Monday, April 28, 2014

Bee Harvest - lovely honey

The first lot of honey from our bees was given to us by the beekeeper today, the rest is going to be creamed.  We are straining some to get out the wax, but man, it tastes good just like this!

Saturday, April 26, 2014

The First Frost

Today marks the day of the first frost for 2014 in our part of the world.  26th April, mid Autumn, the morning after ANZAC Day.

Quite a heavy frost in our rose garden, spreading out to about halfway towards the house.

It's all downhill to winter from here!  Note to self, dig up the ginger in the glasshouse, as it only tolerates temperatures down to 6C.

Friday, April 25, 2014

ANZAC Day, 25th April, New Zealand

We went to our local ANZAC Day remembrance parade, service and wreathlaying.  I came home and wrote this...

In The Sun

I stood in the sun today, a cool breeze in my hair
Birds sang overhead, and the bugle cried
The pipes laid its lament over us
In a shivering blanket
Honouring the memory of men I have never met
Their hair was full of sand and grit
I have no way to know if the sun shone
on their doomed push
up a beach that no-one had heard of
A shore that meant not much to anyone
Except the local villagers
Who despaired at the boats
The guns, the battle on their shore
The aircraft streaming overhead
Did the pipes cry that day?
I’m sure the birds still sang
Even when huddled in their shivering blankets
The bugle cried to push them up the unforgiving sand
With thanks I stand in the sun
Enjoying the cool wind in my hair
With my children at my side
And honour those men with sadness and pride
In a small village that not many have heard of
But which I may call home

BY ANNA ANDERSON (being me!)

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Autumn Madness - everything is going mad

It's madness out there.  I always thought Midsummer was the time, but no, here it is Autumn.  

What is wrong with this picture? it's a leek flower, but somehow lots of little leek-lets have sprouted out of it.  I'm not sure if it is from the seeds, because each leeklet seems to come from a week bulb that has been produced in the centre of the flower.  I've never seen anything like it.  However, I started pulling out a whole heap of them and planted them into potting mix, and sure enough....
I now have leeks which have grown on beautifully and are nearly ready to go into the garden.
Also, check out the crabapples....these not only have the last of the crabapples still on the tree, but they have flowered all over again! they don't seem to know there is no hope of making apples now that we are in mid-autumn and soon the frosts will be here *sigh*.  I just hope they flower again in the spring! One of the Estelle apples is doing it too!

Friday, April 11, 2014

The reason for the cooking extravaganza - 2 parties

All the breadmaking you might have seen over the past few weeks on my blog or elsewhere has all been in preparation for today and tomorrow.  We are having TWO parties.  
First one is Mark's Mock 40th (he was actually 40 in February) to be held tonight for dinner, and then on Saturday lunchtime we are having Great Grandma's 90th.

Over 30 people are here tonight, with about 4 families staying overnight (GAWD!), and then about 60 for lunch tomorrow (GASP).

The breads I have been baking have mostly been put in the freezer in preparation.
....and it's raining again *sigh*.  The lawn has not been mowed, but the tent is up for visitors to sleep in, don't think we'll be using the BBQ area though...
The ham is defrosting, the buns are ordered, the brownie is done, the breads are baked....

Thursday, April 10, 2014

The Quince Recipe - for bottling - recipe as requested, for my brother

This recipe renders the pips/seeds and skin of the quinces soft and totally edible, so there is no need to peel, de-seed etc.  And they look amazing in the jar.  A wonderful deep golden red.  I can't wait to eat ours.  I imagine they will be particularly delicious with cheesecake or panacotta, as a side on the plate.

Cut 5 quinces into quarters (or as many quinces as you like, really)

Make a syrup of 6c hot water, and 1c sugar, and stir till sugar has dissolved.

Pack quinces into a roasting dish, and sprinkle over a stick of cinnamon, cracked up, and 1t vanilla.  Pour over the hot syrup.

Bake 150C for 1.5hrs covered with tinfoil, then remove the foil and bake another 1.5hrs.  Quinces and syrup should be deep red.  

Pack into hot jars, with the liquid right up to the top, and seal.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

How to make Sour Cream at home - an experiment

I have tried various different methods, check out my video for the recipes and results.

Part one, in which I prepare different methods of making sour cream

Part two, in which I use my friend Stacey as a Guineapig to taste the results!

Part three, in which I declare a winner, and why!

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Result - from Sunday Morning

Look at those beautiful jars of Quinces poached in syrup, cinnamon and vanilla!  Wow, that bread looks pretty good too!

Monday, April 7, 2014

Things I learnt from my sister

White cabbage butterflies are worth 50c each! Montana-Rose spent several hours yesterday running around the garden catching them, in the end she caught 15!  here are some, as catalogued by her afterwards! 

Sunday, April 6, 2014

A very Busy Cooking Morning

What a difference one extra hour makes.  (thank you Daylight Saving finishing).  I have managed to achieve all sorts of cooking extravaganza stuff this morning!  Check out my video, here

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Walnut bread

Now rising on the bench
I used Rick Stein's recipe, which was very simple, not requiring two risings, which is a bonus :-)

The link to his recipe is here

Looking forward to this!  My parents brought me down the walnuts, all shelled and dried, from their foraging in Motueka (yes, it runs in the family!).