Showing posts from February, 2012

Everything old is new again

I have been trying to find one of these for ages

The idea is that you put a bar of soap in it, swish it around in the hot water and use it to wash your dishes, very cool! I remember people using these when I was a child although I don't think we ever had one. Anyway now that I make my own soap I thought I would like to use one to wash the dishes but have never been able to find one until I saw this ad in a recent magazine. These enterprising people got them made up www.selfsufficiency  and are selling them. It was quite expensive but I think it will last forever. I'm looking forward to getting it. Then I am going to make up a batch of Castille soap to use for dishwashing and in my laundry detergent mixture.

Bread for Katie

It seems that Peter is not supposed to eat any bread, what a shame when I have just perfected my sourdough baking! On my own I onky eat about half a loaf of bread a week so I have been baking for a neighbour to keep the started nice and active and the other day decided to have a practice at some pide style loaves to put in the freezer for when Katie comes. I think they turned out rather well and tasted pretty good.

 Katie can eat them with her favourite apricot Jam. Peter is also not supposed to be eating any sugar, so no jam, no preserved fruit no pickles. What will I do with all the stuff in my cupboard?

Fabulous Fig Jam

Although our little fig tree is growing well and bearing quite a good amount of fruit we never get to make fig jam with it as it is so delicious just to eat. The other day Peter found quite a good crop of figs on the old tree up behind the shed. They are not as good quality as the new tree and some of them were a bit rotten but we did get enough to make three jars of lovely fig jam. It is very easy to make, I just cooked together 1/12 kilos of figs with 1 kilo of sugar until they reached 104 degrees. Perfect. I do like using the thermometer when making jam as it takes the guess work out and you can take it a bit furhter than you might otherwise to get the lovely caramel flavours.

My Kitchen rules

It was my birthday on Monday and I was actually at home for the first time in years. On thinking about what I would really like to do with the day I decided that i would like to do a bit of serious cooking, not assembly as so many recipes seem to be these days. The plan was to cook something that I had not cooked before and something that had a bit of technical difficulty.
I was somewhat limited by the ingredients I cook source either from my garden, pantry and the shops in Parkes. Originally i thought I would do something with yabbies but we didn't catch any so I went to the shops in Parkes. The best I could do at Woolworth's was some pork belly and a free range chicken, on the way home I popped into Coles as I had forgotten the milk and they had nice fresh ducks. So duck was on the menu.

The Menu
duck Cooked two ways with an Asian coleslaw, sesame beans and a dark caramel chili sauce
And for Desert
Lemongrass and white chocolate PannaCotta withh a raspberry Macaroon and Raspberr…

Know your enemy

My tomatoes were looking terrific and i had just started picking enough to be worthwhile when I noticed that they too had been stung by fruit fly. I cleaned them up a lot, made sure nothing was on the ground, refilled my traps and started to pick the larger varieties as soon as they started to colour.
I thought I was winning. Until yesterday when I discovered about a dozen maggots very happily jumping around in the container with the tomatoes that were almost ripe enough to eat.

I thought I would pop them in a plastic bag and cook them in the sun to get rid of the pests. You wouldn't believe it but some of them are still alive after twenty four hours of this treatment.

I have really learnt a lot about the fruit fly in this little interlude. How many there can be in one piece of fruit, how far the maggots can hop and jump and how hard they are too kill. I'll be treating them with a new respect and a new vigour.
I plan to win this war! So the more I know about them the better. I…