The little birds...

If you watch little birds you will see they are busy and happy! Using whatever they can find they create the most gorgeous little nest.
I would be the little bird with some glittery thread in her nest!
We can be like this. Happily working away with the things that are available to us to create a beautiful and happy home.
All the while with a little song in our heart.

Banner by Free Pretty Things for You.

Thursday 8 December 2016

Feather your Nest Friday, 9th December, 2016.

It was a good week! I am feeling like I am getting somewhere and Christmas is under control.
We had quite a lot of rain too which has watered the garden.

Some of the ways I feathered the nest are:

I did a heap of cooking. On the weekend I had a baking day. I made several Spinach, bacon and sun dried tomato Quiches,  Pizzas and with some left over pastry I made simple pastries.

Chloe was here and I sent her home with a Pizza and a Quiche. 

The pizzas were made from the sourdough. That worked really well! In fact we loved it!  This dough is amazing! 

This is dough rising in the warm window! Now a regular sight here!

I did some painting.

I juiced a heap of lemons and froze the juice in ice cube trays for in the heat.

Two of my tops needed minor alterations and I did those.

I shopped at Aldi and it was great. The meat was out at wonderful prices.

On the way to the nursing home there is a great op shop so I went in there....  one thing I have been wishing for is some really big tins to store giant fruit cakes in.  I got seven! Three of them are really large! It was under $10 for all of them.  I am making them over so will post a pic next week.
And I got a huge storage jar for $2...

It was fantastic!

I have two lots of sour dough starter in the fridge. One lot is due to be fed mid week and one lot on the weekend. The mid week one I made into buns.

This was an experiment. I filled them with apricot and walnuts. They looked good but I didn't think the dough was sweet enough. Andy however loved them. Now I have read up and will use the recipe I used to use years ago for sticky buns next. They were amazing! If I can convert this I will have a real crowd pleaser!

We added to our preparedness... we got a new and better BBQ and it is wonderful! It has a burner for boiling a kettle etc. I can do anything .... roasts etc.

I learned to make electrolytes from scratch and bought the right salts and froze lemon juice.  Each week I am doing something towards the coming heat and feeling we may not have electricity the whole time.

When I was at the shops I looked in a trendy gift store. It is a great place for ideas. Two things I noted...  one is that hand crocheted dish cloths are in fashion. At $12 each and quite small... The other was hand made soap. They had Goats Milk and Honey. They were both $12.50 EACH, unwrapped too.  So for everyone making soap or thinking about it this is a wonderful gift and worth much more than you think!

Today I am having an at home cleaning and odd job day.  Needed!

I hope you had a great week! How did you save money, get ahead, build up your pantry or any other good things?

Have a wonderful weekend! xxx


  1. Annabel you have me making a resolution to get in and have a go at sourdough after Christmas. The idea that you can make so much from the one dough really is wonderful. I guess this comment shows how much I know about dough making.
    We had a trip to Nambour and back this week. The motel room we were in had basic cooking facilities. We took all that we needed for our overnight stay with us. Bluey got a good report.
    I had the Electrodry man come in to clean my rugs and recliners. Oh my goodness the difference is simply amazing. So glad we went ahead and had this job done professionally.
    In just over a week it's Katie's 25th Birthday. I have purchased some good quality sheets and I am edging the cuff of the sheets and pillow cases in Minion fabric. I have enough Minion fabric to make a bed runner and two European pillow cases. Katie is a mad Minion fan.
    It's super hot and the yard is looking brown and crunchy. We keep having storms form around the Bay and then miss us completely. A cool change is supposed to be coming through over the weekend. Here's hoping it does.
    Life is good. We're hot and sweaty but we're good.

    1. Jane did you stay with Wendy? If so that is where we stayed in November, adequate for the few days we stayed but wouldn't want to stay any longer.

      The change is here, I'll try and push it up your way. It is so nice to hear the gentle rain rather than the massive drops from the storms over the past week or so.


    2. Dear Jane, that was a good week except for the heat... I hope you get the cool change.
      I knew pretty much zero about this dough but its easy and you earn fast forced on by abundant starter so you think mmm what will I make next!? Tomorrow I will have more to use and so far Im undecided.... but I figure Im not wasting any even if I make dough and freeze it or pizza bases and freeze those and I have kids willing to take them off my hands!
      It was great Bluey got such a good report that is really hr best part of the week! With love,

    3. Lynette it was Nambour Heights where we stayed.

    4. Jane just wanted to pop in and say I was happy to hear Bluey got a good report. Prayers and love to you both. Love, Bridge

  2. Okay Annabel, I'm going to need you to fill up that jar with those YUMMY pastries and ship them to me right away! They look and sound delicious. And I just love the jar. :). Great job with all the cooking.

    1. Dear Debby, They are a bit tempting! I love jars and really giant ones are harder to get. So I grabbed it. I am so pleased with the tins... they will be really handy for me. Storage plus!
      Have a great weekend! Love

  3. Annabel, you've accomplished so much this week! Good for you! Could you share your recipe for the electrolytes please? You're sourdough bread looks really nice. AT $12 each, I have a small fortune in crocheted dishcloths!!!! Have a great weekend!

    1. Dear Patsy,
      the basic recipe is about half a cup of citrus juice, 2 cups water, 2 tablespoons of honey, and 1/8 teaspoon himalayan pink salt. That is then I am following but there are a few versions. We had bought some and it was full of artificial flavours, colouring and surprisingly artificial sweeteners. If you google there is a lot of information on it. I am doing it as I am researching heatwaves and no power... and the leading cause of death is heat exhaustion and de hydration. So prevention is key. Also table salt is not so good and they say rock salt as it has more minerals plus sodium. Your body needs the sugar and the sodium as well as the hydration... its interesting. It can be mixed up in bigger quantities as well. I thought it would be good to know and I am keeping the ingredients on hand and bought Himalayan Pink Rock Salt for it.
      Yes I wish I had taken a photo but the wash cloths were plain, pastels, a tight small stitch and had a band label. They liked sweet. But expensive!
      Have a great weekend! With love

    2. Your recipe looks kind of like the recipe for switchel, which farm workers in past times have used to keep hydrated in the summer. I saw recently that they have begun selling it at the Kroger grocery store (can't remember what they were calling it, though).
      For those in the United States, Costco sells fairly large bags of Himalayan Pink Salt for a good price.

    3. Thank you Chipmunk! For those with an Aldi I saw they sell it at a great price too! I got some from there. We have a Costco also. Thank you! xxx

  4. Hi Annabelle
    What a great week you've had.
    I love the storage jar, these are the only type I buy now as they are great when you have arthritis in your wrists and find getting screw tops undone very difficult. I buy new rubber rings for them, rub the metal with a little olive oil and they come up like new.
    I called in to the food bank yesterday, ours is a bit like 'not quite right' in that a lot of the goods are on or past best by date and you give a suggested donation. I like it because you get to retain your dignity but still manage your family budget a little easier. Anyway they had been given a lot of fruit and veg which just had to go out because they had more coming in today so for a gold coin donation I came home with four dozen apples, some bananas two beautiful leeks, two eggplant and six passion fruit so last night and this morning has been spent stewing and freezing apples, these sort of days make you feel blessed.
    I've enjoyed seeing everyone's Christmas gifts, there are some very lucky recipients out there.
    Anyway Annabelle wishing you and yours a Christmas full of peace, joy and hope.
    Susan K

    1. Dear Susan,
      Lately fruit and veggies have been expensive here. To the point of ridiculous. It is because we had floods then hail which wrecked a lot of farms and produce. So when I read of all that you got I was thrilled! That is fantastic and you can do so much with all of that!
      Thank you so much and I hope you have a wonderful Christmas also! With love,

  5. Your rolls and breads look amazing and so yummy. You have really been busy. I have been wanting to make some gingerbread cookies but so far it hasn't happened yet. Hoping to get them done this weekend. Have a great rest of your week. Paula in Kansas

    1. Dear Paula,
      Thank you! I hope you get time to make the gingerbread. They are fun to decorate or you can leave them plain. Either way they are beautiful!
      Have a lovely weekend! With love

  6. Annabel,
    Your baking looks so delicious yum, yum and yum! Have you ever made Stromboli your dough would be good for that! I have been working on a few gifts and now that we have the wood burner going the dusting is never ending! Since we can't hang clothes out on the line now we are using the clothes drying rack as much as possible to help keep the electric down and it gets darker hear earlier so trying to keep lights out as well. I also got packs of rolls for .50 and cans of organic tomatoes and sauce for .50 and we are trying to use up a few things in the freezer as they are packed! Ok don't get too excited, but as soon as Rick gets one more project done he is supposed to start on putting the floor down! Fingers crossed ladies!
    And I think my comments got lost, but everyone did a beautiful job for show and tell! Amazing work! I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend!

    1. Dear Vicky,
      I am going to looking into Stromboli and see if this is a possibility..
      It is hard for me to imagine it being cool and dark early... as summer goes on here it gets to be about 9 pm before its dark and the nights can be hot. I don't like that much!
      The floor! I feel like I will personally come dance on that floor when its down! Dint tell Rick that or it might put him off! lol
      mmm I better go see if I can find that comment!
      Have a lovely weekend Vicky! With love

  7. Annabel I love hearing of your week, so much accomplished and so very rewarding ❤️

    1. Thank you so much Jacqui! Have a great new week! xxx

  8. Goodness me, Annabel you are off and running with your sourdough making. I think Gertrude is liking your weather down there. Mind you, she thoroughly enjoyed the heatwave conditions we had as well this past week.In winter I had to put her in an insulated bag with a hot water bottle to keep her happy. LOL! I tried a different method of making the bread this last time so it was very interesting to see the difference after baking.

    1. Thanks Nanna Chel! Well now I have some rising for focaccia tonight with a BBQ. Mostly its been warm. We had one cool night when I was wanting those buns to rise so I heated the baking tray up, put them in and wrapped it all up and they rose well. I will remember your tips in winter maybe I could make a special heat pad the size of my baking tray...mmm!
      I am loving this! Thank you so much for the nudge! With love

  9. Dear Annabel,
    Wow, what gorgeous things that come out of your kitchen. The photos just pop off the page.

    It was wonderful to hear from Glenda that she's recovering and that Bluey got a really good report from the surgeon and that Patti's brother is feeling better. God is good.

    We're waiting for the "polar vortex" weatherwise, which is supposed to arrive today with high winds and bitter cold temps and maybe snow, or maybe no snow. I'm glad to stay indoors. The packages are wrapped and ready for posting, some baking was accomplished, and the lotion bars got made. They were so easy to make and came out beautiful. Wishing everyone a beautiful weekend. Blessings. Cookie

    1. Dear Cookie,
      The polar vortex sounds plain scary! I hope you will be snug inside with food cooking and crafts going!
      Thank you so much for the picture of the lotion bars! Very professional looking! A good recipe! Have a good new week Cookie! With love


  10. Wow, Annabel! Your sourdough baking is going ahead in leaps and bounds! I hope the starter doesn't eat you out of house and home!! Your apricot and walnut scrolls, and the pizza, look amazing! Oh, yum!!

    I love the glass jar, and look forward to seeing your large tins!!

    I had been hoping that Jane and Bluey would have shared in the rain we got. We still need more! A couple of days ago, I saw three black cockatoos. They might have dropped in on their way from Lynette's place. Today, the weather was so cool, drizzly and overcast that my husband thought of lighting the fire! He has a small solar panel that he is testing regarding running the summer fan he has set up. We'll have to wait for hot weather again to give it a good, long test, but he has read up on things and done the figures, and our solar-powered fan looks promising - and cooling!! I tried a cup of ordinary tea today, and went straight back to peach leaf tea!! I started drying the peach leaves, too, covered with a metal rainwater tank strainer (to keep the leaves safe from wind and birds!), and it was rained on! I'll try again!! I'd love to fill a glass jar!

    There is little left of my garden trials. "Brown and crunchy", from Jane's words, made me laugh in understanding! The potatoes, though, are up and growing again, and some will soon be in flower, at which time they'll need plenty of water. I planted millet seed (which is supposed to be for future chooks) where there is a privacy gap, and they're up already. It is possible to have a crop in thirty days. I hope this rain regenerates.

    I found dried beans in IGA, and some were on sale (thanks, Cristy!)! At Coles I found that tiny tins of Italian tomato paste (I hope the labels are right!) are more economical than the usual jars, and this suits me nicely, since I will not need to have leftovers spoiling. Besides, the tiny cans are so cute! I'll have to find a special use for them!

    I am chipping away towards the end of my job list, and, yes, I have started a little crochet! I am sure I will enjoy it, and have found a selection of projects to aim toward - little things first! I'll look forward to showing you my first little completed project - sweet, practical and linked to childhood crochet! So there!

    With regards to you and your readers,
    Rachel Holt

    1. Rachel I am revisiting knitting. It is something where I know the basics and that's it. I am working on making some cotton face washers. I am making a waffle weave pattern on the one currently on the needles. It's always good to challenge ourselves.

    2. Jane, I'd like to see your waffle weave face washers! That sounds good to me!!

    3. Dear Rachel, I have a photo of the waffle weave face washers! Its coming soon!
      The black cockatoos ... I love them. At the farm there are the ones with the yellow on the tail... I think up there you have the ones with the red? I would love them!
      I am also sipping towards the end of my job list! Its kind of exciting! It has been a big year!
      I am so excited to see your crochet! Many of us have learned new skills and tried new things and I love it! I wonder what it will be next year!
      I thought for you the small tomato paste would be very handy.
      Have a great new week! With love,

  11. Dear Annabel,

    Your sourdough is a resounding success! Your chickens might also like some of the starter, if it ever gets to overflowing. I have kept my flour, sugar, oats, etc. in those same big glass jars for the last 20 years...I love them because you can see into them and know when you're needing to refill. We also use one as a cookie jar. :)

    You've had a busy week! Everyone is off Christmas shopping today but me, so I can elve in the open today. We had a slight snowfall with ice last night, and now the sun is shining on all the coated trees and it looks beautiful outside! Have a wonderful weekend!

    Love, Jen in NS

    1. Dear Jen,
      I never thought to give it to the chickens and that would be much better than wasting it!
      Ha! an empty house so you get finish thing off and wrap etc quietly!
      It must look so pretty to be dusted by snow!
      Have a great new week Jen! With love

  12. Dear Annabel,

    You had a fantastic week!

    Look at you rocking the sourdough! It looks so much better than any that I ever made lol!

    I have a couple of friends, and two of my girls that want to learn soap making, so that is one of my 2017 resolutions. I will have to organise a get together and give it a try. I think another one might be to have another go at sourdough because yours looks so delicious :)

    I have had a hectic week. I have been wanting to get some things done but have been held up all week. This weekend I will be organising things here for the hot weather coming Sunday to Tuesday. We are leaving for Melbourne on Sunday afternoon...

    Savings in my household:
    *Cooked all meals from scratch.
    *Experimented with some Greek cookies for Christmas day, they turned out yum!
    *Picked some cucumbers, strawberries, silverbeet from the garden. *Hubby has given our car a birthday by fixing a few things so we can travel safely.
    *Made yoghurt.
    *Eating stewed fruit from the freezer to use it up before the next glut of summer.
    *Our daughter gave us 16.5 dozen oysters from Smoky Bay. She is a race horse trainer and was given these, but doesn't eat them. Our fortune :)
    *Created some gifts.
    *Saved rose petals for making potpourri and soap.
    *Hubby went fishing with a friend and brought home some blue crabs.

    Wishing you a lovely weekend,
    Lots of love,
    Tania xx

    1. Dear Tania,
      You will love soap making! As there is a group of you it could mean a lot of fun!
      Have a wonderful trip! Yes it is a bit warmer today and tomorrow!
      All those Oyster! That is amazing. Andy would be in heaven! And then Blue Crabs! Wow Tania that is amazing.
      Have a great time away! With love, Annabel.xxxx

  13. Oh wow! that is definitely the perfect spot for your sourdough to rise. I made sourdough for years and loved, I have tried unsuccessfully to make a new starter over the last 12mths . Looks like I buy a dried starter to save the hassle cause yours is wonderful.
    Having a baking day is great and you get a lot done for family or freezer, need to do this myself.
    Making electrolytes would be great and save a heap of money and your big glass jar was a bargain.
    Hope you and all your readers have a wonderful weekend. Debbie xx

    1. Dear Debbie,
      Hopefully soon you will be up and running on sourdough! I wouldn't have known where to start if not for being sent a starter!
      The bought electrolytes contained some dreadful ingredients and one time I was meant to have them I couldn't as the artificial sweetener would have given me a migraine and made things worse! There may be natural brands to buy but anyway I think knowing how to make it is really helpful.
      Have a great new week! With love,

  14. My daughter and I must get going on the sourdough! Your success has given me courage!

    A friend came from 1000 miles away to go to my Dr. who has healed me of my terrible allergies. She was here for 8 days and we did 4 appt. at the office. While I did not accomplish a whole lot here at home I did help someone in need which was great. My friend is a widow with 4 children and her health was really getting to be an issue. We saw her off this morning with her health greatly improved and much optimism that she will continue to get better with the advice she received. I did refill the granola jar with a double batch and that is my sole accomplishment other than keeping us fed and the house clean.

    1. Dear Lana,
      Your Doctor sounds fabulous! It was wonderful to help your friend that way and I hope she is doing well.
      The sourdough is really wonderful. Getting going is the thing then it becomes a routine that is quite simple. And you get so many things from it!
      Have a great week! With love

  15. Wow Annabel, you are the Sourdough Queen! That looks incredible! Ahhh...if only we weren't gluten free....sigh. What a great week you had with the baking alone, never mind anything else. And yes, its a good feeling to have Christmas under control. We are all but done. My siblings and nephews and nieces were all seen last weekend, and my own children and their families seen yesterday. So my gift stash is depleted, but everyone is happy, including me! So my next step is to catch up with a few special friends, and step on to a cruise ship on December 22nd! I can't wait! It's been a great year Annabel, and you have been such a wonderful support and inspiration. Thankyou so much and thankyou to The Mob. Love to all, Mimi xxx

    1. Dear Mimi,
      Yes this is rather fun. I am filling freezers and using for gifts as well.
      You are going on a cruise! Wow! Have a wonderful time!
      Thank you to you for such an inspiring year. Reading your wrap up of the year I was amazed by all you made. Your gifts were sensational and all your family and friends must be extremely happy... not to mention the birthday cakes etc along the way.
      Have a great break and I look forward to what we might get up to in the New Year! With lots of love,

  16. Such lovely baking­čśä I did sourdough years ago! Sometimes I gave the starer as gifts. Other times I traded for produce and other things. What a a good idea to make electrolytes. I sometimes drink them when I have a migraine and it helps sometimes. Great news about Bluey and Glenda. I have done a lot
    Of cooking this week. It is great to have so many tbings made.
    We got out rest of the de decorations and we found even more gifts that I had from last January. I love having way more gifts than we need.Have a lovely week .

    1. Dear Patti,
      I loved reading how your brother got his parcel and now has decorations! I have kept thinking of that!
      Dehydration is an issue with migraines for sure. I know if I become dehydrated that is a trigger... what a good idea to use electrolytes. My thinking has changed too... I thought of them as something to use after becoming dehydrated rather than also something to prevent dehydration. So I am changing a few things thinking of prevention rather than just cure.
      It is wonderful you are ahead with gifts! I am by a few which gives me gifts for early next year Birthdays! Very happy with that!
      Have a lovely week Patti! With love

  17. Hi Annabel

    It has taken a while but I am almost caught up with your blog. I have missed out on so much lately but am hoping now that it is school holidays that I can stay up to date.

    All the yummy food above looks so good and as we are trying to eat out of the fridge and freezer for the next week and a half there are some wonderful ideas here.

    Recently we purchased a dump freezer and this will now make my life easier to do lots of make ahead meals.

    Just wanted to take the chance to say "Thank you" for all the wonderful postings this year. I have missed not being here reading over the past few weeks. I look forward to your posts and a wonderful cuppa to go hand in hand.

    Have a wonderful week ahead.

    Take care
    Aly xxx


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