Friday, 29 July 2016

The last few busy weeks at the farm ....part two

We had a wonderful week with the grand kids here at the farm but their holiday was all too quickly over and we traveled to Wollongong to return them home to  our daughter and son in law.
We then stayed a few days  with them all down there to help with the kids   while they  had appointments and some activities  away on the weekend.
when they returned, our daughter took us to the Wollongong Botanical gardens. We fed the eels and ducks in the ponds and wandered the spectacular gardens.
I especially loved the succulent and cacti gardens.

And there was this gorgeous Rainbow lorrikeet  sitting up in the bright flowers.
We had a few meals out and  just enjoyed spending time down there with them.
On our return life  very quickly returned to normal, and we  seemed to be in overdrive for a while trying to catch up on a few jobs that we just didn't get time to do  with the children here.  You forget how much time a 6 year and nearly 2 years  swallow up, and we only  just  managed to get the  must do things accomplished.
Our cabbages have been wonderful this year,

I had noticed on a few sites quite a few people  canning coleslaw and singing it"s praises, so I thought I would give it a try also, So I shredded my cabbage, added grated carrot, sliced onions and  capsicums,placed it all in a big plastic bowl and salted it and let it sit for an hour.

I made up a brine of apple cider vinegar, sugar, water, mustard seed and celery seed, brought it to the boil to dissolve sugar  then let to cool completely.
The cabbage was then rinsed well under running water and packed firmly into  pint jars and the syrup  poured over  leaving 1/2 inch head space.
I then water bathed the jars for 15 minutes in a big pot on top of our wood heater/cooker in the lounge room.
We found this quite nice, but in reality it is pickled cabbage, not really coleslaw, and yes I probably will make more next season as we really love pickled anything  at this house.
On saying that the  next project we attempted was pickling or curing  some of our own meat.
My Mum used to use a product called Qwikurit many years ago, and recently I saw it for sale at a  agricultural field day,
We selected a leg of lamb for the first trial, added the required 30 grms of powder per 4 1/2 litres of water in a pot on the wood stove and let it bubble away for several hours,
and the result was a beautiful leg of corned lamb, it was delicious.
We then tried a leg of pork the same way and it was equally  lovely, this will become a regular  way of having a variety of cold meat from now on here at the farm.
About a week ago we were working out in the back yard when we heard a big crash and looked up to see that this tree had just fallen over of it's own accord, no wind or  anything, I took some pics of the blossoms, as I think the gum tree blossoms are  quite beautiful .
Our back verandah is progressing slowly, our concreter has  quite a few commitments and it will be a while before he comes, but Brian has been getting everything  else that needs doing so that when he finally gets here , it will all move faster,
Brian  with the help of the neighbours  removed the old lean to  roof that had always been there, it had to go as it's  supporting posts were located in the area to be concreted.
I reluctantly got into the garden this week and did a little weeding,  I am not a big gardener, but I do  love the garden...
I weeded the iris  and clivia garden, and along the front of the house.
Our Hakea tree is now in bloom, it is a very unusual pretty flower.
Last night we had a small gathering  here to celebrate a good friends' birthday, she is a lovely girl who is always doing for other people and thought it might be nice to have a small  do in her honor.
We just had a very casual  get together around a blazing fire in a 44 gallon drum with lot's of yummy food and a few drinks.
We had a cheese platter, other nibbles tray, hot mini spring rolls and mini quiches,
and also whisky franks ( recipe was from  a girlfriend of mine here in Australia that hails from Denmark ,Wisconsin.) They are delicious and ever so moorish.
After a lovely few hours of chatter and fun, we then concluded the evening with tea/coffees and a double layer chocolate birthday cake( a new recipe that I " googled" yesterday and made up. It was a totally scrumptious cake that I  am sure I will make over and over again in the future.
It's been a BIG few weeks, I have have got myself a little run down, just trying to fit too much into too short of time.
I have a rotten cold at the moment, which has taken a really strong hold and I just can't seem to shake it. I am in sitting by the fire right now as I write this post, keeping myself warm.
I will take it easy for a few days, there is nothing too urgent  on the agenda until Sunday/Monday, so a rest will be  just what the doctor ordered( so to speak) lol.
Hopefully when we meet up again,  I  will be well and healthy,
Take care of you and yours,

Ps Here is the Whisky Franks recipe as requested by  a reader...


  1. Take care of yourself, Jane. and maybe when you feelup to it, post that recipe for whiskey franks, I'm intrigued. But, no pressure.

    1. Hi Joanne, am feeling much better today, popped that recipe at the end of the blog as It wouldn't let me add a photo here...cheers.

    2. Hi Joanne, am feeling much better today, popped that recipe at the end of the blog as It wouldn't let me add a photo here...cheers.