Saturday, June 25, 2011

A Bag of Peanuts Please

My mum has a friend who is amongst other things is a Peanut Farmer. So lucky for us each year we get hold of a nice big bag of freshly harvested nuts.  They go down like hot cakes here.  About half of the bag gets eaten straight from the bag, A la natural, the best possible way to devour these nuts, and the other half gets boiled up!

My family grew up around the South Burnett region of Queensland (Peanut country) and boiled peanuts were readily available in most corner shops, service stations a the local hotels.  
As I grew up and grew out of my town, and wandered far and wide throughout Australia and the vast wide world, many people would often look at me quite strangely when I talked about boiled nuts.  I think it might just be another one of those QLD things however I have also discovered it quite popular in Some states of America
If you've not tried a boiled peanut, then you better give this one ago.
This recipe is approximate, I usually fill up a large boiling pan with approx 2 kg of peanuts, cover with water, add about 1 cup of salt and boil for approx 3 hours. If your not sure if they're cooked, take a peanut out of the pan, let it cool slightly and test it, it should be soft with just a light crunch to it, if that makes sense, a bit like a cooked bean. Once cooked, turn off the hotplate and let the peanuts sit in the water for a few hours or until cool.  
Store in a sealed container in the fridge for approx 1 - 2 weeks.
Yes they are cold, wet and salty, but once you get the taste for them they are very addictive. 
Great to nibble on anytime of the day or night!
Notice the dish!
My mum tells me that back in her day they used to boil them in the water that was used to cook their corned beef dinner, If you have ever tasted your corned beef water you will notice that it is Very Salty. I don't think that would be considered safe food standards these days, but interesting!
Also, If your peanuts are fresh from the ground, make sure you rinse them thoroughly to get most of the dirt off of them first!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Winter Wednesday

What I love about Winter, is
Finding Ways to Keep Cosy & Warm
Are you keeping nice and warm today?
Join Hazel and share your Winter Wednesday Joys 

Monday, June 20, 2011

Don't mind if I do . . .

Homemade Baileys IRISH CREAM 
made to share with family and friends
If you've never tried homemade baileys before then you must find a spare moment to try this recipe, I have been enjoying a glass or two (occasionally) by the fire of an evening.   I remember my Aunt used to always make up a batch for Family Christmas Presents when I was younger, I was always fascinated, and remember always sticking my finger in the bottle for just a little taste! 
1 espresso cup of coffee (espresso cup size) 
or 1 teaspoon of instant coffee
 2 slightly heaped teaspoons of cocoa 
1  tablespoon of honey
300ml cream
 1 can of condensed milk
1 teaspoon of vanilla
1 & 2/3 cup of Scotch Whisky

Place all ingredients in a large jug and whisk with a hand held blender for approximately 30 seconds or until well combined.  
Pour into a pretty bottle and seal.
Rest for 24 hours to intensify the flavour
Put the Kids to Bed
Shake Well, Pour
and ENJOY!!!
Yes it is that easy!!! and Ohhh SO GOOD!

Store in the fridge for up to 2 months

Friday, June 17, 2011

Chicken of the Week Part IV

It certainly was a Toss Up this week! 
but thanks to The Duck Herder I not only have two new beautiful names, but I also now know what breed they possibly derived from!  Hamburgs hey!
So please allow me to Introduce to you
Henrik & Flo (Floretta)
Henrik's dancing Solo this week!
Flo's laying her morning Egg!

and now for some cute chicky pictures.
Look at them growing....
Gladys and the peeps, Ava, Anias, Samantha, Sophie and Rita.  
and..... Gwendolyn has become a MUM
One popped out to say hello this morning and there are a couple more that weren't quite ready to come out for the photo!  I have already named them with some beautiful names suggested from Suzanne in the very first 'Chicken of the Week' Post.
Meet Maude, and hiding in the back wings are Mavis & Ethel. (you will meet these soon).  

Now, who is next in 'THE GAME'

Only because I want to show off this magnificent blue sky here on this chilly but sunny Winters day, 
Lets name these two as well!
Two Tins Chooks, 
that are somehow related to Oscar (see last post)
 are looking for a name?

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Winter Wednesday

 I do Love a Winter Scarf!
It's my Job to keep everybody nice and WARM 
The Scarecrow 'Oscar'
Thanks to a special gift from the lovely littlepoppa there'll be no winter sniffles headed this way!
Hope your keeping Nice and Warm, Pop on over to Hazel's place to see what everybody else enjoys about Winter.

Monday, June 13, 2011

The Garden Post

I finally got the soil shoveled into my veggie beds, you'll never guess who did it?   
I did.  Of course I did, I dug my hand deep into my pockets and I hired help!  No-one else was putting their hand up so we had a bobcat and driver in for an hour, he mixed up a bit of old loose  paddock soil with a bit of old ash, the new organic soil and the Job was done!  
I had some way over ready sugar snap seedlings to get replanted, so straight in they went, I don't know how well they'll do, they were ready weeks ago along with my sow.give.grow trans-plant that I am happy to report was left on a picnic table at the Tambourine Mountain Botanical Gardens, hope it found a good home.
Ooh, what are we going to do with these Mummy? 
Run, Jump, Play, Hop, Dig 
Gardening is so much fun for everybody!
On the same day my seeds also arrived from Diggers. . .Whoo hoo!
Although someone got  just a little too excited online! As I sifted through the seeds I realised I only has a small handful of seeds that were actually any use to me right now, So with the help of eldest son and a few on lookers the seeds were planted.

So we waited, and we waited, and we waited...I think we (eldest son) may have planted some a little to deep?  Oh dear.....
Anyway,  after lots of water and regular inspections we finally have some greens. I don't think they'll all come up though. I've never really done much Winter planting before so I'll sit with what I've got and will anxiously wait for my Spring Sowing.
So Fragile these little seedings...
 Lucky the Beans got a headstart in my seed trays, I probably should do more of that instead of planting straight into the garden beds, I think, I'll have to check my Diggers manual again, some seeds need to be sown direct and some into trays...
 My Favourite - Rhubarb!!!  I was hoping to get some corms for these but can't find them anywhere so I've planted a few seed which unfortunately will take a couple of years to mature. 
I'm sure it will be worth the wait. . .
In the meantime, if there are any Brissy gardeners out there with hot tips on where to buy rhubarb corms, I'm all ears!
 This would have to be my Rainbow Chard  -  Red 
 and Yellow, strange how they came in a mixed pack, yet the ones that are growing together seem to have the same colour stem??? 
 Apparently Radish will grow anywhere, anytime and these babies have popped up everywhere.
I did have to hunt to find these, I do hope more of them come up as they are really the only Winter veg I planted.   

And Finally
What is this on my GARLIC?

Friday, June 10, 2011

Plain Cake

I had planned on naming a few more of my chooks today but it was way too cold to venture outside this morning taking photos. 
So, I decide to BAKE instead.
This recipe is anything other than plain (as the title suggests).  It is my base recipe for many a delight I have whipped up in the kitchen.

125gm butter
2/3 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 teasp vanilla
1/2 cup milk
2  cups sr flour

Beat butter and Sugar until light and fluffy
Add eggs, one at a time, beating well in between
Add vanilla
Add flour and milk alternately and mix lightly 
Pour mixture into a greased cake tin
Bake in a moderate oven for approx 35 minutes
Spread with Icing - 
Today - Passionfruit Icing (because I have 2 ripe passionfruits,Yeh!)
Two passionfruits, approx 1 cup of icing sugar and a dash of water, mix to make a nice smooth icing.

Variations:  This is the exciting part!

Orange Cake (Hubby's favourite) 
Reduce milk to 1/4 cup and add 1/4 cup of orange juice and add grated rind from one orange
Ice with orange butter icing - 2 cups icing sugar, 2 tab butter, 1 - 2 tab orange juice, grated orange rind.  Beat Well

 Coffee Cake
Add 1 tab instant coffee dissolved in small amount of water
Ice with coffee butter icing - 2 cups icing sugar, 2 tab butter and small amount of dissolved instant coffee, depending on taste approx 1 - 2 teaspoons.  Sprinkle with chopped Walnuts.
Other Variations I have made:
Sultana Cake - Add 3/4 cup sultanas to cake mix. 
No need to ice.
Great easy recipe for Patty Cakes, just pour mixture into patty pan cases instead of a cake tin, you may have to reduce cooking time slightly though. I think it makes about 1 doz.
It can also be used to make a nice warm Pudding, just pour mixture on top of Stewed fruit (Apples, Apricots, Peaches, Rhubarb & Apple, Mulberries etc...) and bake.
Serve warm with cream or ice-cream
Icing Variations 
Chocolate icing sprinkled with coconut
Pink or plain icing sprinkled with sprinkles, 100's & 1000's
Topped with cherries, grated chocolate, the sky is the limit!

So you see, this Plain Cake is not really that Plain at all!
What would you do with this Cake? 

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Meet the Peeps

  Gladys with her chicks

 Rita, Ava, Anias, and the two newest hatched: 
Sophie and Samantha, little did you know you would be naming two little yellow chicks Cathy.  
Hopefully they stay two pretty little ladies.

I don't think Gladdys or Gwendolyn biologically mothered any of these chicks, but Rita does have a few fluffy feathers on her we will see.  
I wonder who belongs to who? 
 I do have quite a mixed coop and they all have their own unique identities.

 Chooks don't appear to be discriminative, once they have established their pecking order all my chooks run together, and very harmoniously. They all sleep, eat and lay together. They sometimes even share the job of sitting on the eggs...
I sometimes get three or four hens go broody at once and they just about sit on top of each other, I have witnessed them pushing each other out of the way and even sneaking eggs from under the other...When one needs a feed, the other just takes over, however I think it is quite a fight to get back on top again once the nest is left.
I think Gwendolyn is due in about 7 - 10 days, 
so we''ll be keeping a close eye on her.

 Makes me VERY Clucky!!!

Friday, June 3, 2011

Chicken of the Week Part III

My Flamenco Dancers
and his partner...........................................................................?
All feathers and frills for the show....They certainly look the part don't they! Just between you and me though, they much prefer a good old Barn Dance.   
I busted them on the deck yesterday....
IN two, three, four 
 OUT two, three, four
BOW to your partner (who's completely  forgotton the steps, and still going OUT eight, nine, ten. . .)
 Practice makes perfect!  IN two,  OUT two,  
 Round and Round
 and back to the Start,  Yee Ha!!!
Now come on little ones IN two, three, four, OUT two, three, four...

Thanks for playing, I can't wait to see what names you come up for these two Fancy Entertainers. 

Such great names you all came up with again... but there were two that really stood out to me. My dear little Pekins will now and forever be known as  Gwendolyn and Gladys 
Many thanks to Hazel 
Very fitting, she has this certain elegance and poise to her, reminds me of a good family friend with the same name.
Gladys (Gladdy)
I had an elderly lady that lived next door to me when I was growing up, her name was Gladdy. I very clearly remember the day I lost control of the Ride on Mower, I jumped off and watched it plough straight into her fence, I'll never forget the look on her face as she peered at me through her kitchen window. . .Yeh, and then she told my DAD!
I have some very fond and funny memories of  her,  This little chooky will keep those memories around for a while longer now.

Miss Gladdy has some very exciting news to share with you....
 First borns....just hatched this morning, So as not to waste any of these beautiful names that you have come up with, I will name these little peeps in order from last weeks comments.
The cute little Yellow one will be Rita.  Thanks Smiley Mum
The little Black one will be Ava and the Red Stripy at the back will be Anias, thanks  Suzanne
You would have noticed there are still about four eggs under her ready to pop open anytime now, they will be introduced to you real soon.  I also managed to sneak four eggs under Gwendolyn last week, so Yes she will become a Mum, and all that sitting will be worth it.  

Are you playing The Game ?
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