Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Strawberry Jam.

Isn't it marvelous when you go to the supermarket & they have just want you want on special? I had a hankering for some homemade strawberry jam, & there they were, tubs & tubs of gorgeous strawberries, all on sale, just for me. The house smells divine at the moment, there is no smell like fresh strawberry jam. The problem will be keeping it away from the other people who live in this house, so I don't think that it will last for long.

Strawberry Jam


  • 1.5kg hulled strawberries (I do chop them up into big pieces)
  • 0.5 cup lemon juice (I only use the fresh stuff)
  • 5 cups sugar
  1. Combine all the ingredients in a large saucepan.
  2. Stir over heat, without boiling, until all the sugar has dissolved.
  3. Bring to the boil, & then simmer, uncovered,  without stirring, for 20 minutes or until the jam jells when tested.
  4. Pour the jam into hot & sterilised jars & seal.
  5. This recipe makes about 5 cups of jam.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Lemon Marmalade

A friend of mine has the most magnificent lemon tree, which is heavily weighed down with an abundance of delicious juicy lemons & I love lemon marmalade. So today I made some. This is a very easy recipe & you will love the lemony smell wafting through your house, I promise.


Lemon Marmalade


  • 1 kg lemons
  • 1 kg sugar
  • 7 cups water

  1. Halve/quarter the lemons length way.
  2. Cut into thin slices (I use a food processor, much quicker).
  3. Soak the cut lemons overnight with the water, keep them covered.
  4. Transfer the mixture into a large pan.
  5. Bring to the boil & then simmer, covered, for about 40 minutes, or until the rind is soft.
  6. Add the sugar: stir over heat until the sugar is dissolved.
  7. Bring to the boil & then boil, uncovered, for about 30 minutes, or until the marmalade jells when tested.
  8. Pour into hot sterilised jars & seal.
  9. Makes about 6 cups. 

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Golden Syrup Dumplings

This is one of my all time favourite desserts, but one that I rarely make. Why? I don't know. It is just so very easy to whip up a batch of these dumplings & then lie back to enjoy the yummy food baby. For Father's Day I cooked a rather superb lamb roast (with all the trimmings) & then I made these dumplings for dessert. And yes, it was awesome! 

Give them a go, you'll be glad you did. And then go on a diet the next day.

Golden Syrup Dumplings.
  • 1½ cup SR flour 
  •  2 tbsp caster sugar
  •  60gm butter, melted
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  •  ¼ cup  milk
  • 325ml water
  • ½ cup golden syrup
  • ½ cup brown sugar 
  • ½ tsp lemon juice
  • 60gm extra butter
  1. Sift the flour into a mixing bowl.Add the caster sugar & stir until well combined
  2. Make a well in the centre. 
  3.  Combine the melted butter, eggs & milk & add this mixture to the dry ingredients
  4. Using a knife, stir until it is all just combined.
  5. Combine the water, syrup, brown sugar, juice & extra butter in a large pan.
  6. Stir over high heat until the sugar has dissolved: bring to the boil.
  7. Carefully drop heaped teaspoons of the flour mixture into the syrup.
  8. Reduce the heat to low & cover the pan: cook for 10 minutes, or until the dumplings have risen & have cooked through.
  9. Ladle the syrup over the dumplings occasionally during cooking.
  10. Serve with ice-cream.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

The Orange Dress

This little dress makes me smile. It is the same as the pattern used for the Cherry Dress, obviously just with different fabrics. And they WORK so much. Again, the photo does not do the dress any justice at all, it is such a vibrant & very happy dress :)

You can buy this dress here

Spotty Pillowcase Dress

This little dress is just so gorgeous, the colours work really well together I think. It would be a great summer frock as the ties form the sleeves & are adjustable. Also, it will be great for winter: imagine it with a long sleeved top underneath & with leggings/boots. The top fabric is a sheer one, so you can see the patterns underneath.

You can buy this dress here: Size 3
You can buy this dress here: Size 5

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

The Cherry Dress.

How gorgeous is this toddler dress?? I bought the pattern via a PDF pattern on Etsy - so how modern & up to date am I? The beauty of the PDF pattern is that I only have to buy it once, then print it out at any time & just cut out the size that I need. This dress is a size 3, & a wonderful combination of two of my favourite colours, pink & green. I love that the fabrics fit together so well, when really they probably shouldn't.

You can buy this dress here

A gorgeous ruffled skirt!

I found this pattern on the internet & absolutely fell in love with it. Of course, I could only buy it on the internet so had to wait AGES for it to arrive ((I am not so patient at times!)) Mum came fabric shopping with me, & thank goodness for that, because picking seven different fabrics to fit with each other in some way is not so easy. Luckily Mum & I have similar tastes, & it was such fun to do with her. The skirt itself was really easy to make, it is basically just panels, with no tricky sewing at all.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Peanut Butter Biscuits.

I have a guilty secret: I love these biscuits & would eat them every day if I could. Which is why I don't make them too often. In just in loading up this blog page, I have eaten three. So now you see why I cannot be trusted. YOU are however, I am sure, totally trustworthy. Therefore, you must make these right now.

Peanut Butter Biscuits

1 cup plain flour
½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
Pinch of salt
½ cup butter
¾ cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla essence
1 cup crunchy peanut butter

  1. Sift together the flour, soda & salt. Stand aside for later.
  2. Using electric beaters, cream together the butter & sugar, until light & fluffy.
  3. In another bowl, mix the egg & vanilla & gradually add to the butter mixture.
  4. Stir in the peanut butter & blend through thoroughly.
  5. Stir in the dry ingredients & then chill for at least 30 minutes, until firm.
  6. Preheat the oven to 180oC & grease 2 – 3 baking trays.
  7. Spoon out rounded teaspoonfuls of the dough & roll into balls.
  8. Place the balls on to the baking trays & press flat with a fork, making a criss cross pattern.
  9. Bake for 12 – 15 minutes until lightly coloured.
  10. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.
  11.  Makes approximately 24 biscuits.

Monday, June 4, 2012

More little dresses.

Last weekend & this weekend I made two more of the little dresses, in glorious polka dots, and this time I added the sun hats. I think these will be the last ones of this pattern that I make for a while, but they were fun to do as first projects.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Getting back into sewing.

My maternal grandmother was a brilliant craftswoman. She did tapestry, fine crochet, knitting & just about anything else you can name. What I really remember however, was her as a seamstress. I used to spend a lot of time with her, & I best remember her making beautiful dresses for the rich women of Ballarat. I was a little kid, sitting quietly in the corner, watching her take their measurements, discuss the style they wanted & then she would make up the patterns. Her work was exquisite & she was quite busy with that work. Luckily, she also spent a lot of time with me, teaching me all she knew. Also, luckily for me, after she died, I was given all her craft supplies, some patterns & leftover fabrics & tapestry threads. I cherish them so much, often just pull them out to look at them, touch them again & I remember her so well from each item.

Recently I decided to get back into sewing, just for something to do as I used to really enjoy it, especially when the boys were little. This is my first project! I was so thrilled with how it finished up: it looked like it had been "professionally" made. And even more thrilling, a dear friend of mine bought it for her daughter. She sent me photos of her modelling it & I became all teary, because she looked so pretty in something that I had made, & I didn't even stuff up the button holes!


Thursday, May 10, 2012

Honey Jumbles

Do you remember being able to buy Honey Jumble biscuits from the supermarket? They don't seem to around to much any more, which is really sad. Jeremy just loves them, so I made some yesterday, from a recipe I found on It's an easy recipe, makes 20 HUGE biscuits, & is really true to the original taste. Hope you try them, & let me know what you think.

Honey Jumbles.

  • 60g butter, chopped
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups plain flour
  • 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp mixed spice
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 2 tsp milk
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 1/2 cups pure icing sugar, sifted
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • Pink food colouring
  • Combine butter, honey and sugar in a saucepan over medium heat.
  • Cook, stirring, for 3 minutes or until butter has melted. Bring to the boil.
  • Remove from heat. Set aside for 10 minutes.
  • Sift flour, bicarbonate of soda, ginger, mixed spice and cloves over butter mixture.
  • Add milk.
  • Stir to combine. Cover.
  • Set aside for 1 hour or until mixture has cooled and thickened.
  • Preheat oven to 180°C/160°C fan-forced.
  • Line 2 large baking trays with baking paper.
  • Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead lightly.
  • Divide dough into quarters.
  • Roll 1 portion into a 25cm-long log shape. Cut into 5cm-long pieces.
  • Place on prepared trays, leaving room for spreading. Using a wooden spoon, flatten each piece of dough until 5mm-thick.
  • Repeat with remaining dough portions. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until light golden.
  • Stand on tray for 10 minutes. 
  • Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
  • Using a whisk beat the egg white in a bowl until foaming.
  • Gradually beat in icing sugar until combined.
  • Stir in lemon juice.
  • Spoon half the mixture into another bowl.
  • Tint pink with food colouring. Spread half of the biscuits with pink icing.
  • Spread remaining biscuits with white icing.
  • Set aside for 30 minutes or until set.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Where to buy barberries?

For those who were asking, I found a barberry seller! They are located in Melbourne with various shops around, but they also post out. Mine should arrive in a few days, & I am a tad over-excited by the prospect. Perhaps I should get a life.

You can buy your barberries from NSM Wholesalers. They were so nice & helpful, made it all quite a pleasant experience. And if anyone else finds any other barberry recipes please let me know.

16 Years of Marriage

Jeremy & I recently celebrated our 16 year wedding anniversary. Who would have thought it? I must say it has been a great 16 years, full of laughter, not too many arguments & always feeling loved by a genuinely nice man. He is my biggest supporter, biggest critic & my bestest friend in the whole wide world. So, Jem, thanks for the past 16 years, thanks for our sons & our life together. And thank you for my lovely anniversary flowers. I love you to the moon & stars & back again.

I won a Kreativ Blogger Award!

Wow! Yesterday I won a Kreativ Blogger Award, nominated by a dear friend of mine, Stephanie. You simply must have a look at her lovely blog There She Goes where she shares her thoughts on life, love, children, work & all things. You will enjoy yourself, her words are lovely.

So, in line with the Kreativ Blogger award rules, here are 7 things about me that you may or may not know:
  1. Last year I completed a course which I have been wanting to do for such a long time. I am not going to say what it is (in such a public forum) as I do not want to jinx myself. My results & application have been submitted to where they need to go & now I am just waiting to hear the outcome. All bits crossed for my dream being achieved!
  2.  I love sewing but have not done so creatively in a very long time. I had the sewing machine serviced this week so I have no excuses to make something fabulous now & have various projects swirling in my head.
  3. I love tapestry & cross stitch, & have made quite a few which I am so proud of. I must post up some photos of them actually.
  4. I absolutely loathe other people's feet & am not too dramatically fond of my own. I will never suck your toes.
  5. Both of my parents arrived in Australia post WW2 from Holland. I cannot believe how brave their parents were in bringing the family to a totally new country to give their children ( & subsequently me) a chance at a better life.
  6. I love living in Ballarat. I love the weather, the peacefulness of where we live & the chances that we have with truly great schools, the University, the food & the friends that we have here.
  7. I am very intolerant of whingers & whiners, the people who always feel hard done by when in fact, life is a tad difficult at that particular time. The genuine ones: I am with you all the way & will fight for you, but to those with the victim mentality: suck it up, get on with it & remember there are always others far worse off than us.

And so, to my Kreativ Blogger Award winners: thank you to each & every one of you as you bring joy & interest to my life xx

  1. A Bex & a Good Lie Down: I love Hazel & her world view. She makes me laugh & have a good think about things in general. 
  2. A Goddess in the Kitchen: Ella is a fabulous cook who recently moved to PNG with her husband. This blog is about cooking & life in PNG.
  3. Art Deco Buildings: my friend David has taught me so much about the beauty that is an art deco building. I had no idea that they were so lovely.
  4. Flower Garden: Annie is a lovely lady in Ballarat, with gorgeous photography skills. This blog is peaceful & pretty.
  5. Kabri's Blog: this is my friend Karo who lives in Finland. She also has briard dogs & she is a fab photographer.
  6. Missy Mao Mao: Marilyn is a very talented & creative sewer. I do feel envy when I look at all her stuff & have one of her beautiful handbags.
  7. Gleeful: Jayne's blog is inspiring in just appreciating something each day & feeling thankful for what we have & do. Simple concept, but very awesome.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Moraba-ye Zereshk

I have a most wonderful friend (insert "sistah") named Beck. She is warm, generous, funny, wise & a truly beautiful soul. I trust & admire her so much. I am times am very jealous of her strength, intelligence & her outer beauty. She is a crazy girl who challenges me & makes me feel all warm & fuzzy inside at how lucky I am to be her friend. She went shopping the other day & rang me from some exotic spice store in Melbourne to see if I wanted anything. So, I just said: buy me something I don't have, pick something....... & of course she decided to take it that one step further by buying me something I had never ever heard of & then found me a recipe. Who on earth has heard of a BARBERRY? ?

Apparently they are widely cultivated in Iran as mainly a dried fruit & they also are reported to have medicinal purposes. Beck found me the MOST DIVINE preserve recipe. I can't describe how beautiful this jam is, & if you do happen to find a barberry seller then please give this recipe a go. The berries are teeny tiny, like currants & they are quite tangy. With the other ingredients, this jam packs a flavourful punch. Thanks Beck for this recipe & the chance to discover something utterly delightful. I love you my friend xx. 

Moraba-ye Zereshk (Barberry Preserve with Cinnamon & Vanilla - from "Saraban")

100gm dried barberries
260gm sugar
1 tbsp cracked cardamom pods
1 cinnamon stick, broken in half
1 vanilla pod, split
700ml boiling water
  1. Soak the barberries in cold water for 2 minutes & then drain
  2. Put the barberries in a heavy based saucepan with the remaining ingredients.
  3. Bring to the boil over a medium heat
  4. Lower the heat & cook at a gentle simmer for 40 - 50 minutes or until the syrup coats the back of a spoon thickly.
  5. Stir regularly & skim off from time to time if needed.
  6. Ladle into sterilised jars & pour on enough syrup to cover completely
  7. Seal while hot & store in a cool place.
  8. Makes about 300mls.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Happy Easter!

A very happy Easter to you all! I hope you got to spend time with those you love, ate too much chocolate & generally just relaxed. I was off on the Public Holidays, which was nice, but had to work the weekend - bit of a poop, but at least now I have 3 days off at home with the family. We woke the boys early on Easter Sunday to do the obligatory Easter egg hunt, & they indulged me even though they are teenage boys (I do think that they really quite enjoyed it). How sad it is to lose that magical time where we believe in the Easter Bunny, Santa & the Tooth Fairy. Wouldn't it be great if they did really exist? We could behave like excited kids every now & then...... But then again, parents do earn the privilege of being able to be truly special, just for the kids, even if if it just for such a very brief time. I miss that fun actually.

You must make these Hot Cross Buns, it is a bullet proof recipe every time. I do tend to add more spices than listed, and they do make enormous buns. Maybe next time I will make 18 rather than 12, just to see how they turn out.

Hot Cross Buns. 

4 cups plain flour
2 x 7gm sachet dried yeast
¼ cup caster sugar
1½ tsp mixed spice
½ tsp cinnamon
½ tsp ground cloves
Pinch of salt
1½ cups currants (or mixed fruit/peel)
40gm butter
300ml milk
2 eggs, lightly beaten

Flour Paste:
½ cup plain flour
4 -5 tbsp water

2/3 cup water
4 tbsp caster sugar
  1. Combine the flour, yeast, sugar, spices, salt & currants in a large bowl. 
  2. Melt the butter in a saucepan over a medium heat & then add the milk. 
  3. Heat for a minute or until lukewarm. 
  4. Add the warm milk mixture & the eggs to the flour mixture. 
  5. Use a flat blade knife to mix the dough until it all comes together. 
  6. Turn out the dough into a floured board & knead for 10 minutes or until the dough is smooth. 
  7. Place the dough into a lightly oiled bowl & cover with plastic wrap. 
  8. Set aside in a warm draught-free place to rise for 1½ hours. 
  9. Line a baking tray with baking paper. 
  10. Punch down the dough to its original size
  11. Knead on a lightly floured board until smooth. 
  12. Divide into 12 portions & shape each portion into a ball. 
  13. Place the balls into the tray, about 1cm apart, cover with plastic wrap & leave to rise again for 30 minutes, or until they double in size. 
  14. Preheat the oven to 190oC.
  15. Make the flour paste: mix the flour & together until smooth, adding more water if too thick. Spoon into a snap lock bag & then cut 1 corner off. Pipe the paste over the buns to form crosses. 
  16. Bake for 20 – 25 minutes. 
  17. Make glaze: place the sugar & water into a saucepan over low heat. Stir until the sugar dissolves. Bring to the boil & boil for 5 minutes. Brush the warm glaze over warm buns.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Apple Chutney

So, I had an excess of beautiful apples. I've never made an apple chutney before but I made this one today & it is sensational! This amount gave me 5 medium sized jars. And beware: the chillies add quite a bit of zing (in the nice way of course).

Apple Chutney

1.5kg apples, finely chopped
500gm onions, finely chopped
1.5 cups sugar
1/2 cup water
2 tbsp finely chopped ginger
1 tsp ground cinnamon
3 red chillies 
1/2 tbsp salt
1.5 cups vinegar
  1. Combine all ingredients in a large pan.
  2. Bring to the boil slowly.
  3. Simmer until the mixture thickens & ladle into sterilised jars
  4. Seal & label: store for 3 months before eating. 

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Blackberry Jam

Today the husband & I went out for a self-indulgent yummy breakfast with two of our very dear friends, Darren & Cherril. These people are gorgeous, the sort that you are just at such ease with, love to be with & who just make you laugh. Luckily for me, they have a multitude of fresh blackberries at their property - & they collected some for me, which of course means, blackberry jam!

Blackberry Jam

1.5 kg fresh blackberries
1.5 kg sugar
Juice of half a lemon
¼ cup water
I packet of pectin (such as Jamsetta)

  1. Combine the berries, water & lemon juice in to a big saucepan.
  2. Heat gently, gradually bringing to a slow boil.
  3. Heat the sugar in a microwave for 2 minutes (usually in 2 batches) & gradually add to the berry mixture: mix in well until dissolved.
  4. Add the pectin: mix in well until dissolved
  5. Pour into sterilised jars & seal well.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Green Tomato Chutney

I absolutely am delighted that I have picked the last of the produce from the vegie patch that requires any work at all to become a preserve. There is no more to do, the vegie patch is now pretty much dead & it just needs to be refreshed (yay!). Yesterday I cooked up 6kgs of green tomatoes & made a Green Tomato Chutney - 18 jars of the stuff. I don't think I have ever eaten a green tomato chutney before, so I look forward to trying this one.

Green Tomato Chutney

1kg cooking apples, chopped.
3 onions, chopped
6 garlic cloves, chopped
2 cups raisins
2kg green tomatoes, chopped
2 tbsp ginger, chopped
2 tbsp mustard seeds
6 allspice berries, crushed
1/2 tsp dry chilli, chopped
3 cups sugar
1 tbsp salt
4 cups vinegar
  1. Combine all the ingredients in a large saucepan
  2. Bring to the boil.
  3. Simmer for about 3 hours, stirring frequently, especially towards the end of cooking.
  4. When it is thickening & you can stir a wooden spoon through it without any free liquid, it is done.
  5. Ladle into sterilised jars & seal.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Eggplant Chutney

I harvested about half of the eggplants recently & got a great amount. I've never grown them before & I must say they are dreadfully easy to grow. I have also never really cooked with them, not sure why, but they do scare me. I love their colour though, & my wedding dress was an eggplant purple colour. So, what to do with the eggplants - of course I found a recipe & made a rather spectacular eggplant chutney. It is so very easy to make, & doesn't take long at all. Enjoy!

Eggplant Chutney

800gm eggplant cut into 1cm cubes
2 onions chopped
4 tbsp oil
200ml malt or red wine vinegar
100gm raisins
2tsp ground ginger
½ tsp ground allspice
250gm brown sugar

  1. Combine all the ingredients in a large heavy-based saucepan.
  2. Stir over high heat until the sugar dissolves & bring to the boil.
  3. Reduce heat to medium-low & boil gently, stirring occasionally, for 1 1/2 hours or until all the excess liquid has evaporated & the mixture is thick.
  4. Stir the chutney more frequently towards the end of cooking.
  5. Remove the saucepan from the heat.
  6. Stir and then ladle into hot sterilised jars.
  7. Label, date and store in a cool dark place for at least 1 month before using.
  8. This chutney will store in a cool, dark place for 6 months.
  9. Once opened, keep in the fridge for up to 8 weeks.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Pumpkin Chutney

This chutney is a massive favourite of mine. The flavours mature so well after months of storage, but you can eat it straight away. I used to always have to make this for a friend of mine for his Christmas present every year & that was all he ever asked for, which did make life rather easy! It goes well with all meats, beautiful on sandwiches, or just with a cheese platter. As it cooks I tend to mash up the majority of the pumpkin pieces, & you do have to keep an eye on it towards the end of the cooking process as it will stick to the bottom of the pan as it gets thicker. I usually make a double of this recipe, which usually gives about 9 large jars.

Pumpkin Chutney.

1.25 kg pumpkin, peeled, chopped into bite size pieces.
6 tomatoes, skinned & chopped.
3 onions, chopped.
1 cup raisins.
2 cups sugar.
1 tbsp salt.
2 tbsp chopped fresh ginger.
12 black peppercorns.
1 tbsp allspice berries, crushed.
4 garlic cloves, crushed & chopped.
4 cups white vinegar.
  1. Put all ingredients into a saucepan.
  2. Bring to the boil & simmer until it thickens, which should take about 50 minutes.
  3. Spoon into sterilised jars, seal & label.
  4. This is a long-keeping chutney & tastes much nicer after several months.

Garlic-Tomato Chutney

So, the vegie patch is a gift that keeps on giving. I still have a million zucchinis, but today I picked 4kgs of tomatoes. What to do?? Make a chutney! This one is totally delicious, but does not make a great amount. With this recipe (plus an added 1/4 of ingredients due having just over 2 kg to spare for this recipe) I made only 6 medium size jars.

Garlic-Tomato Chu

2 kg tomatoes, roughly chopped

20 garlic cloves, peeled & roughly chopped

2 tbsp chopped fresh ginger

½ cup raisins

1½ cups sugar

1 tbsp salt

2 chillies, seeds removed & chopped.

Zest & juice of 1 lemon

½ tsp cumin seeds

½ tsp fennel seeds

½ t2p fenugreek

1½ cups white wine vinegar

  1. Combine all the ingredients in a large pan.
  2. Bring to the boil & simmer for about 1 ½ hours, or until the chutney is thick, stirring frequently.
  3. Spoon into hot sterilised jars & seal.
  4. The cooking time will depend on how watery the tomatoes are.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Inbread Cats.

Well, apparently there is a new internet sensation, set to rival planking. It involves cats. And bread. How funny can this be?? Absolutely hilarious actually.

Clearly Jeremy & I must keep up with the trends. Obviously it is how we stay so youthful & fabulous ((??))! Unfortunately for Remy, it was her time to truly shine in a fad. Fortunately for us she is so laid back & good humoured. Despite the face - she purred all the way during her photo shoot. Check out the website, hopefully more people will add their poor cats, so that Jem & I are not the only mean ones. The website is:

Remy is a 10 year old ragdoll cat. She goes the the vet every year for her check up. Every year the vet listens to her heart with a stethoscope. Every year the vets say she is in fabulous health. Until her last check up. The vet listened earnestly with the stethoscope (we have this vet every year). This time though, she placed the stethoscope down, looked at us seriously, & I thought she had dreadful news. Her words of wisdom were:

"I assume she is alive, I assume she has a heart which beats. But in all honesty I have never heard her heart at all since I've been looking after her. She purrs too loudly".

Sunday, January 29, 2012

My Salad Dressing.

Years ago, when I was working in Melbourne at The Royal Park Psychiatric Hospital (which no longer exists & is, I believe, now a housing estate) I met a fantastic couple. Their names were Deb & John, & these guys made my transition to Melbourne an absolute joy. Their house was a cacophony of eclectic furniture pieces, art works, books & food styles. John was a great cook, & he made the BEST BBQ'd sardines ever in the history of mankind. He also made a killer salad dressing & this is the dressing I now always make. I am no longer in touch with either of them (life is sometimes like that) but I do miss them very much. I often wonder what they are up to, & I often think that I should make the effort to track them down to say hello.

Salad Dressing.

In an old jar:

1/3 balsamic vinegar (you can also add some fresh lemon/lime juice)
2/3 oil (I now use a mixture of olive oil & Red Palm Fruit oil)
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp seeded mustard (I use the Masterfoods one)

That is the basis to add to whatever you like, but my favourites are:

Heaps of grated fresh garlic
Mixed herbs