December 2016 - part 2

Hello Everyone

It is nearly Christmas Day, the meals have been planned, the garden is happy with its summer flowers, and a group of ladies are enjoying a lunch in our garden as I write. The delphiniums, along with other perennials, are being cut back so that they will give a second flowering in March.

Photo 1: M Long.

I have had two trips to Melbourne recently, one being to co lead a tour in Melbourne and Central Victoria, and a return trip to prepare a new itinerary for next year. We are travelling in October instead of November, so accommodation rates will be lower.

Photo 2: Arthropodium milliflorum, the vanilla lily, taken by my colleague and co leader of the tours to Melbourne and Central Victoria, Stan Smith, in a local reserve in Central Victoria. Stan described this scene as “a perfume of sweet vanilla drifting through the air from these treasures.”

(Click the images to enlarge or view the gallery)

Marilyn McRae has provided a very nice salad recipe which could be useful in the days after Christmas Day and New Year’s Day when there are leftovers.

Summer Salad

Put the buckwheat in a dry pan over med-high heat and toss until toasty... for 2-3 minutes. Cover with hot water and a pinch of salt, bring to the boil and cook until just tender...about 7-8 minutes. Drain, run cold water through it, drain well again.

Use a vege peeler to cut thin slices off the courgettes, avoiding the seeds. Cut the asparagus or beans into thin strips diagonally (blanch these if preferred). Place veges in a large bowl with apple and buckwheat; make dressing with crushed garlic, oil and lemon juice, season and pour over ingredients in the bowl. Stir gently to combine.

Serve on a large flat serving dish, sprinkled with the lemon zest and torn mozzarella or crumbled feta. Drizzle with extra olive oil and a grinding of black pepper.

This salad is yummy served with leftover Christmas ham, sizzled in a pan with a bit of butter; or with BBQ-ed meats. It’s also nice with fresh, young rocket or watercress stirred through before adding the dressing. Serves 4-6 people

Best wishes to you all for a safe and happy holiday season. I think it is not perhaps the best time of the year to put much information into the Writings.I do enjoy all of the correspondence that I receive from readers, so please keep it coming.

Best wishes to you all


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