Bean there!

This morning we decided to head out early-ish to the markets and have breakfast while we were there. We decided to eat at Bean and Grain, (where we have previously only stopped in for coffee and pastry). Good choice. While we were waiting I did a sketch of one of the staff members. I was going to include another person, but they were just moving too fast for me to draw.

Behind the counter at Bean and Grain
Behind the counter at Bean and Grain

Breakfast was really good. I had French toast brioche, with berries, bacon and passionfruit butter. The passionfruit butter was particularly lovely, creamy and full of flavour. TB had sourdough toast with scrambled eggs and Persian fetta. Suffice to say it was such a good breakfast that we didn’t need to eat any lunch.

Breakfast - yum!
Breakfast – yum!


Warmer winter produce

My sister lives about 400kms north of Canberra on the coast. You can tell it’s warmer there because she’s still picking passionfruit from her vine!

Leeks, lettuce, spinach and passionfruit from a warmer winter garden.
Leeks, lettuce, spinach and passionfruit from a warmer winter garden.

Indeed her passionfruit vine is the envy of the family. Even her father-in-law an extremely experienced veggie gardener is trying to work out what her secret is. As the real estate agents would say, “location, location, location”. The vine just adores growing on the east-facing garage wall with plenty of protection from hot westerly sun and winds.


Catching Up!

We’ve had visitors braving the depths of a Canberra winter and then headed off north to visit the rellies, hence the lack of recent posts. So I’m doing a very quick flick through some of what we encountered on our travels before getting back to some more on what’s happening Chez Fork.

Our first stop on the way north was the Mt Annan Botanic Gardens which are literally just off the freeway near Narellan on the southern outskirts of Sydney. We’ve decided that this makes an excellent stop off point prior to facing the excitement of traversing Sydney, if you are travelling further north.


As you can see from the picture above there are some lovely plantings in the garden, including (below) this amazing cycad (Cycas megacarpa).There is plenty of space to stretch your legs either in the formally planted ction of the garden or along the walking tracks through the bush. We took our own picnic lunch but there is also a cafe on site.


To get to the gardens take the signposted turn off the freeway; turn left at the T-intersection and then take the first left turn at the traffic lights. You are there.

A few days later we also made a flying visit to the Royal Botanic Garden in the centre of Sydney. We were literally passing through the gardens, walking between the Art Gallery of NSW and the Museum of Contemporary Art. We passed this trluy amazing succulent, but I didn’t catch its name!


We’d travelled to Sydney by train from Newcastle, not only so we didn’t have to take the car into the centre of the city, but also to enjoy the beautiful scenery of the Hawkesbury River.


It was a good thing that we were getting plenty of exercise as we were being fed plenty of tasty food. My sister spoiled us with a luscious lasagna the night we arrived, that was followed by a choice of two desserts! I opted for the passionfruit souffle, recipe courtesy of the latest addition to the family, my new nephew-in-law who is a chef. There was also a sticky date pudding to be had. Some people gave in and shared a bit of both.

Just to ensure we didn’t go hungry we also had an afternoon tea (on another day) to celebrate a new home. Family favourite slices were served along with this new offering of Lemon Meringue cupcakes.


While it’s not clear from the picture the centre was filled with very yummy lemon curd. Definitely got the big tick from me.

Sadly we had to take our ever expanding waistlines from much warmer Newcastle and return to icy Canberra where the cat, chooks and garden awaited us.