Winter Garden

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From the excitement of settling snow so close to home last week, to the magical morning visits by Jack Frost over the past couple of days, our garden and entire local landscape has been experiencing an exciting, changing face. The nights and early mornings are icy cold but the days have been bursting with sunshine and colour.

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As I hustled the kids out the door for an early kinder start this morning, we found ourselves quite side tracked by our frozen garden, sparkling under the gradual rising of the sleepy sun.

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The garlic, leeks and cabbages are all coping quite well with the extremes, apart from a few hungry slugs or snails and a soccer ball here or there.

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The peas, though still growing, have been flattened by recent winds and rather than climbing up its legs and levels, appear to be snoozing at the base of our tee pee.

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The leaves of broccoli and cauliflower are staggering under the weight of the heavy frost but should perk up as they thaw out – much like the rest of us.

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The kids were absolutely delighted to see Jack Frost had signed his handy work on the back of my car.

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And as the afternoon cheered up, I took the boys for a walk around the neighbourhood. Set among the naked trees, stark and beautiful against blue skies, we noticed the gums, quintessentially Australian, still dressed in their slender leafy best.

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And my nose tickled as we passed by golden wattle blooms whispering “Spring is coming! Spring is coming!”

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Slow Cooked Porridge – with apple, cinnamon and maple syrup

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The Best Winter Breakfast. EVER!
This morning we woke to the most delicious aroma of cinnamon and apple wafting through the house. If you ever needed a reason to get out of bed on a chilly morning, this is it!
J5 declared “yummy!” And R2 took one look at his bowl and said, “don’t like porridge.” Which is typical, but I managed to dot a small amount on the bottom of his lip from the spoon and watched his scowl turn into a smile declaring, “I do like porridge!”
Bowls were licked clean and with basically no effort at all, little bellies were sent off to kinder warm and content.

*Note: as this this breakfast cooks itself over night, it will only work if you’re a bit of a night owl like me as it will be ready in 6-7 hours. I put it on before bed at 11.30pm and it is ready to eat when we get up at 6.30am.

SLOW COOKED PORRIDGE with apple, cinnamon and maple syrup
Serves 4

1. 2 cups of rolled oats
2. 2 chopped apples – I used red delicious as that’s what I had but any variety will work fine.
3. 2 tablespoons maple syrup
4. 1 teaspoon cinnamon
5. 4 cups of water

Combine in your slow cooker/crock pot and cook on low for 6-7 hours.
Dish into bowls and let stand for a couple of minutes while it cools and thickens a little.
Serve as is or with milk, extra honey, chopped almonds, fresh grated apple… Etc
Enjoy the goodness 🙂

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Sleepy Spring

The chill in the wind this morning is decidedly winterish but my garden tells a different story. Slowly, with sleepy stretching and yawning, leaves are unfurling and buds are beginning to wake and bloom.

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Cheerful daffodils smile and nod to greet me at the front door,

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The first of my beautiful tulips have shown their true colours,

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The strawberry pots are flowering,

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The weeping cherry is bursting into blossoms of joy

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And the branches of the small magnolia tree are capped with gorgeous deep pink buds. We planted this tree outside J’s bedroom window when he was a baby, of course making it J’s magnolia.
The fruit trees are showing signs of promise as well with tiny buds on the Granny Smith and Fuji apples and a shower of pink blossoms on the nectarine (maybe this year the parrots will let us eat some).
The broccoli and cauliflower are all pulled and half the leeks have been devoured in soups, pasta sauces, omelettes and rice dishes.

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The onions, garlic and cabbages are still in want of time and sun and the spinach is as generous as ever.

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The empty veggie beds lay ready in wait for for seeds to nourish and sun to bask in.
And for me? It’s still winter. Spring has opened few buds of motivation just yet and while one child is at kinder and the other napping, I am presently snuggled under the warmth of a “bob the builder” blanket, a hot cup of tea in one hand and a good book in wait for the other.

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