Jam & a Few Veggies

Hello!
I thought it was Tuesday. Apparently it was Wednesday. hmmm.
So I cooked plums…
Then I made some jam – a plum/raspberry combo

I just taste tested some on some fresh bread – not bad! May be a little tart for some tastes but I like it. The batch was bigger than the usual and I just guessed with the lemon juice… 😀

Meanwhile, Pip was blocking guarding the exits.
Helpful

I need to eat cucumbers faster or give them to someone else to help eat them!
I wish my zucchinis were a bit keener… but happy to find another one today.

Whipped up another beret… because I could 😛

I started a yellow one too, but I would love to get back to the shop and get some pretty yarn and make some colourful ones. (you know, with the graduating colours)

We made a small escape this evening down to Fossil Bluff. The weather was beautiful and it was lovely strolling about.

Of course we were keeping an eye out for agate. I was also keeping an eye out for examples of pareidolia.  (Seeing patterns in random data is the explanation, but perhaps illustrated by seeing faces in rocks?)

This one has quite the defined nose!!
Why? You ask… Running another photo challenge soon and I put pareidolia in as a subject. I thought people might come up with some fun stuff.

This rock slab I found interesting with all the markings on it and the indents highlighted with water!

Bedtime for me. Tomorrow I can wake with confidence knowing I am in Thursday!

Cheers!

Herb Garden Tidy-Up

Hi there!
I gave myself a plum holiday today!
The herb garden area has been annoying me as its so overgrown and straggly.
Even though it was pretty hot out there, it was great to get in and give everything a severe haircut.

The feverfew and the sort-of-curry plant were a bit out of control

The fennel is always out of control but I kinda like it 🙂
Then there was the little fence thingy we put up around an old water heater to hide it. Had grand visions of growing vines over it. Sadly only big weedy grasses took an interest.

I took a fair bit of weeds, rubbishy leaves & prunings out of the garden

So much better! I will do something a little more aesthetically pleasing around the water heater and also thinking of another rosemary plant in the back corner there… its a hard spot and something to just go mad in there would be ideal.

I gave the area a good soaking. Watered various other areas of the garden and did random weeding. The hothouse got a bit of a weeding as did the entryway into the main garden.

I even made time to get into the kitchen and try making those raspberry chocolates again! I used more sugar in the leather this time, but it takes ages and ages, remains sticky and is still reasonably tart! But mixed in with the chocolate, I am a fan. (Says she sneaking back into the fridge again!)

I eventually figured I should go and see what raspberries needed picking since I failed to get out there yesterday. I was partway through my job and Cousin Jeff pulled up with a massive trailer load of wood – then asked if we wanted it? Haha – yeah sure!
We have to stock up at some point, so why not!
Three and a half metres.
One thing is for sure. Its really hard to achieve boredom at Norwich House!

Cheers

Like that’s not going to take me forever to stack or anything!!!

Rain

Hello!
That’s Friday done and dusted. Not really dusty tho… a beautiful day of steady rain which I am sure the garden just loved!

The corn, which has been up to now slightly underwhelming in development, is finally showing signs of producing!

The hothouse is still lovely – The cucumber is taking over as usual and hiding some of its fruit!

So… I have three rockmelon plants in, all which look healthy and growing tentacles all over the place… and one rockmelon!

I have a number of chilli plants in the hothouse… all at different development stages!

The young ones I put in a couple of weeks ago are looking good… but getting swamped by self seeded tomatoes which are coming up like hairs on a cats back!

The lettuce seedlings need to hurry.

The passionfruit are unchanged. No idea how long they will take to be ready since this is the first time I have grown them without killing the plant!

I see more pesto in my immediate future.

So many plums!! Speaking of plums. I de-pipped what I cooked yesterday and turned them into pulp.
I totally wished de-pipping was as quick and as easy as pushing the cat off my lap (A totally different sort of de-Pipping)
(OK… I amused myself…)

There was still more to wash and cook but I was over doing plums this afternoon. Maybe tomorrow?

On the herb drying scene I took the leaves off the stalks of the oregano and left them in a tray to get a bit more crackly dry.
The basil is still slow in the netting and the hanging basil… well… I suppose its doing what its meant to do?

Have a great Friday and makes some awesome weekend plans!
Cheers

 

Still Wading in Plums

I think its Thursday… 🙂
I did start with my raspberry pulp… cooked again with a bit of sugar and put 4 trays of leather into the dehydrator… where they are still happily dehydrating. Pantry smells nice!

I de-pipped yesterdays cooked plums and ‘mooleyed’ them into pulp and moved right on to washing and cooking another two buckets. Will finish them off tomorrow and think about cooking more.
Er… and picking more!!!

While I was standing about the kitchen I figured I’d make up a veggie pasta dish for dinner…

Its finally that time of year when you can reach for whatever produce you have in the garden and just make it up as you go along.

I’m slightly miffed that I forgot the capsicum in the fridge! Will put it in a salad next meal.

I did add some bacon, garlic salt, my plum worster sauce and a couple of spoons of sugar. Simmered for an hour or so.
Draped over pasta noodles tonight, if I do say so myself… it was awesome!

Cheers!

Busy

Its a good start to the week when you get a parcel in the mail! My best mate sent us a Christmas box of bits and pieces. Looking forward to reading this gardening book. She also sent me a house cleaning book with a post it note on it saying she never used her copy. Made me laugh!

First things first, I got into the plums and fished out all the pips then mooleyed what was left. I now have a nice lot of pulp to do with what I will.
I put three trays in the dehydrator for leather and froze the rest.
Jeff picked 2 more buckets of plums when he got home from work. Suppose I will have to work on those tomorrow!

I just went and checked… they look done. A bit tart because I added no sugar but I like the flavour and don’t mind if its a bit bitey.

This, however was my super success of the day. I had dried some raspberry pulp (mostly deseeded) – it was partly chewy and partly crispy.
I broke it up and added it to some chocolate

Apart from in the future me having to learn how to melt chocolate properly, this turned out totally great! Again the raspberry was unsweetened so the leather is a bit tart, but I love that mixed in with the sweetness of the chocolate.
Tomorrow I will be making a LOT more raspberry leather and stocking up on cooking chocolate from the supermarket!

I picked up 3kg of cherries yesterday from a farm just down the road from us. Jeff especially loves cherries and I was aiming for a few extra wife-points for having them chilled in the fridge for when he woke up from sleeping off his nightshift.
I cooked a kilo and started the process for making ice cream… cherry flavoured ice cream is divine!

Anyway, out to the garden… moving sprinklers around all day. Parts of the ground are cracking!
Time to trim that basil back again!!

Its actually slow drying in the netting so I thought I would hang this lot. I am sure I will be making more pesto, but Jeff ate all my cashews!!

I picked up these nifty clip hanger things in Japan with no idea what I needed them for but couldn’t resist having them. Found a use for them today.

Now the waiting begins.

Picked my first capsicum today! I wanted to wait until they went red but this one is showing some heat distress so I thought I should pick it and use it before it went funny. Lots more lovely tomatoes too.

I spent a couple of hours on the back veranda cleaning the dirt off the garlic and trimming them up. Now I can take them and hang them inside somewhere to dry properly.

Why not a garlic selfie?
And might as well get the cat involved while I am at it.

Pip not really into it…

Anyway, hope your Monday started just as well as mine did!

Cheers!

 

 

Catching Up in the Kitchen

Hello! How was your weekend? All those in winter, I hope you are keeping warm enough with those insanely low temperatures. As for the rest of Australia that is baking – keep cool!

I made a bit of an effort to get on top of some of the fruit. Raspberries got made into jam. I also put some pulp in the dehydrator. I want to make it crispy dry then make raspberry chocolate. I am sad that its not ready yet because I am ready to eat it.

Cooked up the first bucket of plums. Tomorrow I will take out the pips and mooley it into pulp. Not sure if I will make jam straightaway or freeze it.

Some strawberries also got added into the dehydrator – I am quite attached to those – as well as the lemon peel.
Then a few trays of zucchinis to make chips!

They turned out quite well. I sprinkled some with cajun spice and some with garlic salt. I could have increased the amount of garlic salt but was a bit hesitant after the very salty cucumbers last time!! Will have to wait for the garden to produce more zucchinis before I can experiment further.

Oh – and here is a quick update photo on the blanket-sized shawl!

Hope your day was great!
Cheers!

Dug My Garlic!

Hello! How is everyones first week of 2018 going?
I treated myself to a trailer load of mushroom compost today!!

Now I can move on to some more planting and feed up some areas.

But I really had a lovely day digging up all my garlic! (and the extra bonus is a whole spare plot!)
It was a mixed bag of sizes, but overall I am pretty happy.

Think I have enough?
I have put them all on the back veranda to dry off for a few days, then I will be able to brush the dirt/mud off more easily before hanging them inside upstairs to dry properly.

I weeded a plot at the back of the hothouse yesterday…

Just enough room for a few more tomatoes

Dumped in a barrow load of mushroom compost and mulched with the last of the seaweed grass (yup – next trip out with the trailer will be to restock on that!)

The self seeded ones I have just recently noticed are doing quite well here too… weeded them and fed them some compost.

Cherry plums slowly starting to ripen!

Of the four unenthusiastic apple cucumber plants… I have only one cucumber developing!

Looks like I can quit buying potatoes at the supermarket!! Yay! I love new potatoes (some of these were on the dinner plate tonight, steamed and served with butter!)

The cucumbers are slow… but mostly steady enough to keep up with what we are eating each night.

Enough tomatoes now to make our favourite side dish of stuffed tomatoes (centres just scooped out and mixed with breadcrumbs, garlic salt & fresh herbs – under the grill for 5 minutes!!)

Loving the fresh food!

Cheers!

 

Hey Pesto!

Well… its just ticked over to the last day of 2017!!
Wow… didn’t that just fly by!!??

Yesterday I crumbled up the oregano I dried and popped them in these jars. I am liking the look!
Was pleased with my first efforts, so went and picked a bunch more oregano and a basket full of basil.

They are now all in my little netted air dryer in the sunroom doing their thing.

Today the wind was howling and it was no fun being outside. Still… the raspberries needed picking. They were being flung about into jam before I could get them inside!
So happy to get a few more tomatoes too.

The capsicum are really getting lovely and big. Now I just want them to change colour – I like the green ones but I am quite partial to the red!

My replacement corn seedlings doing well. The need to catch up to the ones outside so they can be slotted in and hopefully grow at approximately the same rate. (wishful thinking huh?)

More cucumbers – and lots of flowers

The basil that I trimmed back last week to take cuttings kind of exploded out pretty quickly!

I was able to pick another basket but this lot was destined to make more pesto!

I had more time up my sleeve today, so I baked the garlic.
Apart from the baking, the whole process is very quick.
I plan to do a chicken, pesto pasta for tomorrow nights dinner and there is enough there to freeze as well!!

I hope the last day of your year finishes fantastically!

Cheers

Still Cooking, Still Planting

Hi there! Hot today! I worked up a bit of a sweat out there today!
Takes ages to pick the raspberries – can kiss a couple of hours goodbye doing that.
I pulled up the watermelon plants as they were doing nothing. I had two potted capsicums that needed a home as well as some thyme.

Everything got a good watering too. (Including me at times!)

Its nice to have fresh food on hand to put together a sandwich for lunch!
I moved a few more things through the dehydrator…

These cucumber slices were unsalted but I still don’t care for them as a chip, so into powder they go.

Then I really had to start making a dint in the raspberry population that is residing in the fridge, so made up 3lb’s worth into jam

I also finished off making the new batch of strawberry ice cream. While I was scraping out the mixture I was having a chuckle remembering on Christmas Day how I had to throw away Ruby’s spatula. I had bought her a new one when I was in Texas – and it was carefully put away while she continued to wear out the old one.
I swear she has probably had it from the 70’s!!
I asked Margie what she was waiting for?? Margie did the little eye roll and said she didn’t know. I translated that Ruby was being stubborn. Honestly… it was past worn out to the point it was shedding bits!!! So I marched into the lounge room and informed Ruby I was throwing it away and teased her a bit about how terrible it was. She laughed at me but went along with it so now the nice new one has been taken out of its packet and put into use. Margie wisely went and threw the old one in the outside bin so Ruby didn’t go and get it back again!!!

Oh – and here is an update photo of my behind the scenes crochet project that is steadily growing. By the time its done it will be like wearing a blanket!
Well… I am off to find some dessert, watch some telly and continue with the shawl.
Cheers!

Kitchen Stuff

Hello there! Everyone survive the festivities? Hope you are all relaxing and living on leftovers!
I played mostly in the kitchen today… but failed to take any photos.
Made up the rest of the plum pulp into more jars of jam so we are stocked up for a while.
Baked bread, put a few things into the dehydrator (lemon peel, strawberries, a few raspberries and some cucumber.)
Started stage one of more ice cream.
Covered some of the dried strawberries in chocolate!!! Oh my! Like they are going to last the evening!! (Not!)

The apples are looking quite good. This tree seems to have less codling moth than the other one. We are spraying them this year. (Nothing too chemically tho of course!) Hopefully it helps. Must give them another dose tomorrow if its not too windy!

My air dried oregano seemed ready so I stripped the leaves off the stems.

Most were crunchy but I felt another few days in the sunroom spread out on a tray wasn’t going to hurt

I got a parcel today!!! Only my best mate (who lives on a farm) would wrap something up in a feed bag and send it through the mail!! Cracked me up.

Anyway, she sent me a crazy paver!! I am pretty excited… I really want to make some cool pathways so can’t wait to get in and have a go.
Would love to also use some of those million beach stones we have collected to decorate the pavers too!

The hothouse is doing well… I have it more under control this season than in the past. Probably because I have been strict about digging up the self seeded tomatoes instead of letting them rule the roost!

Some of the replacement corn seedlings have popped up

Next round of lettuce seedlings also doing fine

Plums!! Cherry plums to be precise.
A few here and there have been ready, but wow… if we harvest even half of these we will be swimming in them!

Time to buy some new buckets perhaps…

Yesterday I got back into the main garden and mostly finished off the weeding in the bottom area
It did look like this:

Now we have gotten to this point:

I have started clearing out the raised bed as we use up the lettuce. Either the new lettuce can go in or maybe some more beetroot as it seems to be having a hard time getting properly going in the duck yard garden.
Also going to start trying to kill the pathway grass with black plastic laid over some spots for a week or two

(I plan to ask farmer friends for the silage plastic covers when they unwrap a bale – I guess they just throw them away.)

Yesterday I got another kilo and a half of raspberries, and also happily picked some more tomatoes!

Hope your holiday season is just wonderful!

Cheers