Thursday, July 31, 2014

Lemon Curd

Sunshine in a jar, not too sour and not too sweet. We will be using up some of the lemon juice and freshly dried lemon peel. 

Lemon Curd on a hot fluffy pancake.

All the naked lemons from yesterdays Sunny Lemons post are squeezed. 
Using an old glass juicer makes the job very pleasant and brings to mind memories of when i was a child helping my Nanna in the kitchen. 
Not only do i want juice for this recipe i will also need zest and some of the seeds from the lemons. 
Mmmm seeds your wondering what could they be for, well i dont use commercial pectin to thicken my curd i use the lemon seeds as it already has pectin in the seed. 

Lemon Curd

3 Eggs
1/2 cup Sugar
3/4 cup Lemon Juice
1 teas Lemon Zest dry  [if fresh, zest of one lemon]
150g unsalted Butter

Simmer about 1 inch of water in a small pot. Whisk eggs and sugar in a heat proof bowl and place over your pot. Make sure the bottom of the bowl does not touch the water. I use a small 1L Pyrex bowl.
Stir in the juice, zest and butter. Add about 10 or so seeds to a small bag or piece of cheese cloth and add to your bowl, see picture above.
Make sure your heat is low or it will cook the egg whites. Occasionally stir and cook until it thickens or coats the back of your spoon. It may take a little while but it is well worth it.

While your curd is cooking, boil your jars in a big pot of water for about 10 mins. Turn off the pot and leave them there until your ready to use them. You can put a tea towel in the bottom of the pot so the glass is cushioned if you dont have a jar rack.

When your curd is thickened remove the jars from the pot and drain off any water.
Ladle the curd into your hot jars, i let mine cool before adding the plastic fridge lids.
It will keep for about 3 weeks in the fridge or you can also freeze them.
This makes a really nice lemon tart filling.

This recipe is pretty similar to the Passionfruit Curd i make.
If you give either of them a go let me know how it turns out.

Linked here R&R Wednesday #63
and here Homemaking Party
and here Homemade Monday #91
and here From the Farm Blog Hop
and here Homestead Barn Hop #169
and here Maple Hill Hop #41

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Sunny Lemons

Today is all about Sunny Lemons, we have a small lemon tree in our vege garden area and it is full of fruit. I love anything lemon especially if its very tart. 

Drying lemon peel and what to do with it.

 First off i scrub the lemons with a small nail brush to remove any dirt. The water in the green tub will be tipped onto the garden when im finished instead of going down the drain.

I use a sharp knife to peel the skin off the lemon, you don't want too much of the pith [the white]. As you can see above most of the pith still remains on the lemon.

If the slices are too long cut or tear them so they sit flat-ish on the dehydrator tray. I ended up with 5 trays of peel from 16 lemons. When using your dehydrator you use the same amount power if you do 1 tray or 10 trays so if you can, fill up the other trays with other items.
This day i added one tray of parsley, one of pac choy and one of bread so all 10 trays are full. Those trays will go on top as they will finish drying quicker than the peel.

As you can see above, i also did two trays of orange peel as well.

Six hours at 55 degrease Celsius and this is the result, crispy hard peel. 

The peel was then put through my Tribest Personal Blender [i will do a review on this another day].

What do you do with all this peel you may ask, well it can be used in biscuits, slices, cakes, pies, ice cream just about anything you might like a lemon flavour to. 
Now i have 16 lemons that need to be juiced, some of the juice will go in recipes and the rest will be put in the freezer for future use.

Stay tuned for lots of lemon recipes.

Linked here Homemade Monday #91
and here Farm Blog Hop
and here Homestead Barn Hop #169
and here Wonderful Wednesday Blog Hop #84
and here Homemaking Party
and here Maple Hill Hop #41
and here Backyard Farming Connection Hop #91
and here Tuesdays With A Twist #69
and here Home- Making Mondays #11
and here Homemaking Party

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Chook Feeder

When we went out to the Mudgee Small Farms Show the other week we came home with a new chook feeder.

Mr GoingGreen walking through the top orchid going down to the chook yard. New feeder in one hand and a bowl of hot breakfast for the girls in the other. That hot breakfast was rolled oats, grated carrots, garlic, cabbage and milk mmmm.

This is the old plastic feeder with the open top that held about 2 kg. If it got spun around too much the green base would come off. We have it hung on an old cooking tripod.

The new feeder holds 9kg of feed and has a lid and the base is attached. It was $30, i don't know if that's a good price or not and i'm not all that happy with it.
 I think that it lets out too much feed all at once and lots more gets wasted either on the floor of the shed or to all the blasted birds who think its a free for all.
When i move the girls up to the vege garden for the day i just close the shed door so the birds cant get in. A couple of times i have put the feeder into 44 gallon drum at holds all the bulk feed and get it back out again in the afternoon. I cant just close up the shed when they are in the yard or they will lay their eggs outside.

I did find a set of plans for a Treadle Chicken Feeder and i think that i'm going to get Mr GoinGreen to make me two of them. The reason for two is that Miss Black is mean and does not always like to share. We did see the grandpas metal chook feeders at the show as well as another company's but at $195 each its just way out of most peoples budget and if you order on line you can also add Aus Post charges on top of that.

I would love to hear about what sort of feeder you have for your girls?

Anne here is the link for the Firewood Permit you asked about, we are headed out there tomorrow and we will be picking up a couple of boxes of apples, at $10 a box you cant go wrong.

Linked here Say G-Day Saturday Linky Party #97
and here From The Farm Blog Hop
and here Old Fashioned Friday #78
and here Simple Lives Thursday #203
and here Simple Saturdays July 26

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Braided Floor Rug

Quite a lot of years ago [probably about 10] i braided up a whole heap of hessian to make some floor rugs. This is the leftover bag. I dug it out of the wardrobe on monday when i was looking for something else.

A big needle and some cotton string is all you need to lash it together, oh and hands of steel. By the time your finished you will need to soak your hands in something warm and then apply lots of hand cream.

Three hours later and this is the result.

Its a little slippery on the floor, so i will have to get Mr GoingGreen to put a few rows of silicon on the back.
The last time i had one of these mats at the front door Sally Girl kept chewing it and every time i fixed it she would chew a bit more. We will see how long this one lasts.

I still had some left over braids so i made a couple of rope toys for Sally Girl, they wont last long but thats ok. New toys are always good, especially chewable ones.

Linked here Wonderful Wednesday Blog Hop #83
and here The Homemaking Party
and here A little R&R Wednesday Linky Party #62
and here Think Tank Thursday #91
and here Home Acre Hop #80
and her Old Fashioned Friday #78

Monday, July 21, 2014

Best Bread Ever

This is hands down the best bread i have ever made and the easiest. No kneading involved.

8 hour bread [or over night]

3 cups Bread flour
1/2 tsp Yeast
1 3/4 tsp Salt
1 1/2 cups Water
1 Cast Iron Pot

I make this dough the night before or first thing in the morning if i forget, it needs a long rise time.

Mix everything in a large bowl to form a shaggy dough using a wooden spoon. Only mix till just combined.
Leave in bowl and cover with a tea towel or plastic wrap. If using a tea towel the dough will get dry bits on top, that does not matter as it will not effect the bread.
You must use a cast iron pot for this bread as anything else will not produce such a fine loaf.

The next day or that afternoon depending on when you started the dough, pre heat your oven to 200 degrees Celsius, place your pot with the lid on in the oven, on the middle shelf. set your timer for 30 mins.
Put a little flour onto your bench and scoop out the dough with your hand. Fold it under its self to form a smooth ball and leave on the bench.
When the timer goes off place your dough in the pot and put the lid back on. No need for oil or flour on the bottom of your pot. Set the timer for 30 mins again, make a cuppa and read a magazine or in my case a little crocheting.
When the timer goes off remove the lid and set the timer for another 15 mins.

This is what you end up with, a light airy middle with a crusty out side.
MMMM warm bread with lashings of butter.

Added Friday- Yesterday i made my bread and when the last timer went off i heard it but it didnt register in my brain as i was working on something else and as a result it was in the oven another 15 or 20 mins. Well it was very crusty and brown, Mr GoingGreen was using a sawing technique to cut it up and i think the chain saw was mentioned but after all that it was still a wonderful loaf of bread. Mr GoingGreen and son #2 really enjoyed the crust.
So i have to say this is still hands down the best bread i have ever made.

Linked here
Homestead Hop # 8
 Homestead Barn Hop #168
 Farmgirl Friday Blog Hop # 166
 Simple Saturdays Blog Hop # 32
 Homemade Mondays weeks 90
 Homemaking Wednesdays

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Apple Cider Vinegar

We buy our apples in bulk by the box and i always get seconds. I like Pink Ladies or Fuji's for dried and Granny or Pink Ladies for pies and cakes. To process them i always hand peeled and used a mandolin to slice and that was ok when Mr GoingGreen helped me but by myself it just took too long. So for $23 including postage i purchased a spiral apple peeler and slicer. 
Oh my goodness it is a dream to use and soo quick. Im not big on gadgets but this is one of my top 5.

Wash, peel and slice, place apples on the dryer. Some people spray or rinse apples in a lemon solution so they stay white, i dont bother with that.  Besides they only last about a week or so if im lucky and they barely change colour anyway.

Now onto the Vinegar, because i have so may peels and cores i use real big jars. I dont know where you would get these from, mine came from a garage sale. Sterilise the jars for 10 mins in boiling water, in the dishwasher or in the oven.
Fill your jar with peels and cores and add 1 Tbl of white sugar for about every litre of water. Cover peels with water.
Add a cheese cloth or other cotton fabric to the top and secure with a rubber band. Place the jars somewhere dark and warmish, a cupboard or pantry is fine. Mr GoingGreen reminded me that i keep mine in the garage and it is quite cool down there but the temperature pretty much stays the same, so as long as it's not too hot you should get good results. 

Leave it for a few weeks, then strain out the peels. I have found that the red apples make a rosie coloured vinegar and the green or yellow apples make light green vinegar. This is a raw apple cider vinegar with the mother.
You can use this in your kitchen or if your like me i add it to my chooks water about 2 Tbl to a bucket.

These are said to be some of the benefits of using apple cider vinegar in your poultry's water.

Aids in digestion
Reduces intestinal and faecal odours
Helps break down minerals and fats
Lowers the pH in the digestive tract and may reduce common infections and increase resistance to disease
Improves fertility
Is a great all over tonic that will improve their general health
It is rich in vitamins and minerals

It does not work as a natural wormer, however garlic added to their water every couple of weeks and grated carrot in their feed at the same time is good for worms.

My Girls get fresh water every day, apple cider vinegar in their water one day a week and garlic two days in a row every two weeks [with the carrot in their feed] 1 small clove of garlic crushed.

Do not use vinegar when treating for Worms or Coccidiosis.
Do not use metal dishes for water as the vinegar will react with it [except for stainless steel]

Some people say that it has no benefits to your chooks so i guess its up to you to decide.
I am not a vet so i can not advise you either way about any of the things listed above, they are things i do for my flock.

Thursday, July 17, 2014


On this Wintery afternoon i thought id share a little crochet. Outside it is sleeting and very windy so its lucky i'm inside with the fire blazing to keep me warm.

 The wool i used i picked up at the $2 shop in Katoomba just before it closed. As everything was 40% off i got it at $2 a ball. It is very soft and quite thick for a 8 ply. It crocheted up really nice i wish id purchased more.

These are both cot or pram size & just right for a wintery stroll around town.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Sunny Poached Eggs

Poached eggs on home made lightly toasted bread with a cup of green tea, that was my breakfast today on this grey morning with the eggs being the only sunny thing. It feels like winter today for the first time, usually my back room is bathed in sunshine but not today. Its a waiting for rain day and that's good because we have not had a good soaking rain in quite a while, so if the 60% chance of rain that they forecast is correct then we should have a good show, well fingers crossed.

Poached Eggs [eggs in a bag]


In a small pot half fill with water and simmer on low heat add a good pinch of salt and about 2 Tbl vinegar.
When its a low simmer [do not boil] crack 1 egg into a small bowl or ramekin, swirl the water in a circle and slide the egg in, keep the swirl going and do the same for the second egg.
Keep them spinning in the pot for about 3 mins.
I never measure or time the cooking of the eggs, after you have made them a few times you will know when they are done.

Why i call them eggs in a bag, well because the sunny yellow yolk is in a bag of white.
If you have not made these before or not for a long time then give them a whirl, you wont be disappointed.
Try to use as fresh an egg as possible as the older they are the more the white separates in the pot. Those two eggs came from my girls this morning.

Linked up at Homestead Barn Hop #167

Sunday, July 13, 2014

2014 Mudgee Small Farms Field Days

Two and a half hours saw us at this years Mudgee Field day. I was cold but very sunny and seemed to warm up after lunch.

I didnt take very many photos there was just too much to see.

One of the faves is the Working Dog trials, with so few commands they get the sheep where their master needs them.

 From the paddock to the pen and through the shoot. These dogs and their masters are a wonder to watch.
If only our Sally Girl was half as trained as these dogs.

Lots of machinery, tools and farm vehicles. Also a big display of old tractors and other farm equipment.

The Lucas Mill is one of the most impressive pieces of equipment, set up is just 15 mins and your ready to mill your logs. If you have the timber on your property this is the way to go if you want to build your home or any other building you may need. The guy was cutting an Iron Bark log and the boards were a beautiful red, there is nothing like Australian hardwood.

For lunch we had $8 beef burgers, they were small but very tasty.
There were quite a few animals from lots of different farms. Cows, horses, sheep, dogs, pigs, alpacas, donkeys, rabbits, and of course chooks and ducks. The poultry pavilion was only small but there were quite a few breeds on show & most were for sale. 
I would like to say that i came home with some new feathered friends but alas they were out of our price range, how ever we could have come home with a sow and 7 piglets but i dont think the neighbours would have liked that. 
They had the cutest miniature donkeys and a kelpy puppy that should have come home with us. I was a little disappointed that there were no Anglican Nubian Goats as we would have defiantly considered bring home 2 of them. 

There was a hands on demonstration about Scythes, i think if you just have a few animals to feed then small scale hay making would be the way to go, it may be hard work but it would also be very satisfying knowing you grew and cut you own animal feed.

We came home with lots of information and a new chook feeder. It was a very good day out.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Passionfruit Curd

Its like sunshine on a cold winters day, slather it on warm pancakes and while away the morning with a good book or the spring seed catalogue.


3 Eggs
3/4 cup Sugar
3/4 cup Passionfruit pulp
125g unsalted Butter

Whisk the eggs, sugar and passionfruit in a heatproof bowl over a pot of simmering water [dont let the water touch the bottom of the bowl]
Add the butter and stir, cook until it thickens.

Make sure its a low simmer or you will cook the egg whites [still tastes good but you will have bits of cooked egg white in your curd].
It will take quite a while to thicken, just dont rush it.
Make sure you use unsalted butter or it will have a grainy texture.

Sterilise your jars in a pot of boiling water for 10 mins, i put a tea towel on the bottom of my sterilising pot so my jars are cushioned.

Ladle in the curd while the jars are still hot, let cool and add the lids. I use the plastic screw lids and put them in the fridge.
Keep for about 3 weeks, ours only lasts about a week and a half.

Spread on hot pancakes, toast, fresh bread, scones, use as a filling in a jam roll or any other cake, on ice cream or use it in a trifle. I am sure there are many other yummy dishes you could use it with. Let me know if you have some i haven't listed.

Home Acre Hop #79

Friday, July 11, 2014

Place Mat

My handsome little nephew turned 3 today and for his birthday i made him a place mat.
Talon loves cars but not just cars pretty much anything with wheels, my washing trolley gets a work out when ever he visits.  

This is Luigi from cars 2, i found the picture at a colouring in site. It only took 2 days from start to finish, its mostly back stitch with a little satin stitch. 
These Place Mats  i made a couple of years ago, we use them every day and they still look like new. 

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Winter Warming

For the past couple of years we have gone out to the state forest to cut firewood for the winter.
You pay for a permit to get a certain amount.

We headed out to the Hampton area this year, it is a great drive. You can only cut fallen timber, if its still standing its off limits. The above picture was a pine plantation that has been clear felled, all that is left is native forest.

We only take fallen natives, usually gum, yellow box or any other hard wood. Sometimes we will take a couple of rounds of pine and split it for kindling.

You must always layer up in the clothing department cause its very cold & windy out there in winter.
It's always a great day out, i pack a big lunch and a couple of thermoses for the coffee and tea.
Cut wood, have lunch, cut more wood till the trailer is full and then a scenic drive home.
We have a system, Dad drives, Andrew cuts and i load.

On the way home we always stop at the Hartley Roadhouse as there are stalls in the car park on the weekends, we get our Honey, Apples and sometimes eggs when my girls refuse to lay. The apples we buy are seconds, i dry them out and make pies but more on that another day.

Wednesday, July 09, 2014

Tim Tam Cake

Its my husbands Birthday today so i have made him a Tim Tam cake. I saw a picture of one on pinterest so i thought id give it a go.

I used a chocolate fudge cake recipe

250g dark chocolate
125g butter
2/3cup sugar
2/3cup SR Flour
4 eggs

Preheat oven 180 c. butter and line a rectangle baking tray.
Stir chocolate & butter over a pot of simmering water till melted, let cool.
Combine chocolate mix with the remaining ingredients in a medium bowl, beat on low with an electric mixer.
Pour into pan, bake 30 mins. stand 5 mins then turn out onto wire rack to cool.

When cold cut in half and trim up sides making sure they are the same size.

Cake Filling

100g butter softened
150g chocolate [melted and cooled]
3cups icing sugar
1Tbs milk

Beat butter until light and fluffy add sugar and mix until smooth. Add chocolate and enough milk to make a smooth spreadable consistency.
Spread over one cake then place the second cake on top.

Ganache Icing 

100ml pouring cream [i use long life cream]
300g chocolate

Melt chocolate over a pot of low simmering water then add the cream, use a whisk to mix and let thicken slightly. Place on bench to cool for 10 mins then in the fridge for 15 mins siring every 5 mins. You want it to be thick and spreadable but not hard.
Spread over cake and put in fridge to set.
I used a glass to cut out the bite piece.

Tuesday, July 08, 2014

House Tour

Thought id give you a little picture tour of our house its been a few years [well 5 to be exact] since we became home owners and we have been slowly renovating it. its almost finished and i think it has turned out great.
We will start at the front of the house with bedroom 1.

These are the before pictures of this room, the walls were pink the wardrobe, door and floor were varnished timber. We put in all new architraves and skirting boards. Now its painted Antique White USA on the doors, trim & floor the wall colour is called Seascape.  Its a very calming room and i love it especially the floor as it was the first room i did white.

 This is as you walk in, you can see the difference between the limed boards and the white boards

 A large picture window covers pretty much the whole wall. We had new thermal backed curtains made.

 I saw something similar to this on line [i cant find the link]. i made this with some of the wall colours i used throughout the house. The boards were from a packing crate.

This is bedroom 3, it started out yellow then went to white with one blue wall & now its Bleached Spruce and again the Antique White USA for the trim, doors and floor. This was son # 2's room now its the spare room.

Bedroom 2 was son number 1's room now its my work room.

Bedroom hallway one wall painted Daiquiri Ice its a very nice orange, the other walls are Harbour [this colour is used in bedroom 4]

Front door entry painted  Harbour, double door cupboard, lime washed doors the same as the kitchen cupboards. It has a metal vent at the bottom as half the cupboard is used for the home server.

These are the before pictures of the lounge, yes another yellow room. The lounge has two entries, one from the front hall and the other from the kitchen and both have glass sliding doors. As with bedroom one a very large picture window covers one wall. All new architraves and skirting boards.

 The new wall colour is called Biz Wiz and again all the trim is in Antique White USA. It took 16 metres of sheer curtain to cover the window.

The Coffee Table my son made as his year 10 major wood project.
The TV/Sofa table was made by my brother in law as a wedding gift.

My wonderful husband made this bookcase for me, i really like it especially the scallop trim at the top & bottom. the cupboard part holds stacks more books. I like to learn new things so i buy lots of books.

He also made me this great wood box, I will be making a cushion for it so it can be seating when its not fire season.

From the orange and blue hall to the Green Kitchen hall. On the left is the built in pantry we added a wire fly screen door. I wanted to paint it red but could not find a true red so antique white it is.

Kitchen Renovation part 2
Love the black granite island bench top, excellent for rolling pastry, kneading bread, making pasta and working with chocolate.
The brushed stainless splash back is a dream to clean.

Family/Dinning area is the best room in the house. It gets all the sun as its north facing, the windows are double glazed so toasty warm in winter and cool in summer. The sun heats the tiled floor and radiates through the whole house. We had block-out roller blinds made so you can watch TV during the day.

The colours we used are Sea Urchin on one wall and Ocean Wave on the other three.

Before it was a bedroom part 2
This room was once my work room and bedroom 4, i loved working in this room, now its son number 2's room as he has a kingsize bed pus all his other stuff i decided to give up my room to him, besides all that in bedroom 3 was ridiculous you could not move.

The only rooms not done are the bath/toilet and hopefully we will be doing those in the next few months.
Also not pictured is the Laundry we are redesigning that as well, we were going to extend it but decided not to, this may also happen in the next few months.

Sally Girl guarding the fire, pretty much where she spends all her time over winter. If its not going in the mornings she comes to wake me up to put it on, its why her name changes to Fire Dog in winter.
I hope you enjoyed the house tour :o)