Thursday, 2 July 2015

I Can Peel My Own Banans

Some things in life just make you smile.  I should have filmed this but had already started taking photos by the time I thought of it.

Monday, 29 June 2015

Date Loaf

This recipe is an oldie but a goodie.  It is something I remember my mum cooking for us when we were kids and when I found some quite old and dry looking dates in the pantry I decided to turn them into this loaf.  The recipe calls for walnuts which work really well as they are quite bitter and make a nice contrast to the sweet loaf.  I used 50/50 walnuts and almonds as I did not have enough walnuts and the almonds still worked well.  I doubled this recipe and froze one. loaf and they freeze well

Date Loaf

1 Cup of Chopped Dates
1 Cup of Boiling Water
1 Tsp Baking Soda
1 Tbs Butter
3/4 Cup of Brown Sugar
1 Beaten Egg
1 Cup of chopped Walnuts
2 Cups Plain Flour
1 Tsp Baking Powder

Put your dates, butter, baking soda and water into a large bowl and stir until the butter is melted and then set aside  for 1 hour.
Preheat your oven to 180 degrees c and grease a 22 cm loaf tin.
Beat your sugar, egg and walnuts into the date mix and the sift in the flour and baking powder stirring until just combined.
Pour into your loaf tin and bake for 35 - 45 mins.
When cooked remove from the oven and allow to cool in the tin for 10 mins before turning onto a cooling rack.

Sunday, 28 June 2015

Lots Going On Around Here

My blogging schedule has been under a bit of pressure this month but that is not to say there has not been a lot going on.

We have been having a lot of house inspections so we hope that this will shortly lead to a contract but are not getting our hopes up too much.  Because we have had to be out of the house most weekends for these inspections we have had a couple of weekends away camping.  On the June long weekend we spent 3 days camping and had friends join us for one night which was a lovely catch up.  Then last weekend we went camping again by ourselves just to relax.

I have also started my University study and needless to say that having not studied since 2001 it is challenging my brain to get back into that mode of operation.  I am currently undertaking a 2 week prep course that focuses on academic writing which I am so glad I signed up for as the rules around academic writing are very specific and being able to write well will ensure I do well in my studies.

Although we are really just keeping the house and gardens tidy and not adding to them we have had to spend a bit of time out in the garden.  We have had a very mild and wet winter so far which is not at all normal for us at this time of the year.  This has resulted in the weeds taking over every little space they can find.  Today we pulled out half a wheelbarrow of weeds and all the rain meant they were easy to get out.  With the shortest day of the year now behind us we are on our way back towards summer but I still expect that we will have some cooler weather ahead of us.

With the couple of weekends away camping I have read some great books and have picked up my crochet hook again too.  I am working on a large blanket and so far I have a knee rug so it is progressing nicely.

I have not had a lot of time to read your blogs and leave comments but please know I am reading when I can even if I am not leaving comments.

Tuesday, 23 June 2015

Added Calcium For Your Chickens

If you have chickens then you are probably well aware that they need a good supply of calcium so that the shells of their eggs remain strong.  If chickens do not have access to enough to calcium they will actually use the calcium from their bodies.

Many people confuse grit and calcium and it is important to know what you are providing for your birds.
Some grit is insoluble which means it is not broken down by the chickens digestive system and sits in the gizzard to help break down food particles.  If your chickens free range then you may not need to provide this as they can pick up their own from the ground.
You can also buy soluble grit that is often crushed shells and provides chickens with a good source of calcium.

Our chickens free range so our only concern is to provide adequate calcium ( our soil is very low in calcium) and I like to do this by recycling all the egg shells back to them.
When using eggs I place all of the shells in a small oven tray and if it is winter I sit the tray on top of the fire place and the rest of the year I place the tray in the oven.  I like to dry the shells out completely so that there are no soft patches of egg white left on the inside of the shell.

Once they are dry I crush them to a fine powder in my mortar and pestle.

I then store all my crushed egg shells in a container and mix a few table spoons into their layers mash every few days.

This this method costs me nothing, we rarely have eggs with thin or soft shells and the egg shells have another use passing through the chicken and then going into the compost.  

Do you feed our egg shells to your chickens?
How do you ensure they get enough calcium?

Friday, 19 June 2015

It's Yellow Season

It's Yellow Season around here with Mini Capsicums, Lemons, Quinces and Tahitian Limes all producing well in the garden.

What colour season is it at your place?