Monday, January 18, 2016

Blood Plums

The Pantry is starting to fill up again. Cooked 3 kilo of Blood Plums which has resulted in 16 jars of plum jam. My favourite recipe: Apple and Plum Crumble for desert last night, a really delicious treat..... even a little bit healthy with rolled oats, wholemeal flour and pepitas. Sorry only a photo of the leftovers.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Our Vegetable Garden

Trying to grow vegetables at Leighton Farm was a battle against the birds and pests. After much thought a covered garden seemed the best solution
Inside the covered garden we have two raised garden beds, and the only pest we have is some aphids. No birds, no bugs, no white moths and lots of vegetables
At the moment we are picking beans, silver beet, strawberries, chillies, celery, Thai basil, eggplant, capsicum and tomatoes. The green zebra tomato is a favourite, full of flavour and a good size. We have found that we can take cuttings and put them into the soil and away they go, growing quickly and producing lots of fruit. We hope to have tomatoes all year round
The strawberries are growing in special hanging gardens
Yesterday an outside garden bed was built, not sure what is going into this bed yet.... things that need bees to fertilize flowers.
It is so satisfying to go to the garden and pick produce for dinner each evening.
The apple cucumbers and zucchini are growing amongst my flowers. The apple cucumbers have turned golden.... kissed by the sun. Walking back from the garden this evening the lake looked so beautiful

Monday, January 4, 2016

Summer Garden Produce

What to do with summer produce?

It's that time of the year when vegetable and fruit produce is in abundance.
My dilemma is always what to do with it.

Yesterday it was cucumbers and zucchini.
A family favourite is pickles and I always use a recipe from my sister-in-law Jenny.
So I now have 12 bottles of pickles sitting in the pantry.
Today it was plums, not sure of the variety but they are not blood plums which are my favourite.
I decided to make a plum chutney.
It is a delicious combination of plums, ginger, mustard seeds and chilli along with the normal chutney ingredients.
After lots of chopping and simmering I have made this:
8 jars of plum chutney.
The down side of all this productivity in the kitchen is:
A sink full of dirty dishes.
The day has been cool and cloudy, a lovely day to spend in the kitchen.
Lots more plums to come from the orchard....mmmm -  what recipe to do next.

Friday, September 18, 2015

Amineko Cats

What fun I have had making these cute little cats using the Japanese method of crochet.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Goan Fish Curry....this will be a favorite

Mr B loves fishing and we are always trying to find something tasty to do with fish. 
Last night I created a Goan Fish Curry.

Flathead Fillets Cut into bite size pieces.

The masala paste is made by toasting cloves, coriander seeds, cumin seeds, dried red chillies and star anise. This was ground and then turmeric, palm sugar, salt, garlic, ginger and white vinegar was added.

Chopped onion is fried in oil, the masala paste is added, the smell is amazing.

I added 4 (expertly chopped by Cooper) small tomatoes.

Coconut milk and green chillies are added and simmered for 10 mins , then the fish is added. A tadka is made by frying black mustard seeds and fresh curry leaves in some very hot oil.  This caused a minor explosion in the kitchen!! The tadka is added at the last

The Goan Fish Curry was served with steamed rice, garnished with coriander and a wedge of lime.  It is a delicious fish curry.
A glass of Riesling was the perfect wine to enjoy with the curry.
As a special treat for the family I made a Pavlova with banana and passionfruit.  I think Harry is looking forward to eating his piece!!

The Christmas cake was made too.  After having the fruit soaking in rum for over a week, it was time to add the remaining ingredients and bake the cake.  The first of my Christmas cooking.  Still to make... plum pudding, fruit mince tarts and if Dayne  has his way, my special rockyroad, made with Turkish delight, pistachio nuts, macadamia nuts, marshmallow and cherries.

Chooks and Fruits Trees part 2

A couple of months ago we had about 200ml of rain, the fruit trees have grown like never before.
Hopefully the fruit holds and the bugs don't bite!!
Our lemon tree was here when we bought the property, it isn't the prettiest looking tree, but it produces an unbelievable amount of fruit, continuously.  We have had some strong wind and quite large branches of been broken off..... probably because it was laden with too much fruit.  I have taken bags of fruit to our local fish and chip shop, bags to patchwork and aqua, and still there is more fuit.
Strawberries are a favourite of mine, but unfortunately some little people love  them too..... you have to be quick to get a ripe one.
A perfect apply blossom.
Baby apples.
We have a variety of peach trees, not sure of their names.  Our favourite is a very big juicy yellow peach. Mr B grafted this peach from one we tasted on a trip to Wagga Wagga years ago.
Looking forward to eating and preserving lots of produce from the fruit trees.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Chooks and Fruit Trees part 1

11 chooks reside at Leighton Farm, they have an enclosure where they roost at night.   I feed them grain and  they lay their eggs in here too. From their little house they have a large run and next to the run is the orchard.  They have a little gate in the fence between the run and orchard so they can roam where ever they choose.
This is a view of the orchard,

The chooks love being in here, hopefully they will eat lots of grubs and insects, hence keeping them out of the fruit. In the orchard there is plum, nectarine, peach, pear, apple, cherry, fig and apricot and mulberry trees.
This is some very young mulberries, I love how they look when at this young stage of their development.

Baby pears just starting to develop, will have to wait until late summer to enjoy eating these.
This apricot tree is very special as it comes from the original family farm near Narooma.  The tree is about 40 years old and produces the best flavoured apricots ever.  This year the tree has hundreds of fruit on it and we should start eating them around Christmas.... that's if we get lots more warm weather. Hopefully lots of apricot jam and stewed apricots this season.

In another area at Leighton farm we have a selection of citrus. This is my cumquat tree.  It has been planted for 3 years and this is the first time it has had fruit.  It is not really the correct time of the year for cumquats to be on the tree, but I am happy to finally get some fruit.  Mmmmm cumquat marmalade..another favourite.