June, Barley & an adventure

Sat 5th, Jul, 2014

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old vintage sugar sack abeachcottage.com

Well can you believe another month has gone?  I loved June, the weather in Sydney was amazing for Winter, cold but sunny and bright.  I can’t quite believe though that we are halfway through the year…funny how that happens isn’t it, one minute it’s Christmas, the next thing July is here…and here in Sydney I have always said I’ll do Christmas in July with the cooler weather more apt to an English Christmas dinner…so far we haven’t made it to celebrating Christmas in July though…one day.

Talking of cooking, in my head I have lots of cooking things lined up…I’ve been bored with our meals lately…do you get that too?  Funny really because I love cooking shows and books, it’s they way I wind down and relax, and a cookery book is my beach book go-to, so theoretically I should have a whole lot of inspiration where meals are concerned shouldn’t I? But you know how sometimes after years and years of that question what is for dinner, and a husband whose signature dish is baked beans on toast, it’s just all sometimes so like blah or bleh isn’t it?   I have to say I do fall for those cookery shows and books hook line and sinker, taken in by the easy home cooked meals portrayed, the friends who come over mid-week for dinner and the conversation over a nice bottle of wine, the hostess looking calm, serene and filming at the same time, no lunchbox packing or school uniform ironing in sight ;) ….in reality our midweek meals are often at three, sometimes four different times (because of sport and work) and a long, easy meal would have to start at 9pm making long and easy turn into short and grumpy I reckon.
abeachcottage cooking
But I’ve decided though that this midweek busyness is no excuse for rotating the same fifteen, maybe twenty or so dishes which I can make with not only my eyes shut but on auto-pilot and I am going to cook myself through a few cookbooks, not sure which ones yet…but I’m going to try new recipes and adapt them to the slow cooker so that they fit in with our life…I’ve tried a few recipes lately for the crock pot from the internet…all I can say is that each one has been verging on revolting…it’s so demoralising when that happens too, isn’t it – you endeavour to try new things, shop for it, plan it, and then the finished result makes all the effort seem so utterly pointless.   So, yes, if you have any cookbooks you think may give me some inspiration please point me in their direction, because, you know, I really need another cook book in my life.
flowers abeachcottage
Other plans for the rest of the year are for the garden….I have to say I am still struggling with my Australian gardening, lots of failures still, though bougainvillaea is thriving and strangely an elderflower I picked up on sale at our local hardware store (they often have plants on sale for next to nothing and I often pick something up and shove it in) is going soooo well…funny really because we had huge elderflower trees in both our gardens in England and so I didn’t think elderflower would go well in a  sandy, hot garden with a coastal breeze in Sydney, turns out I was wrong…

flowers trunk abeachcottage.com

All the things I planted on the Mother’s Day weekend, a whole lot of work, were eaten overnight by critters…talk about making your heart sink when you do all that and then get up the next morning and the whole shebang has been wiped out…so I’m planning nets and more raised beds for this year…but really who wants nets all over the garden?  Any ideas on that conundrum would be welcome…how to remove critters from your garden, yes I need a book on that.
flowers in jam jar abeachcottage.com
And lastly the project I’ve been working on, well it’s getting there, I have a little studio to show you soon, we signed on the dotted line last week…it’s a tiny vintage place with a  lovely old door, sandstone, high ceilings, a fireplace and lovely old windows, be still my heart…plus to top all that, it’s a short stroll to the beach, I can’t wait to get my teeth into it…I have lots of plans for it, little workshops and a place for my vintage bits and bobs…and the place for me to work on the next part of the project which will take longer, requires investment and is quite a bit of a risk…I’ve been musing it for years, it’s a gamble but after what happened to us at the beginning of the year decided to go for it…life is short.
barley abeachcottage cavoodle abeachcottage.com
Anyway, I’ll be off, it’s Beach Cottage adventure time, we are road tripping the good old U S of A, I’ll report back soon with pics from our trip stateside..shame Barls isn’t with us…

abeachcottage blog barley

p.s. I have had messages about my vintage things and whether or not I will be selling any more and if so what…yes I will be selling more to make room, I’ll be adding them to the shop page on the blog and also on instagram and Facebook, but it won’t be until I get back from my holidays (though there are a couple of things on the shop page, a vintage ladder & a crate, which haven’t been listed on social media if you are interested let me know)…on the way more ladders, oars, crates, trunks, yes I do still have a big stash ;)
old vintage sugar sack abeachcottage.com


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18 Responses to “June, Barley & an adventure”

  1. Jenny McAteer says:

    Hi Sarah,

    I’m tapping out this message to you, while the house is full of a choclaty aroma that is your mud cake in the oven. Your new venture sounds so exciting, I can’t wait to see it unfold. I wish you and your family a wonderful holiday to relax and recharge after a difficult start to the year. Jenny xxxx

  2. jaime says:

    Hi Sarah,

    There is a fellow in Toronto, Canada that was having the same feelings about his meals. He has an incredible blog solely devoted to recipes and they are very good. His food photos are entirely too enticing! Hope you find some recipes you like. http://www.closetcooking.com/

    Enjoy your road trip. Looking forward to your photographs and vicariously enjoying your trip.


  3. Alison says:

    So much going on in your life. Congrats on realising your dreams and thanks for continually inspiring us.


  4. Selby says:

    So with you on disappointing recipes – hate that factor! I’ve had a few website shockers recently & was soooo sad & peevish having tried really hard when I wasn’t feeling it but was thinking pushing myself to a little cooking adventure would be helpful.

    In the garden- yes very demoralising when critters devour carefully selected & lovingly planted new purchases overnight.
    We’ve been giving a go to “companion planting” after I found a great old book on the subject at my local op shop & while it’s not eliminated the problem I’d certainly say it’s helped a heap in lessening the losses from total to negligible.

    Good on you for jumping in & pursuing your dreams! Wishing you all the best for your new ventures. Looking fowards to hearing more as things unfold.


    • Sarah says:

      thanks Selby, I will look into the companion gardening and yes very demoralising!

      internet crockpot recipes seem to be the worst out there sometimes I think x

  5. Janita says:

    Coming to USA…. Hope you have a lovely time and wishing you a warm welcome where ever you will be staying. Janita

  6. merilyn says:

    hi sarah, we’ll wait for new developments then!
    wishing you and your family a really fantastic trip!
    cheers m:)XX

  7. beachhouse127 says:

    Welcome to our beautiful state Sarah – it’s a gorgeous ride down the coast to the So Calif beaches of Malibu, Santa Monica, and Venice where we live. So much to see all along the way and if you are here on the 2nd Sunday of the month please visit us on row W in the antique section of the Rose Bowl Flea Market – you’ll love it!

    Foods ever changing at my place too – mostly light meals, willy nilly sides for dinner, lots of fresh veg all different ways. Honestly, less mess is best.

    Hope we can meet in person -

    Marsha (W5 at the Rose Bowl)

    • Sarah says:

      thanks so much! I can’t wait to see the beaches xxx

      I hope I can visit the flea market too :)

  8. Smaggle says:

    Oh I just love little Barley. I’m sure he’s missing you!


  9. Happy road-trippin! Have a ball and can’t wait for your travel pics x

    • Sarah says:

      thanks lovely xxx ps I haven’t forgotten the present $$$ will do it soon, it got put to the back of the pile before we went away xx

  10. Hi Sarah
    It’s not slow cooker food, but for quick, tasty meals with store cupboard ingredients you just can’t go wrong with Real Fast Food by Nigel Slater!
    I’ve just rediscovered his Fusilli with Olives, Anchovies and Capers and would happily eat it several times a week! His Black bean Tacos are also a favourite, as is Chilli Chicken Pitta.
    Happy travelling :-)

    • Sarah says:

      thanks Judy – yes I have most of nigel slater’s books, he is such a simple tasty cook I reckon, I will have a look at the black bean tacos xoxoxo