Friday, April 22, 2022

Days of sunshine and days of rain...

 April can be a funny season here. Most years the tropical summer extends into the very last days of the month, it's hot and humid fingers holding fast till the end. 

This year has been pretty much the same, though the earlier sunsets and relatively cool nights we've enjoyed these past ten days or so have been welcome relief. It's been especially refreshing to sleep without air conditioning, finally opening wide the windows to usher in a soft evening breeze.

When the weather forecast warned of heavy rain to fall over a few days from Thursday, Blossom and I decided it would be a good idea to take the children up the mountain on Wednesday so that they could run wild and free before the rainy days curtailed their outdoor fun for a while.

A wild bush turkey enjoyed nibbling the crusts of their sandwiches, and Charlie was fascinated watching it.

Back and forth between running amok, the children would keep watch over their new feathered friend. And I think he kept watch of them too...

On Thursday, as the rain began to fall, I decided to clean out the two fridges, bake bread, and generally tidy up the pantry areas whilst also using up any older produce. 

I had a large bowl of apples which needed to be cooked and a delicious apple gingerbread pudding was the perfect use for them. 

If you've never made the recipe before I'm putting together a file of my favourite recipes to share with you next week.

I chop the apples into thin slices and stew them before pouring the gingerbread sponge over the top and baking. Served with custard, cream or ice-cream it's simply delicious.

Recently I read about dehydrating your fresh apple peelings because you can make tea from them. Isn't that a wonderful idea? So I set the dehydrator up and within three hours had a jar full of apple skins ready to brew tea. 

I often plan breakfasts days ahead because if not, we end up having the same thing day after day...and that's not a bad thing because muesli, yoghurt and fresh fruit every morning is a wonderful brekky.
But I like to prepare something different at least twice a week, just for variety.

Yesterday I milled some wheat grain, and using up leftover chopped apricots and sultanas, I baked a honey fruit loaf to have as morning toast. We had it with fresh strawberries, banana and coffee this morning (Friday) and it was quite delicious!

The rain last night was very heavy and the pumps were working overtime to bring the water down in the front and back yards. Sophie loves fresh rain water and will even venture out into the sodden yard to drink it. 

The olive tree was bent over the roses this morning, but the weight of the rain always does this. The leaves are long and slender, perfect for making olive leaf tea.

It's almost time to prune back the roses for winter, but at the moment they are full of new buds and blooms so I'll enjoy this final flush of beauty for a while yet.

Some of our raised beds were planted out with tomatoes, dill, jalapenos and rocket (arugula) last weekend, amidst companion plants of marigold, zinnias and chrysanthemums. This rain will definitely boost the smaller seedlings.

As I type this blog post the rain is falling again, and I can hear it getting heavier, so I shall brew myself a cup of herbal tea and head into the sewing room to make a list of projects I'd like to complete over the coming cooler months...and then I will put on a pot of soup and it can simmer away while I finish a book and listen to some instrumental music.

This week's inspirational video I've chosen to share with you is another beautifully crafted day in a life, productive, creative, delicious, thoughtful and peaceful. I do hope you enjoy it.
Even though I'm in mid-autumn, many of you are enjoying spring, however this is one of those videos for any season...

God bless your dear hearts, and may your own days overflow with sweet delights, productivity, and times of rest and refreshment. 


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Pink Rose said...

Hi Jenny oh the mountains cafe looks to be such a fun place and I can remember ages ago you and Bloss going up there for inspiration.
It’s great seeing the grandies having so much fun .
Lovely yummy baking I have a zucchini cake baking at the moment ,hope it works out.
I am enjoying the change in the weather though I had to let water out of the pool this morning,lucky Chloe had made me a video showing me what to do .Hope you have a wonderful weekend and hope you are feeling better lovely lady ๐Ÿ’•๐Ÿค๐Ÿ’•

Joanne said...

Hi Jennifer,
I can smell that apple gingerbread pudding here :) with custard ! what a wonderful way to start the Friday morning !
That wild bush turkey ! Thanks for catching it on film :) It's new to me :)
Enjoy your cooler rainy days:)
hugs, take care, and a creative weekend !

Lin said...

What a lovely video Jennifer, thank you for sharing. Your apple ginger pudding looks delicious. My go to gluten free pudding for coeliac guests is a similar apple and almond pudding to which I add cinnamon or mixed spice depending how I feel. Lovely to see the children out running around and enjoying nature, enjoy your weekend. xx

Little Quiltsong said...

Love, love rainy days, but pray it doesn't get too soggy and that the pumps can keep up. The above pics of your grandchildren are so, so cute - you take beautiful pics, Jennifer. Enjoy your tea and lovely baked goods. Stay safe!

Mrs. Kiwi said...

Your apple gingerbread pudding looks wonderful, Jennifer. This week I also had apples to use up—I used mine to make a caramel apple cake. Homemade apple tea sounds lovely—do you add honey (or anything else) to the apple tea?

With love from,
Kelly (Mrs. Kiwi)

FlourishingPalms said...

Whenever I visit your blog and read posts about your yummy-looking rolls and sweet desserts, I immediately want to drop everything and bake too! But that's the last thing I need these days - carbohydrates. So I'll keep watching and admiring. The idea of brewing dehydrated apple peels is appealing (ha, ha a-peeling). Might just have to give that a try myself. Thanks for sharing your lovely photos.

Jenny said...

What a fun day!
Apple tea! Please share how you make it. I think iced apple tea in the heat of summer would be so delicious. I'll start saving our apple peels to try this.

Oh my what an artist she is in the video...just like you!

Julie said...

What a wonderful post dear Jennifer. I can see the joy in the little ones faces being up that mountain & running around. How special. Gosh Sophie is looking well Jen ... what age would she be now? She looks very healthy. Your baking always looks so delicious ... & makes me want to bake. I've made a Feijoa & coconut cake this morning & I will have it with a dollop of cream for a treat. Happy Weekend to you dear friend xxx

Christine M said...

That ginger bread pudding looks delicious Jennifer. xx

Jenny of Elefantz said...

Hi Kelly :-)
I don't add any sweetener to herbal teas. I like them just the way they are.