January 10, 2011

Potato Bake

This summer is like no other.  I have lived in Queensland for just over twenty years and I cannot recall a wet spell like this.  It's been months. Wet for most of Spring. No let up and we are well into January. If this keeps on going, and they say it will, we won't have a Summer either.  For me personally, I am glad to escape the searing temperatures that we often get at this time of year.  However this weather is also extreme and I am tiring of the sogginess, the muddiness, the mouldiness and the mossies. 

It could be worse.  I could be living in other Queensland areas and viewing my water filled house from a distance like many people are at this very minute.  I can only imagine how tired and stressed they must be feeling.  I watch the news every night as people are getting around in dinghies, or canoes or whichever water floating vessel they can find. Night after night. The news reports, rising rivers, peaks reached, peaks exceeding expectations, flood warnings, evacuations, stock losses, rescues.  It's the same. Night after night.

I put a couple of chicken drumsticks, carrots, onions, celery, celery tops and black peppercorns into a pot of water and allow to simmer.  I make a comforting potato bake and pop it into the oven. Not too high a heat.  There is a break in the rain.  I love the walls in my house, but I also love the outdoors.  Apart from mowing the lawn at every dry opportunity, I haven't had a chance to simply wander and ponder outdoors. I grab my camera and I grab this moment.
The girls out scratching and exploring while the rains lets up

The avocadoes have gone crazy.  The trees are covered.
The "fuerte" avocado tree has never produced this much fruit.
The possums and bats will be right for quite a while.

The "Haas" avocado continuously bears the most vibrant green
 and delicious fruit. I need a crane to reach them all. No kidding.

The lemon tree is looking unwell. I took this picture just before it
 received a huge prune and cutting.

Moss on the mandarin

Everything sure looks green. However many nutrients in the soil are being washed away or simply depleted.  The grass is in need of nitrogen.

While the fellows are trimming trees, I duck back inside to complete the dinner.  In the end, I didn't wander terribly far.  I couldn't get passed the avocado and the citrus trees.  I stood there for ages, admiring the brilliant, shiny, green leaves and all the fruit bending in the breeze above my head.  And to think, I love racing to the farm for an escape to the outdoors.  Sometimes, one forget's the beauty in one's own backyard.

Potato Bake

5 or 6 medium potatoes
1/2 brown onion
a very good knob of butter
about 2/3 cup each of milk and cream

Thinly slice the potatoes; rinse well under water to wash away the clinging starch.

Place the potato, thinly sliced onion, sweet paprika, salt, pepper, knob of butter and combined milk and cream into a baking dish.

Mix together with clean hands until you have broken up the butter and coated all the veggie.  Bake in a conventional oven (I find better results this way compared to a fan-forced oven).  Begin oven on a high heat, reduce after half and hour and bake till cooked through.  I usually allow mine at least an hour. I served mine with local valley T-Bone steak in garlic, pepper and butter and wonderful green beans from Philomena's garden.  The chicken soup was our entree. Life is wet but life is sweet.


  1. Hi-) Its been so long. I am so glad to see you back. Though I must admit I have not been on the computer much of late save to visit the "BOM" site :-) I have just posted tonight for the first time in soooo long....same theme :-) I think we have all had enough of the rain for a while. I will certainly be checking in again. Love that comfort food!

  2. Yes its been ages Linda for both you and me. Good to see you back too. I'll pop over and visit you in a sec. I hope you're managing to stay dry up there. I imagine you would be faring slightly worse than us. 'Relentless' seems to be a good word to describe this rain.

    The river on our farm has risen and is racing over our bridge (yes, the bridge Hubby built). We are cut off and cannot get to the cows. At least they are on the high side and they will be safe. Drenched but safe. We have calves born into this weather and they have yet to see the sun! I do worry about them getting infections from all the wet but we cannot get across to check them. The dingo and wild dog populations are flourishing now too. More danger for them.

    I only just heard about the people missing in Toowoomba. Imagine the distress! It certainly puts things into perspective.

    Stay Safe! Mariana xxx

  3. Oh how wonderful to see you back!!! And what a recipe one of my favorite dishes and I have always wanted a good recipe for it - can't wait to try it! I will be spreading the word that you are back so many of my friends have missed you! Thanks for starting back again!!!

  4. Gosh thanks Kylie. Really? They missed me. Wow. Must be some readers that I don't know about out there.

    And as for "starting back again"; I really don't want to place any pressure on myself dear. I have decided, if I feel like it - I'll blog, and if I don't - I won't. I think part of the reason why I stopped for sooo long was that it started feeling like I 'had' to blog.

    Good to see you again Kylie. Give my love to Bruno! Mariana xxxx

  5. Ohh! I thought when I saw the avacado pictures you had created a post on your marvellous quacamole! Perhaps not this time, but I'll keep my eyes peeled for it. That stuff is amazing, mother.
    :) Nik.

  6. Seems like I had better get another avocado dip recipe happening then. If there was such a thing as "guacamole-mania", then my dear you most definitely have it. Love Ma xxxx