Tag Archives: winter

Saving the blue iris.

I popped outside this grey winters Sunday to chop some wood and found the iris bulbs I’d dug up from where the new decking is now built. Shriek! They had sprouted and had become root tangled.

I found an unused bag of potting mix and set about de-tangling the bulbs. I also found some old pots to pop them in.


I hope they survive but am philosophical about their chances. They were in the ground for about 13 years so had multiplied a lot from the few I’d originally planted. After planting in a varying assortment of potting mix , compost and soil I popped them under the dormant plums and blueberry shrubs. I then watered them in well with a good seaweed based tonic.



Oh and here’s the wood I chopped 🙂

I hope all your days wherever you are in the world are beautiful.

Upside Down Caremalised Pear and Almond Cake (Gluten Free)

Yay! Its coming into winter over here in Albany Western Australia and pears are appearing in the supermarkets and various farmers markets around the place.  I love pears. They lend themselves to so many different recipes both sweet and savoury.  I bought some gorgeous russet and gold coloured Beurre Bosc pears yesterday and then I went searching for a recipe for them. Something pudding like but that my husband Jason , who has severe gluten intolerance, could also enjoy.

I found this lovely recipe written by a lady by the name of Shaina Olmanson from her blog Food For My Family. Here is how I interpreted it and I stayed faithful to her recipe. It looked a lot taller in her blog photos but it really is more like a flan in depth. Very yummy!

First assemble your ingredients and grease and line the base of a  20cm(8 inch) cake tin with baking paper



2 tablespoons unsalted butter

3 tablespoons brown sugar

1 pinch of salt

1/2 teaspoon vanilla essence

1-2 Beurre Bosc pears

2 eggs, separated

1/4 cup granulated sugar (I used raw caster sugar)

1/2 teaspoon almond extract

3/4 cup of almond meal/flour

2 tablespoons arrowroot powder (I used cornflour)

1/4 teaspoon of ground cardamom

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius (350 F).

In  a small saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the brown sugar and pinch of salt and stir, cooking till the edges bubble and the sugar is dissolved.


Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla. I forgot to do this (adding the vanilla) and the end result worked just fine 😀  Immediately pour the caramel over the baking paper and spreading it out until it coats the base entirely.


Slice the pear in half, de-core it and slice into 1/8-1/4 inch pieces. Arrange the slices over the caramel, fanning them out from the centre.


Beat/whisk the egg whites until stiff peaks form. You should be able to hold them upside down like I have in my picture and not have them fall out 😀


In a separate bowl, beat egg yolks till thick and pale yellow then add sugar, almond extract, almond meal, arrowroot or cornflour, and the cardamom. The mixture will be quite thick and lumpy.


Gently mix in half the egg whites until they’re incorporated, then fold in the remainder of the egg whites. Don’t worry if the batter is streaked with white, its all good :). Do not over mix.

Pour the cake mix over the pears, spreading into an even layer fully covering the pears.


Bake for 25-30 minutes until the top is golden brown and center of cake is set.


Remove from oven and invert onto a plate while still warm. Serve warm or at room temperature.


I have to say it tasted divine! I ate it standing at the kitchen bench whilst it was still hot 😀

It would also lend itself to the addition of some unsweetened clotted cream as it really is sweet.

Bon appetit!

Spring flowers for winter days.


This is actually a winter flower. A lovely fuschia. One of my favorite flowers. They bring colour and delicate beauty to dark and wintery days.


My lovely Floribunda rose “Slim Dusty” named after one of Australias best country and western singers. Has a delightful scent and is very pretty.


This is another deeply perfumed rose that I cannot remember the name of. My mother in law Maxine gave it to me. Love her muchly 😀


One of my mothers Grevilleas “Robbie Gordon” I do believe. Beautiful nectar producing native bush that the birds and the bees love. Google grevilleas and rejoice in their splendour as I did. Must plant more of these.


My gorgoeus blue Iris that is about to flower any day now again. I keep meaning to dig up the tubers and split them each year but never remember to. Maybe this year 🙂


I know, more a fruit than a flower but it is winter and chillies warm you up for sure 😀

I hope you enjoyed a few of the flowers growing around the place. I shall go take more photos and pop them in a future post. Some more natives from around the area probably.

Adieu 😀