Here’s the reason for the title…a little something for you to do if you can’t be bothered reading all of the post. See if you can’t find the self proclaimed “Wally” 😉
Remember how I was going to have a spare post knocked up and how I was going to be behind the 8 ball this week and get everything done and dusted and have time to spare up my sleeve? Well I don’t know how I was expecting to do that to be honest. It would appear that narf7 runs on different time to winter. Winter seems to have sped up when I started to slow down and I find myself wondering how someone who gets up at 3am can’t get her act together. I think the positive thing to do in this case is to see just what we HAVE managed to accomplish…maybe not…maybe that would be depressing… I did offload 6 trailer loads of horse poo and we have 1 more that Steve has very kindly volunteered to offload after he finished chain sawing some more firewood. We have a guarantee of a trailer load of fresh horse manure roughly once a fortnight now and I have plans to set up a composting station a slight distance away from the garden so that we can produce mountains of the stuff for our needs. You can never have enough bags, shoes or compost girls.
This is a batch of homemade soymilk made from Australian organic soybeans. I know it looks like a nice mug of cappuccino or a lovely latte but that’s because I have been furiously whisking in date paste for the intended recipients (my kefir grains) to enjoy at their leisure. I make a batch of this every 3 – 4 days solely for the kefir grains. I make oat and almond milk for using in my tea and for using with cereal
You would probably think that 6 trailer loads of horse dung would be enough for anyone but not the Pimblett’s of Serendipity Farm…no SIR! We have found a constant supply of horse dung and this will be the first of many trailer loads to come. Composting…here we come!
This is a duck. It appears to be hunting for something edible in some sawdust. She is looking somewhat dishevelled in this photo because she has just been floating around on top of a boat/pond full of pond slime. Can you see any algae on her? Neither can I!
I think I have tamed the beast known as Pinterest. It had me by the short and curlies for a week but then I managed to wrestle it back into its corner where it has regrouped and decided to play nice. We have reached a degree of compromise in our relationship where Pinterest agrees not to possess my every waking hour and I agree to feed it a steady diet of pins in my early morning RSS Feed Reading frenzy. It seems to be working and I have started to attract lots of followers for my boards. I like to hunt down weird and wonderful recipes and processes and I guess other people like that as well. I have found some really interesting things out from other people’s Pinterest boards and so count this addiction as at least somewhat worthwhile.
Earl guarding his wood futures
Earl supervising me breaking eggs to make a rich orange custard yesterday to make rich orange (and chocolate) ice-cream today
Big Yin and a few of his harem doing their level best to dig up ALL of the mulch in the garden under the deck
One of the recipes that I found online wasn’t really a recipe per-se, it was more a process. Overnight oats might be commonplace to a lot of you but to narf7 they represented a twofold bonus to the age old story “what to have for breakfast”. In the hotter months I was having an iced green smoothie every morning and it worked amazingly well until winter crept up and took my desire for green icecream away. I had to come up with something that didn’t put me instantly to sleep at 9am in the morning as porridge tends to do that to me. I had tried buckwheat but aside from feeling like I ate a bag full of lead sinkers I didn’t really fancy the semi-mucilaginous texture of the ground cooked groats and so I decided to try to incorporate some of my non-dairy kefir as it was starting to take over the fridge and needed to be used. I put some rolled oats into a bowl and added a hefty slug of non-dairy kefir. I then added some cinnamon, ground ginger and a couple of tablespoons extra of date paste. I am not entirely sure what I have created in the non-dairy kefir realms. I know that it is alive because it produces gas at an alarming rate, not only in its container, but in whosoever decides to drink it (read “me”). I also know that it keeps on feeding when I put it into its storage container after removing the grains and replacing them in more non-dairy milk.
You know that $1.97 whisk I was talking about in my last post? Here it is! Actually being used to stir some orange zest into cream and milk and sugar to be scalded on the stove to make this…
This is rich orange custard ready to be put into the fridge overnight to be turned into ice-cream (this morning)
Milk Chocolate Mousse chocolate chopped and ready to add to the custard churning in the ice-cream machine once it has finished churning
I put the bowl of oaty kefir in the fridge and went to bed. I took it out when I got up at 3am the next morning and placed it on the bread proofing rack over Brunhilda to allow it to warm up a bit and get bubbling. After we walked the dogs we headed back home and I sat down to a most unusual breakfast. If I was pressed to describe it I would have to say it has a decided alcoholic tang to it. Consider it oats and vodka, the ideal breakfast to fortify a bolshie narf7 well into her day. The addition of date paste gave it a nice sweetness and I can think of all sorts of additions that would fortify it more. Today I didn’t put it into the fridge; I just let it burble away all night on the counter. I have done this before when using kefir and sourdough starter to activate flour overnight for a sourdough chocolate cake recipe I occasionally make but I figured that the warmer room temperature would allow the kefir to work its tenderising magic on the oats and I was right. I really like the results and my new loin-girding cereal of choice will remain my overnight oaty goodness till it warms up enough for me to jump back into the icy pond of green smoothies.
Here’s the custard after it has decided to turn into ice-cream and just before I stirred the chopped chocolate into it
Orange ice-cream RULES!
It’s amazing how willing certain creatures are to share when delicious ice-cream is at stake
Talking about icy green ponds, we noticed that ducky has been frequenting her old boat-pond again. We know she has because floating around on top of the green gungy water are duck feathers. I don’t know how she doesn’t look like something from the black lagoon, perhaps she has a symbiotic relationship with the pond slime that involves her spreading it to every watery body on Serendipity Farm (which I seriously believe…) whilst she remains gunge free. She now thinks that she is one of the chooks and follows Yin around like his henchman. A procession of hens and roosters and crowing and wily egg hiding has progressed ever since we started letting them out of their large enclosure again. The eggs (should we ever be able to find them again) have magnificent orange yolks in them courtesy of the hens desire to defoliate anything tasty and green and it is nice to have eggs spare to share with friends and relatives. Steve found another nest today but now that it has been sprung, the hens will stop laying there. We are well aware that the next stage of hen savvy is to start laying eggs in the blackberry infested lower garden where we don’t go. If that’s the case (and sadly, it is inevitable) we are due to have an infestation of small chickens in about 3 weeks. Steve and I have decided that should that occur, they are just going to have to survive the feral cats on their own. We have more than enough chooks here (anyone want some…seriously…anyone?) and won’t be locking wayfaring hens in enclosures, feeding anything special feed or trying to contain creatures that are featherbrained at the best of times. Wyandottes DON’T make good mums folks so if you find yourself in receipt of a flock of them, DON’T LET THEM BREED!
It might be cold outside but it’s a dog’s life inside…
The dogs have their own chairs (Earls is a small 2 seater couch) right next to Brunhilda where they can bask away the day after their morning walk
Earl enjoying his sofa all to himself
Bezial relaxing in style…note the crossed back legs
If any small chicks survive it will be because they have a fearsome mother. Bob is fearsome, Houdini is fearsome and one of Effel Dookarks daughters is fearsome. I get the feeling that if Pingu had babies she would be the most fearsome of all but at the moment she doesn’t seem to have any inclination to go clucky. Bezial loves coming out with me in the mornings to release the hens and Yin from their enclosure and feed them some bread and kitchen scraps. He eagerly awaits them flying out of the coop and although most of them are completely terrified of him he wanders around amongst them trying to sniff them. The only hen that isn’t scared of him is Pingu. She and Bezial knew each other when she lived in Steve’s music room as a small rescued chick. He used to be allowed to sniff her gently and he remembers her and waits for her at the door. When she trots past him (all the others are cowering in the coop) he follows her and they walk along together until Pingu finds some of the strewn bread and scraps. Earl stands with Steve while Bezial and I let the chooks out. Earl has to be kept on a lead at all times because Earls excitement towards chooks isn’t benign like Bezials. Earl was born to hunt and chooks would appear to be something that Earl would LOVE to hunt and he isn’t going to be given the opportunity.
Steve decided to add his interpretation to the current “Dark Mofo” winter solstice “experience” currently going on in Hobart. We had the sky whale for 3 days and today it was in Launceston. Steve decided to take some shots of some of the old graves in the Auld Kirk Church. Our property is to the right of and the rear of this photograph
This grave is from the 1850’s contains 5 – 6 people
Isn’t this grave lovely?
the smaller grave next to this one contains the wife of the man in the ostentatious grave
A close-up of some lichen on one of the graves
Lichen grows very quickly on the gravestones in the Auld Kirk Church. Must be all the fresh sea air
The mornings are a whole lot colder since the winter solstice kicked in. The morning after the 21st was bitterly cold and despite being rugged up so that I resembled a buoy bobbing around in the ocean I was still cold. I learned that fingerless mitts do not do the job when you are out in 0C walking the dog and decided to wear both gloves AND the fingerless mitts…you can never have enough bags, shoes or finger accoutrements when it’s freezing out there. We heard that it is predicted to be a bumper snow season this year and if the extended winter conditions in the north are echoed here in the south we might be in for a long cold winter. I actually love the cold. I love the crisp and clean quality of the air and how everything seems more focussed.
We watch the fog heading down the river to Launceston and then back out to sea each morning. It rarely rises up the hill to Serendipity Farm but it certainly makes for a pretty photo
Steve’s fried rice from Thursday nights evening meal
Just in case you couldn’t see it…HERE IS STEVE’S FRIED RICE FROM THURSDAY NIGHT’S EVENING MEAL (that was for the hard of understanding 😉 )
It’s 2.47pm and I am up to my armpits in cooking. Yesterday I decided that I was going to make something interesting for Steve’s evening meal. He fancied “Indian” but aside from that I had free range. I like to challenge myself and so I made a vegetable curry rich with spices, coconut cream and tomato flavour, some crispy oven roasted potatoes tossed in a spice mix that I made myself based on finely ground tomato powder from our own home grown dehydrated tomatoes and some ground beef patties that I made with homemade sourdough breadcrumbs and rather than replicating any of the flavours in the other two dishes I decided to grind some dried kefir lime leaves to a powder to add to the beef. Steve loved his meal and really loved the kefir lime flavour in his beef patties. We only used half of the patty mix so the rest is now in the freezer for another meal, there are 3 extra portions of veggie curry in the freezer and quite a lot of the spice mix that I created for the potatoes left for another day. This morning we turned a rich creamy Serendipity Farm egg laden orange custard into delicious icecream and hurled in some chopped up chocolate mousse milk chocolate to gild the lily. Ever since then I have been flat out preparing today’s extravaganza…
Biscuits and a kefir date loaf keep Steve and the dogs happy for a few days
Today Steve is having a Stromboli. Nothing new there, he has one pretty much once a fortnight, but tonight he is also going to have a narf7 creation of a “Roly-poly tiger Stromboli”. I had originally thought about making a sweet version of a Stromboli. The dough is wonderful to work with and very elastic and so tonight I decided to float the boat and have a go at making a sweet one. My idea encompasses making 2 half versions of Stromboli dough. One has orange juice, orange zest, extra sugar and the regular ingredients. The other has sifted cocoa and has been made with milk. Once the dough’s rise I will cut each portion in thirds and will then form the thirds into strips, join the strips together alternating brown and yellow/orange and when I have finally formed what I am hoping will be stripy dough, I will be able to fill it with the enormous quantity of toffeed apples that I made earlier today and some chopped dates. They I can roll it all up and tuck in the ends slice it through and sprinkle the top with cinnamon sugar and bake it. Then I can start on the main Stromboli…Anyone getting the idea that I am a bit behind the pump today? 😉
At the risk of quoting one of our not so squeaky clean bearded aging entertainers “can you guess where he is yet?”… can you spot the wally? Click on the image and check him out in all of his glory and marvel at his camouflage ability! That house in the background is Frank’s home and Steve is over in the churchyard cutting up a large wattle tree that fell from our property over the fence into the church. You gotta love him don’t you? 😉
I think I might stop there folks, I had to kick Steve off the P.C. to work with my schedule. I had 5 minutes to add this little bit to my post and I am just about to head back to mix my dough and set it to prove. Then I can feed the dogs, cut up and prepare everything needed for the savoury Stromboli and set it aside for when it is needed and get the dough started. Steve is waiting to get back to playing his guitar with some tab he found online and I feel a bit like I am chasing my tail. Have a great weekend. I am going to do sweet NOTHING tomorrow. Steve might get poached eggs for tomorrow night’s evening meal or he might get toasted sandwiches or he might get leftovers. Either way it won’t be anything strenuous because I think I might read…or research…or pin…or lie on the floor and look at the Daddy Long Leg spiders careening about fighting for territory. I most certainly WON’T be doing anything productive and you can wager money on that! See you Wednesday folks; I will share photos of the Roly-poly tiger Stromboli then. If it doesn’t turn out I will share photos of narf7 going ballistic so either way you will get some form of entertaining images on Wednesday :o). By the way…my money is on the bolshie Daddy Long Legs who has decided to cohabit with Bernard and Manny our Javanese Finches if you are looking for a tip…