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An Australian Herb Garden and Aussie Potato Salad

It’s a lovely thing to open up a garage door and be scared silly by a horde of dear friends yelling SURPRISE at the tops of their lungs. That’s just what happened to me my first day in Australia, and I loved it. ๐Ÿ™‚ Before I could even catch my breath, I was enveloped in big squeezy hugs from folks I had only ever known online, and who are now like family to me.

We laughed, we cried and suddenly I was blindfolded as they led me to a “surprise” they’d been alluding to for months. When I opened my eyes I couldn’t believe it!! Knowing my love of cooking they had planted an herb garden months before to be ready for my arrival. It was beautiful! Full of delicate cosmos, fragrant allysum and cheery nasturtiums in lovely old pots alongside basil and rosemary and a whole slew of mint. I couldn’t help myself, I cried again. ๐Ÿ™‚

We had such fun poking about in there, my friends pointing out this and that, giving me ideas on what to do with a thriving sorrel plant (more on that another day!) and how to cut back the mint just right.

They even set up a little wrought iron chair and table for me where I could do my writing. Such incredibly loving people. I learned so much about selflessness, kindness, and love from them.

After our wander we settled on the back porch with cold drinks and dug into my first Aussie barbecue. Mmm, mmm, good! I was introduced to the most bizarre hamburgers I’ve ever seen in my life – that deserves a post all its own – and devoured my friend Robbie’s deeeeelicious potato salad.

It was NOT your average potato salad, not by a long shot. He started out with a tub of regular ol’ potato salad from the deli, then folded in a dizzying array of delectable additions: toasted walnuts, caramelized onions, bacon, sun-dried tomatoes, fresh parsley, toasted almonds, kalamata olives, and who knows what else. All I know is that it was fantastic, and I happily ate leftovers for the next few days without ever tiring of them.

What is the best surprise you’ve ever received?

Aussie Potato Salad


1 tub store-bought potato salad
olive oil
1 cup chopped bacon
1 onion, halved and sliced thinly
1/2 cup walnuts
1/2 cup almonds
1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes
1/4 cup kalamata olives, sliced
large handful parsley, chopped


  1. Place potato salad in large bowl and set aside.
  2. Heat olive oil in frying pan and add bacon and onions. Fry until bacon is crispy and onions are soft. Add to potato salad.
  3. In same pan fry walnuts and almonds until toasted. Add to potato salad.
  4. Add remaining ingredients and stir until well incorporated.
  5. Let sit in fridge 2 or more hours to let flavors meld.
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Battling Spiders and Making Sorrel Pesto in Australia » Rambling Tart - […] Eventually our walk led me back to “my garden.” If you haven’t already, I’d love you to read the story of how this garden came to be. You can read all about the kindness of my dear Aussie friends here: An Australian Herb Garden. […]

barbara - What a lovely group of friends to welcome you with your own herb garden.

Annie - How sweet of your friends!!! I would have cried to!

That potato salad looks absolutely amazing. I am definitely going to start writing down the recipes from your site and get to cooking! I love the idea of cooking but always think I can’t do it, I don’t know how to match tastes, but I think I just need a little practice! ๐Ÿ™‚

I can’t wait for your hamburger post, I had some of the most interesting hamburgers in Australia..

Mary - It is so nice to see things in bloom at this time of year. I can’t wait to hear more about the food you enjoyed downunder. I hope you are well. Have a great day. Blessings…Mary

Katie@Cozydelicious - I’m not usually a potato salad fan but I love the idea of adding all those lovely tasty ingrediants. The olives and sun dried tomatoes sound awesome in potato salad!

A Canadian Foodie - So are you living there for a year of teaching or something now? I think I have read all posts for two to three months and this is new to me?
But, she photographs, cooks, writes all beautifully – surprise party – no wonder… but I am very confused.

Barbara - What a fabulous surprise! An herb garden! You’ve got some super Aussie friends, Krista!
The potato salad looks great. Makes things easier to be able to doctor up a recipe and have it taste like homemade!

Anna Johnston - I’ve never thought to start a potato salad with store bought…, good idea. So glad you enjoyed your Aussie experience, sounds like you found some awesome new ‘family’ down under Krista ๐Ÿ™‚

Andi of My Beautiful Adventures - That is such an incredibly lovely surprise! I would have cried. ๐Ÿ™‚

I was surprised with a trip to Fiji once…that was pretty unforgettable…

elra - Gorgeous as always. Your potato salad is a must try recipe. Thank you.

Chaya - It is wonderful that you had such a meaningful trip. That people are good to you is no surprise. You are one special person who exudes love and joy.

Krista - It is SO delicious, Zita! ๐Ÿ™‚ I hope you love it as much as I did!

Jeanne @ CookSister! - Oh my word I LOVE the sound of that potato salad! Going to make it as soon as the weather turns warmer around here again. Gorgeous pics – love the cosmos and nasturtiums. Reminds me of my parents’ garden back home in South Africa ๐Ÿ™‚

bellini - Our friends down under are curious and experimental when it comes to food. I believe that an Aussie burger has a slice of pineapple and an egg on top.I really look forward to hearing more about your Australian adventure.

Janyne - Oh Krista it was so much fun while you were here. I just wish that it was for longer ๐Ÿ™‚ We still have so much to explore and for you to photograph. Don’t worry mate, we will turn you into a true blue Aussie in no time.

I really love the photos. They are so good!!! Awesome article Krista. Can’t wait for your next visit ๐Ÿ™‚

Tweets that mention An Australian Herb Garden and Aussie Potato Salad ยป Rambling Tart -- Topsy.com - […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by ZiziKalandjai, Krista Bjorn. Krista Bjorn said: {new blog post} An Australian Herb Garden and Aussie Potato Salad http://bit.ly/ePg1LO #Australia […]

Zita - Hmmm, this potato salad is so delicious. I need to make it ASAP! ๐Ÿ™‚

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