Wednesday, February 22, 2012
Tuesday, February 21, 2012
So now will be the perfect time for us to really enjoy the things we have which don't cost us a cent.
Self sown cosmos are free. I know that I have vowed to remove all of the cosmos as they pop up but really I am soft-hearted and just can't resist allowing a few to grow and bloom.
The herb garden is well and truly established and provides something for our plate most days. Our initial outlay wasn't too costly and now we are at the stage where we can just divide plants if any bare spots arise. I love herbs and my herb garden in particular.
Elderflowers are a bit hip right now, I have even seen cordials in the supermarket. I have made the cordial before and I think I will make another batch with this crop of flowers. It is quite an understated flower and the cordial has a sweetness and delicate floral flavour that isn't overpowering.
Saturday, February 18, 2012
Plant something: Just seeds for the winter garden.
Harvest something: The usual summer bounty just in much less quantity than usual. The weather has warmed up over the last couple of days but it may be that it is too late for some things to ripen before the cooler weather arrives.
Preserve something: Freezing leftovers. With my son being away from home now for university I have to adjust my cooking quantities. I had never realised how much one teenage boy must eat until he wasn't there.
Waste not: Compost, worms,poultry have all taken care of the scraps this week.I am a bit ashamed to admit I have wasted a bit of time this week watching My Kitchen Rules on television.
Want not: collecting a few items for the above mentioned son to use in his new dwelling.
Eat the food: We had to eat a couple of meals on the road this week because Tim and I had a quick trip to Sydney. But on the home front we have been enjoying pasta, salads, bread, soup and tonight a beef and Guiness pie courtesy of a tweaked recipe from Jamie at Home. I have also been baking quite a bit.
Building Community: I have changed my entry from building community food systems to just building community, it works better for me. Although I didn't do anything that felt like I was contributing to the community, I did get to enjoy the market in Sydney where there seems to be a thriving community of people eager for fresh produce at a good price.
I did join a group of online crocheters to swap granny squares and a group which makes bags to help eradicate the ubiquitous plastic bag. So a little bit of community activity.
Skill Up: Looking at things that I might be able to do to improve our financial situation and make us that little more independent.
Monday, February 13, 2012
I needed to bake and I thought something small and just a little bittersweet would be nice. Something that will be nice with a cup of herb tea (coffee is once again on the contraband list). Melting moments sounded good and a little cocoa to jazz them up even better.
I really should have taken the time to find the proper piping rose because if you use the wrong one like I did, they look just a little bit like something the dog would do. Still taste good though.
Place the mixture in a piping bag fitted with a half inch rose and pipe stars onto the baking tray.
Today I sandwiched the biscuits together with Nutella (yuck) because the girls like it and it is easy. But a chocolate ganache made with 15 grams of butter and 90-95 grams chocolate melted together and allowed to cool and set to a spreadable texture would be even better in my opinion. Obviously I do not like Nutella.
Sunday, February 12, 2012
Plant something: Nothing at all but I am going to set out some seeds this afternoon for winter vegies.
Harvest something: Eggs, tomatoes, basil, other herbs, rocket and strawberries. The garden is really suffering from the cool, wet season with less bounty than usual.
Preserve something: No long term preserving just some soup for the freezer. Ham bones were cheap this week so I bought one even though we usually only have split pea and ham soup once a year.
Want not: I have been offered a couple of bags of wheat courtesy of my dad. The chickens will be grateful and I am grateful that I don't have to buy some of the poultry rations for a while. Mum and Dad always get fresh eggs from us so no one is missing out.
Eat the food: There has been a fair amount of baking going on (school lunch boxes make it necessary). I still have a few dozen eggs in the fridge but between cakes, biscuits and the odd egg on toast we are getting through them. I did make something new last night, Harissa, tomato and garlic chicken which was delicious if a little spicy. Today I will be making pasta for lasagne.
Building Community: No, I just can't think what to do here.
Skill Up: I'm sure I do learn something new everyday but I don't think I have developed any new skills worth mentioning.
Saturday, February 11, 2012
This is Crinkles. He is boss. Crinkles will be six in May and we have decided he will remain with us until the end. He was born on a small school farm and consequently had a lot of handling as a lamb. This has made him a little too familiar with people and he is not adverse to using his 100+ kilograms to get his way. I do not handle him at all as he has no respect for me at all. I keep a fence between us and things are just fine.
This guy will be for sale.
Monday, February 6, 2012
I didn't succumb fully to the lure of the ads. I made my own. I even felt adventurous enough to make my own mayonnaise. Homemade burgers were given the thumbs up by the four of us but only the adults enjoyed the homemade mayonnaise. The verdict from the youngsters was that it was too eggy. Not so, it only had one lonely egg yolk in the whole mix. It was very yellow though and quite unctious.
Although I am missing my boy, I have had such a great day. Baking, bike riding and working here at home on the farm.
Sunday, February 5, 2012
Why make cheese at home? It is fiddly, I don't save any money doing it and possibly the cheese doesn't always taste better than a good artisan cheese but I do like doing it. I get to be scientist and cook all at once.No two cheeses come out alike and it does feel like a bit of an achievement when it all goes to plan. So my aim will now be to make more of the hard cheeses which my family like to eat.
Wednesday, February 1, 2012
I'm sure others have that feeling sometimes that the way things are going on a day-to-day basis is not how they see their lives in the big picture. For example in my case, gardening is a big part of my life. It is something that I not only enjoy but use as a tool to provide for our family and reduce our cost of living. I love doing it and I don't want to stop but recently with being away and having a busy mind, I have only tended sporadically to the garden and have not been as active in collecting and using our own produce as I usually am or as I would like to be.
I actually wrote the above a couple of days ago and the internet connection would not allow me to post (or do anything internet related for that matter). I am glad to say that I am feeling more like me again and have been busy with our little farm but not too busy. Thankfully the balance at the moment is just right and we have been enjoying the bounty that we can grow. I am also glad to say that it has stopped raining for now. So finally some washing is getting dry and the sun is brightening up the house. Damp washing on airers and dull days really do make my house feel messy.