Welcome to Life Images by Jill

Welcome to Life Images by Jill.........Stepping into the light and bringing together the images and stories of our world.
I am a photographer, writer and multi-media artist. Through my blog I am
seeking to preserve images and memories of the beautiful world in which we live and the people in it.



Monday, 9 November 2015

Summer is on its way in Western Australia - & making lemon butter

I hope your week has started well. This is not originally what I planned to bring you today, but I have been caught in the "summer is on its way" feeling.  And how could I not be? The Jacaranda trees in my area are in full bloom, the Banksias are sending up what I call their Christmas candles, there is a yellow pea flower blooming along my morning walk, surf-club is in full swing down at the back beach, and it's a lovely time to enjoy coffee with a friend at one of our waterside cafes. I love living here so close to water, even if I do have to walk or drive to get to it. We have the river, estuary, inlet and ocean only ten minutes away.

 Here some more pics of that Banksia tree. These flowers are about 12 inches or 30 centimeters long. Don't you think they look like candles?

Summer is coming to my garden too.
The green kangaroo paws have put up their long flower stems over the last week or so, the agapanthus is shooting up it's blue flower heads, the hydrangea is putting out its first flowers, my lovely double creamy yellow gerbera is full blown, the lavender is putting up new shoots, the roses are blooming, as is the honeysuckle, and my pink native rose, and the yellow daisies that border my garden have erupted in a riot of yellow this past week. 

 In my back garden the grape vine has promising bunches of grapes, the apricot tree is covered in paper bags to keep off the fruit-fly and the birds, the parsley plant has gone to seed, the lemon tree is loaded and the tomato plants are starting to flower.

What to do with all those lemons?  Make lemon butter of course! And what is not to like about lemon butter!

Here is the recipe I use: 

Lemon butter or Lemon Curd

500 grams (1lb) sugar, 250 grams (1/2 lb) butter, 4 eggs, juice of 3 lemons.
Grate rind of lemons and mix with juice and other ingredients in a china or glass bowl. Stand over boiling water on stove. Stir until consistency of honey, but do not allow to boil. 
This takes about half an hour. Bottle and cover immediately. Makes about 3 jars. Store in the fridge. 
Enjoy on fresh baked scones or just slather on bread.

Do you make lemon butter? You should try it. It is fairly easy to make.
But there are a few tricky questions
How much lemon juice is in 3 lemons? I never know when a recipe has this sort of instruction. My lemons are very large and produce a lot of juice. 
It is also difficult when you are cooking to know when you have reached the right consistency. "like honey" I guess is a good guide. I find the lemon butter does thicken a bit more after it has been refrigerated.
The most tricky part is resisting eating it straight from the jar! It is so delicious.

Here is a little photography hint for those budding food photographers out there. If your lighting is a bit dull, try adding some "fill in light" on the front of your set up. You can do this with a white bounce card, or a light. I have just purchased a Metz Mecalight LED-480 led light which works perfectly for small set ups. You can see the result below. You don't need an expensive light for small set ups. I've also used a fluorescent camping light which has worked well in these situations.
If you use tripod in low light you can also increase the exposure (ie slow down the shutter speed) when you take your pic or lighten the exposure in post processing after.  

You can see with and without a light below. Big difference. This was taken on my patio. 

 Lastly a few flowers just because.

Some summery yellow daisies sitting in a piece of my grandmother's cruet set and processed with a texture. 

 And a close up of that beautiful gerbera in my garden.

 Do you make lemon butter? What is your favourite lemon recipe? Perhaps you would like to tell us about it in your comments. 

I hope to be back next week with the next part of our recent spring wildflower trip. I working on identifying as many of the wildflowers as I can for you. 

Thank you so much for stopping by. I value your comments and look forward to hearing from you. I will try to visit your blogs in return. Have a wonderful week.

I am linking up to the link-ups below. Please click on the links to see fabulous contributions from around the world - virtual touring at its best!

Mosaic Monday
Travel Photo Mondays

Lifestyle Fifty Monday Linkup 
Our World Tuesday

Through My Lens 
Wednesday Around the World at Communal Global
Worth Casing Wednesday
What's It Wednesday
Travel Photo Thursday

The Weekly Postcard

 You might also like:
Hello sunshine yellow and lemony delights 
Hydrangeas and Melting Moments in my garden 
Summer is here  
The trees are blooming for Christmas 


  1. Hello Jill, I have never tried making lemon butter. It sounds delicious. I have been drinking a lot of lemon water lately, I wish I had my own lemon tree. I love all your images, the flowers and the beautiful jacaranda blossoms are all gorgeous sights. Happy Monday, enjoy your new week ahead!

    1. A lemon tree is certainly a useful inclusion in a garden. But we do tend to get overrun with lemons!

  2. Oh my, Jill, your post adds so much beauty and light to my day. Love all the photos, but am particularly smitten with the lemon butter pics and that bouquet of yellow daisies. Almost I can taste the lemon butter and smell the daisies.

    Wishing you a beautiful summery day your way (snowy here today in Alberta Canada).

  3. Stunning images Jill. I've never made lemon butter, but I sure do enjoy eating it! :-)

  4. It is full on summer here too Jill. We have had a week of afternoon/evening thunderstorms and even hail storms. I love thunderstorms - they really put on a show of flashes of light across the evening sky. When you wake up the next morning the sun is out and the air is crisp and dewy after the rainfall during the night. As for lemons, I juice one every morning and add water as a cleansing drink (which they say is very good for you). I think my favourite lemon recipe is lemon meringue pie, but I haven't made it in a while. Lovely photos Jill :)

    1. I love lemon meringue pie too. I think it is a favourite of our whole family!

  5. Your garden looks lovely. Where I grew up had its Jacaranda Day on the weekend meaning the main street was filled with purple flowers and hints of orange from the silky oaks planted between. I wish I'd been able to see it. I have to go for a drive up to the Atherton Tablelands to find Jacarandas. The poincianas are starting to flower here, turning the area red. We have tomatoes growing like crazing and giving us a small supply as they ripen slowly and our hippeastrums have been slowly sharing their flowers. We really know summer is coming because the humidity has turned up and the sky has clouded over bringing some rain today. I LOVE lemon curd or lemon butter and wish I had a tree so I could go wild making it and enjoy it straight from the jar.

    1. Oh I love poinciana trees. I don't think we can grow them down where we live though.

  6. Lemon curd and scones plus coffee perfect breakfast offering.

    Worth a Thousand Words

  7. Thank you for linking up these wonderful photos at http://image-in-ing.blogspot.com/2015/11/basilica-shrine-of-saint-mary.html

  8. The lemon curd looks fantastic! Slightly jealous as winter is just about to hit us, but also because the last two weeks we have had non-stop rain.

  9. Your garden looks blooming gorgeous Jill! This post has such a lovely early summer feel to it, and I love how you transport us to a place and time with your words and pics. Gosh the fill in light makes a difference in the photo you were demonstrating. Thanks for the tips - oh and the gorgeous recipe!

  10. I am in love with Banksia's and your photos xxx

  11. Wow - you're lucky, a fridge full of lemon butter and summer on her way! She's been a big tease here in Melbourne out to impress for Melbourne Cup and then disappeared without notice, I am back in my jeans with my winter warm slippers on no kidding it's freezing!
    Our lemon tree has done well - here is our lemon curd recipe http://littlewanderingwren.blogspot.com.au/2013/08/brighten-your-day-with-lemon-curd-no.html
    Wren x

    1. I know there are many people who don't agree with hrose racing, but the Melbourne Cup win my Michelle Payne this year was more than about horse racing. She and her brother Stevie showed us all what is possible.
      Have a great week and I hope the Melbourne weather improves!

  12. Love all the photos in al the collages. My daughter's family make lemon Curd every chritmas for present adn we all help as there is a lot to do. People love it adn now expect it every year.

  13. Your post is timely Jill and I'm going to pin your recipe. We call this delicious lemon spread curd - but lemon butter sounds more civilized. I buy a jar now and then to have on scones and it's quite expensive so eaten for a special treat. Didn't I recently discover hubby spreading it thick on his toast in the morning! I suggested I make some since I know he likes the lemon flavour - how long would a jar keep in the fridge? I'm under the impression it has a short shelf life but if it's longer than a couple of weeks, I'm going to make some.

    1. Hi Judith, I haven't tested the shelf life, as I either give jars away or make sure we eat it up quick within a couple of weeks, but I would think 4 weeks keeping time would be about right as I know my nephew has it around for a while, but don't hold me to it! I'll check with him and let you know.

    2. Hi Judith, my nephew says about 3 months keeping time in the fridge. Hmm, I might experiment with one of my jars.

  14. Seeing summer coming is wonderful...how lucky to make your own lemon curd and that Banksia tree is so unusual...I love it.

  15. Your late spring/early summer is just wonderful! Love the candle-flowers! And the lemons! Yum...lemon curd!!! I have a little lemon tree in a pot. Can't wait to start getting lemons...maybe one or two next spring. We'll see.

  16. Thank you for this Jill. The photos are gorgeous. I just love how my eyes were scanning the images for the stunning shades of yellow. A beautiful way to start the day.

  17. Oh Jill, your garden is just heavenly. I love all of the flowers and the different shapes of their leaves and petals has warmth and gentleness in them. Those Banksia tree flowers are amazing, wow, beautiful. I LOVE lemon, and I LOVE lemon curd, especially spread on scones, or made into a lemon pie. Now my mouth is watering, as I sip my lavender tea with honey. Happy Summer in your homeland. Hugs to you~

  18. I once won first prize for my lemon butter at a country show! I'm a BIG fan of anything citrus, and citrus desserts are my favourite - the ultimate dessert (I still drool over it) was a tasting plate of four mini-lemon desserts I had once at a restaurant about 24 years ago. There was a tiny slice of lemon cheesecake, a mini lemon curd tart, a small scoop of lemon ice cream and I can never recall what the 4th one was!! Have a great weekend!


I hope you have enjoyed your visit to my blog. Thank you for stopping by and for taking the time to comment. I read and very much appreciate every comment and love hearing from you. I will try to visit your blogs in return.