Sunday, October 25, 2009
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
Thursday, October 8, 2009
Monday, October 5, 2009
Wednesday, September 30, 2009
Monday, September 28, 2009
No, we've been told that there could be frost tonight. So I raided my plastic bottle bin and now hopefully all my little lettuce and the fennel in their pots will be safe.
I think it's really sad that other vegetables don't like fennel! I make sure to always have a chat with them so that they will grow nice and fat!
We had such wild weather yesterday, all my broad beans were lying down so I've done a bit of a rescue today and fingers crossed the flowers will develop into those lovely beans.
I'm not worried about my kale or broad beans with the frost as they can put up with the cold, but my silver beet and ruby chard have only just stopped sulking from winter so it's fingers crossed for them.
I've made some ruby grapefruit marmalade today and a sponge cake which was spread with the last of my blackberry jam. I seem to make such a mess when I'm baking/cooking. Today I managed to spill sugar on the bench and all over the floor! Look out ants. I've vacuumed but sugar just gets everywhere, here's hoping I got most of it!Maybe it'll be a cheese making day tomorrow, hopefully with no interruptions. I really, really need to concentrate in the kitchen.
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
Sunday, September 20, 2009
But now it's raining quite hard.
Last week I was able to plant some mixed lettuces, and one of my raised gardens is now full of Dutch Cream potato tubers. I still have the Pink Eyes to plant. A friend had given me some unwanted kale and Italian parsley seedlings so I planted them and passed on the tray to my neighbour so she could have some too. I have never planted kale before and I'm not sure how to cook it etc. so a bit of research is required.
Plus, I spoke about the snow peas which I thought had been washed away during the last deluge, and planted raspberry canes in that spot instead. Well, guess which 2 little seedlings I found poking up between the canes there yesterday. Yep, 2 snowpea seedlings and whats that below, the white radish. I was just too impatient. I am also happy to report that the third planting of broad beans has popped up too. So I have three lots of broad beans at different stages.
I have four little fennel seedlings that my friend also gave me waiting to go into their own pot as she said that "the other vegetables don't like to grow with fennel". How sad for the fennel. I'm going to look for a happy pot to cheer them up. M is quite certain that I'm on the road to dementia when he hears me talking to the plants!
I've also put seeds in a tray this week, zucchini, eggplant (I keep trying to grow it), and three types of tomato. I was going to put some Purple Dragon carrots in too but then thought I'd wait a little while longer and direct plant them.
But wait, I think the rain has stopped, I might just check the blossom on all the fruit trees. Happy relaxing Sunday everyone.
Friday, September 18, 2009
Thursday, September 17, 2009
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
I am in the process of making Feta cheese, a nice easy one I thought. I had heard that powdered milk could be used but it has made the process four times as long I think, and it's still not cheese. However it is finally starting to separate into curds and whey and after a long talk with the man who supplied me with the cheese making kit (on the phone) I haven't given up all hope. This man phoned me after I emailed him asking what I may have done wrong. What a great follow up with sales.
So stay tuned, it might be tomorrow morning before we have cheese but I will take a photo whatever it looks like. And buy fresh milk for my next attempt!
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
Saturday, September 12, 2009
Wednesday, September 9, 2009
As I said yesterday, I have some friends coming to see me tomorrow and I'm putting on a bit of lunch. The carrot cake is not only made but now iced, lots of icing and I hope that it firms up a bit. The icing I mean. I have chicken wings to marinate and I'm going to prepare the dough for the pizzas today and leave in the fridge for tomorrow. Hopefully that will mean that there is no mad rush when they arrive.
Anyway salad to make and bugger the vaccuuming. What's a bit of dog hair and assorted food scraps?
Tuesday, September 8, 2009
We have a very depressed little dog at home. He ran under the wheels of the reversing trailer and after a mad dash to the vet it seems that he has a broken ligament in his knee. So he's not allowed any walks, which is the highlight of his life, and he's due for surgery on Friday. But as one of my friends said "How come Terry gets a knee replacement before you Jan?" Oh well, so long as the nylon ligament works and he can get back to his joyful running. He smiles so widely as he tears along the beaches, you know it's the best fun.
I'm still looking at my cheese making kit but I have acquired a small bar fridge (free!) to put maturing hard cheese in so I'll have to start soon.
The other exciting news is that M has started fixing up the old chook shed. It's pretty big and the roost bars are still sturdy. I think the chooks will find it very adequate even if it's nearly one hundred years old! And M came home from work yesterday and told me that he has met the local "chook man". He knows everything there is to know and breeds all sorts. M even asked if I could go over and check things out and got a positive response, so that's great.
I'm having some friend over on Thursday so I have a carrot cake in the oven to surprise them. They all know that I am still re-aquainting myself with the kitchen and cooking/baking.
I hope it looks and tastes as good as it smells.
In fact I'd better go and check it out.........
Saturday, August 29, 2009
My next adventure will be to try cheese-making. I'll let you know.....
Monday, August 17, 2009
It's not been a smooth track to get here, and I'm sorry to say a couple of doctor's visits pursuaded me it was the right thing to do for me.
So now the fun begins and how apt that some of the blogs that I read are currently talking about not taking on too much and burning out! So I'll try and remember all the advice.
Did I say that I'd recently given up smoking too, three months now. And my daughters have introduced me to Facebook, another learning curve.
So all I need now is a couple of days without wind and rain and for the garden to stabilise just a little so that feet don't sink down into mud and I can spray the fruit trees and continue with the weeding around the sulking veggies.
Thursday, July 2, 2009
I don't need much but....
It's all a bit scary and I've always had my own finances, even when in long term relationships.
I have so much that I want to learn and do and I feel so out of place in the outside workplace now.
I have a secret plan, and there's a time limit to it but patience has never been a virtue. And then I worry about how lazy I can be, but is that because I don't want to do what I currently Have to do?
Anyway, I've been reading lots of blogs of people that seem to have it together and are happily plugging away so I'm going to give it a go.
In the garden, or should I say rainwater tanks (I have one cut in half for no sore back gardening) I have swedes, broccoli, brussels, winter chives (I think). In the back breaking garden I have silver beet, red chard, more swedes and lettuce. I did have cabbage and peas until the pet rabbits from next door escaped and ate the lot. We have also inherited 21 assorted apple trees, 6 plum trees, 2 pear trees, 1 lemon tree, 1 crab apple and 2 peach trees (recited in a sing song voice) . Not forgetting the grape vine of course. I have already planted a nectarine, (my favourite) and currently have another peach, satsuma plum and apricot in bags waiting for the rain to ease. I nearly forgot the baby bay tree which is slowly losing its leaves (to my cooking pot) also waiting to go in the ground. In big pots we have the lemon tree, a lime, a cumquat and an olive from a previous life and assorted herbs.
The house that we live in had been empty for four years and prior to that a dear old lady had lived here so it was pretty run down when we bought it six months ago. M has done a magnificent job of renovating and we now have solar hot water and insulation. The heating is proving a bit of a problem. We have a heat pump that warms the kitchen and hallway but the lounge only has an open fire at this stage and that is so inefficient we rarely use it. If we are in the lounge to watch tv, maybe twice a week, we just use an electric bar heater and the good old granny blankets.
The house is a bit of a "tardis". People are usually quite amazed upon entering the first time. Probably because it looks like crap from the outside, it's covered in that false, toxic brick stuff (a job for next summer is to liberate the weatherboards underneath), but it has a lot of the original features from 1900 which we have tried to integrate into our way of living.
Halfway down the block, which is pretty big, is the old chook house, sort of, well it's got a bit of a lean to it, no door and the wire's pretty much gone but.... it could be saved. My woodwork lessons shold help me with that! And then we can get chooks.
Speaking of which, (woodwork not chooks) I have been learning all about hand tools for woodwork. I've used the big, noisy and efficient power tools for the big cutting and planing stuff but the last couple of weeks I have used a hand saw, sandpaper (of course) and something called a "granny's tooth" for smoothing out channels. It was the best tool I have used so far.
On my agenda for the very near future is cheese making and soap making. I already make my own bread and luckily we're not much into sweets. The kitchen and I have never really had a compatible relationship but I am improving. I no longer have to take a week off work if I have friends coming for dinner, I've knocked it back to two days!
No I'm exagerating, I just plan well in advance.
So here's to anybody out there