Christmas pud costs a fortune
For our family Christmas some bright spark decided I should make desserts. I’m not known for my prowess in the kitchen but I succumbed and said I’d find my inner domestic goddess.
Practical friends suggested a visit to a gourmet deli to buy desserts but I ignored them. I whipped up my signature chocolate mousse without a hitch. For the second dessert my mother was insisting on I thought I’d make my first ever pavlova.
A friend who can cook like an angel offered me her recipe. She claimed it was foolproof.
The egg beater at home was from the ark so I decided to abandon the pavlova challenge and make a raspberry cheesecake instead.
Discovering I didn’t have enough cream I headed to New World late on Christmas Eve. I eyed up the premade cheesecakes but resisted.
On leaving I promptly smacked into a traffic island and sustained a flat tyre. The AA arrived and announced it couldn’t be fixed. It was midnight before I got home via a taxi.
Christmas Day I was up early bashing up malt biscuits with a rolling pin for the cheesecake base.
Ultimately it was the most expensive cheesecake ever, ingredients $10, taxi home $50, tow truck, $70, new tyre, $132 . But the humour of the taxi driver’s seedy attempts to chat me up – priceless.
Happy New Year everyone, drive carefully!
P.S. On Christmas Day I left the lights on in the replacement car. Two calls to the AA in 24 hours, a new personal record.
◆ Queenstown’s Single Girl is looking for true love. Advice and potential candidates should be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org Without me knowing it, the game of cricket has been a silent partner all my life. From backyard games where my younger sister had to step in at the wicket wearing her fabulous white Beatle boots that she resolutely refused to take off to hosting the English cricket team last year with support of diehard Queenstown cricketers, friends and local suppliers at our Mill Creek property. With the impending dry summer let’s talk a few mulching tips.
The soil doesn’t want to be naked. To keep the soil bare requires a lot of effort from gardeners, whether through herbicide spraying or constant weeding. When we do get rain, bare soil leads to a leaching of your hard-earned nutrients.
Mulch keeps moisture in the soil, protecting it from the summer sun and the harsh drying winds. Be aware that covering the soil can also keep moisture out, so make sure you give the ground a good watering before you cover it up.
If you’re mulching trees, consider grading the mulch so when it does rain the water flows towards trees rather than away. Remember never to have mulch hard up against stems and trunks. As the mulch breaks down, it can damage your trees.
Mulch can keep the soil a little cooler in the searing heat of summer. Conversely, in spring you can warm a bed up quicker by pushing the mulch aside. Black plastic or weed mat over a bed will also help heat the soil to give you a head start on
At work: Dr Compost mulching his garden in Hawea Flat with lucerne.