A world of wonder in the backyard…Who knew?…Fabulous meals in Tasmania…

My dinner last night, a chicken stir fry made with vegetables (not including the carrots and raw nuts) from our landlord’s garden right outside our door, ours for the picking. (Tom’s meal is shown below).

Yesterday morning, once the rain had stopped and the sun had risen, we took a walk through the substantial grounds of this beautiful estate. As was the case when we rented the vacation home in Trinity Beach (near Cairns), Queensland, Australia beginning in June 2015, this rental is a large house with a full sized apartment.

Ornamental object in the garden of Anne and Tom.  Anne and Rob spend considerable time each day caring for their extensive garden.

As in Trinity Beach, the single apartment is comparable to a house. It’s not a “basement” unit, but has full sized windows throughout. In addition, this “apartment” in the valley of Huon has a lower level with a second room. The owners live in another “wing.”

With high prices for many rentals in Australia, this type of accommodation, works for us when it’s more within our budget than an individual house.

We were impressed with the immense garden.

In Penguin, we had a private house to ourselves, but this lovely property provides ample privacy and comfort befitting our needs and wants. The only issue is the “shared” WiFi, which presents a problem for our needs, which was the case of Trinity Beach and most recently in Bali when two villas, next door to one another also shared a WiFi connection.

An antique apple press in their garden used for making apple cider.  Apples are commonly grown in Tasmania and a popular fruit for locals and visitors alike.

There are other benefits to this type of housing situation and yesterday morning as we wandered through the enormous grounds, we discovered a most exciting perk we had no idea existed. Anne and Rob’s huge garden which they both laboriously tend to each and every day.

Our basket of veg began with these zucchini known as courgette in this part of the world. As we wandered about the garden Rob added a variety of greens, cabbage, and broccolini, all of which I used in making my dinner.

Rob encouraged us to stop by anytime and pick whatever we’d like. In the next few weeks, the harvest will become even more abundant during these summer months. Of course, we won’t take advantage of this kind offer. 

Celery, one of our favorite crunchy vegetables for salads.

After all, Tom only cares for a few vegetables beside salad ingredients, mainly green beans  and carrots. Occasionally, we’ll visit the garden to stock up on a few items for me. The remainder, we’ll purchase from  farm stands or organic grocers. 

Soon, we’ll purchase avocados and use a bunch of this cilantro from the garden to make guacamole.

Not only did we take the photos we’ve included here today, but many more from their exquisite flower garden which we’ll soon post. Anne put together a small bunch of gorgeous roses which I placed in a vase on the dining room table as shown in this photo below.

Roses Anne picked for our dining table. 

Back indoors after it had again begun to rain, I considered what we were planning for dinner and how I could use these freshest of vegetables for last night’s dinner.


Tom prefers beef more frequently than I. As a result, when he’s having beef or pork, I’ll have chicken or seafood. I never mind making two different meals since I usually plan to incorporate many of the same ingredients in each. 

Also, since Tom can eat more carbohydrates than I, adjustments are easily made to accommodate each of our tastes and needs. In all, I don’t usually spend more than 30 minutes a day preparing our varying meals.

Tonight’s dinner will include this cabbage for salad.

Also, we still only eat one meal a day. Tom may have cheese, olives and sliced ham as a snack if he’s hungry. However, with my low carb intake I’m rarely hungry. If I feel like something to eat, I’ll have a small snack.

Sure, I know many of our readers prefer not to read about cooking and food. We get this. When we’ve mentioned this, we receive many email messages from readers who do enjoy food photos and discussion. 

Figs, not quite ripe for picking.

For those of you uninterested in the nuances of our dietary adventures, please bear with us. Tomorrow, we’ll be on to other topics. 

As for the plate of food shown as my meal, the recipe simply consisted of chicken breast meat cooked in coconut oil, butter and fresh garlic and then removed from the pan while I cooked the vegetables. 

A perfect apple.

In the same pan, I stir fried the fresh greens and other vegetables (any type) with a little more coconut oil, butter and fresh garlic, seasoning them with organic wheat free soy sauce, sesame oil, Himalayan salt, fresh ground pepper, and whatever spices we had on hand. 

A lemon yet to ripen.

I’d precooked the carrots (frozen carrots may be used, if preferred) adding them to the final toss when adding the chicken back into the pot. When done, I topped the dish with organic raw nuts.

  Both of our meals were delicious and satisfying.

Tom’s dinner consisted of a taco salad (grass fed mince in at the bottom).  He’ll eat all of these salad vegetables, but few others.

Soon, we’re off for a visit to Hobart. Although we breezed through the beautiful ocean city upon our arrival a few days ago (and on a cruise one year ago), we decided to return for a better look especially since it’s a sunny day, albeit a bit cool. Tomorrow, we’ll share our new photos.

May your day be fulfilling and meaningful.

Photo from one year ago today, January 19, 2016:
Last year we were walking in the rain in Sydney when I took this photo of Tom which is now my favorite. On this date, we disembarked that cruise which ended in Auckland, New Zealand, making our way by rental car to New Plymouth where we blissfully lived for three months.  Included in the post is the final expenses for that particular cruise. For more details, please click here.