So this is Christmas…well, Christmas Eve

Hi All,

Every radio station this side of Cooee (a real place that has a population of 574 AND is in Northern Tasmania 😉 )  are playing Christmas songs on repeat and most of those repeat cycles contain at least one John Lennon “So this is Christmas”. More an admonition of our communal lack of effort than a Christmas song (cheers 7LAFM!) but still considered Christmassy. I know that many of you don’t feel very Christmassy in the least. I know that for many people, Christmas is just an excuse to have a few days off, drink some seriously expensive booze and quaff their weights worth of expensive and rich food. I know that people spending Christmas alone or in difficult circumstances might be feeling considerably left out and today, in my little Christmas Eve sermon (for verily have I been given the task of cheering you all up and so sayeth the Lord! 😉 ) I wanted to remind you all that you are all part of an amazing online group of friends, some of whom become online family. Whether you feel included, excluded, excited, underwhelmed, overwhelmed, blissed out or knackered out Christmas is a good time to take stock of where we have been, what we have done and to hitch up our belts and think about where we are going for next year. Seriously though, you would think that they would leave a bit more than a week between Christmas and New Year to get all of that sorted out, especially as we have all been flat out like the proverbial lizard drinking getting Christmas sorted out and all need several nana naps in order to get over it so poor old New Years is a bit of an afterthought…

Another year, another tangle of lights...

Another year, another tangle of lights…

Look what I found at Hollybank. A bank full of holly berries. Not so special you might say but red holly berries in the middle of summer? I call that a Christmas miracle ;)

Look what I found at Hollybank. A bank full of holly berries. Not so special you might say but red holly berries in the middle of summer? I call that a Christmas miracle 😉

I used a willow wreath that I made from harvested canes last year and turned it into a holly wreath :)

I used a willow wreath that I made from harvested canes last year and turned it into a holly wreath 🙂

Then I hung it on the back door...where I realised that it looks like a set of shark jaws...er...

Then I hung it on the back door…where I realised that it looks like a set of shark jaws…er…

I made this doll for a very good friends little girl who apparently loves it.

I made this doll for a very good friends little girl who apparently loves it. She is 50cm tall and her tail comes off to reveal…

A most fetching bikini :). Still haven't learned how to make attractive mouths. Anyone reading this who can help guide me in the right direction please feel free to comment :)

A most fetching bikini :). Still haven’t learned how to make attractive mouths. Anyone reading this who can help guide me in the right direction please feel free to comment 🙂

Still, whether we are ready for it or not, it comes. I am particularly blessed to have been allowed to exist on this small blue revolving planet out in the middle of space for more than half a century. I feel incredibly in awe that for some reason I have managed to enjoy most of my life. I might not be “living the dream” but I am living MY dream which I think is more important. I just want to remind you all that no matter who you are, or what your circumstances are, there is always some poor sod out there who is worse off than us/you and that we have so much to be thankful for, right here and right now. And you can just about shut up John Lennon with your admonitions, we internet mates look out for each other and we do care. Another year older? Cheers John, but you know what? That’s another chance at another year and I am sure that our elderly 92 year old neighbour Glad is counting and enjoying every single day of it.

All the Christmas day food prep is now done. The flowery icecubes for the boozy punch are frozen...

All the Christmas day food prep is now done. The flowery icecubes for the boozy punch are frozen…

The strawberries for Stevie-boys homemade strawberries and cream icecream and for the punch purchased from just over the river (can't get much more local than that...)

The strawberries for Stevie-boys homemade strawberries and cream icecream and for the punch purchased from just over the river (can’t get much more local than that…)

8kg of cherries bought for $2 a kilo and most of them have disappeared never to be seen again ;)

8kg of cherries bought for $2 a kilo and most of them have disappeared never to be seen again 😉

The cherries came from a cherry farm over the river right next to the strawberry farm. We are so lucky to live where we live

The cherries came from a cherry farm over the river right next to the strawberry farm. We are so lucky to live where we live

Talking about Glad, she is just about to receive a large Stevie-boy original pork pie to tuck away (hide) in her fridge for after she gets trotted around to all of her family members tomorrow and she can return home, put her feet up and do what SHE wants. So much of the festivities revolving around Christmas involve trotting off to visit people that you may or may not really want to deal with. I guess it’s a good reminder that we have to sometimes suck it up for the greater good. I will note that Christmas is one of the worst times for family arguments to get started so watch out for those family members that are most antagonistic towards each other and add lots of water to their booze (at least while they are at your house, they can behave! 😉 )

Steve had 10 spare minutes and a hankering to use his nail gun so he knocked up this bench out of a slab of pine a friend had given him and a strut of ash. The dogs approve

Steve had 10 spare minutes and a hankering to use his nail gun so he knocked up this bench out of a slab of pine a friend had given him and a strut of ash. The dogs approve

The dogs are very confused about all of the activity around here... the baking has them particularly suspicious

The dogs are very confused about all of the activity around here… the baking has them particularly suspicious

This is the end result of churning together 2 cans of coconut cream, 1 cup of raw sugar and some vanilla and it's absolutely delicious. The best vegan ice cream I have ever made and I can't wait to experiment with this recipe to make all kinds of variations

This is the end result of churning together 2 cans of coconut cream, 1 cup of raw sugar and some vanilla and it’s absolutely delicious. The best vegan ice cream I have ever made and I can’t wait to experiment with this recipe to make all kinds of variations

Coconut ice cream motion blur! ;)

Coconut ice cream motion blur! 😉

We make pork pies every year for Steve and for our neighbour Glad who is 92 and her daughter Wendy who are both expats from the U.K. Christmas just isn't Christmas without pork pies apparently. They can live without the snow and the hot Christmas dinner but Christmas without pork pies? Sacrilege!

We make pork pies every year for Steve and for our neighbour Glad who is 92 and her daughter Wendy who are both expats from the U.K. Christmas just isn’t Christmas without pork pies apparently. They can live without the snow and the hot Christmas dinner but Christmas without pork pies? Sacrilege!

A gorgeous homemade Christmas pudding that Glad gave us this year from her secret recipe :)

A gorgeous homemade Christmas pudding that Glad gave us this year from her secret recipe 🙂

Spooning the heady rum syrup over the rum baba

Spooning the heady rum syrup over the rum baba

Stevie-boy and I are able to spend Christmas Day tomorrow here on Serendipity Farm that has been newly shorn and that looks adorable despite Steve doing some serious damage to the whipper snipper that requires a lot of internet trawling to find new parts. That’s for the New Year though so I am counting my blessings that we managed to get most of the whipper snipping done and make Serendipity Farm look pretty. We will be sitting out on the deck having a most leisurely Christmas thanks to lots of organisation (Steve and I specialise at being organised) prior to the day. Everything has been made except for the homemade mascarpone cheese that I am attempting to make this year. A tiny container of the unctuous stuff costs 4 arms and half a leg so this year, narf is going to make her own AND copious quantities of it if the recipe serves me right.

I received this absolutely lovely bunting from a lovely fellow blogger called mommermom. Isn't it gorgeous and aren't I a lucky narf? I never cease to be amazed at how lovely people who don't even know you can be :)

I received this absolutely lovely bunting from a lovely fellow blogger called mommermom. Isn’t it gorgeous and aren’t I a lucky narf? I never cease to be amazed at how lovely people who don’t even know you can be 🙂

Stevie-boy got a new 50mm lens from the girls for Christmas (early) and has been using it to take some most lovely photos of things around the garden...

Stevie-boy got a new 50mm lens from the girls for Christmas (early) and has been using it to take some most lovely photos of things around the garden…

Remember my red clover from last year? Well this is "son of red clover" ;)

Remember my red clover from last year? Well this is “son of red clover” 😉

Pretty and most hardy climbing geraniums

Pretty and most hardy climbing geraniums

A lovely mass display of climbing roses

A lovely mass display of climbing roses

This glorious buddleia flower

This glorious buddleia flower

This one is especially for you Linne :)

This one is especially for you Linne 🙂

Natural pest prevention

Natural pest prevention

And an arty shot of our newly installed and decorated Christmas tree avec lights :)

And an arty shot of our newly installed and decorated Christmas tree avec lights 🙂

I made a rum baba yesterday. It’s a heady mix of buttery brioche soaked in enough rum syrup to satiate a crew of pirates. We cooked Steve’s choice of a very large chook and a roll of pork (sorry vegan mates but sometimes we mixed couples have to compromise), Steve’s famous pork pies that he is going to share with friends and neighbours, coconut ice cream for me (that tastes AMAZING) and strawberries and cream ice cream for Steve that also tastes amazing but his uses cream and eggs and mine just uses cans of coconut cream, a bit of sugar and some vanilla. I froze some flowers in an ice cube tray for prettying up our boozy Christmas punch and have been freezing home grown berries to add as they ripen. My blueberry bushes are covered in blueberry futures but they aren’t quite ready yet. We picked up 8kg of “jam” cherries the other day for $2 a kilo and after picking out the damaged cherries (and cutting out the damage and pureeing and freezing them) we were left with almost 5kg of perfectly good cherries that have been slowly scoffed by yours truly over the past few days. I am claiming to be eating them all to lose weight…SHHH don’t tell Stevie-boy that I am eating them because they are delicious!

We went to Hollybank recently as a special treat for the dogs. I was warning them not to shake as they were both sopping wet after an impromptu swim...

We went to Hollybank recently as a special treat for the dogs. I was warning them not to shake as they were both sopping wet after an impromptu swim…

I think this is supposed to be a bull but both Steve and I thought "KRAMPUS"! As soon as we saw it so it is officially the wooden Krampus from now on

I think this is supposed to be a bull but both Steve and I thought “KRAMPUS”! As soon as we saw it so it is officially the wooden Krampus from now on

A woman can't even take a photo without someone else photographing her! ;)

A woman can’t even take a photo without someone else photographing her! 😉

Earl found the small plastic rum bottle (empty) used to make the rum syrup for the rum baba...

Earl found the small plastic rum bottle (empty) used to make the rum syrup for the rum baba…

A lovely shot that Steve took of Bezial

A lovely shot that Steve took of Bezial

And an equally lovely shot of Earl :)

And an equally lovely shot of Earl 🙂

The tree is up, the decorations made, the front gate is adorned and the big balls of great happiness are back up after languishing on the ground next to the front gate for almost a year. One of them was full of water and when we hung them up and were decorating the gate we were subject to a slow trickle of water sprinkling down on us. I think that the Christmassy feelings come from the preparations and the processes that are involved with making Christmas yours. It’s my theory but I have found that whenever we throw ourselves into making everything for Christmas, we have a sort of timeline in our mind that sets off a chain of Christmassy feelings. We have cinnamon salt dough ornaments scenting our house. We made them last week. We have Earl reminding us of the joys of Christmas for the young and reminding us of how we have to be careful NOT to put anything under the tree till tonight as he has already removed and almost unwrapped one gift (fool us once bucko!) and we found him with the small plastic rum bottle that we used to make the rum baba chewing happily on the lid…sigh…kids!

Moody Christmas chook and pork roll

Moody Christmas chook and pork roll

Raining and it is just about Christmas...

Raining and it is just about Christmas…

Lucky really as yesterday we had to light Brunhilda to cook all of the christmas fare.

Lucky really as yesterday we had to light Brunhilda to cook all of the Christmas fare.

Aren't these lovely? I got them from that most sterling and gorgeous of bloggers Ms teddyandtottie. She was so gorgeous that she couldn't work out who of her dear constant readers to give a prize to so she gave us all one! HUGE hugs Ms teddietottie, don't they look lovely? :)

Aren’t these lovely? I got them from that most sterling and gorgeous of bloggers Ms teddyandtottie. She was so gorgeous that she couldn’t work out who of her dear constant readers to give a prize to so she gave us all one! HUGE hugs Ms teddietottie, don’t they look lovely? 🙂

We have been busy for the last week whipper snipping the grass down and tidying up. Serendipity  Farm now looks like a park. We have to watch out for campers and picnickers ;)

We have been busy for the last week whipper snipping the grass down and tidying up. Serendipity Farm now looks like a park. We have to watch out for campers and picnickers 😉

I guess I really shouldn’t tax you too much with this post. I just really wanted to give you all a great big narfy cyber hug and let you all know how much I truly appreciate you and your decision to tag along each week to visit us down here in farthest flung Tasmania on Serendipity Farm, home to reprobates and the abnormal. Stevie-boy and I might be serious hermits who adore our own little space but knowing that there are good friends out there in “the rest of the world” is an amazing thing. Here’s to a wonderful time over the next few weeks. No matter who you are, what you celebrate, IF you celebrate, I hope that this week and the lead up to our brand spanking new year is a great one. I hope that 2015 dawns on us and gives us an incredible opportunity to live, to learn and to grow and that we are all able to be here to collect our thoughts come Christmas 2015. HUGE hugs to you all and see you New Year’s Eve 🙂

Happy Stevie-boy with a wonderful set of earrings that Ms rabbidlittlehippy sent to him for Christmas. He loves them!

Happy Stevie-boy with a wonderful set of earrings that Ms rabbidlittlehippy sent to him for Christmas. He loves them!

Merry Christmas to you all and we will raise a glass of Christmas cheer to all of you tomorrow :)

Merry Christmas to you all and we will raise a glass of Christmas cheer to all of you tomorrow 🙂

Narfs triple bottom line

Hi All,

 

It’s 5.12am on a Friday. I should be up to my armpits in RSS Feed Reads, being furtively read whilst I tap out comments on a notepad blank page whilst contemplating how to answer those people who have kindly decided to maintain email communication with me even after finding out who I “really” am (I KNOW…amazing eh?) but I am not doing any of those things because yesterday we had the internet and telephone equivalent of The Weaselman visit Serendipity Farm. Mr Windy (for want of a better word) decided to wreak a bit of old school destruction on Serendipity Farm and trees fell over our phone line tearing it out of the pole which meant that we had no house phone. Curiously, for a while, we did have the internet! We had it right up to 4am this morning when it decided to fizzle out and die so after sitting blinking for a while I decided to think of something productive to do that didn’t involve the internet

DSCF1227

We headed into the city the other day and the whole city of Launceston was misty. Very cold, and misty. Steve took this photo of a spiders web

 

DSCF1230

Something else that we saw in the city, LOVE these little Croc men

Aren't the doors of our city Commonewealth bank lovely? Almost as lovely as this passing guard dog ;)

Aren’t the doors of our city Commonewealth bank lovely? Almost as lovely as this passing guard dog 😉

 

I would like to inform you that I have just worked out that I am officially seriously addicted to the internet. My whole life revolves around it. I didn’t realise how addicted I had become until we couldn’t access it yesterday and I was adrift. No email communication, not Facebook, no ability to research! Steve phoned up our lecturer and told her about the situation after a 45 minute ride over a cliff with an Indian lady who although assured by Stevie-boy that our phone line was indeed down and in hiding underneath a selection of Serendipity Farms finest greenery, insisted that he run through a series of “tests” that took the better part of 30 minutes to complete before she would even contemplate going any further. Next time we fib Stevie-boy, we pretend to do what she asks for and say “Nope, still doesn’t work” while standing still and doing bugger all…funny how we were supposed to get the opportunity to complete a survey on the phone about our “experience” with this most angst inspiring of ladies but she hung up on an obviously frustrated and twitchy Steve prior to putting him through to the “survey department”…bad luck ma’am, they sent us the survey in an email. Just before the net shuffled off, I saw it sitting there waiting for us when we finally get the net back on.

DSCF1224

Someone wasn’t all that impressed with the mist and the cold…

 

DSCF1220

We spotted this door in the mall in the city with a dog handle…maybe this is Earl’s inner city bachelor pad?

 

Talking about that…I have NO idea when that is going to happen because Ms Indian lady was more engaged in telling us how much we were going to have to pay the technician for a “false callout” than she was in giving us any kind of firm idea when said technician was going to bother to turn up. Wafting’s of “weeks” and “we will need to keep testing the line” were mumbled but nothing firm so goodness only knows how long we will be sans phone and sans net. It looks like we are going to have to reacquaint ourselves with the Beaconsfield online centre for the foreseeable future and that is how this blog post is going to get posted next week unless a miracle happens and a technician turns up in that time

DSCF1207

Earl is like one of those big hairy spiders…they look HUGE when they are stretched out on the wall but when they curl up they are tiny. Earl is all head and here is is doing his best to look small on Bezial’s couch

 

DSCF1205

Another lovely Grey day on Serendipity Farm but at least we didn’t end up with half of our house blown away in the recent wild storms like some poor people did

 

DSCF1235

“Someone”  decided to scratch up the covers that we have put over the sofa to protect it and when we heard him scratching away we headed into the lounge room and found “this”…it wasn’t moving but we figured out what had caused the problem…

 

So what is a narf to do while she is forcibly ejected from her chief source of contact with the outside world? Aside from going mad, I have decided to throw myself wholeheartedly into getting Sanctuary, my fully enclosed vegetable garden, up and running on all cylinders for our coming growing season. I have plans for a large bay of straw bales full of manure and compost etc. that is going to house my pumpkin community this year. I have plans for Stevie-boy to relocate a tap that is currently residing on the fence not too far away from Sanctuary down “to” Sanctuary where it will be easier to access water and I have plans to haul an enormous mountain of horse manure and oak leaves back up to Sanctuary to start forming gardens around the perimeter of the enclosure. I have mature blueberry bushes that need pruning and planting. I have grape vines that need planting. I have all kinds of trees that need planting but they will need a bit more thought as they will have to go outside Sanctuary and when anything is outside a protective zone, it is a sitting duck when it comes to possums and wallabies and anything else that feels like a snack.

DSCF1209

The son-and-heirs partner Kelsey turned 23 the day before my birthday and I wanted to make her a cake. Not easy because Kelsey is from Texas and as anyone who is anyone knows, everything is bigger and better in Texas. Here are two of the three cakes that I made

 

DSCF1212

A chocolate cake, a vanilla cake and a red velvet cake sandwiched together with jam and cream…

 

 

DSCF1216

The finished cake

 

 

DSCF1219

Kelsey’s quails

 

 

I seem to have allowed my addiction to the internet to have taken me away from the real world for quite some time now and this forced hiatus might just be the impetus I need to get me back into the real world and establishing some new habits involving the garden, exercise, planning, and the execution of those plans which tends to be my weak point. I am taking a lot of heart from the relentless efforts of Jessie of rabidlittlehippy fame. Although she had NO idea of what she was doing initially she has started to turn her half acre of urban normalcy into a permaculture paradise that might just go a long way to feeding her family over the coming year. I had aspirations of doing the same but somehow my addiction to the internet got in the way…no more. I don’t plan on sitting here twiddling my thumbs in angsty frustration until Dodo (yes…Dodo…I am not holding out any high hopes…) get around to sending out a technician to sort out our line. It’s time for narf7 to get proactive on her own derriere!

DSCF1338

Earl inspecting the workmanship in Steve’s gumboots…

 

 

DSCF1240

Some of my new bowl haul that I got for my birthday. I LOVE bowls 🙂

 

Steve headed off into the wilderness the other night to pick this up from a lady who had advertised it on Gumtree. A great bargain and it is currently filtering our tank water for us :)

Steve headed off into the wilderness the other night to pick this up from a lady who had advertised it on Gumtree. A great bargain and it is currently filtering our tank water for us 🙂

So what’s first old girl…well there are all of those poor long suffering potted babies languishing (most of them upside down after the gales yesterday) in the side garden that need dealing with. I NEED to give them away. I can’t feel guilty if I give them away. Time for some serious culling and if I want to keep it, I HAVE TO PLANT IT OUT. That’s a really good incentive to give most of them away because planting anything out on Serendipity Farm is hard work so if you are a local, you know me, you are likely to open your door some day in the future to a box full of potted plants courtesy of narf7. Be warned!

We wanted to thank Jan's brother Peter for walking with Bezial when Steve can't at the moment and so we bought him some chocolate and chips and made him this card

We wanted to thank Jan’s brother Peter for walking with Bezial when Steve can’t at the moment and so we bought him some chocolate and chips and made him this card

Earl multi-tasking, basking in a sunbeam whilst keeping those freeloading grey thrush shrikes away from the cheese

Earl multi-tasking, basking in a sunbeam whilst keeping those freeloading grey thrush shrikes away from the cheese

An early morning shot of Earl at the bottom of the driveway and ready to go on his walk as soon as the flash wears off and he can see again ;)

An early morning shot of Earl at the bottom of the driveway and ready to go on his walk as soon as the flash wears off and he can see again 😉

The Earl, in it's natural habitat...

The Earl, in it’s natural habitat…

Stevie-boy has been home all week and most happily home too. We have knocked a couple of units out of the ballpark over the past week and even though the material that we are working with could bore an accountant to tears (and we all know that accountants LOVE boring statistics 😉 ) we are soldiering on through acres of stats and (were) researching our brains out and wading through government departments in order to try to find out what we are required to find for our assignments but sometimes it is like finding a needle in a haystack to be honest and as Stevie-boy and I study in completely different ways, this kind of frustrating slow pace isn’t conducive to peace on Serendipity Farm. I will give you an example of how we differ in our approaches…

Narf7: – “Ok, so what do we need for this task? Read the Word doc, read the supporting blurb, go to the websites that we have to go to in order to complete the task, read them, list down the bits that we need in a blank notepad and make sure that we have answered the question appropriately, and in triplicate…”

Stevie-boy: – “Have a brief glance at the question. Deem it not important to read the whole question and race off to the website where you also have a brief glance at the website and start answering the question with a few brief words so that you can get back out to your shed where the REAL action is taking place”…

Are you starting to get the picture that we are like chalk and cheese when it comes to studies? Now that we no longer have the “research” abilities that we had yesterday we are picking out the bits of assignments that we can do without research and they are few and far between. It would seem that we might be going to have to head to the online centre to study and in the process; we might have to learn to study together in a more “friendly” way lest we get ejected from the online centre forcibly and told “NEVER COME BACK!” Now this is going to be a challenge!

Birthday food time!

Birthday food time!

 

First, I got these slipper socks from a wonderful friend who also sent me some gorgeous handmade soaps and here I am attempting to desensitise Earl to their presence...

First, I got these slipper socks from a wonderful friend who also sent me some gorgeous handmade soaps and here I am attempting to desensitise Earl to their presence…

"Lets make vegan orange poppyseed bundt cake!"

“Lets make vegan orange poppyseed bundt cake!”

So today is the day after my 51st birthday. I don’t feel any older or wiser but I certainly am regretting eating so much of the gorgeous beer battered tempura veggies that we made for dinner last night or maybe it’s the combination of beer batter and vegan orange poppy seed drizzle cake accompanied by homemade vegan Brazil nut ice cream with peanut butter cookie dough chunks and when you are not used to eating anything that isn’t steamed or raw you end up with a bit of a food hangover. I will wear it because my birthday meal was delicious. The vegan orange poppy seed cake was something that we are going to make again and again. It was really delicious, didn’t use eggs or butter and was very light and moist thanks to an orange drizzle that was spooned over the top of the cake while it was still warm. Here’s the recipe if anyone would like to have a go of it…

http://holycowvegan.net/2011/12/lemon-poppy-seed-bundt-cake-with-lemon.html

Please note, I substituted orange for lemon as I am not a great lemon fan and the orange swap involved just substituting orange juice and zest for the lemon juice and zest

An action shot of Stevie-boy who is too masculine to bother with using a stand mixer to cream ingredients

An action shot of Stevie-boy who is too masculine to bother with using a stand mixer to cream ingredients

Here is what happens when you are too masculine to use a stand mixer to mix in flour (sigh...)

Here is what happens when you are too masculine to use a stand mixer to mix in flour (sigh…)

 

One hot and most glorious smelling vegan orange poppyseed bundt cake fresh out of the oven

One hot and most glorious smelling vegan orange poppyseed bundt cake fresh out of the oven

 

And here it is after it has had orange drizzle ladled over the top... " Bellisimo!" :)

And here it is after it has had orange drizzle ladled over the top… ” Bellisimo!” 🙂

I am going to head off now folks. Most of this email was prepared earlier due to the threat of us losing the net for the rest of the day as we are getting a visit from a Telstra lines man who needs to hook us up a new junction box after last week’s storms pulled our wires down. Turns out, in the process, that he discovered that “someone” (DAD!) had done their own rudimentary wire fix by twisting two wires together and duct taping them together…sounds like something that dad would have done to me! They need to be properly housed in a junction box so I am going to finish up here now and get this scheduled to post as otherwise I might lose the net and not be able to post today. Have a great week everyone. I haven’t had time to read my RSS Feed Reader properly for the last week or so because we have been working hard on relentless studies but hopefully, everything will be back to normal (or something approximating normal) on Serendipity Farm in a week or so.

 

 

Vegan peanut butter cookie dough mix chilled in the freezer and ready to cut up to add to vegan Brazil nut ice cream

Vegan peanut butter cookie dough mix chilled in the freezer and ready to cut up to add to vegan Brazil nut ice cream

The ingredients for making Japanese wakame (seaweed) salad

The ingredients for making Japanese wakame (seaweed) salad

It might look like something from the black lagoon, but wakame seaweed is delicious and makes a really wonderful addition to any Japanese meal

It might look like something from the black lagoon, but wakame seaweed is delicious and makes a really wonderful addition to any Japanese meal

Wakame salad (sans toasted sesame seeds) and pickled carrot salad. Both of these were needed to cut the HUGE amount of battered gorgeousness that we consumed with gusto :)

Wakame salad (sans toasted sesame seeds) and pickled carrot salad. Both of these were needed to cut the HUGE amount of battered gorgeousness that we consumed with gusto 🙂

Stage 1 of the production line to make tempura, bear battered veggies for a most happy narf's Japanese birthday feast :)

Stage 1 of the production line to make tempura, bear battered veggies for a most happy narf’s Japanese birthday feast 🙂

 

 

Steve's Japanese beef in the frypan and one of the trays of delicious beer battered happiness

Steve’s Japanese beef in the frypan and one of the trays of delicious beer battered happiness

A mix of battered sweet potato, whole spring onions (NOT chook feet ;) ) broccoli florets and mushrooms

A mix of battered sweet potato, whole spring onions (NOT chook feet 😉 ) broccoli florets and mushrooms

The salads and more mushrooms...you can NEVER have enough battered mushrooms according to Stevie-boy ;)

The salads and more mushrooms…you can NEVER have enough battered mushrooms according to Stevie-boy 😉

Today’s post has been brought to you by the letters A.W.O.L

Hi All

Yeah, that’s right…at the moment I am beavering away studying and am not typing this email at ALL. I thought that I would give you all an easy read today and so I have decided to just shoot a few photos around the property and share where Serendipity Farm is at right here…right now

First up…could you please all load and play the Youtube link below and just click “repeat” ok? We need some music for this post…

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UJkxFhFRFDA\

(Elevator music “tick”…proceed…)

Firstly my A.W.O.L. self would like to share a link with you that might give you a bit of a laugh. As we were searching the internet for how to search the Internet (got to be some kind of irony there…) we were required to follow a set of instructions that was so hopelessly out of date most of what we were required to do wasn’t possible any more. There was one interesting exercise that involved going to the site below and adding website links to tell you how the website ranked. It also has a most interesting feature (amongst lots of other interesting features I need to add…) whereby you can see what a site is “worth”. Now I am guessing this is its bankability rather than its intrinsic worth (spoken like someone who checked and whose sight is worth about tree fiddy…) but if you are like me, and you could care less about honing your site to the bone in order to make it an amazing you beaut money spinner to send your kids through college (SO lucky my kids are all adults! 😉 ) then check it out…

http://www.page-rank-calculator.com/

Velociraptor chooks

Someone once told me that chickens were descended from velociraptors… I would have been inclined to agree up until yesterday when I kept hearing a very loud commotion out in the outdoor enclosure and headed out (visions of quolls dancing in my head!) to find this…

DSCF7486

“I spy, with my little eye, something beginning with…BOLLOCKS!” That white goshawk is back!

DSCF7498

Not only was he back, but by the look of that stomach he had been pick-and-mixing himself a few of our poor long suffering orphaned chicks! I am starting to get the feeling that our chooks are living in a kind of Final Destination movie…

DSCF7509

By the way, this is our chooks view of the Tamar River. Some high end real estate for our girls, no expenses spared 😉

DSCF7544

I found out why spear thistles are able to grow like topsy just about anywhere in the world…I almost sat on this!

Living with Earl and Bezial has its challenges. I shared a video with you yesterday that showed a dog that was remarkably like Earl. He is a complete loveable larrikin and if I was to think of someone that reminded me of Earl it would have to be…

robbie_williams_Earl

He even has the same hangdog expression as Earl! If Earl could have tats he would 😉

Then we have Bezial who unlike Earl is NOT sociable in the least. He would rather be alone and asleep or be fed copious quantities of treats and shuns “the media” (that would be me…) in order to maintain anonymity and for the sake of a quiet life. If I was to choose someone that epitomised Bezial it would have to be…

mr-t-Bezial

Yeah I “Pity the fool” who tries to get Bezial to do something that he doesn’t want to!

DSCF7504

I know what these marks are for! I KNOW! I actually learned something already from my printing course! 🙂 (If you want to know what these marks are for you can head off and do a bit of research…it’s good for you! 😉 )

DSCF7513

Earl cam…2 of the younger chooks who make a break for the outside world every morning

DSCF7510

Earl partaking of an egg that I tossed onto the ground to check if it was past its use by date…according to Earl it wasn’t

DSCF7514

This is a pile of rocks. This is what most of Serendipity Farm looks like except some kind previous owner hasn’t piled them up. By the way Stewart and Kelsey “you are on your own!” 😉

DSCF7515

Lots of piles of rocks. Not entirely sure what we are going to do with them but for now, they can stay where they are

DSCF7518

Those posts are the gateway to the back (bush) block and that’s my veggie garden 🙂

DSCF7521

This is a native hibiscus. For all of you horticultural genii out there, it’s a “Idontcare whatidis”

DSCF7523

This is closely related to that flower above in that it’s botanical name is something that I really am not interested in at the moment but it is a bit of a weedy species but it is one of the only trees that has done really well on the property. Might be time to reclassify “weed” 😉

DSCF7529

Another example following on from last weeks post of things that survive long hot dry conditions and things that don’t. That lonicera (yes…I care about that one 😉 ) is growing well where that brown thing used to be a hebe.

DSCF7531

The view from the front gates of Serendipity Farm. Directly over that road is the river

DSCF7532

I wonder where little red riding hood is? It would appear a big bad wolf is roaming in the forest!

DSCF7533

Ok…so this is little red eh? I don’t think she has anything to worry about ;). Note the squint, “its too bright outside!” he is angling for some designer shades…

DSCF7535

More of the tea tree garden

DSCF7538

Stopping at their favourite tap for a drink…this wandering around Serendipity Farm to take photos is thirsty work!

DSCF7539

Almost time to battle the possums and the rats for a few of these

DSCF7541

This fallen tree knows that its days are numbered so it is growing again from the root. Isn’t nature amazing?

DSCF7542

Nerines are just starting to flower…that means autumn is really here!

DSCF7543

Our crude attempt to prevent the wallabies from inhaling Steve’s weeping maple collection. That worked but we still haven’t worked out how to stop them losing their leaves due to heat stress 😦

WP_20140316_08_21_34_Pro

We walked the boys around Bonnie Beach early on Sunday and Steve took a few photos with his phone camera

WP_20140316_08_20_02_Pro

A tiny woman being dragged by a small dog

WP_20140316_08_20_10_Pro

She is still being dragged but at least she is smiling 😉

DSCF7446

Another drought survivor…pelargoniums and their close relatives geraniums are idea for anywhere that is going to be subject to very little water and no frost

DSCF7450

Foraged acorns (from Glads enormous trees next door) and damsons (just up the road) that I am going to attempt to grow and that pink flower is a Belladonna lily aka “Easter Lily”

DSCF7456

This was a “SQUEE” moment on what was otherwise a sad day…the day that we voted the Liberals in to govern Tasmania :(. I didn’t vote Labour this time like I have ever since I signed up to vote when I was 18. I voted for Clive Palmer because ANYONE had to be better than the rest! He didn’t get in BUT while I was voting I noticed a little plants stall out the front of the local hall and they were selling potato onions for $2 a bag…look what lucky narf7 got! 🙂

DSCF7459

This is rich yeasted dough

DSCF7466

This is a raw beesting cake

DSCF7471

This is a cooked beesting cake

DSCF7472

This is a cooked beesting cake filled with crème patisserie and whipped cream. It was just about to wend it’s way down the road to Jan and her brother Peter’s house in order to be appreciated by happy Germans who adore good cake. I am glad to say it went down well 🙂

DSCF7476

Poor Serendipity Farm is looking a bit the worse for wear at the moment but hopefully a bit more rain might give her a bit more character

DSCF7477

At least the deck steps look good 😉

DSCF7481

Leftover spaghetti bolognaise mixed with pasta which then got covered in a rich three cheese sauce and cooked…sort of Pastasagne. Whatever it was Steve loved it 🙂

DSCF7483

Steve found and foraged these walnuts when he was in town the other day. I have taught him well!

DSCF7507

And last but by NO means least, this was what Steve had for his tea last night (only they were cooked when he ate them…) 2 large Cornish pasties made with homemade cheesy shortcrust pastry.

That’s all for today folks. Not a lot of words but plenty of photos. Have a great week and like my old mate Simon Townsend (television presenter) used to say “The world really is wonderful” 🙂