[Easy English Blog] Blackberries

Today’s Easy English Blog is from Patricia in New Zealand!

food forest blueberries raspberries

Photo by Public Domain Pictures on Pexels.com

It is very hot here today – our weather station says it is 33 degrees celsius

I walked up the narrow paths on the hill near our house. I was wearing heavy shoes, long pants, a long-sleeve T shirt, thick gloves and a big hat. Why was I wearing so many clothes?

I was looking for blackberries. Wild blackberry plants have many sharp thorns. If you want to pick them, you have to protect yourself against the thorns. The big hat was so I did not get sun on my face, but the other clothes were to protect me from the thorns.

Do you like blackberries? We like them very much. Blackberries are good for jam. I like to make blackberry and apple pies too. I clean the blackberries and put them in my freezer. Today I got about 1.5 kilograms of blackberries – that is enough for three big pies.

My husband often goes to look for blackberries – so I have maybe 5kg in my freezer. Blackberries are a gift from nature so I will give some to friends.

By Patricia @ I Talk You Talk Press

[Easy English Blog] Learning to drive

Today’s Easy English Blog is from Patricia in New Zealand!

green and yellow tractor on dirt

Photo by John Lambeth on Pexels.com

Learning to drive is very scary. Many people learn to drive a car, but then they don’t want to drive anymore. They say ‘I am a paper driver.’

My country does not have good train and bus services. The big cities are OK, but the small cities and towns are difficult. If you want to do anything, you have to drive a car.

When I was 12 years old, I learnt to drive tractors on a farm. It was fun.

When I was 15 years old, my father was often away on business trips. My mother did not want to drive a car, so my father said to me “You must get a driver’s license. You must drive your mother to the supermarket. You must take your sister to sports club.”

I learned to drive in my father’s car. It was very big and powerful. When I was ready to take the test for a driver’s license, my father said, “You are too young and too small. The test people will be unhappy. My car is too big. Go to a driving school. The test people will like you if you come from a driving school.”

I went to a driving school for 3 lessons. I took the driving test. It was OK.

Now I am teaching my son to drive. It is an interesting experience. He did not drive tractors on a farm. His life is different. I think he will go to a driving school.

By Patricia @ I Talk You Talk Press

[Easy English Blog] Seasons, memories and food

Today’s Easy English Blog is from Patricia in New Zealand!

appetizer close up cucumber cuisine

Photo by Buenosia Carol on Pexels.com

I have many plates in my kitchen. I change the plates I use. I think about the season, the guests and the food.

In winter I use brown and black plates. In summer I like to use white or glass plates. Today my sister-in-law came for lunch. It was a very hot day. I didn’t want to serve hot food. I put cold meat, cheese, bread, salad and fruit on a big plate.

The plate is very big. It came from my husband’s grandmother’s house. It is white with green decoration. I think my husband’s grandmother put very big pieces of meat on it. I put cold meat, cheese, salad and fruit on it.

When we eat with family, we can have good memories if we use the plates they used. We can think, “my grandmother and my grandfather used this plate”….. We can remember them while we eat a family meal.

By Patricia @ I Talk You Talk Press

[Easy English Blog] Snow at last

full frame shot of snowflakes

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It snowed the other day. This was our first snowfall for two years. Two years ago, we had the heaviest snowfall in around 35 years. Last year, it didn’t snow at all. We had a mild winter.

This year, we have had a mild winter again. It has only snowed for one day so far. I don’t like the snow. It takes a long time to shovel snow around my car. I also don’t like driving in the snow. The daytime is not so bad, but when the roads become icy at night, it’s dangerous.

I used to live at the top of a small hill. In winter, the hill became very icy. I tried walking down the hill once, but it was so icy that I fell over. There were some car accidents on the hill, especially at night.

Also, when it snows, I can’t go running. It is too slippery. I wanted to go running a few days ago, but there was still snow and ice on the ground. I have to wait for the snow to melt.

I hope we don’t have any more snow this year!

By Heather @ I Talk You Talk Press

[Easy English Blog]Do I love nature or do I hate it?

gray small bird on green leaves

Photo by daniyal ghanavati on Pexels.com

Today’s Easy English Blog is from Patricia in New Zealand.

At lunchtime today we heard the sounds of birds behind the house. When we looked out the windows we saw two adult California quails – a male and a female. They were looking after ten baby birds. The babies were sitting on the edge of the vegetable garden with their mother. The male bird was on top of the fence watching out for danger. I thought – This is so cute! I love the nature in our garden.

Our vegetable garden is on a hill behind our house. Just now I walked up the steps to our garden. I wanted a lettuce for our evening meal and some radishes.

At the top of the steps there is an old tree. When I walked past the old tree I saw a wasp – it was flying into the tree. When I came back with the lettuce and radishes I saw more wasps flying in and out of the old tree. Some wasps have made a nest in this old tree – do you know about wasps? They are like hornets. They are not so big and maybe not so dangerous – but there are many many more wasps than hornets! I thought – I hate wasps. Wasps sting people.Some people are allergic to wasp stings. It is very dangerous for them. And wasps attack honey bees. Honey bees are good. We all like honey. So I thought – Do I love or hate nature today?

By Patricia @ I Talk You Talk Press

[Easy English Blog] The taste of summer

Today’s Easy English Blog is from Patricia in New Zealand.

photography of tomatoes near basil leaves

Photo by monicore on Pexels.com

It is summer here. I read some blogs today. One blogger wrote about the ‘taste of summer’ and another blogger wrote about ‘eating summer’.

I thought about this – what is the taste of summer for me?

I thought about the fruit – strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, apricots, peaches and nectarines.

I thought about BBQs.

I thought about ratatouille. Do you remember the Disney movie Ratatouille? It was about a rat who wanted to be a chef. Ratatouille is a French dish with onions, zucchini, tomatoes and eggplant, I often make this, but I don’t add eggplant because my family doesn’t like it.

But then I knew what the taste of summer is for me. About a week from now, our tomatoes will be ready. Our vegetable garden is on a hill. I will walk up the hill when the sun is on the garden. I will find one perfect tomato. It will be warm from the sun. I will pick it and carry it back to my kitchen.

I will make a piece of brown bread toast. I will slice the tomato and put it on the toast with a little salt and pepper.

Perfect! The taste of summer!

By Patricia @ I Talk You Talk Press

[Easy English Blog] A hot day

This is a blog post by Patricia in New Zealand. It is summer there now!

fire warm fireplace barbecue

Photo by Caio Resende on Pexels.com

We like to eat outside in summer. We have big tables and a lot of chairs. On New Year’s Day, we had a lunch party with family and friends. The weather was good and we had a nice day.

But since New Year, the weather has not been so good. Sometimes it was windy. Sometimes it was cloudy, and sometimes it rained!

Today is a bright, hot day. So tonight, when it is a little cooler, we will BBQ and eat outside.

We will have yakitori. Do you know yakitori? They are Japanese-style chicken kebabs. We will have prawn kebabs as well. I don’t know Japanese name for prawn kebabs. Maybe it doesn’t matter because I will use Thai sweet chilli sauce with the prawns. So I will call them Thai prawn kebabs!

I will make yaki onigiri – Japanese rice cakes – because my family likes them. There is a small problem with making yaki onigiri in New Zealand. The Japanese rice I can buy here is not as good.

Sushi restaurants in New Zealand use good rice – I don’t know where they buy it!  I would not make sushi with New Zealand supermarket rice. But I make yaki onigiri – they are not as good as the ones I could make in Japan – but they are OK.

I hope we will have a great meal.

By Patricia @ I Talk You Talk Press