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12 May 2017

Preserving and Bulk Buying

We've been busy stocking up lately.
We were gifted a couple of kilos of tomatoes recently so I found a nice, easy recipe and made some tomato relish in the slow cooker. The recipe, and my alterations, on the recipes page. I'll be giving a jar to the donor of the tomatoes as a thank you.

I have a habit of skimming through the local Facebook buy, swap and sell page and discovered some wheat and barley at around half the price we usually pay for it, but, it was in the bulk buy form of a 200 litre, or 44 gallon drum, purchase for each type. After discussion we decided that it was worth it, as 2 drums of each will last us at least 6 months, and there is already a mouse plague on it's way over from the west so prices could rise. The sealable metal drums will protect the grain and we can refill them from the same supplier each time. Good for us and good for a local farmer who sells direct from his farm :).

Shifting the heavy drums from the trailer, after we had them home, was a bit of a challenge and meant some interesting manoeuvering to avoid back strains at one time.


With the forklift, and some blocks for support at strategic moments, the drums were set up under cover until the contents are required.


So now the chickens and herbivores have their pantry filled until Spring!
Cheers,
Robyn Louise XO

8 May 2017

Autumn Activities


The last couple of weeks have been a mix of relaxation, warming winter food and either planting cold season crops or feeding and mulching areas for the Winter so they will be ready for planting in Spring.

Sunday 23 April we met with my daughter, her partner and her friend at Iandra Castle, Greenethorpe - which is about 45 minutes from home - for an open day and took our picnic lunch. A fitting place for PC and I to go :). The property has a few open days a year and we will probably attend the next few to see the changes in the season in the gardens.
Here are some outdoor views and the sale sign when the property was subdivided in 1916. The property was huge and I want to locate the history as the owner was revered by the locals due to the services etc he implemented for the area.




 


 It would take too long to decide which of the inside views to post as there were so many interesting things, so, if you ever visit Young, NSW,  Australia then type this into your computer search engine -http://www.iandracastle.com.au/open-days -  and reserve a whole day to look at it. It's definitely worth it!

Mmmmm...... A couple of Winter warmer recipes I've recently discovered online. Both meet the approval of PC....I'm having a run of success there!
The one above is Teriyaki Chicken and the one below is Chick Pea and Vegetable Curry.
Both can be frozen and reheated but the curry goes a tad mushy due to the vegetable content.

There's been some more rain this week. Only a few millimetres but the seedlings virtually jumped out of their trays. PC dug out the old grape vine and softened the soil for the pea seedlings to go along the east fence in the next few days. I've been researching and I can grow a fig tree in the conditions here, so when the stump of the other tree is removed, it will be replaced with a brown turkey as that is what I have had success with before in extreme summer heat and frosty Winters.


Right -This is a close up of the white patches in the above garden. We had our first frost today! No wonder I felt half frozen when I climbed out of bed this morning...brrrr.

The moss on the rocks appreciates the recent moisture as well. I thought frost may hamper it's growth but it seems to thrive on it.



I'm looking forward to much observation and note taking during my first Winter here :).

Cheers,
RobynLouise XO

23 Apr 2017

Baking Breads

I finally decided to give the breadmaker a workout again during the last week. A plain white loaf  was the initial warm up. The flavour was good and the texture wonderful even though the appearance was a bit wayward. PC said he won't be able to eat shop bread again!

This was followed a couple of days later by a fresh  herb and carraway loaf.  The fresh herbs were home grown coriander and lemon thyme and I had some dill, that I dried, from when I purchased fresh dill for another recipe. I will be making this bread again as it's a real treat.

Today was another white loaf but I baked it using  the preset timer just to familiarise myself with the procedure and see if the loaf tasted as nice as the first one. It did and it wasn't as wayward looking. Must be to do with the liquids being given a chance to slowly soak into the dry ingredients before mixing. We used it for our picnic lunch sandwiches. The bacon, onion and cheese pizza scrolls were handmade and they were well received. PC likes all the new taste offerings :).

Have you baked any breads lately?

Cheers,
RobynLouise XO.

17 Apr 2017

Autumn April

As Autumn is finally here - weather wise - there’s been a few things happening around the garden and household.

Pruning,

propagation and planting,

harvesting - along with a little home produced craft and

the last flush of blooms.

Last Saturday we visited Murrumburrah/Harden and stopped by this place for lunch.

Some clever person made this to commemorate the cottage’s decade of trading after repair and refurbishment.

I spent much time looking at the handmade items there and even purchased one. A very nice lined and quilted sewing machine cover with a side pocket. It fits very well on my Janome Decor.


PC was very interested in the building itself and the original architecture.


Thanks for visiting!
Cheers,
Robyn Louise XO



3 Apr 2017

Snip, snip?

No, more like whirrrrrrr.....

I gave PC a haircut today. Man deserves a medal for being so brave :P! It didn't come out too bad - considering he has about 6 crowns and his hair grows in 50,000 directions.....hahahaha......























I won't be allowing it to become this long again. Fear of messing it up delayed the procedure but made the eventual clipping take longer than expected as the hair kept clogging the clipper blades. It's not as even as I would have liked either. I'm looking forward to some pillion rides on the motorcycle now he can wear his helmet comfortably though :).

Cheers,
RobynLouise XO