My Incredible Edible Garden

OK, I must admit that I'm feeling rather smug about the garden at the moment - it's true that not everything I planted has grown, and quite a lot of precious seedlings haven't made it through the busy spell, or those not planted out still in my newspaper pots have succumbed to the destructive forces exerted by my merciless puppy and cat, who both think nothing of sitting plum on top of my plant pots or better still shredding the pots with abandon, scattering the contents where they will  (Grrrr!). 
That said I'm learning more every day about the culinary bounty that surrounds us.
I may have already mentioned my flower syrup, which is a real hit on crepes, but that's run of the mill now. I managed to make a first and very precious single jar of hibiscus jam (yes, you heard right hibiscus jam, using a couple of hibiscus varieties that I have got growing here), it is an amazing vibrant red color and has a very pleasant, albeit subtle flavor. 

Whatsmore, I've just discovered daylilies. 
We have a fabulous display of them every spring, it's a real visual treat, but they're also a treat for the palate I discover now - we tried deep fried flowers (after the success of the squash flowers), and they were pretty good I admit. 
Supposedly you can eat almost every part of the plant from the under ground tubers, young shoots to the blooms and buds (aparently an important ingredient in authentic sweet and sour soup - I'm up to try, we've got some dried mushrooms lying around, but sadly we can't get the tofu here to make it a really decent version)! 


A birthday to Remember

Last week was birthday week, Matotea turned six and Viriamu was a bit older.
While Viriamu refused to celebrate, as usual. Matotea had a wonderful week of birthday fun - Dana our friend and mermaid was with us, so I had some help with the celebrations.
We did a mermaid treasure hunt on the day, as well as the obligatory screaming children, cake, balloons and jello.
Later in the week Matotea and Heimana got a chance to hang out with a mermaid and try on their very own tail!

It was worth it to see the girls' faces......


The chaos continues....but in a good way!

September has given way to October, the weather is slowly warming up. The whales are still here in abundance. I spotted a dozen between my home and the local store last sunday - now don't tell me that's not exceptional! I really can't get over it, this year is incredible. We've hit the ground running since the salon, so not too much time to breathe, just enough time to put my poor aching pregnant lady legs up for a day or two!

But it's all good, I've been indulging in awesome sea-salt and monoi body scrubs, thanks to Ashlee's great idea and I get the odd well needed massage if I play my cards right! We've also been blessed with a great group of guests recently, including Amber a friend for the girls and her grandma Thi an avid cook, originally from Vietnam with lots of great original culinary suggestions to inspire me.

As well as tattie Dana, making her annual migration (though this year it was so much fun that she's back for a second round in a few days time!! I can't wait)....
......she'll be here for Mato's birthday.......it's going to be a fabulous, fabulous fishy surprise.....

And how about this for home-grown deliciousness, an excellent tropical dessert that I've perfectioned this month (if I do say so myself), a papaya, banana and strawberry coconut-crumble (beat that with 100% homegrown fruits and nuts), served with a lashing of coconut milk - every bit as yummy as it looks!