Baking, Foody things, Uncategorized

Pumpkin pie recipe

I was asked on instagram to share my pumpkin pie recipe and as it’s a family favourite I thought it would be a good one to add to the blog.I’ve been thinking recently I’d like to publish the blog one day to pass the recipes and story if our journey down to our kids when they are older.I love using sweet pumpkins for our pumpkin pie so home grown varieties are usually better but any old pumpkin will do.You can either boil the pumpkin to make a pulp or roast. Either way will be delicious!Pumpkin pie recipePastryI use a basic shortcrust but you could use whatever you favourite recipe is

  • 2 CUPS (300G) PLAIN (ALL-PURPOSE) FLOUR
  • 145G BUTTER
  • 2–3 TABLESPOONS ICED WATER
  1. Process the flour and butter in a food processor or using your fingers until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs., add enough iced water to form a smooth dough. Knead very lightly then wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  2. When ready to use, roll out on a lightly floured surface until 3mm (1/8 in) thick.

To bake blind – to produce a crisp tart shell ready to be filled with wet ingredients – top the pastry-lined tart tin or tins with a piece of non-stick baking paper that extends past the edge of the tin. Fill with pastry weights or uncooked rice or beans. Place on a baking tray and bake in a preheated 180°C (350°F) oven for 10 minutes. Remove the weights and paper and bake for a further 5 minutes or until the pastry is golden

Pie filling1&1/2 cups pureed pumpkin
1/2c sugar of choice2/3cup milk powder2 eggs1teaspoon cinnamon1/2tsp ginger1/4 tsp ground cloves1/4tsp nutmeg1/2cup creamMethodMix all the ingredients together until smooth. If mix is too stiff add a little water.Pour into prepared our crust and bake at 180C for 40minutes or until mix is giggly and not sloppyLeave to cool then complete cooling in fridge to set.Enjoy!

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Winter

Winter has come fast and fierce but still we are not getting enough rain. Part of me is thankful as it means it’s easier to get outside and get jobs done but the other last is worried for our water supply and what summer will bring.

The days are very short herein winter. It’s pitch black and freezing until 7:30 when it’s still freezing but we can at least see.

We still need to get out and get the animals jobs done but the kids opt more often than not to stay inside until midday when it warms up a bit. By 3pm it’s getting dark and cold again and we need to go back out and lock everything up for the night. It gets tedious but as we feel it flying by I know it won’t be for long.

We’ve been doing lots about the property my bit of landscaping for the kids area is nearly finished and I think I’ll have just enough of the oak chip from the fallen tree to finish it.

Next will be the sandpit and I’m debating building a pallet sandpit over the natural rocks because the high winds here will blow the tarp away and the cats will definitely poop in it!

The young pullets have all started laying again and we’ve forgiven the chickens for the Two months we had to buy eggs. We’ll be looking in to getting our egg stamp so we can sell excess eggs and hopefully make the chickens self sufficient by using the money for their feed.

The pigs are getting huge and we are looking forward to turning that area into garden. The butcher will be here late July just in time for us to get garden beds ready for spring.

Dane’s been working hard at getting a little barn fixed up for our rabbit program.

The doe we were given a few months ago is due and our other doe we’ve just joined with our buck. He’s got a rare cyst developed in his eye that the vet will remove but with advice that they will likely grow back so we’ve had to move the breeding forward just in case we loose him.

Today we for some jobs around the property knocked over . Getting the burn piles done and bringing up old tyres for a landscaping project. Again I longed for a woodchipper but that’s something that will need to wait a while.

Anyways that’s all for now we are keeping well, happy and healthy!

home learning

Home education projects

I’ve been doing lots of reading about natural learning and unschooling to understand more how children learn. We are eclectic homeschoolers so we do a little of everything some Waldorf, some sit down learning. Sometimes I use curriculums for guidance but largely we are life learners.

I’ve started writing down all the areas we’ve covered over a week and this enables me to really see how much we accomplish which I find great for those moments of doubt that we ‘aren’t doing enough’ (which every home educator has!)

I’ve found in some areas our children are way ahead of where they would be in school and others not so much but I remind myself that children in schools are also at many different levels but forced to learn as their peers so learning at home enables us to let them learn when they are ready.

Recently the children and I built a climbing frame out of materials we found around the property, some nails and a hammer.

We are planning to start some seeds in the spring to climb up the frame so it can double as a little shaded cubby.

Slowly we’ve all been landscaping the children’s area off the deck and it’s really become a wonderful family project that isn’t costing us anything!

Home education has been a wonderful extension of our natural and attachment parenting values.

We do it alone without family support due to living in separate states and At times it’s been a huge challenge we’ve felt stressed and exhausted from never having a break from our kids but we have pushed through and grown as parents and people.

We are lucky to have a wonderful diverse community of fellow home educators and we live in a state and area where it’s widely accepted so this has been a huge blessing for us.

At the end of the day we feel blessed to be able to spend this valuable tome with our young children and it truly is a core part of our homesteading lifestyle choice.

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Autumn Equinox

We are past the Autumn equinox now and the days are a muddle of hot then cold. We are still resisting putting the fire on for the cold days but are aware that our woodpiles need to be doubled to get through the cold Tasmanian winters.

I haven’t been posting much in social media recently as I’m trying to focus my energy in family and creating crochet and felt items for the big market I’m having a stall at in July.

I’ve also been socialising far too much knowing soon we’ll all start hibernating and not go out so much.

I do love Autumn in Tasmania we still get some lovely warm days , there’s still tomatoes galore in the garden and plenty of things to forage.

My main focus in the garden now is the tomatoes trying to decide if we pull them up and plant out our brassicas and winter veg.

It’s coming to our one year anniversary here and if you know our story when we moved to this rental Banjo was in a Spica cast and not working. Sometimes much has happened this last year with Embers birth that I feel this year we will put lots of good energy into the place.

We recently got a British giant Doe from littletassieprepper.com and we are planning to fix up a little shed and make a area for her and our Angora buck. They will be separate but have access to get to know each other before breeding time.

Our landlord has also given us permission to get dairy goats so we are busy making plans to do fencing work. I’ve wanted goats for the longest time and I am really looking forward to this next step.

We are getting prepared to pack down our two beehives for winter and will be having help from Tasmanian natural beekeeper Ronnie. She is a wealth of knowledge and I’m looking forward to hearing her advice.

Other than that we plod along. I’m looking forward to slowing down, making plans for the next year.

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Wholemeal honey cake recipe

I’ve been meaning to share this for a while. In fact I’ve got about ten mentally prepared blog posts waiting!

This honey cake was one I took to a friends gathering a few weeks back and we loved it so much I knew I needed to write down the recipe before I forget!

I adapted this from the River cottage everyday cookbook recipe. There’s only slight changes I use less sugar and instead of almonds on top I used pimentos and served with home made ricotta. If you want the original recipe I highly recommend buying Hughs book as there’s lots of really great recipes in it.

Honey Wholemeal cake

Ingredients

300g butter – I use salted and don’t add extra salt to the batter

4 eggs

80g brown sugar

150g wholemeal flour

2tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp bicarb soda

150g ground almonds

50g pimentos (or almond flakes, walnuts ect)

4 tablespoons Honey

Method

Preheat oven to 180C

Grease your cake pan. I use a round springform pan but whatever you have on hand is fine. I save my butter wrappers to use for greasing and baking

Put softened butter and sugar into a bowl and cream together then beat in eggs one at a time and add a spoonful of flour with each egg

Fold in ground almonds then add in remaining flour ,baking powder and bicarb. You can sift it if you want a lighter cake.

Scrape the mix into your prepared pan and bake in the oven for 35-40mins or when the knife comes out clean

Take from oven and while the cake is hot poke holes all through the cake with a skewer and drizzle honey over.

When cake is cool top with ricotta and pimentos then drizzle extra honey over the top.

Enjoy!

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Tasmanian Bush fires

We’ll we’ve had quite a unplanned adventure the last few weeks when we really would have rather been in the garden!

Dane had been working long hours at the orchards while I was holding fort with the kids at home. We were both so exhausted and barely able to say two words to each other before falling asleep of the evening.

I remember putting Banjo our 4 year old to bed one night when there was a huge bang of thunder.

Thunder storms are unusual in our part of the world and this one was powerful. We saw lightening strike at the end of our street then all was quiet.

The next morning we noticed smoke and checked the fire site online to discover the lightening had started several fires across the state and a fire at the end of our street.

Luckily they got the fire on our street under control fairly quickly, The kids loved seeing the helicopter fly low over the paddocks and put their siren on for them.

Quickly we went back to our normal routine of work, kids and chaos not knowing what the next weeks would bring.

We were excited when Dane finally had three days off and had lots of plans to do garden and bee jobs.

One of the Fires in the Tahune wilderness had grown larger so we vaguely kept a eye on the TFS alert page and listened to the radio for any changes.

We spent the morning collecting chamomile to harvest and I noticed I had lots of messages. When I checked I saw we had been upgraded to emergency level and advised to leave the area.

Our next few hours were spent wrangling chickens, packing essentials and listening to the fire news which was sounding ominous and saying the fire was quickly growing.

Eventually that afternoon we got to the evacuation centre where we slept 2 nights inside and 3 out in a tent we borrowed from friends.

It was very stressful being away from home but it showed us how special our community is. We made new friends in the evacuation centre and had lots of offers of help from friends which we really appreciated.

We are now back home and while the fire keeps burning , we remain on advice warning and the sound of the helicopters send us ridged. The smoke has cleared and we feel safe to get back to business.

We feel very lucky we could come home. We are devastated for the wild life but the firefighters did a amazing job preventing any human lives being lost and few homes destroyed. We feel for those who lost their homes many being uninsured artists who’d built their place with love not money.

The process has taught us a lot the importance of being prepared. The importance of community and also what in our lives is important.

Foody things

Simple homemade ice cream and sweetened condensed milk recipe

It’s been really hot for Tasmania recently and I wanted to have a treat for their kids in the freezer. They can’t have commercial ice creams as Miss 6 reacts to additives and preservatives but I don’t want them to miss out on the childhood joy of summer ice creams.

Usually I make ice cream using a egg base but our chickens have been cunning recently and hiding the eggs so we don’t have as many on hand.

I make my own sweetened condensed milk so I decided to try a new simple no churn ice cream that worked out beautifully.

Making sweetened condensed milk is really simple you can do it in a blender, saucepan of just a bowl. I never buy cans anymore which cuts down on cost and waste.

Sweetened Condensed Milk

Ingredients

1C boiling water

55g butter or margarine

4C milk powder

1-2Cups sugar depending on desired sweetness

1. Add butter and boiling water to your blender or bowl and stir it blend until melted

2.add 1 cup Milk powder and 1 cup sugar at a time and mix/blend after adding continue until all ingredients are used up then pop into a sealed container and refrigerate

Simple icecream

We added lightly cooked fresh cherries to ours but you can add anything you like. Blue berries, caramel ect

Ingredients

  • 2C condensed milk
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Pour ingredients together in a bowl and whip until thick and making patterns

Pour into bread pan lined with baking paper or similar vessel add your extras and swirl around

Freeze for 4hours and enjoy!