I can hear the 3.30am mail plane flying overhead as I start typing this blog post. In the midst of my fogyish haze of sickness I pulled a blog post all about soup out of my head. I haven’t re-read it and what seemed like a masterpiece in the midst of my delirium may just be complete and utter rubbish so I am creating a backup blog post just in case. I started off this morning by not wanting to get out of bed when the alarm went off. Now that the mornings are getting colder it is a lot harder to vacate that delicious warm space (especially when there is a questing black nose just waiting to take up residence as soon as you get out…sometimes before you do!) and drag my sorry derrière out in the dark to the kitchen. Don’t get me wrong, I love my early mornings, I am just not very coherent or lucid prior to that first cup of tea.
Brunhilda prior to her inaugural relighting ceremony for the year. Note the lack of a couple of doors. Steve ran out of the special heat proof paint that she needs to be painted with at the beginning of each new burning season and was waiting to pick up another can to spray the last 2 doors. Aside from those 2 doors she is looking pretty shmick
Doors on and you are now sharing the happiness of Serendipity Farm as Brunhilda arises, like the phoenix (without burning herself to smithereens), and starts her tour of duty for our cold season. Note the close proximity of the dogs. They didn’t move from that spot for 2 hours 😉
Since Friday Brunhilda has been back in action. We lit her because Friday was frigid. I even have the chilblains to prove it. It looks like we are going to have a very cold winter period here in Northern Tasmania and Brunhilda is going to be invaluable in getting us mind, body and soul through it. I can’t explain the symbiotic relationship that we share but needless to say we need each other. She purrs like a kitten when I feed her those first few small logs and I purr like a kitten when I get that kettle tic-tacking with the stones that my brother sent me from the beach from my home town that herald boiling point and the imminent arrival of the elixir of great happiness of the soul. After shuffling Bezial from the couch where he has nested in one of the blankets that we leave heaped up so that he can snuggle down for the night, to my warm patch in the bed, I can then begin my mornings.
3am and awakened from her overnight slumber and purring like a kitten full of (logs) cream
Narf7 doing the happy dance to celebrate the awakening of Brunhilda
Most of the time I read my emails, answer a few blog comments and get started on my RSS Feed Reader but lately I have been discovering some wonderful Pinterest boards that follow my own boards and this morning was no exception. Firstly I have been downloading an amazing haul of precious information that Ms Rabid put me onto. She sourced it via her amazing hunter-gatherer husband Martin and all kudos to him; he is a hunter extraordinaire when it comes to finding the good stuff for the brain. As a penniless student hippy I know the value of free information and he has a goldmine of the good stuff. It would take me a year to get access to all of the pdf’s and precious info that Jess just sent me via the library and the hold and wait scheme let alone the time it would take me to process the information and copy out what was important to me so this is an amazing and most wonderful gift and sharing this information is what forms incredible communities.
“Red sky in the morning…sulking dogs…
The first of the trailer loads of free aged horse manure that we are about to use as part of our veggie garden renovation. Watch this space…
I just discovered that humans are the only thing that balks at change. We hit this seasonal “change” thing enough in our three score years and ten to be more than aware that it is happening and yet we sit back and watch and wait. The rest of nature/the world is all “Alrighty then…let’s get going!” Where Narf7 is holed up with 2 sulking dogs tapping away on a blog post (when she should be stoically braving the rain and getting out into that garden!), our chooks are out tunnel mining their way to China, the garden is waving it’s greenery at the sky the moss, that looks dead and crispy on the rock pathway that leads down through the semi civilised and jungle parts of the garden is “mossing” and the mail lady just sailed right on past our house like she does most days of the year. See continuity is going on all around us. We might be digging in our heels against the cold/heat coming our way but most things just don’t think about it, they are too busy living in the moment. I have a lovely trailer load of horse manure that needs to be emptied come rain or shine (note to self… “You know when it was nice and sunny yesterday? You remember how that trailer load of dry horse manure sat there all day out in that lovely sunshine? Well next time SHOVEL THAT SHITE YOU LAZY NARF7 BOLLOCKS!” 😉 ) as there are another couple of trailer loads just waiting for me to shovel them up at the stud where Stevie-boy managed to score the owner using his backhoe to shovel the entire first load into the trailer without Stevie-boy having to put shovel to shite once. Autumn is one of the busy seasons and I needs to get me some BUSY
When it’s very cold and you want your yeasted dough to rise you think outside the box. Under that towel is another towel, and under that towel is another one. Under THAT towel is a bowl containing yeasted calzone dough up against a freshly boiled kettle
Calzones prior to baking. Note the dough contains Italian mixed herbs, Parmesan cheese and chilli flakes
Didn’t Brunhilda do a magnificent job and not a speck of caramelisation to be seen 🙂
In saying that, it is SO nice in here. Brunhilda has been pumping out that gorgeous radiant heat that she is so very good at pumping out (…”dear auto-correct…PLEASE stop changing “pumping” to “pumpkin” thank you…) and she now has 2 American Staffordshire terrier “earrings”. I am just loving all of that free stove-top space, oven space and the ability to just cook something as and when I like. I am going to bake Stevie-boy an apple cake to go with cream for his dessert tonight. Just because I can. The rain is hard, fast and steady outside and I figure it is set in for the day. Lucky really because otherwise I may just have procrastinated myself out of another day of working on my studies. I have arrived at a point where I have to sit down with small squares of paint swatches (by the way, “cheers” to the paint manufacturers who are now doing trendy things with paint swatches thus rendering them completely unusable as “squares” by poor long suffering design students…) and stick them into a blank journal in some kind of artistic manner. As a creature of order I have to stop myself from just sticking them all around the outside edge, forming a nice frame and being done with it as I get the feeling that “design” might have more to do with creativity than neatness. Might be time to crack out the kefir, drink me a couple glasses of the bubbly stuff and after about 30 minutes let’s just see how “creative” old Narf7 can get 😉
Good old Sao crackers. Steve picked up a packet in the shopping as he figured he hadn’t had them in ages. Here they are topped with cheese and homemade zucchini, capsicum and chilli relish that our friend Jenny gave us
Anyone for a sandwich?
I had a fan girl moment yesterday. I was checking my emails and one of them notifies me of everyone who has commented on Facebook, This blog and Pinterest and lets me know if I have any new followers (“Hi new followers :)”). I follow a multiple author blog called “Punk Domestics” which is a wonderful source of interesting ways to preserve, grow and “do” things. Yesterday I noted that one of my followers was “Punk Domestics”… “SQUEE!” Oh how PROUD I am! All of the painstakingly pilfered posts and the long hours bent over double myopically peering at the monitor have paid off, I am officially “cool” :). Seriously though folks, it’s always nice to get positive feedback from your peers. If anyone that I admire even looks sideways in my direction I will lay down on the floor and let them walk all over me. I might have to work on that reaction a little bit but generally I am in all consuming awe whenever someone that I admire and respect acknowledges my existence (I can’t believe it…I just spelled “acknowledge” correctly…without the spell checker!)
2 blank journals with little bits of cut up paint swatch. As of 3.20pm today, they are still 2 blank journals with little bits of cut up paint swatch on them…I see no change in the immediate future…
I think I deserve an award. Not one of those awards that you give to someone who has done something majestic or magnanimous or even magnificent to advance the human race, but an award for something that I excelled the rear end out of today. I would like to say that it was something productive but alas it was probably the antithesis of productive. I would just like to ask you all, what is it about us humans that will allow us to go to tremendous measures in order to avoid doing something that we HAVE to do that we don’t want to do? The award that I would like to have bestowed upon my noble narfy brow is the award for incredible procrastination in the face of a rapidly approaching deadline to hand in our studies. Rather than sit down with a pot of glue, a pile of snipped up paint swatches and a brand spanking new blank art journal and start sticking as per instructions, I just spent the better part of 3 hours completely rearranging the lounge room. Not only did I shuffle a few books and sweep the floor, No, I completely rearranged the sofas, the book cases etc. so that it looks completely different.
A friend gave Steve 3 cleaned abalone to try the other day. Flattened to within an inch of their lives and stir fried in garlic butter and Steve says “YUM!” I might not have tried these delicious little mollusks but I do get the shells 🙂
Thanks to most of Tasmania (stupidly) cashing in their wood burning stoves and buying heat pumps we have been having a lot of brownouts and blackouts of late. The power needs to be maintained in the cities so we smaller country outposts have to suck it up and wear the odd blackout. I used up all of my tea-light candles and got Steve to buy me some bigger candles for the next time that it dips below 15C and all of Launceston fires up their heat pumps. Steve stuck the candle into this bottle because it wouldn’t fit on my candelabra (too thin) and it bears a striking resemblance to a most intolerant breed of Southern Americans that shall remain anonymous. Needless to say, I call it my “klu klux kandle” 😉
I steamed these meatballs rather than having them turn out dry from the bbq (prior to Brunhilda being lit) and tossed them through some stir fried veggies and noodles. Apparently they were delicious. Another experiment that worked. I also used some sourdough breadcrumbs that I had dried out ages ago and completely forgotten about but that I found when fishing around in the back of the pantry for something else and used them in these meatballs. Waste not, want not 🙂
Steve’s ÜBER stash of candy coated chocolate balls that I considered eating my weights worth of in order to stop myself from doing my studies today prior to getting stuck into rearranging the lounge room. You will be happy to know that I didn’t eat any and no-one will be more happy to hear that than Stevie-boy 😉
I did have an ulterior motive (other than trying to avoid doing what I am supposed to do at all costs…), when I got back from walking Earl this morning I could smell something in the lounge room, something unpleasant. I have smelled this smell before and it’s usually emanating from something dead of the rodent persuasion. After completely rearranging the lounge room and sniffing everything in turn with my highly suspicious nose, I came up blank. I have a blank journal AND a blank space where a dead rodent should fit. I also found lots of earls hair banked up into a corner doing battle with a small pile of nail clippings from someone who shall remain anonymous. I then realised that the most likely place for the deceased rodent to be festering is in the roof where Steve laid rat baits. The roof space has heated up nicely over the last few days and a semi mummified ex rodent’s foetid carcass would have had just enough time to start reeking to high heavens by now. Problem solved but my studies still aren’t done…
What we are subject to for the whole day when it is pouring down raining and it has sunk in that a walk is highly unlikely
Little wooden hearts that Steve made last year when he got bored of making wooden spoons. I am just about to coax him out of his boredom in order to elicit another lovely wooden spoon out of him so that I can have a blog give away
I won’t show you any photos of the new furniture arrangement in the lounge room because I haven’t quite decided if I like it or not. I am reserving my (procrastinating) right to completely dismantle everything tomorrow and spend the rest of the day hauling it all back to where I dragged it from today. I think the next time that Steve wants me to do something particularly nefarious, he should just give me the alternative action of having to do some studies and I will be SO there. I hope you are all settling into your new weather patterns. Ours appear to be wet and cold and I, for one, couldn’t be happier. Brunhilda is back and pumping out the happy rays of warmth and Earl and Bezial are now firmly welded to her deliciously heat wafting side panels. I am relishing all of this newfound cooking time where I can actually bake a cake that might have a normal base rather than half (burned black) caramelised. I baked a delicious apple blondie last night and it turned out fantastically. Steve had some warm from the oven with a large splodge of cream and even though he had eaten a large serving of spaghetti topped liberally with a hefty smattering of my slow cooked bolognaise, he actually had another serve of apple blondie. In my books, that means that it’s a winner! No protestation about “I am only ONE man” and a most content Stevie-boy. Looks like it might be time to crack out El Camino, my wonderful white sourdough starter from Spain and see if narf7 can get back on the sourdough horse…”YEE-HA!”