Friday, 29 February 2008

Not chickensoup, that would be rude!

This pretty, old plate with the cherries belonged to my mother. I loved it when I was a child. Now my 5 year old grand daughter is enchanted with it.

The baked "snails" ready for afternoon tea, or breakfast, or morning tea, or....

The snails are ready to go into the oven.

Cut the snails.

Roll up.

Mixing the dough.

The ingredients for the filling. Sultanas and raisins, lemon and orange peel, organic sugar, Cinnamon ( I blend the sticks myself in my spice blender. I think they blend the ground cinnamon with something else, it looks different and doesn't have the distinctiv Cinnamon smell.)
Flaked Almonds for the topping.

My own recipe for Yeast Snails.


500 g organic plain flour

1 1/2 teaspoons dry yeast

80 g organic sugar

250 ml tepid milk

80 g butter

1 egg.......... from free range, happy, healthy chickens...better for your conscience and your health!

1 pinch of salt

for the filling

50 g sultanas

50 g Raisins

50 g lemon-and orange peel

75 g organic sugar

1 teaspoon cinnamon

30 g flaked almonds for the topping

100 g icing sugar

2 tblspoons lemon, (sometimes I use a couple of drops of bitter almond in 2tblspoons of water)

Make a soft yeast dough, but not sticky. Let it rise until double in size.

On a floured surface roll out to 1/2 cm thickness to a rectangle.

Mix the ingredients of the filling and distribute evenly on the rolled out dough.

Roll up from the long side.

Cut finger thick slices and arrange on a baking tin lined with baking paper.

Let the snails rise for 10 minutes.

Bake in the middle of the oven 200C ca. 20 minutes.

Mix Icing sugar and lemon juice, evt. a little more juice. The icing should not be to thick. Brush the still hot snails with the icing. Easypeasy!

The Angelinas crowding near the fence, waiting for their breakfast. All six now, the two shy ones are hungry too.

Unfortunately we are not allowed to have a cockerel in our estate. Cockerels usually say kikerki ...good morning at 4 am. In our world we can not ban cars, helicopters and planes to make 'brumbrum" at 4am, but we can ban cockerels. My neighbour had a cockerel and I heard him in the morning, it was a homely sound. Soon it had to go because cockerels are not allowed anymore to say good morning and have no place in our urban lifestyle.

Dwarf Minorka "Don Giovanni"

Zwerg Wyandotte "Biby

Chabos white "Pueper"

For a few days a couple of whip birds have made an appearance in my garden. I can't see them.They are shy birds and hiding in the tall, leafy trees. I can hear their distinctive calls. A long note followed by a whip crack. The call is a duet between the male and the female bird. The long 'whip' sound is the male bird calling. The short high pitched two note sound call is the female answering.
I am thrilled because I always could hear them from afar up in the bush. (Woodland, scrub. bushes and trees are called "the bush" in Australia. The bush has always a very strong earthy, leafy or flowery smell at different times of the year. When the Melaleucas, Paperbarks are in flower with their silvery blossoms teeming with insects, it smells a bit like cooked potatoes, odd.

To read: Planet Chicken by Hattie Ellis. It's subtitle is The shameful Story of the Worlds Favorite Bird. It is not a Hens World.

Places to go, People to see, Portugal

Smell the roses today and everyday.

Days to remember.

Lisbon, Statue of King Jose I.
The Lisboa Plaza Hotel was a good choice to stay.

Beautiful cobbled lane in Loule.

The chimneys are very ornamental.

Lilli feeds Lilli a treat.

Colourful Majolica honey pots.

Algarve, Loule is a pretty town near the sea.

Seville, City tour with horse and carriage.

Silvia gave me this artist's cookbook as a present.

This handsome cockerel is the art work of Philippe Claisse.

Silvia's paintings are precise, geometric in vibrant colours.

Sopa de Melao (Melon soup) is Silvia's recipe.

Peel the melon, discard the seeds and cut it in pieces. Blend the Melon together with some sharp mint leaves. Add freshly ground pepper and a pinch of Cayenne.

Leave the soup for at least three hours in the fridge.

Put the wet plates or glass bowls into the deep freezer.

Before serving whisk the soup, pour and divide evenly into the ice cold plates or bowls.

Decorate with Strawberries cut in half and mint leaves.

Tuesday, 26 February 2008 in minima maxima

Grevillia banksii is easy to grow, always flowering, the birds love it.

Grevillia Honey gem is visited every morning by Rainbow Lorikeets. They are very noisy defending their place of food.

Birds nest fern catches leaves in its nest.

Datura, Angels Trumpet is not a native Australian Tree. I love it still the same and the bees as well they do not discriminate. One really can see "Angels" this is so beautiful and the perfume in the evening is "heavenly"!

Outback, The Darling River is the longest river in Australia, flowing 2,739 km from northern New South Wales to its confluence with the Murray River at Wentworth, New South Wales. (Some geographers treat the Darling and the lower Murray as a single river, 3,000km long. This is largely a matter of semantics). Officially the Darling begins near Brewarrina at the confluence of the Culgoa and Barwon rivers, streams which rise in the ranges of southern Queensland. The whole Murray-Darling river system, one of the largest in the world, drains all of New South Wales west of the Great Dividing Range, much of northern Victoria and southern Queensland and parts of South Australia

(Excerpt from Wikipedia)

No trees, No world,

The soil is naked, burned and red;
The trees all gone,
Hacked down and dead.
No shadows, only bleaching sun;
The creatures too their course has run.
Milky blossoms are no more,
Caressing the air with balmy scents,
A deadly quiet world expands.

Copyright: T.S.

The following excerpt is from an article written by " Greenpeace".

We're destroying forests at an unprecedented rate, with an area the size of a football pitch cut down every two seconds.
We've already destroyed 80% of the Earth's forests yet illegal and destructive logging, driven by a growing demand for cheap timber products, continues to threaten the remaining 20%.
Greenpeace is working to expose corruption in forestry management around the world, and continues to campaign in Australia to restrict imports of illegal timber. To do this we're pushing for strict certification of timber and expanding our Eco-forestry work to give forest communities an alternative to industrial logging. We're also empowering Australians to make a difference by promoting our Good Wood Guide so consumers know where to purchase sustainably logged timber products.

Our property is only 1 1/4 acre, or 5000 m2. This size we still can manage well on our own. We have planted out the lower part with rain forest trees which are indigenous in our area.

We planted native Frangipani. which is not related to Plumeria the real Frangipani. The Latin name is Hymenosporum Flavum. This is a tall, open tree. When it is in flower it is a sight to behold and it spreads its wonderful perfume over the garden. Silky oaks with their wonderful display of flowers in spring have grown tall and majestic. When I planted them first they were so tiny not bigger then a small finger. It was a wet year and I had to dig them out often from under sand and soil. Umbrella trees and many more, food for birds and other small creatures. Once a good canopy is achieved I will plant native ferns. Many years ago I have planted an Elk horn fern onto a Gumtree (Eucalyptus Sp.) Both have grown big. The tree provides food for birds, bats and possums. The elk horn fern has become home to a Ring tail Possum.

At this time of year the Murrayas with their white, bridal blossoms are scenting the garden. This is a very tough plant. Its wood too is very hard to cut. It lends itself also to shape into topiary or hedges. The flowers don't last long but it makes up for it by flowering a few times, like late summer and in between. Unexpectedly one gets a whiff of its perfume any time of the year.

Pictures: T.S.

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Monday, 25 February 2008

Dreams...and Treasures...

Embracing life;

Caring for tiny lifes;


Watching a sunrise;

Growing your own;

"Salad days";

A house in France;

Aunties and nieces;

Flying a kite;

Finding shells;

Two horses and one kingdom;

Owning a beach;

100 years survivers;

Waterlili bowl, artwork by Lilli;

Exotic flowers;



Sunny dreams;


A cruise around the world;

Home and garden;

Books to read and treasure: Dreamtime Heritage, Australian Aboriginal Myth in paintings by Ainslie Roberts. The dreamtime Series: THE DREAMTIME; THE DAWN OF TIME; and
THE FIRST SUNRISE. First published 1975.

check out: Venetian Glass and Freshwater Pearl Jewellery.