Sunday, November 7, 2010

Sour dough success

I tried making sourdough bread again today using a different recipe.  It was a bit of a cheat as you added yeast to the mixture but only 1t.  The recipe said it would make 16 small buns, and they are quite small but a nice size to have with soup etc and perfect for my daughter.  I think if I make it again I would make 12 bigger sized ones.
I had a baking afternoon today;
Batch of orange choc chip muffins for a friend whose daughter is sick
Batch of gingernut biscuits
Sourdough buns
Mixed grain buns

For tea tonight we are having pinto bean burgers(in the bread rolls of course).  If they are good I'll share the recipe.

The vegetables are slowly coming in the garden.  There are 3 cabbages that have been in over winter which are starting to heart up.
Update on seeds sown;
Half runner beans up
About 2 purple beans up
1 butter bean up
Beetroot and carrots up
Courgettes, pumpkins and rock melons doing well inside and being hardened off during the day.
Lots of flowers on broad beans, and currants are setting fruit.
My second lot of cauli and broccoli seeds have come to nothing as my daughter "gave them a mix" shortly after I had planted them! The joys of gardening with children.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Champers anyone?

 The rhubarb plants have revived after winter so I am overrun with rhubarb again.
there is only so much you can eat - breakfast, rhubarb crumble, rhubarb shortcake, muffins.

last year I started making Rhubarb champagne.  As far as I am aware it is not alcoholic - contains rhubarb, sugar, vinegar and water, but it gets very fizzy.
The good thing though is it keeps it fizz unlike ginger beer which can go flat once opened.  also no feeding a "bug" everyday.
It keeps well too - at least 3 months.  It does well to last that long really too.  I just reuse plastic sot drink bottles so that is less going to the landfill too.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Baking day!

I finally got round to making some more bread.
Kibbled grain bread rolls are a staple and an awesome recipe to make from scratch.  It makes an awesome loaf in the breadmaker too.

I also attempted to make Sourdough bread.  I hadn't really realised how much more time it would need to rise so it turned out a small dense, but still very tasty loaf.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

How does your garden grow?

The peas are up, potatoes are peeking through the soil, and my pumpkins and courgettes have sprouted!
Unfortunately the weeds are growing just as fast so I need to get some more plants in to smother them.
Some of my silverbeet is going to seed, but I still have a good supply of this.  The rhubarb has gone to seed again.  It always seems to at the start of the season but tastes great anyway.

Jobs to do this week
Harden off seedlings
Plan more plants to sow/plant

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Boston Bun recipe

I picked up an absolutely awesome recipe for Boston buns in the weekend.  It was my husband's great auntie's recipe from the War ration era.

You can make one large round, or I make a dozen smaller individual buns.

3/4 C sugar
1 C cold mashed potato
2 C flour
2 tsp Baking Powder
1/2 C milk
1/2 C sultanas
Cinnamon to taste(optional)

Cream potato and sugar together in food processor or cake mixer.  If lumpy sieve until smooth.
Add rest of ingredients and mix to form dough.  Shape into large bun (or smaller ones).  Place on lined baking tray.
Cook for 30minutes at 160 degrees Celsius.  Takes about 15min for smaller buns.
Cool, then ice with pink icing and coconut.


Media free weekend

We went camping this Labour weekend  on the in-laws lawn.  It was great fun and really good practice for our 3 year old daughter, Abby.  She had an absolute blast.
We were helping pull up carpet so there was furniture everywhere downstairs and empty spaces upstairs.  For 3 days we had no TV, Internet, radio and apart from a newspaper no real contact with the outside world.  IT WAS BRILLIANT.  No one missed them, and found other ways to amuse themselves.  We played badminton, read books and magazines, baked, played cards, played hide and seek, sat around and talked, and I even assembled my mother-in-laws new composter for her.
I feel like I have really had a holiday, and enjoyed the shared caring of Abby amongst everyone.

Challenge - less TV, internet etc
Benefit - connect with family, more time for reading/gardening, use less power

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Pumpkins sprouted!

My first pumpkin has sprouted and another couple are nearly up!  I haven't had much success with my seeds so far this year with all the cabbages shrivelling up and dying.  Got some broccoli and caulifower coming on and the red onions look good.  Here's hoping they transplant ok.  I read in an article the other day they need to be hardened off for a couple of weeks (put outside during the day and brought back inside at night) to toughen up.  I have to admit I usually would harden them up for a few days only.
We have had a cool change again so the seeds I planted outside will probably be slow.

I have had a big sowing month with
beetroot (baby and standard)
runner beans
green beans
purple beans
butter beans
red onions
rock melon

Cauliflower at rear, Broccoli on left, and red onion on right

Pumpkins at rear, rock melons in middle, and courgette at the front


The currants have flowers, plums are setting on the tree, rhubarb is flourishing, and the apples are covered in blossom.
It feels great to be taking control of what we eat.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Sourdough bread

For a long time I have thought about making sourdough bread.  Finally I created a starter on Sunday - one cup flour and one cup warm water.  Mix well in a plastic container (metal including metal spoons can affect the mix) and leave in a warm place for a few days, feeding it with some flour and water each day.  If it all works and picks up the yeast in the air, bubbles will appear and it will have a fermented smell.
It's looking pretty good so I am hoping to be able to make some bread soon.
I have been making bread for a while, by hand and with the breadmaker, so this will make a nice change.

Wee changes add up

35A couple of weeks ago my best friend came to stay.  Over a couple of bottles of wine we discussed a range of things including wee wipes - reusable cloth toilet wipes (just for number 1's).
As a child of "greenie" parents my friend thought they were a great idea.  It was something I had considered in the past but put in the too hard basket (or more accurately the I can't be bothered basket).  With renewed energy I hunted out some cotton cloths I had got when my daughter was born, with every intention of using these instead of store bought baby wipes.  After one day I was hooked and looked forward to going to the toilet!!!!
Unfortunately I have my monthly visitor and can't bring myself to use them at the moment.
I have decided to find some cheap and cheerful material and sew some up for my friend for Christmas.
I also decided to use some cloth wipes on my daughter when changing her.  She appreciates a warm cloth on a cool morning too.
Easy to clean as I am still washing cloth nappies every couple of days so everything just gets chucked in.

It may not be the biggest change, but it will save us money each fortnight, and means less toilet paper being used and flushed.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Made it to blog world

I see this blog as a way to keep me on track to reach my personal goals and our famly goals.  I will try to log entries regularly and share happenings in our life.