What’s in the garden?
The greenhouse is going really well. We’ve also got lots of passionfruit on the vine near the chook pen.
What’s on the menu?
Passionfruit cake. Ingredients from the farm: passionfruit, honey and banana. Shop ingredients: Izzy’s nutellex vegan butter, sugar, stone ground organic wheat flour, baking powder. Instructions: I didn’t measure anything but basically I put about half a cup of nutellex and about the same amount of sugar in the bottom of a small pot and boiled it until they caramelised. I added about four passion fruit to the mixture and poured it into the bottom of the cake tin to make a glaze on the cake. In a bowl, I mixed some butter (probably just under half a cup) and some sugar and the last little bit of honey scraped out of the big honey storage container. I mixed in one and half cups of flour. I measured the flour because sometimes I don’t put enough and I end up with more glaze than cake. I mixed some baking powder into the flour. I mixed all that together and it was very dry so I kept adding little bits of water until it was moist enough to stir properly. I didn’t have any eggs so it became an eggless cake. I added some mashed banana and mixed it all together. I scraped the cake mix into the cake tin, on top of the glaze and baked it. When I took it out I turned it upside down and the passionfruit glaze ran down the sides. The glaze had penetrated the cake to it was really rich, sweet and moist on the edges. It was really light but still moist and the banana must have helped to bind it because you couldn’t tell there was no egg in it. I shared it with some friends on Sunday morning and we all enjoyed it. My friend Zena was there and she said it was really good – which is great to hear from one of those people who makes amazing cakes and desserts.
Pictured below is a vegetable curry consisting of the following home grown ingredients – ginger, shallots, pumpkin, black radish, bok choi, squash, silver beet, green beans, climbing beans and tomato. I fried the aforementioned veggies in some indian spices – cumin, cinnamon, coriander, with one onion. I added a small amount of water and some veggie stock powder, salt and pepper. I added some home made sweet chili sauce and home grown fresh coriander just before serving. It was delicious. I bought the veggie stock powder last year. I find that it is great for when I don’t have home made stock on hand.
Fried rice pictured below. Ingredients from the farm: Etienne’s home made bacon, ginger, capsicum, broccoli, squash, beans, carrot, bok choi and shallots. I fried this in oil with some of Kenrick and Maree’s garlic chives and two teaspoons of soy sauce. Delicious.
I made it into a fried rice by adding some leftover rice and some sweet chili sauce. The finished result is pictured below.
I’ve made a few veggie bakes in the oven this week. Ingredients from the farm: thinly sliced pumpkin, taro, black radish, carrot, choko and/or arrowroot. I thinly sliced the veggies plus one onion (or sometimes I just use shallots from the garden) and loads of chopped rosemary and pop them in the a baking tray in one cup of milk and one cup of water (or stock). I bake this, stirring occasionally, for about an hour. I stir in as many eggs as I can get my hands on and bake for a further 20 mins so that it sets like a quiche. The rosemary is the key to this dish – it tastes as good as any quiche or potato bake I’ve had in a cafe. I forgot to take photos. Izzy won’t eat it because of milk, so I bake it when she’s away galavanting around town.
I like to flavour my tea with lemon myrtle leaves. I find regular black tea is too bitter and I need to sweeten it, but if I put a few lemon myrtle leaves in my tea, it has a nice sweet lemony flavour that doesn’t require sweetening.
Activities of the weekend:
Friday night was curry feast night at the hall.
Saturday we had a weed day – our community gets together a couple of times a year to remove noxious weeds from the property. We’re an organic property so we don’t use any chemical sprays. It’s a much bigger job to physically remove the weeds but we feel strongly that chemicals are worse than the weeds.
Saturday lunchtime we had our community meeting, during which we examined and changed parts of our constitution and some of the by-laws, such that they reflect current practices. We haven’t looked at any of that stuff for fifteen years so it was interesting to see what the original ideas were and to compare that to how we have evolved as a community. After the meeting, we had lunch together.
Saturday evening we went across to our neighbours house for a party. It was a really lovely bunch of people.
Sunday I went to the dark moon circle gathering. Afterwards, I felt refreshed and nourished. Ladies out there, if you possible get the chance – join a dark moon circle!
Some musings about a great dog ♥♥♥
Although this happened last weekend, I wasn’t ready to talk about it until now. Last weekend, while I was in Brisbane, Etienne had to put Scruffy down. He was fifteen years old. On Thursday he lay down and he just couldn’t get up anymore. Etienne called me Saturday morning and said that he was going to have to put Scruff down because was very close to the end and he howled if you tried to move him. Izzy stayed with him for his last hours. She said, “Mum, every time I got up to answer the phone, he whined until I came back.” What a sad, but special moment she shared with him! She’s had him since she was one year old so he’s been there for her whole life.This is a picture I took in December of him on his bed in the bathroom. This was his favourite spot for the last few years that he was alive.
Scruffy was a very obedient, loyal and loving dog. When we first moved here in 2003, he was a puppy. Etienne used to get up at 5am most mornings and take him for a two hour walk somewhere around the neighbourhood. That would normally be enough to tire any dog, but not Scruffy. Every time you would walk to the front door, he would leap up. He would tremble with excitement (which we always felt as a pressure to take him for a walk) just in case you were going to take him somewhere.
For the first five years (or so) that we had him, every time we hopped in the car, Scruffy came with us. Even in the middle of summer, if we went to town, he would come with us and sit in the car whilst we did the shopping and went to Bunnings etc. He was great with other dogs so we could always take him anywhere, visiting or to parties. Once, we went home from a party at 3am and realised that we’d forgotten Scruffy. Etienne, who was Jiggi’s version of a designated driver that night, had to drive all the way back and get him.
In the last couple of years, Scruffy changed. He’d always been an obedient outside dog. But once he lost his hearing, he decided that meant he could do whatever he liked because he couldn’t hear any of our instructions. He taught himself to open the front door so that he could come in whenever he liked. When Etienne was home, he would try to kick Scruffy out. Etienne would stand in the doorway yelling and gesticulating for him to get out. Scruffy just looked Etienne right in the eye, then he walked inside and lay down. That was it. So we figured that, in his old age, he could pretty much come and go as he liked.
There was only one place Scruffy was absolutely not allowed to lie and that was on the pure wool rug in the lounge room. He wasn’t allowed on the rug because he would spend five minutes digging at it before he lay down. We paid a lot for the rug so we didn’t want it to be damaged. Guess where Scruffy’s favourite spot in the whole house was? Yep, the wool rug! He would open the front door himself, come inside, scratch, scratch, scratch the rug, then curl up on it and fall into a deep slumber. When someone clomped down the hall into the lounge room he would leap up in fright (a very slow process at his age) and guiltily take himself outside. Hilarious!
Scruffy was a real character.