Weekly Wrap. Baking, Pasta, Junk and Beauty.

My youngest son turned 26 on Tuesday. Where has the time gone? One minute he’s a tiny little thing and the next he’s about to become a husband, owns his own home and is an extremely talented handyman. I am so proud of the wonderful adults all three of our children have developed into. I think sometimes it’s a great big lucky dip as to how things turn out.  It has taken a huge amount of input,  I wouldn’t hesitate to do it all again.

We went out for dinner to celebrate his birthday and when I asked if he would like me to take a cake he jumped at the offer (scary with my oven situation). His first choice was a black forest cake but I just didn’t have the time for that so his second choice was pavlova. For years I have used the good old Australian Womens Weekly ‘Marshmallow Pavlova’ recipe and I have never had a fail yet. It’s marsh-mallowy inside, with a light crusty meringue outside. It also gave me an excuse to see how my new Ankarsrum mixer coped with doing the basics of beating egg whites. Not a problem at all! Due to my oven’s size limitations I didn’t make a double quantity as I would normally do for a birthday cake, but I made 2 and turned it into a pavlova sandwich. Filled with cream, peppermint crisp and strawberries and then also topped with more of the same. It was a winner!

IMG_2446With the egg yolks, I made pasta using the pasta attachment on the mixer. I haven’t made pasta from scratch for ages and it was fun and worked really well.

IMG_2448You may remember a couple of months ago I posted about how I had stupidly ‘cooked’ a Tupperware lid on the toaster. Well a lovely Tupperware consultant kindly came to my aid and supplied me with a replacement. What a wonderful surprise and greatly appreciated!

IMG_2471With the Gardivalia event getting closer, some finishing of jobs in the backyard has been a priority. Mr ATMT finished off the path that goes to the new garden shed,

IMG_2472and we did some more work on the screen fence made from old greenhouse shelving. This screens lots of building materials, gardening bits and pieces and timber we will need in the upcoming reno. The area on the left is where a ‘Bus Stop’ will be built. This means it will be a quiet place to sit and contemplate, a water feature will also be incorporated here.

IMG_2484I tacked up a few more bits of ‘junk’. This is the old gas hot water unit that came from the bungalow we removed. Sitting over the bath that has potatoes planted in it, I thought it a fitting placement.IMG_2482


















A long time ago Mr ATMT found two cast iron firedogs shaped as ducks at the tip. Rather than toss them, they have been mounted on the entry to the veggie patch. A scrub with the wire brush is called for I think!IMG_2452


















Our  ball shaped ficus plants have suffered major frost damage over winter. I cut the damage back to where a new shoot is coming through so I may be able to save them but it will be a long time before they are looking great I fear.



















The pin oak in the front yard is starting to come into leaf.



















and the magnolia has been absolutely beautiful this year. I think the cold winter has been good for it.

My bread bake this weekend was Peter Reinhart’s San Fransisco Sourdough Loaf from his Artisan Breads Everyday book. This appears to be quite a light loaf, smells great and has a real golden colour to it. I haven’t done  a crumb shot because it’s going straight into the freezer. It’s not grabbing me as one of my most satisfying bakes but every loaf brings  another bit of learning with it.

IMG_2511School holidays now for two weeks. I’m very happy about that!



17 Replies to “Weekly Wrap. Baking, Pasta, Junk and Beauty.”

  1. After I tore my attention away from the pav, I admired the rest particularly the upcycling. I love the hot water unit over the bath. Fun 🙂 And the duck firedogs are interesting. I’d heard of firedogs but never seen one.


  2. Maree, I’ve been trying to create indoors what you’ve created in your back yard (hence my “Garden Room.”) Our Oklahoma climate isn’t always so conducive to serene garden spots! Thank you for your visual and verbal inspirations. LOVED your Pavlova, too, as well as your wisdom on bread baking… “every loaf brings another bit of learning with it.” Yes, ma’am.


  3. Haven’t the magnolias been beautiful this year? Your backyard looks like a lovely place to explore, and to sit in the shade and enjoy in Summer. And that pav looks scrumptious!


  4. Delicious looking pavlova! Your garden is looking fabulous. Someday I wish to have a serene place to go outside. Maybe when the boys are grown and no longer dig in the yard, throw rocks, make mud pies or any other boy activities!


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