Saturday, June 20, 2009

Where do the days go ?

Its been a week since I have been here. I don't know where the time went but suddenly its Saturday again.

Before I start to waffle on I would like to award the "Sisterhood award" to another blogger whose blog I have been following for a loooong time. I have "lurked" in the background and enjoyed all of her posts for so long that it was not a hard choice. So to Julie from Towards Sustainability I would like to award you the Sisterhood award for the inspiration and just sheer pleasure that you have given to me and to all of your followers with your blog.

Keep up the good work. I love the look of the woodfired heater that she has researched and shown us in her blog today. If I were starting out again I would definitely look at one of those.
I would have liked to pass on this award to two other of my favourite blogs as well. Rhonda from Down to Earth who is such an inspiration to so many. Hers was the very first blog that I ever read and I visit her site daily. She now has such a huge following that I believe that she said a while ago...Thank you but no more awards. Well Rhonda, I take my hat of to you, even if I can't pass on this award to you I very much enjoy your work.
The other person that I believe deserves to be recognised is Gavin from The Greening of Gavin. Sorry just didn't seem right to award you a "sisterhood"award but I visit you daily as well...even when you are not there!!! ( Hey I just learnt the advantage of being a "follower" ! You get the latest posts pop up on your dashboard! ) Gavin, I love the work that you are doing trying to pass on "the word" and I enjoy reading about your enthusiasm with taking on new skills. So I decided that you need recognition anyway. Keep up the good work.
Now...where did that week go?
I headed down to the city on Monday afternoon to return a favour. Mama had been kind enough to accompany me on a trip to the dentist so the least I could do was to take her when she needed support!. Boy its so much easier when its not your mouth they are looking in. This was taken care of on Tuesday morning. We dropped off the "suzi" ( my little Suzuki city car) for a wheel balancing and alignment on the way to the dentist. After the "dirty deed" I thought she needed a little distraction so I took her to an auction house. It was a good time to go as they only hold their auctions on Saturdays!!!! Never the less it was interesting to see what kind of things are around and no cash left my purse :-)

We dashed back to pick up the Princess from school, drop Tiggy off for a haircut and headed up to the Strawberry farm near the Ettomogah Pub to pick the early season strawberries. They were surprisingly good but I am sure in another month they will be perfect. Each year we take the little princess so that she can "pick your own" She thinks this is pretty special even though we have to watch her like a hawk as there are signs up everywhere telling you that you can't eat them as you pick (I always thought that was the fun of picking your own!!!) When I went in to pay I also picked up a punnet of ready picked berries. Then I discovered the truly sad part of the "treat". My punnet that somebody else had picked for me cost $15 per kilo. Her punnet , which she had picked herself cost $16 per kilo. This didn't sound right to me, so I questioned the sales person and was informed that you pay more to pick your own due to the wear and tear on the strawberry beds!!!! How things are changing and not I must say for the better. This will be the last year that we go to that particular farm and I will carefully research any subsequent ones. I am just so disappointed in the whole deal. I remember when it was fun to go and pick a heap of strawberries, some for dinner and some to make jam and to nibble on the softest and ripest ones as we picked. We knew those ones wouldn't travel well!! They were so delicious and special. Now the almighty dollar is more important ? Sorry guys....I think you have lost the plot. You have lost me that's for sure.

We headed home picking up Tiggy and the car on the way. Oh he looks so handsome now, ooooh and he smells so good!

That evening dr K came over for dinner and stayed the night. It is always great to catch up with what is happening in his life. We ate the strawberries for dinner! Some how they had lost their shine!

Now I have to say that I haven't a clue where the days between then and now went!!! Sometimes I feel as if I put in a full day but don't really achieve anything. I hate days like that. It is so much like a treadmill. I do like it when my days are meaningful. I came back to the farm on Thursday afternoon and spent Friday doing housewifely things. Hmmmm.

I did cook a "slow roasted shoulder of lamb" for dinner which was well worth the effort. I used a Jamie Oliver recipe, sitting the lamb on a bed of rosemary and garlic and covering it with the same. I used 14 x 5" (sorry I still think imperial!!) rosemary stems and two bulbs of garlic. I would not have thought to use so many but it was wonderful. I roasted it for three hours (it only weighed 1.6Kg). The sauce was made using the pan juices with all but 1 tablespoon of the fat removed and mint, capers and red wine vinegar with a little flour for thickening. It just fell to pieces and was truly the best thing I have eaten all week. Oh...even the memory of it as I write is good :-) I picked fresh silverbeet and carrots from the garden to serve with it and I had a little cauliflower cheese left over to finish it off. Yum yum!

I have a real weakness for cauliflower cheese (with a seeded mustard in the cheese sauce). Fortunately none of my family like it very much which is just OK with me. I always make a huge dish of it. I eat it for my lunch, I even eat it on toast for breakfast. I just LOVE it.

Today was a good day. I started brush cutting the bank behind the house which has become quite overgrown over summer. Every so often I would go out there and start to weed but would get overwhelmed with the task after hours in the hot steamy sun and each attack would result in RSI of the wrist and I would be unable to finish the job. My favourite saying is that there is always more than one way to skin a cat...I just love a challenge. In I went with the brush cutter....the plan is to slash it to the ground, plants and all! Cover it well with thick newspaper, mushroom compost and sugarcane mulch and finally as that starts to break down a thick layer of forest mulch. Then I will start replanting. Some of the larger shrubs I will leave but with the deer/ wallabies and hares feasting up there in the last few weeks they are pretty much all that has survived. They have eaten all of the rose bushes and small annuals, a few of the natives and most of my herbs. I did find this little strawberry plant desperately trying to flower amongst the mulch. I had over thirty strawberry plants up I have a few stumps and this little valiant baby.

The rain stopped play so I came indoors and made Strawberry and apple jam a la Through my kitchen window. Thank you Mariana. It turned out beautifully. Nice and tangy but I think that maybe the apple dominates a little. Probably because the early season strawberries just don't have the same intense flavour as ones later in the season. I will make some plain strawberry jam later. It was well worth the effort though. My only problem now is when will we eat all this jam that I have been making. Jam on a half of a piece of toast each morning....... and my shelves are groaning with this years produce. I think I will have a few lucky friends this year.

The Gorgeous boy was busy outside digging up the potatoes in one of the beds where the tops had died back. Some of them are small but very tasty.


The ones in the middle he is saving as seed potatoes. Some of the small ones I cooked up for dinner tonight. I made a Thai fish curry with rice but we couldn't resist a few of these little babies as well. I cooked enough so that I can also make a small potato salad for lunch tomorrow.

He has planted out some kipfler potatoes in the new bed we made last weekend. We are just running out of space at the moment and need to get on to making the new retaining wall behind the shed which will create more garden beds.

Now that was a worthwhile, meaningful day :-)


  1. Hi Linda
    You have been a busy girl this week,
    I was wandering mid week when your next post would appear,
    well it has and what a Bottler.
    I am sure Gavin would accept a Fellows Award,
    Why don’t you create one?

  2. Hi Linda. Thanks for the recognition. You are a gem. And as Jorgen has mentioned, I certainly would accept a Fellows Award!


  3. Hi Linda,
    Thank you! What a wonderful award (and you are a well-deserved recipient).

    Cheers, Julie

  4. Oh you have given out your awards very wisely I see Linda. A Fellows Award. Sounds spot on.
    Yum, mustard in the cheese sauce seems perfect to me. I shall try that one next time. I found it very interesting to hear the apple dominated in the jam. I think your reasoning may be accurate. You do need strawberries that are really red and juicy. Your friends are going to be very lucky recipients with those lovely gifts of jam. Homemade gifts are the nicest of all. And hopefully the shelves wont break in the meantime.