lavandula in bloom

Sweet wishes for 2014 to you and your family.

I'm thrilled to be free to blog again. And what better way to celebrate than a return visit to delicious Daylesford in country Victoria. Outside Daylesford at Shepherds Flat the lavender is ripe for the picking at Lavandula Swiss Italian Lavender Farm. In fact their Annual Harvest Festival took place last weekend. You might remember my last visit there, Alla Wolf Tasker's fabulous Lakehouse lunch & the beautiful photos my sister Lise captured. 

Revisiting Lavandula, whether in person or in pictures is always good for the soul. 

Down the road from Daylesford in the town of Musk Vale lives Kate Ulman. I was thrilled to read that Kate of Daylesford Organics & Foxs Lane blogspot recently gave herself 6 months off to road trip around Australia in a vintage caravan. Her family's inspiring story and farm is featured in this January's Country Style magazine. Bushfires, floods and locust plagues just can't keep a good Aussie down. Certainly not when there's a dream to catch. We love your spirit Kate & your new book too  'Vantastic' .

For me 2014 will bring some freedom to catch dreams too. I'm finally able to enjoy online jottings and lots of zesting & bottling.  As always the citrus at Weka Weka just can't ripen quick enough for me and my jars. The trees are heavily laden with green fruits. I've used the last of my Ruby Red Marmalade and Preserved Lemons :-( but won't be long before there's more. Thank goodness for Grandma's Salad Dressing & plentiful stocks of Red Wine Chilli Jelly and Tomato Relish for that summer entertaining. Just let me know if you've run out. Happy to post some to you.

Can't wait to connect more regularly with you my MFK friends. And the new local businesses that have popped up during my absence in corporate coffeeland. Lovely stores like Paint Me White in Mudgeeraba village. That Annie Sloan Chalk paint is truly fab. No priming, just swish it on your special timber pieces and hey presto!  

My sincere hope is that you've had time to stop and smell the lavender over the holidays, bake and even perhaps restored a treasured piece of old furniture. No resolutions at this end, just a plan to invest more time in preserving the seasons, my girls, new friends and the sanctum of kitchen & garden spaces. That's where I'll be. Perhaps back at our local Farmers Markets too, selling my wares. I'll keep you posted on that one.  

Warm wishes. I look forward to talking and sharing with you regularly throughout the year. Don't forget to take the Pavlova with you this upcoming Australia Day weekend.  Whether at the beach or out in the countryside, may you enjoy our beautiful sunburnt country. Happy Australia Day.

quintessential aussie bathing sheds at Mornington, Vic. a recent holiday stop