Uncategorized

Homemade crumpets

The weather has turned and now we are out of town we need to be more motivated to have creative breakfasts ready for the morning.

For years I’ve been attempting to perfect crumpets at home and have tried a variety of recipes that always ended up more like English muffins until I found this recipe from Marj Conners in Tennant Creek NT in a old issue of grassroots magazine.

I swapped out the store bought yeast for sourdough starter and combined the sourdough starter and flour the night before and added the rest of the ingredients the following morning. I’ve found the best way to cook them is in butter and they do take some patience but once cooked they can be stored in the fridge or frozen and reheated in the toaster.

Crumpets

Ingredients

4 level teaspoons dry yeast (or a cup of sourdough starter)

1/2 Tsp Sugar

1/2 cup warm water

4 Cups plain flour

1 tbsp Bi carb soda

1 tablespoon Cream of Tartar (I used Baking powder)

1 Tsp Sugar

3 Cups water hot enough to make bicarb bubble
Method

Mix together instant Yeast , 1/2 tsp Sugar and warm water to activate yeast in a small bowl add flour

(If making sourdough do this part the night before with starter do the next part the following morning. If you are using instant yeast do the next part right away)

Add remaining ingredients and stir until it is pouring consistency.

Grease a heavy pan – I use butter and do not use egg rings as Marj suggested in her original recipe but it’s up to you .

Pour desired amount of batter into pan that is on high heat.

Wait for Crumpets to get a lot of holes on top and brown on the base then turn down heat until the top is mostly dry on top.

Now you can choose to flip them over but I prefer not too as it keeps them softer and more crumpet like.

remove to plate and start the next one.

They do take time so best to cook on a slow morning!

Enjoy!

Uncategorized

Autumns nearly over

It’s been a long long time between posts and honestly life has been full of change and challenges.

We decided not to move to the North East in Tasmania at this stage. It was a wonderful opportunity but we were unsure it would work out with us being able to invest financially as we had been told by banks even with a deposit we may not be able to borrow much if at all as Ds work is classed as seasonal and we have 2 (almost 3) dependants.

Another reason was we really feel connected to the Huon Valley area and have a good support system here so felt this is where we need to be to welcome our new baby. Although the Huon valley is highly expensive to buy we’ve been lucky enough to find a long term small farm rental where we can live comfortably and use the land until we can one day afford our own land.

We moved over Easter which was very challenging as young Banjo had broken his femur 3 weeks before the move and was in a hip spika cast. For those of you that don’t know what that is it’s a cast that goes over both legs and up his torso so he was completely immobile. It is also very heavy so being in my third trimester of pregnancy I was advised not to lift him and D had to leave work to help care for him.

He has now been out of the cast a few weeks and things are slowly improving he went from crawling around to standing supported and I saw now running, jumping and keeping us on edge.

We have the new challenge at this house with growing our vegetables as now we are closer to the bush we have hundreds of critters roaming about at night.

Our biggest wake up call was last night when after weeks of hard work repairing the orchard net and building veg beds for our winter seedlings we forgot to shut the gate after planting. This morning we rose to find all the seedlings ripped out chewed and fresh possum skat around. We both feel pretty silly and can only blame ourselves especially having first learnt to grow vegetables in the Blue mountains which was possum paradise!

The weather is definitely cooling down and we’ve been doing lots of baking and enjoying these last days as a family of four. Everyone is ready for the new baby and the next chapter of family life.

We don’t know what the future will bring but for now we are warm, safe and secure that feels pretty lucky in the current housing climate of Tasmania.

Baking, Foody things

Zucchini Moussaka

I’ve been encouraged by friends recently so not give up on blogging and specifically to share more recipes.

So here I am to do just that!

We’ve been very busy here this summer with fruit on abundance. The veg garden hasn’t been great despite the good weather and I suspect poor pollination and less bees due to neighbors spraying poison. I wish people would realise the harm they are doing to the environment especially now there’s so much research out there.

Anyway we were blessed with one very large zucchini and as this is the first year I haven’t got to this point and started loathing seeing them in the garden, I thought we should honour it.

I based this recipe on Stephanie Alexander’s recipe for zucchini parmigiana but added mince to get my iron levels up. It’s very basic and a delicious way to get through your glut.

The mince could easily be switched for lentils for a vegetarian options.

Zucchini Moussaka

Ingredients

1 large zucchini

3 eggs

Flour

Onion

Garlic

500g mince

Tin tomatoes

Tomato paste

Worcestershire sauce

Cheese grated

Method

Make sauce

Dice onion and mince garlic, cook until onion is clear, add mince until browned, add tomatoes, 1 tablespoon tomato paste and Worcestershire sauce cook for 10 minutes then switch off.

Zucchini

Slice zucchini dip each piece in flour then egg and fry in oil put aside

When all cooked start layering zucchini, sauce, cheese until you get to the top.

Once layered bake in the oven at 170C for 25 mins

Enjoy with a garden salad!

Homesteading, News, Uncategorized

Summer 2018

Well once again the blog has fallen on the back burner and I apologise. I find it difficult these days with two small children ,homeschooling,  two little businesses and D working full time to keep up with everything and I’m probably most active on Instagram if you like to keep up to date with us.

Summer has been busy with lots of visitors from the mainland , lots of work and lots of delicious produce. We’ve not had the best luck with the garden this summer everything seems to be growing very slowly despite the good weather. There is a young wallaby hiding in the garden which we haven’t managed to flush out yet. I know its in there as I find its gigantic scats through the garden as well as my young cucumber seedlings being nibbled.

I think the garden can feel our energies shifting from it as we prepare to move. We haven’t found somewhere yet but with our lease ending two weeks after our new baby is due we are constantly searching for the right place. It is hard in the valley at the moment with long term pet friendly rentals scarce and cheap properties to buy even scarcer. This area has become really popular since we moved down and things get snapped up very quickly.

To keep myself distracted I’ve been enjoying all the delicious summer produce available locally. We have had a really amazing cherry season with local orchards having more than they can deal with and selling fill your own buckets for $5! The Stone fruit orchards had sun dribbling peaches and the blueberries are also abundant. A friend and I have started up a preserving group where women come together to preserve the harvest while the children play and form their own tribes.

The first meeting was small but we did peaches in bottles, Jam and wine. Next we will be buying local cucumbers and others will be bringing their own produce. I’ve decided not to preserve at the next one but instead I’ll be on hand to chop and help newbies. I’ve got lots frozen in the freezer now that plums have come into season and I will slowly be doing a preserve a day. Today was Plum and vanilla bean jam and Apricot Jam from our trees. Jam seems to be what we go through the most as the children love it with yogurt but I also need to get creative and replenish our sauce stocks. I am hoping we get a good crop of tomatoes and I long for the day I can have a polytunnel to increase our growing season.

Until next time

Anne

Fermenting, Uncategorized

Cherries – Sour cherry cider recipe

We have been very spoilt this year with a wonderful cherry season. It wasn’t looking good at first as our ill positioned tree lost all its fruit to bad weather and birds but our neighbors trees, the wild trees and the local orchards are thriving. My friend and neighbour who’s fruit I regularly pilfer in return for preserves gave the call out for me to come help myself to Cherries. I picked as much as I could possibly close to 20kg but the trees were still laden!

D and I spent the next few nights painfully pitting them to freeze and use in preserves so I will slowly be sharing my recipes over the next few weeks. We have so far picked them, Fermented them in a Salsa and made a batch of jam. There will be even more cherries coming our way soon and with the frozen ones and these I plan to bottle cherry pie filling and do some experiments. I’ve also been doing some simple country ciders with the wild sour cherries we have been picking.

Sour Cherry Cider

This is a very simple recipe I make this up in a 5 litre food grade bucket with a muslin close and rubber band to secure it.

I used

500g sour cherries pits squeezed out and squished in the bucket

to this I added 4 Cups of sugar and 1 litre of boiling water. I stir until the sugar is dissolved then top up the bucket with luke warm water before adding the cider yeast. I add 2 tsp but it depends on the brand you are using so just follow the directions on your yeast packet.

I pop the Muslin cloth on and take it to my fermenting spot where I leave it for 3 days

after three days I scoop the cherries out and then leave it another week. Then I bottle it and leave it 2 days to carbonate before putting it in the fridge.

You can drink it whenever you wish but it’s best to leave it 6 months to a year to mature but if you are like me you won’t be able to wait! Luckily this time I’m pregnant so I won’t be enjoying any of this batch until next summer!

 

Homesteading, Preserving

Rose petal Jam

I first made this Jam last year. I didn’t use a recipe and experimented but this year I wrote it down to share so I can find it next year! Unfortunately I haven’t managed to figure out how to make this in larger batches as its a very delicate jam and I don’t want to compromise the flavour which is like Turkish delight in a jar. Because of this it’s a really special jam in our family and we live to make rose jam tarts with whipped cream in the winter. 

Recipe 

I fill my basket with the most fragrant and darker coloured roses in the garden. Measured out it’s about three compacted cups. 

I put the rose petals in a pot with two cups of boiling water. Simmer until the petals have almost list colour then add two cups of sugar and one squeezed lemon. 

When sugar has dissolved I added 11/2 teaspoons of powdered pectin. 

I then bring to boil and reduce to medium boiling until it reaches desired consistency. This Jam sets a bit more like a jelly with the use of pectin. If you prefer a syrup for ice cream or cordials omit the pectin and do not boil as long. 
Enjoy

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Vanillekranse recipe and book review

I love recipe books especially when they are written by farmers and homesteaders. My most recent library borrow was local is lovely by Sophie Hansen who is a venison farmer in central west NSW. The book has lots of homely easy to follow recipes gathered from other farmers mostly from the central west nsw. There was a big sense of nostalgia reading this book as we lived in the area before moving to Tasmania and I recognised some of the local farms. 

We’ve been trying out lots of recipes from the book and so far the favourite has been Vanillekranse which the children really enjoyed making with the piping bag. The result is a buttery biscuit similar to shortbread. The recipe makes quite a lot so they would make wonderful Christmas gifts so snacks for days!