Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Spelt bread

Our good friend H is here on a visit and very kindly sought out and purchased some organic spelt flour, with which I made this loaf today:

She found me the recipe - here - and it was very easy and quick to prepare. I used my preheated pyrex glass casserole dish in place of a tin as this had previously worked well when I tried it for some rye sourdough. I made half the quantity in this recipe to get just the one loaf, since the spelt flour is expensive and this was my first attempt at this recipe.

The bread rose quite well and was quite light in texture, with a distinct nutty flavour. Sliced thinly with some carrot hummus, cold organic herb and garlic beef sausage, with a little cheese and tomato, we agreed it made a delicious sandwich.

We both wondered if  a yeast-based recipe would yield a less 'holey' texture, or maybe I just needed to mix the dry ingredients much more. In any case, it was certainly a very tasty loaf and quite a success. Do you use spelt flour for your bread making and if so what recipes work for you?

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

An award!

Kirsten over at The Happy Larder has kindly nominated my blog for the Liebster Award. Sorry it has taken me so long to post on this Kirsten!


I'm very flattered to receive this award, especially since I've not been the greatest at posting very regularly for a while!

As part of the conditions of accepting the reward I need to divulge 11 random facts about myself.
Here goes.

1. I once dug up a hand grenade in my parents back garden.
2. My hair has been all sorts of different colours including pink and purple from my punk days.
3. I closely avoided being attacked by monkeys in India.
4. I was nearly run off the road in Thailand while on a motorbike.
5. I do NOT enjoy white water rafting!
6. Before emigrating to NZ I seriously considered moving to Saudi Arabia.
7. If I came into some money I would consider starting up my own bakery or cake shop.
8. If I had more free time I would bake my own bread daily.
9. I really like all things steampunk.
10. I'm an ex-registered nurse.
11. I currently work as a caregiver at the local rest (nursing) home.

Kirsten has also asked me 11 questions which I will endeavour to answer below:

Why do you blog? Partly to keep a record of the goings on at Cabbage Tree Farm (CTF), partly to share my various culinary/gardening/crafting attempts.

What makes you happy? My son and husband, spending time with and sharing good food with friends and family, going for bush walks, pottering in the garden.

Marmite - love it or hate it (or don't know it)? Not a big fan, I prefer Vegemite but am dubious about what it's made from so don't buy it anymore.

What was your first pet? A yellow labrador.

Starter or dessert? Dessert!

If you could have a superpower, what would it be? To be able to fly.

Red wine or white wine? White.

Running or cycling? Running..on occasion..

Are you left-handed or right-handed? Right

Would you describe yourself as an optimist or pessimist (and why)? Truthfully a little on the down side although I kid myself I'm not!

What is your favourite fruit?This is a hard one but raspberries are probably tops.

 Now I have to nominate 11 blogs for the same award. To be honest I haven't had time to check out many blogs lately, but I will spend some time doing this ASAP and put them in a new post. When I do I will have 11 questions for them to answer. Can't promise it will be this week however, have a few other 'pots on the boil' so to speak!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Time for some baking

I think when we were away on holiday I had withdrawal symptoms from not being able to bake! Probably not such a bad thing considering expanding waistlines and all.. however, there are 2 hungry boys in the house who are always looking through my kitchen cupboards for "something to munch on"..!

I spotted this recipe via Pinterest and felt it needed sampling, so last night I gave it a go.

As you can see I also made a few muffins (6 to be exact) as there was a little too much mixture to use in my loaf tin. A lovely sweet treat (and it is pretty sweet because of the additional lemon icing/frosting on top).

Today I made something else I've been keen to try out, pretzels.

I followed this recipe but I didn't make the cheese sauce. Very nice bread rolls, quite large though, so next time I might make 10 smaller pretzels instead of 8 whoppers. While surfing the net to find out how to twist the pretzels I came across this interesting post on You Tube.. ENJOY!

Needless to say my efforts took considerably longer than 3.5 seconds! But I guess practice really does make perfect.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Tall white Japanese lily

Towering lily plant
Close up of the flowers
Just thought I'd post some photos of this self sown Japanese lily (also known as an Easter lily, but since it comes from Japan why not call it a Japanese lily?). Yes that's right, self sown. I left it to grow since it was in an unused planter (which used to hold my frangipani before I split it into 2). It is really tall as you can guess from the photo with our water tank behind, almost 2m in the pot. While the lillies have no scent, they do look lovely. And they self seed readily, requiring almost no care - an ideal plant for me!

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Some South Island photos for your enjoyment

Akaroa Harbour

Moeraki boulders (yep it was high tide!)
Looking across Foveaux straight to Stewart Island from Riverton, Southland

Dramatic Milford Sound (actually it's a fiord - carved out by a glacier)

One of many spectacular rivers in the Fiordland National Park

Beech forest and mountains

Beautiful Lake Wanaka

D enjoying the crystal clear water at the Blue Pools, Makarora River, Haast Pass

One of many waterfalls

Fox Glacier

Mt Cook/Aoraki

Ka Roimata o Hine Hukatere (Franz Josef Glacier)

Mahitahi (Bruce Bay) South Westland - where rimu forest meets the coast

Spectacular bridge along the Arthur's Pass road

Hops in sunny Motueka, near Nelson
Hope you enjoyed viewing these photos!

Monday, February 4, 2013

Abducted by aliens?

OK so I've been offline for a while.........and you were probably wondering why..

no, I wasn't actually abducted by aliens (so far as I know!). We were on holiday in the beautiful South Island (photos to come).

Meanwhile, this is what happens when you leave scallopini (patty pan) squash to their own devices......!

Giant scallopini sqush
It weighed in at a staggering 1.7kgs! Yes we did eat it although it wasn't particularly tasty! I stuffed it with a mix of spicy mince, rice, tomatoes and cheese, and the chickens got our (substantial) leftovers.

Has been incredibly dry for weeks but we've had a little rain overnight and drizzle today. The sweetcorn in the above picture are nice and ripe.