JUstDreamInparadise.......JUDI living in Paradise

I am fifty something and I love my family and the life I live. I'm an optimistic person by nature and I try to find a positive for every negative. I'm not a vegetarian, but the animal I eat is. I enjoy cooking, photography and scrapbooking. Since living here I have become a gardener and take immense joy in the beauty of my garden. My husband and I feel that we are the caretakers of the land rather than land owners. We run a grass fed Droughtmaster Stud on our little piece of Paradise and the cattle are a never ending supply of photo opportunities.

Monday, 27 August 2012

Canon World of EOS 5

I have entered the Canon World of EOS competition again this year.  I never expect to be a winner (there are thousands of entries) but our photography group tutor encourages us to enter as many competitions as possible.  Number one it's good to get your photography "out there" and number two it helps build your  confidence.  The first brief is to photograph your interpretation of "Wind"so here is my photo.


I took this photo on our "trek" along the Mt. Ida Fire Trail that I wrote about in an earlier post.  I like the way the wind was moving through the grass tree.

Saturday, 25 August 2012

Mt Ida Fire Trail Walk

OR I could call this post "My friends tried to kill me on my Birthday"  Ha! Ha!  They didn't really but it sure felt like it!
The walk started well, nice and easy

Steep going up!
Yesterday we drove over to Herberton to stay the night with our very good friends Kate & Mike.  Mike cooked up a most delicious three course dinner for us and it was well after midnight before we hit the sack. During the lead-up to our visit Kate suggested that when we come over we might do a walk along the old mining trail called Mt. Ida.  It sounded like a good bit of exercise so after a bite of breakfast this morning....my birthday incidentally....we set off on the walk.  It started off easily enough and I wasn't even worried when Kate grabbed two "walking sticks" before we left.  I took my camera and monopod and in the first ten minutes I stopped many times for the many photographic opportunities,  This was easy going and I was feeling good, but then things changed.
And steep going down!

Kate found it easier to go down sideways!
 The trail started getting steep, and I mean REALLY steep.  The sort of steep where you want to get on your hands and knees and crawl upwards because of the fear that if you don't do that you will tumble backwards!

 It just seemed to go on and on but we finally reached the top.  Wheeww!  We made it!  But then, I remembered what goes up has got to come DOWN!  OMG!  This was a nightmare.  One step down, SLIP, another step down, SLIDE, another step down, STUMBLE.  This went on and on until we reached what I thought was the end of the trail only to be told but my dear friend Kate that we had another TWO of these hills to negotiate.

The view towards Stewart Head
Me, smiling for the camera without falling
When I got home I googled Mt. Ida Fire Trail and this is what it said:



"This trail is not too long (5.7km) but because of its steepness is better suited to fairly fit walkers.  You will need to exercise care with your footing on loose surfaces.  Begin at the Great Northern Carpark and follow the directions for the Magazine Road Escape trail until you get to the top of the steep fire trail slope where the Escape trail turns off.  Walk upwards a little further on the Firetrail and follow it as it turns to the left.  You are now on the Mt Ida Loop, which is the continuation of the well-formed fire trail.  You will now have three distinct steep climbs and descents across the three peaks of Mt Ida.  Many mineshafts are evident and spectacular views across Herberton and the neighbouring valleys will be seen.  At the top of Mt Ida you can also look behind you to the left and see the cliffs of Stewart Head in the distance - another walking track destination.  You will also notice the different vegetation on the peak - mountain heath plants are making their appearance.  Keep following the fire trail to return to the bitumen at Mowbray Road.   This road leads you back towards the township, past the Childrens Centre to to return to the Great Northern Carpark."


Paper Daisies along the trail
 I wish I had read this before we started but if I had, I would never have walked it!  Ah well.  We did it.  And it was a great accomplishment.
The boys resting!
Here we go again up, up, up!
No looking backwards!
Looking towards Herberton

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

August Scraptherapy Sketch Challenge

This is my attempt at the Scraptherapy Sketch Challenge for August.  I always use more than one photo on each layout so this really was a challenge for me!  Thanks for looking.


Monday, 13 August 2012

Kitchen Tea......

The lovely bride to be.
No, it's not a forgotten tradition, thank goodness!  We've been invited to a wedding at the end of September and this bride and groom are doing things the traditional way.  No sending out invitations months in advance for this couple, just six weeks before the big day.  This is the way it was when I was a bride.  It was never a thought to send a "Save the Date" because friends and family simply made time to attend a wedding.  Anway, I regress.  Because it is a traditional wedding the bridesmaids, all three of them, organised a Kitchen Tea with a 50's inspired theme.
Two of the lovely bridesmaids in readiness for games

We were encouraged to dress like a 50's housewife complete with aprons over our dresses and of course adorned with pearls!  This get together was so much nicer than the now typical "hens night".  No alcohol in sight, just tea or coffee which suited me very well as the party was held at Kuranda that is more than an hours drive for me.
The party began with some games.  The first was all about the bride with a series of questions relating to her and her fiancee.  I was hopeless.  The next was an adaption of "The Price is Right", once again....hopeless.  The last was "Name the five parcels".  Thank goodness I was a little better at that!




The Brides in their newspaper and toilet paper outfits!


We ended the games by forming groups of four and having to "Dress the Bride" using only newspaper, white toilet paper, pink crepe paper and sticky tape.  This was so much fun and our group won the best dressed bride.  As tradition goes, when you win a prize at a Kitchen Tea, you always give it to the bride.

Such a lovely old fashioned idea.





The Goodies!
When the games concluded we had afternoon tea.
 I have never seen such a wonderful array of sweet treats.  The centrepiece was a croquemboche that was not only spectacular but wonderfully decadent.  The afternoon was so much fun and it is lovely to see that some traditions are not forgotten.  After tea the bride-to-be opened up  all her presents with the help of her nieces (to-be)
Gift opening time!






Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Now it's an excess of Bananas!

Last time I posted it was all about my excess of lemons and this time it's about Bananas.  We only have two banana trees but they decided to throw a flower at the same time so we are going to have a lot of bananas.









 Each flower blossoms into dozens of bananas and they nearly always ripen at the same time.  Another gardener friend suggested cutting off a hand of the green bananas and ripen them inside as we need them so we will give it a go.  I've tried lots of different recipes for banana loaf and have some favourites and I have also had a go at banana and passionfruit jam.  It was okay but not a keeper recipe.


Thursday, 2 August 2012

What to do with an excess of LEMONS!


Lemons, lemons, lemons.  I have been having nightmares about them.  We have a huge excess of them this year in fact all the citrus trees have been bearing an amazing amount of fruit.  The mandarins were the first to ripen and were so sweet and delicious.  The birds also thought so, devouring almost half of them!  The navel oranges were also the juiciest and sweetest we have ever grown and we have been having freshly squeezed orange juice for breakfast every morning.
The start of my Limoncello
But, the lemon tree has been the most prolific.  So what to do with those lemons.   I have been getting quite creative with recipes and adding lemon to lots of different things.  Fresh beans picked from the vegetable patch have been cooked with a slice of lemon zest and then a squeeze of lemon juice at the end of cooking time.  Topped with pine nuts, they are delicious.  I make up a delicious creamy lemon sauce and add green prawns to it and this is then poured over freshly made  pasta. I have also found an authentic recipe for Limoncello and have started the first step of this by pouring the vodka over the lemon rind.  This has to stay in a dark dry cupboard for 40 days and then a sugar syrup and more vodka is added.  This goes back into the cupboard for another 40 days so in a couple of months time we should have a lovely aperitif.









I have also made a microwaved lemon curd that is not only delicious on toast but when we had guests come to our place on the weekend I made lemon meringue tarts using the lemon curd.  Everyone loved them and the recipe has become a "keeper".
Lemon Meringue Tartlets





mmmmmMarmalade!
The next thing to make was marmalade.  My marmalade recipe uses lemon, orange and grapefruit and is a recipe that I have been making for many years.  The recipe came from the first womens weekly cookbook that was bought for me by my mother in 1977!