After last month's farm update I put a mark in my dairy as a reminder to write another update a month later, and whoosh... here we are again. It would be a very long post to include most things, indoors and outside, so today is focusing on what's been happening in that room we call 'the heart of the home'.
Summer is with us, but we have had a couple of heavy rainfall events and no days above 35C degrees, so it's most agreeable living weather. Unfortunately the rain was not so good for the farmers who grow cereal crops that were almost ready for harvesting. Most of that grain will be downgraded.
The days have been good for being outside in the garden, catching up with some of the weeding, and spreading compost and mulch.
I made it the conventional way, with sugar, but cut the amount right back so the flavours of the fruit are dominant without the cloying sweetness.
Just as I finished labeling the jars, there was a knock on the door. A woman from Victoria requesting some rhubarb jam! I was able to invite her in to taste the new jam, of which she bought three jars to take back with her.
We are on bottled gas here, so there were not a lot of LPG stoves to choose from. In fact, this was the only one we found. I first looked in our local electrical and gas store but they had none, so a forty minute trip to our nearest Harvey Norman store and two weeks later this basic stove was installed.
It got me thinking that the lack of choice could be frustrating for many folks, but I'm not particularly fussy about the stove. It does the job and I'm grateful to have a stove at all, to use during the hot summer months when it's too hot for the wood stove.
However, and hindsight is a wonderful thing, if we were doing our renovations now, instead of twelve years ago, I would know that we probably should have put in an electric point at the stove.
I have discovered that most gas cookers come with an electric oven.
After searching Google for Mead recipes and becoming daunted with all the complicated instructions and equipment required, I finally found this simple method. Honey and water!
Yes, you guessed it.!
The small square shaped bottle on the right, was made for sauce, not volatile fizzy stuff!
After hearing a noise during the night, the kitchen wore a layer of sticky mead, from the floor to almost the ceiling, and thin shards of glass were everywhere.
Another lesson learned.!
When I finally have a finished product that I'm 100% happy with I'll post a blog with instructions of how I did it.
I've filled every one of my large glass jars with sauerkraut and am also experimenting by adding other flavouring ingredients. The above picture is sauerkraut containing cabbage as the main ingredient, with carrot, apple and ginger added. Some of the jars have cumin or caraway seeds added to plain cabbage, and salt of course.
We're also eating cabbage every day, fried in butter, in coleslaw, in casseroles and stews. I will never tire of eating the versatile cabbage even though I hated it as a youngster. It was boiled cabbage in those days...boiled and boiled until the whole family finally all came in for the evening meal. No wonder I found it hard to stomach!
I wanted that.
And now I have it.
Life is good.!
I hope yours is too.
Thanks for reading.