Category Archives: Markets

End of the holiday

Yorkshire Moors

Yorkshire Moors

Our 10 week and 4 day holiday of the UK and Switzerland is almost over. Just two more nights, before we fly back to Perth.

With a change in our plans to visit Wales before we left to go back, we decided to visit one of the areas we’d driven through a couple of times but not really explored.

We tried to book a cottage, but had trouble paying as we had next to no chance to get onto the internet on the boat. In the end, we chose another cottage whose owner made the payment process so much easier. We booked it Friday at about 11 am and arrived at about 4 pm and collected the keys.

I didn’t research this place-just trusted the woman when she said it was really nice. As we drove there, I said to Russ I hoped it had wi-fi, a wood fire, a comfy bed and decent pillows and a separate shower. Not only did it have the lot, the fire was lit and we’d been left fresh home-baked scones, jam, butter and laundry detergent to do a load of washing.  All this and 70 pounds cheaper than the other place I’d tried to book. Because it sleeps 6, it’s super spacious with big rooms and well equipped full kitchen.

The MoorsThe cottage is on the outskirts of a  really pretty town called Matlock which is on the border of the Peak District and right by the Yorkshire moors and dales. We’ve spent our 3 days here travelling up and down dales, across moors and around the Peaks. It’s quite heavily populated, but so, so beautiful. The area was the centre of the industrial revolution so there are lots of old factories, remains of lead and coal mines too apparently,although maybe they were underground as I haven’t really noticed them. Along with the factories and mines come the rows of workers houses in all the villages and towns.

Little Castle Bolsover Castle

Little Castle Bolsover Castle

As well as quite a lot of driving in the area, we managed to visit a couple of Castles (Bolsover and Peveril), a big car boot sale and the Masson Cotton Mill museum over our three day sale. Bolsover was great, Peveril was up such a huge steep hill we gave up and sat and just enjoyed the views. The cotton mill museum was interesting as we made it in time to see several of the machines working.

Masson Cotton Mill

Masson Cotton Mill

What a great holiday we’ve had. My good friend Deb asked me what was the best bit. After thinking about it, I think the whole trip was better than we expected and there was very little in the end to complain about.

I won’t miss 6 foot wide roads and the 127 million people that seem to use them, stairs, crappy pillows, toilets that have to decide if they’re going to flush, hand held showers over baths, dogs (or their leftover smells) in restaurants, cafes, apartments, cottages, boats and in national parks.

I will miss our friends, our little car, amazing scenery, history everywhere and fantastic supermarkets.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Advertisements

Brodsworth Hall and Gardens and a braised bunny

Braised British Bunny

Braised British Bunny

Before we left home, we bought ourselves a year’s English Heritage Membership for 72 pounds. Last time we were here, we bought one for a week and had a great time using it so figured we’d get our money’s worth this time over our 10 week stay.

Today is the start of our 4th week here, and yesterdays visit to the magnificent Brodsworth Hall and Gardens saw our membership more than paid for!

It’s not just the visiting of various abbeys, churches castles and homes like Brodsworth, it’s the getting to them that makes it all fun. I can’t count how many times we’ve got ourselves slightly lost before arriving at our destination!

Brodsworth Hall and Gardens

Brodsworth Hall and Gardens

Of all the properties visited so far-Brodsworth Hall is maybe the best. It’s an old Victorian mansion that was last lived in in about 1990. The one remaining woman living there just found it too big and too lonely so moved out. It has enough original furnishings to make it feel comfy but not overstuffed, and they are in the same condition (but preserved in various ways) as when she left.

Brodsworth Hall and Gardens

Brodsworth Hall and Gardens

The gardens are stunning with a number of separate gardens (rose garden, fern grove, annual planting etc.)

Russ and I took a guided tour then spent 1.5 hours walking around the gardens, then ate a way overpriced lunch from the tea rooms on site. We finished our visit with a look around the bedrooms upstairs and the servants quarters before driving on to Leeds.

We’re staying with friends Iona and Simon for a few days and I was so pleased to finally get here after the drive from Brodsworth Hall. Leeds has a ring road around it with a roundabout approximately every 1/4 of a mile along it. We missed a few turns as our GPS dropped out at critical times so I was quite rattled by the time we finally arrived.

It was so nice to see Iona (we haven’t seen her since Todd and Deb were married well over a year ago) and great to meet Simon and his daughter Lucy finally too. Iona and Simon cooked us a lovely roast chicken dinner which we thoroughly enjoyed.

Today they’ve all gone camping leaving us to house-sit for the next couple of days. Tonight I’m cooking the rabbit we brought at Brigg farmer’s market on Saturday morning. I made stock out of last nights roasted chicken carcass and will add in the leftover roast potatoes and some fresh peas to my braised rabbit towards the end. What an easy dinner!

 Braised British Bunny

  • 2 tablespoon oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped coarsely
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 slices bacon, chopped
  • 1 rabbit, jointed into 6 pieces
  • plain flour
  • black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons English mustard
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup creme fraiche or sour cream
  • chopped fresh parsley
Braised British Bunny

Braised British Bunny

Method

  1. Heat the oil in a baking pan and saute the onion, garlic and bacon until the onion is softened.
  2. Toss the rabbit in flour seasoned with plenty of pepper then add to the pan and brown all over.
  3. Stir in the mustard, tomato paste and pour in the stock.
  4. Cook, covered in an oven heated to 160c for about 2 hours or until the rabbit is really tender.
  5. Stir through the creme fraiche and parsley and serve.*we had leftover roast potatoes from last night, so I added them and some green peas to the dish about 10 minutes before I served.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

UK continued

Flamborough Cliffs

Flamborough Cliffs

After a night back in Manchester with Phil and Pauline, Deb and Harry, we headed north east to Filey on the coast 6 miles from Scarborough.

I booked the accommodation before we left home in a complex a couple of miles out of town and while it was 10 pound cheaper for the week than the cottage in Wales, the two weren’t at all related. Enough to say, while some things were fine (a good cooker, dishwasher and washing machine) other things were dreadful. I wouldn’t recommend it to an enemy let alone a friend! Never mind, we used it as a base to get ourselves out and about and see heaps. Once again, our membership with English Heritage got a good work out.

UK's oldest surviving lighthouse

UK’s oldest surviving lighthouse

On our first day out around Filey, we visited the Bempton Cliffs to see the Gannet rookery. So many birds and chicks, it was amazing. We went to Flamborough where we saw Britain’s oldest standing lighthouses and the beautiful white chalk cliffs. It was a huge day of walking up and down but well worth it.

The next day, we went to Scarborough, just 6 miles from Filey to see their castle. It was good, but a mock battle (2 knights on horseback and about 10 soldiers a side) meant we couldn’t have an audio tour thingy so we really didn’t know what we were looking at. After that we went on to visit a Shire Horse centre. It turned out to be run by a man who fancied himself a cowboy so we got a lengthy display from him and his palomino all decked out in their western gear, followed by the shetland parade. After the parade, all the kids in the audience got to groom the shetlands, sit on them and have photos taken. We went for a look at the lovely big shire horses we’d actually come to see, then left. Go if you’ve never seen a horse up close, but give it a miss if you are at all a horse person lol.

Big boys playing silly games Scarborough Castle

Big boys playing silly games Scarborough Castle

Finally, we took a drive through the Dalby forest before heading home. A really pretty drive.

Monolith in the grounds Rudston Parish Church

Monolith in the grounds Rudston Parish Church

On our third day in Filey after a sleep in a cooked breakfast, we took a shortish drive out through the country side stopping at Agnes Burton house, Rushton Church with it’s ancint monolith (the tallest single standing stone in Britain) and the medieval village ruins at Wharran Percy (quite a walk in and out).

Day 4 was our biggest, and probably my favourite, day out. We drove about 180 miles (about 300ks) to visit Pickering Castle (maybe my favourite English Heritage Castle so far) and the Yorkshire Moors. The heather is in bloom right now, so the moors are a stunning green and pink in most parts. They are vast and really quite stark looking. Just beautiful!

Yorkshire Moors

Yorkshire Moors

The following day (our 5th) I suggested to Russ it would be a shame not to have a good look around Filey before we left so we walked about 5 ks around town-along the foreshore and promenade, up through the cliff gardens and out to the south cliffs for various views of town. It was really good and fun to watch the English tourists rugged up in their warm clothes trying to enjoy the beach.

Rotunda Filey Cliff Gardens

Rotunda Filey Cliff Gardens

Day 6 we went back to Scarborough to do the same-have a proper look around at there too. The town was crazy with tourists especially down at the harbour. We bought some new warm clothes as summer is well and truly gone but we aren’t prepared, had some lunch, then did heaps of walking down around the harbour. When my legs finally wouldn’t walk another step, we took the tram from the foreshore back up to the shops and back in the car to Filey. On the way back, we called in

Filey

Filey

to the very pretty Caytons Bay for view back to the Scarborough Castle and on to Filey. There was a surf school out on the waves, and a nice local stopped and explained what the huge concrete blocks we’d seen in a couple of places were. They were left overs from the 2nd world war but the land had eroded away from under them leaving them on the beach-just as it did to a few houses behind us (or they had been once upon a time).

Skidby Mill

Skidby Mill

Yesterday we headed to our B&B at Scunthorpe stopping at Skidby Mill on the way. The mill is a working one with a great little musuem that we both really enjoyed. It also has a cafe looking out onto the old farm yard, but we decided on fish and chips in Barton on Humber instead.

Scunthorpe is grim, but this being a long weekend (Bank Holiday weekend) we didn’t have a lot of choice.

It’s really industrial with power stations everywhere you look it seems. We walked past boarded up houses and a pub, past sad rows of houses to go out to dinner last night. Our Indian meal was great and it was so funny when the man taking our money at the end asked had we travelled far. We ended up with a few waiters crowded around us asking questions when the found out we’d come from Melbourne.

Detail Thornton Abbey Gatehouse built 1377

Detail Thornton Abbey Gatehouse built 1377

Today, we drove out of town and discovered the “good side” of Scunthorpe. Not great but so much nicer than here. We went to a farmer’s market at Brigg where we bought a frozen rabbit. It’s in the fridge here at the B&B and will be our dinner Monday night! After that we visited Thornton Gatehouse and Abbey, and St Peter’s Church in Barton on Humber. Both are English Heritage properties so I think that membership is well paid for now!

St Peters Barton on Humber

St Peters Barton on Humber

Tomorrow we head to friend Iona and Simon’s where we’ll spend the night with them, then house sit for them for a couple of nights before moving on. Next Friday, we go to the Lakes district for a week!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Back in Perth

Hawker's Market Perth

We’ve been back in Perth since early March and what a busy time it’s been.

In the past three weeks, we’ve been out to a Lebanese restaurant for Russ’s birthday, The Hawker’s Food Market in Perth’s CBD twice, yum cha, our local farmer’s market and taken a trip to the farm in New Norcia (to visit our caravan) with a stop at Bindoon Bakery on the way. We’ve BBQed and baby sat, we’ve seen our doctors and the optometrist, reserved powered sites at Coral Bay and Denham caravan parks for May, June and July but most exciting was booking a trip to the UK in August.

The Lebanese restaurant in Victoria Park was really good-we had a banquet for 5 and were given way too much yummy food to eat between 5. The staff very kindly packaged it up and Russ and I finished for our lunch the next day. I especiallyloved the smoky baba ganoush, light falafels and a really yummy cauliflower dish. The tabbouleh was nearly as good as my Uncle John used to make

Burning off at Monte Casino

Burning off at Monte Casino


Our trip to the farm was fun as usual but we went along with DIL deb and grandson Harry this time for a change. With it being the start of the burn off season, we all piled into the farm vehicles at sunset and headed up the paddock to watch a couple of enormous fires. The boss, his wife and son, the new Estonian farm hand, and all us had a great time. After the kids had exhausted themselves running around in the dirt, and we women had shared a bottle of wine-we went home for a dinner of beef and kangaroo cottage pie cooked by Pam. They shot and minced their own roo which was a first for me and the pumpkin in the mash was home grown!

Before Christmas, I read about the Hawker’s Market and wanted to go but something stopped us. I wasn’t missing out when Jo suggested they pick us up and we go a couple of weeks ago. I’d guess there is about 50 stalls serving food from all parts of the world although Asian and Spanish seem to be more common than anything else. We drove in the first time, but left our cars at a local railway station and trained in last Friday. Most popular dish last week for the four of us was the Spanish Quesidillas-so spicy and good! I really (really) enjoy the fact the markets are just about food; no overpriced olive oils, sauces and condiments, honey or soap. Just food. We’ve generally shared an entree type dish, had a main each (tasting each others of course) and finished with a hand made icy pole. That’s cost us about $44-not super cheap but cheaper than travelling to each country!

Russ and Jo check out the quesadillas

Russ and Jo check out the quesadillas

On May 11th we will leave Perth for Coral Bay where we’ve booked for three weeks, after our stay there we have about a week to get back to Denham where we’ll spend a month. We didn’t get there last year, so Russ is pretty keen to get out to Monkey Mia and try for some crabs. We haven’t eaten crab in so long!

Cousins Lewis and Harry at the farm

Cousins Lewis and Harry at the farm

And finally (like I said the most exciting thing at present), we’ve booked our flights to the UK. We’ll be flying with DIL Deb to give her a hand with baby Harry as she flies home for the first time in years to see family and go to the wedding party of her good friend Iona. Russ and I plan to hire a car and see as much as we can in 9 weeks staying in cottages and apartments so we can shop and cook as we go. We’ve got a number of friends and family we want to catch up with and different family members will be holidaying with us at different times. I really can’t wait but I’m putting it out of my mind for now (haha). We are hoping to slip a trip in to Switzerland but will have to see how that fits in with other plans.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Albany Farmers’ Market

Albany Farmers Market

Albany Farmers Market

Albany Farmers’ Market is held every Saturday in the middle of town. When we first visited it about 10 years ago, it was considered one of the best in Australia. It’s still good, but certainly not one of the best any more-the Kyilla Community Farmers Market market near Blair and Leah’s in Perth beats it hands down these days.

Yesterday, Russ and I, Janette and David drove the 120ks to Albany, mainly for the market but also to have a look around town too. Although the market is not quite as good as it used to be (where were the yabby people, the smokehouse goods, the baked treats?) we still brought home some great produce.

I got some lovely fresh lime cordial, chilli strawberry sauce and strawberry vinegar at one stall, leeks, peppery Farmers Market Saladrocket, local asparagus and cucumbers from another, jersey cow feta from yet another. I’m imagining a rocket, asparagus, feta cheese salad with strawberry vinaigrette beside a steak for my dinner tonight.

Salmon Holes

Salmon Holes

We drove out to Emu point and Middleton Beach to show J&D the parks we’ve stayed in on other visits, then went into the local Woolworths bought ourselves a cooked chook, fresh bread rolls and tomatoes and had a picnic by the water. After lunch we took a look around town, a drive around Princess Royal Harbour, then on to Frenchman Bay for a look at the new botanic gardens, the old whaling station and Salmon Holes.At Salmon Holes (named for the calm, sheltered pools the salmon like), we were almost blown off the lookout platform by the wind! I was thrilled to buy myself a new pair of UGG slippers in town. My last pair died a few years ago after about 23 years of hard wear. Here’s hoping this pair last as long!

Wildflowers Frenchman Bay

Wildflowers Frenchman Bay

We came home and while Russ cooked us a pork loin and roast vegies, I made creamed leeks with those lovely leeks we bought earlier in the day at the market. I also used some of the smoky, fatty bacon off cuts we bought at the Kyilla Community Farmers Market the week before. Without the bacon fat I’d use a couple of tablespoons of butter to cook the leeks. I didn’t get a photo of the leeks so you’ll just have to imagine!

Creamed Leeks

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 rashers bacon, diced
  • 2 leeks, washed sliced into thin rings
  • 1/4 cup cream
  • 2 teaspoons mustard (seeded or Dijon)
  • 40g grated parmesan (or as much or little as you like)
  • Plenty of freshly ground black pepper
  • Salt to taste (I used Maldon smoked salt)

Method

  1. Heat the butter and cook the bacon for a few minutes or until crispy and the fat is rendered from it.
  2. Add the sliced leeks and cook, stirring until the begin to soften. Put a lid on your pan and cook over a low heat until well softened and cooked.
  3. Add the remaining ingredients and stir until the cheese is melted, then serve. We had ours as a side dish, but I think this would be good over pasta too.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Kyilla Community Farmers’ Market

What sort of tomatoes would you like?

What sort of tomatoes would you like?

There mightn’t be many farmers throughout the Kyilla Community here in the centre of Perth, but my, they know how to put on a market. Russ and I are just back from there laden with treasures and full of plans as to what we should buy next time.

With Blair and Leah away, their mail has been piling up on the office desk. Last Sunday Russ asked me why I hadn’t shown him the flyer for the market. Truth was, I hadn’t even looked at it. I was heartbroken (I do love a market) until I saw it’s on EVERY Saturday and is just a couple of ks from here. So we hunted up our loose change and smaller notes, cooler bag and carry bags, and headed off.

Enjoying the market on a lovely Saturday morning

Enjoying the market on a lovely Saturday morning

After some fairly ordinary and small (Pine Creek Northern Territory with it’s 3 stalls being the smallest) farmers’ markets, we’ve learned not to expect to much, but this one was excellent. Organic grain artisan bread (we bought the pumpkin loaf), hand made pastas, gnocchi and Italian goodies (we bought the porcini and parmesan risotto balls and pumpkin and feta diamond risotto bites), lovely fresh vegies, organic meat (including duck and rabbit), home made small-goods, cheese, olive oil, seafood and a variety of interesting takeaway stalls. It’s the sort of place where you could go for coffee (single source of course), breakfast, then shop for the entire week-including some really interesting, well priced pre-prepared meals (just perfect for new mums we thought). I really wanted to try the Turkish food on offer but we’d just had breakfast at home, so I couldn’t justify it. The American bakery with it’s pies and sweet treats and various bagels-filled or unfilled looked good too.

Organic grain artisan breads

Organic grain artisan breads

Russ and I have had a couple of lovely days spent with Deb and Harry (does anyone else think of Blondie when they hear those two names?). Harry sucks like a Dyson vacuum cleaner and has given Deb’s breasts a bit of a seeing to. With Todd at work, I’ve had the pleasure of accompanying her and Harry to a number of appointments so I could hold, cuddle and comfort him whilst she was being seen to. When it was his turn I handed him over, then he got handed back to me. I’ve even been shown by the Lactation Consultant how to massage Debs’ breasts as she feeds Harry (to soften the tissue) if Todd’s not home to do it. Lucky Harry is such a gorgeous baby!

Russ has gardened while Deb and I did all that. He’s weeded, sprayed weed killer, and planted vegie seedlings. The garden is starting to look really good. I did a bit of weeding the other day, and whipper snipped yesterday. A mow and it’ll look a million dollars. Todd and Deb have heaps of tomatoes just about to start ripening and Todd has plans for me to make tomato sauce (ketchup) for him when they do.

Last night we had planned to park our car at the Glendalough Railway Station and take the train into the city for the Hawkers Food Market at Forrest Chase, but by about 4 pm, we were both too exhausted to think about showering, catching trains and maybe queuing for food then standing to eat. A roast of pork seemed much simpler and more relaxing in the end. And that market is also on every week of the summer. Once again, it looks excellent.

Tonight we have Harry bringing his parents along for a BBQ. The risotto balls and diamonds will become entree, and all the lovely veg we bought will be turned into a couple of salads.

Spanish Style Zucchini Salad

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 medium zucchini, diced
  • 1 small red onion, diced
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • 4 anchovies
  • 1 large garlic clove, sliced fine
  • 1 tablespoon cumin powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • juice one small lemon
  • 1/2 cup sultanas
  • 2 tablespoons chopped mint leaves
  • salt and pepper

DSCN9961

Method

  1. Heat the oil over a medium heat. Add the zucchini, onion, pine nuts, anchovies, garlic and spicesand cook until the zucchini is softened and the pine nuts a little browned-About 6 minutes.
  2. Remove from the heat and add the remaining ingredients. Stir and tip into a serving bowl. Serve at room temperature.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Broome

Camel ride at sunset on Cable Beach

Camel ride at sunset on Cable Beach

6 years ago we visited Broome for the first time and didn’t really enjoy our two week stay. We decided that in the future we’d pass right by the turn off into town but we have good friends here so visited again two years ago.

Gantheaume Point

Gantheaume Point

Two years ago we stayed 9 nights and loved it. We realised then, that we’d not enjoyed the caravan park (and the site we were allotted) on our first stay. On our second visit, and this one, we decided to stay at Cable Beach Caravan park and our opinion of Broome changed dramatically! The only problem now is cost-at $52 a night for a site, it’s yet another place getting too expensive for us to stay at. It’s a pity because the sites are big and well shaded and the park has lots of ablution blocks with great, big, showers! We were given a site by the pool and although we haven’t swum in it, the water running over the rocks is a very pleasant sound to sit outside by.

It’s the last of our 5 nights tonight, and we really have had another good time. Our boat motor

Taken from Town Beach boat ramp as we launched the boat

Taken from Town Beach boat ramp as we launched the boat

had to be serviced and have some minor repairs done (very important it’s going well for Port Smith where we like to get right out in the sea on good days), then we got in two days of fishing. One the first, we launched off the Gantheaume Point end of Cable Beach. It was fairly windy, we caught no fish to speak off and I really didn’t enjoy the day. Yesterday we put in at Town Beach and headed up the creek-it was sheltered, not to hot, calm and we caught fish! A thoroughly enjoyable afternoon! Right now, I’m in the process of pickling the queen fish and trevally we caught and we’re having sooty grunter for dinner

As well as fishing, we’ve been enjoying sunsets on the beach, the beach, shopping and last night, we had dinner out at a Japanese restaurant with our good fiends Jimmy and Beth. We met Jimmy and Beth 7 years ago at Coral Bay when we were all caravanning. They gave up when they got to Broome, Beth got work and they bought a house and rescued a couple of dogs and a cat. They are the reason we keep visiting Broome now.

Sunset

Sunset

Dinosaur footprint

Dinosaur footprint

This morning with the very low tide, we walked out to the dinosaur footprints at Gantheaume Point. If anyone is liable to hurt themselves, it’s Russ, and he did a great job of it this morning. He slipped on the rocks as we were clambering over them to get back to the car and cut his hand and all the way up his arm on the barnacles on that rock. He really made a mess of it. After we’d been to the dinosaur footprints, we visited the Courthouse Market. It’s very big so I can’t believe that a market of it’s size had only ONE fresh fruit and veg stall which was annoying as we need to stock up for our stay at Port Smith. We go to Port Smith for 9 days tomorrow. This morning, I was pleased to run into Steve and Kathy who we met in Karumba and find out they’ll be spending a few days at Port Smith too.

Quick Pickled Fish

Ingredients

  • White vinegar
  • 1/2 Kg scaled fish fillets (fillets of herring or tommy rough can be used but whiting fillets are recommended)
  • 1 large onion, finely sliced
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil or peanut oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
  • 1 small clove of garlic – crushed
Pickled Fish

Pickled Fish


Optional Ingredients

  • 1/4 teaspoon chilli powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon lemon pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon dill

Method

  1. Add all the ingredients to the vinegar and stir. Place the fillets in a suitable glass container and cover with the vinegar mix. Leave to stand for approximately 1/2 an hour

Pickled fillets are ready to eat after 1/2 an hour, but taste better if refrigerated and left for about 12 hours.
The fillets can be stored in the bottom of the refrigerator for up to 10 days. Always make sure that there is some liquid covering them when stored.
They can be used as an entrée,or a quick snack on a hot day – taste great.
NOTE: Quantities of herbs, spices and garlic can be varied to suit individual taste.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.