Using every bit of the metaphorical cow

Hi All,

Firstly, has anyone else out there noticed an increase in blog followers lately? Aside from the blog followers, are any of you experiencing a lot more spam making it through the spam filters for WordPress? Well I have been and so I went hunting to see what I could find. The reason I went hunting was that I am naturally nosey and I decided to see who my “new followers” actually were. It turns out that 6 of the last 10 blog followers are not actually bloggers. Several of them are blogs that show me how to make money out of blogging and the rest are either suspended blog accounts or remain unused. It turns out that this problem, as it IS a problem, has been surfacing on many blogs lately. It would seem spammers have worked out a new way to make revenue out of blogs and are exploiting a loophole where WordPress doesn’t allow bloggers to choose who follows them. A simple choice, like we get with comments, would solve the problem but apparently WordPress is loath to implement this change for some reason. At the moment all we can do is report these spam/faux blogs to WordPress. Here is a bit more information about the problem…

http://onecoolsitebloggingtips.com/2013/04/09/wordpress-com-follower-management/

From the site above I found a link where I headed over to a forum post specifically to do with spam followers…

http://en.forums.wordpress.com/topic/preventing-spammers-from-being-notified-of-new-posts/page/4?replies=83

If you have suddenly become incredibly popular in the last few months you may have picked up some spam hitchhikers but at the moment we just have to grin and bear them. The only option available to us is to report them to WordPress but as I said, WordPress is in mass denial mode and seem to want to divert the problem rather than deal with it. Let’s just hope that these faux followers are merely a nuisance rather than a problem waiting in the wings that WordPress simply can’t deal with.

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“Sorry? You want me to look dignified? Not today, I am too comfortable”

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A very large boat heading out to sea via the Tamar River

Now I can get back to the title of the post after sharing that with you. I think that everyone needs to know that the spammers are trying to get in the back door so to speak before heading side left into metaphorical cows et. Al. We all need to be more aware of food waste and we vegans can’t be smug in that arena. We might not end up with lots of grisly and gristly entrails dripping with gore when we choose to make our evening meal but we do end up with a whole lot of skins, pips and “other” that needs to be dealt with. We can compost our bits or we can often use some of them to feed domesticated animals (Earl and Bezial would like it to be known that they are NO-ONES domesticated animals and therefore point blank refuse to entertain the idea of eating our veggie and fruit scraps) but what about those skins that worms fear to taste like citrus skins and onion and garlic skins? What do we do with them? I am as guilty as the next person of surreptitiously tossing them into the rubbish bin salving my conscience with “they will biodegrade before I do!” but if everyone throws their peelings into the bin that’s a whole lot of waste on top of the waste that is more difficult to get rid of. What’s a conscientious environmentally aware person to do?

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After paring the white pith away from the zest they had to be covered with cold water and brought up to the boil

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Draining the peel after one of it’s simmering sessions

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After the final simmer in fresh water the peel is added back into the pan along with sugar and water

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Here the peel has taken on a translucent look and the syrup is thick. After checking that the syrup had reached 230F (the recipe was in “F”) I removed the pot from the heat and allowed it all to cool down for 30 minutes. The end results are a delicious way to preserve all of the harvest and minimise waste.

Well, let’s think of a clever way to reuse those problem peels. You can use pips and skin of citrus in marmalade. Save them in the freezer till you need them. You can also turn citrus skins into zest for all kinds of cooking purposes that you can freeze until needed or you can glace or candy the zest for cakes and decorations or just dipping into chocolate or sugar and eating. Here are a couple of links for anyone looking to have a go at minimising their own personal waste in the citrus area…

http://veena-cakesbakes.blogspot.com.au/2011/09/preserved-orange-peel.html

http://kitchenpreserve.com/candied-orange-peel/

http://daysontheclaise.blogspot.com.au/2012/01/preserved-orange-peel.html

http://scraplunchproject.blogspot.com.au/2013/04/preserved-orange-peel.html

The same principals can be used for all citrus zest, just make sure to get as much of the white pithy bit from the zest as you can because it makes the final product bitter. I am peeling some orange skins at the moment and just found out a small tip by good chance. I froze a lot of orange skins in a bag in the freezer and was adding them to the bag as I ate my oranges. The frozen (now thawed) orange skins are much easier to get the zest from than fresh orange peels so if you want to make a lot of preserved orange peel, it might take the edge off all of that pith removal. This next tip is specifically for lemon rinds and results in zest powder and the link after that is a spin on preserved lemons, using the preserved orange rinds to make a savoury ingredient. No waste, useable and desirable edibles and less landfill a win-win situation

http://chocolateandzucchini.com/archives/2010/06/roasted_lemon_zest_powder.php

http://scraplunchproject.blogspot.com.au/2013/04/preserved-orange-peel.html

The onion skins make a wonderful natural dye for egg shells and natural spun wool and combined with alum and other mordants you can get some pretty amazing colours out of the humble onion skin. See some of these links for some really useful information and sites…

http://pioneerthinking.com/crafts/natural-dyes

http://craftykatiegates.blogspot.com.au/

http://waysofthewhorl.wordpress.com/2011/04/06/natural-dyeing-take-2-onion-skins/

Anyone wanting to keep their own goats or sheep might want to head to that first blog where there is an extensive list of colours linked to particular plants. The second blog is now defunct but still there for us all to check out and this clever little cookie has managed to use some interesting things to dye skeins of wool including the humble black bean!

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My lovely new friand/financier pan courtesy of my wonderful daughters

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err…”Oops!” I always forget how powerful the vitamix is and this is what happened to my soaked skun almonds, they went straight from nut to paste!

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After sieving the paste through a fine mesh sieve to remove all of the lumps I decided to soldier on and hope for the best that almond paste would suffice for almond meal

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There’s quite a lot of butter in friand but what’s a slab of butter when something is delicious eh? 😉

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The end result, lovely rich, dense little cakes that taste wonderful

I have just been doing a bit of nosing around on a website that I previously pilfered a few tutorials and articles from but haven’t had time to revisit for a while. Jess, a.k.a. “Rabid” from http://rabidlittlehippy.wordpress.com/ and LyndaD from http://middleagedreflections.blogspot.com.au  reminded me what a valuable source of information this site actually is. I was trawling around and discovered this amazing woman. She built a log cabin on a waitress’s wages all on her own and then after losing it to a fire just after it was completed, she and her partner did it all over again! What an inspiration of a woman! Check out her story here and marvel at how this woman was able to overcome the odds and never EVER try to beat her willpower to succeed, methinks it must be diamond skinned!

http://www.dorothyainsworth.com/welcome.html that’s a lot of linkies in one post and I promise no more.

It’s now 4.24pm and suddenly it’s almost time to post this post and I have been phaffing around all day trying to animate teapots and kettles but realising that I am certainly NOT the I.T. Specialist in this family. The clucky who was sitting on eggs has hatched out 4 babies and despite being completely surrounded by feral cats as soon as they realised that there were 4 tasty little fluffy squeakies she still had 4 fluffy little babies. It would seem that her mother’s (Effel Doocark) uselessness with hatching out babies hasn’t passed down to this angry mother of a chook and she is ready to take ALL of the feral cats on at once! She attacked every single one that came close to her and is now sitting in the middle of a pile of grain that I tossed out for her on top of her fluffies and maybe…just maybe she might manage to keep all 4 babies but I am not investing myself in baby chicks anymore. The odds are against them folks and narf7 has no way to make those odds any better short of trapping all of the feral cats, driving them over the Batman bridge and hurling them out into the park on the other side along with the feral crazy man who emerges from his caravan to greet his day with a solid round of yelling each morning. Steve, the dogs and I get serenaded by his dulcet tones. Maybe he would like some cats to keep him company? At least he would have something to yell about then! 😉

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This is Steve’s latest batch of homemade ice cream. It’s rich vanilla bean ice cream with homemade creamy English fudge pieces

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The ice cream packed into a container and heading for the freezer

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My choko now looking like some sort of exotic mantis giving a speech

I have decided to take up knitting for relaxation. I don’t know how that is going to work out to be honest because whenever I get a knot the relaxation quotient of knitting is probably going to get a reworking but the other day I decided to head off and find a sound wav of a kettle boiling. A simple little sound wav that I could put into my next animation. The very first site that I clicked on was infected with a Trojan and instantly, so were we :o(. Steve was out so narfy, the technophobic luddite had to think her way out of the fact that AVG appears to be on the blink and not updating properly and was only managing to “contain” the virus and every 5 minutes I would get a pop-up warning telling me that I had 3 viruses all vying for my attention. After ascertaining that an AVG scan just wasn’t going to cut the mustard and realising that I had NO idea where Malware Bytes was situation on our computer any more (after the last virus went through the start menu got erased)… and as I was downloading Microsofts answer to Armageddon I suddenly realised that we had been contracting a lot of viruses lately, all from websites. AVG SHOULD be catching these viruses before they have a chance to invade Poland but apparently the free version no longer does a very good job. It would appear that “free” is something that WordPress and most internet security services no longer want to host.

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A tray of sausage rolls for Another one of Steve’s evening meals

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Finished and ready for mass consumption

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I had some milk kefir hanging about in the fridge and as neither Steve nor I use it I decided to put it to good use and make a cake. The cake recipe was for a buttermilk spice cake. The end result was incredibly moist and smelled wonderful. Being a spice cake this should mature nicely as well. I even made the icing sugar myself (from regular granulated sugar) in my vitamix.

It took 15 minutes to download the most excellent Microsoft malwares tool (from here should anyone out there find themselves up to their armpits in viruses with no-where to go…)…

http://www.microsoft.com/en-au/security/pc-security/malware-removal.aspx

After choosing “full scan” I was told that it was going to take over 2 hours…there went my morning of study! I spent the next 2 hours clicking “heal” on AVG every 5 minutes and knitting up a storm while I watched the monitor for those 5 minute pop-ups courtesy of Mr Virus and his host of minions, most persistent little buggers they are, so knitting was my only real option. I actually had fun! Once the malware removal tool had managed to find the 23 infected files and deal with them the PC was back to perfick and Mr Virus is going to have to wait till stupid narf7 plays Russian roulette again with wav sites…on second thoughts, I reckon I am going to record the sounds myself as then I am guaranteed virus free. It looks like we are going to have to pay for virus protection for the very first time. A sad but sorry indictment of the “free” software that is lagging behind and is going out of date faster than the viruses are replicating (lightning speed). As irritating as having a virus (or 23) was, there is a real danger that there are many people out there simply unaware that by clicking on a website you can become infected.

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As you can see I have some knitting in prime position next to the P.C. (and yes Sarah, that IS one of your glorious U.K. meadow shots blatantly pilfered and used as my desktop 😉 )

Well that’s Wednesday done and dusted folks. It’s getting later and I have to liberate Steve’s tea from the oven. Tonight he is having marinated tofu and oven baked Chinese rice. We had 3 blocks of tofu that need to be used up and so tonight is the night. Lucky Steve likes it really ;). See you next Wednesday folks. Steve is going to have a look at working out how to format the animations so that I can share them with you along with a few photos. Take note, this post is 800 words less than your usual doorstop and narf7 is honing her craft ;). Till Wednesday, Ciao :o)

Here are my last 3 animations. You will have to click on the links below because WordPress won’t allow imbedded content. Make sure to turn your speakers on because the last animation has sound.

http://s1101.photobucket.com/user/bezial27/media/BabooshkabeforeEase_zps58a0c4c6.mp4.html

http://s1101.photobucket.com/user/bezial27/media/FranWindmillTask_zpsdb06ed8d.mp4.html

http://s1101.photobucket.com/user/bezial27/media/typeanim_zps2bd9c39b.mp4.html

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41 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. quarteracrelifestyle
    Jul 17, 2013 @ 18:52:38

    Ooohh, your food looks amazing, in particular the orange rinds (which I will try soon) and almond cakes.
    And thanks for the malware link, I need that.
    I have noticed more followers with no working blog and spammers. I do check if strangers comment because if you reply your email address come up in notification emails and that worries me a bit.
    Love your animation, clever girl!! I am technologically disadvantaged…opened a digital scrapbooking account the other day but can’t figure it out!

    Reply

  2. teawithhazel
    Jul 17, 2013 @ 19:19:00

    i just heave citrus peel and onion and garlic skins in the compost heap..i’ve had no complaints from the worms so far..

    i hope those little chickies survive the ferals..i’ve got a feral cat problem too and a crazy lady who feeds them..i’ve caught 5 so far and i’ve just set 2 traps this evening..when the crazy one sees the cages being delivered she yells at me that she hopes i have a car accident or that i die from eating the things growing in my garden..she’s also told me she’s put a curse on my children and me!

    love the look of all the goodies you’ve made..x

    Reply

  3. gardeningkiwi
    Jul 17, 2013 @ 19:27:48

    Hi Fran. I had to go and have a look at my followers and on the first 2 pages there were 4 dead blog sites and 2 trying to sell junk. All the rest were lovely people. I couldn’t be bothered looking at all the rest. I hope nothing bad comes from it.
    Others have had problems with their comments ending up in peoples spam folders even though they have commented regularly for yonks.
    You have way too many yummy cakes on your blog – suddenly I have a hankering for some cake. Hmmm cake….
    Cheers Sarah : o )

    Reply

    • narf77
      Jul 18, 2013 @ 02:44:47

      I have a frugal need not to waste all of that free heat that Brunhilda is pumping out 24/7 at the moment and as Steve keeps saying “I a only ONE man!” ;). I need a few more people to feed 🙂

      Reply

  4. Lynda
    Jul 17, 2013 @ 19:33:06

    You two are just to clever for the likes of me. Ice-cream, Friands from your own meal, knitting (im very challenged in this area), animation (i liked the skeleton one that i linked to), and IT guru’s to boot. Where will this stream of talent end or more the point, where will it take you?

    Reply

    • narf77
      Jul 18, 2013 @ 02:47:43

      No idea where it will take us Lynda as there are bugger all jobs in this state BUT we are trying to get multiskilled and “able” to do whatever we can when the need arises. We like to be prepared and useful :). The knitting was something that I did years ago and I can remember how to “knit” and “perl” but had forgotten how to cast off ;). We are more dabblers in everything, masters of none although Steve was a guitar teacher and is a lot better than average in that department. Steve is the IT guru, I am it’s humble slave 😦

      Reply

  5. Lynda
    Jul 17, 2013 @ 19:34:44

    Ooo, great tip about freezing the peel. I bet Jess would have like that one last week when she did all those oranges.

    Reply

    • narf77
      Jul 18, 2013 @ 02:48:25

      Don’t take the syrup too far though folks…pay attention to it and when it gets to the right temperature it’s ready. I have a gallon jar half full of set orange peel toffee! 😉

      Reply

  6. Jo
    Jul 17, 2013 @ 20:11:57

    Yummy spice cake.My favourite! I slice up whole lemons and dehydrate them, then blitz them into lemon powder. Reading this it occurred to me I could just dry the peel – it would be much quicker. I also LOVE the candied lemon peel. Must make me another batch. I make lemon cordial, then candied peel with all the skins. Dried citrus peel makes good fire starters, and makes your fire smell lovely!

    Reply

    • narf77
      Jul 18, 2013 @ 02:49:24

      I love putting a pan of skins in water on top of Brunhilda and not only does it smell gorgeous, but it adds a bit of the moisture that Brunhilda draws out of the room back in 🙂

      Reply

  7. rabidlittlehippy
    Jul 17, 2013 @ 21:07:46

    Well THAT just burst my bubble. All the new fllowers I have been getting and they’re just not real. Poo! 😦
    I am planning to compost my bulk peels as I want the highly acidic soil for growing my blueberries and hopefully cranberries in and I know that they will compost down but true the wormies aren’t fans. If they don’t compost too well I will just bung a few in the holes dug for the blueberries (when we get there, bury them with compost and then plant the blueberry bushes. Here’s hoping it works. They weren’t real nice skins to be honest, nothing like oranges one would see in the shops and covered in a fair amount of dirt and mud too. Definitely juicing and not eating oranges. As someone who’s never been a fan of peel, marmalade or any of those citrus edibles I will save any extras for Miss Anna. She munches on a few orange peels and banana peels which she enjoys and chews with relish to the best of her toothless ability. It’s recycling at its best. We can recycle most food things now – either the chooks or Anna can eat them. Pretty much just the bones that are left and you can actually compost them (although we don’t yet). And the leftover bones from making stock are soft enough to puree for the enjoyment and health of the cats. 🙂

    Kefir is also awesome for making pikelets and pancakes, replacing the sour milk. 🙂

    Love your animations by the way. Well done and I agree, your windmill is lovely. Keep up the good work. 🙂

    Reply

  8. Angela @ Canned Time
    Jul 18, 2013 @ 02:33:50

    Your citrus peals are really lovely. I’ve always wanted to try candied lemon or orange peels. I did create a orange oil cleaner last year with peels soaked in alcohol for a month or so. But I’ve never tried the candies. And those cakes are just yummy! Coming to DC anytime soon? You could pack one or two away for me……well, guess not but they’re gorgeous just the same. You are so creative and I love how you show us all you’re up to. My days are filled with driving, driving and then some more driving for my work. Much more interesting to read about you and your adventures Fran. Thanks for sharing with us 😉

    Reply

    • narf77
      Jul 18, 2013 @ 02:55:34

      Cheers Angela :). I am soaking peel in vinegar in the cupboard (in a jar! 😉 ) and our days border on the manic. I am a bit of a slave to my cultures and to processes that you need to keep up when you live out in the sticks like we do. Because I am vegan and a tightwad when it comes to paying for something I can make better myself I make all of my own non-dairy milks and cycle my kefir through various milks. It takes a bit of organisation but the processes are becoming habit now which is where they go from being something you have to think about to being instinct, a lot easier to manage then :). I am going to get Steve to pick me up some more chestnuts on the next shopping trip and am going to turn them into flour. I have a real desire to bake a chestnut cake as I adore chestnuts and feel like a bit of experimentation in that area. I just like messing around and seeing where I can go with the ingredients that are available to me. I am nowhere NEAR as inventive as you are though. Some of your recipes have me gobsmacked 🙂

      Reply

  9. christiok
    Jul 18, 2013 @ 04:31:21

    I’ve gotten a lot more followers recently, Fran, and I think you are right. I’m sure a chunk of them are spam. Bummer. Thanks for looking into it and spreading the truth. You are a woman of action. 🙂

    I make candied citrus peel every year for our Christmas fruitcakes! It makes all the difference. Even some fruitcake-haters, of which there are legion, like my fruitcake because of the citrus. It really tastes gooooood. We also put peels into our compost bin….

    Your animations rock. I love them all! And I can’t even fathom the computer stuff involved. I’m in awe. Really. You are good, Fran. And Steve. 🙂

    p.s. I have been in email correspondence with Hannah from http://www.bittersweetblog.com — thanks to your first connection with her and Linne’s help and direction — and am sending her some kefir grains! She lives in Connecticut, a state on the U.S. east coast. She’ll have her fix by the next week. lol
    p.p.s. your birthday box is in the mail! (3 weeks and counting) … including an Official Novelist Guidebook (heehee) You’ll see.

    Reply

    • narf77
      Jul 18, 2013 @ 04:58:30

      Thankyou VERY much in advance for my birthday box Christi, now I need to find out when YOUR birthday is and it might be time for a lovely Tas oak ladle methinks :). Hannah is a really lovely girl and has written some amazing vegan cookbooks. She is also an amazing photographer and I am in awe of her talents :). She will love your wonderful kefir. You are the kefir lady of the North 🙂 (is that like the good witch of the north? At least you won’t get squished come the revolution! 😉 ). I don’t know so much about being “good” with the animations. Steve has to tell me everything to do and I just come up with the artwork. Point in case, Steve is off collecting wood with friends and I decided to work on my latest animation. Not only did I pick up a virus in the first 2 minutes of logging on to look for a wav, but I then couldn’t make head nor tail of what I was supposed to do. It certainly reinforced who has the technological brains in this family ;). I think my kids got all of mine, “Go for it kids!” ;). I did try to ask my daughter to do my work yesterday when she phoned and she politely declined…oh well, back to the old drawing board! 😉 Lets just hope narf7 doesn’t get another half a days worth of irritating viruses in her innocent hunting for her studies (note I am talking in the third person, I feel a bit out of myself today 😉 )

      Reply

  10. dwayland
    Jul 18, 2013 @ 06:54:08

    Thanks much for the info & links. Good work. I make the roasted lemon peel powder often. I love it. You can also make your own cleaner by soaking peels in vinegar. In the winter here all my neighbors have citrus trees and give my the fruits of the labor. So, I’ve become creative in dealing with it. All parts of it! Your animations are very nice!
    I’m off to finish my sewing project. I made a lunch bag for my husband. Have a lovely day!

    Reply

    • narf77
      Jul 18, 2013 @ 11:51:53

      I wish I could sew. I think I might have caused my home economics (also sewing) teacher in high school to have a nervous breakdown 😦

      Reply

  11. Ally
    Jul 18, 2013 @ 09:16:26

    Thanks for the links- I’m up to speed now!
    I haven’t had this problem (yet?) on the blog but I have had some dodgy Twitter followers of the same ilk. If i suddenly get a big influx of followers, I will refrain from getting excited until I investigate further. 🙂

    Reply

    • narf77
      Jul 18, 2013 @ 11:52:36

      I was starting to think I had finally “made it” and saw that link and checked out my followers and a fair percentage of them are duds :(. Oh well…back to the drawing board! 😉

      Reply

  12. cathyandchucky
    Jul 18, 2013 @ 12:03:57

    Wonderful blog Fronkii. I think lemon and orange toffee slices are my new favorite junk food, save me some 😀 Also, halved orange and lemons hollowed out make very good slater and slug catchers in the garden. I’d still be composting the onion and garlic skins as they will break down over time.

    Reply

  13. foodnstuff
    Jul 18, 2013 @ 13:01:33

    Hi Fran, yeah, I’ve had a couple of new ‘unusual’ followers lately. Checked out their sites and seem to be rubbish and not at all interested in growing food. Didn’t know I couldn’t ‘delete’ them as followers, so thanks for the links to the WordPress forum on that. Have also had some dumb (spam) coments lately too, ‘dumb’ as in nothing to do with the original post. I always delete them and have recently set the blog to disallow comments on posts older than 30 days as most of the spam was on old posts anyway. What else can we do, though? People must have such empty lives–not like us, eh? 🙂

    Reply

    • narf77
      Jul 18, 2013 @ 17:56:48

      They make money out of spamming and it obviously pays well or they wouldn’t be doing it. I am pretty savvy in knowing who is spam and who isn’t but you should be able to delete “followers” who are obviously spammers. I reckon wordpress could care less about it as we are free bloggers and they don’t make any money out of us. I guess it’s up to us to be vigilant and at least learn about what the sods are up to 😉

      Reply

  14. brymnsons
    Jul 18, 2013 @ 19:13:31

    Those friands are looking great Fran. I love the regal photo of Earl lol. Just back from warmer climes and I am freeeeezing. Oh well toughen me up for Tassie lol.

    Reply

  15. thinkingcowgirl
    Jul 18, 2013 @ 20:50:16

    I’m now seriously wondering how we can get my friend over to you… I’m sure she’d love a trip to Tasmania…though she does have 2 dogs, and sorry I’m not about to volunteer to look after them! I love your dog pictures but we are just not compatible 😉

    I just throw pretty much everything in our ginormous heap and it all composts in the end. It’s like a long sausage….when I need some compost I start digging at one end, removing the top layer.

    Your cooking experiments are wonderful…I get hungry just looking at all those yummy things. I’m now beginning to think that you may be feeding it all to the feral cats… 😉 Now that I’ve gone a bit more veggie I am branching out somewhat. I made lentil and chickpea burgers last night, quite a success. I may even start looking for recipes in blog world!

    I will check out new followers. I’ve had a few but not loads…what I don’t understand is what they get out of it?

    Hahaha the sentence about your knitting had me in stitches (!) I was like that with the hose pipe today grrr.

    Reply

    • narf77
      Jul 19, 2013 @ 05:04:00

      Those lentil and chickpea burgers sound delish :). I could send Bezial and Earl over so you could babysit them with your friends dogs, I am SURE that you would have a great time ;). Remember, Earl needs at least a 5km walk a day or he eats the furniture…Bezials natural state is morose. I HATE hose pipes :(. We inherited some frankensteinian versions from my dad when we inherited the property and they might be 50 ft long but they are also prehistoric, full of leaks (and now duct tape) and prone to blowing out when you look at them. I get a lot of exercise (and blow off a lot of steam) by hurling them around yelling out expletives. Frank next door is probably taking out an injunction as we speak 😉

      Reply

  16. thinkingcowgirl
    Jul 18, 2013 @ 20:50:49

    Reply

    • narf77
      Jul 19, 2013 @ 05:08:58

      LOVE it! :). I think Barn the spoon has a few pounds on Steve at the moment but he catches up on the eye candy appeal with that sexy hat ;). Love the spoons. Gorgeousness in a rustic hat. Better get Steve back out into the shed and making. We haven’t had a spoon giveaway in a while…

      Reply

  17. Fig & Quince
    Jul 18, 2013 @ 21:26:00

    Gotta say, no spammer followers, at least none so far, but good to be aware of the potential problem. Like your orange peel tutorial. We (Iranians that is) make candied orange peels for one of our special mixed rices.

    Your choko is really taking on a rather dominant personality! Please continue updating, I’m very curious about its fate.

    Reply

    • narf77
      Jul 19, 2013 @ 05:10:53

      The weather has started to get a lot more mild and I might be able to plant it out in a big planter in the glasshouse. We can’t plant them out till after the last frosts as he won’t survive and he really looks like he wants to survive :). I must have overcooked my syrup as my orange peel in syrup is now a massive half gallon orange peel toffee :(. Not too sure how I am going to get it out of the jar it is in, maybe put it into hot water might do the trick…otherwise I will have to donate it to the giraffes at the zoo…I hear they have long tongues 😉

      Reply

  18. Hannah (BitterSweet)
    Jul 21, 2013 @ 11:52:59

    I candy orange peels all the time, but I had no idea you could do anything with onion skins! Now I feel so horribly wasteful for throwing out so many years of papery vegetable matter. I should have known, everything can be re-purposed and re-used. I wonder if I could use them to dye other materials, like cotton… That page of natural dye ideas is seriously inspiring. I’m always looking for more natural colors, so I want to try each and every one!

    Reply

    • narf77
      Jul 22, 2013 @ 03:00:00

      They will dye any natural material and cotton is right up there. I remember experimenting, with some good results, on tie dying calico at high school by submerging it in onion skins. When you add alum (mordant) you get the colour fixed into the cloth and you can end up with some amazing browns, creams and coffee colours. You could get some very interesting results (and a great photo shoot, maybe to blend your wonderful life ethos with an assessment?) using veggie peels like beets, carrots etc. to dye plain white cotton tea-towels (not sure if you call them that but they are the cloths you use to dry dishes) different colours so you would be reusing, recycling, repurposing and making something unique. Now I want to try it! 😉

      Reply

  19. Bread & Companatico
    Jul 21, 2013 @ 20:57:47

    wow guys. you do cook like a storm and how good does everything looks! did not know you were an animation genius, great stuff!

    Reply

    • narf77
      Jul 22, 2013 @ 03:01:37

      Not a genius ;). We are studying media at a local Polytechnic and this is part of our work :). It’s mid winter here and Brunhilda (our big 4 oven wood burning stove) is on 24/7 so I am loath to waste the heat that she is pumping out into those ovens. I can simmer big pots of “things” on top of her all day now so cooking is most definitely at the top of my list 🙂

      Reply

  20. Joanna
    Jul 22, 2013 @ 22:19:24

    My lovely friend has come back to me with a link to making sweet caramalized carrot soup without adding sugars. Hope it is not too late to share with you…

    I remember her doing it for me, she brought her pressure cooker with her, as I don’t have one. It was extraordinarily sweet I have to say. Friend said “The sweetness was because of the addition of a little bicarbonate of soda which alkalises the overall mass and enhances the sugars in the carrot (or other similar vegetables when under pressure). The best description is in this recipe – as a vegan, one can use oil rather than butter as I’ve made it that way several times.”

    http://modernistcuisine.com/recipes/caramelized-carrot-soup-no-centrifuge-necessary/

    Reply

  21. Littlesundog
    Jul 23, 2013 @ 00:59:27

    Hmm, I wish I was partaking in the “mass consumption” of sausage rolls! And that ice cream had me salivating as well. Oooh, and the cakes!

    How do you get anything done, but eating? LOL As always, great post!

    Reply

    • narf77
      Jul 23, 2013 @ 03:03:40

      I don’t eat any of it Lori, it’s all down to Steve. I just filled a gallon jar with New Yorker Chocolate Chip Cookies yesterday as he is away at the moment and I can hear him (mentally) saying “I am only one man!” ;). I just love to bake and cook. I think I need a starving neighbour to palm my baked goods off onto 😉

      Reply

  22. Joanna
    Jul 23, 2013 @ 03:27:38

    Hi narf, sorry bad me. I didn’t write a proper reply.And I loved this post and the Russian dolls animation particularly! I am a bad composter but I didnt know you shouldnt put onion skin in the compost, is it bad for worms? And I put citrus in, it all seems to rot down over time. We would love to be your starving neighbours x

    Reply

    • narf77
      Jul 23, 2013 @ 03:57:31

      :). Steve says that he would love you to be my starving neighbours as well although the gallon jar of New Yorker Chocolate Chip Cookies that I made yesterday may just take a serious hit when he gets stuck into them 😉

      Reply

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