Friday, May 28, 2010

Byebye Eggplants.

And hello to some peas and carrots, something that we actully eat.  We were still getting fruit from these and they were full of flowers but I decided to sacrifice them in the name of *better stuff to eat*  So don't just stand there feeling sad boy, start pulling.

      The plants were so hard to pull out that I had to resort to some manpower.   He removed the biggest...

            Me and T did the rest.  I dug, she pulled   Real hard work though.             
It's now cleared and planted with proper vegetables.      

Monday, May 24, 2010

The * don't buy veg* Challenge.

We have a week left of May to go but I know I won't be buying any vegetable in that time so I can safely say that 5 months into our challenge we are doing good.  I am really pleased with that and I don't think that there is anything that we wanted and went without because I didn't have it growing.  We are still getting a few tomatoes as well so Hubby hasn't had to go without them yet.  He does sometimes balk at chokos being added to stuff but only when he sees me doing it. 

I am having trouble getting the cabbages to survive, most are getting eaten when small and I am pretty sure it is slaters doing the damage.  I go out and pick them off the stems and squish them but there are so many.  I use coke bottle collars around the seed/ seedling but I think the slaters are in the dirt so they just come up inside the collar and munch their way up the stem.  Bye bye seedling.  I have a few out there that will make it and have planted more seeds in different areas around the place so we should be OK...Otherwise...the chokos will have to do!

I know that we won't need to buy anything during June as well but July?  July may be a more meat month or at least a *very few greens* month.  There will be pumpkin and potatoes, sweet potatoes, capsicums, chokos, carrots, lettuce...Looks like we will still get our 5 serves a day just may lack some leafy green stuff.   Still good!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

First Orange.

I have been eyeing off this orange for a few weeks now, I *bag'st* (sp?) it ages ago but today I was a bit slow and it fell off into Hubby's hand.  But him being the nice non fruit eater that he is, he says that I can have it.  Isn't that nice of him.  Ha!  There was no way that I was going to let him have it and I was even willing to play the nice wifey card if I needed to but he handed it over before I had to resort to that.  Lucky!
There are 12 more on this tree so if he wants I will let him have one of those.
Mind you, we have 3 other trees so he is bound to get a few throughout the season and I must say...there is nothing quite so nice as a just picked homegrown orange.   Taste one and you will not want a store bought one ever again

And the taste of this *first orange"?   Yum, yumyumyumyumyum.                                                                           

Cubby Hole For Dogs.

We are dog-sitting again.  He came last Monday and leaves today sometime.  It has been wet and cold here the last couple of days and as this dog sleeps on the front verandah when he is here I had to make him a cosy corner to keep him dry.  If it was up to me or if he was my dog then he'd be inside near the fire but he isn't so it's not.  So this is the best that I could do.  It worked and he seemed to not mind it.  I didn't have him tied up last night and I left the shed open so he could go in there if he wanted to but he chose this spot so I am a hero!  
As he sleeps on the mat in front of the door I used the crap holding thing chair as an end then I moved the washing machine and blackboard across in front to stop the weather from the East, put a blanket down to *extend* the mat and keep him off the cold conrete and ta-da.   Like I said, I am a hero.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Oat Slice.

Wet and cool outside here today so I am inside with the fire going and not nuch bothered to do anything so I thought I'd make *the men* something to munch on.

You need to do this,                                                this,                                                then this.

Bung it in here for 20 min.

Plate up then present to judge for verdict.

                                                     Thumbs up.  Was there ever any doubt!

Oh, you want a recipe?   I don't really *do* recipes but try this?

I call this *Oat Slice* but it may have started out as something else.

1cup oats.  Mine usually have other stuff added to them. 
1cup mixed fruit.  Was sultanas but I have 3 year old MF that needs to be used up.
1/2cup SR Flour
1/2 cup sugar.  I used less and will use less again next time. Maybe 1/4cup next time.
1/2cup coconut.. 
150gm butter.  I used 100gm margerine.
1Tablespoon  honey.  I used 2 heaped Tb spoons of PowderBark honey.  Maybe that was why it was sweet.
Mix all dry stuff together.  Add to melted butter/honey mix.  Mix 'til all combined.  Press into slab tin and bake in oven 'til golden. 
I had it in a wood fire oven at 200 for around 20 min. 

Not sure where the original recipe came from but I know I changed that and am still changing it slightly each time.  Next time I may add wheatgerm with the oats, will use less sugar.    Once I added a muesli mix that I had made up.  Could use all the crumbs that you save from different cereals.
Add what you like, omit what you don't.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Our Turn

Daughter T. had one at her place not long ago and today it was my turn.

Son came out this morning, brought his dogs for a swim and a run around. 

I was putting more cord on the whippersnipper out the front when I heard him yelling at the dogs to get *on the ute*  "Bloody snake" I thought and was right.

He had gone out to throw the net in to catch some marron and stepped over this thing on the ground before he realised what it was.  The dogs were running all around him excited about the water so lucky they didn't tread on it and get bitten.

It was only about a foot long, Tiger, but totally unexpected.  I would have thought that they would all be sleeping by now but I supose with the warm weather we will still need to be on guard.

I wouldn't have even known about it if he wasn't out here but it is a good reason for me to not go and mow out there now.  Not that that was on my list of things to do but you know what I mean..   I know that they could be anywhere but what I don't know doesn't bother me and now I will be wary for a few days.  Probably not a bad thing but I do get more done when I am not thinking about whether there is a bleedin' snake in the mulch or not.

Free Chook Food.

"Because I don't know what sort of moth, butterfly, people-eating thing that they turn into I fed them to the chooks"
                                  I thought that the chooks would really enjoy having these as a treat but...

                       It was like they were scared to go near them.   A bit like I felt when I first saw them!
                                  It took awhile but they eventually had a taste then got stuck into them.

Because I wasn't sure what type of catapillar they were and didn't know if they would kill or worse! the chooks that ate them, I fed them to the Mixed Breed chooks first.  Afterall, I didn't want them killing my *Aussierocks*  But all chooks survived so the Aussierocks got the next lot.

Sweet Potato Patch

My Sweet Potato Patch is being eaten by some *things*  I first noticed the vine looking a tad scraggly last week but it wasn't until a couple of days ago when I wanted a Sweet Potato that I had a proper look.
 I found 2 of these

And dozens of these!

There are little green ones, big green ones, big black ones.  They all have a pointy *horn* on one end.
 I don't know what sort of moth, butterfly, people-eating thing that they turn into so I fed them to the chooks.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Little Chicken.

Just over a month ago I saved a chicken from dying by putting it in a box under a light and putting up with it cheeping all night.  This is him.  Or hopefully, her.  It is tiny compared to the one it was hatched with but as it is from the Mixed Breed chooks and some of those are batams I don't know if it is a small chook or a *defective* chook.
It runs around and eats and drinks like its sibling but I would have thought that it would be bigger.  It must be a couple of months old now.  Maybe.
It's a pity I can't remember when they hatched.

I'm pretty sure that they are old enough to put  out in the orchard with the other chooks but because it is so small I'm worried that it will get lost or taken by crows.  I want it out there though as I need to get the pen that they are in cleaned out ready for next time I need it.
It is quite a friendly chicken, a lot friendlier that the other one, so if it is a female I will think about keeping it even though I have decided to get rid of most of that lot of chooks.  Will see what happens.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Mothers Day.

My Chrissys started to flower last week and were in full bloom just in time for Mothers Day.  I really like these flowers but managed to kill quite a few plants when we moved out here so I *pinched* these from someones garden and now they are mine. Love em.

Tecknically I really did pinch them but I like to think that it was more a rescue mission.  They were tiny little half dead plants that I dug up, brought home, planted, sometimes watered and voila!  Lovely flowers for Mothers Day.

I would like to thank T for coming out yesterday with the cakes and pressies.  She is such a lovely and generous girl anf the only daughter that wished me a nice day.  I did get a casual "oh, happy mothers day" from the son as he was showing me some pig pictures so that probably counts?

I hope all the mothers reading this had a nice day yesterday and have one today and tomorrow as well.  Mums are special.  Every day.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Lotsalemons. Lemon Meringue Pudding.

We have LOTS of lemons and we have eggs so of course I had to make a favorite dessert.  But I can't make a decent pastry yet and I remember reading a recipe in a Take5 or That's Life magazine that didn't have a crust so here we are.  This one doesn't seem to be as lemony as the one I made last week but it is still good.  What a shame Hubby doesn't eat dessert.. wink.

Recipe below for anyone that wants to give it a try.
Lemon Meringue Pudding.
2 eggs yolks
1 egg.
1cup sugar.    I used 3/4cup.
rind and juice of 2 lemons.  I use 3 or 4 as our lemons are small.
1 cup hot water.
3 Tbs cornflour.
1/2 cup cold water.

Eggwhites, 2.
1/2cup caster suger.  I didn't have any so used normal sugar so it was grainy and I used less than 1/2 cup but think it was still too sweet.  Will use less next time.

Seperate eggs, yolks in microwave proof dish or pot, whites in seperate bowl.

In microwaveproof dish mix yolks, egg, sugar.  Add lemon rind, juice and hot water
Mix cornflour with 1/2cup cold water.  Add to other lemon-mix stuff.
Microwave for 40sec, stir, nuke again 40sec, stir.  Do this for 3 or 4 minutes until it is the thickness you like.  It gets thicker when cooled.

Beat eggwhites until stiff, beat in sugar, pile on top of lemon mixture and bake in oven for 15-20min.  Until lightly brown.  My oven temp was around 200.

The lemon mixture can be made in a pot on the stovetop but for me it is easier to use the microwave.   We only have a wood stove and the big belly gets hot when stiring this on the stove.

Daughter T wanted me to make her one as she tried and liked the one I made last week.  I got her to make one herself here last night while I was making this.  She says hers is too lemony for them.  I know, she's strange.  Mine is more lemony than hers and I don't think that it is lemony enough so try it then modify to taste.
I used more rind than she did.  Next time she will use less, I will use more.

We did a tastetest on both of these and I liked the texture of hers more than mine.  She didn't cook hers for as long as I did so I will nuke for less time next time.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

No Need To Worry.

I was a bit worried about running out of vegetables during May and June and having to go buy some and thus really failing our challenge to not buy any veg during 2010.

However I have been outside and growing in the garden and ready to pick we have Eggplant, Chokos, Capsicum, Chillies, Sweet Potatoes, a few normal Potatoes, Carrots, Beetroot, Onions.  Still getting a few tomatoes but I think they will be finsished by the end of this month.
We have Pumpkins and Garlic stored in the shed.
There are a few serves of Peas and Cauliflower in the freezer and plenty of Tomatoes.and Zucchini as well.  And heaps of mixed vege mush for soup/stock in there

I have a few Cabbage and Broccoli plants growing and more going in.  More carrots and Beetroot in.  Peas and Broadbeans are in.  If I can get through the winter then we will be fine but next year heaps more stuff will need to be planted, just to take away the worry and so we have heaps in times of needing lots at once.  Like the *onion saga*

So we won't be going without vegatables.  Defenately wont need to buy any for us and though meals may consist of the same stuff we aren't going to starve.

We are still getting enough fruit too and are picking Strawberries and the occasional Passionfruit.  We picked the last watermelon last week, there is still a bit of that left and soon the oranges will be ready.  Guavas are coming along we will have some ripe ones soon and the Pepino bushes have more fruit on them.  We have enough banana in the freezer to last the rest of the year and quite a supply of passionfruit and rockmelon in there as well so we won't *need* to buy anything but buying fruit is allowed if we want.  We just don't want to as homegrown is way nicer.  Even the frozen stuff.

Fun Day Out.

Daughter rang me on Monday to say she was going over to the Fun Factory in Mandurah, did I want to go.  I didn't really as Monday is MY DAY and I like to spend it staying home and doing whatever I like, whenever I like.  But I gave in to her pleading, suggested asking the sister that had said she wanted to go as well a,s quickly changed.  We, well me so I'm presuming the others, had the best time.  Little J loved it amd it was how kids should be when in such a place, such a contrast to the last time I was there with different kids. 

The orange slide is still scarey.  It was scarey for every one of the 6 or more times I went down it.  And dangerous!  I cracked my head on the side once, that hurt.  And daughter L asked me if I said that rude word.  The one that starts with F.  I didn't think so but T. asked me the same thing when she was close by so maybe.  I tell ya, this is a seriously scarey slide.  It is not a quarter the size as the one down in Donnybrook but something about this one scares me.  Maybe it's the colour.  Maybe someone died in it.  Maybe I'm a total Sookylala.

Here I am at the top of the long slide and I'm not looking scared at all because this one is fun.

It's a cheap day out so long as you take your own water and don't buy their food. Entry fee was $8 for J who is nearly 3 and the 4 of us adults got in for free,  I bought a basket of hot chips to share that cost $5.00 but there were heaps in there so enough to keep  hunger pangs away until we left. 

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Stewed Pears....and chokos.

I had some manky pears in the crisper so decided to use them up as a dessert.  I added chokos because that is the sort of thing that I do but please don't tell anyone.  They all cooked up together and you couldn't tell what was what.  Well, not much anyway.  It all tasted the same though and that is what matters and I got 2 desserts out of it instead of just the one.

Chokos rule!

Remember Where It Is.

I had *emergency* money hidden in different places around the house but I was always forgetting exactly where it was hidden and so couldn't get to it when I needed it which kind of defeated the purpose. So I put most of it into a lockable cashbox and hid that out in the shed. And hid the key. This morning we needed some money and I can't remember where the key is. I know I will find it eventually but that doesn't help me now.

Luckily I had enough money put away for something else so we used that and will repay that when/if I find the key.

We tried wire and other small keys to open it but they didn't work.

My tip to you all is to REMEMBER. 
where you hide things.
to pay your bills on time.
to save for what you talked about buying.

Eventually Hubby found one that did work but how long before I lose that...I think I will get him to put that one somewhere safe.