Preserving potatoes?

Potatoes are a frustrating crop to grow because one day you have none and the next day you have a laundry basket full.

I was trying to be smart this summer.  Firstly, as soon as they began to flower, we started digging on the side of the plants, picking enough for dinner.  Then, even when I knew they could all be picked, I left them in the ground, again picking them only as we needed them.  I had read that this is a good way to store potatoes. But one day, I noticed new green shoots appearing and I knew it was time to act.  In an instant, that laundry basket was full.  That is a lot of potatoes for two people and I knew they would go all soft and wrinkly before we were halfway through so I began to think about preserving them. Continue reading

What to do?

I wanted to do something but I didn’t want to be joining the hordes buying up big.

I know that was very easy for me to say.   I live on acreage and have a vegie patch.  I have this year’s summer produce in jars or in the freezer or otherwise stashed away.    I have a cupboard full of herbs and spices as I don’t buy ready-made spice mixes and sauces.  I also have dried beans and peas and various flours in the coolroom and rice in the pantry.  But this has nothing to do with being a prepper or hoarding.  This is just who I am and how I wanted to live when I retired.  I also know I am in the minority.  I don’t wish to criticise any who feel the need to stock up.  Nearly all of our population does not live as I do.  They are busy, they have to work, they live in apartments, they have kids and extended family to look after and, of course, the majority do not choose to live like me.  And … they are scared. Continue reading

My tomatoes turned black!

I have never seen this before so I had to show you.  They looked like they were burnt black.  It was bloody amazing.

As you would all expect, it is tomato time in Western Australian vegie gardens and my Roma tomatoes are doing the right thing and producing a decent amount. Continue reading

Bread is so forgiving …

As you who have been following the last few posts would know, we stayed at The Lily Dutch windmill just north of the Stirling Ranges both on the way to Esperance and on the way back.

As I mentioned previously, the windmill is a five story 16th Century fully operational replica Dutch windmill. The proprietors produce wholemeal stone-ground spelt flour at the mill.  And of course, I had to buy some.  I had heard about the flour prior to my visit and I wanted to try it.  It is always good to try something new.

I have made spelt bread a few time before.  The spelt flour I use is Schapfen Feinstes Dinkelmehl Spelt wheat flour, type 630 from Germany.  I buy it from Kakulas Sister in Nollamara.   It certainly makes a lovely loaf of bread.  It is a very fine milled spelt flour which I like. I don’t like bread that tastes like its main purpose is to be good for you.

It was time to make bread and try out my new flour.  I had about 300g of my usual spelt flour on hand so I decided to combine it with my wholemeal stone-ground spelt flour and some ordinary bread flour to make my bread. Continue reading

Thai-style stir-fried green beans and pork

Hello, everyone. This is one of the three bean-themed recipes I made when we had our glut of beans.  I really wanted to post it since I know next year, when we are in bean glut, I will have no idea where to find it.  One of the other recipes is on a similar vein but it has more ingredients. This one is dead simple and tasted just as good.

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Our family trip to Esperance

Hello, everyone.  We have been to Esperance.  We planned the trip with our friends, Gail and Deb, before we got the puppies.  Forever an optimist, I thought it would be lovely for us and the pups to go for walks along the beach, to frolic in the water and to run with gay abandon along the squeaky white sand.  What a naïve idiot I was.  Well, I got the squeaky white sand part right.  The pups ran amok with their friend, Henry, a miniature dachshund, but they had a great time.  And the good news is: both are still alive 🙂  For Nigel, that is a miracle.  They slept all the way home and have barely woken since.  I really can’t wait for them to “settle” down 😦 .

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A catch up, an introduction and some words of wisdom

Hello, everyone.

Well, hasn’t it been ages?  At least a year, in fact. My annual WordPress subscription came up for renewal not so long ago and I paid it, just in case I decided to keep blogging.  I have wanted to do a post for ages but I just haven’t got around to doing it.

Of course, I have excuses galore.  Firstly, we did go to England for three months and, as you can all imagine, life was chaos for a while when we got back. Then, before we knew it, it was spring and we were working our butts off on the block and then … we got two puppies.  If you are over 60, do not underestimate the amount of work two puppies can be.  Ours are nearly six months old and life is only now returning to normal.

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Delia’s Basque Chicken

This is a great recipe.  I first tasted it when our friends, Steve and Al, came to stay.  They made it for us one night and it was so good I asked them for the recipe.

Basque chicken, in its many guises, is a traditional dish from the border regions of Spain and South Western France.  It is an easy one-pan dish (which I love) and extremely tasty.  If you don’t have a favourite version, do give this one a go.  You won’t be disappointed.  It is easy enough for an every day meal and special enough for guests.

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Linseed (flax) sourdough

Hello, everyone.

I know most of you don’t make your own bread and those that do, don’t need a recipe but I decided to prepare this post as I haven’t made bread with exactly these quantities before.  By posting the recipe, if I want to make it again, I will not have to reinvent the wheel.

For those who don’t make your own bread, if you have the time, I implore you to give it a go.  It is the best thing ever. The resultant bread is fantastic and it is so simple and cheap to make.  Once you have tasted home made bread, you will realise how shit commercial bread is and, also, how relatively expensive.

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