Thank you Mr B

All good things come to an end (don’t they?). The No 1 star in the kitchen has gone home. Bill has returned to the UK.


The question is, will I be up to the challenge of preserving, jam and jelly making and freezing copious amounts of fruit which is still in the orchard … hmm I won’t hold my breath!


Still in saying that, he left on Sunday and yours truly managed to poach 2 jars of pears and 1 jar of preserved lemons. Not bad ah? I’m hoping I won’t run out of puff as I have loads to do and I’m not renown for my prioritising skills. Did I mention that I have seeds to sow, peach trees to prune, gardens to tidy up, fertilising …


So with a tear in the eye I know that there will be no more twice cooked pork, fondant spuds, or beautifully art directed salads. No more panna cotta, citrus marinated in cointreau with candied peel, or pavlova smothered in fruit and chocolate dipped strawberries …


At this rate I’m going to have to grab myself a hanky!

the hand-1220653


Handsome – pic taken at his recent birthday party

Thanks Bill … for all your help, you seriously are a star in the kitchen! We are indebted to you ..


Melbourne Graffiti 


I fell in love with this little guy in Melbourne

My trip to Australia was fabulous as can be expected. Busy times catching up with friends, enjoying my brother’s birthday luncheon and meeting a very special Melbourne blogger Francesca and her husband Stewart for the first time. Did I say I love this blogging world? I do, and it was so lovely being able to spend time with Francesca … it was like being with an old dear friend! Thank you so much for your hospitality and the divine lunch. If you don’t know her blog .. then you must pop on over to Almost Italian – its food, photography and travel which she does so well 😀


Our garden is still looking amazing. Something to do with the volumes of rain that we have been having. The tomatoes are still the stars in the garden, just divine … the spuds are growing like mad, I can’t wait to see what is underneath the greenery. The zuccs are running out of zoom, the broad beans are getting very stringy, while the cucs are still doing famously and thanks to the rain, there is no problem with bitterness.

Did I say I love my worm farm? I do and those fabulous slimies are providing me with daily worm wee and buckets of rich organic castings .. think worm poo 🙂


A walk to the beach the other day and I stood and wondered at it’s beauty (no I didn’t have my camera with me … not the good one anyway). As far as I could see the beach was strewn with clumps of seaweed. I was in heaven! Doesn’t take much does it? Did I take some home? Of course I did …

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Happy gardening

100 thoughts

  1. Wonderful photos. Everything looks yummy. Sounds like a fabulous trip. Was that just a random back cat in the street/

  2. Hi Julie thanks for your comments. It was a pleasure to do all those things for you and Andrew. You will be able to preserve the pears looked very good and be patient with the jellys. Well the journey home wasn’t to bad but still on NZ time,wrighting this at 4am and wide awake! Miss seeing Wiggy outside my bedroom window waiting for his breakfast! Keep up with the excellent photography you really have a good eye! Lots love to you both missing you already Bill xxx

  3. Hey Bill … glad you like the photography. You know how much I adore it. And yes, I sure will be patient with the jellies and jams. Just hope that I make time to do them 😀 Don’t know about being awake at 4 am though! You take lots of care ..xx

  4. The pic are amazing of daddy julie and what beautiful photography, Daddy is right you do have an eye , “go girl “. Love seeing frog pond and watching the clips
    Look forward to next one and seeing dad at the weekend shame he didn’t bring back all that yummy fruit !!!!!!

    • Oh I shall miss him. Honestly, he is so diligent in the kitchen and if it wasn’t for him, much of the preserving just wouldn’t have been done. I’m so lucky! Fresh homegrown organic apples are just the best!

  5. Thanks Julie, it was a quite beautiful chronicle… the food as art, the same way as your garden and photography. I am glad the gentleman is coming back to home, at first I was afraid of a farewell. Take care so much and happy Autumn. ^-^

  6. Hi Julie as you know I post blogs on to friends around the world. I had a reply from Brendan Mcaule he is a friend ,from my BBC days, a director and producer and with 3 BAFTA awards. He said your photography was one of the best he had seen, especially the one of me at my Birthday celebrations. I’ve had many replies and they are all complimentary., so carry on the good work. By the way I spelt writing wrong on my first comment. Lots love Bill xxx

      • Haha…I make a lot of food pictures, mostly with my tablet when I prepare our dinner. I post it on Twitter. That’s really funny because there are people which I know for longer and we are talking, joking and we exchange recipes. 🙂

  7. Family sharing time and creating memories is always a gift – but when that also comes with food, beautifully prepped and preserved, it’s a blessing! Delightful photos, Julie. Love the little guy (and his tummy!!)

    • I could have stolen that baby – he is just the cutest little guy. A real little bruiser .. You can’t wish for much more than family, sharing time and enjoying food together! In no particular order. 😀 Glad you liked the pics Janet …

  8. Bill should be cloned- both for his cooking AND his good looks. I would love some of that citrus in Cointreau and panna cotta. Will do this when the citrus season picks up again.. Good to hear that you are getting into the preserving- the season has only just begun Miss Julie, so start channelling Bill. Love that last sunflower pic. And yes, Bill is right about your photography- it is sensational. Cheers for the link too. x

    • Hello lovely … yes Bill should be cloned for sure! You should see his son! LOL That citrus with cointreau is heaven and his panna cotta – don’t get me started. I cheated with my preserved lemons, I froze lemons when I had lots, otherwise are trees are devoid of ripe ones. I’m pleased you liked the sunflower pic Francesca .. I’m so pleased you enjoy my photography 😀 And you are very welcome about the link. I love your blog and know that others will too. Veronica is going to pop on over and she is a great girl! Hugs Miss have a super weekend.

  9. I’m getting hungry looking at all these yummie-yummie pics, Julie, and most of all, I can hardly wait now to get going but the weather is pretty rotten and won’t change for a while but seeds are lying there waiting…so here’s hoping 🙂 Are you originally from Australia?

    • Ha ha Annette – good! I bet spring can’t come soon enough. Our weather is slowly changing – a bit cooler in the evening, but the days are just divine. No I’m a Kiwi – I just spent a long time living in Melbourne (my second home). I just love going back and seeing special friends and family that are living there. Hugs x

  10. Oh happy, happy days of high summer when Bill comes to visit! What a treasure he is. And back to dreary old Blighty. I was just looking at the temps at ours and it said possibility of wet snow!!! In Oxfordshire? Where in the UK is he? South I hope. 😀 Bet he enjoyed every minute of that beautiful, humid warmth and your gorgeous garden. And, you can do it. You can slowly put up some more fruit and veg. I know that sometimes I’ll freeze a lot because I just don’t have the time for preserving in jars, and sometimes I take the entire day making small, beautiful batches of traffic light jam! Depends on what the week brings, doesn’t it? You probably don’t need any recipes or ideas, but just in case, I do have a really good collection, so if you have a ton of something you don’t know what to do with, just ask and I’ll look what I’ve got and happily share. 😀

    • Hello V! I love it when you stop by. Your comments are always so uplifting. Bill sure is a treasure … you should see our larder! He is in Watford in the UK .. do you know the area? He does enjoy his summers spent here – even though I get him working in the kitchen LOL .. You never cease to amaze me V – you are always so busy. I love that comment of yours too – traffic light jam! Divine. Anytime you want to share your recipes please do … I have loads of pears, peaches, crabapples, apples … 😀 Hugs Miss

  11. First off, Bill is a handsome man
    Second, there has to be a law banning you from posting such photographs…. By golly, my mouth is watering, and I don’t have an NZ visa. Else, I would be on my way!

  12. I can imagine that you will both miss Bill. I’ve seen his photos on your blog when you have written about him (didn’t I once call him a handsome dude or some such thing?) What a nice tribute to him. Glad to hear you met up with a blogger friend. We do become pen pals through our blogs and feel as if we know each other, don’t we? Happy preserving and gardening, etc. A gardener’s work is never done.

    • Hey Cynthia .. We sure will miss him and not just in the kitchen 😀. I do think that you did make a comment about him looking like a man of mystery! Gorgeous .. Yes blogging is much like pen pals, it was such a treat meeting up with Francesca .. Thanks for stopping by Miss ..😄

  13. What a lovely series of images Julie, especially that last one-oh my goodness, what beauty surrounds you! I can see why you will miss Bill-just reading of his culinary prowess made my mouth water-all the more reason to look forward to his next visit, right? 🙂

    • Hey Miss .. thank you! Ah you do like sunflowers too don’t you? And that fuzzy bumble .. I sure do miss Bill – haven’t had a decent dessert since he left! Always look forward to his visit – so does my larder 😀

  14. I would be in tears as well, Julie, if I had someone like Mr. B in my kitchen. Beautiful photos all the way around some of which left my mouth watering wishing I could taste what I was seeing. Pace yourself, dear friend. I am not even able to imagine the huge amount of work you still have yet to do. How you do what you do I do not know. BIG (((HUGS))) <3

  15. There are some luscious photos here! Still eating last falls apples around here so yours look even more mouth watering. Bill does seem a treasure so hopefully you’ll get him back soon.

    • Ah eating last falls apples are you? That’s a treat. And how are you storing them? I need some help! Glad you find the pics luscious – the food was delicious. Mr B will be back again next year … 😀

  16. What can I say Julie. Things dipped in Chocolate and all that crunchy food looking yummy……but I am so in love with the baby toes the cat and the bee…Lovely and cheery post ~ Hugs Gill xxxx

    • Hello Gill … anything dipped in chocolate has to be good doesn’t it? Oh those toes are cute aren’t they? And I love my black cat too .. glad you liked the post Miss. Hugs back at you 😀

  17. Hey Julie, LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this post. The photographs of your Bill are exquisite. How refreshing to hear positive feelings about in-laws. And the food. . . WOW!! Also love the pudgy toes on that darling little munchkin. Thanks for sharing.

    • Oh you are so welcome Julie! What a lovely comment … Glad you like the pics too. Aren’t those pudgy toes the cutest? He is a little bruiser … Bill is a treasure – there is only one of him! Hugs

  18. I know you will miss Bill and all his wonderful creations. It sounds like you are incredibly busy but take a few minutes to enjoy the small pleasures at your absolutely beautiful farm now that you are home.

    • Hello Karen .. so nice to see you here. I shall take time to enjoy the small pleasures you are absolutely right … we do have a lovely home. And I sure will miss Bill in the kitchen, no doubt about it 😀

  19. Hi Julie, it looks like I’m late to the party. 🙂 Wonderful photos! The food looks delicious! We are nearing the end of winter here and it sure would be nice to have something fresh from the garden. Sounds like Bill took good care of you. That is a marvelous portrait of him. Good luck keeping up with the ripening fruit and veggies. You might have to start a roadside stand! Take care. Bob

    • Your comments always make me smile! And to think I had to remind you to come and see me … LOL So pleased you liked the pics Bob. Yep that food sure was delicious! I bet you can’t wait for the end of winter – I’m actually looking forward to some cooler weather. I’m rather partial to autumn (fall). I like that pic of him too, especially with that glass of red! :You should see the pumpkin I have growing. Damn it’s a monster. You take care too Mr E 😀

  20. Gosh Julie your photos are so lush, from the beautiful food to the bee on the sunflower. Glad you had fun in OZ, getting cold here now and I wish I had the skills for making jam etc. My husband being the gardener has tried it all at one point in time. But we had so much relish, jam etc he had to give it all away.

    • Thank you .. Ah so your hubby is the gardener? Nice .. It’s nuts but we have so much fruit and a larder full of jars of yummy things.. and end up giving much away. Mind you, I don’t mind that at all! Thanks for stopping by ..

  21. I have sunflowers 🌻 I see heads they are still closed but perhaps they will open yet! Smiles Julie also wonderful narrative and delicious images….smiles over the pond ☀️💫👍❤️ happy gardening Hedy 😀

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