Saturday, February 12, 2011

All clucky here!

Quality control with your hen eggs is very important. You really need to be able to guarantee a perfect egg every time. I can do this...pretty much every time! I start to have trouble in my chookyard at this time of year. late Summer I seem to get so many eggs..and so many clucky chooks. I usually try to have all my clucky chooks separated so no-one lays on top of them, but have a look at today's walk in the chookyard and you'll see why everyone can't be isolated!!
Yes, you're right, there's 10 sitting..and that's just the ones I can find! Actually, notice 2 are hatching, found that out when i went to take your photos! They sit anywhere, even in the top of the wood a yabby net! (middle above) Any dark corner, bit of hay...they really don't care!
If I collect the eggs a few times every day quality control is good, I find all the fresh ones, leave the others behind and the world is good...but if I miss a day...or heaven forbid...go away, all the trouble starts. What happens then is that we have to keep any doubtful ones that may have been sat on a day or two. I break them into a cup before using them, so can check. I also keep all the small eggs, here, from the bantams and pullets. On these days we eat a lot of quiches and egg and bacon do the district!
I have a new favourite recipe that I thought I would share. It is SO easy it is embarrassing, but incredibly cheap!
Here's what you need, basically!
-Eggs...however many you want,
-shoulder bacon, ham, normal bacon...whatever you have really. I use three pieces of the big shoulder bacon, lightly cook it in the pan..with the onions/garlic
-an onion, cut up small and cooked lightly, can add a bit of garlic in..natural flavours!
-Pita bread,
-grated cheese
To make: Just line a casserole dish with the pita bread/wrap. (Don't cook it, just as is- fresh)
Throw two pieces of the bacon in, folded so it fits. Then just break 3 or 4 eggs straight onto the top and a fair bit of the onion. Cut the last piece(s) of bacon and layer on top, add some more eggs and rest of onion. Could add a shake of S&P if desired, then just a handful of grated cheese sprinkled over the top and cook for around 40 minutes on medium oven until eggs are well cooked through. This is amazingly cheap, Aldi has a 5 pack of the Pita bread for $1.29, the bacon to make about 6 for $7, cheese enough to make 6for $4 ish, even if you buy the eggs, it's not dear. So I make a few of these at once, they will freeze but aren't quite as nice....need more chutney on top at serving! There's just something about it fresh. It is fabulous cold! Best 'Take with' quiche type thing because it is quite solid, good enough to stay together for school lunches. Replacing the pastry with the pita bread makes it a much healthier version as well.
Last Monday we had lemon chicken with scalloped potatoes, the next day i put the left overs into the pie, layers of chicken and potato worked beautifully...just made it thicker.
Here's one I prepared earlier
All ready for a bite!

Got to run..and sew..and write a children's address for Church tomorrow, and plan 2 meeting agendas, but here's my new card thanks to my very clever blogging friends!!
Posted by PicasaThanks for all the walnut advice...who knew it was that tricky!!! I can't wait to see if I can get some to cooking with stage. Have a great day, Tracey

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

He giveth with one hand... (and walnut advice please!)

Bit of trivia, when it rains inches and inches all summer long, many things grow really well, I have never seen my belladonna's look like this. (Neither have the chooks!) Your fruit trees especially do well. The farm we bought next door has a walnut tree, probably planted 50 or a a hundred years ago... I didn't see any walnuts on it last year, but this year it is loaded.

Being a quilter, you know I can't bear to see anything go to waste, so I am trying to work out how to properly harvest these walnuts. I googled (of course) but they wont quite tell me exactly waht i want to know, so if you can assist, feel free! Do I pick them pretty big, and mainly all green, then dry them, then take the outside husk off or do I pick them with a bit of black and just rip the husks off somehow..then perhaps let the walnuts dry out somewhere in their shells? I always thought you just let them drop to the ground, then when the outside went black you got the walnut out...but the ones that have done that themselves under the tree are soft and rotten. These are some that have just started going black and when i pulled some skin off some it looked like a proper walnut underneath, so I have bought a few kgs home to do something with.
But have left all the rest on the tree. Some like the photo previous, some like below. What to do next?

O also foresee a LOT of pickled figs..actually i think I am really going to have to master fig jam, it's never been my talent, but there has a to be a good recipe out there somewhere!! Look at this for a fig tree...

AndI think the correct word is "laden"

Of course, all rain is not many Aussies know!!
Rain makes lots of thing grow, especially weed. Look at this great paddock of weeds...

..oh, wait, that's not a paddock of weeds, that's a paddock of early barley that should have been harvested about a month ago but we couldn't get on it. Now the joy is trying to get un-weedy, viable barley seeds out of there. i'll keep you updated on THAT challenge!!
Have a great day, any walnut harvesting advice or "What on earth to do with figs" will be greatly appreciated! Tracey
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Sunday, February 06, 2011

Some good reads...

I have lived in Australia my whole life.....but I cannot believe the past few months here. Torrential and unseasonal rain, heatwaves, floods, cyclones and now serious fires in the West start to make you it climate change, is it something ort of the book of Revelations...or is it just everything Australia has been throwing at its people for thousands of years and it has occurred all at once. I don't have the answers, I just can't believe the country.

This week we have managed to get some more crop off, we were very fortunate that the 4 inches that occurred around our state due to the tail of the cyclone didn't occur here..or we would have had to park the headers for the rest of the harvest and write it all off, with only a quarter of the seeds off. We have already had to buy a chaser bin to get the grain out of the paddock, but still could not do almost a quarter of the latest paddock.chaser bin is the middle one, pulled by a mud friendly tractor!

On an entirely different note, I have been doing some book purchasing..and received a few... in the last few months and haven't shared! Tonya Ricucci's Word Play quilts arrived, thanks to postage free Book depository. I LOVE it!! My word quilts should be far improved excuse!! It is with Skinny quilts and table runners. I saw a beach quilt made out of this in Chookyblue's SSCS wrap up photos and loved it..even though I'm not a big pattern girl. It has some other fabulous quilts in it, very happy with that purchase. It was also available at Book Depository.
Posted by Picasa Searching for a 2011 quitling diary at Book depository and ended up following links to the 7 minute difference. It was perfect timing, I love to try and be more organized, especially starting a new year. The book gives you heaps of good ideas..and the diary has heaps of room for planning and organizing your priorities..and day.
A little bit of spiritual food as well. Quilts from heaven is a great little patchwork related devotion book and Francine Rivers Lineage of Grace follows the stories of the women in Jesus line. It is written in a novel type format and is fabulous, we studied the stories at Bible Study.
My gorgeous friend Robyn bought me The Elm Tree quilts book for my birthday, not realising that Anne Ida's quilt is featured in it. I have always wanted to read "These is my Words" and bought it for self for Christmas!
I bought myself Billy Joel's biography as well, I LOVE him. I have spent January with his all time greatest hits collection on the car CD stacker and I am proud to tell you my children now sing all his songs in the that it 'good bringin' up'!!! I adore my boy's rendition of 'I a-aa-am an Innocent m-a-aan' in the shower"!!
His hairline foot fracture and raging tonsilitis (that both combined to force a week on the couch) have improved, and I can safely say I never want to see that lion caged again!!
And finally, and very importantly, my sister gave me the Pioneer Woman Cooks for my birthday, what a beautiful woman .... and book! She is currently doing press for "Black heels to tractor wheels" which is being released. I have been watching her live on the US today show. Funny to hear her speak after following her writing so long. Great books! Amazing to think her writing career came from being bored one day and starting a blog! Chance may have started her, Talent got her to where she is though!!
Hope you see some thing that interests you, if you have any more recommendations that suit me, drop me a line. Have a great day, Tracey

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

MY New year start!!

My year is about to start!! Doesn't quite work in with January 1st, my timetable, I can't get into New year resolutions and schedules while the kids are on holidays and expect me to spend time with them, not doing my own stuff (how rude, really!! LOL)Posted by Picasa But,I am now getting myself ready for the approaching school bus and the 'freetime" (sometimes!!) that brings. Bought 'the 7 minute difference', and the diary from one of my Book depository sojourns..and it's working wonders already. Was looking at my patchwork goals and thought, MUST get more done than last year, which really felt like a sewing desert. As part of the prioritising I looked at what i had achieved..and was actaully quite surprised, so i thought i would share for historical reference...there were a few weeks there after my computer died when it looked like this blog was one of the only receptacles of my photos!!
Quilt tops, finished quilts, skirts, bags, santa sacks and aprons. Fair bit of variety. Everything has gone to someone else except the couple of unfinished quilt tops. Hopefully all those quilt tops will be finished this year, along with a few in the UFO stash. There are also a lot of quilts I want to make...SUCH a long list. I'm lookin forward to the challenge. What are your plans for patchwork in 2011, maybe posting what you've done might motivate you as well, I know many have done it already or continually update in their sidebar. i have been trying to work out what i like the best, what's your favourite from my year's work?
The header was repaired ready for a good go in hot weather today. For those interested, it was a rotor bearing (i think)! We are only onto our own third paddock of wheat (we work with the rest of the family) so harvest is going to go well into February and close to March for some crops. The joys of the weather!
have a great day, Tracey