Sunday, 27 December 2020

From Blue Skies To Grey


This morning began with sunshine and azure blue skies, without a breath of wind to disturb the peace.

At lunchtime we had a thunderstorm pass over, and the skies stayed grey and murky afterwards with the odd shower of rain.

My Apple Blossom rosebud geranium (reportedly a favourite of Queen Victoria's)
has begun to flower

I hope everyone had a pleasant Christmas Day.  I certainly did, although I admit I ate too much! 

On Boxing Day I enjoyed a Zoom meeting with my daughter (it was Christmas Day for her in the USA), once we got it all up and running.  Modern technology is wonderful when we can use it to stay in contact with loved ones.

Boxing Day is also the day of our biggest annual retail sales, and we heard reports of our local malls being thronged to the maximum with people.  Not my scene at all – I dislike crowds at the best of times.

There is a corned beef steadily cooking away in the slow-cooker, and the smell is bringing flies into the house.  Not very keen on flies either!

Happy holidays everyone ๐Ÿ˜Š



It seems that a goodly part of the world has corned beef in a can – we can buy canned here as well, and it is a horrid fatty lump that is not very nice.

Our corned beef is usually a piece of brisket or silverside that was originally kept for several days in a strong brine solution, similar to the corning of an ox tongue.  Today I believe it is injected with something to “corn” it and the meat is nowhere near as salty as it used to be – it now also has a jelly that sits around it in the bag and this must be washed off before cooking.

I cook mine in simmering salted water along with a splash of vinegar, some brown sugar, peppercorns, whole allspice and a couple of sprigs of thyme.  In the crockpot it takes several hours on High to end up with a product that is tender and succulent to eat.

It is cheaper to buy than a roast cut of meat so has become popular with a lot of families, and is equally nice whether eaten hot or cold.


  1. What a lovely geranium. Quite chilly here today - I see the high was just 20 degrees but the wind chill made it seem less.

  2. The geranium is gorgeous. I have tried to grow different colours with no success. Ours are plain red.
    Xmas day was the best ever. Lovely sunny day

  3. AHHH corned beef and carrots and mustard sauce. Is NZ the last place in the world where such delight can be enjoyed? I always thought it was English but English corned beef is vile stuff sort of chewed up and canned. Mum always cooked corned beef for me when I came home. Corned beef sandwiches with lashings of mustard - to die for. (F) Mr T has no idea about the delights of corned beef.

  4. Corned beef, now I’m wondering how you make it? Ours comes from a tin and is disgusting. That geranium is so pretty. I hate large shopping crowds too. B x

  5. Lovely to see pictures of sunshine - could do with some sun here.And that Geranium is beautiful
    Because we are in different tiers in this country -, half the country is busy with sales shopping and the other half is shut down - what a crazy world!

  6. Great to hear you had a lovely Christmas Margaret - mine was most enjoyable too. Wonderful to be able to chat with your daughter!
    I have a friend who has that geranium growing here, but she takes cuttings at the end of the season as they do not survive our winters.
    I also don't 'do' crowds like that, nor do I subscribe to sale fever!
    Stay safe

  7. Hello,
    Your apple blossoms geranium is lovely. I have never liked shopping in crowded areas. I am glad you had a nice chat with your daughter. The corned beef sounds yummy. I wish you all the best in 2021, a very happy and healthy New Year!

  8. Glad you had a pleasant Christmas. Eating too much seems to be par for the course. Miriam and I had a lovely quiet day together, and since we din't have the slightest belief about the original story of the Jewish kid being born in a stable by magical means, nor do we participate in the commercial orgy, it was pretty much a regular day for us.

  9. That geranium is beautiful! We were either our girls so a good time was had by all. Our granddaughter is soon to be twelve and had us all laughing so hard we cried at her attempts to roll her r's....her mama was trying to teach her to say a word and now I can't remember what word. She is a funny kid...

  10. Oh my husband would love to come for dinner!!!!!!

    Didn't we all eat too much on the 25th??????

    My post today, does not apply to the Southern Hemisphere, totally.... You wouldn't have a fire in the fireplace. But the general idea, can apply, anywhere. To this week between Christmas and New Year's. -smile-

    "Time, out of time..."

  11. I love that beautiful Geranium.
    I'm glad you have a nice Christmas. We did too. Different, but okay.I think we all may have eaten too much and will make the usual resolution to lose weight in the new year.

  12. i'm like you with sales, I prefer to shop online if and when I have the money. We were the same on xmas and boxing day, thank goodness for leftovers.

  13. Glad you had a nice Christmas. That corned beef in the slow cooker sounds good. Seems like I can smell it cooking. :) The Geranium is so pretty. I am looking forward to warm weather and flowers, already!

  14. A pretty geranium and one of my favourite foods - I love corned beef! I cook mine much the same as you do but hadn't thought to add sprigs of thyme. Will try that next time.

  15. Uhhh, crowds! That is the only good thing these days: Distance!
    What do you do with the corned beef, Labskaus? ;-)
    Happy holidays!

  16. That geranium is gorgeous. I had a very similar one that was a little bit darker but it was the same shape blossom and same shape leaves.
    Wishing you a very happy healthy and worry=free 2021, hope we can all get the vaccine very soon, and get back to something that might eventually resemble "normal" life.

  17. I'm the odd one out I guess as I don't like corned beef lol. I remember my mama made it when I was little but after trying it once I never would touch it again. But I ate everything else on my plate. :) LOVE that geranium!

  18. Pleased you had a nice Christmas, ours was good too, although a little different from usual.
    Thank goodness for technology.

    With this year rapidly coming to an end I send my good wishes for a happy and healthy 2021.

    All the best Jan


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