Saturday, March 28, 2009

Changes afoot

There are changes afoot here I'm 3 months pregnant with No it's likely things are going to slow down considerably in the not too distant future! Anyhow, I will try hard to put up some regular posts.

We've had some nice fine weather lately, chilly overnight and foggy mornings.

There are fewer bugs about and I've actually picked a few tomatoes lately, although they're not big they're OK. We're getting some permanent fencing done around the veg garden soon so I'll post the new look as and when. Should make it a bit better in terms of wind protection.

We got our drive widened by our pond (G built a nice retaining wall) so that's a lot better. Just needs a top coat of brown gravel now (on top of the lime). Last year the pond overflowed in a torrential downpour and washed away a lot of the drive down the stream (to the left).

Monday, March 23, 2009

Fish fish the family dish

so the saying goes..

G came home after a day and a bit on a boat with a very good haul. This biggy Dylan's holding weighed in at 2kgs!

We gave a lot away, froze some, ate some - fillets simply fried (dipped in milk and flour first) on the BBQ; and a friend smoked some for us - delicious!

Lucky us, there's some good fishing to be had here in the Kaipara.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Shrewsbury biscuits

Were they originally baked in Shrewsbury, Shropshire in England? I have no idea. But they are a classic NZ biscuit, and this recipe is from the good old Edmond's cookbook. I have the 1974 edition so it's in emperial not metric!!

4 oz butter (113g)
40z caster sugar (113g)
1 egg
1 Tbsp grated lemon rind
8 oz plain flour (226g)
1 tsp baking powder
Raspberry jam to fill

Cream butter and sugar. Add egg and lemon rind, mix well. Add sifted flour and baking powder. Knead, turn out onto lightly floured surface, roll out and cut into small rounds. Remove hole in centre of each alternative biscuit (I used an apple corer to do this). Bake at about 180 deg C for 10mins or until lightly golden brown.
When cold, sandwich together with jam.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

What's up?

Not a lot going on at Cabbage Tree Farm at present, sorry for the lack of posts of late.

The veg garden is a bit neglected, I need to get in there and clear up big time and prepare the beds for some winter veg.
Getting some chillies, coriander, other herbs; the galangal is settling in and putting out new shoots, and the artichokes are sprouting new foliage. My Italian Flat beans are flowering so shouldn't be far off now. A few onions still to harvest. Kumara seem to be doing well. We've had a handful of tomatoes, I think the shield bugs are doing their best to finish off the last remaining ones and I haven't been very organised getting out there with the neem oil. Boy we've had a lot of shield bugs this year.

On a more positive note, the chickens have started laying again. Today we got 3 eggs, 2 blue ones from the Araucanas and one (a brown egg) from an unidentified chook. A couple of the hens are moulting, one is still being mummy to 4 chicks and I've got one broody.

The weather is cooling down a bit now thank goodness, plus we've had a bit of rain which is much needed.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Yoghurt hotcakes with vanilla bean syrup & blackberry compote

I tried this recipe (from Taste NZ July '08) for the first time yesterday. It was very good. I've adjusted the quantities to serve 2 rather than 4.

For the syrup:

1/2 cup caster sugar
1 vanilla bean
1/2 cup water

Bring to boil and then simmer for 20 mins until thickened. Turn off heat.

For the blackberry compote:

125g frozen blackberries
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 Tbsp cornflour

Put berries and sugar in a pan on a low heat until berries have defrosted, stirring occasionally. Then bring to boil. Mix cornflour with a little cold water to make a paste and add to berries. Stir and boil to thicken. Remove from heat and cool.


1 egg
250ml milk
1/2 cup yoghurt
Zest of 1/2 lemon
1 1/2 cups self-raising flour
1/8 cup caster sugar

Put egg, milk, yoghurt and lemon zest in a bowl. Whisk until smooth. Add flour and sugar and whisk again until smooth.
Fry 30mls of batter per hotcake in an oiled frypan.
Serve stacked with bacon, syrup, compote and a dollop of yoghurt or mascarpone (if you have it) on top if liked.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Gales again

We've got rain and strong winds again, severe northeasterlies expected to get worse later today. Our new shed is holding up well and has no leaks which is good. I went out earlier and saw to the chickens, fed the chicks and turned their cages round so they aren't facing the wind, I guess they'll all be inside by now. We're not getting any eggs at all at the moment which is a nuisance as I don't like buying them at the shops any more. One of the hens is broody, and another is moulting. Not sure why the others are off the lay.
Right, off to make some tortillas for dinner.