Friday, July 8, 2011

Update at last and a nice cake recipe

I'm finally better! We've all had a nasty virus but at last things are starting to get back to 'normality'. I had to have last weekend off work (can't risk spreading any bugs in a rest home, but in any case I was too ill to go). But the good news is my back seems to have got much better in the time I've been ill. After weeks and weeks of seeing an osteopath, and then doing some exercises from a great book called "Treat your own back" by Robin McKenzie, it seems to be a lot less stiff and painful. Hooray!

So anyway, time for a bit of an update here at Cabbage Tree Farm.

We're experiencing some very windy weather at present as a storm rolls across from the southwest. There was a hail shower about 1/2 hr ago and it's pretty cold out there. Because we've been sick, we haven't been able to progress very much with the jobs that need doing outside. One of these is planting trees to continue landscaping our land. We have managed to get a small number of native trees in, but have lots more to go. We also have more fruit trees on order which should be arriving very soon. Yes we already have loads of fruit trees in the orchard but figure you can't have too many when you keep pigs.. besides we just love eating all those juicy peaches and plums come summertime!

We also have a whole lot of shelter trees on order so we can continue with our boundary planting. G will need to fence these trees off once they are planted as we are putting them where our 6 cows graze from time to time! and we know what short work cows can make of trees...

Here are some of the girls:

So in a few weeks time we will be very busy planting trees!

In the citrus orchard the rangpur limes are doing well again. They are really quite hardy compared to most other citrus (from my limited experience anyway!). One of the little trees (less than 1m high) is covered in fruit, I would estimate about 2kgs or more. I picked some and made a nice Lime and Yoghurt Loaf, using a recipe from the NZ Gardener magazine which I subscribe to (thanks D!).

Here's the recipe:

1 cup unsweetened plain yoghurt
1/3 cup oil (I used sunflower)
1 cup caster sugar
2 eggs
zest of 1 lime
juice of 3 limes
2 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
pinch of salt
icing sugar to dust

Preheat oven to 180 deg C. Grease and line a large loaf tin. Beat together the yoghurt, oil and sugar. Add eggs one at a time, then beat for 2 mins. Add lime zest and juice. Sift in flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Fold in until combined, pour into tin. Bake for 30-45 mins until a skewer comes out clean. Cool in tin, then turn out onto wire rack. Dust with icing sugar if liked.

This was the first time I've made this and it turned out quite well. A very light and spongy cake with a lovely citrus flavour. Will be making it again!

In the vege garden things are doing OK considering the weather and lack of attention. Please ignore the weeds in these photos..

Amazingly I'm still getting chillies from my 'Asian Fire' chilli!

The broccoli is heading up now,  but the caulis look a long way off!

The garlic is about 10cm high (some of these 'weeds' I'm leaving as they are Californian poppies and Calendula)

The carrots are growing at a snails pace though! I have loads of coriander! The broad beans are tiny but growing.

I have not made very much progress with planting out the bank with flowers. What has been planted is coming away nicely but there are still things to go in the ground to fill the gaps. Eventually there will be a retaining wall at the bottom to hold it all together! I'll post more photos as and when, hopefully this will look a lot prettier in the spring!

I also have not yet planted out my tulip bulbs..these will be going into pots. However I have had them in the fridge to give them an artificial winter! Hopefully they will do OK if I get on to it and put them in pots soon!

Last but by no means least, the piggies are growing well. They love 2 main things so far as I can tell... FOOD! (of course) and MUD..(of which there is no shortage..!):


Paola said...

Glad to read you are getting better. The wind continues to blow here too - electricity hanging in there!
Thanks for the lime cake recipe - we have plenty of limes looking for a use, so I'll have a go at this one.

Maa said...

Glad to hear you're starting to feel 'normal' again. Getting a winter virus takes some getting over, doesn't it? So good to hear that your back is healing too.
I love that pic of the cute! Maa.

Cabbage Tree Farm said...

Hi Paola
Hope you enjoy the cake. I might try making it in my ring tin next time as the centre was not 100% cooked (did not stop us from eating it however!)

Hi Maa
Nice to hear from you. Yes those pigs are cute, they eat loads!

Dr Mum said...

Wild windy weather in the Blue Mountains as well. 5 days without electricity but well stocked woodshed.
Declared Natural disaster area as so many big pines got uprooted. One fell on the train!. Nobody hurt.
Love the new piggies.