Hi there!

I’m slowly working towards some simplicity within the home, but hey! It’s a lot of hard work!

I love having a go at growing my own veges and always use herbs fresh from my garden. I try to plant from seed whenever I can and have learnt to save and share my own seed for the following year. I make Award Winning preserves and pickles; and my husband brews Award Winning boutique beers as well. I love to stockpile and try to limit quick trips to the shops. I dabble in bread making and enjoy making my own stocks too.

I enjoy feeding my family good hearty meals, nothing like those tiny restaurant stacks you have to look for on the plate. My husband maintains our vehicles and machinery and we both enjoy fabricating on a small scale mostly relying on metal & timber recyclers for any materials needed.

While I don’t always have time to reply to comments, I love reading them. I hope you enjoy your stay and I hope you learn something new because I love sharing what I learn, and I'm always looking for another new skill myself.


Monday, March 28, 2011


While I have been ill, there have been a few new followers, so I welcome you to my blog
I hope you like what you see and read. 

I am sure you will be pleased with today's post.
It sure has been a busy day......I'm feeling much better, 
and looking around, there is so much to do....
things I should have been doing but didn't have the energy.....

First off I had fat to render that I had gotten from my new friend Colin the butcher......
and as it was frozen, I thought I would give my new mincer a try...
I have had my mincer for almost a month...but not used it yet as I haven't had time or been too sick.  
I picked this up at Aldi's for $99. 
So today I began rendering the fat. I was disappointed with the amount of waste left over with the last lot of fat I rendered; so I decided to give the mincer a go.....and ground the fat to a fine grade. 
These smaller pieces should prove easier to render.

Mincing the fat before rendering.

For cleaning up the mincer attachments....I came up with the idea of placing them all in boiling water..
This; I hoped would make all the fat dissolve off the attachments and rise to the top of the water....
It worked....Yayyy

Below: I then rubbed baking soda all over the attachments.....straight on the bench that I had the mincer on....which was still greasy....then rubbed the baking soda all over the bench to soak up any fat residue....
It worked tooo!!

Then I washed the parts in warm soapy water, dried them, sprayed them with olive oil (to prevent rust)..
I have seen that some parts can be susceptible to rust, not sure of this model, but not taking the risk.
And have now stored them in a plastic bag...and sealed it.

Here is the oil, simmering away.....I will probably simmer this all day and evening.........
I will write more about these steps, once I have finished rendering.


First I went and dug the hole in the compost....this is where I buried all the mushroom stems a few months back....the soil in here is so good. I am really impressed with the quality.

 Collecting the last of the Bokashi tea
which will be used on the strawberry plants, Aloe Vera & Kiwi Fruit plants. 
Such spoilt plants.

Below: you can see that unwanted mould is starting to develop here....
It is definitley long over due....to be emptied. Surprisingly it doesn't smell offensive though...I can smell a fermented aroma, but certainly not offensive.

 It was so heavy, while I was trying to upend the bokashi bucket,....it sort of just fell like this.

Spread the bokashi waste over the entire pit.

Now cover the Bokashi waste with compost or soil.

 Ahhh more Bokashi tea..... and clean up was so easy!

MY OOPS CHEESE......First of all, let me tell you that I began making a double batch of  Parmesan Cheese yesterday....I found that my rennet was not up to scratch..My milk did not set!    
Last time I used it, I had left it out of the fridge for 24 hours, accidentally packing it away in the cupboard....
I guess I killed my rennet..:(
Not sure about the cultures as they were in the same container :(
and not chilled for the same amount of time   :(

Yep It didn't work, so I saved it by doing the following...............

 OOPS CHEESE #1 - Whey and Milk Ricotta

I used some of the milk that didn't set properly from the Parmesan Cheese to make this Ricotta.
I also added the cream I had skimmed from the Parmesan Milk and some whey from another cheese. 
I think it will end up a baked Ricotta...this will be a first for us.

First add half a spoon full of baking soda to the milk.....
Then heat the milk/whey/cream to 65 degrees celcius...do not stir......

 When it gets  to 65 degrees C, add 1 tspn of salt to every litre of liquid.........still don't stir.....

Leave it on the heat, and once it reaches 85 degrees C, add 20mls of vinegar per litre.....
don't stir, 
the particles are very small at this stage and rather delicate.......
After adding the vinegar, leave on the heat for another 5 minutes....don't stir.....
 Turn the heat off, and gently remove the curds from the whey....
place all the curds into a strainer lined with a clean cloth.

After all the curds are removed.

Wrap the curds in the cloth, and place a lid on top.

Now wrap up the curds, and place a lid on top, 
Place a bowl on top of that, and fill with water....this acts as a press. 

Once pressed, unwrap and place on a plate....I am going to bake this one.
I have never baked Ricotta before.

Update on the Baked Ricotta

Here is my Chabichou Cheese, and Pressed Ricotta
I am using the infused oil from the Chabichou to fry the Ricotta.....
but you could use any infused oil or even plain oil.

I decided to fry the Ricotta instead of baking it. Much easier this way.

 Hmmm it's smelling good from here.....

Oh no!!! a little bit broke off the side,.....I guess I will just have to try it...
.OMG it is so yummy
Another COOK'S TREAT!!!! heheheheh

OOPS CHEESE #2 - nellymary's lemon cheese
Yep, tweaked again.

I first strained some more of the milk overnight in a cloth bag, 
thinking I could make some yoghurt....but duhhhh!!! 
I used a cheese culture, not a yoghurt culture....
so cheese it is....but I will tweak it...nellymary style...

So added to this lot, some Lemon Thyme, salt, Lemon rind

 and Lemon Juice, just a half will do.

I have put this into a mould to drain....not sure if it will work,
but I have salted the top, to help draw out the whey.....
once I turn it over, I will salt that side as well....
Leaving it overnight to cure.
I am not expecting a hard cheese, but semi soft will do....
But I will have to wait until tomorrow to see how it is going.

See, it just goes to show, even when you think your milk can't be salvaged because your 'cheese' is not going according to plan.....sit back, have a think about it, and just try something different.....
You never know....
Throw nothing out!!! that's my motto.

The vegetables are from last night, I prepared more than needed to help with tonight's dinner.....
I love mashed potato with a bit of pumpkin....but I didn't have fresh pumpkin on hand.......
So out of the freezer, a bag of frozen cooked pumpkin...to add to the mash...That was last night.

When I have lots of pumpkin, I cube it, and place in the steamer....
then into plastic press-seal bags goes 1 cup of mashed pumpkin....
I add these 1 cup serves to the freezer for 
recipes like my mashed spuds, 
but especially for muffins or scones, Oh they are soooo good.

I also do this with Banana's, and even though they are expensive at the moment, I can make banana bread, or banana scones....or even muffins, on the cheap, because of my stockpile in the freezer.

Leftover veges and Mashed Potato with Pumpkin.
Back to dinner, I just add all the veges into the whizzer to roughly chop them all  to combine them.
Place in a mixing bowl, add a few eggs, 
some plain flour, herbs and spices, some chopped spinach from the garden, 
and Oh! I forgot the grated onion....Oh well. 

Now shallow fry spoonfuls....
and flip when golden. 
If the oven is on, place them in the oven to keep warm until all the mix is used.

Not a bad dinner, everyone enjoyed it....Pretty cheap too......

Baked Chicken Pieces
with Veg Patties and Baked Ricotta

I also did 2 loads of washing and even had time to plant out the Lemon Thyme and Perpetual Spinach.

Some Bokashi tea for these plants and even some for the Kiwi Plants, which are happy since being transplanted a few weeks back.
  I will look after these until they are strong and bold, before I planted them into the ground.

Here is a visitor I found....look closely and you will see his web takes up the entire photo.

I will leave you there for now, my little friend, 
but you will eventually have to move on.

I sure hope you enjoyed reading about my day.....
It was a busy one, and it's good to be feeling healthy again.
If you like something I did, please leave a comment.....
I would love to hear from you.

Oh, I forgot to check the Camembert, I think it needs to be wrapped.....
Ahhhhh tomorrow's another day...


  1. WOW! That is pretty neat! I'm new and TOTALLY liking your blog! :)

  2. Hi Kristen, so glad you like my blog....I see you are really new to blogging too....I checked yours out, very nice too. I look forward to more of your writings......feel free to ask any questions...I will be only too happy to answer them.

  3. I am glad you are feeling better nellymary.I have been reading your blog for a while but I never leave comments as I am a little shy. But I want to say great job you are doing on your blog.

  4. Hi Kellie, Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment....it's great to be back in the land of the living, hubby has even gone back to work....I can't believe how sick he was, and he never gets sick.....Don't be shy Kellie, I love hearing from people who like my blog...it's nice to know I have people reading what I write.

  5. Hi Nellymary,
    love your blog. How creative are you with your cheese disaster. I would have panicked but you got all clever and transformed it into new cheese. Well done, I am enjoying following the fat rendering. Does it smell when you are cooking it down? Do you have to do it outside?
    ps I am new to blogging, can I put my link up?

  6. Oh nellymary - thank you so much! You saved my failed yoghurt this morning - I've created some yummy cheese spread, its so good! Thank you thank you thank you!


  7. Dayla: Welcome to the blogging world..of course..I always encourage others to post their blog in the comments...You don't need to render Beef fat outside...but you definitely would need to render Sheep fat outside..It stinks.

    The Mama: I'm glad you didn't throw it on the compost...never throw anything out until you ask if it can be saved....sometimes you just need to think outside the box a little....
    Your welcome.


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