Birthday season has begun here, kicking off with a few cupcakes for school. I don't bother with fancy, I know they'll get eaten either way.... 12 choc with vanilla icing, 12 vanilla with choc icing and a sprinkle of sprinkles. The boy is happy so I'm happy. Are you fancy (and clever) or more like me....
Today's basket of goodies included butternut and jap pumpkin, sweet potato, chilli, basil and eggs, fennel and silverbeet. I didn't use all of these for dinner, but I definitely cooked up something yummy.... We enjoyed sweet potato and silverbeet rostis with basil mayo/sour cream and a fennel, beetroot and feta salad. Freshest most yummy dinner I must say. Did you cook with anything from your garden today?
All ready to bottle up some rooibos and green tea kombucha today and they're just not ready. This cool change in the weather is slowing the fermentation process down. They'll need at least another week. Sorry if you've been hanging out for these yummy's, but you can't hurry a good thing
Living so close to the beach, I find myself with a very particular micro climate.
My little garden has a lot to contend with - sea winds and sea spray are our biggest enemy.
I have over the last few years tried many different plants along the fence line to create a barrier. I've had a good run with the tiger grass along most of the fence except one particular spot.
Last week I did some more research into coastal plants and natives. So I am going to try some new plants to see how they go. I bought little baby tubestock plants from @australianplantsonline in the hope that I can nurture them through the elements here to develop a good 'survival instinct' for this micro climate.
I wont plant them straight into the face of it all, but keep them quite protected at first and slowly expose them to whats on offer here by the beach.
I also chose plants that would be beneficial to my new bee's. Even though I know these little buzz machines can travel up to a couple of k's away for their food, I would love to see them close to home as well.
The coastal natives I chose are Callistemon 'Candy Pink', Grevillea poorinda 'Splendour', Melaleuca 'Snowflake', Hibiscus - red cottonwood and Xanthostemon Fairhill Gold.
I also picked out some other coastal tolerant plants like Rhaphiolepis Apple Blossom, dwarf Pomegranate, Metrosideros Fiji Fire and Erigeron - the seaside daisy.
I know where I will be planting the coastal natives, I just need to find a home for the rest of the little plants too. Thank fully they will stay in pots for a little longer to give me time to make up my mind.
I needed some more Scoby's to make more kombucha brews. So I set about growing some new babies. I grow these from my existing kombucha. Adding some fresh tea/sugar concoction to feed and boost the growing process. These babies are now 10 days old and you can well and truly see the growth coming along nicely. I'll leave these for another couple of weeks to get nice and strong before I set them to work on a brew of their own. I am forever fascinated by the kombucha scoby. The health benefits they provide our bodies are a whole story of their own. Did you know these beauties are very much alive?
I attended the Nyiirun Djiyagan Wakulda Women's Festival at the Birpai Local Aboriginal Land Council in Port Macquarie where I offered treats I had created from my home and garden.
In all my excitement and nerves I didnt take a single photo of anything!
Thankfully my sister managed to get one of me!
I brought to the space a couple of my now kinda famous Banana and Ginger breads, a couple of delicious 'garden' quiches, and 3 flavours of kombucha. I came home with empty plates and bottles and lots of wonderful positive opinions. Thank you Rhonda Radley for inviting me to this special space and being supportive of my 'hobby'. As my hubby said to my kiddies tonight....."look at mummy being brave again" I felt as proud as punch! Have you been brave lately?
Yesterday a friend asked me about worms..... compost worms that is. Which promptly reminded me I was due to give my compost some love and I just so happened to have lots of goodies to add into this beautiful food for my garden. Plus the worms will be pleased with some fresh food. So into the drum went: Lots of banana peels - normally I cut these up into little pieces, but there were just too many and I was lazy. Banana peels add calcium, magnesium, sulphur, phosphates, potassium and sodium to the mix. Shredded paper, as it was a bit wet with all the rain we'd had and I dont want my compost to be a rotting soggy mess. Plus its a nice way to reduce waste around here a little more - I shred any old plain paper bills and scrap paper and keep in a bucket to use later. I then use it either in my compost or in the chicken coup for the egg bucket and roosting area Which then gets cleaned out and added to the compost too when it goes yucky. I mucked out where the neighbours frangipani leaves had all fallen around my fig and paw paw trees, leaving some there for mulch on its own. Careful when touching fresh frangipani leaves as the sap can be an irritant. Old leaves dont pose any bother. Lastly adding a bucket of fresh pigeon pea leaves. These leaves are a great source of nitrogen. Actually the whole plant is amazing which I will talk more about another time. I gave the barrel a good tumble and will leave the worms and the goodness to do their thing ready to be added to the garden early spring for some much needed nutrients. Do you have compost? Have you given it some love recently?
An 'issue' I came home to after a week away camping was an overload of fruit ready to eat.
So this week I think I will become a fruitarian!
When I waked in the door after arriving home from camp I could smell the banana's and they were all ready to eat instantly.
A few lucky regular kombucha friends that visited me yesterday helped with the offload of some banana's and the rest are being either eaten by my monkeys or going into the freeze for future baking's.
I also had some yummy giant paw paw's and several dragon fruit ready to go. This morning for breaky I made everyone banana pancakes topped with a big dollop of yoghurt and diced paw paw, dragon fruit and a sprinkle of fresh thyme. How do you make these you ask..... mash a banana and whisk in an egg or two and pop in a pan to fry like you would a pancake and that's it. Have you made banana pancakes before? Do you have a special fruit recipe you could share?
After a week of camping and a busy day today of unpacking and kombucha brewing/dealing, I ran out of time to go and do the groceries.
Thankfully I have my plentiful garden to fall back on.
Today my glorious garden provided us with a spaghetti squash, a few sweet potatoes, shallots, cherry tomatoes, spinach, beans, parsley and chilli to make a kind of bubble and squeak dish.
Just a stir stir-fry of the veggies and garlic (with a bit of left over bacon from the camping trip) salt, pepper and olive oil served on top of some pasta (I'm a total pasta-holic) to fill up. Garnished with fresh parsley and chilli. I'm full, satisfied and ever so grateful. The fridge might be bare, but the garden was full for us today.
Erik has been amazing in his support for teaching, offering advice anytime and delivering quality bees.
He also won first place for his honey at the Wauchope Show.
These little power workers have settled in wonderfully with zero stings, phew! Already we are finding ourselves mesmerised by them as they buzz around in the figure 8's before zipping off to duty. I'm yet to make up a stencil to paint my beekeeper ID on the hives and am waiting for more beekeeping goodies to arrive in the mail. These guys - or should I say girls as most of them are just that, wont be bothered much over the coming months of cool weather with only the occasional hive inspection. The hive is full of brood, bee's and honey, which we can smell when the breeze pops up. Who else has bee's?
Yesterday I had a catchup with my mothers group (8 years now) at our gorgeous friend Ika's house.
She has an amazing garden growing all her kind of foods - coming to Oz from Bali.
She cheerfully showed me around and we picked and pulled up lots of goodies including cassava stock and leaves, sugar cane, 2 types of chilli, kaffir lime leaves and kaffir limes, a couple of choko's, normal limes, and macadamia nuts (and she kindly lent me the cracker to enjoy them).
She then shared one of her traditional recipes with me called Daun Ubi which is Stewed Pounded Cassava Leaves cooked in coconut milk and so we had that for dinner. I added a few ingredients from my garden (lemon grass, turmeric, bay leaf, shallots and garlic) and we had a side of crispy coconut chicken to go with it. It was deliciously eaten up by everyone so now I cant wait for my own cassava to grow so we can make it again. Have you tried making anything new and different lately?
Its been a long time since my
last Here & Now, but I will hopefully be more consistent now with my new
'goals' in mind. I am always making myself busy, sometimes too much so,
but at the moment I am.....
Loving // Our new deck that is almost finished being built, photos to
come when completed.
Eating // Fresh salad (from
my garden of course) and chicken 'green' wraps for lunch everyday this week.
Drinking // Leftover fruit smoothies...The kids can be so wasteful and I
cant handle it, so the bruised and uneaten bits go into my after gym smoothies.
Feeling // Tired and sore
from my favourite gym class that I started about a month ago and have been sore
Making // Kombucha every Friday which I sell to my local followers.
Trying out new flavours now the popularity is increasing.
Thinking // I have been super
slack with my blog contributions, so have updated and backdated a lot of the
goings on around here.
Dreaming // Of a holiday! I
cant wait for hubby and I to go on a holiday together just the two of us.
If you would like to share
your little thoughts too, pop on over the Sarah's page Say Little Hen :) You will also
see some other lovely blogs shared there as well x