Thursday, 30 January 2014

what to do with the lavender

The English lavender that I planted some time ago.

Lama jugak lah tertunggu2 dia nak berbunga..

A few weeks ago it started flowering and now dah makin banyak.



They say this is the only variety that you can use in cooking because the smell is less camphor-like compared to the other types.

So today I tried that well known fact about the english lavender.

I tried cooking with them.

First you have to select the nice looking ones, then wash them, making sure that there’s no bugs hidden on them.

then let them dry a bit.


Then I made shortbreads with them.

I used this shortbread recipe but I added about 3 teaspoons of fresh lavender and the grated zest of 1 lemon to the ingredients.

But first I blitzed the lavender with the sugar so all the lavender is incorporated in the sugar.

That’s why my shortbreads dont have big purple lavenders in them.



Instead, they have dark and yellow flecks in them Smile.



Bila keluar oven tadi, bau dia sedap aje.

A subtle aroma of lavender and a subtle aroma of lemon.

Not as strong as potpourri and definitely not at all like the lavender-scented toilet and floor cleaners!


But most importantly, rasa dia pun sedap Smile.

Wednesday, 29 January 2014

The joy of having grapevines

Every Summer for the past 2 years, the grapes have been giving us an abundant of crop.

This year we all rasa paling banyak so far sampai the lorikeets pun dah tak larat nak makan, hehehe.

But they still came occasionally melawat kawasan Smile.





We all pulak lagi lah dah tak larat nak makan!

I managed to make some sundried raisins the other day and last week, I made raisins using the dehydrator pulak.

But before we could make the raisins, we had to pick all the grapes and salvaged the good ones.

Bukan senang kerja dia, nasib baik ada buruh kasar sorang yang sangat rajin and ringan tangan menolong I.

Kena went through each single grape to see if there are any splits, blemishes and what nots and to see whether they are ripe enough or not.


Penat giler!

Out of the 10+ bunches of grapes that we picked, we only managed to salvage 1 small bowl of it.


Yang lain kena buang masuk compost.


After so many hours in the dehydrator, they became like this


I said to The Other Half that I would rather just buy the already made raisins at the shop than have to go through all the troubles of making them, hehehe.

Tapi sayang pulak anggur kat pokok tu tak termakan and rosak macam tu aje.

And that’s just the red ones, the green ones pun banyak jugak.

But we all suka makan fresh the green ones cos sgt manis and juicy.

Miss 10 jugaklah yang kena jadi buruh kasar tolong I sort the grapes.


Lepas dah sort out the good ones, basuh pulak bersih2


This part dia suka sebab dapat main air, hehehe.

But the part that she loves most is eating the grapes Smile.



And I also use them in salads.


Lepas ni, kalau our blood glucose levels naik, you all tau lah kenapa ye!

Monday, 27 January 2014

An entry dedicated to a leg of lamb ;-)

Yesterday was Australia Day celebrating the anniversary of the arrival of the first fleet of the British ships.

It’s basically the official National day of Australia.

So, hari ni sambung public holiday lah which we spent by not doing anything much!


But semalam sempena Australia day, we all pun masak something special lah.

Typical Aussie food cooked on the barbie.

But I didn’t go to the extent of making pavlova or lamington for dessert.

Tak kuasa!


So what did we cook?

We cooked Aussies favourite meat which is lamb Smile.

But I made it extra special (in our opinion anyway) by deboning the leg of lamb myself!

But itupun setelah berguru on youtube for a few minutes and learning how to butterfly the leg, baru I berani buat.

It made barbecuing it so much easier and faster!

We bought a leg of lamb which was around 2kgs.


At first we all ingat nak slow roast it in the oven but after buat other things, it was a bit too late to slow roast it.

Tu yg I butterflied it aje.

First you have to cut the H-bone off which the butcher sometimes leaves behind.


Then began the process of separating the meat from the thigh bone.







I cut off the bit below the knee cap which is the shank to use another day.

Then to even out the meat, I slice the thick parts



Until the whole leg becomes like this which is sort of butterfly- y.


Then, you can marinate it for as long as you want.

I marinated it for about an hour aje semalam.


I used rosemary, lemon, garlic, honey, mustard, salt and pepper and olive oil.





The end product after barbecuing it.



And since it was a BBQ, we had our dinner outdoor, ala2 rustic restaurant setting, hahahaha.


Around that are, penuh we all letak citronella candles and ubat nyamuk so we all can eat in peace.

We had the BBQ lamb with grilled garlic marinara mix, red skin potato chips and greens and mango salad with creamy mustard dressing.


And my plate semalam.


The lamb was so tender and juicy and every single dish just gelled together so nicely.

Kalau lah ada pavlova to end the dinner, it would have been just perfect!


Saturday, 25 January 2014

Our new activity

Since cuti Christmas haritu, The Other Half and I have been cycling or walking every morning that he was on leave.

And then he started going back to work and takde lagi kawan I nak pergi cycling in the mornings.

So, occasionally we would go walking in the evening at the park.

But every Saturday and Sunday morning nowadays is spent cycling with him.

We are quite lucky because Miss 14 is old enough to be left at home to look after Miss 10 and the girls are big enough to cari their own breakfast every Saturday and Sunday.

Alah, bukannya susah pun, it’s either cereals or toasts, hehehehe.

Kalau I rajin aje I buat scones at the weekend.

And we are even luckier because our house is so near the shared path, which is a dedicated path for cyclists and walkers.

So, I dont have to cross major roads at all which makes life so much easier for me.

But kadang2 tu during weekend, ramai giler cyclist racers on the bike path in groups so kenalah give way to them.

The Other Half memang akan cycle everyday to work, 5 days a week, 25kms pergi and 25kms balik.

But bila dia cycle dengan I at the weekends, gila lah I nak buat 50kms each time.

So, we do around 15kms minimum and the longest I’ve ever done was 33kms.

And we usually do it in the morning before it gets too hot especially during Summer ni.

Sometimes it felt so easy especially when you are going weeeeeeeeeee downhills and when there’s a strong tailwind propelling you forwards, other times it felt so hard because of the steep inclines and you have to huff and puff to get to the top and also because of the headwinds when they are trying their best to blow you backwards .

And now with this RunKeeper apps, it’s a really good app to keep track of all the walkings and cyclings we do.

And it’s so cool as well because I can se where we’ve been on the maps Smile.

So, layan lah ye some photos of the app and also the photos we took along the rides and of our selfies, hehehe.



Sometimes boleh singgah kedai beli bread or milk or iced coffee because it’s easy to park and lock the bikes at the shops.


And the sceneries pun cantik2 jugak, nyaman mata memandang.




Peluang berselfie sentiasa di sought after, hahahaha….




Interesting tiles art kena lah di ambik gambar untuk kenangan kan.


Nun city of Perth kat seberang sungai tu aje Smile.


Pokok bunga yang cantik pun boleh jadikan the ride much nicer.



Some weird arty sculptures along the way. Selalunya lalu this area in the car so memang tak boleh nak berhenti nak ambik gambar this yellow art thingy.


And The Other Half is really good at taking photos while riding his bike!


Sikit pun bike dia tak bergoyang!

Kalau I yang cuba buat, dah lama masuk bush tu agaknya!



One of the tunnels along the bike path.

Instead of leaving it bare, they put up artworks on the walls, done by the local community.



Obviously there are some Asians and also Muslims living around that area kan.