The trouble with simple living is that, though it can be joyful, rich, and creative, it isn't simple. ~Doris Janzen Longacre

The best way to bring a sustainable change in the world around me is by bringing the change in myself

Thursday, February 25, 2010


Ever since I found this copper mould with a corn inprint, I been looking for a recipe to make cornbread. I asked on D2E

"Wanted your best cornbread recipe please!
Can you help ... Wanted ... reward ...knowing you have made a few people very happy Yeah I am looking for your best cornbread recipe please ...I googled and found one from the Good Taste Woolies magazine but I know someone out there has a better recipe so beg, borrow or steal I need a cornbread recipe please"
and boy soon had a reply, and a link to check out. That was an eye opener. Those American are proud of the different ways they make their cornbread. Some with cheese, some with whole kernels and some even hot with jalepenos and some just plain.

Ingredients (serves 8) from the Good Taste Magazine.
Olive oil, to grease
Plain flour, to dust
150g (1 cup) plain flour
3 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
170g (1 cup) cornmeal (polenta)
60g (1/4 cup) caster sugar
250ml (1 cup) milk
60ml (1/4 cup) vegetable oil
1 egg, lightly whisked

Time Preparation Time
10 minutes
25 minutes

This is Coffee's recipe
Recipe1 cup of plain flour(i used wholemeal)1 cup of fine polenta/cornmeal1/2 cup sugar3 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder1/2 teaspoon of saltMix together then adda beaten egg1/3 cup vegetable oil1 cup of milkPour batter into greased tin..mine is 3inches by 9inchesTop with half a cup of grated cheeseBake at 180C for 20-30 minutes and follow your noses to the kitchen, plate in hand As you can imagine all sorts of bits and pieces could be added...chopped ham, salami, peppers, cheese and/or herbs...Bon Appetitexxx

Here's another southern cornbread recipe:1½ cups white or yellow cornmeal3 tablespoons all-purpose flour1 teaspoon salt1 teaspoon baking soda2 cups buttermilk1 egg2 tablespoons bacon drippings or melted real butter1 tablespoon shorteningIn a 10-inch cast iron skillet, add a tablespoon of shortening and preheat (I put mine in the oven while it is preheating.) Sift together dry ingredients; add buttermilk, egg and bacon drippings or butter if you don't want to use bacon. Mix just until dry ingredients are moistened.Pour into the greased, hot skillet. Bake in preheated hot oven at 450ยบ for 20-25 minutes.

And so on ....Well I be buggered, what a great thread, well worth the read. and I was right there is more than one version of corn bread. I like the idea of whole corn kernels in the bottom, they all sound lovely, Thank you.

I thought this was great ... Does anyone have a good easy recipe for corn dogs like you get at the state fairs????

Take 2 coon dawgs,
a pinch of lovea wet tongue
two waggy tails
2 tickets into the state fair
mix together and enjoy (that was from Coffee ... the smart one.)

I hate buying food from Fairs and shows, just to dear, the last time we where at the Monster Trucks, they where selling corn dogs for $5 each and all it was a red skined sausage ... God know what it's made of ... dipped in batter, fried in oil ... on a stick.

Now This is what I gonna do today ... only cause I like trying something different ... please don't shoot me

Savoury Corn Bread

1 large egg (straight from my chookhouse)

1 cup ofWhite Maize Meal (from Africa)

a 410 gr can of creamed sweetcorn (from Thailand)

Salt (from Australia)

Grated cheese to sprinkle on top (from Australia)

1 cup self raising Flour (from Australia)

Margarine... Medowlea (from Australia)

some chopped chives, and parsley (wish it was from my garden but it's not)

and finally a little bit of chopped ham ... cause I need to use it up before it goes off. Oppps did not do so well on food miles did I.

Mix the lot and add a little milk, pour into greased mould and sprinkle a little tasty cheddar on top. Bake in hot oven until golden brown on top. This is my own thought up recipe so I let you know if it works.

Now I off to go do some baking, see ya


OK I am back to report my efforts for the day ...
Taste ... good
Presentation ... disintergrated cause it got stuck, chooks might be having a feast on the crumbs later.
Small muffins ... great, no problems there, they were scoft in no time.
Gonna give it another go tomorrow.

Today I think i'd like to show you my very neglected garden at the farm. Yeah it needs weeding real bad! what made me decide on showing you this ... well close to work there was a council clean up (that's when we can put our unwanted stuff on the curb and council picks it up) Just as well I needed to go off to the RTA to get the car registered and just happened to be on my way. I came back with a heap of agapanthus and 2 agaves, and a smallish plastic dog kennel which will go into the chookhouse. The hens will love that to nest in.

In amongst there somewhere is a heap of agapanthus I picked up from another clean up, I trimmed the roots and seperated the plants and replanted them. Those lovely bomeliads with the red flowers were throw outs as well. I can't tell you the amount of neglected plants I have picked up and got them growing again in my garden. All for free!

Here is a pic of my purple caravan at the farm, note there's a pergola in front of it and using a little imagination, to the right of it is the new bush kitchen consisting of a bbq and a buttercup yellow cast iron sink on a freshly white painted framework. Just behind that is a white painted wooden wall with shelves. The roof is extended a little as well.
So can you see it ...

So what growing in Pumpkin Patch ... after the sheep trampled and eat a few things ... I think we have kumera and purple sweet potatoes, rosemary, galangha ... not much

I love to show you more until nexttime

Monday, February 22, 2010

Sunshine Award

Thank you Debbie from Simply Me for this award, it is my very first one, I am so excited about receiving one. When I first started blogging, I really did not think anyone would bother reading it. Now I feel we building bridges of friendship all over the world, and that is wonderful. So thanks again.

Now I need to pass on this lovely award, hmmm who could it be.

The Rules:
1. Post the award
2. Pass on to 12 bloggers that brighten your day
3. Link to nominees
4. Link back to givers.
My 12 are:


You all brighten up my day, Thank you. ... best time to read is first thing in the morning with a cup of coffee. I hope you like your Award.

Until nexttime

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Small change ... gas stove ... goals

I have been doing a lot of blog hopping lately, think I need a little inspiration. I don't feel like cooking meals lately and we just grabbing a bite here and there and then when I am forced to cook a proper meal, it's the dishes afterwards. might have something to do with only having one plate that is working and another thats just on full all the time. Owner has promised to look into getting a replacement cooktop but getting one to fit the benchtop without replacing that as well. It's in good nick.

If it was me I just go out and buy a nice new freestanding gas stove 4 burners and a wok burner in the centre, and a double oven.What do you do with all your small change, have you got a special goal your working towards ... well my change goes into a huge tin, one from the $2 dollar shop, every thursday I empty my purse and it all goes in the tin. Two guesses what I am saving up for ... my gas stove for the farm. We don't have power on our block unless I find a spare $20 000 for a transformer. So a gas/electric fridge has already been ticked off my list for 2010 goals.

Talking about Goals for the year, I have blogged about that already, I am working on getting information from the council for building, though it would probably be better if I just make an appointment to see them. That means taking a week off work, drive the 6hrs there and spend sometime at the farm. So we might just do that soon. The past 3 years I kept delaying it but we come to a point now where we (I mean me) have to do it otherwise we will be retireing and still not have a home to live in.

Today has turned out to be warm (hot) and sunny, we have been working on the eastwing of the chookhouse. (still no photo's sorry.)

Friday, February 19, 2010

The weekend's finally here, and it looks like it's going to be sunshine. We did the mowing and edges last night, so half the chores are done. If only a magic fairy would clean the house I would be so gratefull, only problem Cinderella will be doing all the cleaning and cooking.

Projects for the weekend: ah the east wing to the chookhouse is still waiting while the chicks are desperate to escape their prisons. I have let them out in the main chook house for dustbaths and courtyard playtime, while Harry and his ladies are out free ranging. Catching them is a little harder ...

They look a little like dead chooks! but they very much alive. These chicks are so ugly atm but give them another 2 weeks to get all their new feathers and you'll see just how cute they really are. And then we should be starting to tell if we got pullets or little roo's. Which we will then fatten up for roast dinners ... Say's the brave one. We might even need another extention, better not mention it to Dear George yet. He grumps that I always have another project waiting before he has a chance finishing the first one ... maybe he better work faster.

Will take photos as we progress for you. Have a lovely weekend.

Until nexttime


Monday, February 15, 2010

A little scrapbooking ... recycle your old dairy

Are you a scrapbooker? I do not claim to be any good at it but I do try come up with a few good ideas. Like this project below. It started it's life as a dairy, then as always happens at the end of each year it just lays around , no good for anything. But wait I got a plan. I removed 1/4 of the pages, glued every second one together. Painted them black, yep it's another messy project. I used Jo Sonya paint after lightly sanding the pages. When they dried (overnight), I started blocking up the pages, carrying over the same white embossed paper or matching paper, sort of keeping to a theme if you know what I mean. Now I could add my pics and journalling. Why not punch small holes around the edge of the pages, then thread a few strings of fluffy yarn through the holes.

I bet a teenager would love to make one of these photo books to brag to her friends.

The ZigZag railway is in the Blue Mountains, about 1hr drive away. With these photo's I tried to bring in the smokey soot effect by smudging the edges of the background paper, using a black stamping ink. Anf where I cropped the photo's I smudge the edge to ... Bit messy

DiL and Cobi, I had so many pics it was hard chosing which ones to use.

DiL2 with Luke ... These were taken when we spent a long weekend at Bunya Mountains, Queensland. We went on a wagon drawn by 2 beautiful horses. We had billy tea with damper yum. (I did this page on my one and only lesson)

My Dear friends Rosie, Roy and William on their last visit to Australia. I blogged about Rosie in my other blog, if you would like to read more. We had a lovely day at the Everglades Gardens at Leura, Blue Mountains before retiring to a nice hot meal and quite evening in front of the fire place with good friends.
Until Nexttime

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Valentine's Day

Happy Valentine's Day.

A little decorating in the hallway, should look nice with the candles burning. Thanks for the roses Alby.(straight from his mum's garden)

You light up my life!

A little something to do without it costing a fortune. I have this little hart shaped baking thingy, so added a lot of pink food colouring to water, got just the right colour to fill up the tray with. Put it in the freezer to set and ta da "Coloured Ice cubes" warning wear gloves or ya going to have red hands.

Dessert idea: Now maybe red jelly would work better with a few berries and ice cream. Tanya's baking some heart shaped cupcakes, can't wait to see how they turn out.

BTW I got conned yesterday! Tanya want's to do a cake decorating course, and yes she dragged me into a cake decorating shop. Well all I can say, she left a very happy girl with a set of cutters in their own little tin container, 2 books, piping bag and nozzles. Yep money well spent ... Mom's money!

Until Nexttime


Saturday, February 13, 2010

Luddenham Show

The weather's not real good for an outdoor show, but we went anyway. How could we disappoint all those stall holders and folk that worked so hard to put it together and it was real good for a little country show.

But where's all the people ...

Watching the working dog event. The wall was set at 8ft6inches or 2,5mts high, when the last dog standing won. What I liked about the owner of this dog, he gave him a pat even when he could not make height. It's about taking part not winning everytime.

Until nexttime

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Mulgoa veggie patch plans

I am so thankful for this lovely rain we have had the last week, the tank is overflowing and the grass has just shot up from nowhere. After work I jumped on the rideon and mowed in front of the house, around where the dogs are and on the verge. Boy it looks nice now. It was so late by the time I finished and as I was about to go in for a shower I noticed the last of the sunset and just had to take a pic. That's the problem with winter here, we leave when it's dark and come home so late it's dark again. The days are so short.

A Rosella plant that came up by it self, I must have dropped the seed by mistake, now I am very pleased about it. I need to save the seeds! When it flowers I will post a pic for you and tell you what to do with them.

From my garden: I harvested this beauty and some spuds. The chooks layed 5 eggs today. I know that's not much and I really need to start planting more stuff. The veggie patch is new but I can only blame myself for not havesting more. The veggie patch is not big but really it could do better than that.

Planting: broadbeans, carrots and pasnip are going in this weekend. I want to sow some snowball turnips mainly for greens for the chooks and sheep, and a few for veggie soup. Will look for a few spinach seedlings, they should still do allright. Might plant a few variety of beans and peas. A few potatoes are starting to grow in the veggie basket and they will get planted on Saturday too.
Until nexttime

Saturday, February 6, 2010

This rain just stopped long enough for me take a pic of this beautiful sunflower ... hope for a new day

It's been raining all night, so heavy that the gutters and down pipes could hardly handle it. 40mm in 30 mins. The 22 000 ltr tank is overflowing. Tonight we may have the longest showers ever. If only it would clear and the sun could come out for a few hrs, then we'd be washing blankets and Donnas as well. But there's more rain forecast tomorrow. So we'd rather not be stuck with wet, smelly blankets.

Already the grass is growing after last week's rain. My Japanese Friend Pina once discribed the small paddock as a bowl of fruitsalad, the grass was nearly 15cm high and all shades of green. Now it's still got a fair way to grow before it's a fruitsalad again.Dinner tonight was a bowl of vegetable soup and fresh bread. It's just the weather for soup.

It's cooled right down and the frogs outside are announcing more rain to come.That reminds me I still wanted to tell you all about the frog hunts at the farm. After a BBQ dinner one evening, the frogs started with their crowking while it drizzled softly, heck they were so noisy we could hardly hear each other. I got the boys to come frog hunting with me, we grabbed the touch and went over to the small fish pond. As soon as they hear you they go all quite and still, making it rather hard to spot them.Luke was a little scared at first but soon joined in the fun. There was this big green bullfrog, and as he crowked you could see the bubble at his throat form a perfect round ball. and a little to the right was some tiny little green frogs. To top it all there was a whole bathfull of tadpoles in the old bath ... nature's classroom.

It's stuff like this I am going to miss most if Cobi goes back home, when will we ever spend such wonderful times together again. I wonder if he would even remember any of it in years to come. It reminds me of the times I spent with my own grandmother ... things we did, even if it was only going to church where she'd slip me a pepperment to suck on. Special times ...

Until nexttime

Thursday, February 4, 2010

The Boys have just had their 7th birthday .... Happy Birthday to you both .... Great excitement !
What can I say time flies and soon they be heading off too high school.
This photo was taken at the Brisbane Airport just before they boarded to fly to Sydney for a April school holiday break. I love having my boys for holidays.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

The internet is great for meeting like minded people but ya know that already from all the nice members we have here at Down to Earth forums And it Rhonda and her team of girls leading the way. We can stay in our own little space and just wave every now and then or go out there and make friends. And that just what we did last week, I mentioned meeting a member from the UK visiting her daughter in Sydney. Bummer too may clues and Calliecat got it straight away Yes it Grandmaibb.

We had lunch at the new port arms Hotel at Mossvale. I had heard adverts about it before on the radio but never been there. A backdrop of boats moared in the marina, we chatted, drank OJ's and eat our lunch, tea and coffee with cake with the lot (cream and ice cream) Making new friends.... and thats what lifes about.

Pippa thank you for a lovely day, see ya on your next visit to OZ ... Rina

Monday, February 1, 2010

A bit of this and a bit of that

Woke at 4 am this morning wishing I could just stay in bed a little longer. DH was not feeling well at all, he's a type 2 Diabetic and insulin dependant, so he just phoned in sick today. That let me off the hook as well! We work for the same company and they know I don't come in when he's sick.Feeding the animals and doing all the regular chores did not take very long. Then DD and I went to the mall for a few things. While DH had a sleep in.

I managed to work in a few bags of mushroom compost into the raised beds this afternoon, and having a good think what to plant next. I bought some broadbean and a few other winter seeds, but it's still a little early to plant them.The chillies have been growing in this pot for sometime now but it still bears heaps of chillies, maybe next season I plant a new chillie bush. Tough little thing!

Look whats hiding in this bin a nice cucumber. That's going to go in a nice thai cucumber and tomatoe salsa tomorrow, with some chilli drumettes. Have you seen the nice new corogated raised beds you can buy, those oval jobs ... they great but a little pricy. Now I found these half 45 gallon drums at work, of cource they just found their way into the back of my ute. They arrive with heavy heavy steel pieces in them which we machine, but they haven't asked for the drums back. I drilled a few drainage holes, filled them up with soil and they ready for planting. Maybe I will paint the next ones insided just to prevent rusting. Should make nice wicker beds , might give that a go next time.

We still working on this diet thing. Tanya is trying to get me walking with her but no thanks. Our neighbours Cheryl and Gail and even their Boys, with a bit of encouragement from their lovely wives joined in. They each got handed a dog ... we got 3 ... 2 springers and a golden retriever ... and Cheryl brought Staffy. Tanya is doing 6km in the morning and then 6km at night. No way, could not even make it to the main road the pace they walking.

See ya

Recipes I want to try

•3 and a half cups of raw sugar
•3 cups of water*bring to the boil and then remove from the heat.
•half an ounce of Epsom salts
•1 desert spoon of citric acid
*add to sugar water and stir to dissolve.

•12 passion fruits
*add and stir well.
Serve diluted with water, carbonated water or champagne.
Store in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.

I'm rather pleased with the result. It tastes quite nice.
You could probably try straining the pulp to remove the seeds, but I'd only bother to do that If I had plans to make a passion fruit cheesecake at the same time.

Apple Jam

1/2 cup of water
1/2 tsp butter
3 cups white sugar
2 cups brown sugar packed
3/4 tsp cinnamon
1 small box powdered fruit pectin

Cook apples, water and butter over low heat, stirring until apples are soft, but not mushy. Stir in pectin and bring to a boil, stirring constantly,for one minute. Remove from heat and skim off foam (if there is any). Pour into hot jars, leaving 1/4" head space. Process jars in boiling water bath for 10 minutes. This makes (7) 1/2 pints. I spread it on toast this morning for a taste.(Writing in the blackberries)

Cabbage and smoked ham hocks. (Where did I find this one)
The ingredients are simple: cabbage, a little sugar, a little water to keep it from scorching as it heats, a little oil and a package of lit'l smokies. If you want to, you can use smoked ham hocks for the meat. That's the old fashioned way. Cut up as much cabbage as you want. Watch your fingers! We usually cut up a huge pot full, add a little water to it, add the oil, and add the smokies and the sugar. Salt and pepper to taste.
Cover and cook...but not too long. That's the secret. My husband says most people cook their cabbage too long. Stir often.
Lit'l smokies on top. Just about ready to eat. It shrinks down a lot!
Enjoy and be prosperous!

a quick pie for desert.
Here are the ingredients:
8oz cool whip
1/4 cup lemon juice
16 or 20oz can of crushed pineapple (drained)
a can of condensed milk
2 graham cracker pie crusts

Mix the ingredients in a bowl and pour into crusts.
Finished pie, ready to eat.
It makes 2 pies and it'll take you all of 5 minutes to make. I'm putting one in the freezer to eat at a later date.
Hope you enjoyed these recipes, have a nice day.

Pecan Pie Muffins

1 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 eggs
2/3 cup melted butter
1 cup chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix all ingredients in a bowl with a wooden spoon. Pour into a greased mini-muffin pan, filling each cup 2/3 full. Bake 12 to 15 minutes.

5 medium lemons
8 pears, peeled and chopped
1/4 cup glace ginger, chopped
1 1/4 litres water
4 cups sugar
Slice lemons(unpeeled) and combine in pot with remaining ingredients. Stir over heat without boiling until sugar dissolves. Bring to boil, simmer uncovered for 1 hour or until jam jells when tested. Pour jam into hot sterilised jars, seal when cold.

Blueberry Bread

2 cups organic whole wheat pastry flour
1 tsp. aluminum-free baking powder
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1/4 tsp. aluminum-free baking soda

Combine all and set aside.

2 T. organic unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1/4 cup boiling water
1 organic egg
1 cup organic evaporated cane juice crystals
1/2 cup organic orange juice
1 cup organic blueberries

Stir water and butter together until butter is melted. Add egg, cane juice crystals, and orange juice; stir well. Add to dry mixture. Gently fold blueberries into batter. Pour into a greased loaf pan (I use Pam organic olive oil spray) and bake at 350* for about 1 hour or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool for about 10 minutes before removing from pan.

Potato-Bacon Breakfast Pie

1 lb. bacon, crisply cooked and crumbled
9-inch pie crust
2 cups frozen hashbrowns, thawed
1/2 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
4 eggs, beaten
1/4 cup milk

Arrange bacon in pie crust; layer evenly with hashbrowns and cheese. Combine eggs and milk; pour over cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes, until center is set. Let stand for 5 minutes before slicing into wedges. Serves 4-6.
Borrowed from

Play dough for the kids

1 cup water
1 T. oil
1/2 cup salt
3 tsp. cream of tartar
Food coloring

Mix ingredients listed above together in a saucepan and heat until warm. Remove from heat and add 1 cup of flour. Stir together to form a "dough" and knead (be careful - it's hot!) until smooth. Allow to cool and have fun! Keep for up to 6 months in a thick (freezer grade) resealable baggie.

Smooth Homemade Applesauce
6 apples, peeled and sliced
2 pears, peeled and sliced (optional)
1/2 cup water
Place sliced fruit in a pan and add water.
Place lid on pan and let simmer till fruit is soft.
This only takes about 5-10 minutes.
Remove lid and let cool just a bit.
Place fruit in food processor and puree.
My apples were sweet enough so I didn't add any sugar but you can.
Just depends on your taste and how sweet you like it.
(This comes from Country Whispers blog) I am going to try this with a nice piece of pork roast tomorrow.

I never really meant to publish these recipes, so I never took note where I got them from. So if you find yours there. Please take it as a compliment to your fine cooking skills.
Until nexttime