Christ­mas pud costs a for­tune

Central Otago Mirror - - NEWS - Sin­gle Girl

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 mir­ 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.

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