Thursday, 23 February 2017

A Little Preserving

We don't eat a lot of preserves or jams etc because of the high sugar content but at the end of summer there is always lots of nice fruit and vegs for some small batch preserving. Last week I made some fig jam, re-batched some sad marmalade and yesterday made a beautiful hot yellow sauce from my Lemon Aji chillies. Making more fig jam today after Dad braved the ants to pick me some more figs!

Hot Yellow Sauce, Fig Jam and re-batched marmalade...yummy treats...



I'll share the recipes with you, the sauce was made up by me recipe based on what I have made and learned in the past.

Fig Jam

500gms fresh figs
3/4 cup of sugar
zest and juice of a large lemon
1 tablespoon of honey

Finely chop the figs and remove the stalks
Place in saucepan with their juice and the other ingredients
Bring to boil carefully and then simmer to setting point, this only took 10 minutes for me

Hot Yellow Sauce

1 cup each of~~~
chopped onions
peeled and chopped apple
chopped yellow capsicum/pepper
white vinegar
white sugar

3 yellow chillies thinly sliced, I grow lemon aji chillies and wanted to keep that gorgeous colour but use whatever you have, red will give an even brighter colour
1 teaspoon of turmeric


Simmer everything together until the vegetables are very tender then blend the sauce with a tablespoon of olive oil for a smoother texture...I would keep the windows open if possible

For both recipes bottle into hot sterile jars and label well...sunshine in a jar, hot and fruity sauce...


My original seeds for these quaint chillies come from the Hippy Seed Company in NSW


In other news we are very sad to announce that the wonderful Down to Earth forums where so many of us met all those years ago is finally closing on March 16th...Rhonda can no longer afford the time it takes(3 hrs per day) and wishes to spend that time with her family, we are so grateful for all the time she has given, the forum has been a wonderful place for over 8 years. Happy Real Retirement Rhonda and thank you for improving so very many lives.

Are you preserving at the moment? Would love to hear what recipes you are using,
Have a good day
Love from Sue
xxx

Tuesday, 21 February 2017

Hallo Folks

Just chatting with Robyn over at the Farm Fancies blog and realizing it has been ages since I posted anything.
We got through managed to enjoy our first Christmas without Mum and SIL Danny although they are both sadly missed. Priscilla has gone through another 4 week course of chemotherapy in Ottawa but her tumours continue to grow in size and number...she remains cheerfully determined most of the time and her baby Kullen is thriving...his chubby cheeks are such a joy...the girls have started karate now and recently enjoyed their first tournament...


Nearer to home Charlie is now 9mos old and very active...attempting a break-out


We've had the coolest summer for many years here in WA, lots of rain and the plants are loving it...






Terry next door gave me a bit of silverbeet/chard which I washed and steamed for the freezer, lovely to add to soups and curries...


We've also had over 200 passionfruit from our vine, I've frozen some of the pulp but mostly shared them around to eat fresh. Dad picked me a pound/500gms of fresh figs which I've turned into 2 small jars of jam and I re-boiled some very thin marmalade and half a jar of lemon syrup to make some very tasty thick marmalade...I'd never re-boiled any jam/marmalade before so it's good to know that it can be salvaged if it's too thin the first time.

Knitting news is that the first zigzag blanket is finished and a second one begun, now I've mastered the technique it's a great project to take out with me...always a good conversation starter too...the second one is in more muted turquoise and green shades...it's a free pattern on ravelry...


I took the new one to the indoor play centre and happily sat knitting while two grandsons had a fine time on the rides and equipment...and eating...oh boy can they eat!


So that's what's been happening here, living quietly as we cope with our losses...dear Rose Marshall from the Down to Forums passed away recently too as did our neighbour Mavis...a reminder to enjoy each day as it comes, they pass very quickly indeed.

I hope things are going well in your neck of the woods, pls leave a note if you're still reading, it's so good to hear from my friends and family all over the world
Big Love,
Sue
xx

Friday, 25 November 2016

Flowers on Friday

as promised mostly just photos of the abundance around us this Spring...the passionfruit and climbing rose have from this...


to this...

  Lobelia's blue flowers are stunning, my favourite colour in fact...


one of the climbing roses...


sweet peas in a hanging basket, they quickly produce seed pods which I'll save for next year...


one of the reasons celery is grown for it's stalks and not these teeny tiny flowers...they will go to seed and spread around the garden for future use...


this sweetpea flower is two-tone...


  view from the house...


Dear Son made this trolley for us to carry heavy loads from the car to the house, any of our neighbours may use it too...


miniature rose bush and rosemary...



I went into Perth on Monday for the last of Dad's paperwork...there was a selection of decorated polystyrene cows around the city and I came across these three on my travels...








Such fun but I didn't have time to search out the others because I was too excited to find a new food stall at the Carillon selling Brazilian food...I bought feijoada for Joe as I know he loves it!

Off shopping now with Dad, B and Charlie, 36C is forecast so we won't want to be out too long.
Happy weekend to you all,
Sue x

Wednesday, 23 November 2016

Keeping Going

After my last sad post I am happy to share some nice photos with you and also to thank every-one for their loving support and messages.

On October 30th Priscilla's baby boy, Kullen, was delivered by c-section after a very long labour that was going nowhere because of the second tumour blocking his way...he weighed 4 lbs and was breathing on his own after a day or two and they both went home shortly afterwards. After 4 weeks in hospital Priscilla and Will were thrilled to be going home at last...


moved to a 'big boy's bed'...



  with Daddy...


ready for home...



Chemo started again for Priscilla yesterday with the usual nausea and fatigue but she's resting in bed and being well cared for. As her milk will be unsuitable for Kullen a donor has come forward to gift her own milk for him which is such a wonderful offer and will be the next best thing to his Mama's milk.

Here in the west Charlie(6 mos) continues to delight us all with his character...up at 5.30am for piano practice today...


loving 'solid foods' now, tenderly made at home by his awesome Mum...B made this hilarious collage, we love his pumpkin face...


Dad has tripped and hurt his back, I fell outside the post office and am grazed and bruised but Joe has topped that! Mandy called him an over-achiever...he had a mini stroke in September which is still causing double vision and this week he added conjunctivitis to his list of ailments...you just have to laugh at times!

I been enjoying lots of knitting and even some cross-stitch work recently as well as lots of Christmas planning and gardening. Being Spring the flowers are in abundance all around us, I'll do a separate post as there are so many photographs.

This is another 10-stitch blanket I am doing, quite easy once you work out how it develops, I'm using 8 ply acrylic on 5mm needles for a softer drape...

If you are a member of ravelry you can see more of Frankie Brown's patterns here


So there is my update, I will sort out the garden pics shortly but wish you all a very happy day today where-ever you are and what-ever you are doing,
Love Sue

Thursday, 15 September 2016

So Sad, So Sorry

I have to write this post.

I know it's not a simple lifestyle post, I know it's miserable, I know it's actually heart-breaking but I need to get my thoughts out before I crash altogether.

I am so blessed to have at least 3(5 really) 'daughters' in my life. So blessed. However the three I am going to write about are struggling and I ask you to keep them in your hearts. Their beautiful names are in order of age are Elizabeth, Priscilla and Breeann. Forgive me Monique and Kristie, you are also much loved.

Elizabeth's husband, Danny, was killed three weeks ago when his motor cycle left the road near Bunbury. They have three sons and eighteen years together but now he is gone. When Elizabeth finally got home from his funeral she had been sent a letter asking her to vacate her home by mid-November as the landlady did not want to renew her lease. Now she will have to start the very stressful search for another rental home and pack up her home. She has bursitis in both her shoulders and hips but retains her wicked sense of humour as she copes with her ill health, grief and fears for the future. Their wedding day...




Priscilla in Ontario, Canada is expecting her fourth baby, a little boy already named Kullen. However her tumours have grown, blocking a kidney and necessitating a tube to be inserted to drain into an external bag. This tube has been a constant source of infection since then requiring many courses of anti-biotics and hospital visits. Her medical team plan to deliver him by caesarian section in at about 32 weeks gestation in 4 weeks time and then start aggressive chemotherapy  2 weeks hence. Understandably Priscilla is very concerned for her baby and the care of the 3 older children who are all under the age of 8 years themselves. Priss has a great network of family and friends to help with the practical things and is incredibly brave throughout this. 26 weeks...


Last but not least is our new darling Breeann. This wee angel was sent to us to heal my son's broken heart, to support us all while Mum was dying and then the icing on the cake has been to become mumma to Cyclone Charlie. Her own health has been a pain in the bum since his birth but she is still there upholding us all ,,,she is a Queen in Constance Hall's terms.


So in the meantime I am as flat as pancake, struggling with my own black dog. Today has been a little lighter for which I am so grateful. I've cooked and cleaned and gardened and finally made my way back to the Down to Earth forums which are so grounding.
Forgive me but please keep us all in your hearts.


PS Rhonda shared this article in her Down to Earth Weekend Reading blog post and it makes so much sense
http://www.huffingtonpost.com.au/2016/09/12/7-ways-to-prepare-for-death-that-will-instantly-improve-your-lif/

So Sad, So Sorry

I have to write this post.

I know it's not a simple lifestyle post, I know it's miserable, I know it's actually heart-breaking but I need to get my thoughts out before I crash altogether.

I am so blessed to have at least 3(5 really) 'daughters' in my life. So blessed. However the three I am going to write about are struggling and I ask you to keep them in your hearts. Their beautiful names are in order of age are Elizabeth, Priscilla and Breeann. Forgive me Monique and Kristie, you are also much loved.

Elizabeth's husband, Danny, was killed three weeks ago when his motor cycle left the road near Bunbury. They have three sons and eighteen years together but now he is gone. When Elizabeth finally got home from his funeral she had been sent a letter asking her to vacate her home by mid-November as the landlady did not want to renew her lease. Now she will have to start the very stressful search for another rental home and pack up her home. She has bursitis in both her shoulders and hips but retains her wicked sense of humour as she copes with her ill health, grief and fears for the future. Their wedding day...




Priscilla is expecting her fourth baby, a little boy already named Kullen. However her tumours have grown, blocking a kidney and necessitating a tube to be inserted to drain into an external bag. This tube has been a constant source of infection since then requiring many courses of anti-biotics and hospital visits. Her medical team plan to deliver him by caesarian section in at about 32 weeks gestation in 4 weeks time and then start aggressive chemotherapy  2 weeks hence. Understandably Priscilla is very concerned for her baby and the care of the 3 older children who are all under the age of 8 years themselves. Priss has a great network of family and friends to help with the practical things and is incredibly brave throughout this. 26 weeks...


Last but not least is our new darling Breeann. This wee angel was sent to us to heal my son's broken heart, to support us all while Mum was dying and then the icing on the cake has been to become mumma to Cyclone Charlie. Her own health has been a pain in the bum since his birth but she is still there upholding us all ,,,she is a Queen in Constance Hall's terms.


So in the meantime I am as flat as pancake, struggling with my own black dog. Today has been a little lighter for which I am so grateful. I've cooked and cleaned and gardened and finally made my way back to the Down to Earth forums which are so grounding.
Forgive me but please keep us all in your hearts.

Tuesday, 23 August 2016

August Garden

Hallo every-one, just a few garden photos while it's sunny outside. We've had so much rain and very cool mornings so the sunshine is most welcome...dear Son painted the 2 large pieces of lattice for me yesterday, I love the way they break up the expanse of grey fencing and as we are renting I have hung them on hooks that fit over the top of the fence~no need to drill etc In Spring the frangipani trees will be in full foliage so we should get some nice shadows and a sense of depth here...


beautiful yellow freesias come up every year from bulbs and smell so lovely...


Wise Owl looks on...


Shy Seahorse and Cheeky Parrot enjoy the sun...


Lemon Aji chillies keep ripening...


the Cara Cara orange tree has much new growth...




potted vegies are thriving too...


limes are ripe in time for more Indian style chutney...


a pretty new French style planter is home to sweet peas and a ceramic bird...


Life is fairly routine these days, I visit Dad twice a week with a dinner or two and we do some shopping together. Charlie is 3 months old already and is such a delight with his bright eyes and ready smile...


The beat goes on...

bye bye for now,
Sue