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.

Sunday, 30 June 2013

Limoncello

When we were in Italy last year we got a taste for the locally made Limoncello. It is usually drunk after dinner to aid in digestion and it is divine.  When we got home I googled a recipe for the liqueur and I have to tell you it is the easiest thing to make and as we have an abundance of lemons, it is the perfect way to use them. Here is the recipe.

Pick 15 thick skinned lemons from your tree.


Peel them and place the rind in a large glass jar.




Cover the lemon peel with a bottle of vodka and leave in a dark cupboard for 40 days.


When the 40 days are up make a sugar syrup by placing 1kg sugar in a saucepan and cover with 5 cups of water.  Bring to the boil and boil rapidly for five minutes.  Cool.  When the syrup is cool enough poor it over your lemon peel and add another bottle of vodka.  Set aside again in a dark cupboard for another 40 days.  
This is a four litre Mason Jar and is perfect for storing.

When the 40 days are up, strain you Limoncello and discard the peel.  Bottle.
Keep a bottle of the Limoncello in the freezer at all times and drink it poured over lots of ice.

Cheers!




Friday, 28 June 2013

Fruit Salad

Who would ever have thought that I would complain about having too much fruit after trying to grow fruit trees for years with no success.  When we moved to Julatten we inherited  numerous citrus trees.  Lemons, Navel Oranges, Mandarines and Limes.  This year the fruit has been prolific and so, so, sweet!  So the obvious thing to do was to make Fruit Salad.  I also have dozens of passionfruit and together with the purchase of a couple of apples, some blueberries, pineapple and banana the fruit salad is ready to be made.


I will freeze the passionfruit pulp.

Looks tasty.


 Nothing is wasted in my house.  All the fruit peelings go straight into the compost bin and when the compost is ready it goes around the fruit trees!



Thursday, 27 June 2013

It pays to be vigilant!

I have a skin check every two years but DH hasn't had one since we moved here in 2006.  So he made an appointment with the doctor last week.  Imagine his surprise when Doctor Edward found a tiny black spot between his third and fourth toe!  "It's got to come out straight away" said the good doctor.  When DH went to the surgery to have it taken out the nurse commented on the size of it.  The doctor told her "Better to take this out now than to lose half a foot later on".  Sobering thought.  Anyway, four stitches later, it is gone.
We won't get the results for a few day, but please everyone. Take note and have regular skin checks.


Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Visiting Mum

My mum lives nearly 2000 km from me so for obvious reasons I don't get to see her often, just a few times a year.  She lives in Toowoomba, the Garden City, and it is a lovely place to reside.  Mum has everything around her that she needs.  Doctors and hospitals, unfortunately, play a big part in her life these days and they are in abundance in Toowoomba.
Toowoomba also has once of the loveliest theatres, I think, in Australia.  It is called the Empire Theatre.  Mum rang to say that Morning Melodies were playing there in June so I decided to pay her a visit and also take in the show.  I wasn't disappointed.  What a great show for the elderly folks.

Waiting for the show to begin - my Aunty was in the same row as us!

Inside the magnificent Empire Theatre

One of the entertainers said that the loveliness of this theatre brought tears to his eyes 

Beautiful harmony by these two ladies who sang Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy from Company B

No words can describe this lovely theatre.
And, sooner than we wish, it's over
It was nice to spend a few days with Mum and her partner and while I was there I set Mum up with an Ipad Mini.  We now play scrabble on-line which is fun and Mum gets to read emails, my blog, jokes and Bold and Beautiful recaps all from the comfort of her bed!
Each evening that I was in Toowoomba we had "happy hour" at 5.00 pm.  John provided nibblies and drinks to go with lively conversation.
On Sunday we had lunch at one of the Chinese Restaurants and prior to lunch John took us for a drive around Toowoomba.  It was such a lovely day.

Driving around Toowoomba

Dashboard ornament.

My stay with Mum went all to quickly and we are looking forward to catching up again in September for my niece's wedding in Brisbane.

Monday, 17 June 2013

Oak Beach

The president of the Douglas Photographic Society took us all on a mystery photography outing
yesterday.  None of us had any idea where we were going we just had to follow behind the lead car.  We ended up at Oak Beach.
I've been there a few times as it is one of those places that you would like to live. The majority of the homes on the beach are right on the beach - no crossing any roads.  The day was bleak but didn't rain which was a blessing.  We walked the whole of Oak Beach - 2.5 km - and then we made our way up the hill to Thala Beach Resort for coffee.  I fell behind everybody on the way to the lodge (taking photos!) and became seriously lost within the resort.  I know this sounds ridiculous but the resort is spread out over many many hectares with paths leading off everywhere to the villas.  I walked round in circles a couple of times before I finally found a sign pointing to reception.  I had not seen a single person in all this time and I was getting a bit anxious.
The resort is beautiful and it is on the list for a "date night" with my DH.  They have a good locals rate so we will take advantage.  We took quite a few photos at the lodge and then made our way back down to Oak Beach where we were to have lunch.  What a lovely spot.  Lunch was at one of the homes right on the beach.  The owner kindly gave us permission to use the BBQ and bathroom!
We had Chicken, Beef and Prawns cooked on the barbie with some delicious salads and a nice bottle of wine to wash it all down and all the while taking in the beautiful views of the Coral Sea.
Ahhh.  A lovely way to spend a Sunday.

The photographers checking camera settings before starting out.

The beach is 2.5 km long.

A simple shot.

Anyone care for a game of chess.  The board is set up for guests at Thala Beach Resort.

The view from where we sat for lunch.

The lunch home - an easy walk to the beach!

The pool at Thala has a wet edge waterfall.

Friday, 14 June 2013

Brazilian Red Cloak Flower

Yesterdays photo challenge at Fat Mum Slim was "Kitchen" so I went out into the garden and picked some flowers to give my white kitchen a bit of colour.
I cut some flowers from a beautiful bush that I have in my garden. It has a lovely red flower  and I've been calling the bush a Brazilian Torch.  But a google search showed that this was not its name.  So I   asked my gardener and the knowledgeable person that she is, informed me that it is a Brazilian Red Cloak - close!

Here's the photo that I submitted for the FMS Photo A Day competition - Kitchen.



Thursday, 13 June 2013

The winter garden.

As I wandered around the garden this wet winters afternoon, I wondered where the "winter"had gone.  It was still a mild temperature and my garden is loving it.  I love colour in my garden...any colour!  The miniature gerberas that I planted last year have not stopped flowering and I think they will continue right through winter.

The azaleas are lovely.  I have not had any problems with them contrary to popular belief that they are difficult to grow.  It is not a big bush but certainly flowers for a long time.


And the last of the tuberose are showing off their magnificence in the garden and emitting that wonderful heady perfume as you walk past them.  They are a perfect addition to the garden.


I quite like the winter garden!


Wednesday, 12 June 2013

Mould!

We live in the tropics so when we moved here I should've known that the mould would be a big part of my life.  It has been the bane of my life.  I'm a bit of a clean freak - not over the top - but I like a clean house.  Mould really gets to me.  The trouble is that  in summer we love opening up our house, every door and every window day and night.  At night the moisture really seeps into the house.  (Moist weather plus cool nights equals fog!)
I have some photographs behind our bed that I framed last year and I have noticed the white powdery mould has grown, quite dramatically, behind the glass.



So desperate measures are called.  I took down all five framed prints, took them apart, removed the powdery mould,and re-framed them.  I also took the added precaution of taping the back of them with special framing tape.  


I hope that this will keep the powdery mould at bay for a couple of years (at least!!).  So now the framed photos are back on the wall and even if I do say so myself, they look pretty good!






Sunday, 9 June 2013

I've employed a gardener!

Our garden is our pride and joy.  We enjoy it very much either just wandering through, it or sitting in the pergola with a glass of wine, or photographing it.  But then there is the maintenance of it and that is a huge job.  Pruning, mulching, weeding, fertilising.  It is a never ending job and takes away the enjoyment somewhat.  So I started making some enquires about a part-time gardener and lo and behold, my prayers were answered in the form of an angel called Trudi.  She is amazing.  She comes to our place for eight hours a week and what she does in those eight hours is incredible.  She is such a great worker and she loves our garden.  She told me that she often drove past our place and wished that she was the gardener!
So our garden is being tamed into order. Trudi used to work at a garden that was in the Open Garden Scheme and her knowledge is invaluable.  She understands what we have been trying to achieve in the garden and also has a five year plan for expansion.  I like the pretty.....as in flowers... and Trudi has come up with some lovely colourful choices, most of them natives.  Anyway, watch this space as I post  some photos of the transformation.


Wednesday, 5 June 2013

Mackay Sugar Mossman Mill

Mackay Sugar purchased the Mossman Sugar Mill last year.  It was applauded at the time as the Mossman Mill has been struggling for a long time to source enough cane to keep the mill viable.  In the last month it has been brought to the community's attention that Mackay Sugar has signed contracts with cane growers on the Atherton Tablelands to supply the shortfall of cane to the Mossman Mill - approximately 500,000 tonnes.  It beggars belief that growers on the Tablelands can justify bypassing  the state-of-art Tablelands Sugar Mill but that is beside the point.  The point is that the residents of Mount Molloy and Julatten will now have a B-Double truck, hauling cane, travelling along the Rex Highway every 6 minutes 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for 30 weeks.
These trucks are dangerous.  They will be passing our place, at 100 kmh, every six minutes and worse still heading down the Rex Range where no B-Double should ever travel.  It is impossible for any truck to travel down that road without crossing the double white line, let alone a B-Double.  School buses travel the range four times a day and the cane harvesting season is also peak tourist season when we have lots of tourist travelling the Rex Range.
So a meeting was called.  We went to this meeting last night along with hundreds of other concerned residents.  There has been no consultation with the community over the decision to haul cane from the Tablelands to Mossman and quite rightly the community is very angry.


To be fair, I understand the mills stance.  They need the cane to keep the Mossman Mill running and this in turn gives Mossman a  much needed boost to their economy but does it have to be at the expense of residents in our community.  Compromise needs to be reached, but what compromise?
It is just terribly sad that this beautiful pristine area that we live in, where the most lucrative businesses are bird watching, is going to be subject to the noise and pollution of trucks every six minutes and lest not forget the nocturnal animals. They will not have a chance.
Pray that common sense and compromise can be reached.


Sunday, 2 June 2013

Sunday Night Dinner

Well, I don't know if you could really call it dinner, more like a snack.  The recipe is called Char grilled  Eggplant with Baked Ricotta and Tomato Drizzle.
Words just cannot describe how delicious it was.  In fact it was not until I had eaten almost all of it that that I thought that I should blog about it! Here is the recipe.

Ingredients:
1 eggplant
1 tabsp olive oil
250g fresh ricotta
Grated rind of 1 lemon
Sea salt and black pepper to taste
1 tsp olive oil (extra)
Basil leaves for garnish
Tomato Drizzle:
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
Grated rind and juice of 1 lemon
2 tablespoons olive oil
Sea salt and black pepper

Method:
Cutt eggplant into 5mm slices.  Place into a bowl, add olive oil and toss well.

Combine ricotta with grated lemon rind, sea salt and pepper and mix well.  Press mixture firmly into a small ovenproof bowl, drizzle with the extra olive oil and bake in an oven at 170 degrees for 10-12 minutes.

Char grill eggplant slices on a grill plate for 2-3 minutes on each side.

Combine the Tomato Drizzle ingredients in a screw top jar and shake well to combine.

Serve the char-grilled eggplant on a serving platter along with baked ricotta.  Drizzle the tomato dressing over the ricotta
and garnish with basil leaves.  Serve with toasted Turkish bread either warm or cold.