Sunday, 25 April 2010

Seven Types of Herbs in Our Balcony Pot


Sorry that I have been missing in action!

Althought I have highlighted that I will be tending to SEVEN, therefor not going to blog so regularly here, it is not entirely the truth.  The truth is, I have been doing lots of gardening, going out shopping and simply enjoying myself at the balcony since the weather is soooo gorgeous.  To those whom knows me, you should come and visit me to understand what I am talking about.  The sound of the birds chirping while laying on the deck with a book on the hand is just so ... tranquil ... here.  Love it.
Anyway, a bit of update.  This is one of the garden centre we visited last weekend in Holland.  Can´t remember the name of this Garden Centre.  All I remembered was, it is as huge as Hilgert, my regular place here BUT stocks up a really good variety and SUPER FRESH flowers, plants etc.  We didn´t buy much except for some packets of long bean seeds and a bag of red onion bulbs.


The picture below is our herb pot on our balcony. So far, I have in them Basil which I seeded from scratch and honestly, I am not going to bother next year because the growned ones cost just a little bit more and is ready to be harvested in a week versus me having to wait for almost a month here to even see some sprouts. Then, there´s Barlauch (this wonderful, garlicky smelling herb which the locals here use to make a MEAN pesto sauce without any further garlic added, how great is that!).  And there´s Majoram, Dill, Coriander, Oregano and Chives, in that order from left to right.  I would love to add more herbs such as Sage, Thyme, Rosemary, Chevril and Mint but let´s see if there´s space still when they grow fully.

I have been doing a bit of planning on our plot downstairs.  While the tulips are growing well, it won´t last long till summer hence, what shall we do after that?  I have planted some Tigerblumen Bulb on a row to replace some Tulips where else still searching for ideas to replace the two circles of dark pink tulips still.

Thursday, 22 April 2010

Today´s Al-fresco Dinner on our Balcony


Yesterday, the weather went a bit havoc around the afternoon by sinking all the way down to 7C suddenly from 20C, with rain and light SNOW for an unbelievable 5 minutes length.  Today, it got back to its predictable nature.  Spring weather as how it is suppose to be. I quickly took the opportunity to bring out our new deck chair cover, lay them out, turned on the water pump to our little water pond to enjoy my meal alone on this gorgeous day ... :-)


Here´s what I ate.  Nasi Lemak ... with a twist which I call Thai Style Nasi Lemak.  Nothing that different from the usual actually except for the presence of Thai Curry Powder and Fish Sauce ...

Tuesday, 13 April 2010

SEVEN Officially Takes Off ...


My namecards, postcards, sales kit and website´s all ready for take off.  Here´s another chapter of my life in this new land where I will be bringing fingerfood (amuse bouche, tapas, dimsum etc) experiences from all over the world to their doorsteps.  Hope they like it.

Will be busier than usual peeps hence not so much of update as previous. 

I am really excited!

Friday, 9 April 2010

12 Euro Balcony´s Water Garden Project ( Part One)

They say Pisceans are happiest when near water.

But what can this Piscean do when she is surrounded mostly by flat land right in the midde of a huge continent and the fastest way she can get her dose of water splashes is in a ONE, and ONLY public pool here. Fortunately, there is a little black container on our balcony.  Looked a bit tired but with a bit of imagination and willingness to get our hands dirty, anything is possible! Hub decided to re-wrap the container again with new wood, got them extended lengthwise to include a decorative area and will probably get them painted too (soon). We didn´t want to spent much but boy, did my 12 Euro investment go a long way!

Here´s what I did. 

a) Added ONE each of Water Hyazinth and Water Salad into the water pond area
From what I gather, they grow really fast and forms little ones call ´daughters` in just one season hence, will give this a try before investing more.  This I feel is the most expensive part of the water garden project, which is the water plants.  Though this is nothing compares to our previous investment of 12 Euro per stalk Lotus Flower, I still cringe with the thought of parting with my 2.49 Euro for each plant.


b) Secured a colourful Bird House at the furthest end of the decorative corner after filling up the base of the extended box with soil.  Picked up from Blokker at 2.99 Euro last week, I find the bird house so springy looking, super cute, and fascinating! 


c) Transfered an old windmill from my herb pot to here.
I find that it balances off the whole concept, adding more colour and character to the place.

d) Create a mini garden outside the birdhouse with seasonal flowers and plants.
I picked up 3 kinds of plants from the garden centre today eg Ganzeblumchen @79 cents, Tiny White Flowers @ 1 Euro and the Green Patch @ 1.50 Euro, and could not be more pleased with the end result.  As I know, the tiny white flower and the green patch grows horizontally and hopefully soon will look sort like a meadow, and the Ganzeblumchen will grow vertically, creating a contrast in the whole garden.

e) Lastly, Fill up the gaps with Dark Stones to give the whole concept a contrast.

And tadaaaaa ... what do you think? Super colourful and cute isn´t it?

Next, hubby´s turn in transforming this project further :-)

Monday, 5 April 2010

Eggs, Bunnies, Rabbits and Even Duck on Our Easter Celebration

Happy Easter Everyone! 

Have you had your fair share of eggs for this year?  I am not sure about you, I definately had enough!  Look at all the eggs in the house!  Some edible, some not, and some made of yummiliciousss chocolate - which is sooo bad for my current loosing weight program :-)  But nevertheless, it was fun filled day with people that matter, COLOURFUL and chirpy as how spring is suppose to be and I enjoyed it tremendously.  We decorated our home a little with some eggs, one in the kitchen where I placed some yummy Hema Chocolate Eggs into a flower decor, and the rest goes to an egg basket in the livingroom´s dining table.  Nothing fancy but perfect for those impromptu moment and easy to reach.


We had a mini celebration downstairs with lovely homemade cake (from Mama) after my fried kuey teow lunch.  One was a tart lookalike cake base filled with seasonal berries (yummm, it was really fresh but a tad sourish as it is still early spring), and the other was straight out from the can mandarin orange which Mama combined with quark, and turning them into this gorgoeoussss looking and super tasty, super yummy, super calorie-laden white looking vanilla based sponge cake which I cannot get enough off. We had egg naturally.  In hardboiled form.  My second one for the day after the earlier one for breakfast.  It is a tradition it seems.  And amidst our conversation, we casually popped the chocolate eggs into our mouth which Mama dropped casually on the table earlier.


Dinner was downstairs again.  While the women in the house opted for smoked salmon to go with the seasonal salad and egg slices, the men went for some porky goodness aka Ham Slices on toast.  That´s appetiser.  We were stuffed by then as Mama had earlier filled us up with Riesling Spatlese 2003 in between break after our coffee/cake session.  Main course thankfully was light.  German sausage puff pastry roll which Mama prepared two rolls each but everyone ended up finishing only one - except for hubby :-)

We came up stuffed but happy.  Thanks Karola and Dirk for the yummy looking self-baked Chocolate Coated Rabbit Bread.  Its too pretty to be eaten!  I hope Mama don´t mind the Easter Decoration we gave her with a one-eye duck instead of a chick/hen.  I cannot believe hubby can´t tell the difference when he picked that up from the store earlier!

Well .. my Lou Kung.  Love him to bits :-)

Saturday, 3 April 2010

Spring Makes Me Spent More ...

especially when a visit to Enschede is called for, the nearest Netherland city from our place. Holland as one know is famous for their flowers and due to this, they seem to have a lot more choices in home decoration to suppliment their flower industry.  One of my favourite place to hop to whenever I am in Holland are Blokker and Hema.  I will without fail walk out with something, each time.  Today was another one of those days, went to Holland to snack on their fresh fish but end up coming home with unnessary things ... haha! Here´s what we bought ...

top left : todays shopping haul, the cafe area at enschede, one of my favourite flower stall in enschede with the best flower collection and my herb seeding pot.  the dills, coriander and basil are growing well.

We bought a Bird House!  At a steal too from Blokker at 2.99 Euro! I am not sure if I have mention this, I was pretty frustrated with this little bird whom makes such a big splash in our old, water garden located next to our Glass Door last Spring/Summer and that resulted in me having to clean the glass each time after his bath session.  He would then fly over to neighbour´s place to suntan himself (I am not joking! this bird really knows how to enjoy!) before flying over again to our little water pond to splash again.  Not that there´s no other water outlet around, there are plenty mind you, but he just like ours.  Hence, I had been bugging hubby to move the container to the other end, away from the Glass Door to safe us from all the cleaning trouble again.  But somewhere along the process, can´t remember how the conversation went ... we came up with the idea of upgrading the water garden.  Haha.  This little bird now not only can have his daily bath, but also a nice house to come home too! And I have noooo idea why am getting excited for him even after all that he´d done! Ha.  Anyway, yeah ... I requested hubby to redo the box panel surrounding the water garden but it seems, we are getting ambitious by the day because we now not only have a bird house in addition to the water sprinkle, we´re incorporating in a garden patch for flowers and a windmill!  I guess I will feature them when it is ready, okay?  Too difficult to describe them here :-)


So anyway, more on shopping.  I came home with a lovely Clear Vase from Blokker. Not cheap though at 10,99 Euro and not showned here, but I guess it is worth every cent because I always seem to have problem finding the perfect vase whenever I receive or buy a bunch of Tulips, Lilies or Roses.  All our Vases are of slim design and I always feel for the flower whenever I fill them in it, as though they are choking for more air! Haha. Well.  I am a fan of Milk Jug too, but not so much for filling them with milk but instead for flowers :-) hence when I spotted them in Blokker at 1,99 Euro,  I simply could not resist picking it up.  Another item which I had been looking for, for the longest time is the Wood & Metal Signages which one can write on with chalk at 1,99 Euro for 3 pieces each pack (and I bought 3 packs).  Now that I am into gardening, and learning the tricks of it, labelling is important as well as it being aesthetic.  I´ve also picked up Tiger Flower Bulbs (1.50 Euro) for seeding next month to replace the Tulips and this gorrrgeous looking KugelPrimel Flower (1 Euro per pot) with its purple head of tiny flower steaming out from a stalk is my favourite buy for this trip!  I loveeee this soo much! Purple Muscari is common here but a White Green Muscari is rare hence I could not resist picking a pot back at 1.00 Euro each. Other than that, 3 little pots of Stepmother, two whites and one purple came home with us too at 1.50 Euro for three. What else is missing ... ah yes.  A packet of very yummyyyyy Chocolate Easter Eggs filled with Eierliquor (Egg Liquor), Caramel, Butterscotch and Dark Chocolate Mousse at 3.00 Euro per packet.  It´s from Hema and its really Good!