Pumpkin Growth Spurt

Summer heralds vegetable growth. The pumpkin has taken over the patch! The flowers have closed up into early pumpkins. They are in the middle protected from the elements by huge leaves.

This blurry shot shows how the tomatoes are surrounded by pumpkins. Corns are also making an appearance.

I am looking forward to the fruit and vegetable harvesst in 2010. Happy New Year to all readers. Thank you for visiting my blog!

Nougat: Mum's First Attempt


a. 120 g castor sugar and 60 g water
b. 40 g egg white
c. 1/4 t salt and 75 g milk powder
d. 50 g softened butter
e. 200 – 300 g peanuts


  1. Boil ingredient A by gradually to 120-125 °C
  2. Mix ingredient B at medium speed to
  3. Remove A and pour into B then mix
  4. Add milk powder with softened butter and mix
  5. Add peanuts and pour into greased trays
  6. Serve after mixture sets.


  • Make sure sugar mixture is hot so it is easy to mix with peanuts
  • Variations include 60 g milk powder and choices such as 15 g chocolate, sesame, coconut.
  • The lower the temperature, the softer the nougat
  • If the nougat does not set, increase heating and drying temperature




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    I melted chocolates and poured the mixture into moulds! Dad had a one by the time I took the photo. I picked up each piece with the chopsticks on the right. Handy!


    1. Melt chocolate over hot water until completely liquid but not bubbling. Take care to keep chocolate from steam.
    2. Pour into mould, swirl mixture slightly to let surface tension flatten the top.
    3. Leave in room temperature until chocolates firms
    4. Turn mould upside-down and shake gently so pieces pop out.
    5. Store in air-tight container at room temperature.

    Pumpkin Summer of 2009 - 2010

    The middle seedlings grow into pale green pumpkins (Cucurbita pepo or C. mixta) with orange insides.

    This is a few weeks later. By the way, the plant to the left are tomatoes and the compost is behind the corrugated iron board.

    My Weekend

    View December 2009 in a larger map

    1. Friday: dinner at I Japanese Cafe - I had seafood hot pot - oyster, prawn, tofu, vermicelli, bok choy etc
    2. Saturday:

      • Dinner at the Bank Bar and Restaurant - I had vegetables (egg plant, asparagus, pepper, salad etc). The meal was gluten free as well!
      • Movie: The Time Traveller's Wife - so sad! I cried. The adaptation was pretty good.
      • Singstar - we took tuns to belt out pop songs. 'Nuff said.
      • CBD and The Outback - shots then dance the night away

    3. Sunday 12 Days of Christmas Concert at Clarence Street Theatre

      1. A partridge in a pear tree - Soloist singing
      2. Two turtle doves, - Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle doves
      3. Three French hens, - three flute, accordion and harp pieces
      4. Four calling birds, - Four ladies performing in acapella
      5. Five golden rings, - fire dancer with hula hoop!
      6. Six geese a-laying, - pantomime by six geese
      7. Seven swans a-swimming, - what happend to swan lake by man in tutus? I think it was replaced by a whopping seven recorders.
      8. Eight maids a-milking, - Drury Lane dancers performing 'Survivor'
      9. Nine ladies dancing, - Russian traditional dance
      10. Ten lords a-leaping, - Gumboot stomp
      11. Eleven pipers piping, - Ringing Scottish and Caledonian bagpipe band
      12. Twelve drummers drumming, - Wai Taiko drummers

    (Almost) Summer in All Its Glory

    Flower in hot pink awesomeness!

    This is the same flower under thick cloud a few second later due to the fickle weather.

    I thought summer passed New Zealand by and we were straight into autumn in November. Now what?


    Blueberries (Vaccinium genus) has anthocyanin, a blue pigment high in antioxidant.

    There birds get first dibs at blueberries in front of my window.


    Blueberries NZ

    The One Peach

    The new peach tree also in my backyard has a single fruit this year.  I look out the window and see it swaying. Hold on, brave one!

    Talk about James and the Giant Peach huh?

    I lied. It is about as big as a golf ball in its organic wholesomeness.


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