Yeah I completely deserve to be forsook for that one! I was perusing Pinterest (as you do) and found myself wondering about why things “trend”. I put that in inverted commas for a reason. Trending is trendy folks. Everyone wants to jump on the bandwagon where the hipsters and their plugs and checked shirts and mutton chops and tats are hanging out. Everyone wants a taste of the latest greatest before it becomes so much “meh” and everyone wants to bask in that bliss that is “new” and “unusual” (more inverted commas…) and apparently trending is the way to do it. I could care less about trending. I am the LEAST trendy creature on this earth. I don’t have mutton chops or tats or even plugs (apart from one particularly annoying pop type one in our bathroom vanity that is driving me NUTS! But I digress…) and I certainly prefer to stay on the side of tried and true in order to make the most of what we have.
I have been flat out studying lately and due to a severe dearth of photographic opportunities I find myself on a Wednesday with buggery bollocks all images to share with you. I got this wonderful Leunig artwork in a Facebook feed and would like to share it with you. I love how Mr Leunig views the world
I can, however, see the complete value in a community of people test driving a recipe…honing it, twisting it, customising it out the wazoo and allowing everyone to have a taste. As someone with a somewhat limited food palette (completely by choice, not by any allergies etc.) I fully appreciate the efforts of the trending hipsters to find new and interesting ways to elevate humble natural foods and make them interesting and inventive in the process. The only problem with this process is that what was once humble AND cheap becomes trendy and somewhat more expensive. This is wonderful for the producers but not so good for penniless student hippies. I find myself on the cusp of having to trend my own humble ingredients in order to create delicious, wholesome and nutritious meals and snacks etc. and most ironically find myself back at the coalface of “trending” in order to pilfer their techniques and ideas to apply them to my own fandangling…OH the ignominy!
Steve must have taken this sometime last week when he was messing about with his phone camera. A completely unadultered “honest” shot of me and my (messy) home environment. Unstaged and unposed (and not too bad or you wouldn’t be seeing it here today 😉 )
I am sitting here at 6.22am eating a bowl of hot vegetable soup and contemplating my day ahead. I am alive and vibrant at this time of day. I have been up since misc.-and-boobity-boo (about tree fiddy) which has allowed me to wander around the blogosphere seeking and finding amazing recipes, answers to questions and generally immersing myself in the world that I choose to inhabit. I get this amazing quality time almost completely to myself. Occasionally I get the odd tippity tap of Earls little pointy toes as he heads in to give me a scotch on the way out the back door to do his rounds. When he returns he gives me a beak (nose press) to remind me to walk with him back to bed and cover him up with a nice soft blanket as it is now cold…Bezial usually trots off to bed at this time as well from his lofty position on the couch in the lounge room leaving me here on my own with time on my hands. I read, I think, I Pin, I think some more. My early morning world is cram packed full of possibilities where 7pm finds me peering myopically with a head crammed full of the day and ready for bed
Steve downloaded a photo filter app called PicSketch Free today and messed about with a couple of photos that he had taken on his phone recently. Here’s how the river in front of our house turned out…
And here is a middle aged woman ferrying a protesting clucky chook back to the coop in order to save her from quoll consumption (ungrateful creature pecked “her”! 😉 ) It renders your photos into hand sketched lookalikes.
It’s almost time to reignite Brunhilda. I can’t wait! I can almost hear her gentle crackling and the smell of the small eucalyptus twigs as I feed them slowly to wake her up after her long sleep overnight. She slumbers in embers and as soon as the door is open again I can see her interest…”sticks? For moi? Why I don’t mind if I do!” and it is back to crackling and providing latent heat for all of our wintery needs. I will be reanimating Chica’s white sourdough starter once it becomes apparent that winter is truly upon us. The little brassica seeds that my Aunt Tilly sent to me are going to be planted into some good quality seed raising mix later on today. I am off to visit a friend bearing Brachychitons and care. Her little dog Tilly was put to sleep yesterday and she is broken. I don’t even want to contemplate that eventuality for our 2 beautiful boys but I know it is there…hovering around in the background and one day it will be an issue. For now I can offer trees and comfort to my grieving friend
My friend gave me some of her beetroots knowing that I LOVE beetroot
I also eat the leaves of the beetroot as they taste like Swiss Chard/Silverbeet
It’s raining! Of COURSE it is raining…what a dolt I am. I left the enormous woolly blankets from the dogs chairs on the line overnight…why on earth wouldn’t it rain? 😉 It would appear that Mother Nature is as bolshie as I am and twice as reprobated. You apparently just have to use reverse psychology on her “NO I DON’T WANT IT TO RAIN”! (Hear that Mother Nature…you fell for it! 😉 ). I am also heading into Launceston to do the fortnightly shopping today so again, pretty much odds on that it was going to rain. I don’t mind, less lunatics on the road for me to worry about as they all stay at home in their snow boots with their heat pumps on 11 ;). I like shopping because I get to look at things that I don’t usually see. Steve races around “shopping” like a bull in a china shop. He looks at the list (sometimes) and hurls things into the trolley. Several times he has picked up the wrong ingredient like last fortnights prune incident (that he will NEVER live down 😉 ) where he threw 8 bags of prunes into the trolley rather than the 8 bags of dates that were on the list. He blames people putting things in the wrong place. I blame a complete lack of attention 😉
Not a bad panorama taken from Steve’s new phone camera
Real harvest! Spuds galore 🙂
I am going to wander around looking at shops that Steve could care less about. I probably won’t even buy anything from them. I just want to look and see what is available etc. I like the process of window shopping but only in shops that I am interested in. Forget clothes and shoes I am a food window shopper and a kitchen equipment window shopper. Only last Saturday we were wandering the streets of Launceston with the dogs towing us behind them like little Mack trucks when I spotted Jamie Oliver’s latest creation, an extra wide pasta maker. I am in need of a new pasta maker after I made it “GRONK!” once too often and it decided to permanently pop a cog. I don’t use them for making pasta much but do like the possibilities of being able to make my own soba noodles from buckwheat and lasagne noodles with home grown veggies to colour and flavour the pasta. With mother’s day coming up soon I may just have found my communal kids gift for mum 🙂
I LOVE this image. It was another Facebook share. I love how they are androgynous with age and love that has stood the test of time and are reduced down to the true beauty and power that age can bring to a couple who have weathered many storms together 🙂 Plus I also note that Steve may one day have breasts as saggy as mine…I live for that day sir! 😉
It is important to rain just enough to wet the blankets but not nearly enough for the vegetable garden so I have to water…that’s the fun of 101 pissing off penniless student hippies apparently. Even better if you can imbue some of those possums with superhuman brain stems and they are able to work a rubric’s cube with one hand whilst invading my own personal Poland with the other. I am WATCHING you Mother Nature…you are on notice!
Here’s another Facebook share. This lady (we are told) is 92 years “young” and if I was to do what she is doing with her foot there I would need assistance to extricate me from that position let alone get INTO that position in the first place. Kudos ma’am. You are a true inspiration 🙂
I decided to crack most of the walnuts that I showed you last post and store the kernels in the freezer so that I could use them as and when I saw fit. I like the idea of stored food. I read a lot of blog posts about preserving the harvest. I would be knocking myself out too preserving the harvest if we actually “had” much of a harvest but thank goodness this year was predominately an experiment with seedlings gifted to me by my friend Jenny, as otherwise I might be heartbroken about the results. On the good side of the equation, I have potatoes! I doubt that I will fill a 10kg bag but I got beautiful round sweet tasting potatoes and Steve hoovered the first of them down the other night and pronounced them “delicious” along with a few carrots. I hoovered down my meagre beetroot harvest along with some that my friend gave me when I visited her recently and am enjoying the leaves, steamed, as well. Getting “something” from the garden is better than getting nothing in my books and if all that I got this year was a sterling education in what NOT to do, then that is a season well spent
Not a very good photo but some of the walnuts that we have been picking from our own tree on the left with a size comparison to some of the walnuts that we have been picking from the tree in town on the right. As you can see our tree delivers monsters!
Hazelnuts and walnuts from last season that I decided to either stratify (the biggest) or crack and freeze (everything else)
The hazelnutty results. I feel some homemade healthy nutella coming on!
I will be stratifying some hazelnuts and walnuts again this year. Jenny gave me a great idea to use up some of the alarmingly HUGE collection of wine and beer bottles that has settled in our small shed. Aside from shaming us every time we add a chook feed bag of them to our collection I have had to reconsider what I am going to do with them because it just isn’t feasible to dig them into the soil and use them as garden edging (cheers rocks…) I was talking “recycling” with a manic look in my eyes when she said “you know how you are talking about using tyres to stop the wallabies and possums from eating your fruit/nut/perennial veggies? Why not create something out of bottles?” She even mentioned a form of bottle gabion that got me excited…bottle gabions? We have rocks and bottles galore here. I am less inclined to disinter the rocks from their current subsoil home than I am to empty out the small shed (and “shed” the guilt…) and use that mighty stashy monument to alcoholism for a good purpose.
Check out this impressive stand of Jerusalem artichokes. These people obviously don’t have wallabies devouring their pumpkins and artichokes like we have
They obviously DO, however, have a possum problem ;). Isn’t this an awesome veggie garden? I would have dug over the soil inside to make the most of this space but the people who constructed this veggie garden are (by the look of their house and this enclosure) quite wealthy and can afford to use minimal space. Kudos on their inventiveness 🙂
How to go about getting what I want from those bottles? Well how about I create panels of bottles using cheap chicken wire? I could create rectangular gabions that I anchored in place using a wooden frame created with treated pine and after planting out our “edibles” (just about anything that WE plant is apparently edible to the natives…) they could be set up like alcoholic Lego around the outside of the planting. The results would be both aesthetically pleasing (where tyres were going to make me twitch), difficult for the wallabies to reach over to graze and would allow us to anchor hoops of cheap black piping and put more chicken wire over the frame to protect the plants from possum predation. Another score for permaculture and a perfect reuse for those bottles. I will keep you posted on our progress. Well we got 2 bottles to stick together using liquid nails so next step is to see if we can get 49 of them to stick together to form a cohesive rectangle that can be used as one side of a bottle fortress around my poor long suffering plants.
This is my “apple” calendar. I don’t use an apple mac but I do eat apples. I stick the stickers on my desk calendar and can at least kid myself that I am eating healthily 😉
I am MOST excited to be reviewing Emma Cooper from Emma the Gardener’s wonderful blog. Emma is an ethnobotanist, a writer and a podcaster and specialises in the history behind the food that we eat, specifically the food that we grow. She most generously allowed me to read a copy of her book “The Jade Pearls and Alien Eyeballs” which is a delightful and most eclectic mix of unusual edibles grown by an even more eccentric bunch of “gardeners” for want of a better word. Emma’s book is wonderful and I will be writing a review for it and publishing a blog post about it on Thursday April 10th. I hope that you can all find the time to read the review and hopefully through narf eyes, get a bit of insight into just what makes some of these incredible adventurous keepers of the vegetative matter tick.
The plumber and his sidekick finding out why our bathroom sink drained so slowly. It would appear that someone (who shall remain anonymous) has very long hair and the combination of bad design for the combined plug and sink mechanism and this long hair may have had something to do with the problem. (I am leaning towards the bad sink design personally… 😉 )
I find myself being gently nudged by the powers that be more and more towards gardening these days. I once immersed myself in recipes and now find my passion running to the production of the main ingredients for those recipes. A natural progression methinks but still a most interesting state of being for someone who has spent so very long on documenting entire hard-drives worth of recipes for posterity. I love that gardening blogs are starting to pop up and that my radar is firmly tuned to “dirt”. I tend to steer towards permaculture blogs but there are so many other wonderful gardening blogs and websites out there and all wanting to share everything from the basics to the most difficult techniques and premises and the best bit is that as gardeners, most of them offer this information for free. There are books…there are tours…there are products for sale but under the sales pitch there is also a most impressive array of free information just waiting to be plundered. I feel a new hard-drive may just be in order…”STEEEEEVE!” 😉
Look what that sugar fairy has been up to. Not content with eating Steve’s chocolate éclairs, she has started on his wine and if I am not mistaken (by that cap) his beer! It MUST be the sugar fairy because I found all of these items in the lounge room just scattered around Steve’s chair and he KNOWS how much it makes me cranky so it obviously wasn’t Steve…
The desperate act of a dog who hasn’t had his walk yet thanks to steady rain and who has sunk SO low as to shake one of his humans hands in a sad attempt to get them to get off their chairs and walk him in the rain. Earl is over Winter already and it hasn’t even begun!
Hokay folks, I think I have driven your minds and ridden them like sea biscuit enough today. I will hand them back to you now and you can all rest assured that they have had their quotient of exercise for today. Feel free to watch some mindless TV or listen to commercial radio or read a fluffy romance novel and not challenge them with anything too strenuous because narf7, your brains personal trainer, has taken them around the block a few times and put them through their routines. Don’t forget that next week I will be posting a regular blog post on Wednesday AND a review post for Emma’s delightful book on Thursday. I know that life is hectic and that it’s hard to find the time these days to read 1 of my long-winded posts let alone 2 in a row but I would really appreciate it if you could take the time to check in on Thursday and I promise to keep it short, but ever so sweet. See you then 🙂