Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Scottish Oat Cakes

Inspired by the crone, I decided to deprive the hens of the leftover porridge and try my hand at porridge pancakes. My first batch were too sticky, but the second achieved a real "bready" consistency.

Scottish Oat Cakes
Take the pot of leftover porridge.
To every cup of leftovers add 1 egg, 2 tablespoons of oil, 1/2 cup of flour, 1/2 tsp baking powder.
Stir to mix the ingredients. It will be quite stiff.
Heat and grease a skillet or griddle.
Shape into thick pancakes on the griddle, as big or as little as you like.
Turn when browned on the one side.
Continue to cook until second side is browned and the inside is not sticky.
Serve with butter as a bread or spread with syrup or jam and serve as a desert.

From WikiHow
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Banana Sourdough Spelt Pancakes

We were given a whole box of lovely bananas, so I've been experimenting with new ways of using them up!

1 cup sourdough starter mixed with 1 cup spelt flour and left to rise

In the mixer toss:
risen flour mixture
1 cup well mashed banana
1 cup flour
2 tbs oil
1 tbs sugar
1 tsp salt
water as needed to provide a thick batter consistency

At the last minute, toss through 1 tsp bicarb soda mixed with a little water.

Allow to stand for a few minutes then cook in melted butter.

This was a BIG success served with a choice of maple syrup or apricot jam.
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Monday, April 21, 2008

Brothers in arms

Possum and The Little Prince have a special bond. When it was time to say goodbye I wasn't sure Possum was actually going to hand the baby back to me!
They're going to miss each other!
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Off to the farm

The adventurous Grandad D is taking the three older children up to the farm for some outdoor fun. We were all scheduled to visit, but Ginger Rose and The Little Prince have croup so we've rearranged our schedules.
The park in Taralga is one of my favourites. The combination of a skate park, playground, tall trees and cows in the adjoining paddock are irrestible to me.
Unfortunately it was a little cold and damp, and within five minutes of exposure to the cold Taralga air the two littlies were rattling and coughing away, so we headed off all too soon.
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Sunday, April 20, 2008

Sourdough Pancakes

1 cup sourdough
2 cups wholemeal flour
1 egg
1 tsp salt
1 cup water
1 tbs sugar
2 tbs olive oil
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda dissolved in a little water

Mix the sourdough with 1 cup of the flour and leave to stand overnight. In the morning mix in the remaining flour together with the egg, salt, water, sugar and oil, and finally blend in the bicarb soda dissolved in a little water. Let the mixture stand for a few minutes until light and bubly. Cook the pancakes in a non-stick pan that has been brushed with a little butter and serve with butter and honey, or cream and apricot jam.
From: The Sourdough Cookbook by Jenny Wagner

This produced a decent sized batch of very wholesome tasting pancakes. We ate them with butter, maple syrup and apricot jam (home made by Grandad B).

Next time I'll try adding the water as well as the cup of flour the night before because the dough was too stiff to be doing anything much. There was also a little taste of the bicarb soda, so I might reduce the quantity a little next time.
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Saturday, April 19, 2008

Brand new woolies

We found some gorgeous fluffy mail from Grandma L in the mailbox this week! As the photos show there's a generous rise and length (the cuffs are rolled up twice) and a gorgeous warm colour.
The photos don't show just how deliciously soft and snuggly the wool is!
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Sourdough phases

I've been trying to grow a sourdough starter, and hope I have the hang of it! I've used a wholemeal spelt flour, but the real improvement seems to have come from adding six seedless grapes for the first three days.
Here is it shortly after feeding. It's supposed to bubble after half and hour of feeding, but mine is still a little slow. Last night I transferred it to a new jar after feeding and there was no sign of life after half an hour, which was a concern.
But it seems to be bubbling away nicely this morning! I hope to try using it for the first time tomorrow in a batter recipe.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Autumn woollies

The cold autumn mornings are making me glad the Little Prince has some warm woollen clothing to wear. The size 9 month side buttoning cardigan I knitted has a little too much length in the arms, and the buttons aren't positioned very practically! Next time I'll be happy to just button down the front - but it's nice and warm and the colour suits him nicely.

Unfortunately the leggings that I thought had plenty of length have shrunk up since knitting - and his legs have grown. By the time I knitted to the bottom of the legs I was just so thrilled to be close to finishing the project that the thought of knitting a spare inch or two just in case seemed a silly idea. Next time I will be more generous with the leg length because I can always roll them up.
This morning we're wearing Grandma L's hand-spun, dyed and knitted jumper and the too-short leggings over a wondersuit. The little jumper has just the perfect arm length and the length will just see it htrough winter.
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Monday, April 14, 2008

Playing ball

And to say a big welcome back to my camera, here's the Ginger Ninja teaching the Little Prince how to play ball.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Leftover lamb bake

I baked an enormous shoulder of lamb last week, and still have leftovers. Today I invented a bake that seems popular so worth recording:

Saute a finely chopped onion and 2 cloves garlic in olive oil
Mince about 3 cups of leftover lamb roast and add to saute pan
Add 1 1/2c cooked peas, 1c of gravy and enough water to make a pie consistency.
Smooth mixture into a baking dish and top with a mix of grated cheese and crumbs (I used crust from a spelt loaf).
Bake in a hot oven until topping is golden and crisp.

This blog has been unattended for a while as Possum misplaced my memory card and camera charger while in Hawaii. I now have the camera working but still can't move the photos onto my computer - so frustrating!

Friday, April 04, 2008

Hen update

"Sick chook" is doing very well! When I am next able to recharge my camera I'll take a photo, but suffice it to say that she appears fully recovered! The above photo shows her in her early recovery when she was just starting to regain the use of her eyes.

All the hens are looking considerably better, and are laying as well as they usually do when the cold weather begins (which is to say, we're buying eggs because a couple of eggs a day don't go far in a family of seven!).

I attribute sick chook's recovery to Ginger Ninja, who was incredibly patient and dedicated, hand-feeding her at least three times a day. I thought the best we could hope for was a blind hen who would be comfortable enough feeling her way around the hen yard, and anticipated just allowing her to die with a little dignity. The total recovery has been a very welcome surprise to me.
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A visit from Uncle Mat!

My brother was visiting from the UK, and flew over to visit us for the day! His latest nephew gave him a gummy seal of approval and we had a great time catching up.
Of course, everybody pulls their weight around here, so Uncle Mat was put to work with the boys stretching out the new shadecloth that's covering our verandah railings until the new hedge grows in.
And poor Uncle Mat was dragged reluctantly into cyberspace where he claims to have outmanouevered his nephews (they claim otherwise). Judging by the exclamations from various computers around the house, a good time was had by all.
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Boys bonding

After his extended choir tour, Possum was feeling desperately deprived of electronic stimulation (despite taking an iPod and Gameboy with him) so while I took care of his dirty laundry, he took care of his little brother. Isn't it nice to see them sharing a common bond.

Briar Rose scolded me for being a neglectful mother after noticing that the Little Prince was gnawing his controller cable, but I was quite happy to sacrifice a controller for a few minutes of peace :).
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My camera has returned safely from Hawaii - hooray! Sadly, my neat little camera case and memory card appear to be lost forever, and the charger is yet to be found...but the camera's the main thing!

Grandma E was with us as we said good-bye to Possum. He was quite unwell two nights before they left, and we were anticipating him missing the trip, but he recovered well!
Here he is, hanging out at some airport somewhere, with his snazzy tour jacket.
And displaying a touch of Hawaiian culture outside the hotel.

They had a great tour, with the choir picking up a silver award, and nobody being left behind (much to their disappointment) but it is so wonderful to have Possum home!
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