Sunday, 29 December 2013

HERBS and AROMATICS that can handle the heat...

Still mucking around with what I can get to grow here, but these are some
of the successes...



At the CARWASH...

Saturday, 28 December 2013

"Scratching" the coconut...

Solomon Islanders use the coconut for many different things, but it is also a big part
of their diet.  So they are expert at getting the "meat" out of it in a process they call

They make it look easy (but it's not!). 
Thanks to Carlton who did this in about 5 minutes flat!
The grater is really sharp, so for the amateur you are taking your life in
your hands!
After the meat is out, we blend the grated coconut to make it a bit finer. 
Then just add a bit of warm water and squeeze the grated coconut in a muslin
cloth to extract the "milk."
This is from one coconut!
Now we have two products - the milk and the grated coconut.
We dry out the grated coconut in the oven or toast it in a dry fry pan.  This can be used
to add to homemade muesli or cakes, etc.  The milk is for the curries!  YUM! 
No more canned coconut milk for us!

Sunday, 22 December 2013

Guava Jam

We go to Honiara Central Market and another fruit and vegetable market close by
(funnily enough it is called "Fish Market").  I never get bored with looking around
at what different things I can find to experiment with.  This week my score was
these beautifully scented GUAVAS...


900g slightly under-ripe guavas
lemon juice

Wash and cut guavas and put into large pot with enough water
to barely cover. Boil until soft and then rub through a coarse
sieve. Measure the pulp and juice mixture.  For every 3/4 cup of
mixture add 1/4 cup lemon juice and 1 cup of sugar. Put into a
large pot and stir continually to dissolve sugar while bringing to
the boil. Boil until mixture reaches setting stage, approximately
18-20 minutes.

Yield: 5-6 cups

Boil until soft.

Cooling sealed jars of jam.

Finished product.

Friday, 20 December 2013

Island views

This is the view we see every day - always changing and always beautiful.
It is the Island of Savo, a small dormant volcano.

Tuesday, 17 December 2013

Banana bread

Of course we have loads of bananas here, but I'm still working on perfecting banana bread.
Here's a pretty yummy recipe I came across.  (My version left out the cranberries due to


This post was supposed to be all about the banana bread.
But our local store had imported peaches (tiny little ones) that we
couldn't resist, so to make them taste more special I roasted them.
(Toasted the banana bread, then a "bit" of butter...)

Sunday, 15 December 2013


We came across these children mucking around on their homemade instruments and
 they gave us an impromptu concert. Cool aye!

Random Solomon Scenes...

Wednesday, 11 December 2013


Look what's hanging over the fence...


What we do with mangos:

Fruit salad
Coulis for desserts
Frozen to put in smoothies


Tuesday, 10 December 2013

Trying to grow strawberries from seed at over 30 degrees...

Customs let me bring in this nifty little strawberry seed kit, so I thought I would have a go at "just adding water."

Yes it does look like a takeaway coffee cup and I think that the heat here made the conditions inside the container a lot like a hot cup of coffee!

So after 6 weeks and no sign of seeds I decided to dump the dirt into one of my outdoor pots and just see if anything happened...

After another couple of weeks 8 tiny plants appeared! 
I spent a lot of time on the internet trying to identify
if these leaves look anything like strawberry seedlings
and not just some random weeds!

Ok, so if the poor things hadn't enough to deal with heat and humidity! 
I started to wonder why there was an indent in the ground each morning,
so I did a night watch one evening...


Friday, 22 November 2013


I'm not a health nut, BUT it's great to have a variety of salad stuff, so making my own sprouts has been one way of coming up with something new to add to the salad bowl. 

Last time we went to Australia we found a market stall in a farmers market that sold sprouting "stuff," so I've been able to widen out my range of "things to sprout" - love the "Crunchy Munchy Mix" that I've got with a mix of chickpeas, mung beans and different lentils.

Day 3

Day 5


Thursday, 21 November 2013

Monday, 18 November 2013

Chocolate bread (Petits Pains Au Chocolat A L'Ancienne)

We're crazy about chocolate croissants...

But since we can't get them here, I was very happy when I came across this recipe from another blogger..

Here's the link:

And here's my version:

(Fresh out of the oven - had to decorate and eat one straight away!)

Each one has lavish amounts of chocolate in the middle, so you have to make sure they are warmed up if you eat them later, as you want the yummy gooey chocolate middle to explode in your mouth!

Fantastic with a good latte!


Saturday, 16 November 2013

What you can do with tropical flowers...

Some unique plants to use for decorating here...

A whole lot of frangipanes to make a lei...

A friend did this arrangement...


I learnt how to do this in Bali...


Trying to remain creative...

Breakfast fruit salad

Decided not to dump all this beautiful fruit in a bowl this morning - mangos, star fruit, kiwis and bananas. Then homemade yoghurt mixed with homemade guava jam...