Monday, January 30, 2012

Good Old Fashion Jam Drops

with home made Plum Jam . . .
and a sneaky peak at my New Kitchen 

Plum Jam
2 kg Plums
250 ml water
1 tab lemon juice
1 1/2   kg sugar
Wash the plums then quarter and stone them.  Place plums, water and lemon juice in a large heavy based saucepan.  Bring it to the boil on a medium heat and cook until the fruit is soft, approximately 15 minutes.
Add the sugar and stir until dissolved. Continue boiling for approx 15 - 20 minute or until a little will set on a chilled saucer.
Remove from heat, allow to settle then bottle and seal.

Jam Drops 

½ cup Sugar
125 gm Butter
2  eggs
2 cups SR Flour
1 teasp Vanilla
pinch of salt
Jam (Plum, Apricot, Raspberry, Strawberry, Gooseberry etc…)
 Cream butter and sugar, add egg and vanilla.
Gradually add sifted flour and salt to make a stiff dough.
Roll into balls, place on greased oven tray.
Push thumb into center to make a small indent and fill with your chosen variety of Jam
Bake in moderate, quick oven until just brown.
If your too cool for Jam (like a certain teenage son of mine) this mixture is a good basic biscuit mixture. Just add a handful of choc chips, walnuts, peanuts or dried fruit, roll out, flatten and bake as above. 
 Quick and Easy to make, and great to freeze for Lunchboxes.

As for 'The Kitchen' well after a 4 month extension/renovation it is finally finished... (breathing a huge sigh of relief), before and after shots will be released soon,  just awaiting a few finishing touches and a dabble of clutter. 
It's so good to be back in the Kitchen baking again! 

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Keeping off my feet...

Some inspirational reading I have been enjoying over the past few weeks while the holidays have been winding down.  
I'm looking forward to trying a few new ideas I have book marked along the way.
I've still got about 8 weeks of 'resting' to go, which I am trying my hardest to do in between all the day to day goings on of looking after a family of  seven and a half !!  
 Would love some suggestions to add to my reading pile.

Monday, January 16, 2012

A Dry Harvest

This may just be my last harvest for a little while now.  
With the weather a little cooler and kinder yesterday I ventured down yonder to see what was really happening in the veggie patch.  
  After three weeks on and off away in hols, sky rocketing hot temperatures and not a drop of rain it was a very sad and sorry sight.  
The corn that wasn't picked before Christmas 
 was eaten by the wild King Parrots
The capsicum all dried and shriveled, such a waste...
The silver beet and chard have really had their day...

Doesn't look like these young  lettuce will be used in our salad anytime soon...
A few bushes of green tomatoes still stand awaiting to ripen
   but most of them withered and fallen to the ground if not eaten by the birds and grubs. I'm hoping to save some seed from these, most of them were heirloom varieties I had purchased from Diggers.
And this would be the forgotten Choko Vine...
I think I'll be needing to talk to that old scarecrow of mine about the importance of doing his daily job and maybe a stern word to the watering system that just happened to Kark It right when I needed it most!  I just can't stress enough how important water is for a healthy and productive garden yet, here I am in full neglect of mine....
Just Shameful !
    However, all was not lost, amongst the anguish and disgust I still managed to harvest up a few goodies...                 
I found a few Garlic hiding under the old bean stalks

I love the garlic flower bulbs, they are so pretty in flower and in seed.  
Anybody got any advice on growing garlic from seed rather than bulb?
Most of the beans left on the vine were well and truly dried out 

They will be stored away for the next seasons planting, as will the rocket seeds I had been trying to gather for months.
The Celery has gone crazy in seed and is just starting to dry out now, I have heard that Celery seeds can be quite hard to come by in the supermarkets so I will be storing these away in my herb cupboard for later use with my pickling spices.
 I managed to salvage a handful of coriander seeds as well, not sure yet if these will go into the seed pile or the herb cupboard along with the Celery Seeds.
So you see, all was not LOST.
 There are a few showers lurking around this week so with the children on their last week of school holidays maybe we'll get down to the garden and give it a bit of a TLC, rip up the old has beans and maybe start digging in a little mulch and manure, Weather and Well Being permitting of course, sound like a good plan, we'll see what the week brings. It would be nice to plant just a few salad and herb basics again but I really don't think the ground will be getting that much future loving from me. 
Counting down the days now, only 10 weeks to go until I'll have another little Bubba down in the garden with me ready for  the annual Winter planting....

Monday, January 9, 2012

Getting back to Nature . . .

While the kids amuse themselves, 
I'm locked away in the lounge room, with the air conditioner on full blast!  Is it just me or is it HOT!  I thought it was time my little blog had a bit of a face lift, please bear with me while I make a few new changes.  
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