberry bushes, Johnny Jump ups (violets), alyssum and several old English roses. I have climbing roses on the lattice and fence behind the containers and I think it will look lovely when they're all growing well.  Kerry and Jamie came over yesterday and helped me move pots, potting mix, mulch, pine bark and odd and ends to the garden so it would be easier for me to set everything up. I'm so lucky to have the family I have.

These are some of the old rose pots and new plants just bought.

The new outdoor setting waiting for their armrests.

I bought a small outdoor setting because the old table collapsed after 30 years on the job. It looks good but it came as a flat pack and I had to put it together.  ๐Ÿคจ  I'd never done that before but I got through most of it and now I only have to add the arm rests to the last three chairs and it will be done. I'll enjoy sitting out there in the afternoons tending the garden and enjoying time outdoors in the fresh air.

I don’t watch a lot of TV, I prefer premium YouTube where I watch a variety of interesting programs with no advertising. Bliss! Lately I've been watching Wocomocook - a wonderful program about food and people all over the European countryside. It’s encouraging and inspiring to see people living lives connected to each other and the land. They milk cows, make ice cream with the milk and the cloudberries growing in the forests; they make bread, jam and chutney, pancakes, and cheese. I watched cakes, stews and drinks being made that I’ve never seen before. It shows a lifestyle of productivity and optimism, something similar to the way Hanno used to live. I’m continuing on with a small snippet of what I used to do but watching Wocomocook is enough to keep me interested in a productive life and moving forward.

Thank you for visiting me here today. I'll be back in a week or two with photos of the new garden.  Take care of yourself and take care.  xx

My neurotic dog Tully doesn’t like change. This reminded me of Gracie.
The brown bears are back at Brooks Falls. Many of you know I love watching the brown bears catching salmon at Brooks Falls in Alaska. They came back this week and will continue eating until it's time to hibernate later in the year. If you haven't seen them, it's worth a click.



  1. I am glad to see you getting back into a little gardening, you and Hanno appeared to enjoy it so much over the years. We are having a family short holiday at Bunya Mountains. Both my daughters, son in law and grand kids. Booked in January for this school holidays as a sort of experiment, it is great to see that we can get along. A little boring for some as it is misty and drizzle most of the time but great to see the grandkids still playing outside and much less watching television.
    I can understand that old favourite meals, now served for one, can be a problem. But roasts are too delicious a meal to give up! Enjoy your gardening. Erin

    1. Hello Erin and thank you. I'm sure you'll enjoy the Bunya Mountains with your family. It's a lovely place.

    2. It certainly is time for soup here in cold Melbourne. I made a big pot of chicken & veggie soup on Saturday afternoon and enjoyed having some tonight.
      All your plants will look lovely in your garden. ~ Jenny M

  2. So lovely to read all about the changes you're making Rhonda, your meals sound delicious, we always have a Sunday roast, it wouldn't be Sunday if we didn't. You've made me want some beef filet, a delish meal!

  3. Enjoy your winter soups and meals, I too love a roast dinner on Sundays, since I live with my daughter and son in law, we have this often and invite grands and their families over. We are going into the heat of our summer now, in the 90's most days. My little patio garden is doing well, So glad you can continue to garden, it is good for the soul !!

  4. Thank you for the wonderful post. I will have a look at that youtube channel, it sounds very interesting. I'm looking forward to the garden pictures.
    Hugs from The Netherlands ❤️

  5. Soups are a delicious and nutritious meal.
    As well as meat that you don't overdo and eat in portions!
    Your garden will become more beautiful.
    It's a good thing you don't watch too much TV!
    Have a beautiful July!!

  6. Thank you for sharing the link for the brown bears! I just watched for a few minutes with my 5yo and 3yo and we all found them delightful!
    You have also inspired me to pull the Christmas ham bone out of the freezer and make some soup.

  7. I'm always reassured by the clarity of your message Rhonda! I haven't watched much TV this year and yes Utube has very interesting programs. I'm sorting and clearing our and making soups! Wonderful life! Also growing some perennial flowers.

  8. When I lived alone, I used to cook a single lamb shank as a Sunday lamb roast. Worked a treat.

  9. Thank you for this lovely post. Cooking for 1 certainly has its challenges. Thank you for the roast ideas for one - I shall certainly be trying them. I do a chicken Maryland roast which lasts me for two meals. I still grow nearly all my own vegetables, but have just downsized the amount I sow. It is just so nice to go out into the garden and pick a carrot and some silverbeet or whatever is ready. Have a lovely July. Gail.

  10. I feel so much joy in this post Rhonda, filled with new discovery and accomplishments. Wonderful! I also feel hungry ๐Ÿ˜‹, eager to watch YouTube and run out and embrace the day. Hugs x

  11. Hello Rhonda, it's been a long time since I visited here, so lovely to see you are getting on well. We have moved from a new house to an older one with a bit of land, way out in the countryside. We have reduced our debt significantly and life is quieter and slower. Growing some of our own food and keeping chickens. I struggle with my health, but going back to the mainstream chaos would make it worse, no doubt. Take care, blessings from Pam in Norway

  12. That sounds wonderful, Rhonda. I just returned from Umbria, Italy, and the cooking and food were divine! We got to take a cooking class from the Countess. The ingredients they use are so fresh, and they grow so much right at their vineyard. Glad to hear you are eating so well, and making adjustments in portions with your freezer. I do the same thing with pork. Thanks for the reminder. I have porkchops in my fridge that need to be separated and frozen.

  13. Lovely pics and garden. Look forward to next post cheers eileen

  14. Thank you for this post and ideas for meat meals. I am coming up on 2 years being a widow and still struggle with cooking appropriate meal sizes. You can put only so many second meals in the freezer and consume them without loosing them.

  15. A beautiful caring lovely post. Thank you so much Rhonda ๐Ÿ˜Š.


I welcome readers' comments. However, this blog never publishes business links or advertisements. If you're operating a business and want to leave your link here, I will delete your comment .

Blogger Template by pipdig