A diary of all my mad projects.

I am glad that you stopped by - welcome to my world. Its a little mad and hectic as I sew, knit, embroider and generally craft my way through life. My newest resolution is to spend more time sewing - less time dreaming about it. I love to read comments so I am looking forward to hearing from you all.

Saturday, January 23, 2010


Its been a bit of a day as they say starting with... a very loud pounding on the door at "sparrowfart". The neighbour came to tell us 89 and 90 had left the paddock and were playing chicken with the trucks on the road. Before I could blink 4 teenagers had gone from slumbering to running down the road - amazing what they will do for pets! We maneuvered the beasts into a new paddock and the teens returned to their slumbers. The 'boys' were very happy,not only some attention but a new paddock. These two have been hand reared by the children, and they love lots of attention and pats. 89 has a habit of coming up behind you and resting his head on your shoulder. If you do not pat him he puts more and more weight and pushes down - they both are bullies and 'Bobby' the next years calf had to be sent on 'vacation' to friends as they so terrorised him that he did not eat. A 'pansy' as my daughter calls him - it will be a different story when he (Bobby) comes home as he is now almost double the size of these boys! Whose the bully now?
After this energetic beginning the teens slowly got going and were happy to consume the extras from baking Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins to say thanks to the neighbours for their timely notice. As we discussed far better to have them steaks when we want than squashed on the road. Yes folks these two are destined for the table and very nice they will be - 90 is a Angus cross while 89 is a Frisian Steer (not so good meat wise but still ok) Both were destined for the bobby truck but given to the children when they wanted a calf each from a farmer friend. With the low bobby price this year ($2.00) we have been offered as many as we want. We now try to get white faces (Hereford cross) as they grow beef better than a dairy breed.
As we only have a small amount of land (2 acres and about 1 in gardens) we have to supplement feed and also graze the 'long acre'. Owning this much land requires a similar amount of equipment and time as 5 acres. We would love to upgrade to a larger block but money does not permit at present.
Talking about money we are now on week 2 1/2 with only limited money. So far so good - went to wonderful fruit and vege store and with pumpkins 1.99, watermelons 2.99 for large we have a good supply of veges combined with potatoes, lettuces, rocket, herbs, zucchini out of the garden we are doing ok. So baking bread and other treats. Today's recipe is those muffins
Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins (low fat version for my rowing athletes, but still very yummy)
2 cups flour
4 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/3 cup chocolate chips
1 egg
1/3 cup ricebran oil
2 bananas mashed
1 cup low fat milk
Mix dry and wet ingredients in separate bowls. Combine without over mixing and put into muffin tins (I use those silicone muffin cups inside a muffin tin - reusable and easy to get muffins out). Bake in a hot oven 190C until cooked approx 15mins.
No need to butter them just wonderful as they are cooled slightly.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Welcome to my world

I'm giving this blog thing another go. I have really enjoyed reading others blogs over the last few weeks. They have proved very inspirational as well as managing to divert me when I should be doing other things - a bit like cleaning the oven when you should be studying for that exam. Well that is what I used to do, at exam time I had the countries cleanest kitchen.

Life is proving a bit of a challenge lately, or perhaps I should correctly say it has been a challenge for 2009 and we as a family happily said good bye to 9 with hopes for 10 being a better year. Lets just say that on 1/1/10 it did not seem it could be worse. Well it can, never say never and for all those people that say the only way is up they are wrong! Down can keep coming. The primary income earner (PIE)was hit bad by the recession so we battened the hatches. Luckily I had work that ensured that we at least could eat. Things looked up and PIE went back to work overseas - but due to Xmas and his contracting company rep going out on her own means that now we wait for payment. 4 children and $100 for 4 weeks a real challenge. Can I just say that I am sick of challenges like this.

So what to do? Firstly I am donating $11 (in better times this would be my Lotto flutter)to Haiti as I am grateful for the ability to sleep in my house (even if the bank is circling) that all my children are safe and healthy. My thoughts go out to all those people who are struggling to make sense of this new tragedy in their life.

Secondly, I have taken up offers of relatives and friends and 2 of the children are going to stay for a few days while the older two are at Rowing camp for the week. So that means there is only me to feed - so porridge, homemade bread, salad vege from the garden and eggs for the week. So for those that might be interested here is my recipe for easy homemade bread.

JacquiAnnes Yummy rolls.
1 cup of boiling water
1 good tsp of honey/sugar/molasses
1 cup of cold water
1 tsp salt
Cool to luke warm and sprinkle 2 tsp of dried yeast granules
Leave to foam (about 15 minutes)

Add 3 cups of strong white flour and mix to a sloppy goop.
Leave to double - for a better flavour do this before you go to bed, cover and leave to rise and fall back over night.

Add 3-5 cups of strong flour
1 egg
1 tsp salt
125g butter melted or 1/2 cup of good quality oil (I like rice bran)
Mix and then knead until smooth and elastic. (usually about 15-20 minutes by hand, using a mixer can hurry the process a bit and save the wrists and arms! Bakers in days gone by had the most amazing biceps! due to all the kneading)
Oil a bowl lightly and rub dough around so it becomes coated then cover with gladwrap or a lightly floured teatowel (I can never get this to work so I use gladwrap but it isnt that good for the environment is it?)
Leave in a warm place to double (about 1-2 hours depending on room temperature).
when dough has risen punch it down and knead lightly.
Shape into rolls - I usually just cut the dough in half and half until I have 16 large rolls - for smaller dinner sized I cut them all into half again. Rolls are the best way to enjoy this bread -kids love shaping their own rolls.
Place on oven trays cover with floured tea towel or (as I do) the larger supermarket plastic bags one each end of tray so that they overlap in the middle. Make sure that they are loose over the shaped dough and not touching if possible. Preheat the oven 220C Leave rolls to rise until double - to test if they are ready to go into the oven gently push a finger into the top of a roll if the dent remains they are ready to bake. Take off the plastic bags before putting in the oven.

Bake for about 15 minutes until nicely browned and cooked.

You can glaze with beaten egg/milk or not as desired.

My children love these and although they can be a little timeconsuming it is a fun activity to do together, also when you only have limited resources what you do have is time (usually).

A nice variation which we have just tried is to add a pottle of plain lowfat yogurt at the egg and oil stage then leave the rolls to rise for about 20 minutes. Heat a BBQ grill roll out each roll thinly and brush with butter and place on grill. Brush top side with butter and turn after about 3-5 minutes. And Hey Presto Naan Bread off the BBQ. Really yummy!.