Saturday, November 21, 2015

Happy Days

Today was one of the days that I love having.....most of the time I was in the kitchen! Our three helpers helped me make some cheeses - Mozzarella, Halumi and I still have quark hanging in the kitchen to drain. We made home made pizza for lunch with the mozzarella - 5.5 litres of milk for enough cheese for three pizzas.

Pizza with our chorizo,and the fresh mozzarella

Three lovely helpers - Gina, Marlene and Klara

Quark - we have two German girls so wanted to show them how nice my quark is.

I made a Herman the German carrot cake, which we had with fresh cream that I got yesterday from my dairy cows. Yum. Sour dough bread is still in progress.

I have racked my pineapple wine, but will do it again tomorrow, as there is still a little bit of sediment. It's very strong! More of a spirit than a wine I think, so it might have to be drunk with soda water.

The afternoon found us outside where we killed 9 roosters. Fortunately I'd put dinner on in the oven before we went out. I didn't plan things very well, because dinner was a casserole of chicken thighs - with onion, garlic, dried mushrooms and then I topped it with some of my tomato pasta sauce than I preserved a while ago. I don't normally eat the same meat that we kill on the same day. The chicken liver pate can wait until tomorrow I think.  Usually if I don't do it straight away, it doesn't get done, but I will get it done tomorrow.....along with the peanut butter I didn't get done today. Cheese making is quite time consuming!

Chicken Dinner - I did top this with tomato sauce. Everything in it was either home grown or purchased locally. The more of a locavore I become, the harder it is to buy food from further away!

Dessert was a quick thermie icecream - fresh cream, banana and strawberries.......did I mention that it was a happy day!!!!

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Photos - some of the reasons I live where I live

This is a little patch of scrub that was left standing when the remainder of the paddocks was cleared. I'm so grateful the previous owners left it. It's a lovely quiet spot!

These two photos are taken down the Anabranch. An anabranch is a branch off a river - where it comes out and then goes back into the river. This is permanent water. The tyre tube was left there in the last flood.

I love bauhinia trees (above). They are a native to this area. The photo on the left was taken at the end of winter when it loses alot of it's leaves and goes a lovely brown/autumny colour. Then the leaves turn green and we get beautiful flowers. The stock love to eat this tree and it's also a lovely shade tree.

Lime bush. It's very prickly when small and doesn't normally have fruit on it, although this year they did. The taller tree on the left is a normal mature tree. They've been loaded with lovely fruit. Normally we have a lot of fruit fly in them, but not this year.
My kombucha on the left and kefir on the right. Ginger and Bush lime.

I like to eat our own meat, milk, cheese, yoghurt.

And of course mushrooms come most years in spring rain. This is my mushroom and rosemary salt.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Attitude of gratitude

I've had several blog topics going through my mind and I've been taking photos that fit, but I just don't seem to be finding time to actually post anything! In between farm work growing and preparing food, and  no backpackers, I get to the stage that sleep is more important. Today I'm driving with Edmund to biggenden. Well I'm obviously not driving at present, I'm just the passenger. I thought I'd write today about gratitude because at the moment we are feeling very grateful for some lovely rain we've had, and that western Queensland also got some, as did a lot of other places.

It's incredible the change in how we feel and think when there's some green grass around. It's almost as if we have new lenses in our glasses. I don't suffer depression, thank goodness, but I do get down. I get down with the amount of work that we seem to continually have in front of us, I get down when I can't seem to find time to do the things I love (gardening, cooking, writing,reading) but when there's green grass around that "down ness" turns into anticipation - what can I do next?

I'm grateful for the rain, for making it green and for bringing mushrooms! For the last four days I've picked mushrooms, I've dried mushrooms, I've frozen mushrooms and we've eaten mushrooms. My latest last night was making some mushroom and rosemary salt.

I've also done a few other foodie things. This week we killed roosters and then I boned them out for freezing. It's bush lime season too, so I should be picking them to do something with them. In past years I used to make bush lime cordial but that has too much sugar so that's out. I have tried some kefir and kombucha flavoured with them. So far the kefir is good, but kombucha isn't as nice with citrus, so I'm not sure how it will go. Bush limes are beautiful things. They are tiny, less than 1cm in diameter, but look just like a tiny lime. This year there's been a bumper crop too. There's some in the pig paddocks and the pigs eat them as they fall to the ground.

Some days I just think how lucky I am to have all this food around me - especially when it's wild food and I don't have to do anything except pick it! I really do love living where I do and living they way I do. I'm so very grateful that Kim shares this passion with me. Or maybe he just puts up with it! The other day I was helping him feed pigs when I got distracted picking mushrooms. I saw him drive off and I thought " oh dear, he's got the s--ts and taken off and left me to finish it off." When I asked him where he went and was he cranky cos I was off foraging. His response was "how long have we been married?"

So I'm just grateful!

I will post some photos in the next day or so.....