Sunday, 29 October 2017

A Busy Week Or So In Review

It never ceases to amaze me when I start to sort out photographs for the blog  all the things that we get up to over the period of a few weeks.  It's not always productive , sometimes it shows what  we have  finished, but sometimes we just hop from one activity or project to another day after day.
This fortnight was no exception. !
Firstly we travelled to Dubbo to  celebrate my wonderful  Mother's 93rd birthday. Mum is doing very well !, she is as sharp as a tack and reasonably healthy for her age but mobility is becoming her biggest enemy.
We  met up with my brother and sister in law and we had a lovely lunch at a local hotel  which allows  easier access for Mum. We had a lovely get together and hopefully all being well, Mum will be around  to celebrate many  more birthdays in the future.
We had been watching two turkey hens that were sitting on eggs, one in a pot plant out the back under a shelter,
And the other out  beside the vegie patch under a temporary shelter Brian erected over her.
They hatched a day apart. We ended up with  21 very sweet  baby turkeys.
We decided to relocate them all down to the orchard yard, now renamed "The Nursery",
They are now happy down there and the  poults are growing really fast. Their Mum's  are doing a great job of caring for them.
A new load of hay was purchased and Brian stored  it in a covered area near the shed. This time he  misjudged  the distance from the fence and the sneaky cheeky sheep soon discovered that they could stretch their necks through the fence and help themselves to the hay whenever they liked.
I claimed a covered area up the back and named it "Plumbers Rest" named because the  plumbing items were used to grow plants and the property  was owned by a plumber before we bought it and he has since passed away.
Slowly  it became the dumping ground, lawn mowers and whipper snipper, old wood heater ,old gas stove, old doors, timber offcuts ect, you get my drift.
It was such a mess, reminded me of one of those hoarder shows on television, so I decided to claim it back. Slowly I relocated or  threw the  lot of it, and eventually it was mine again.
I repotted succulents into the basins and toilet bowls and the old copper  pot.
I am happy with the results, this will be a nice area to sit and read or have a cuppa or just relax and I am determined that it will remain  "Plumber's Rest"  from now on. I now need to add a few more things and decide what to do with the ground  underfoot, whether to leave as it is or lay pavers, pebbles ect.
The old gas stove was in good working order , it had just been removed when we renovated the kitchen, so I have decided that I will place it on the back verandah and it will be handy for outdoor preserving in the summer and  also will be useful when we are entertaining out there in the bbq area.

The garden is doing okay, existing plants are doing well with the additional watering Brian has been able to do without having a vegetable garden, and we have had a few small amounts of rain including another 4mm over night.
The rhubarb is flourishing,
The spring  onions   have really picked up their game,
My white pigface has put on a lovely display,
About a week ago we were having coffee on the verandah and Brian noticed a bearded dragon lizard running across the paddock  near the orchard. We went down there and he caught it.
After he posed for a few photos we released him to run wild again. Funny how I absolutley love lizards but loathe snakes of every kind.
We have been trying to eat reasonably healthy,  and find that quick grills  with a salad are our go to meal. We as you would  assume  have a lot of lamb meals and this is an example of what we regularly eat.
This week I tried a new experimental recipe that I saw somewhere on Facebook.
It was a spinach and feta quiche, but instead of the tradittional pastry base it used a sweet potato base.
The  sweet potato base had to bee booked 20 minutes( I would recoment covering with foil and not having bits sticking up like mine had).
I then added the  sauteed spinach,onion,capsicum and mushroom  filling( I only had frozen spinach, but reckon fresh would be better)
I then added  the grated cheese( had no feta ,so I used low fat grated cheddar)..then added the egg , and low fat milk mix.
It was then baked in a moderate oven until the egg mix was set.
This was a really tasty quiche and I will certainly make it again using the instructed ingredients next time.
This weekend just gone Brian and I had to divide up to be able to do all the required activities, He took me to Dubbo so that I could
 travel by bus and train 9 hours to Wollongong to attend "Grandparent's Day" at our granddaughter's school.
We were treated to a lovely concert  in the hall, seeing our granddaughter dance and sing along with the other students, a lovely tour around her classroom to look at her work she has been doing and all followed up by a delicious morning tea.
I then had a lovely lunch with her  other grandmother in a pretty outdoor cafe,
My daughter and I also got to spend a few hours together, shopping and hanging out, which was nice.
Next morning I made the return journey home, taking 12 hours as I had a 2 hour break at  the beautiful old Central Train Station in Sydney.I love sitting with a coffee just watching the world go by and you meet so many interesting people from all over the world.
I was collected at Dubbo  on Friday evening  as Brian came back through from his trip.
He had been to our other daughter's home to attend a field day to chase up the  tractor we are purchasing as it was well past it's due delivery date and phone calls  were not in the least productive.
Hopefully we will be taking delivery in the next week, otherwise we will be cancelling our order and  shopping elsewhere.
When he travelled over he took 2 new young hens for our daughter as  they think a fox stole 2 of their girls leaving 1 all alone, and on the return trip he brought back a young ram( one of twins born to a semi retired sheep from the farm) His is only about 6 months old and his name is Ellroy.
We got in and sorted the sheep out as we only want him  being with a selected number of ewes as we are trying to keep sheep numbers under control.
and he very quickly got to know them up close and personal.
We also found a well hidden Guinea Fowls nest, so hopefully we will get some babies this season, depending  if they are fertile or not as we only have 2 males..
Yesterday morning I decided it was time to make stock out of all the vegetable peelings and bones that I have been saving up in zip bags in the freezer.( we have butchered sheep again and need to make room for some more lamb in there).
One pot was chicken and the other pot was lamb. I added some more meat and the liquids and flavourings after this was taken.( I also used red wine for the lamb and white wine for the chicken)
After several hours of simmering away, I then let it sit  covered for about an hour , then strained it  firstly through a colander , then a wire strainer and then finally through a double layer of muslin.
IT then goes into containers in the refrigerator overnight to  set  any remaining fat for removal.

This is the chicken stock , the lamb is in containers in the cool room outside.
Normally  I would now can this up but as I am making  some other  dishes  to can and freeze over the next few days I will just refrigerate until that's done then can  or freeze any left over stock, rather than double handling and processing.
It has been a busy week or so,  and there have been quite a few other activities along the way.
We attended a dinner for a friend's 70th, a trivia fund raiser night hosted by the local school P & C, campground cleaning roster, Rail Barracks cleaning, local free newspaper compiling( the last three along with other people)   shopping, doctors appointments, load of rubbish to the dump,  and the usual chores around the place...
Life is never dull here on our little farm.
Take care until we meet again,
Jane and Brian.


  1. You sure pack a lot into your days! The sweet potato base for the quiche looks really interesting and I think it would be delicious so I'm going to try that next time I make one. Would be much healthier than pastry. Meg:)

    1. It has been a busy time, it just doesn't seem to slow down(or we are just getting older).
      Take care Meg

  2. You certainly have been busy Jane!

    Cute little turkeys you have there. I had to laugh about her nesting in a pot, it reminded me of one of my mums bantams sitting on eggs in her tin mop bucket :)

    I love what you did with that outdoor plumbers rest area. It is amazing the jobs we put off and when finally getting to them, we wonder why we hadn't done it sooner. It looks great!

    Your stock reminds me that I have peelings in the freezer that I had better do something with, and that sweet potato quiche looks delicious!

    Thank you for the catch up :)


    1. Hi Tania,
      Those bantams are like that ,they will nest anywhere !
      We have a list of jobs a mile long, but something else always seems to crop up that takes priority.
      Great to hear from you, I hardly get time to keep up these days but love it when a familiar face pops up,

  3. Jane, I love your blog and I was wondering if you knew my uncle max neader from Binnaway. He and his wife had a I think wheat and sheep farm many many years ago. When I see photos of your dear mum I feel as if I know her. Dad (Lew bridges and mum Peggy ( neader) were born and bread around Tamworth, Gunnedah, morree.
    I love your interest in canning and preserving and when I get set up, I might pick your brain for tips.
    Keep up the great blog, my hub and have relocated to western Toowoomba on a few acres and while not growing sheep or beef, we will have chickens and lots of fruit and veg. Maybe one or two livestock. I want to build up our food supplies so want to preserve in glass jars again.

    1. The Neader name certainly rings a bell, I asked my older sister and Brother in Law and they also said it was will ask Mum, if anyone remembers them she will( she is 93 and has a wonderful memory)
      Canning and preserving are wonderful, I am so glad I got the bug( Brian says that he doesn't sit still for long for fear of ending up in a jar) lol.
      Take care and enjoy the rural life,

  4. Hello Jane, thank you for your wonderful blog, I really enjoy reading about your everyday life full of hard work, fun times and community involvement. Tonight I made a quiche using the recipe in your blog. My husband thought it was delicious and so did I. Many thanks for sharing your life.


    1. Hi Diane,
      Glad you enjoyed the quiche, I really liked it as did Brian.
      I have just started printing up my blog, so that I have no fear of losing it all if the interet ever fails and it has been a total shock how much I have written over the last 4 years. I have loved every minute of writing it, but just struggle to find the time to actually do it.
      Take care Diane,