Tuesday, 15 March 2016

Autumn at our cottage

Summer is gone and Autumn has arrived for already fourteen days when I believe the calendar on the wall.
Autumn in New Zealand  officially starts on the first of March.
While half of the world goes into the beginning of Spring and warmer weather, we are heading towards the colder mornings and nights.
I must say, we had only a few of those colder days, for the rest of the time it is still hot and the outside temperature today reached 28 degrees again and I am sweating in the kitchen making crab apple jellies and rhubarb ginger jam.
Last week my friend Elizabeth gave me a box of the sweetest Italian tomatoes "Roma"  from her garden and I bottled them whole  in jars and also made tomato sauce and I will write the recipe in the blog post. So keep on reading.

Shabby Chic Beach cabinet
Now the weather is getting slightly cooler I have finished the cupboard in my "garage studio", it was just to hot to work in there during February. I painted the cupboard with chalk paint blue first and then used a thinner coat of chalk paint green on top and sanded this layer of paint back to show the green colour underneath.
Then I decorated the cupboard door with a fish image from "The Graphics Fairy" website and painted the shells and seahorses with acrylic paint.
The cupboard is finished with wax to protect the surface.
So voila an old brown cupboard has now a new life in beach style.
The shells are painted in acrylics

Tomato sauce from my homegrown tomatoes.
This week I have been busy bottling and preserving; jams and jellies for my road stall and also for ourselves the tomatoes and plums in sauces and whole in the freezer for winter soups and pasta.
Next the pears are getting ripe,so bottling and freezing again.
My plant and preserve stall at the gate

The last of the summer sunflowers.
The recipe for the tomato sauce:

  • Fill a big pot with tomatoes and cook until soft.
  • Tip the whole lot into a colander on top of the big pot again and use a wooden spoon to push the pulp through the colander so you are only left with the tomato skins.
  • Add half a cup of cider vinegar, half a cup of sugar,4 or 5 crushed garlic cloves, pepper and salt  to the sauce in the pot and if you want a bite to the sauce some chili flakes and cook slowly for a hour or so till the sauce thickens.
  • You can thicken the sauce more with cornflour if needed.
  • Pour hot into sterilized bottles and seal for the best, full of antioxidants tomato sauce ever.


  1. Ooh you are making me so Mapua-sick! Wonderful work you industrious person!

  2. Ooh you are making me so Mapua-sick! Wonderful work you industrious person!

    1. Thank you Jean, I miss you heaps, lovely to see you back in April in Mapua.

  3. Lovely work you industrious person, you ate making me so Mapua -sick!


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