Friday, July 29, 2011

More Nuts Please

Our fresh bag of Peanuts seems to be never ending, I have made up two lots of boiled peanuts so far and our little dish of fresh nuts that sits on the kitchen bench is topped up nearly everyday. 
This week I got  a little adventurous with my nuts, turning them from a healthy little snack into a surprise sweet treat for all.
Fresh is Best!
but Sugar Coated is better!!  
First you need to get yourself a few helping hands to shell your big bag of nuts . . .
We are very lucky to have fresh peanuts to shell and cook but any standard store bought raw peanuts can be used, just make sure you get the ones with the red skin still on them as the sugar coating will not stick to any nuts without the skins.
Sugar Coated Peanuts
1 cup of sugar
3 cups raw peanuts
1/2 cup water
1/2 tablespoon of cochineal or pink food colouring
Toss all ingredients into a large fry pan or saucepan, stir through and bring to the boil.
Stir continuously for approx 5 minutes until all the water evaporates and the sugar crystalises on the peanuts. 
Remove the coated peanuts from the pan and place on a baking tray to dry and cool down. 
Share with your family and friends 

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Lamb Check

 It's been a while since I've done a post about The Sheep,  they tend to get a little forgotten here in this busy household.  I have become quite used to seeing them grazing out in the paddock when I look out of my bedroom window first thing in the morning,  and it's nice to hear them bleating in the distance. Apart from a daily head count and check on the water troughs they pretty much just look after themselves. They keep the grass down and our dreams alive.
YES! That is a Sheep eating my Fruit Trees . . .
and they say foxes are cunning.
Fruit trees have now been fenced off!  Off Limits to all Sheep!!
Hubby, who is luckily a born and bred farmer had been busy building some holding yards so we can get them in for a closer look and any sheep maintenance they may need!!  They are still a bit wild at the moment but hopefully in time, with a few short stints in the yard they will become a little more people friendly.  The children have been enjoying rounding them up into the yards, they have had a bit of practice as it is usually something they enjoy when we holiday with Gran & Pop
The lambs seems to be healthy & well.

On closer inspection, it appears that Cappuccino is actually a Wether(Castrated Male) so no lambs from her him in the future. He would be perfect for the table right about now, but somehow I do not think the children will allow it! 

He will just have to make sure he earns his keep in 
Yard Maintenance!!

And as for Sunday Roast, well, no chance of getting him to the table too soon . . .
My behind is fatter than this one!

Hey dad, lets catch that big FAT one over there...
Nearly got her...
Hubby checked all the ewes and it appears they are all very heavily pregnant and due any day now...I will definitely keep you POSTED.  Very Very Exciting!
Ahh mama's milk on it's way....Now I know that people keep goats for milk, cheese, soap etc... Should I be looking at the possibilities of milking these sheep?  
 I think I'll just keep my order in for a Milking Cow!  
I am however, very keen for shearing day, which must only be a few months away. Now that I am a novice crochet artist, imagine what I could create with Home Spun Wool. How Exciting!!!
One day. . .Remember, one step at a time.
Lets just get these lambs out first. 

Sunday, July 24, 2011

My Garden HELPER

Enjoying a rewarding play after a busy day in the garden. . .

Friday, July 22, 2011

On My Mind...

EGGSas fresh as they come and lots of them . . .
Have we not been eating enough eggs lately? 
Or do we just have too many chooks?  
I probably have about 10 good layers at the moment which are producing about 50 - 60 eggs per week.  
Not too many ever get wasted, some may accidentley slip from the hands of my little gatherers occasionally, and when there are just too many for us to eat, we pass them on to family and friends.  
As a high protein food for the family I regularly serve eggs for Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner. 
We have them boiled, fried, poached, scrambled, french toast, sometimes I bake them into a meat pie, other times I may make an omelette.  We enjoy bacon and egg burgers for dinner and everyone enjoys a curried egg and lettuce sandwich for lunch. 
Where would we be without the egg?
I coat my fish and chicken in egg and breadcrumbs before frying. The egg coagulates when it comes in contact with the heat and forms a protective barrier keeping the flavour sealed in and the fat sealed out.  An egg or two is also added to my rissoles and fishcake mixture to bind the ingredients together, again, when the egg is cooked it coagulates through the mixture and binds it together so it will not fall apart during the cooking process.

For sweets we often have baked custard, bread and butter pudding or boiled custard, all made with lots of farm fresh eggs, and for a special treat we make Pavlova, from the egg whites only.  
The yolks then used to make mayonnaise, or hollandaise sauce.
Then there is lemon butter, an extra yolk  gives it just a little more richness. . . and have you ever tried a fresh Egg Nog?
Eggs would have to be the most valuable ingredients in the kitchen, they can be quickly prepared into a well balanced and nourishing meal on any busy day, and any home cook knows you can't make a successful cake without a good egg!
I could go on forever about eggs....
Joining up with Down to Earth today
Whats ON MY MIND is how will I cook my eggs for dinner tonight? 
 How do your eat your eggs? 
The Australian Book of Egg Cookery 
MARSHALL, Anne (editor)
Paul Hamlyn 
ISBN 10: 0600070077

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Winter Wednesday - BAKING to Keep Warm

Oh the joys of a cold, rainy, miserable Winters day. . .
When your stuck inside . . . Crank up the Oven & BAKE
A rare treat for us here, a cold rainy day on the weekend meant a very productive day in the kitchen. Baking most of the day means the house is as warm as toast.
Most of our baking get sliced and packaged up into freezer bags and containers. I simply take a slice or two out of the freezer and pop them straight into lunchboxes for the children and Hubby everyday. When they stop for a lunch break they have home baked goodies as fresh as if it they were just baked that morning. 
Hope your keeping warm, and dry!
Pop on over to Hazel's Place to see what else you can enjoy about Winter.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

My Crocheted Home

There have been a number of crochet projects I have been working on since I took up the hook back in early April this year.  I can be a tad impatient when it comes to reaching the final stages....that together with my keenness to learn I've started and stopped and started and stopped and then finally I stopped starting and I continued one by one until I had finished, all loose ends included.

A mug cosy, this was a special gift for Mrs Moo
 I've experimented with a few different styles of flowers, one of my next projects will be a crochet flower necklace.
I stitched this gorgeous flower (tutorial available from
 Bunny Mummy) onto a boring old beige cushion. It looks lovely in the lounge room now. Brings in a little feminine touch . . .
I was very excited to find this pattern for a tissue box cover over at The Royal Sisters, I'm making one for every room of the house now, some maybe in just one colour.  I really hate looking at boxes of tissues,  I usually hide them in a cupboard, but with lots Winter sniffles at the moment I need to have them out and handy to grab at anytime. 
 My bed blanket is an on going project. This one gets kept in the car now so if I ever get stuck waiting for something or someone, I can just whip it out, and hook whilst I wait.  Time passes so quickly  and I don't get cranky at anything or anyone for wasting my time while I wait! I am finding Crochet so relaxing and therapeutic . . . I wish I had discovered it years ago.

 I'm totally hooked on granny squares....I started to make a cushion with these bright squares but after a while thought they may  look better wrapped draped around my neck . . . if you look closely (please don't look too closely) you will notice I am still just finishing of the red edging on one side, I will be finishing that tonight. 
(Did you also notice Bonnie, the cat, running up the tree!)
 Then there is my Crochet Bunting, I first came across these at one of my favourite crochet blogs Crochet with Raymond. I didn't finish off the same though, it got a little fiddly for me! They look lovely hanging up in my little Annabel's room. I did most of these during the car trip to Gran & Pops this past holiday.
I can't take any credit for the beautiful bedspread, it was one of my first ever Op shop finds, and still one of my favourite. 
Fun and Easy to make, Triangle Granny squares joined with chain stitch. I'm still a little bit wonky and loose with my stitches but I'm sure as time goes I will improve. 
 What do you think of the little barbie beanie? 
 It was suppose to be an Easter egg!  
 I've been collecting books from the op shops lately and have come across some amazing fashions and crochet ideas for the home, plus I have found some very interesting crochet blogs out there with a wealth of information, crochet tutorials and endless inspiration.
Check out these beauties...
What a world Crochet has opened up for me!
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