Sunday, June 21, 2015

A Sourdough Adventure or " How to tame the Yeast"

I don't watch a lot of tv, but I happened to turn it on and a show called Britains Best Bakery wasvon. The judges were just talking of Sourdough bread.

My only experiences of sourdough bread have not been great.  My mother once famously tried to catch yeast and baked bricks...a german lady gave complicated instructions for rye flour and a heavy result which I didnt think was very palatable. ...and i have made dough and left it overnight then baked it, but it was missing the holey, chewy texture.

So I listened carefully to these instructions and here is what I got.  Beautiful bread!

So, mix 1c plain flour and 2c cold water, cover with gladwrap. Leave overnight on the bench. Next day and every day for 5 days add 1c of flour and 1c water to it. Afterva week it should be fizzing and bubbling. Take off half the mixture add 2t salt,  1c water and enough flour to make soft dough. In my case this was about 4c flour. knead 10 mins. Leave in a bowl to rise for 6hrs (i put in the warming drawer).  Shape then bake about 30 mins at 180c

Thursday, June 18, 2015

A Big Cleanup

Yesterday, with the threat of a winter storm in the next few days, I moseyed out to the garden to see if  anything needed doing.  Glaringly obvious were the grapevines, which I promptly spent some time pruning.  I'm no Vintner but I was pretty pleased with the results.

Then this morning I harvested, not bad for a winters morning,
Spring onions
A Lettuce

In other news, my Broccoli are growing really well...
and I have a Garden Shed ready to be put up!  I can't wait

Monday, June 1, 2015

Le Jardin d'Hiver - The Winter Garden

One of the many Grapes that I need to prune soon
What's this on my windowsill?  a few pots of onion seedlings? both red and Canterbury Long Keeper!  I spent an hour or two planting onion seeds straight into the garden 3 weeks ago now, but so far no sign of the seeds germinating.  Dangit!

First the ground was just too dry (you can see by the paddocks in the distance in my photos just how dry we still are), and then when finally we got some rain, it was too cold....we've had sleet and cold temperatures, and I fear that my seeds will come to nothing now.  Or maybe they will come up in Spring, I haven't quite given up on them.

Brassicas are doing well, now that the white butterfly is gone, thank goodness.

They have large leaves, and good growth, and I have high hopes of some nice veges from this patch.

Cauliflowers, Broccoli and Cabbages are in here

But for the moment, I'll plant seedlings out in another part of the garden.  Just to be sure of getting a crop, because last year was so awesome! bags and bags of onions and garlic.

Lettuces under cover
In other news, I found some lettuce seedlings, self seeded and germinated in the autumn weather, and I have put them under a bird net.  Hopefully this will act as a kind of frost cloth, and keep them a bit warmer.  I have grown lettuces over winter before, and they seem to do OK so long as they don't get deep frozen.

Jobs Undertaken this Month: 
- dug out all the Potatoes that never did anything, they were rubbery and inedible.  But at least I got that bed tidied up.
- Covered the Lettuces with netting tunnels
- Pulled up the French Beans and saved seed for next year

Harvesting Now:
- Spring Onions
- Artichokes (still!)
- Lettuces
- Kale
- Parsley

Jobs to do next Month:
- Prune the Grapes
- Plant out Onion seedlings
- Dig in Chook Poo
- Prune the Boysenberries
- Plant Garlic

This is my Garden Share Collective Post for the Month of June