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, 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.