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, December 20, 2012

Cinnomon Sugar Cookies .....

Mrs. Fields Cinnamon Sugar Cookies (copycat recipe) Topping: 3 tablespoons white sugar 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon Cookies: 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour 1/2 teaspoon baking soda 1/4 teaspoon salt 1 cup dark brown sugar, packed 1/2 cup white sugar 1 cup salted butter, softened 2 large eggs 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract Preheat oven to 300 degrees. In a small bowl, combine sugar and cinnamon for topping. Set aside. In a medium bowl, combine flour, soda and salt. Mix well with wire whisk and set aside. In a large bowl, blend sugars with an electric mixer set at medium speed. Add the butter, and mix to form a grainy paste. Scrape sidesof bowl, then add the eggs and vanilla extract. Mix at medium speed until light and fluffy. Add the flour mixture and blend at low speed just until combined. Do not over mix. Shape dough into 1-inch balls and roll each ball in cinnamon-sugar topping. Place onto ungreased cookie sheets, 2 inches apart. Bake for 18-20 minutes. Immediately transfer cookies with a spatula to a cool, flat surface. Yield: 3 dozen

Saturday, December 15, 2012

General catching up news ... Angel

Another week gone by without a post, not good! anyway I am back, been very busy with George and his medical stuff. We have been to see the eye doctor twice in the last 2 weeks for treatment, just another round of ongoing injections and lazer, all to combat this wonderful desease called Diabetese. Without this treatment he would have been blind by now. Going blind is just not an option for George right now. We had a visit to the Clinic thrown in there somewhere as well. His insulin doze has been upted as well. Offically he is on leave from the 14th which was yesterday for 6 weeks, that would be the longest holiday ever for him but as usual he is working on something, meaning our trip up to the farm will start later. we were due to leave today but now he has a few urgent things he needs to attend too.
Now we will be leaving in the morning for a quick trip, off load and head straight back to Sydney. Actually I am not complaining about that at all cause now I get to take more stuff up. This trip will be all the 6x9kg LPG gas bottles, a lovely old cast iron garden setting some of his wood working machines, another box of medical supplies, a tube of art and school supplies for the secret stash and a box of reference books. George will question me on that ... why the books? ... I just know it. He's lucky I am not aking the book case as well, I would if there was space trust me. Every corner of the cottage has got something stashed away, it's going to be quite a shock to him when I need to unpack so he can lay the carpet in the bedroom. But then If only the cupboards were built it could all have a home, well that's my excuse and I am sticking to it.
Another batch of butternut is dying in the dehydrator ATM and just to proof cats are useful. This is Angel, she turned out to be a boy on closer inspection, a stray arrived here with his bags packed and not leaving. It took a while for all the other cats to accept him and for him to get comfortable with us. Angel is the kind of cat that does not liked to be picked up unless you hold his back legs up close, even then his tail is smacking from side to side. This could be the reason he was dumped. Not to crash hot on strange kids either.
I am sure you agree Angel was doing a great job guarding the butternuts! Until nexttime Rina

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Chooks, chicken stock and more ...

A while ago I mentioned Hubby was converting an old washing machine into a chook plucker, well I am still waiting!!! It was a curbside find and here We was hoping the motor still worked but the pump might not, no such luck it was the motor. His other problem was getting the drum out, the machine won. Then my mate Alby had to buy a new washing machine for his wife, the pump had packed up on their machine, which was lucky for us! Now all he needs to do is get started on it. The chooks have grown to small turkeys again and so I decided no more "Off with their heads" and we did it the old fashioned way. Thank the Lord there were only 11 birds left. We processed 8 birds on Sonday. The skin would have been tough anyway so we skinned them instead of plucking them properly. Worked great. Got 20 good sized meals for my freezer. ATM the stock pot is full of carcasses cooking away. while the first batch is cooling.Had this brilliant idea to fill up large muffin trays with stock and freeze them and fill a ziplock bag, taking out just what I need. And with the second batch fill a few bootles.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Never give up ... crocheting a rag rug ...

I did it , success atlast with the pumpkin, butternuts work better. Dehydrated them until they were dry enough to crack. The reason I wanted them so dry was so that I could put them through the blender and make pumpkin powder/flour, what ever you want to call it. Well it must be true, Hubby says I am like a dog with a bone when I start something, never give up until I succeed. Now to carry on and prepare the other 6 butternuts I bought..The last of the Japs I will just cook and put in ziplock bags for the freezer, ready to make pumpkin scones or something. Great idea using the oven to dry your pumpkin LeLoup thanks for the comment.

What do you do with all that stale bread, hubby likes Helga wholegrain and I like white toast, and when you buy 2 for $6 , you end up with a lot of bread. I used to dry it for the sheep but they have lost out. I made bread crumbs instead not just ordinary bread crumbs but with a little home dried and ground chilli in it. now that should put a zing into the next crumbed lamb cutlet or fish fillet.

My mission to recycle just about anything I can lay my hands on. A rag rug has given a new lease of life to some old sheets, table cloth, hubby's old Yakka work shirts, old jeans and a hidious pair of green pants. (what was she thinking when she bought those pants)Cut it all into strips, and rolled the balls, and started with the smallest lot first. I thought making a round rug would be the way to go maybe next time I would go for an oval shape. Keeping to 3 rows of one colour has worked out fine, increasing 1 stitch every 14 stitches on every second row. Just keep checking that you don't end up with a wavy row. Then skip that increase row. I am on my last row Atm. The rug is going to the farm after a good wash and dry. It sure is heavy!!

I can see myself going through the linen cupboard soon for more fabric yarn to start that oval rug, a little more colour coordinated. My mate Alby brought a whole bag full of old towels, his wife throw out, they should come in handy for the inside layers for pot holders for the sewing ladies. Yep I am still going with those sewing classes on Thursdays at the community center.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

How to dehydrate pumpkin ... first try failed

Inspired by yet another YouTube video from Patty Ann the lady that die the sweet potatoes, I bought 4 Jap pumpkins @69 cents from our local IGA the friendly grocer. Bargain time as pumpkin normally sell for much more. I half filled my biggest pot with water and heated up the water to boiling, added one whole pumpkin at a time cause they were really big, flipped it over after 15 mins and cooked it a little more. The skin went soft and I must say getting the pumpkin out of the pot was another story, did not want to throw out the water, but cook the next one in the same water. Let them cool on a double folded old towel under the wire rake, you could use a few layers of paper towel, the pumpkin leaks and makes a good mess. Cut the pumpkin in 1/4's and scooped out the seeds into a large container and then the flesh into another plastic container adding the skins into the seed container. While working the pumpkins I noticed a lot of moisture still coming out of the fleshy pumpkin, so transfered it to a colander to drain some more. It was real late so decided to just cover it and let it drain for the night. Morning came and I filled up the dehydrator's trays and it's looking good so far. The seed and skins I added to a pot, added left over bits of meals over the last few days from the fridge, stuff that looked a little limp from the veggie tray. pasta, a bag of chicken necks and boiled the lot. yummy meal for the doggies tonight. In the meantime the dehydrator had been going for hours. But some how the pumpkin turned to leather, you know the kind of fruit rollups kind of leather I could not get it to crack from dryness. Now I don't get defeated so easierly and have decided to try again, and purchased 3 butternuts. Maybe it is the variety of pumpkin that just does not work that well. Patty Ann got it to work so why can't I get it right.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Pumpkin Swiss roll ... borrowed recipe

OMG this looks so good, It's not mine, I found it on a blog somewhere and had to copy it for a later date. Credits would be nice but I forgot where I got it from, so if it's you's, let me know I will add it to the post, thank you. Going to give it a try on the weekend. I have to use up the 4 Jap pumpkins I got left from experimenting dehydrating pumpkin, going with butternut instead.


3/4 cup All-Purpose Flour

1/2 teaspoon Baking Powder

1/2 teaspoon Baking Soda

1/2 teaspoon Ground Cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon Ground Cloves – I used ground Ginger

1/4 teaspoon Salt

3 large Eggs

1 cup Sugar – I used 3/4 cup

2/3 cup Canned Pumpkin


1 package (8 ounces) Cream Cheese, softened – On myfirst attempt the Rancher and I thought there was to much cream cheese frosting for our liking. I decreased the cream cheese to 6 oz.

1 cup Powdered Sugar – I used 3/4 cup

6Tablespoons Butter, softened – I used 4 Tablespoons

1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract


Additional Powdered Sugar to sprinkle on towel.


Preheat oven to 375*

Line a 15-in. x 10-in. x 1-in. baking pan with waxed paper; grease the paper and set aside.

Sprinkle a thin, cotton kitchen towel with powdered sugar and set aside.

For Cake:

In a small bowl, combine the flour, baking power, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, and salt.

Beat eggs and sugar in a large mixer bowl until thick.

Beat in pumpkin.

Stir in flour mixture.

Spread evenly into prepared pan.

Sprinkle with nuts. On my second try I sprinkled the roll with nuts after I frosted it, this is my preference.

Bake for 12-15 minutes or until cake springs back when lightly touched.

Cool for 5 minutes. Turn cake onto a kitchen towel dusted with confectioners’ sugar.

Gently peel off waxed paper. Roll up cake in the towel jelly-roll style, starting with a short side. Cool completely on a wire rack.

For Filling:

In a small bowl, beat the cream cheese, 3/4 cup powdered sugar, butter, and vanilla until smooth.

Carefully unroll cake; spread filling evenly.

Roll up again.

Wrap and refrigerate at least 1 hour.

Dust with powdered sugar before serving.

May be frozen for up to 3 months. Remove from the freezer 15 minutes before cutting.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Dehydrating and a bargain ...

So here is my lastest offerings ... dehydrated celery stalks and onions.
Pays to do more research before discarding the leaves and small stalks to the chooks for a snack, next time I will dehydrate them too. We aren't big celery lovers so it would be just for soups. I did blanc the celery after cutting them.
I like to cut my onion in wedges and large diced pieces, that turned out a huge success. Onion is like one of the main ingredients, just can't cook without it. So no little 1kg baggies of onion but big 10kg bags @ $7.00 from the veggie shop. Can see a lot more onions and tears.
Now for the bargain and it's got nothing to do with food. Here's the story ... I must first confess to being a curbaholic, my eye's wonder to the curb if there is a council cleanup, sometimes there's really good stuff. But never will I stop if hubby is with me except once I got him to stop for a huge cat scratching post, I had seen them at the petshop and nearly keeled over when I checked the price tag. One day I picked up a shower base, it was brand new still had the protective plastic on parts of it. The home was just newly renovated, actually the builders were still busy there, and someone had chipped a tiny bit off the side. So it came home with me, saving a whopping $200. I dug it out and gave it a good clean while we were build the bathroom the other weekend, expecting hubby might not want to install it but he could not even find the chip until I pointed it out to him. Well today we bought the shower screen that would fit the base, for way less than what we had bargained on. I decided to go with white floor and wall tiles, nothing fancy. But there is no rush to buy the tiles yet. Colour will come from the towels and bathmats to cheer it up a little.
Oh I just had to show you my tiny little egg I found in the nest the other day. Could it be from my of my new red pullets?

Thursday, November 15, 2012

My Dehydrated Carrots ... citrus slices ... sweet potato

Sure been giving that dehyrator a work out, it's been running just about non stop for the last week or three. First it was sweet potatoes until my huge jar was filled up, then I moved on to carrots. I have lost track of the packets I have bought @ $1.49 ... worked out 3 packets of 1 kilo unpeeled at a time, fit just nicely on to the 5 trays. First I peel and then slice them, then blanc them, and then drain them in a big colander. Pack each tray nicely , place the trays in the dehydrator and switch on, easy as.
It is ready not that hard and so far nothing has gone black on me, not even the sweet potatoes. And that has got to do with the peeling, esp the sweet potato which has two layers to the skin, get to the fleshy part and your chips woun't go black Becky. I noticed while they were cooling off that the outside started blackening, using a knife I cut off the 2 layers and the inside was beautiful. Ready to be sliced into 1/4 inch rings/chips.
Aren't these carrots just to cute for words. My glass jar is not full yet so I guess another 9 packets should do the trick. I have tested these carrots out by add in a handfull and pouring boiling water over and yeah they swell out nicely again.
Now these yummy orange and lemon sliced took a little long to dehydrate, maybe cut thinner is the way to go. Added to homemade lemonade as a garnish will give extra taste if not will look very pretty. But they are yummy just like that too. Happy dehydrating!!

Monday, November 12, 2012

The Lone Wolf ...

I want to share a little something I wrote myself a while ago, from my other blog wonder who has visited there before? Anyway I have reworked it a little
A tired lone wolf moves silently ~~~ all he leaves behind are his imprints ~~~ a drops of red blood fall ~~~ frozen in the snow ~~~ from a broken heart ~~~ his mate long gone ~~~ "~~~~~" Soft Snow flakes tumble to the ground ~~~ carried from up above ~~~ tall silver Birch ~~~ standing with their feet in snow ~~~ dry brittle leaves fallen ~~~ leaving the trees standing bare ~~~ like ghosts in the distance ~~~ "~~~~~" a full moon shining through bare branches ~~~ reflecting on an icy pond ~~~ cold and unforgiving ~~~ silhouette of young wolves hunting ~~~ coming closer trailing ~~~ the scent of fresh blood ~~~ "~~~~~" sounds of a lone wolf ~~~ howling to the moon ~~~ pierce the silence ~~~ with his heart ache ~~~

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Oh to have a bathroom would be nice ...

Well what a weekend, we worked our little butts off!! And too my delight Hubby took off the Monday making it a really long weekend. Thursday evening Tanya flew in from Darwin just enough time to pop into our favorite curry joint "The Holy Cow" and have a really good meal. The trailer was packed up treated timber sleepers, steel farm gates and 5 rolls of chain wire, tools in the back of the ute and few supplies Ready to roll out at 3am friday morning. At Port Macquarie we stopped off at the Bunning Hardware store for Concrete flooring for the bathroom 4 pieces of 2700mm X 600mms. that went on top off the cage.
We were so pooped after the trip we had a catnap in the afternoon, then started the off loading process, pulled out all the building materials under the cottage while keeping an eye out for Mr and Mrs Snake, lucky there were non, could it have been the brush cutter I used to slash around the cottage could have scared them off. Saturday morning we started early, measured the bathroom out and dug holes for the treated posts, and started with the floor framework. We used the treated sleepers to build with for termites hopefully they woun't like that to much.
Sonday Morning we were ready to lay down the concrete flooring on top of the frame. Before we can start erecting the walls, the floor needs to be waterproofed and cured. Squared the frame up nicely and then decided to start building the wall panels got three done. By that time we were ready to call it a day. Packed the panels on the floor and covered it all up with a blue tarp till next time.
The bathroom is not huge 2700mm X 2400mm but with a little thoughtfull layout we can fit in the washing machine and above that the upside down tumble dryer. Which will be a white elephant in the future cause we don't have power to run it. They will live on the left behind the door, a small wall seperates them from the rest of the bathroom. then the toilet with a small invalid hand rail to hang on too. A corned hand wash basin cabinette, and in the righthand corner a shower, coming back on the right space for a chair and then the a double door laundry cupboard. A seperate laundry would have been lovely but I am just to thankfull to finally have a bathroom.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Quick trip up to the farm ... weekend news

Good day Everyone, hope you had a lovely weekend. Well our weekend was just flat out busy, trying to get as much done as possible. First thing Saturday George went off to purchase the weekly 2 or 3 bails of lucerne for the sheep. A bit of a spoil for them but in the long run to our benefit too. An article in The Land confirmed what we already knew sheep that eat lucerne are way more tasty and even have a little more meat on them. Our South African sheep in the Karoo eat salt bush and that is just lovely tasting meat too. Salt bush is something I would love to try grow from seed/cuttings. While I finished bottling curry beans, just over 3 kgs of cut green beans and diced onion, yelding 5 good sized jars. Finish dehydrating the second batch of 4kgs of sweet potatoe, the bottle is busting at the seams:))) Done the shopping after having some red curry from the luch time special at the mail, that saved time. George washed both cars while I finished the packing, loaded the trailer and ute. While he had a cat nap in front of the TV I got ready to for the neighbour Paul's 60th Elvis party. What a blast caterers to do the spit roast, salads, dancing, even an Elvis impersonator, huge success. We left about 9.30 and making sure all the cats had enough food until we got back, we hit the road. Arrived just after 4am, just as the roosters started crowing we hit the sack for a well earned rest. Had brekkie just after 9am and started the off loading process, wood 2x4's for the bathroom, roofing for half of rose cottage, storage barrels with 25kg sugar, rice, empty preserving bottles, just to name a few things. By 11am we were ready to start the trip back to Sydney. Got home just in time to watch Dooms Day Preppersafter doing the animal feed run and making burgers for dinner. We were planning on taking the ewes and lambs up to the farm for the 6 weeks we will be gone over Dec/Jan but there just has'ent been any rain. Making our region dry and brittle just ready for that bush fire. One good thing the rural fire has set up camp in the village which just gives us a little peace of mind our place should be okay. the river is right down too and you can just feel the grass crunch under you feet as you walk. Next weekend we plan on pumping water from the river into the cube and soak the garden and the bed of potatoes. And pump the rain water from the cube over to the water tank. The next load will be treated sleepers with will be used for the floor joists,bathroom and verandas and retaining wall. George promised to leave work early today so we could go pick them up this afternoon. more to come ... with pics of the party.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Chooks news ...

Yesterday 2 more 5 week old chicks joined the lonely chookie after her mates move out to the west wing of the chook palace. Where a 9 month old white silky rooster joined them. Named him Clyde after his predeceasor, and my he is quite a handsome little boy. Clyde has not wasted anytime crowing either.
Only the young white silky pullet does not thinks so yet, esp as he chased her into a corner. "I am still a baby leave me alone". Not to sure about the little grey silky, here's hoping it a little hen.In this enclosure are 4 young barter brown (isa brown?) and one young orpington X Now that brings the new arrivals at 15 hens 1 rooster. sure is better than having just 6 hens and Mr Harry. grand total 23 chooks

Thursday, October 25, 2012

More dehydrating and garden plans ...

This year I have decided to not have a very big veggie garden, crazy I hear you say, maybe. But we are expecting a very hot summer and not much rain meaning my garden will probably suffer during the month we will be at the farm anyway. Rather spend my time preparing and dehydrating or canning vegetables such as egg plant, onions, sweet potatoes which are cheap as chips ATM. I had no idea you could even do them until I found a video on Youtube.Paula's tip dehydrating sweet potatoes Todays mission will be sweet potatoes.A trip to the big produce market on saturday, could net me a few bargains, we haven't been there for a while.(Maybe not the next 3 week as we will definitely be going to the farm)
Going to plant some bought Tomato seedling which I will pick up today from the new nursery on the way to Penrith. I do have a bed open for red aztec corn that I would like to save more seeds from for milling into Corn/maize meal.Pumpkins and squashes are on my list too. The rasberry bush has sprung "LOTS" of shoots and maybe now is the time to dig some of them up and pot them ready to be planted at the farm. The last lot I planted the possums made a meal of them.Talking about the farm we bought "Lots" of chicken manure and that is still laying bagged ready to be spread on garden. That is not a one day job as the patch is in desperate need of weeding. Maybe now is the time to organize a week at the farm by myself.
Another lot of eggplant is dehyrating, this time I bought 6 nice sized eggplant, that makes it 9 so far to fill the jar. that is probably half the amount I would purchase through out the year. Mostly I would use eggplant for Greek dishes but could used it in potato, eggplant and pea Indian veggie curry. Or baked in oil with a chilli bite batter. Do you have a favorite recipe for eggplant you would like to share?

Sunday, October 21, 2012

The Zombies are coming ...

A while ago I got chatting to a woman (40ish) at a BBQ at friends Nick & Adele. some how we got onto the subject of stockpiling. Adele mentioned they could join us at the farm one day cause I have a good supply of everything. Well I wish!!! That brings me on too the subject for today and my question to you is, How much are you doing to survive when the Zombies come. What a ridicules notion/word Zombies, rather say when your neighbour or the man down the road runs out of food and your's looks inviting. The same people that laughed at you cause you have a veggie garden, or your keeping chooks or you bake your own bread. But it's not just about stocking up on toilet paper, matches & candles, soap and tinned foods, flour. pasta, doffee and sugar.
Granted that is the first thing you think about "FOOD" but Yeah we need to eat too survive, protecting that food you have will be just as important as your food supply. Everyone has a list of what would be important for them. What skills have you got to help you, could you barter your labour or skill to benefit your family/colony. Do you have a bug out plan? I had been watching Dooms Day Preppers and it's great to see how dedicated some preppers are and how much thought has gone into their plan. I can only wish my plan was as good as some. A sudden move with all my animals is a major mission, but they are my fresh food on four legs or two drumsticks for the chooks. Getting them to the farm would be first on my list, along with all the food in my pantry. Housing/fencing to keep them in, food such as scratch mix and cracked corn and chicken starter/grower if I had small chooks. After Mr Fox wiped out half my chooks, I had replaced the slaughtered chooks with more egg layers, that I have nursed into pretty mixed breed pullets just about ready to start laying. This winter I raised 16 meat chooks for my freezer and decided that will be enough for this summer. In the near future we will be breaking down the chookie barn and will take it up to the farm in panels, ready to erect and use as storage. As for the wire fencing and pavers I bought it too has to go up asap. Slowly but surely we are moving up to the farm.
This "beauty" needs to be repaired and be taken up as well, she will be the centre of attraction in the outdoor kitchen, another project which we hope to tackle over the December holidays Sometimes I wish the farm was closer but that is really the point of it being so rural, making it more difficult for strangers to find when the time comes. I do feel that there is not that much time left to prepare, we need to get as much belongings and equipment there as possible. Time is running out! In the meantime filling bottles with produce, dehydrating veggies which saves space ... bonus, stockpiling and decluttering and cleaning up the house and yard making just such a move easier. more on a new skill in the next post ....

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

How to make your own "Smell of fall" ...

Any tips and tricks on how to get your home to smell like fall... mmmmmm love this time of the year. Love the smell of Fall then here's how to creat that smell in your home. Simmer water with cinnamon sticks , orange slices and vanilla extract, whatever else you like. When the water gets a bit low just add more. Smells so good! Any other tips would be welcome

My date/apple/nut balls rolled in coconut update

A plate full of dried fruit balls I just made the balls bite size even added a little mixed peel for fruit cakes, you know the stuff I am talking about, cause the raisian jar was a little empty. actually it is quite nice like that. But what stops you from adding your own choice of dried fruit. I would still use dates to help bind it all together. Be brave give it a go. Original recipe and pic was Caro's, just 2 posts back :)))

Monday, October 15, 2012

So what has She been up to the last week or so ... well Grandson Cobi and his Mum have left for overseas on the 25th September, the house felt like a funeral parlour. We went out for dinner that evening just so we did not have to face it. Holidays are never going to be the same anymore without him. Africa is so far away.
Then (2 days later)our Smelly cat got bitten by a snake, we found him under the diningroom table all limp like a rag doll, bunged him into a cat carrier while The blond one grabbed her car keys and took off with her slippers and all. I called ahead to our vet but at the top of our road he had stopped breathing, so she opted for the local vet. They were wonderful and had him on a ventilator within seconds. did tests to see which snake it was Red belly black or the more deadly brown. Our thoughts are it was not a direct hit but Mr Snake got mouthfull of fur instead, which Smelly licked and digested as he was bathing himself. That is what had happened the year before when a R/B Black got him. So this was a brown snake. Normally within minutes it is over.The anti-venom costs a fortune but then that was the last thing on our minds. Somehow Smelly made it through with the excellent care he received and is now enjoying being with all the other puddycats, under house arrest until winter is here again. It's going to be a very long summer .....
Hubby and Myself took a trip up to the property for the long weekend, we were on a mission to empty the hired container. But to do that we had to clean up our own container first, so everything had to be removed and then sorted out. Must say it was well overdue. Heaps of red cedar and bits and bits were thrown on to the burning pile. Burning season is over so it will have to wait for the next season. That freed up so much space, with shelves neatly against the wall we might actually be able to find things again. On the way back we stopped off at Richardo's and bought 10kgs of beautiful winegrown tomatoes. We had beautiful Greek salads with olives and feta cheese for the next few days. Off cause I had to preserve some summer goodness and made a few jars of tomatoe jam. And a few jars of tomato and red capscuim chutney from a new book I had bought recently, yet to try the chutney.
Got very inspired reading Kari and Tim's blog the other day, they had put some egg plant in to dehydrate, which I had thought grilling and preserving in oil was the only way but snce I have gone onto Youtube and found a few more ways to preserve egg plant. Well I had to give it a go. And while I busy thought aI would give banana chips a go too. I do have some other news about two new venture I started but that can keep for another time Have a wonderful day and thanks for joining me Rina

Friday, October 12, 2012

My date/apple/nut balls rolled in coconut Ingredients: 3/4 cups of dried apples 3/4 cups of pitted dates (about 18) 1/2 cup of raisins (sultanas) ...1/2 cup of walnuts 1 1/2 – 2 tsp of ground cinnamon Preparation: In a food processor combine the apples, dates, raisins and cinnamon and blend for a couple of minutes until a ball is formed. Add the walnuts and blend until the walnuts are chopped to desired sized. Press firmly onto a piece of parchment paper forming a large rectangle about 1/2 inch wide. Cool in the refrigerator for a couple of hours. Cut into desired shape Got this from a friend and thought I would give it a try Thanks Caro

Monday, August 27, 2012

We learn a little more each day ...

Been awhile since I popped in here, My days have been busy with the Animals, bottle feeding the lambs and spending time with my Grandson Cobi before they fly back to South Africa. (So not happy about that) we have been up to the property twice in the last month getting ready for the fire season, lots of mowing and brushcutting, dealing with out of hand lantana. The lantana seems to take over and pop up everywhere if given half a chance and that is exctly what happened, it's everywhere. Going to be a huge job to get rid of it. Miss Lashes's lamb is doing great, he is doing a great impersonation of a Cabana sausage "Round and Fat". Miss Bella had twin on a very cold night and both the baby lambs got sick, one I had to take away because he could not stand up at all so would have died without that first milk. She would not accept him back after that and so he had to be bottled feed. Unfortunately we lost our baby lamb last night the vet had warned us it was going to be rough but we pulled him through only to lose him to bloat last night, might have be different if we had not been out to fetch Tanya from the airport. Suppose it's like having servere colic so I massaged some of the wind out and poop while Tanya mixed the vegetable oil and disprin and then feed it to him. He got a hotwater bottle and way a lot more comfortable. late night for some of us but still we lost him. There is so much to learn ... if you know of a better method please share Cobi was a little upset last night and even said 3 prayers for the little lamb. So sweet ... so far we have 5 lambs for this season 2 ewes and 3 rams that should keep him happy Until nexttime have a lovely day Rina

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Goodbye Miss Lashes ...

Some things just can't be helped for, you need to make that decision for the sake of the rest of your flock of sheep. Once before on a friends blog Aunt Krissy, she wrote how she had to put down her goats, I felt so sorry for her cause she did honestly love them. So yesterday when I had to call the shots, I knew the flock come first. Miss Lashes is with us no more, but all is not lost, she has gone to Pathology at The University of Sydney for a case study .
I took some pics of her after I had spoken to the vet, arranging for him to examine her at home, and he just confirmed she had lost mobility and her condition had deteriated so badly, there really was no turn around for her. (I still get a bill for the call out)
But there is something she has left behind, She hung on just for this little mite. After his birth we started bottle feeding as she had no milk, leading us to suspect she had Mastitis, diarrhea, and lost of weight. But even with all the care and antibiotics, Miss Lashes just went down hill very fast. Yesterday was the day I had decided to end it when she lost all mobility. Mr Big Ears Dennis, who will be 21 days old on Wensday, is going to miss his mommy .
Mr Big Ears Has now got aunty Sally who is due to give birth any moment, as is Bella, Bella's Mum, Stella.
Who said farm life was easy? Until next time Rina

Monday, July 23, 2012

Shades of Green and Blue ... Helping a friend

Shades of Green and Blue crochet hexican granny stitch blanket is for my Grandson Cobi to take with him to South Africa when they leave end of August. I don't have a final date yet but if it's not ready by that time, I could always just post it off. It's only 2/3 done and then all the threads still need to be tucked in. Started this project with a few odd balls and leftover bits from other projects and soon found myself buying shades to match and more yarn for the dark boarder around each hexie block and final boarder right around the whole blanket. Should look lovely when it's done Blue is Cobi's favorite colour.
Another project I started while visiting my friend Carelene was a little granny square babies blanket for one off my sewing girls who is pregnant. This project is also a clean out my basket but using lighter shades of yarn. Using white yarn for the boarders of each block and final boarder. I needed something that would not take up a lot of space in my bag.
Carelene had just moved down from Brisbane to Newcastle, a big move from her as she had just recently had Kemo. A helping hand was called for and we had a good time unpacking boxes, cooking meals and sitting crocheting like two old ladies. We even went for Coffee and cake at Nelson's Bay, then a spot of sightseeing. Time flies when you're having fun.
Something that we all take for granted here in Australia, well some of us, is the wonderful rail services and in most cases at a very reasonable price too. And then you get to see scenes of our beautiful country that we never see travelling on the Highways. Thanks for popping in see ya next time Rina

Saturday, July 21, 2012

We woke to another chilly winter's day here in Sydney, but unlike my usual morning routine, I could not have my cup of coffee infront of the computer checking on my friends on Facebook. We had our first lamb for the season born on Wensday, Miss Lashes presented us with a good strong little ram but she had no milk for the little one to feed on, her udder only half the size it was the year before. The blond one had called me after struggling to get him to suckle on her teat, she managed to express just enough for a small drink and feed him with a bottle. There was little I could do as I was coming home by train after spending a few days helping a friend move home.
I googled and found instructions How to make Colostrum for Newborn lambs, the neighbour donated a little cod liver oil and the rest of the ingredients where no problem. "Little Skaapie" had a good feed and seems to be doing very well. This bottle feeding is going to be so much fun esp the midnight feed in the cold. Lucky the sheep shed is cosy and safe. The vet thinks Miss Lashes has Mastitis, he diagnosed her over the phone and lucky I did have some meds in the fridge to give her, saving a trip to the vet.
Our chookie numbers have increased by 2 silkies chicks born while I was away. With a little luck the next eggs should hatch in a day or two. Very exciting! The next batch of meat birds have also arrived and have joined the 4 young egg chicks I bought a few weeks ago. The hatchery was not sure what breed they were but I believe that they are Barnvelders X, time will tell. So far I am pleased with the new incubator and so is Jellybeans who has taken up watch on top of it, just incase anyone wants to steal any of the eggs Hmmmm. Now it time for bed ... it's like doing the PJ drill all over again