Saturday, 16 August 2008


Do you remember that song??

I am sick of it....I bet you never thought you would read about...Kate is sick of the rain......there, I have said it! For weeks I have been putting on my gardening clothes, going outside and 5 minutes later it is pouring. So I stand under the carport, if it gets too heavy (the rain, silly, not the carport!), twiddling my thumbs until it clears. Then it happens over and over. The only time it has stayed fine for long is when I rush in to answer the phone or have to spend time doing admin stuff, then, of course, the sun shines like its summer, making me all excited about getting out there when I am finished what I'm doing.....but guess what? By then its raining again!

This morning I emptied 66mm from the rain gauge. Plus the previous 28, that's 94mm in August and it is only the 16th. This, of course is excellent, and I am not complaining really. We need 5 times this amount to saturate the subsoil still. Next to my carport is an area we call the swamp because usually it fills with water after this much rain and stays wet and yukky for days on and off all late winter. Despite all this rain, the swamp has remained dry....damp, of course.....but no swamp. So, the ground is still soaking up the rain and is not saturated yet.

As I drive down Mt. Osmond Road, there is a little spot on the left where, by the end of a good winter, water is oozing from the rock-face and cascading gently over the edge. This hasn't happened since 2005. Maybe early this spring it will, if it stays cold and wet long enough. Whenever I see this it makes me smile; it is my indicator that everything is alright.

It has been a good opportunity to read some stuff while this rain continues....if only I could stop eating the biscuits and the chocolate-coated citrus peel from Veggie Gnome! By the way, I love all the organic coffees and other special treats given to me for my birthday....I had intended to lose a bit of weigh before I went away but.....

I have also cooked some nice things and one of the best is the Chicken and Yoghurt Curry I made a few days ago and just finished off for lunch. In my previous notes I had added mangoes - presumably from when I had lots from my mother's tree, but now don't have any. In the cupboard I found some peaches that I had picked last summer and dried. I poured a bit of boiling water over a handful and left them to soften while I got on with the rest. When I strained the liquid off, I used it to cook the rice, along with about 100ml coconut milk and the rest just water. I put the peach pieces in the curry, just a few minutes before serving it, along with some of the endless supply of green leaves in the vegetable garden and some coriander.

I think part of the success of this dish is the adding of some things at the end. So often a curry or stew is too homogeneous in flavour and I like to have some surprises not just in my life but also in my food, so often I cook this way. Of course everyone adds herbs at the end but I mean actually sometimes cooking things separately, if you can be bothered and then combining them just before serving. The rice was the best ever and we ate the whole lot even though I cooked enough for 2 meals! Basmati, Maggie, not Australian rice which no-one should buy.....sorry Deb...things are different now!

Oh, the rain has stopped....I will put the recipe on Gardeners' Gastronomy, when I come in next time.....OK so before I even clicked 'post' it is raining I am off to write it up now.
Dumb idea to mention those chocolates because now I have 3 pieces here, with my cup of lemon verbena tea!


Rachel said...

I hear you, Kate! My parents are visiting from the US, and since they arrived nearly two weeks ago, we've only had one dry day in Melbourne - today! And naturally, because we're going to a large social function tonight, today we've been shopping for appropriate clothing. Argh!

We're finding the same thing as you, too; our soil hasn't become saturated yet either because it's so bloody dry. Our main reservoir, the Thompson, isn't getting nearly as much run-off as expected because the ground has been thirstily sucking it up. But let it rain, let it rain. My parents are good sports about it, anyway.

chaiselongue said...

It's good to hear you're getting some rain at last, Kate. I know how you feel about it, though. I felt the same when we had a lot of rain this spring - pleased that the drought was over, knowing we needed it, but fed up with being stuck indoors while the weeds grew in the garden!
The chicken curry sounds delicious - it's a good idea to add some ingredients at the end for a separate flavour - I do this when I make tagine, adding olives and pickled lemons after the meat has cooked.

Pattie Baker said...

So, so, so happy to hear about the rain, kate! (Send some our way!)