Tuesday, 13 September 2016

And Now We Are Flooding!

Last time I posted about the weather (here), it was with photos of the dried up dams and paddocks.

Now that paddock is flooded down below, with an actual river of water running through it and there is plenty of deep water! The rain dance worked!

We have had record amounts of rain and there are floods everywhere - with more rain on the way.

Our waterfalls, Wannon Falls and Nigretta Falls are looking, and sounding, amazing.

This should be a road!

This should be a walking path!

This should be a supermarket!

This should be a carpark!

It is great to have all the rain; it would just be wonderful if it could be spaced out a little bit!

Hope you are having great weather wherever you are.

Sunday, 14 August 2016

Who Loves Weeding?!

Call me crazy, but I enjoy weeding. And at the moment, my veggie garden and paddocks have plenty to provide!

OK, maybe love is taking it a bit far! But I certainly don't dread it.

These aren't photos of my weeds (missing camera cord problem), but you get the idea.

We have had a wet winter and the growth has been astronomical.

You may be wondering why I enjoy weeding.
  • I find it gives me my best thinking time in the garden. I enjoy having a garden job to do that doesn't involve any brain matter, so I can just work away without having to think about the task. So I especially love weeding that involves huge patches of just weeds - no working around little plants and worrying whether I am pulling up any 'real' plants.
  • It always gives such satisfaction as it looks 100% better immediately.
  • It gives me good 'hanging out with the kids in the garden' time. I don't have to worry that they are trampling any plants if it is all just weeds!
That being said, ask me again in summer and I will probably have had more than enough of weeds! Hopefully soon the majority of the winter weeds will be gone and I vow (as I do every year with no luck) to keep on top of them from now on.

My actual most dreaded gardening job is pruning the rose bushes. Our house garden was planted out many years ago and has some vicious roses.

They wouldn't be out of place in a medieval torture chamber!

What about you? Do you enjoy weeding or is it your most dreaded garden activity?

Saturday, 23 July 2016

I've Missed Blogging!

Oh my, how time flies! I thought I would have a short break from blogging, just to see if it gave me extra time in my day. And it has been months!

So, let me introduce a new addition to the family, the gorgeous Freya Grace.

Miss Butterfly (all grown up!) and little Freya
Born on 31st March, my gorgeous second granddaughter.

I think she is pretty adorable and I am enjoying all the cuddles. And such a content little thing - sleeps well, hardly cries. Just happy. Definitely because Miss Butterfly is so calm and collected and just goes with the flow.

I am hoping now to get back to blogging more regularly. I will just have to be very strict and only allow myself a certain amount of time a day on the computer. In the past, I have found the problem is not updating my own blog, but reading everyone else's blogs. I have 'met' so many wonderful people through blogging and I love to read their blogs and then I get lost in the rabbit warren. You all know how it is!
I would be interested to hear how much time other people allow for their blogging a day or a week and whether you have a specific method to manage your internet time.

I do love blogging and I hope to be here on a much more regular basis from now on!

Thursday, 18 February 2016

Independence Days Challenge: Week Fourteen

'I think there are a lot of us who have become disconnected from our past. We've been so busy living in the modern world that a lot of the time we've barely noticed the passing of the old ways. Or perhaps we were glad to see them go - glad to lose the things that marked us as from the old country or as a hick or a country person. Those things, we were told, were of no value to the new people we were. And so what our grandmothers and grandfathers knew was lost. How frustrated they must have been to see generations arise who didn't value their thrift and work, and then, how frustrated we all were when we realised we did need to know these things, and the grandparents who could teach us were gone.'
Independence Days by Sharon Astyk pg 209

When I was reading through Independence Days looking for a quote, I found a recipe for Raspberry and White Chocolate Jam. Yes, chocolate in jam! Could there be a better idea?! Has anyone made any recipes for jam with chocolate? 

The big question is, do I actually have anything to report?! And the answer is, yes (but not much!)

1. Plant something

I have planted some coriander seeds, that is all. I need to focus on cleaning up from potting area.

2. Harvest something

It is amazing that, even though I have done next to nothing in the garden, it keeps producing!

Potatoes, rhubarb, zucchini and eggs. Also parsley, mint and rosemary.

Sunflowers, apples and crabapples.

Not sure if the peaches will ever ripen - they have been green for ages. Still harvesting some lemons, but there are tons of green ones coming along.

And this is why I never seem to have any sweet corn grow to maturity! The boys eat it raw in the garden!

3. Preserve something

No real preserving this week, although I did make a big batch of roasted rhubarb for the freezer.

4. Minimise waste

This is my kitchen bench at the end of a school day. I don't use any packaging for my three boys' school lunches, so I think that would be a significant saving in plastic.

5. Want not

I collected three pallets from our local garden suppliers. I am hoping to make a potting bench using our old kitchen sink.

6. Cook something new

As a result of sorting through my recipes to make a recipe folder, I tried a few new recipes this week. The clear standout was this pear and custard tart - really simple and everyone loved it.

7. Manage your reserves

I did another freezer inventory last week, so have made notes of what to use with which recipes. These will be added into my weekly meal plans over the next few months.
Canning cupboard is very low, so I definitely need to start preserving.

8. Work on local food systems

I can't think of anything to report on this front. Although a friend at school was giving away free fruit from her car boot this afternoon, as her trees produced so much. I am hoping to get there too, some day!

Paddocks are looking extremely dry - let's hope the autumn rains come early this year.

Our area is facing a record dry season at the moment, so our town has organised an attempt to break the Guiness world record for number of people participating in a rain dance! It will be held sometime in March. You can read about it here.

I pass the above dam every day and can remember when it really was deep water. It is the roadside dam that the fire brigade use to draft water in an emergency, so not good that it has been completely dry for over a year.

Hopefully the rain dance will make a difference!! And I'll be able to smell that gorgeous rain smell very soon!

Monday, 15 February 2016

Menu Plan For The Week

Linking today with At Home With Mrs M for Meal Planning Monday and I'm An Organising Junkie for Menu Plan Monday.

I am hoping to have a super productive week in the kitchen and get some freezer cooking done. After doing my freezer inventory and seeing exactly what I do, and do not have, it seems some extra planning is required!

I also finally sorted out all my photocopied and loose recipes into my lovely new recipe folder. I found some wonderful recipes while doing this, so this week I am going to cook from my folder.

Chicken and leek pie with salad
Rhubarb compote with coconut yoghurt

Lemon syrup polenta cake

One-pan baked chicken and chorizo
Maple walnut self-saucing pudding

Crumbed fish fillets with potato wedges and steamed greens
Pear and custard tart

Tuna, zucchini and lemon fettucine
Sticky date pudding

Roast beef with roast veggies, honey carrots and minted peas
Vanilla panna cotta with berries

Homemade pizza
Jelly and ice cream

Banana, date and chia muffins
Honey jumbles
Lemon slice
Fig bars
Choc chip cookies
Pear and ginger cake
Rhubarb breakfast bars

Pizza bases
Cookie dough
Roasted tomato sauce

And how much do I love this kitchen?! Is there anyone who would be able to convince their hubby of an all pink kitchen?!