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(This will just be a quick post because I have a doctor’s appointment soon)

I was talking to my sister this morning and she mentioned that she’d read my last blog post and she commented on the fact that most of my recent posts have all been about gardening and I completely agree with her! I’m reminded of it every time I choose my tags for the posts and am confronted with a tag cloud that shows me how often I use each tag and ‘garden’ screams at me very loudly! It’s not that gardening is all I do – the truth is far from that! The fact of the matter is that the garden produces the most beautiful photos and I am loathe to post anything without pictures. I am too visually and aesthetically minded to omit a visual aid  in most of my posts!

I am going to try and get a greater variety back into my posts but today I have yet another gardening related post that I have to share with you.

Yesterday I had a small revelation. It began when my aunt told me about a family friend who is going through some unexpected financial problems and is having trouble getting food on the table for her family of three. My aunt is planning to visit her and give her a supermarket voucher and it was without hesitation that I said I would get a box of veges from the garden to give her family too. This is the reason everyone should grow their own veges and fruit – so we can share! God makes an abundance of goodness grow from tiny little seeds and it only makes sense to share what we can’t use.

And so yesterday and today I have been gathering vegetables and packing them into a box to be given to this family who we love. It was pretty amazing to see how much the garden has given us. My dad works the hardest in the garden and it’s to his credit that it’s so productive. I think we have a responsibility to share all our blessings whether they be food or time or the ability to listen.

Anyway, the vegetables looked so beautiful on the table so I had to take a photo to share with you.

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It’s not a great photo but you get the point. Everything on that table was from my parents’ garden. Just for interest and so you can see what we harvest in late spring in a subtropical climate I will list what’s there. Sweet potato, pumpkin, leek, brown onions, cucumber, squash, cherry tomatoes, pepinos, carrots (in the paper bag), green and brown mignonette lettuces, tatsoi (an asian green that’s great in stir fries and salads), beetroot, lebanese eggplants, celery, bean yam, choko, a lemon and a jar of freshly made strawberry jam my mum made from home grown strawberries. The best thing about this food is that it all came from the garden and it’s just the extras.

So it was with lots of love and a little pride that I packed it all up into a box to be given to some people that my family and I love.

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If you’re wanting more motivation to start growing your own veges you’ve got it. I’ve always loved the idea of being able to grow a big lemon tree that produces so much fruit you have to give it away. The same could be done with tomatoes or chokos or whatever else your individual green thumb can nurture. It also fits into my ideal world where community and family means everything. But I can tell you more about that idea later.

I love you all.

ps. Did you see my new bunch of zinnias? This time I picked all the little flowers. Some of them are amazingly detailed!

Or rather, I’ve already baked three cakes. These were the cakes I baked and decorated for my sister’s 21st party a few weeks ago.

It was a cherry chocolate cake iced with chocolate butter icing, glacé cherries and homemade pink fondant icing. Well, it was supposed to be red, but it was impossible with the ingredients I had on hand. The cake recipe itself was quite simple but somehow I managed to break one cake in half as I turned it out of the pan but it was nothing a good lashing of icing couldn’t fix!

I liked the way the cake decorating turned out, but it didn’t exactly measure up to the grand cake I had envisaged in my head. I had imagined making a vibrant red fondant icing and rolling it out and cutting out beautiful crisp letters and making a big red flower out of various red food stuffs like fruit roll ups (I bought some but the red was really an anaemic pink), raspberry licorice (I ate it before I decorated the cake) and other sweet delights.

What I didn’t anticipate was the difficulty and fussiness involved in making fondant icing. I mean, it wasn’t too hard making the icing as such, but the colour was impossible to achieve with liquid food colouring! And when I finally rolled a sheet of the pinkish red icing out, after having it stick to everything, the lovely letters I cut out stretched horribly when I picked them up. So I made a compromise, I rolled out long sausages of icing and wrote on the cake with that.

I actually really like what I ended up with and the best part is, of course, is that my sister loved it and the cake tasted delicious on the day and there was enough for the 80 plus guests we had. All in all, despite a few hiccups along the way, a success!