Monday, 29 December 2008





Christmas means different things to different people. We have spent most Christmases over the last 15 years or so at our beach shack and I wouldn't have swapped them for anywhere else.

In the photos is our Christmas table set for the first time for only two, beside our deserted beach, as close to paradise as you can get to eat your turkey and Christmas pudding.






10 minutes after we finished lunch, while we were sitting enjoying the view, a fierce wind blew in from the south west and everything had to be rushed inside.... perfect timing.










                                                                                    My mother makes the puddings for all the family.




This summer flowering wattle has blown in on the wind and now is well established beside the shack. The birds love it and it thrives in the sand with no added water ever.






At home I have been picking the fresh, new growth of the purple amaranth that I am growing for the first time. The leaves are beautiful and rich in colour, with the undersides being a brilliant purple....quite stunning and a nice, gentle flavour. They are growing like mad and providing a constant supply. While I am away they will be allowed to grow unhindered and probably will need cooking when I get home, instead of eating raw.

When Hugh helped me pick all the broad beans, we cut off the stems and chopped them to dig back into the soil and left the roots to decompose and release nitrogen from their leguminous nodules. What I didn't expect and have never found before, is that they are now reshooting all through the capsicum and lettuce patch! To stop them taking over I am constantly picking the tips for salads. These are one of my favourite additions to a salad at the moment.... along with the fennel flowers, of course! I don't think I will let them reach maturity or they will smother the rest of the bed. I will probably keep picking the leaves until the weather gets too hot for them and then cut them for the chooks.

The sweet potato plant that Ting gave me is doing really well and it will be ready for me to start picking the leaves soon too. Another of my summer salad favourites and so easy to grow if you can get one started.

I picked a whole large esky full of greens from the garden to bring with us to our shack but, since we eat such a lot of them every day, we will run out soon..... I will have to buy some lettuce, at least, and I know it will not be a patch on mine in flavour or goodness or variety. I also picked lots of herbs to bring, including fennel flowers and fronds (they are reshooting too!), oregano, lemon verbena, Vietnamese mint, spearmint, rosemary, chives, parsley...and probably some others I have forgotten. Some of these are for tea, some for salads and some for cooking.

Luckily I brought my pot of basil though and if I am careful to give it liquid feed now and again, it will provide us with leaves for the holiday time. There is an Italian family who has a shack near us and I saw them unpacking the car as I walked by the other day. Maria always brings pots of basil too..... this year a whole foam box full of plants. I smiled and ran my fingers across the tops of the firm plants..... and we exchanged our usual joke of how our husbands always forget to leave space to pack the plants in the car, when we go on holiday!


This perfect piece of clear "plastic" is what comes out of the inside of a squid is like its backbone... how does a squid make such lovely "plastic" ? It feels like thick cellophane.... if only humans were so clever...

We ate the squid for lunch, sliced into rings, quickly fried in olive oil and sprinkled with a finely chopped garlic clove and a squeeze of lemon juice.... out of the sea into the pan within minutes.

Every night we sit outside and watch the sunset .... and admire nature's canvas.....






Today I found wifi in Moonta..... walking down the street with my laptop.... searching.... The things bloggers do to publish a couple of posts!


chaiselongue said...

It looks wonderful, Kate, Christmas by the sea - especially to those of us in the northern hemisphere where here in Gabian today the cold rain is pouring down! Enjoy your holiday!

Maggie said...

Lucky you!.

Anonymous said...

Hi Kate
Looks like you have a great spot there... and sunshine. I am in the UK in temperatures down to minus 9 degrees - I am glad of central heating and putting off going back to France where I only have a log fire!
After a very wet autumn I expect everything in the garden is frozen so not much going on except planning at this time of year.
Happy new year.