Sunday, 3 March 2013

I've been away for a while

My how time flies when you are having fun.

Life has been happening since last we met.  Friend from the Old Dart out here to see new grandchildren, so we toured Canberra together along with friends from Victoria.
After farewelling them all we set off for Victoria so I could be with Jay after her operation just to keep an eye on the little man Finn and stop him from jumping on mum.  All went well and I then flew home to the peaceful place.

We planted vegies and prayed for rain.  The heat came and almost destroyed all around, the rain came and washed it away.  Some of what was left suffered from the powdery mildew.  BUT the tomatoes were prolific and the pantry is stocked with tomato sauce and spicy tomato ketchup.  The freezer has pasta sauces, chopped tomatoes, tomato soup and whole frozen tomatoes.  All set for the coming winter.

As the rain continues to fall outside and the crafty creating continues inside, the new round of vegies that were planted during the break in the rain have taken hold.  A row of carrots, which took the whole packet of seeds has finally germinated, parsnips and beetroot have also kicked on.  Cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli and pak choi are poking their leafy heads out of the seed raising mixture.

A new year, a new granddaughter, a new direction for my craft and thanks to Jay at and her most recent post, a new view on blogging.  I will try not to bore you.

Keep well out there,

Saturday, 7 July 2012

I had nothing better to do, not!!

If you ever want to test your techno savvy, just change you internet provider.  After spending an hour on the phone (yes, that was working) with the technical department, crawling under the desk and checking the wires were connected to the right ports and plugs (must have been, it was working yesterday) and being told that your modem was too slow and not compatable, you head off to town (thats an hours drive) to buy a new modem, you bring it home and follow the instructions and now you are up and running.  And now the fun begins.  You have to change your e-mail address with all of the sites that you have accounts with.  They dont all work the same way you know.
I am pretty sure that I have missed someone.  But I have made a comprehensive list of all the ones that I have done, log in names, passwords, relevant information, so that if "someone" decides that we need to change providers again I will have all the info to hand. (not in my lifetime) (and probably not his, because if he suggests it again, I might have to do something drastic)
Funny how the person who isnt computer literate thought it was a good idea, and the person who is gets to do all the work. I should have know I was in trouble when he called me to the phone and said "here hon, you talk to them".  I think I just might put a password on the screen saver, that should teach him a lesson, it is just as well I love him dearly.
Now that I have my internet back, it is all good.

Sunday, 1 April 2012

A volunteer wig sewer is required

I received the following e-mail from KOGO (Knit one Give one) with regard to the wig bank.  KOGO is a charity organisation in Melbourne that I knit for.  If anyone out there can help with this particular need, please make contact with Anne Nicholson.  A very worthy cause, giving dignity back to women who have lost their hair to the effects and treatments of cancer.  Love to you all.

Dear Ros,

The Mornington Wig bank and Peninsula Hospital have been providing us with an amazing amount of assistance and direct support for establishing a wig bank at Cabrini Brighton. This support has encompassed, orientating us to their systems and processes, providing us with wigs and other supplies as well as patterns for making the head wear needed.  I have just heard from Kate Smith their Wig Library Volunteer supervision telling me that they have just lost their  volunteer sewer.  I wondered if on your amazing volunteer data base you could have any volunteers who live on the Peninsula that could be interested in helping them. It would be great if we could assist them in return


Anne Nicholson

Cabrini Brighton


Friday, 23 March 2012

What to do with all those tomatoes.

Well, it has been the most bountiful harvest of tomatoes this year.  So bountiful that I am a little sick of the sight of tomatoes.
I have made tomato relish (very yummy with cold meat and salad).  Tomato ketchup, spicy and thick, great on the pie and sausage roll (I was very pleased with myself).  Tomato and capsicum (yes, the capsicums went well also) pasta sauce (with a little chilli) and today, ta dah, tomato soup.
So here is the recipe, because it was just yummy.  It is a little peppery, if you don't like pepper just use less than stated.

3 kg Tomatoes, any kind, I used Black Krim, Roma, Tigarella, Bulloch Heart and Mortgage buster.
2 large onions (chopped)
4 sticks celery (sliced finely)
1/2 kg pumpkin (chopped small)
4 medium cloves garlic (I used purple garlic that I had grown, it is stronger) Anyone want some garlic I have heaps.
1/2 big green capsicum. (yes I grew that too)

1 tablespoon Mixed herbs
1 Teaspoon black pepper
2 Teaspoons salt
1 Teaspoon paprika
2 Teaspoons vegetable stock powder
1 tin coconut cream
4 tablespoons canola oil (you can use vegetable oil or olive oil it is just to fry the onions and garlic)

First, peel your tomatoes.  You do this by making a cut in the bottom of the tomato and then placing it in boiling water for a minute, remove from water with fork and the skin will have opened up at the cut, you just peel the skin off.  If it does not come off easily just return the tomato to the boiling water until it does.

Heat oil in a large pan.  Gently fry the onions and garlic until tender.  Add all the spices and heat for a minute or two, just to release the oils and aroma.
Add the capsicum and celery and cook for a couple of minutes just to distribute the flavours.
With clean hands squish all the tomatoes up and put them into the pan with the onions and garlic mix.  (you don't have to do this with your hands, but it is very therapeutic.  You can just put the whole tomatoes in the pan and mash with a potato masher.)
Bring the mixture to the boil and reduce the heat.
Add the pumpkin and stock powder and 2 cups of water.
Simmer until the pumpkin is soft enough to be mashed, stirring often. (To achieve a really low simmer, I use a simmer ring, it spreads the heat over the bottom of the pan and you don't end up with hot spots)
Add coconut milk and gently simmer for about 20 minutes, stirring often.
Blend soup with a stick blender or in batches in a jug blender.  Be careful it is hot!
Return to pan and simmer gently for further 15 minutes.  Sieve the mixture to remove all the seeds.  Make sure that you push as much as possible through the sieve so you don't waste the good stuff.
If the soup is too thin, just simmer gently, uncovered until reduced and thickened.  Taste test, if needed add a little extra salt.

Enjoy with croutons, toasted Turkish Bread or Corn Bread or just plain bread and butter.

Hubby had two bowls.

The pumpkins did not do so well this year, so the pumpkin soup will be in short supply.  The beetroot have already been bottled and the beetroot relish made as well.

The lettuce were a bit sad also, I guess the nutrient was all washed out of the soil from the floods last year so time will be recovery along with lots of organic matter, compost, manure and lots of TLC.

Coming up this season, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, more beetroot, carrots, parsnips (if I am lucky) and more garlic. 

Hope you try the soup and that you enjoy it.  No preservatives, no additives. 

Thursday, 9 February 2012

We havent had too many storms this year!!

I will learn, one day, not to make statements like this.  Sitting in bed on Monday morning, solving the problems of the world with my hubby, I just happened to mention that we have not had any storms this summer.  Yes, well !!
So on Tuesday, off I go to town for some business and an info session on Incorporated Association.  While heading to town I noticed that the sky was a little dark to the west but did not take too much notice.  After business off to the hairdresser in Allora.  This lovely little town is about 20 minutes from home.  I was getting my hair permed, us little old ladies do that sort of thing.  We were about two thirds of the way through the process when the wind got up.  A quick look outside indicated that there would not be too much time before the storm was on us.  Process of perming completed and I was out of there, really hoping to get home before the storm took hold.  Rang hubby to let him know that I was on my way home and then drove straight into the storm drive of my life. 
A little trip that usually only takes 20 minutes took me 40 minutes.
For most of the drive I could not see any more than 10 metres in front of the car.  I was in a waterfall.  I just kept telling myself I will get ahead of it soon, I am heading the same way as the storm, it only just started so I will get ahead of it soon.
There was so many cars that had pulled over on the highway, cars smaller than mine, there were even semi-trailers pulled over.  I must have been driving on pure fear, I just couldn't stop, I just kept thinking, I know this road, I know where I am and that I was nearly home.
I made it, unharmed and dry in person.  The car got a good wash.
The view from the back door when I got home towards the house on the corner, notice the wind wipping the wattle tree.

The view, or what you could see across the valley.
Wednesday dawned, clear and sunny, a few clouds in the west.
We went shopping in Warwick, a quick look to the west showed an ever darkening sky, I did say to hubby that I did not think that we would get it as it was moving along the range.
Coming out of town and heading for home the ominous grey wall was just over the hill from town, directly in our drive to home.
The weather front had split and one half went along the range and the other went through the valley towards home.  They joined forces over the valley.
Day two of the storm drive, not as bad as the previous day, but who likes driving in a waterfall.
We made it home.  The groceries stayed in the car until the rain ceased.
We were greeted by torrential rain.

The rain was so heavy the tanks could not take the overflow and the water was coming up out of the top of the tank.

Looking out of the front door, the water coming across the front verandah.

The front verandah, from front door to the left end.

The front verandah to the right end.
 In case you were wondering, or just had not noticed from previous photos, we live on the top of a ridge, looking across a valley.  The rain was so heavy that the water just built up in our front garden and overflowed onto our front verandah.
So I thought that I would just take a look out the office window, facing the west and what is on the way.

Yes it is really grey on the horizon.

My granddaughter calls them painted clouds.
It is a couple of hours away, but I just might go and tie up a few things.
I hopefully will think twice before mentioning the lack of storm activity again.

Keep yourselves well

Sunday, 22 January 2012

What a busy time

As retirement goes, I dont know how I ever had time to work!!  Christmas was a busy time with friends and family dropping in and then my eldest grandson was in attendance at the farm for a week.  We picked the potatoes that he had planted in the September holidays and we cleaned up the garden and composted the waste, we picked beans and tomatoes as well.  We made crafty things for mum and heaps of other grandma and grandson stuff.

The followingh week, was time for my eldest grandaughter and her mum Jay (my eldest daughter) from finkihandmade to come for some well earned rest.  My grandaughter was mad keen to find out how and when to harvest potatoes as she is growing her own, so we harvested yet more of the potatoes that I have in the vegie plot.  We harvested more beans and tomatoes and we picked the corn before the crows decided that they wanted to eat it.  The strawberries were a bit of a dissapointment so we only had enough for a juicy topping for our buckwheat pancakes, yum.
Grandaughter made a cute bag for her friend on the knitting machine and Jay and I spent time pouring over punch card patterns for the knitting machine.  I think that she went home with a head full of colour and designs.

The knitting machine is a wonderful thing.  I can remember when I would spend every night for two months knitting a cardigan with cables and pattern all over by hand, now it is done in a day on the machine.  And it is just as satisfying.

We are waiting for rain in our part of the country, this time last year we could not get out of town because of the floods, this year, different story, the tanks are getting down, not down to the point where we are only having one shower a week, just the only flush when necessary.  Ah, mother nature, doing her best.

Until next time,

Sunday, 1 January 2012

And so to the new year

January 1st, 8am.  People must have partied in Maryvale last night as it is so quiet that all you can hear are the birds and animals.  There is minimal traffic on the Cunningham Highway at the moment so there isn't even much traffic noise. Quiet and peaceful.  Just the way we like it.
The view from the back verandah, across the valley.  Blue sky and gentle breeze.  The perfect start to a new year.  Welcome 2012!!