I have spent the last 30 years in the corporate world. Now it is time to follow my passions of gardening and cooking. I want to make as much of what we eat myself, eating as little processed food as possible. This blog will document my journey. My other passion is cookbooks which will be self-evident if you accompany me on this journey. I live with my partner, Maus, and three Bichons, Maggie, Lily and Jules. We alternate between Perth and the south west of Western Australia.
Update – September 2016
I have been meaning to update my “About” page for ages. The main reason it needs updating is my three beautiful dogs have all died. When you have dogs, people remind you they are not children but … they were our children and we miss them so. We are comforted by the fact that all three reached their life expectancy and we gave each of them the best life a little dog could have.
Also, since writing my “About” page, I have become a little ‘over’ cookbooks. There are only so many recipes a person needs. I now tend to only buy them if I am on holidays (one is a little freer with their money when they are on holidays), I consider it to be very special or I have found it at an Op Shop (Charity Shop).
My new passion is soap making. It is a wonderful hobby for people who like to make things. If you like to cook and are a little bit artistic, soaping could be for you. The trouble is, it is very addictive. You end up with much too much soap. At first, I wanted the soap I made to be attractive enough to give away to friends and relatives. Then I wanted it to be attractive enough to give as gifts and then good enough to sell. I think I have reached that point. I just wish I had time to make more, more, more. This is a journey typical of most soap makers. If you are interested in checking out my soap, click on the menu button ‘Soap for Sale’.
If you are wondering why we are so busy, it is because we have two houses to maintain and one is on seven acres. We also have lots of hobbies and interests. Maus is an avid woodworker – anything made of wood you see on this blog has been made by Maus. Many years ago, I told someone that one of Maus’ hobbies was checking out supermarket catalogues. She still loves to find a bargain, although we are off supermarkets in a big way so this hobby takes up much less of her time.
I love to potter in my vegie patch or check out my beautiful roses and clivias. I also spend an inordinate amount of time on the computer. I like to take photos and play with them on Photoshop Elements and I have spent more hours than I would like to admit, putting my music collection into iTunes and organising it. It is all done now.
We are still trying to eat as little processed food as possible. We have done remarkably well in that regard. There are, virtually, no tins of this and jars of that in our pantry. I don’t consider what is on supermarket shelves to be food. Rather, it is manufactured food products. I am very strongly against the supermarket mentality and we try to avoid our big two where ever possible. I get so angry when I go into them and the only brands they sell are their own. In my opinion, they have done a lot of harm to the food industry in Australia.
We are trying to work out where we want to live. We think it is in our country house so we are trying to find a flat to use as a city pad.
Now we don’t have any furry friends to worry about, we will probably travel a bit more, although travelling is not a huge priority for either of us. However, we do love the Melbourne Comedy Festival and the Adelaide Cabaret Festival. They are both sure to be on the agenda next year. I also like the idea of finding a concert of one of my favourite artists and incorporating that concert into a holiday.
Otherwise, it will be life as normal.
I hope you enjoy my blog. If you would like to contact me, my email address is firstname.lastname@example.org
Okay you’re my favourite blogger. My only blogger. It’s not like I don’t spend time on the internet 😂. If you’re down my way call in, on your way home, you won’t leave empty handed I promise, free absolutely no strings.
Hi Glenda. I’m a stay-at-home mum of two living in Geelong, Victoria. I just came across your blog while looking for things to do with the bag of passionfruit my uncle left on my bench yesterday. I’m so glad I had no idea what to do with them because it lead me to find your blog. I share your sentiments about supermarkets and the damage they have caused. I try very hard to make everything from scratch and am trying to find more and more ways to be self sufficient while living at a suburban rental property. Friends with chickens, a very decent local fruit and veg shop and a work-in-progress micro aquaponics system on top of our fish tank are helping me with my efforts at present. This winter I’m going to work on getting a potted veggie garden ready to set up on my front porch for the spring. Thanks for you inspiration.
Hi Emma. Thanks for stopping by. If you have lots of passionfruit, I suggest you make syrup out of them. It is perfect in smoothies and on yoghurt and ice cream and, if refrigerated, will last for ages. If you don’t have many then get the pulp and freeze it for when you find a recipe you want to try. I hope you enjoy yhe blog.
I am with you on the rebellion against generic supermarket brand products. They are inferior imo, and I much prefer whole foods that we make ourselves. Although I won’t be milling my own sugar cane! I like your blog and am glad that I found it via the NepalAustralian’s blog. Good luck with the voting process!
Thanks Amanda. My main problem with generic supermarket brand products is that that the supermarkets are screwing small manufacturers out of a livelihood. It makes me very angry.
Exactly. More of my favourite brands disappear, along with employment prospects skills and the small business themselves, every week. So sad
Hey Glenda. I looked on your blog for your hot cross buns recipe but can’t see it. Is it there but I just can’t see it? It certainly deserves a mention. Xx. .
Hi Glenda, I am going to try your sweet potato salad, looks yummy! and next time you are in Bridgy I would love to try/buy some of your soap. Maybe you can teach me how to make some too! Michelle
Hi Michelle, thanks for stopping by. No probs re soap.
I like how you write. Interesting
Hi can you please tell me if the old Bessemer wok is speckled? I bought one recently from Gumtree and to my surprise it does not have the name engraved on handle.
It does look like the older model wok and definitely used more than once although the advert said otherwise.
I am just worried in case I bought a copy
Hi Christine. Yes the interior is grey speckled with white. I have just checked mine and there is no Bessemer marking anywhere either. That is strange. Mine is definitely legit. It was bought at a Bessemer party. Mine is about 35 years old. Hope that helps.
Hi Glenda, When you had your copper pan re-tinned in Perth who did you use? I’m sure there must be more than one person offering this in Perth and do not want to get caught using an inferior tin.
Hi Dan, It was a while ago but we think it was Sterling Electro Plating. If you find someone in Perth who does a good job and uses pure tin I would love their address. We looked and looked. Sterling Electro Plating did them twice. We also had them done by Lara Copper in Tasmania. In all cases as soon as we put the pans on the heat the tin melted. It was because the tin was not pure. I also know of a blogger who had hers done in Queensland and hers melted the first time she heated the pans as well. Please keep in touch and let me know if you find someone. Louis Berczi is old and I am afraid the next time I need my pans done he will have retired.
I will definitely hunt around and let you know.
For reference, roughly how much were you charged per medium sized pan? I would prefer to not send off!
I have also seen you can tin wipe yourself and might even give it a go with an old pan to see how it goes if I have no luck..
Dan, When I was asking around I was told the guys at “The Loose Box” did theirs. Good luck.
Sorry Dan, I forgot to say, neither of us can remember what we paid each time.
I have just picked about 10kg of olives from my tree but don’t know what kind it is. Best to preserve? Or do u know a local oil press place? Brunswick Melbourne. I can send a photo.
Hi Clare, I have sent you an email.
Glenda, I just love your blog! My husband is an Aussie from Busselton, WA and we visit every few years from America…your writing makes me miss it more 🙂
Thanks so much Gail. Busselton is a great town. It is not far from Bridgetown where I live. Your husband probably knows Bridgetown.
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Hi Glenda, I just found your website and LOVE it! I am inspired by all the things you have cooked, made, grew!! I look forward to following your blog!
Hi Lily, welcome!!
Hi Glenda! I plan to try your recipe for preserved lemons. I notice it doesn’t include water at all but just straight lemon juice to top off to fully submerge the lemons. A and olive oil of course. Is that right? All juice? Thanks. Maria, email@example.com
Hi Maria, That is right, no water. Just remember once you make them they last indefinitely. I am using some at the moment that are many years old. When you use a piece, you give it a wash, take out the flesh and chop the peel. Most recipes call for the peel only but every now and again you find one that calls for both the flesh and the peel. They are so easy to make and great in Middle Eastern dishes. I hope you enjoy them.
Hi glenda I just stumble into your website I have passion too in home made jams ,tried melon n ginge its really good.
Hi Sybil, Thanks for visiting and commenting. I too love that jam. The flavours really work.
Hi Glenda, are you on facebook lovely?
Hi Liz. No, I not.
Hi Glenda, just stumbled across your website while looking for bread recipes. Baking bread is a fairly new hobbie for me. I’ve mainly just been winging it with different flours, using a sourdough starter i made using organic plums i got from city farm. So far i’ve been getting pretty pleasing results. Great website. Cheers Mick
Hi Mick, Thanks, I hope you stick around. I think making bread is one of the greatest pleasures in life.
Hi Glenda re your query about vinegar mother, it should arise by and of itself over time. I think the acetobacter is one of those airborne things, so you should have an open widenecked container for brewing vinegar. Had a look for Aussie sites and info – this looked interesting – gives a method for creating a vinegar plant from scratch too http://www.liquorcraft.com.au/wawcs0113241/vinegar.html – if you can get unpasteurized vinegar, say from a healthfood store somewhere you can use that to introduce the acetobacter. Would send you some but I don’t think it would get thru your customs 🙂
Joanne, thanks so much for your help. I do have some unpasteurised vinegar. I will check out the site.
hi Glenda, how can i get a beautiful mac nut wood ? I love to barter.
Hi Mic Sorry to take so long to get back to you, I have been away. I am not certain what you would like.
Lucky me find out your blog Glenda.
kee sharing and ispiring my friend,
nice to know you then….
Hi Dedy, Thanks for stopping by and commenting.
I love that top photo! Isn’t master chef amazing?!!!
Hi Mimi, I watched the first season of Masterchef and got a bit pissed off with it. I didn’t like way they brought people back who had been eliminated. I didn’t watch the second season as I got a bit bored with it. The episode, I am referring to, was in the third series, I think.
BTW Thanks for visiting and commenting.
Oh, I was just impressed with the amateur cooks who were so much better than I could imagine being ever, and many of them were so young. There’s just so much more to learn!!!
Hi Mimi You are so right. There are so many talented people who go on those shows. It is amazing.
I share your passion for cookbooks — soon they are going to take over my house! Your blog looks lovely …I hope to explore it more soon!
Thanks for visiting. I have way too many cookbooks but I love them all.
Love your header photo and looking forward to following your blog. Cheers from Ruth in Pittsburgh PA.
Gidday glenda and maureen it is gillian here and we say if you have a computer problem ask some 12 years old. Love your website and will be following it. Thought you may have a recipe for passionfruit butter there which I make and love. Hope to visit down south soon will check when you are there.
No passionfruit butter this year, my supply of passionfruit has dried up. Next year maybe. Thanks for reading.
hi glenda hayden fixed the computer , love your website especialy knickers on the gate hahah 🙂 love from Sandra
Great news, San. I always say, if you have a computer problem, ask someone under 20:)