- Visit Britain and walk in my fathers’ footsteps.
Swim with dolphins
- Raise chickens
- Fit into clothes from ANY store
- Own a house cow
- Travel around Australia being self-sufficient from the land and ocean
- Learn how to spin sheep wool
- Learn how to crochet a circle and do edging for washers and jug covers
- Scuba Diving in the Great Barrier Reef
- Meet as many of my Blogger and forum friends as possible
- Have my house de-cluttered and kept clean
- Renovate the kitchen to suit my kitchen habits
- Live on a larger block of land on the outskirts of town
- Gather the nerve to go on the biggest theme park ride
Go skinny dipping with my hubby
- Visit my Aunty May and new found family in Western Australia
- Spend some time living, learning and working at River Cottage
Work in a shearing shed Work in a dairy
- Become financially independent
- Become closer to family members
- Hold a family reunion
- Become a Grandma
- Learn the art of Photography
WELCOME to my BLOG
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.
Tuesday, May 31, 2011
I got my Vanilla beans on eBay (around $10 for 20 beans).
To make your own Vanilla Extract you will need:
30g of Vanilla beans (sliced down the centre to harvest the inner seeds; then chop the beans into 1 inch lengths)..
add this to 1 cup of Vodka
Seal well and shake daily for 1 week or every time you are near the brewing delight.
Here is my home made Vanilla Extract.
|started Brewing 26 Jan 2011.|
|Tea for two|
|I even gather the younger radish stems...|
they too taste like radish.
(carrot stems are good for salad too for the same reason)
|Tatsoi leaves.....notice I keep the good stem off the half eaten leaves.|
The snacked on leaves go to the Bokashi bin...
and I add the stems and healthy leaves to the salad.
I am loving using my vinegars as salad dressings....during the summer we go through alot of salad dressing...I don't think I will be buying salad dressing anymore....experimenting with my home made vinegars is proving to be a great learning curve.
I found some huge glass clip lock jars the other day for $3.95...they are much larger than the ones I used for making my citrus cleaner.....so today I have put down three more vinegars...two fruit salad vinegars and one Apple Cider Vinegar....Tomorrow I will add some Mother to each one and take photos.
|The large glass lids in the centre.....are Fowlers Vacola lids|
for when you open a bottle of preserves...also a plastic one from later on.
|My nan had this same cutlery; I couldn't resist....|
and at .50cents each, how could I pass up these old pegs.
|Above & Below:|
These bottles may end up being for vinegar.
Yep! it wasn't that bad after all....some had the corners broken off, and some were cracked almost in the centre...Great!...
They ended up all different sizes, and I even got to use up the odd bits by rolling it out again.....I will let the pictures do the talking now.............
I made 23....but I don't have that many now.
I got the recipe off the back of the pastry...
Monday, May 30, 2011
I have some exciting news...I recently met up with Tammy from the Down to Earth Forum....she also blogged about out visit here. Tammy has a few blogs, she is one very creative lady...it's certainly worth having a look around her blogs....While there time slipped by so easily that we didn't even think to eat...chatting through lunch time....I guess sometimes you just forget to eat when you are in good company.
I took a few books with me, and sitting at the table Tammy browsed through my books and I browsed through hers.
Tammy has a lovely garden, including many fruit trees along with 5 plum trees & a lovely Golden Delicious Apple....which was discovered that day....Until my visit, Tammy had thought it was a crab-apple tree. I convinced her to try one off the ground, as she had left them be.....The apples were slightly stunted but I found a larger one amongst the leaves...and gave it to Tammy.....She actually tasted it...I thought they were lovely...but I think if I had bitten deeper, I would have found they were ridden by fruit-fly.....I didn't have the nerve to Tammy that though...as I knew it was a huge step for her to try something from the ground. (Sorry Tammy, but at least you have a Golden Delicious Apple Tree now, and not a Crab Apple Tree). I'd much rather the Golden Delicious.
Could I tell Tammy that she could collect all the apples from the ground, cut away the bad bits...and press them making apple juice...or even ferment them to make vinegar......?
I wonder if she would gather them...that is if she had time...she is one very busy gal.
While there Tammy had baked this lovely light and fluffy Upside Down Pear & Ginger Dessert....We enjoyed a slice while browsing through the books.......I knew right then, that my family would love this dessert.
Upon coming home...I think the second day back, I cooked the dessert to the recipe...but now I have cooked it again, using apples and I also cooked a 4 batch....this way the oven is being used to it's fullest, We get to have the dessert again ....and there are 3 more desserts for the freezer...to be enjoyed at a later date.
It can't get much better than this....Sarah Lee eat your heart out...!!.
Here is the recipe for ONE BATCH and a few photos of the 4 batch I made today....
UPSIDE DOWN PEAR & GINGER DESSERT
For the topping, which is actually the first layer in the pan.
2 tablespoons Brown Sugar
1 tablespoon melted Butter
1 firm, sliced Pear
Set the oven to 160 degrees Celsius...Place the melted butter in a loaf tin, then sprinkle the brown sugar over the butter. Arrange the sliced Pear on top of the sugar mix....arrange in a pattern if you wish.
Now the batter.
150 grams Butter
60 grams Brown Sugar
80 grams of Flour...(I used Plain Wholemeal Four)
1 teaspoon Baking Powder
2 teaspoons ginger (I used the bottled crushed ginger)
1/4 cup milk (this wasn't included in the original recipe, but I felt it was needed, and so did Tammy)
Cream the butter and sugar together, then beat in the egg. Add the remaining ingredients, and mix well.
Pour the batter over the sliced Pear and bake for about 30 minutes....
Allow to set in the loaf tin until cool to the touch...(I found a better result when turning the dessert up-side down, if you allow it to cool first).
You will certainly enjoy this dessert...I told my boys they were in for a treat and that it even trumped my Golden Syrup Dumplings.......they couldn't believe me, but after tasting the new dessert......they agreed.
Thanks again Tammy for a lovely day, and a lovely recipe.
Sunday, May 22, 2011
Then today, I made plans to bake, and go to a SeedSavers meeting....it was to be my first meeting and I met the ladies through a stall they held at the markets....we chatted at the stall and they invited me to come along to the meeting..and bring whatever seeds I would like to share.....that will have to be a post of its own, so stay tuned for that one..........
Baking got off to a late start today, because I made a few mixes....another post......then I began making the large mix of these yummy biscuits. Instead of typing out the recipe here, I thought you may like the written form....Unfortunately I cannot remember who gave me this recipe, as I have had it many years....and made it many times too.
Here is the recipe for Coconut Biscuits.....Makes 200
I have made up all the recipe, but only baked enough for now......the rest I have placed onto a tray, pressed with a fork then froze them, for baking another day.
After my boys noses lead them to the kitchen, then everyone tasting the biscuits...including hubby....this is what I baked and also the ones I will freeze...I don't think it would have been 200 but it may be close.
They are so yummy....and I get to bake them again, without making up the recipe again.
Although I am not sure I should defrost them or if I can put them in the oven frozen yet, I will need to experiment as I have never done it before....but if it works, it will certainly be worth it.
Come back later so you can read all about my SeedSaver meeting, and the mixes I made earlier.
Thursday, May 19, 2011
I also want to take time to welcome the newbies to my blog.....I am humbled at the huge response I have been getting with the things I write about. I have now had over 10,500 visitors to my blog, and I only started it in February this year...Wow, that's a big deal for me.
I have no writing skills, I usually just write the way I speak. I barely do any research before writing, and I'm not always sure that's best....I love how detailed Rhonda's posts are on her blog...she is a very talented lady, with excellent writing and researching skills. She gives you all the information you need to know on a subject. After reading her blog, you come away feeling confident in your new found knowledge and ready to take on the world.
I added this post on the forum as I think it will benefit others...and I will enjoy watching it grow with everyone else's ideas and remedies....
I hope to get the same or similar response here too. So if you like what you read today, please leave a comment, even better, add a few of your simple remedies. I would love to hear from you!
- Apple Cider Vinegar
- Bach Rescue Remedy
- Cloth (When the skin is broken, I like to apply a salve of Vaseline and an antiseptic like Lavender Oil, then cover with small square of clean cloth, applied to the skin with Micropore tape. Any sized wound can be dressed this way.)
- Clove Oil
- Cornflour – Cornstarch Powder
- Cotton Buds and Balls
- Eye Bath
- Fresh Parsley
- Garlic cloves
- Hot Water
- Lavender Oil
- Small Scissors
- Micropore Tape
- Tea-Tree Oil
- Vanilla Extract
Tuesday, May 17, 2011
I made it yesterday, bottled it today, and will taste it tomorrow, if it is fizzy and sweet, I will refridgerate it tomorrow, if not, I will wait another half day at a time....tasting it each time.....I don't want a dry drink...so it has to go in the fridge before it turns dry.
Update: Now the recipe is also included here too:
Recipe - Rhubarb champagne
1 sliced lemon
8 pints of cold water
1 lb sugar
1 dessert spoon of vinegar
nylon curtain to strain it.
Wash rhubarb and cut up roughly, add sugar, finely sliced lemon, vinegar & water...Let stand for 24 hours, stirring occasionally to dissolve the sugar.
Strain through nylon curtain. Bottle and seal tightly. Screw-top coke bottles are good because they allow for expansion from gas...
The champagne is ready to drink in a few days, but becomes alcoholic after 2 weeks....The drink is very sweet the first few days, this is when my kids drink it as it is not alcoholic yet.
I prefer it sweet, and we generally drink it chilled. After bottling, I taste it every day until I get the flavour I like, then pop it in the fridge to stop fermentation. All of it must go in the fridge if you like a sweet wine.....
Over time the sugar is converted to alcohol with fermentation. The longer the fermentation the dryer the 'wine' due to less sugar.......
For a sweet wine, once it reaches the desired flavour, store all of it in the fridge to stop fermentation.
For a dry wine, store at room temperature in a cool place to allow a longer fermentation . Once again, when it reaches the desired flavour place it in the fridge. Bottles will expand greatly with this method, hence the plastic coke bottles.....
Remember if wanting a dry wine, the bottles can warp and explode....The gas needs to be released once in a while....
you will be amazed at the lovely pink coloured drink you get....
Do you think you will try making it? Will you want it to be a dry or a sweet drink?
The art of keeping the colour in a dried rose petal is to not disturb them while they are drying. I used to shuffle them to rotate them while drying, till one time I forgot I had them and left them.....went back and found the colour was so much better.
Gently pull the roses apart, separating all the petals, and clipping the rose head....the rose heads and smaller leaves are good to add to your pot pourri for bulk.....
Leave them all to dry in a draft free area....check in on them from time to time...once they are all dried and crispy, store in an air-tight container....
I will add some dried pot pourri to some organza bags for her for her draws, she likes smelly things in her draws.
This way she gets to keep the flowers her grandson gave her for her birthday for many years to come.
Oh and the scraps...they go into the Bokashi bin of course....or the compost bin.
I have done this with many gifted flowers, I still have some of my nan's rose petals, but the jar is getting very low...I have started adding my own dried Lemon Verbena to her dried roses to make them go further...and the gift bags are getting alot smaller.
It is so handy and simple to make.....
In a blender or whizzer, finely mince up the following:
1 big bunch of spring onions
a couple of Spanish onions if you have some on hand.
a good cup of minced garlic..I just used the bottled variety (home-brand too)
adding Olive Oil while it is whizzing to make a good spooning consistency.
Store in an airtight jar in the fridge.
It really couldn't be any easier....The black lidded jar in the left of the photo was full a week ago.....I have been using it all week in a myriad of ways. It is a fantastic starter to a number of dishes.
To my big red soup cup(550 mls)...I add the following:
2 tablespoons of the soup starter which I explained above
1 tspn of Vegeta (chicken stock powder)
3 teaspoons of Mushroom Ketchup
Now fill the cup with boiling water, and enjoy...It will help keep any cold or flu at bay, and it will certainly get you warmed up after being out in the cold.
|Left to Right: Soup Starter, My soup, Mushroom Ketchup & Vegeta.|
Thank-you Shona for the great idea for the soup starter. I just couldn't wait until I got home to make it.
Monday, May 16, 2011
I also included my mum (who lives with us) in the swap too...She ended up with two swap partners, which is very exciting....
Mum has received her first swap in the mail on Friday....and I am ashamed to say that hers has not reached the post office yet....I have just been really busy....Sorry
Here is the lovely swap mum received from ellimay (Lisa)....
|Thank-you so much Lisa, how lovely they are.|
I would love that soap recipe.
So come back soon and check out what Lisa received as her swap from Mum.
|Here are the cotton rolls I have used up so far.....|
I sent these off to Victoria with me
to give my niece for her youngest for Kinder....
|100% cotton, Aida cloth, Frames & Timber knitting needles|
I hope I have inspired you to use up all your leftover cottons, or maybe next time your in the op-shop, you will look for some cottons that need to be claimed and up-cycled into a lovely dishcloth.
On a recent visit to Bundanoon I was gifted some seeds...they are out of date, but I planted extra to allow for that. Thanks Maree for the seeds.
|Gifted Radish Seed Tape....I have never used seed tape before.|
|Red Spring Onions.....make a deep line for planting.|
Place each seedling in separately, then gently fill in with extra soil.
The seedlings will soon stand up and be happy
once over the shock of being transplanted.
|See the one that is cut in half.|
If you have a seed potato with two eyes spaced apart from each other,
you can cut the seed in half and get two plants from the one seed.
|Tub #1: A large pot|
|Tub #2: A 20 Litre bucket with a hole cut in the bottom....|
last used for an hanging upside
down tomato plant which wasn't so successful.
The tomato plant used all its energy to turn
the right way up, and didn't produce much fruit.
|Tub #3: A Potato Bag, gifted to me by Mum.|
|Newly planted Radishes from seed tape.....|
behind is some almost ready to pick.
|Newly planted Peas along the fence|
and Carrots up the end.
|Before drying; I dunk the sliced apple in Pineapple Juice|
This stops it oxidising (going brown).
|Half of the small jar is already gone in the Rock Cakes I made.|