Saturday, April 25, 2009

Anzac always rains

HOORAY its raining !! It almost always rains on Anzac Day. As if the sky is crying for all the people that made the ultimate sacrifice so we can live freely in this wonderful, beautiful country of ours. I couldn't go outside, so here is a picture from just inside the door.
While I was in the sun room, I thought I'd share a picture of this lovely zygo-cactus. 2years ago it was a little cutting given to me by a dear friend.
And just to show how glad I am to see the rain, here is another shot!!
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Thursday, April 23, 2009


What a job, yesterday washing, coring and slicing the quinces, place the cores in a sack and boil them with the fruit, let the juice drip from the cores overnight, pulp the flesh of the quince slices. Discard the cores (worm farm)
Today, boil the juice and pulp, not forgetting to add the sugar, stirring, stirring stirring for 6 hours so that it womt "catch" This is what it looks like after 3 hours. And just in case I was tempted to put it in the slow cooker, I made Osso bucco for dinner tonight and that takes most of the day to slowly cook. After the disaster with the crab apple paste in the slow cooker, I didn't want to chance it again.
Here it is all done and dusted, dished out into 100ml tubs and left to cool. In the morning the lids go on and into the fridge. 20 small tubs and 2 "take-away" trays, should last until next quince season.
Must go and buy some nice goats cheese. Yummo Oh and I almost forgot..........ITS RAINING !!
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Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Crab apple jelly tomatoes and out of focus plum.

Can anyone tell me why the tomatoes always 'come good' at the wrong end of the season ? This is a self sown tomato (more than likely a seed from the compost) which has heaps of perfect tomatoes, in bunches, which will probably not ripen. We have been promised a whole week of rain for the coming week (believe it when I see it) and this will be the end of the tomato harvest. Popeye doesn't like chutneys or sauces so........what to do.
Crab apple jelly, half a bucket full of fruit made 12 smallish jars of jelly. Very nice and thick, it set well and I am pleased with it.....but on the other hand, the crab apple paste, thats another story. I tried the slow cooker method and didn't like the texture, not smooth at all, quite dark and has a slight burnt taste. I did leave it on all night on low, maybe that accounts for the taste but I think the texture is much better when one stands for hours and stirs, and stirs and stirs. Not to give up, I shall try again.........back to the tried and true.
Poor photography, I know but I dont want to walk out to the plum tree again to try another shot (the best of a bad lot) This is what happens when the season has been topsy-turvy, trees setting fruit out of season. The leaves are changing colour for autumn, while there is fruit the size of the top of my thumb. Amazing !! It will be interesting to see what it does next spring.
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Monday, April 20, 2009

cooked crab apples

Well the crab apples have been cooked andare now hanging in a sack, on a broom handle, between 2 chairs to drip out the juices overnight.

Tomorrow will be jelly and crab apple paste making time. Busy day ahead.

Stay tuned for the next installment.
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Monday, April 13, 2009

Product of the fruit on last blog

Well here it is, the finished preserved fruit. Total of 16 jars of peaches, eleven jars of pear pieces with red currants from veggie gnomes garden, (the currants that is, not the pears) only 3 jars of pear pieces with the flesh from the lemonade fruit. I got a little carried away when doing the jars with the currants, I meant to do half and half. Last but not least, 4 jars of pickled figs.

I couldn't wait for the jar to cool enough to take off the clamps, I was just soooo glad it was all finished. On the stove at the moment I have a pot with peach pieces in a heavy syrup that I hope will dry out to resemble glace' peaches.

Not too bad an effort for an "old duck" with one good leg and a helpful husband !!! Thanks a million Popeye.
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Last fruit of summer. peaches pears and strawberries

Three buckets of peaches from our late ripening peach tree (one not shown because they were the ones with the most blemishes) 10 kg. of pears ready to preserve for the winter months.
and here I found some very nice looking strawberries hiding under the leaves. They will be devoured today, before the millipedes find them.
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Thursday, April 2, 2009

What a BIG surprise !!!!!!

Well here is the surprise of the year. Popeye came in and told me that Cleopatra had given birth to a male cria. Here is a picture of him, maybe 2 days old (?) I had given up with Cleopatra and let her out to run with the sheep. They came to the top for a drink and thats when he saw it, came in to get the camera and took pictures (nice photos Popeye)
Here is Grand-mamma inspecting the new arrival, Xenia is the matriach of the Alpaca herd Now for a name.....beginning with J.
Rocky and Rambo, the Rhode Island red roosters (approx 4 months old) that we will breed into the line of Isa Brown hens we have.
Hopefully to improve the shell colour and size of the eggs.
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