Last week I wondered whether Autumn would ever arrive, but look what I'm wearing today...


Wool. It's cold and has been pouring with rain all day. 

Fortunately the concreters got Mr AV's Cave/ Home Office finished during the week, and they've now started on the actual living area extension slab. Lots of heavy machinery noises from the back of the house. My 2 year old now does a very convincing truck reversing sound  beep....beep....beep. Here's some photos for the heavy machinery fans out there. 



I made sure to throw some coins into the concrete for good luck as tradition dictates. The concreters tried to convince me that a few hundred dollars would make for very good luck. I threw in $2... I'm far too stingy.




Yesterday we had a family picnic in the Adelaide Botanic Gardens. It was a beautiful sunny day, and we haven't been through the gardens in a long time. 



I love the Palm House, which is one of the original Victorian structures in the gardens imported from Europe. It's thought to be one of the last two left that were originally made by the German manufacturer - the others were all bombed during WW2. The other one is also in Adelaide, in the grounds of a private house.


Found some more Rainbow Lorrikeets (the breed of parrots that are hell bent on destroying my garden) - they were having a bath in the enormous Victorian fountain.



I ducked away from the family for a few minutes to look at what can only be described as garden porn in the Botanic Gardens shop. As I wrote in a previous post, the Diggers Club have taken over the shop, and it's full of the most beautiful things for gardeners, as well as a lot of essentials - seed propagation boxes, seeds and bulbs, excellent tools, books... managed to avoided temptation. 


I also wandered into the Museum of Economic Botany, which was founded in 1881 and is the last of its type in the world. It's in a sweet little Victorian building, with the most beautiful painted ceiling. Inside the specimen cases are displays of all the types of plants that could be grown in the South Australian climate and their uses - the purpose of the museum was to show the early settlers what could be grown successfully in the state. More recently they have installed screens by Khai Liew, the renowned South Australian Furniture maker, the modern design counterbalances the original Victorian specimen cases with their contents nicely. 

via



With the much colder and very rainy weather today, I've been cooking. Last night we had a roast chicken, a Barossa Chook, reared by Saskia Beer (daughter of Maggie). Once you've tried one of her chickens, you can't go back - they taste like a chicken should, full of flavour just like in the Olden Days. I think they lead very pampered lives before they wind up at the Butchers. As they're rather expensive (but worth it), I like to use every little bit up, so I used the carcass this morning to make chicken stock. Some went into the freezer, and some made the most delicious roasted broccoli and blue cheese soup.


I also made this potato and fetta tart out of Simon Bryant's Veggies cookbook. I'm trying to do a few days without meat in our household.


I'm wrapped up in layers tonight trying not to turn on the heating, although as I have been fairly disorganised due to the school holidays and Mr AV being away in New York again for the week, I've only just got the Winter weight doonas off to be cleaned (they'll be back in a week)... and it's definitely feeling a little cold in bed at night!

Hope you had a good week too xx

25 comments:

  1. Heidi, that museum looks fascinating! We really need to do a trip to Adelaide one day!
    Glad to hear that your concrete pour has gone well.
    Your Autumnal food looks delicious. It was v chilly in NSW this weekend too xx

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    1. It is such an interesting little museum - all the pears and apples above are paper mache and a lot of the other samples were sent by Botanic Gardens in other countries around the world. You should definitely come to Adelaide for a weekend! Hope the beach was fun xx

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  2. I'm trying to add meat here, we're up to twice a week now.
    I didn't know that tradition about concrete , I like things like, that's what's the story behind it?

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    1. You're almost fully Vego Tabitha! We eat a lot of meat, I'm trying to do quality over quantity now.

      The concrete and coins is an Italian superstition... all the good concreters in Australia are Italian migrants from the 1950's and they brought the tradition with them. I used to work with a well known Italian Building company in melbourne, and the Concreters were very thingy about the coins. I'm wondering if it's an ancient Roman thing?

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  3. I would say I feel sorry for you that you have to wear a sweater but I suppose you are over summer just as I am over winter!

    Good to know that your works are chugging along at a nice pace - I still haven't heard from the council about my plans...

    I know you aren't fond of parrots in your garden but they are just soo beautiful. Love the shots in the fountain. Plus that shot in the garden with the light fighting through the trees is stunning - you are really getting a hang of your camera.

    Checked out Khai Liew - love his work especially as I think it would suit my house as well.

    Good chickens are important. No chance we will get her chicken here - we do get some good French chicken from Bresse but at £35 quid for a 2 kg chook, frankly I would rather go out. Mind you I hate the dishwasher and cleaning up...xx

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    1. I'm quite happy to be wearing layers - was getting sick of the Summer stuff.

      All photos this week were from the iphone, due to sheer laziness! But they turned out very well.

      Khai Liew's work is Stunning. Would love his stuff in my place... maybe one day!

      The Barossa Chooks are around $25... so not cheap, but not surprising that the French ones are pricer! xx

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  4. Gornography is one of my favourite things (Garden Porn)

    Stay warm xxx

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    1. the sudden change in temps is ridiculous! That shop was full of temptation xx

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  5. Don't you love the first signs of winter settling in... needing to add layers and cooking comforting meals? I love the colder climes and a relief that the humidity has left Sydney for a few months! I love your photos in this post ... The beautiful Palm House - and are those wax fruits in the M.E.B.? The construction site looks incredible - very high tech ... and all your design - I am a huge fan of the old fashioned chook taste - and wonder whether Saskia's chooks would be available here in Sydney... will keep my eyes open for the Barossa Chook! Jenny xx

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    1. I do like the first signs of Winter... although I'll probably be moaning about the mud soon enough! But it's a beautiful sunny day again today, so it's just nice to have the contrast.
      I thought the fruit might be paper mache, but maybe they are wax? They're the original specimen, so could well be either.
      I used to get the Barossa Chooks when I lived in Melbourne, so you should be able to find them in Sydney in one of the specialty butchers maybe? Definitely worth hunting down. I put some verjuice in the roasting pan, and stuffed it with cut lemon, garlic and rosemary, and it was absolutely delicious. xx

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  6. Love the Palm House. Just beautiful.

    Yay for concrete being poured. Looks fabulous as far as lots of concrete goes. Slowly cooling down here too.

    I love a proper roast chook - so yummy. It always amazes me how big the normal supermarket chooks are. They must be so pumped up - the best we can get here is a Mount Barker chook which is free range and excellent compared to the usual ones (and comfortingly is about half the size!)

    The garden shop looks stunning. I am very jealous and doubt I could have resisted temptation.

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    1. Glad it's cooling down for you too. Is Mt Barker in WA? We have a Mt Barker here as well, but I don't think there are any chooks that come from there, so thought it must be one that's local to you? The Barossa Chooks are very small by comparison to the giant alien species of chicken that you get in the Supermarket. It's like a chicken bred with a turkey....
      Garden shop is stunning... I'll definitely be going back! xx

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  7. I wish I had visited those places when we visited Adelaide- they look fascinating!

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    1. Put them on the list for next time Deanne! xx

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  8. We've just been in the Brooklyn botanical garden for the opposite experience of yours - spring blooms! However, as your pictures show, the gardens are magical any time of year. Your Palm House picture is magnificent...

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    1. The Palm House is quite stunning. Next time I go I'll get some better photos... I forgot my camera, and my iphone, and had to beg Mr AV's phone off him! xx

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  9. cold here on weekend but back to warm again who knows! love love the museum are those real fruit?

    lots of rainbow lorikeets around here also , they are really cheeky I do like the photo of them on that pink!!!! statue

    the house is really coming along very exciting !!!

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    1. No the fruit is faux, but not sure if it's paper mache or wax. The museum is really interesting.

      Lorrikeets are incredibly cheeky. I can hear them now out in the garden, little buggers!

      Long way to go on the house, but getting started, which is good xx

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  10. Dear Heidi

    Just told FF I was taking up residence outside her gate becauses of the blinis, borscht and cheesecake. Now you're making it hard for me, how to choose between those and the scrummy chook, roasted brocoli and blue cheese soup and the potato and fetta tart! Have to send husband out too, with instructions to bring back a doggy bag! Best wishes, Pamela

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    1. You're welcome at our place any time for a meal Pamela! Although you might want to wait until we've finished the reno. The food's good, but the current kitchen makes for a fairly dire dining environment! xx

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  11. I can't believe how cold it has become in such a short time Heidi! I was back in Adelaide for a week and felt like I was in Melbourne the whole time.
    The potato and fetta tart looks amazing. I'm getting excited about all the winter cooking possibilities too. Have you been to Maggie Beer's farm shop? I am dying to go - just looking at the picnic fare menu has me hooked.
    K x

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    1. I know, it was such a sudden switch... although Melbourne's currently colder! I haven't been to Maggie's farm shop - it's been on my list of things to do since we moved home... must get onto it! xx

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  12. SEriously.... will spring ever come this year?! It's so cold in rainy in Seoul now too! Lovely garden btw!

    -liv
    http://chocolivlovelaugh.blogspot.kr

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  13. Gosh that palm house is incredible and so extraordinary to think that some lucky person has one in their backyard! What a garden feature. x

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  14. Heidi your cooking looks delicious. We recently had Foxtel connected (after waiting a year for the cables to be replaced in our apartment) and I am absolutely loving it. I am especially enjoying the Food channel, including The Cook and the chef with Simon Bryant. We eat a lot of veggies especially in morning juices and smoothies and only eat meat a couple of times a week. Love the look of the soup you made - such a perfect dish for the cooler months xxx

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Architect & Interior Designer. Mother of three. A sometimes Cook, Baker, Reader, Gardener, Fashion Lover, Renovator, Writer of random things in South Australia email me on anadelaidevilla@bigpond.com
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