Monday, January 3, 2022

New Year Ramblings........

Hello and Welcome

I hope you had a blessed Christmas and New Year...

Christmas 2021
was time for the family to have Christmas here at home...
For 12 months I panicked, cried and gave up any hope of us all being together..
 

Me & My Girls Cassie,Jess, Alanah,Chloe.

But we were...

I am thankful that my God is bigger than my fears and all that is going on in the world and all were able to come home...

My Boys..William,David, Robertson.



Memories were made, so many hugs and kisses...

Watching and just being with my children and grandchildren was the best present I could have wished for. 

Grand daughters



I know so many were not able to be with their families and my heart went out to them.

What will 2022 bring..
I don't think I can even begin to guess because who thought we would be a fearful nation the way we are now. 


For us  we will continue the life we have been blessed with.

 


Planting food, working our farm, cooking our meals from scratch.


To some this may seem boring, but over the last 2 years I have seen people struggle to make ends meet with the rising costs of living, which is only continuing to rise.
we are thankful we are able to go out and pick fresh strawberries, a salad, milk the goats and make cheese as this is what we have worked towards.


Enjoying family and friends..


But now family has returned home safely, soon every one will be back to work and a new year has begun to unfold....



I know I can't change the world or even my kids lives and beliefs but I know one thing for sure....
I have a faith that has seen me through some dark times, a faith that has seen me through the happiest of times a faith I am thank full to have and cherish..


 So in this new year I will keep my faith, Bruce and I will continue to work as a team sustaining the life we have worked so hard to have.....If lock downs come again we are ready.....if they don't well we are ready for that too ( the caravan is packed and ready lol )

May 2022 be a better healthier blessed year for everyone...

Tuesday, November 30, 2021

CHEESE MAKING

FETA    

On Sunday I decided to have a go at making feta cheese. I have the goats milk and my friend Bronwyn is miking her Jersey cow so I got some milk from her.


Bring 6 litres of whole milk to 32 degrees, This is the temperature the milk comes out of the animal so if you have just milked you wont have to heat it long.
Add your cheese starter then your rennet, stirring for 1 minute.
Leave for around 30 mins
When you can slice the curds and you see whey it is time to cut your curds..


Cut your curds into 1 1/2 cms squares.. Then stir every 5 mins for the next 30 mins.
This helps the whey to come out of the curds and you will see the curds shrinking.


After 30 mins ladle the curd into a large strainer and allow to sit and drain for 1 hour.

 

Then break up the curd and and place in cheese basket.
My cheese basket is a container that Bruce drilled holes in so the whey could drain. Place a dish underneath to catch the whey. Turn the cheese after a few hours and leave for 24 hrs to drain,

COW................GOAT

After 24 hrs take the cheese out and place on a cake cooling rack. Sprinkle salt over top of cheese. Place in fridge for 2-4 days. 
I only needed 2 days, How to check is push down and cheese is spongy, what you want is a firmer cheese.
 
COW.................GOAT

Once cheese has firmed up take out and cut up...Having a good taste first....
Then make a brine and place sliced pieces into brine in glass jar.
 


So there we have it Goats Milk feta and Cow feta....
Does it taste good I hear you ask...........It is so good I mean really good...
In fact if Bronwyn doesn't come and get her half soon I will have to tell her the dog ate it...

This is only half of each slab in a jar. If I just had one kind I would put it in a large glass jar..



 

I hope you will try and give feta making a go, I think it is the easiest of cheeses to make.


Today I am making Cheddar Cheese using a mix of cow & goats milk...


Blessing to all


Mandy

Thursday, November 18, 2021

Harvest Time.........


Exciting times here as we are harvesting potatoes and onions all ready.
Back in July we prepared the ground to plant onions..Lots of onions.




Well with all the rain this area has gone crazy wild.
There is also corn and potatoes planted in here.


I have only harvested 2 rows of brown onions and got a good basket full.
Still white and red onions to go, they are a little bit slower which is good as
they won't be all harvested at the same time.


2 rows harvested

CORN

I can not believe how tall the corn is getting, see how much taller is is than me...




We have lots of old heritage corn growing. Purple, glass, golden and sweet corn as well..
I am trying to find the best for storage...It won't be ready for a while yet though.




POTATOES

OK I admit I may have gone over board on the potatoes

We planted them in August and some are ready for harvest....Here is a list of what we planted.


Royal Blue..Sapphire...Pink Eye..Salad Rose...Snow gem...

This meter I dug up of the Royal Blue and Pink Eye gave me 1/2 a basket full..

We have potatoes planted here and out  in the orchard and across the road on our spare block...



They are very muddy as I dug these just before it rained yesterday. This is the basket so you can see that out of a small area we got heaps. Today I will brush the dirt of and store them in the cellar to stay cool and dark. Hopefully some will last long enough that I can plant out again next year.



The purple are called Royal Blue and the white is Pink Eye. I scrubbed them up last night and we ate them an hour after they came from the garden...


I love that they kept their purple color even after cooking, how good are they going to look in a pototo
salad......yummmmyyyyy....


But wait there is more!!!!!!


 BEANS

The vege garden is looking beautiful with all the beans flowering.
 


The scarlet runner beans are rambling over the arches as are the purple kings.
scarlet runner beans


I have 6 varieties of beans growing this year, some for drying as well as eating and freezing.


snake beans
purple king
Here are 5 of the 6 beans as the rooster combs haven't got any on yet, they will be a been for soups along with the red one above which is a borlotti been..  Below is a bean salad I made with 4 kinds off beans, our tomatoes and goats milk cheese I made that day......




Sorry for the long post but there is so much food to harvest, along with all the eggs and milk we are getting I never even need to go near the shops..

As of next week I will be only working 2 days a week instead of 3 same hours just bigger days...I am happy about that as it gives me more time here in the garden..
This Saturday I am going to a cheese making course so I am hoping to learn other cheeses to make with all the goats milk I am getting.. Look forward to sharing about that....

Enjoy the rest of the week 
Blessings
Mandy

Wednesday, November 17, 2021

Pantry’s

Pantry’s 
Do you have a pantry? Is it large or small? 
How does it work for you?

This how I wish my pantry looked bright sparkly 
beautiful...



photo via pinterest


But unfortunately my pantry is a very hard working room.

It is the only real storage for all electrical items,food, fridge etc

All my soap making supplies and candle supplies are kept in here as well.



Food of course is the main item in a pantry/ butlers kitchen.

I have been busy taking every thing out and cleaning shelves, walls 
and containers..Doing a stock take of what I have and what I am running 
low on..I have always had a good supply of food I think that comes from when all the children lived at home. When it rained we could be cut off from town so I always stocked up.



Now even though there is only 3 of us I still tend to .
These days its lock downs I prepare for. Living in the Lockyer valley we have 
been locked down..so it is still good to be prepared.

I also keep all my soap and candle supplies in here as well.
They are all kept in the buckets, oils ,wax etc. that way they are close 
on hand when I need to make a batch of soap.





This little corner is the  hardest working area in the room, coffee....
All my empty jars and bottles are kept on the shelves above to reuse. I like to use the large jars for storage as it is easy to see whats in the jar. Below this bench is the dishwasher. 
Not that it gets used much these days but it is handy to have.


This bench has milk bottles drying, kombucha brewing and almonds drying in the
retro dryer. This is my kitchen bench and where I meal prep..


 Scrolling through pinterest I have seen pantries of all sorts
and it is nice to be inspired, but the truth is mine will never look like those, I am happy to have a room as big as I do for the pantry and will strive to keep it organised..


Blessing to all

Mandy








Wednesday, July 21, 2021

Hello and welcome.
I thought it was time for a catch up with what we have been doing...


We have been busy having a good clean up in the sheds. It is a good place to stay dry and warm yet still be productive. This area I have cleaned up to make into a studio for myself. A beautiful sunny spot looking out to the vege garden. I have put the till in here to remind me of the days it was our shop..




The succulents are loving the sun and dry from the rain as well.
I do share the space with William but I am not going to show you that side..It is his hobby room as well and his hobby is gel guns...say no more he is a boy...



After all that cleaning we deceided we better have a garage sale, we had that last weekend.
I still had so much left from the shop....Yarn O my so much yarn, any way 
now we have nice clean sheds..


Such a great entertaining area with our size family. 



Still hard to believe this was our shop, and yes I do still miss it, but times change and move on.



Even with the cold weather there is new life on the farm,



We have twins Dick and Dora
Bruce thought they were great names hahaha
We lost 1 lamb due to the cold while we were out at Cassie's which is such a shame and so sad.


 We have so much happening in the vege garden as well.


Our first tomatoes are coming along nicely...
 


Zucchinis have kept us going all winter, along with the carrots and beetroot.


Despite the winds and frosts and cold the vege garden has done so well...
I will have to do a post just on the vege garden next time...

Until then
Keep warm

Blessings
Mandy