Interesting Email News.

Something in my Flickr email box today.

Dear Naive Zebra,

My name is S!@£$$%%%% and I am the photo editor at a book publisher named Timber Press. The company is based in Portland, OR and specializes in publishing books for the home gardener. I have been collecting photos for an upcoming book on backyard berry growing.

Since the book is meant for the home gardener I have been searching on flickr for beautiful photographs of peoples gardens. I came across your stream and you have some very lovely images in your collection. I am very interested in the image of the black currant bushes taken in 2010 or similar images. I would be very interested in talking with you to see if you would be open to providing some of your photos for the book.

I do know that his email will most likely come out of the blue, but I wasn’t sure of another way to contact you. I do hope you might have a moment to talk over email and I can give you more information about the project and how we would potentially use your photos.

I look forward to hearing from you at your earliest convenience.

Thank you so much for your time and consideration.


SS!@£$$%%%%, Photo Editor

Timber Press
Portland, OR 97212

Always nice to get nice emails

Bacon , Broccoli & Celeriac Soup

Right it got a bit frizz , well cool last couple of days so it’s soup invention season.

Serves 4 Cooking time 45 minutes.

1 tablespoon olive oil
4 rashers of smokey dry cured bacon or lardon equivalent
2 small onions , finely chopped
1 small celeriac , peeled and finely chopped
1 small broccoli head , split into florets
700 ml veg stock
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon , fresh thyme
1 teaspoon fresh rosemary finely chopped
100 g of fresh baby leaf spinach : I use rainbow bright chard because i love the funky colours
Salt & fresh ground black pepper.

Heat oil in pan , fry bacon until crispy remove and set aside

Fry onions until soft , addd celeriac and broccoli , then cook for 5 minutes.

Add crispy bacon , stock and herbs bring to boil , cover and simmer for 15 – 20 minutes until vegetables are tender.

Remove soup from heat , add spinach leaves , stirring in leaves to wilt them.

Blend until smooth , then return to pan .

Season to taste,


Ring Of Fire

Ring Of Fire

Asparagus and Crème Fraiche Frittata

A good chum brought some of the most amazing asparagus spears today , still squealing they come from a 14 year old bed on an allotment , believe it or not the new users want to get rid of the asparagus and want to plant spuds instead , do they have no idea how long it takes to get a sturdy crop of the gorgeous green spears obviously not , so my buddy was gifted them and brought me some.

Eggs and asparagus where made for each other. This simple dish really lets the super spears shine – great for a light supper, brunch or a picnic. Serves 4

A dozen asparagus spears
Zest from a whole lemon and juice from 1/2
4 hen eggs or 3 duck eggs
100ml crème fraiche
Olive oil
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 180°C.

Using a vegetable peeler, peel the bottom half of each asparagus spear.

Trim the very woody end off.

Steam or boil just until tender.

Cut each spear in half.

Set the tips aside and cut the peeled end bits into 1cm pieces.

Whisk the eggs with the crème fraiche, lemon juice and zest.

Season and fold in the cut asparagus pieces.

Rub a bit of olive oil into a smallish oven-safe frying pan.

Tip in the egg mixture.

Arrange the asparagus spears on top – be fancy a make a little fan design.

Grind a bit more pepper over the top.

Pop in the oven for 12-15 minutes, or until puffed up and golden on top.

Serve with lightly dressed salad leaves and some bread.

Oak before Ash it is then.

If the oak before the ash
Then we’ll only have a splash
If the ash before the oak
Then we’ll surely have a soak.

According to that little bit of folk lore , it’s going to be a dry summer.

So what to plant this year ?

Matron !!!

Murray Is Moving House

My chum and Kiting / photgraphy / Xtracycle hippy guru is moving , so for regular readers update you links.

Coffee Waffle is Closed For Business … Murray’s awesome photography can now be found here

That’s all

Let’s Build A Sledge


After an article was published , some of my chums , decided to fashion up some sledges over the snowy period.

One of the team having lived abroad [ AUS ] for most of here childhood had never sledged before , her first two runs ended up destroying the first two of three sledges OOOps.

So , after some hasty rebuilds in a cottage kitchen, where the kitchen table quickly became the Black & Decker Workbench , it was a case of sledging in the dark by headlamps.


Matron even Sam Spee , the rescue dog liked dancing in the snow.

Then a late supper , supported by Zebra production , home made Kiwi Miner Stout , and a long hard cycle home up hills covered in snow and ice , in bed by 0230 hrs .


Return trip day two , this time loaded up with some more ale , some strawberry cider , some ginger beer , some apple and black berry vodka , and some home made flap jack super food bar.

The perfect energy food , all gooey and sticky , ideal to kick start the day.

Just For Ms. Mole et al who consumed and requested the recipe.

Zebra Style High Energy Gooey Flapjacks

These honey-sweetened flapjacks are great for breakfasts on the go. If you’re having them at home, serve them warm with a dollop or Greek or natural yogurt and some fresh fruit. Makes 12 big or 16 smaller flapjacks

200g unsalted butter
200g demerara sugar
200g honey, agave syrup or brown rice syrup
450g muesli or a fruity porridge oat mix.

Lightly butter or oil a 20cm x 30cm (8in x 12in) cake tin, or line it with parchment paper. Put the butter, sugar and honey in a saucepan and heat, stirring occasionally, until the butter has melted and the sugar has dissolved. Add the muesli and mix well.

Transfer the mixture to the prepared cake tin and spread to about 2cm (¾in) thick. Smooth the surface with the back of a spoon. Bake in a preheated oven at 180C for 15-20 minutes, until it’s lightly golden around the edges but still slightly soft in the middle. Let cool in the tin, then turn out and cut into squares. Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days.



A second day of pain and a little bit of snow kiting thrown in for good measure by headlamp.

Followed by good home cooked sausage beans and mash , and yet another cycle ride home , I’m feeling the pain today.

Next »