Saturday, February 20, 2010

A Happy occasion.

Here we are at Peter Lehmann's Winery celebrating my dear friend' Hilda's 87th. birthday. On the left is her husband Jim, Hilda. myself and Popeye. A delightful day and lunch enjoyed by about 40 people,(friends and family) which was prepared by Hilda and Jim's daughter Ayleen, who is the Chef at Lehmann's restuarant. Lovely people, true friends. Their friendship is treasured by both of us.

This picture was taken on the 7th. of January 2010 and has been a long time coming. First of all I had to wait for the picture to come via email to me and when it did it was HUGE. Only one persons head could be seen on the screen at any time. being so "savvy"computerwise....I had to work out how to save it to my pictures, then upload it to Picasa and crop it. Yay!! I did it.

Now, fessing up. .....The reason I had to rely on someone else to send me the photos is....on the way to this party we stopped at the Herbig tree at Springton (previously Blogged) and I used up all the spare room on the memory card and didn't have the instruction booklet with me, so I didn't know how to delete some of the old pictures............lesson learnt !!

Two things I now know how to do !!
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Friday, February 12, 2010

Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrhhh! Tomatoes !!!

Wouldnt' you know it............if you want to read my blog about tomato puree, you need to scroll down and read the 2nd bit first.......its all to much for me !!

Part 2 Tomato Puree

Continued from previous blog.... This picture shows the waste from 3 x 12 litre buckets full of tomatoes after they have passed through the machine once. (not finished yet).....
Next shows the "gutsy" stuff that comes from the skins after passing through 3 or 4 times. You put it through until no more pulp will will come out. By now the stuff in the tub should be reasonably thick.
After 7 times this is all that remains. Discard this into the rubbish bin because if you put it in the compost you'll get "feral" tomatoes growing everywhere ! Believe me, we left compost in our bin for 4 years, went to the Territory to work, when we came back..used the compost....thats when we discovered how long tomato seeds remain viable !!
Using 2 jugs, one for the tub and one for pouring into bottles. That way avoids too much mess. We use 375ml. bottles, or a little over 1 and a half cups full, which is ample for 2 people. Pour from the jug in the tub into the bottle jug the exact measurement, avoiding any spill over. Then all thats left to do is cap the bottles using beer tops with plastic inserts and Popeye's trusty bottle capper. The job is ALMOST complete. Place the bottles into the preserver and slowly bring to the boil. Hold on simmer for 1 hour and the job is done....for another couple of years...I hope. 45 bottles !! I use it for pasta sauces, soup etc. Yesterday I think I had a brainwave!! (note the, I think) If I wanted to make sauce (ketchup) why couldn't I cook the pumpkin,or apple and onions, spices etc, in the vinegar until they are soft enough to pulp through this machine, open a few bottles of tomato puree, mix it all together and finish the cooking process until the sauce is done? Food for thought, no pun intended. LOL
Some add spices and salt to their juice before the bottling but I prefer to keep mine "clean" and add seasoning as required to whatever dish I am cooking.
I do use this machine for other things as well. Crab apple paste, Quince paste are simple to do. Just cook the unpeeled fruit with enough water to almost cover until the desired colour shows in the liquid. Strain through muslin (I use the same trusty sacks that are used for the tomatoes, boiled before use.) Save about 1 litre (pint) of liquid for paste use the remainder for jelly. Put the fruit through the pulper and mix the saved juice through it add sugar and cook till done !! Yum-yum, delicious with goat cheese!! The machine also doubles up as an excellent wine press

Now here's hoping that this all comes out on Blogger the way I intended. She says taking a DEEP breath.
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Tomato Puree...

This will have to be posted in 2 Blogs so fingers crossed, here's hoping that I'ved sussed it out so that its all the right way around.
Firstly slash through the skins of the ripe, bright red tomatoes about half an inch or 1 cm apart.. Place in an open weave sack or muslin cloth and hang on the clothes line overnight to drip out the acidic juices into a bucket. Next morning discard the juice and bring the tomatoes in for processing.
This machine we purchased some time ago it has a mincing attachment for when we want to make our sausaages (heavy duty stuff) it has a reverse button so anything stuck can be removed without taking it all to pieces again. First attach the "screw"
Next on goes the sieve. The next picture show the process beginning. the peel and seeds come out the front into a shallow container, while the juice and pulp drops down into a tub.
This tub is kept only for food preparation. Many kilos of mince meat have been mixed up with herbs and spices in it.
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Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Back in Mt. Torrens

Here is another of the old buildings in the Main street of Mount Torrens. Too many trees to get a good picture but this will give you the general idea. Some how I missed this one when I posted on Sunday, so I've added it today's blog
Now this is one of the many old houses, left to deteriorate slowly until it is no more. Its on Uley Road One Tree Hill. Someone once lived here, I wonder if they were happy, did they have a large family...etc. Maybe thats why the house was abandoned, to move to a larger house. Here it sits in the midst of a field of stubble, two dead fruit trees and a few scrubby weeds. The land all around is slowly being "gobbled" up by developers building new homes. It will more than likely be bulldozed when the owner can no longer resist the temptation of "big bucks" being paid for land in this area. Notice the "inside" walls still show signs of the whitewash painted on them.
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Monday, February 8, 2010

Did you ever wish you was a cow ?

WISH NOT. Here is a picture of the anti-biotic injection our sick moo cow had to have. This is the last of four, the same. Today she had the last injections into her teats (hopefully the last) She has lost all interest in her little one who is now being fed on replacement milk from a bottle. The problem was severe Mastitis. At least she is beginning to eat now, very slowly.
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Sunday, February 7, 2010

More Mt.Torrens

For some strange reason Firefox will not allow me to post more than 4 pictures at a time, so here is a couple more that should have been in the previous Blog. This lot INCLUDE the General Store/ Post Office
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The town that time forgot

Mount Torrens, about 20km from where we live is full of old interesting buildings and cottages. Some with very pretty gardens.
All of these pictures were taken from my car window and they are all in the main street. This one serves as the Country Fire Service garage
If you click on the pictures to enlarge them, notice that they ars mostly built from stones collected from the field.
Most of the buildings here were built late 1800's to early 1900's, not many modern homes here at all. The General store also doubles up as the Post Office.
I took the opportunity to take some photos for my blog while I was in the township, one of our cows has a problem. The vet has been treating her but she has not responded quite the way she should have. He lives in Mt. Torens and being Sunday I had to take the trip to pick up the medication. All we have to do now is go and give her this HUGE syringe full of anti-biotics in the rump. Love this life !!!
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Friday, February 5, 2010


This is a sad day for me, and my family of course. Sad also because there is no one close by to sit with and talk about it. You see today is the 20th. anniversary of the passing of my eldest daughter Kate, aged 35, the result of a road accident. She was a beautiful kind-hearted woman and I shall always remember her with her glorious long red hair, even though she had worn it short for quite a few years prior to the accident. She left 3 children, 2 of them teenagers. She would be proud of them, I'm sure.
This happened 9 weeks after my youngest daughter Alison lost her battle with cancer aged 29. leaving 2 little girls. I loved both them so much, I only wish that I had shown them how much while they were still with us.
They say there is a reason why things happen in your lifetime but its hard to fathom and if some one knows............