The confessions of a self-absorbed hierophant

Hi All,

I made it! I managed to stay up till after 12 for the very first time in years! Steve and I stumbled out of bed at 5am so that he could go fishing and I could get my very first post of 2013 up and running. It’s amazing how hung over you can feel without even having a drink ;). I have had a most interesting few days. In preparation for my 2013 ethos (I like to have a goal and a theme 😉 ) I have been “doing” lots of things. I want to be a better (read less lazy) cook this year and create a lot more “from scratch” things. I want to hone my skills this year so you can expect a lot more tutorial type posts and interesting recipes…at least photos of what we cooked. I made Steve a savoury pithivier the other day and rather than use milk to make the base sauce, I used white wine. It was delicious apparently and the leftovers got recycled into a huge quiche the next day using zucchini, our own eggs (14 of them…we have 9 dozen to get through and rising!) and some of our spinach. I want to become more organised and condense my processes down and get Serendipity Farms cycles integrated better this year. We are composting everything that can possibly be composted and it is amazing how something turns from a problem into an asset with a little bit of knowledge. Finding ways to effect positive change on a shoestring is what warms the cockles of my little penniless hippy heart. I found out an incredible amount of information last year and stashed it away for future use. I learned how to make hugelkultur gardens, how to ferment, how to grow a sourdough (even though Herman is still in cryogenic stasis as I type those words…) and how to do all sorts of things from scratch bypassing the consumer dollar in the process. We spend our money locally as much as we can and have stopped buying supermarket meat in favour of our local butcher Nigel from “Nigel’s gourmet on Tamar”…he didn’t give me anything to plug his business there folks…his quality produce was all that needed me to laud him and there are so many small primary businesses out there that could use a bit of a capital injection from we the public. The supermarkets are insidiously replacing all of the branded products on their shelves with their “own labels” to maximise their profit margins. Check out the back of these products and take note that they are not supporting Aussie farmers in their endeavour to rule the Australian consumer dollar…they are importing cheap foods from goodness only knows where and packaging them here in Australia to try to make them look better. Don’t support them if you have any other option…even penniless student hippies can choose to shake their moth eaten sock into their open hands to the benefit of Australian producers.

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The quiche of a million eggs for your perusal!

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Here is a photo that Steve took from his aluminium coracle whilst pootling around on the river the other day. If you look REALLY closely (or if you click the photo and make it bigger…) you might just be able to make out what that red blob is up on that deck…its me! Our house is only really visible from this position in the river and from here you can see The Auld Kirk Church, Steve’s shed and our house and those rocks in the foreground actually belong to Redwood island which Steve is conveniently anchored near to give you a bit of perspective. All of those trees are pretty much ours and the area in front of the house used to be landscaped and terraced garden…not any MORE it isn’t! 😉

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These tyres contain the entirety of a packet of seed that we were given to us by the funeral directors back in 2010 at my fathers funeral. At the time Serendipity Farm was in no condition to broadcaste seed around but we found this packet the other day and decided that our veggie garden needed some flowers to confuse the predatory insects and so Steve built this little tyre garden while I was away at my daughters house. As you can see there is a plethora of possibility here in this tyre…not being an annual person myself, I have no idea what these little green babies are (hopefully not weeds!) but whatever they are they can at least get to see the light of day from their packet and act as little first defence soldiers in the war of integrated pest management

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My little Moringa oleifera that I have been gestating in the glasshouse that will eventually be planted on Serendipity Farm

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The fecundity of the well fortified old compost heap…

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This is an old beer can…one of the cluckies who had been hunkering down for over a month in the new chook pen (before it was a new chook pen to be exact!) was actually sitting on it. I bravely checked under her and was duly repelled with great gusto and all for this remnant of my dad and his drinking buddies…sigh…

I have some dried fruit soaking in the last of the Christmas rum ready to make boozy Eccles cakes for Steve today. Steve has been steadily working his way through the Christmas booze because he wants to give his liver a bit of a rest for lent this year and wanted to start early ;). When we were taking the dogs for a walk up the highway the other day I found a tiny little metal spoon bowl that had become separated from its handle. I have NO idea how it got to be on the side of the road but I picked it up and we brought it back home and Steve make it a handle out of a Serendipitous twig and took a bit of adventitious rust off it and now it sits proudly in the cutlery draw, given a new life by someone who saw it’s intrinsic value. Steve has managed to get on top of the list of spoons that needed to be made and I even got a massive great Spoondle (a cross between a spoon and a ladle). He got creative for Roz’s spoon and decided to make a cross between a wooden spoon and a spatula…the Spatuloon is born! I love that we can both make spoons. The end results are startlingly different and entirely personalised to our own view of the wood that we are working with. I also love that the small pieces of wood that Steve cuts his spoons out of get recycled into small spoons and the remainder get bagged up ready for fire lighting futures. The sawdust gets swept up and bagged as well to use for odour control in my indoor compost bucket and for increasing the suite of organisms in our compost heap. By the way folks…add all sorts of things to your compost…add leaves and broken up twigs from all sorts of plants and trees and tip your beer can dregs into your compost bucket… they all add something exciting and new to your compost brew and make for adventurous growing seasons and who doesn’t love to see what amazing fungi grow out of their compost heap! I know that composting will never be the same for me after opening up the compost bin at Polytechnic in my very first compost turning event and seeing fungi mycelium threaded right down through the compost pile…the fecundity of it all excited me along with the cycles and processes that were initiated by what went into that compost and got me wanting to grow my own fungus…I LOVE fungi :o).  Earl has been getting restless whenever his snout manages to get within sniffing distance of the bowl of walnuts in Steve’s music room…he has personally asked us to do another spoon draw so that he can reintroduce his questing nose into that bowl full of walnuts as he loves to crack them in half and leave them lying around for foolish barefoot hippies to find… another spoon draw is on the horizon folks :o)

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Pinky my dear younger sister’s new spoon in its finished but raw state…

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If you can take your eyes off that spiders web in the top left hand corner for a bit, you will notice that the spoon is now a different colour. It has been rubbed with Eco-oil, a natural food safe blend of orange and tung oil that gives wood a lovely lustre and enhances its natural beauty

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You can tell that these hands belong to Steve…firstly by the hairy arms and secondly by the long fingernails…murphy’s law states that all guitarists must grow their fingernails at an exponential rate because fingernails get in the way of playing…

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This is my Spadle…its huge and pot ready and I can’t wait to wave it about like excalibur over my head when diving into cauldrons of bubbling harvest futures

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A selection of wooden spoons that Steve has made since he decided to become “The Spoonman”

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Earl wistfully prodding the walnuts with his nose

Not long after I found the little spoon bowl on our recent walk I noticed a large tree growing on the road verge and my horticultural bones started to twitch…”Steve…I think that might be a chestnut tree!”…my horticulture spidey senses were on full alert and indeed it WAS a chestnut tree! I haven’t seen an adult chestnut tree in flower and it was a very interesting thing to behold. The flowers are long and pendulous and have a very “interesting” fragrance…not entirely pleasant but my guess is (assisted by the clouds of flies and beetles covering the tree) that they are not aiming at bees and butterflies to pollinate them. I could see tiny chestnuts forming on the ends of the branches and another free food source has been isolated. I am definitely going to plant some chestnut trees out now. If they will grow on a road verge with no outside source of irrigation they are definitely a tree for Serendipity Farm. As we were walking back to our car I noticed a red clover (Trifolium pratense) plant growing in the gravel on the side of the road…again my horticultural senses twitched because deep in the over clogged information highway of my mind something put 2 and 2 together and came up with “bonus!”…I did a bit of research when I got home about red clover because I hauled the red clover plant out of its desert gravel pit and put it into one of our incredibly useful dog dung bags (we use them for horticultural purposes more than their intended use!) and it is sitting in the laundry sink happily bathing its toes in fresh water as I type this. My ethos is “never let a chance go by” and I am glad that I didn’t because this baby had a HUGE root system and because it was covered in seed ready to broadcast if it was worth cultivating. It’s always a good sign if your query results in 2 results lauding the health benefits of said red clover before you get to the Wikipedia entry and apparently I learned something in my horticultural endeavours because I found out that red clover has been used for centuries as a metabolic diuretic, an expectorant and a blood purifier. It contains lots of nutrients and phytoestrogens to balance hormonal activities and is being researched for its uses as a natural treatment for cancer, menopausal symptoms and skin disorders. It makes a pleasant cup of herbal tea and 1 – 2 tsp of dried flowers infused in 1 cup of boiling water for 15 – 30 minutes is all it takes to add this delightful natural remedy into your diet. See what a bit of knowledge can give you? I am going to spread the clover all over the place on Serendipity Farm…I am going to infuse the “lawn” with it, I hope to attract bees from all over the place by having a lot of it growing here. Knowledge is power of the highest degree and the kind of power that this freely sourced knowledge can give you is immensely empowering to those of us living on a shoestring

Trifolium pratense red clover

This is a lovely stock photo of red clover…MUCH better than I could take for you so you can acutally identify it in the wild using this shot

Pirate Ship

I am hoping that I can sneak this photo by the internet trolls… I am going to give full kudos to The Examiner our local rag for this shot. Its of the pirate ship that I talked about not so long ago and a Melbourne man built it from scratch and has been sailing it around since Christmas… I don’t know about pirate but at $5 a person to take a sneak peak on board, he might just be rolling in dubloons by the end of the season!

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Here is what the little found spoon looked like after I extracted it from the pocket of my jeans

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Here it is resting on the twig that I picked to be its new handle

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And here is what it looks like now after a bit of a clean up and a nice new twiggy handle 🙂

We are off to take some rubbish to the tip tomorrow. I have a plethora of amazing books to pick up from the local library as it opens again on January 2nd and Nigel slaters complete back catalogue appears to have landed in my request box ;). We try to combine as many things as we can into a single trip and tomorrow (today really but I typed this yesterday 😉 ) we will be walking the boys in Exeter, heading up to the tip and perusing the tip shop for any hardwood that we can find including floor boards to make spoons and spatulas with, going to the local op shop to see if anything new has arrived and picking up my weights worth of free books from the library. I don’t know why more people don’t take advantage of the library. I know it is easier to just buy a book but when funds are tight, it’s not an option and when time is an asset that you have plenty of, typing out the best recipes from a good cookbook isn’t an issue and if you run out of time you can just request it again :o). I have a wonderful selection of books at the moment ranging from vegan cookbooks by the iconic Isa Chandra Moskowitz, a vegan pioneer who has, along with her good friend Terry Hope Romero, dragged vegan food kicking and screaming out of the “too hard” box and directly into the oncoming path of mainstream society. I purchased “Vegan cupcakes take over the world” in a selection of vegan cookbooks from the U.S. a few years ago and now we have “Vegan pie in the sky” (on my desk waiting to be typed out) and “Vegan cookies invade your cookie jar” is waiting for me to pick it up tomorrow…I get very excited whenever I get near the library. It’s a knowledge thing…a fundamental ingredient in my makeup that gives me a “good dog!” pat on the head whenever I head into that hallowed hall of literature and I never cease to amaze myself at how greedy I can be when it comes to books. I never have a spare space on my library card of 15 allowed books and regularly use my dear non-literary husband’s library card to shamelessly hog 15 more books. I can never hope to get through all of them in my allotted 3 weeks but whatchagonnado eh? 😉

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You wanted pictures of the veggie garden…you GET pictures of the veggie garden…this is the view from the house side of the veggie gardens…

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And this is the view from the other side…that blue tarpaulin still has some of the organic compost underneath it waiting to be used to fill duckies old boatpond and used as a raised herb garden

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Some of the rainbow chard that I cut to give to the chooks surrounded by sage and cucumbers and snow peas

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3 different kinds of zucchini, some chives, some snow peas, some cucumbers and a rustic attempt at allowing the cucumbers to go viral

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English spinach, beetroot, sage, cucumbers and those exponentially grow-before-your-eyes zucchini plants

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The spinach and beetroot bed…beetroot leaves are delicious by the way and every bit as good as silverbeet

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Looking back towards the corn and silverbeet

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Tomato mania! I am standing up taking this photo and you can see how crazy they have gone!

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A bed full of lettuce, rocket (going to seed but still tasty), capsicums (peppers), jalapeno chilli’s and more! I think you will all agree that our summer veggie garden experiment appears to be paying off 🙂

I think I may have stumbled onto the next greatest thing in vegan cooking…I am saying this because I know that Hannah, the vegan degustatory equivalent of Albert Einstein reads my blog posts…I hope you are reading this one Hannah because I am sharing my new found secret passion with you right here…right now. I LOVE cheese…I love it with a passion rivalled only by my love for potatoes (and butter…and bread…and…well you get the picture!) and I have sorely missed that cheesy flavour since I went over to the bright side of the street where the vegans hang out in the hipster side of town… it was one of the main reasons that I stuck steadfastly to my vegetarian past and stubbornly refused to cross that dairy free line. Eggs…no problem…cheese and butter “NOOOO!” but cross I did for health reasons and here I am still lusting after that deep cheesy flavour that comes from well-aged cheddar and I haven’t found a vegan alternative yet. I do love the taste of aged nut cheeses and I like vegan homemade yoghurt but the nut cheeses are expensive to make and while I was staying with my daughters they introduced me to something revolutionary that gave me back my cheesy hit without any effort on my part…magic! We had a complete weekend of cooking; we made homemade pizza and 12 different Korean recipes and Asian sago pudding and delicious icecream and all sorts of things. The girls had cheese on their pizza along with all sorts of weird things. They like to experiment with their food and often take recipes to their limits in the process. They have all sorts of unusual multicultural ingredients in their home and as they are going through an Asian phase at the moment they had purchased lots of Asian products in tins and jars to experiment with. Apparently my youngest daughter Bethany had bought a jar of Chilli bamboo shoots on a whim and after opening the jar and trying them she didn’t like them and the jar had remained on their fridge shelf gathering the fridge equivalent of dust for a while. When we were considering what to put on my vegan pizza Madeline (my eldest daughter) said “why don’t you put some of those chilli bamboo shoots on it?”…never one to shirk my duty to try new things I agreed and thus was born my newfound addiction to these wonderful fermented little shreds of vegan cheesy happiness. They taste almost identical to aged vintage cheese. If you don’t believe me Hannah, head down to your nearest Asian food store and buy a jar of Double Coins Chili Bamboo Shoots and see for yourself. I know you are a very innovative girl and are not averse to trying new things and I am sure that you will be able to integrate them into some of your wonderful vegan recipes…time to start a new trend Hannah and you will be right there at the beginning :o). Don’t say that I am not a generous blogger :o). I just let Earl (who likes to stand up and give me a kiss when I am typing on a regular basis) a sniff of the chili bamboo shoots and he started licking his lips and attempting to insert his doggy tongue into my precious jar of cheesy vegetable goodness…Earl is a cheese fan of old…I rest my case!

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Here it is Hannah…it might not look very promising but these fermented little strips of pure cheesy flavoured goodness were enough to lure Earl to attempt to stick his nose into the top of the jar and Earl is a true cheese afficionado of old! Check them out and let me know if you don’t agree that these shards of vegetabley goodness are not a craze waiting to happen 🙂

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We sprayed the roosters past wishbones and were going to thread them together to make a garland for the Christmas Tree but completely forgot them and so they will have to be this year’s project. We are going to spray some of them red and some gold over the top of the green but we only had green spray paint at the time…

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The end result of an experiment to see what happens if you dehydrate a whole raw egg…what happens is that you get something surreal that the dogs ate with gusto!

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A quick mercy trip to deliver a fridge to my daughters resulted in an impromptu trip to Launceston. I took lots of photos and will share them with you over the next few posts as this post is crammed to bursting! I just wanted to share this one with you to show you how pretty Launceston is 🙂

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The genius of street art…what is it? Not sure, but it does resemble my 5am face should I ever be foolish enough to look in the mirror at that unGodly hour!

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This is OBVIOUSLY the next fashion trend for the season…Steve and I will be sure to embrace it fully the next time that we visit…

So much for me cutting my post size down for 2013! I guess you have to work at “resolutions” don’t you? You can’t just expect to go cold turkey on your muses right up…I hereby give you 300 less words this post! I expect lavish applause and multiple congratulations for that… (Good luck getting me to repeat it 😉 ). See you on Saturday and have an amazing rest of the week my wonderful dear constant readers :o)

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17 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. rabidlittlehippy
    Jan 02, 2013 @ 19:39:32

    Oh I wish I could take some of those eggs! I am desperately awaiting our Dorkings reaching point of lay and hoping that Mandy, our biggest duck starts to lay soon too. I’ve read conflicting advice on when she will start.

    The spoons, spadles and all other variety of stirring apparatus made by you both are gorgeous. I am waving a biodynamic pasture-fed steak or 3 in the direction of Earl. Good dog!

    Red clover is brilliant stuff. I have a huge jar of it dried in my pantry. It’s also good for helping with depression. I drink organic nettle, red clover, chamomile and sometimes with oat straw too, tea and it’s great. The nettle (good old fashioned stinging nettle) is one of those “nasty little weeds” with INCREDIBLE goodness hidden behind its public image. Nettle tea is pretty much a supertonic and chock a block full of goodness. The red clover also helps tone down the rather potent “grassy” taste of the nettle. It sweetens it but I reckon that’s just any remaining nectar left in the flowers that the bees missed. 🙂

    I have a horty kind of question for you too. Reading about your chestnut tree (I heard them called cheskernutters once btw and it kind of stuck) anyway, my question is pertaining to soap nuts. I am planning to start washing using these little beauties but my only concern with them and it is a big one, is that they are imported from Nepal or India and so carry a LOT of carbon miles. I have some in my laundry that haven’t been used at all to wash clothes and wondered what you think about trying to sprout them? Where do I even start?

    Loving the upcycled spoon too. Yet again, your innovation amazes and inspires me. ANd I adore your veggie gardens, love the compost spuds and well jealous of your marties, although mine are already looking healthier after their treatment of blood and bone 2 days ago. Reckon it might be too soon to start bottling them yet though. 😉

    Loving the loquacious posts so I’m glad to see you haven’t shortened it by too much. Keep up the good work and already I eagerly await Saturdays post. 😀

    Reply

    • narf77
      Jan 03, 2013 @ 04:47:12

      As I was just about to hit the “publish” button last night I actually had a look at how many words were in the post after I had labelled the photos and there were 3600+! Sigh…I guess start out like you mean to finish up ;). I need to get some blood and bone as well. Mum always swore by it as well as Sulphate of potash (her go-to product for fruit and veggie production). I don’t know much about soapnuts but did find this post on how to grow them so it shouldn’t be too hard, just remember to give them a good nick with a sharp knife to scarify them because they apparently have a pretty thick husk. Unless they have been severely damaged to get them to the “washing” stage, I would imagine it would be quite easy to sprout them. Most tropical things will start out well…it’s just keeping them growing that might be the problem. Here’s that link…
      http://exeterra.blogspot.com.au/2007/08/how-to-grow-soap-nut-trees.html
      Our lettuces have just about gone to seed and the green ones are starting to suffer from a severe lack of interest and a complete dearth of being thinned out but the chooks are loving the slimy ones so I guess everyone is sharing in the harvest including the wallabies who have learned to push the netting to get to the tomato leaves (and flowers) and more to the point, to every single one of my purple king beans and most of my kale :(…If the boys actually ate wallaby and didn’t turn up their noses at it the local wallabies might be considered as less vermin and more dog food but in the spirit of learning to live in harmony with “the locals” I am going to be starting to plan and plant out my edible food forest this year. I have been collecting cherry plums from around the district. I figure a nice big row of them at the front of the house and one at the back would give the possums something to think about prior to lobbing up here like hungry hippos…a bit like taking the boys for a walk to calm them down…a possum is always up for a free meal ;). I seem to have so much blog fodder at the moment! I am halfway through my next post and that was before I posted last nights one! I think it is summer and the growing season and the time of year all rolled into one. It will be great when you get your internet connected. We had to wait for 8 weeks here and it was torture for me because I am online all the time thanks to my insatiable need to know everything about everything ;). We were initially told that we couldn’t get the net here from Telstra (can you begin to imagine my horror!) but then managed to get ADSL through Dodo of all people! Have a great rest of the week in your wonderful new home and see you Saturday 🙂 (By the way Earl says “Show me the money…SHOW ME THE MONEY!” 😉

      Reply

      • rabidlittlehippy
        Jan 03, 2013 @ 17:26:22

        I was checking out that link – thanks! Then did a little more research and found this http://corporate.greenandnutty.com.au/?q=node/67 which, now that I’ve seen it means I kind of can’t grow one should I even locate a seed. Bummer 😦
        And tell Earl that should he pick my walnut the goods will be forthcoming. No spoon for me? No biodynamic steak for him! 😛

      • narf77
        Jan 04, 2013 @ 05:21:12

        Earl is as bolshie as his mistress…he takes bribery as being a carrot on a stick for the masses…steak should be freely available for EVERYONE! Oops…you might have to backtrack there a bit…you never know how these bolshie dogs will react! ;)…bummer about the soap nut. My thought on the matter is that they wouldn’t do very well in your part of the state anyway (too much frost)

      • rabidlittlehippy
        Jan 04, 2013 @ 19:29:05

        You’re probably right but it’s something I would have liked to discover for myself iykwim. Ah well, I can always grow soapwort. 😉

  2. Pinky
    Jan 02, 2013 @ 23:00:23

    Hi Fronkii. Glad you like those chilli water chestnuts but i’m never going to give up my cracker barrel aged chedder! You cannot have a toasted ham and cheese sandwich with the cheese all melty and have it replaced by a chestnut! Though it would be interesting to also add it to the toastie for extra crunch. Why dont you try it with your vegan cheese (minus ham!) and have a tomato and vegan cheese AND chilli water chestnut toastie? Loving your garden guys! It is well and truly in the picture of health and looks terrific. Cant wait to see, feel and smell the spoon. I love your little twiggy spoon too. Looks much happier with its bottom re-attached 😉

    Reply

    • narf77
      Jan 03, 2013 @ 04:55:11

      Hannah is a vegan cookbook writer (I know…famous people are reading my blog…SQUEE!) who writes amazing and inovative cookbooks and who also happens to be a really nice person. I wanted to share the cheesiness of the bamboo shoots with her so that she might be able to turn them into something amazing. If someone out there turned fermented tofu into vegan blue cheese alternative then Hannah can do her vegan magic with the humble fermented chilli bamboo shoots and it might be the next vegan cheeze craze…you would be amazed at what vegans will do for a hit of cheezy goodness ;). I agree with you…the little spoon looked much happier 🙂 Your spoon will be wending it’s merry way to you next monday (payday). Steve has started to get very creative with some oak wood that we found on the side of the road a while back and is off on Monday to see a man who is leaving the state about some amazing craftwood that he wants to sell from all over the world…keep an eye on the blog because he might have some amazing spoons/spadles and spatuloons (and all sorts of other things) soon…he is even thinking of joining a woodworking group! I am really happy as he needs a hobby 🙂 Cheers about the garden, this year we are going all exponential on its ass and will be making a HUGE enclosure around it and a fair bit of “it” that isn’t even there yet…I am very excited about a new book by Jackie French that I found in the library and will share it in Saturday’s post see you then 🙂

      Reply

  3. brymnsons
    Jan 03, 2013 @ 00:41:37

    Wow what a vege garden and a half you have there! It was only a short time ago that it was just soil. Bet it tastes wonderful. I like the picture Steve took of your place on his pootlecraft, looks very peaceful. Great spoons, just lovely. I wish I could feel them, they tell their own story when you feel them. You will have to get some spoonerisms happening to go with you spoons 🙂

    Reply

    • narf77
      Jan 03, 2013 @ 05:00:14

      HA! Good joke girl 🙂 I spoonerise all the time (and spell badly but that…is another story! 😉 ). The tomatoes have run amok…that was just one bed of them! There is another one full of bush type tomatoes that may not be as tall but makes up for it by going “wide”. I don’t think that we will have to worry about tomatoes in the near future! The spoons look so much better “in the flesh” than they do in photos. They also feel amazing, just like you say, you need to feel them. I used my little newly finished oakwood measuring spoon and it felt like I was going all medieval on my flour :). There is something incredibly satisfying about using something functionally that was created by someone that you know. He is making me a small handy spatuloon out of oak as well. We have to dehydrate the finished product for a bit before he can finish it as it is still a bit green in the centre but a night in my dehydrator on low does the trick :). I made Steve a salad last night to go with his home made cheese and potato pie and despite not liking “green things” much, he ate it all and said it was delicious. You will soon be doing the very same thing and with the long growing season in W.A. you should be able to grow just about everything in your garden without having to worry about whether it will have time to ripen before winter drops like a ton of bricks on top of it and stops the ripening process BAM! Have a great rest of the week and see you on Saturday 🙂

      Reply

  4. Allotment adventures with Jean
    Jan 03, 2013 @ 01:05:41

    I am so impressed with your veggie garden Fran. You could feed an army with what you have growing there. And it looks so healthy.
    The spoon that you found ended up very pretty with its new handle. Just shows what you can do with a little wood and LOTS of talent.

    Reply

    • narf77
      Jan 03, 2013 @ 05:06:01

      Not so much talent Jean…just a strong determination to find something to do with what we find that will make it something that we want rather than “rubbish”. I have started cutting all of the cardboard and paper up into tiny little triangles to put into my compost bin as well. No more lazy throwing it out! Steve is really getting interested in spoon making and has actually phoned someone up about an ad he saw in a local shop window advertising craftwood for sale. The man has some Osage orange wood from Texas that is apparently yellow? Could be interesting :). It is the recycling and reusing potential of making our own that attracted us to it in the first place and even though Steve is ostensibly “fishing” when he goes out in his boat, I know that he is getting just as much out of pootling around and getting to know the shoreline from the other side. It’s really good for him to get some thinking time on his own and just pootle about letting nature give him a big salty hug :). This year is going to be a really proactive year…keep an eye out for the next spoon draw…people are already attempting to bribe Earl and he is counting his bribes on one paw 😉

      Reply

  5. brymnsons
    Jan 03, 2013 @ 08:13:14

    Remember that old movie “attack of the killer tomatoes”? It was so funny to watch. That might be you guys soon lol. You could train them to eat the possums 🙂 Sorry my lack of sleep has rendered me silly 😀

    Reply

  6. thinkingcowgirl
    Jan 03, 2013 @ 09:17:10

    The trees look dreamy, what an amazing place. Funny, my local town is called Launceston too and did you mention the river Tamar? That’s just down the road from me!

    Good on you for upcycling your found spoon, you’re an inspiration for us spoon buyers! Actually, I’ve been wanting a nice matching set of cutlery for years, I swore one day that I would have one. Don’t know why, just hankered after one. But every time I look in the drawer and see all the old mismatched stuff I lose the will to pension them off. 😉

    Reply

    • narf77
      Jan 04, 2013 @ 04:58:36

      Someone, somewhere, who was naming this part of the state got a bit homesick and saw a link between some of the towns and the river and we have Launceston, exeter and Sidmouth all in rough approximations of their original U.K. positions here in Tasmania. The Tamar River isn’t quite positioned in the same place but its close! We have a lot of Southern U.K. town names for this part of the state :). We like to repurpose whatever we can and we like to do our best to make our upcycle attractive. As my old nan would say… “If a job is worth doing, its worth doing well!” We inherited some cutlery from my father but it doesn’t suit us, or our ethos…I actually like the mismatched stuff…Steve and I are a bit flotsam and jetsam like and can associate ourselves with those odd little bits of cutlery with character 😉

      Reply

  7. christiok
    Jan 03, 2013 @ 14:40:48

    You’re becoming such an expert horticulturist, Fran! I’ve watched it over the few months I’ve been reading your blog, and you spy food and medicine everywhere. Very handy indeed! I also love the picture of Serendipity from Steve’s boat. Truly gorgeous. I think your zucchinis are the inflatable kind, eh? lol I also love your painted wishbones. We’re getting quite a pile now, too, and I might copy you. With spoonalicious love from Olalla. 🙂

    Reply

    • narf77
      Jan 03, 2013 @ 16:37:52

      Soon to be extra spoonalicious ;). I have just found a book that has completely opened my eyes about how to go about planting our edible food forest here on Serendipity Farm…it’s written by an Aussie for Australian conditions and usually food forest books are from Northern climates and are not really relevent to our conditions. It is going to be very interesting to see how it all works out 🙂

      Reply

    • narf77
      Jan 04, 2013 @ 05:15:10

      I can’t even remember if I have replied to this comment so I am going to reply anyway (perhaps in duplicate 😉 ). Forgive me, I was out in the garden planting out my red clover, laying potatoes that had gone to pot in my large round compost heap and spreading organic compost over them and then a thick layer of dried lawn clippings to see if we can’t get something out of them other than just “compost” and I was removing rope from some of the ex-fish farm netting so that we can surround our maples a bit better and protect them from the wallabies and put a bit of netting over the little mandarin tree that has fortuitously found itself inside the parameters of the new chook run and is getting watered and cossetted and seems to be somewhat possum free at the moment but we need to put something over it to stop the chooks from scaling its poor denuded branches and hightailing it out of the coop! I decided that rather than make New Years resolutions, I was going to get stuck into “doing”…so yesterday…I “did” :). The wishbones feel like plastic now! It’s really strange to heft them and see the colour and I am instantly transported back to my childhood to a game of plastic knucklebones that my grandmother gave us to play with to keep us amused…lightweight and colourful but they should look really pretty when we dremel a tiny hole in the thick bit at the apex and string them together. Feel free to copy me, I am just letting the bones talk to me ;). Another busy day ahead for us and a cyclone off the coast of Queensland is pushing some mighty hot air down to Tasmania and some gale force winds. Tucked away up the top here we tend not to get it so bad but poor Hobart is going to go from 24C to 38C today with massive winds and a HUGE fire risk. We are (hopefully) getting 28C and already had windy conditions yesterday. Might make some more spoons in the shed methinks! 🙂

      Reply

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