They’re here!

AsparagusYesterday I had asparagus for the first time this spring. In this world of globally circulating food where very little is ‘seasonal’ any more, asparagus remain something available only for a couple of months each year. I look forward to the season, delight in eating gently steamed spears while I can, and then reminisce for the rest of the year … until it’s September again and the miracle reoccurs.

The spears above were over $1 each, so I’m not going to indulge too freely until the price becomes more reasonable. They were worth it though!

High Tea

I’ve never been to ‘High Tea’ before, but I knew it was posh, so I made sure I flossied myself up:

I met my friends (the Scrapmates who had been at our place last month) at the James Cook Hotel’s Whitby Restaurant. Very classy – I’m glad I dressed up! Once we had all arrived and settled at our window tables we ordered tea from a selection of ten choices – I had Green Tea with Jasmine – and coffee for those who just couldn’t do without. Then the plates arrived. I shared a gluten-free platter with Kris:’

As the food was so exquisite, I took close-up photos of every layer. It tasted as good as it looks!

We were there for over two and a half hours and discussed all manner of things, as we tend to do. The world set to rights for at least five minutes, we left for our regular lives, encouraged and enlivened by our get together.

Doing a Photo-A-Day

I had such fun – and was challenged creatively – in 2010 when I did a Photo A Day for the entire year. I have to confess that there were some days when I missed taking a photo, but not too many. (I made up any gaps by taking an extra photo the next day – making sure it was some constant feature of life that stayed the same over several days).

This year I’m doing it all again. My approach is to try to capture everyday life, and photos range from an ordinary breakfast:

to special dessert and coffee (hazelnut mousse, from La Cloche, on the Old Hutt Road):

The household animals feature strongly too – here’s Martin the sheep:

Martin’s full name is Martin Baasley, after Martin Bosley the chef. Each year we host a lamb for the Hyde family, for when their town section’s grass has all been eaten up there’s still plenty at our place. For the last three years we’ve renamed the lambs on arrival here, choosing to name them after chefs. We’ve had Gordon Lambsey and Lam(b)ie Oliver as well as Martin Baasley so far. The challenge is coming for next year as we’ve run out of the easy ones – if you have any good ideas for chef/lamb names, please let me know. They all have to be males as the female lambs don’t get given away as they’re too valuable as breeding stock (else we could have Annabelle Lambein, of course!).

Even though the year is not yet one month old there have been lots of photos of Ninja the kitten. As she’s getting older and bolder she comes ‘walkies’ with me and seems to enjoy seeing new territory with the safety of her person nearby. Here she is a couple of weeks ago in the cattle race:

There are also pictures that reflect our developing business. We have had many visitors to the grove over the Christmas/New Year holidays (and we hope for more as the summer continues). As yet we don’t have a separate sales room, so visitors come into our big living space to taste our products:

We are also selling at some of the open-air markets over the summer. I am so grateful to our son’s girlfriend for her help at these – she is a terrific sales person and keeps me going with her enthusiasm and energy. The Eat, Drink and Be Crafty market was on Saturday, and we had loads of family groups enjoying the sunny weather, great (locally produced) craft, listening to the country band, and all in support of the Life Flight Helicopter Trust. As it was such a beautiful day and a lovely setting, I’ll leave you with a nice big image for this one: