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 24 October 2019

Feather your Nest Friday, 25th October, 2019.

This has been a week of getting stuff done.  So it has been my kind of week!  Some of the things were the kind of things you can't just do yourself as you have to wait on conditions, other people, equipment or whatever.   So planets must have aligned as several big things were achieved this week when all these things lined up!

The first one of the biggest bon fires we have had.  It was a giant mess in front of the workers cottage.   And it will be the last fire we can burn as it is getting too dry now.  t was exactly fire number 40 for the year.  We have done a LOT of clearing up around the house and surrounds.  This number is on top of what we did when we arrived last year!
At the end of all this we are still surrounded by trees but not dead ones and we have cleared a big space around our house.  When we arrived trees were actually touching the house.  Fires are our biggest threat.

On top of that there were two trees well beyond what we could handle and we had professionals come in and remove them.   If they fell they would go straight through out roof. In a storm or fire there were a danger.  As much as I love trees this is where I draw the line.   So this was a whole day job on Wednesday and I am so glad it is done.   Now for the massive clean up.  We have 20 tones of hardwood also.

I always feed the workers.   I used some of one of my fruit cakes to take out to them.  This is why it is so handy.  Fruit cakes keeps and whenever you have the need you can slice it up!

My hands were full with animals.  This is the morning crew waiting for bottles.  One calf is missing.  He is always last to turn up.  He is like that kid who is late for school every morning!

I decided to wean the oldest calf that I am feeding (Loui) and led him with a bottle to the paddock with the big kids.   This was fine.  But in the evening little Georgie would not drink his bottle.  Nope not interested.  Now he is normally a piglet.  So I knew right away that he was upset over his constant buddy not being there.   I went out three more times to offer the bottle but no he stood and sulked.  I figured by morning his conviction/protest would have dried up plus he would be hungry... so I gave up. 
In the morning everyone drank their bottles.  But not Georgie.  He stood where he and Loui always drink there bottles TOGETHER.   My heart sank a little as I felt  really bad and this wasn't  helped by Loui bellowing across the paddock.  I held out until lunch time whenI could't stand it any longer and made a bottle and let Loui back into the little paddock.  Just like that Georgie drank his bottle.  After that he was hungry and wanted more. 🙄  After that they ran off happily together.  So they will have to be weaned together which I think is another three or four weeks.

Next drama was little Freddie the lamb.  He has had a rough life and I just got him drinking well, eating well... and the calves sucked on his ears and made them sore!  I felt so bad.  Then he had a cut on his head.   I don't know if the calves could have done that... anyhow I was horrified and brought him inside and applied antiseptic powder to his sores and he has had to go in a seperate yard.   I re apply the antiseptic powder every day but everything is looking good now.  
Then I decided he is lonely and I moved Eddie (the goat) in with Freddie.  This was partially brought on by realising Eddie is going to get out of his paddock pretty soon.  I realised this when he started jumping on feed bins and then the little shelter.  I was feeding someone else and he couldn't wait.  He helped himself to his bottle, selecting the right one too. 

Ok so this made perfect sense except to Eddie. He cried and cried and cried and cried.  I thought surely he will give up?  No.  It was dark and I couldn't take it anymore and went and got him and carried him back to the calves.  Then he ran off happily and hasn't made a sound since.  🙄🙄
It just goes on and on.  Yes, it could be a childrens book!

So little Freddie follows me around a lot so he isn't lonely. 

This has all really illuminated for me all the Bible passages about The Good Shepherd and similar references.  I really never fully appreciated them.  With my small "flock" if one is missing you go hunting for them.  If one is sick you sit with them.  If anything is wrong with any of them I get very upset!  If they are all good and happy I am happy!  
Today was hot and I looked out and Freddie was laying down right in the sun.  I thought he was dead!  My heart just sank.  I ran out and he looked up at me and he was fine!  I moved him into the shade.   
So now I get the Scripture.  The eye is one each one of us individually.  The pain of a loss is great.  Your heart loves the saddest, weakest and most problematic ones! 

So now down to business.  Some of the ways I built up my home,  got ahead, added to the pantry etc are:

I had a wonderful get together with Wendy.   We did some trading and a lot of talking!  I was so happy I could take her lots of eggs as she is a fabulous cook.  Wendy found me two pure wool blankets in an op shop.  She also gave me two whole big boxes of jars and bottles and a bunch of rhubarb.  It was so much fun to get together.

While in town I visited a little op shop.  I found a vintage kitchen scale for $5 and a long piece of cotton lace for $2! 

The scales are so handy and really go with my kitchen! 

In the garden I moved a lot of little tomato seedlings that have come up from last years cherry tomatoes.  I also potted up a heap to give away.  I will grow them up to a few inches high first.  I have a kind of sunroom entrance to the kitchen.  I am gradually using it more as a greenhouse.  

Through the window you can see a little of my veggie and herb patch.  Beyond that is our front lawn. I want to set up more places to use this area to start off seeds and seedlings. 

I used up some eggs and spinach from the garden and made an impossible pie/quiche.

I didn't get any crafts done but instead I started going through everything I made this year and making up presents.  Each has a label with a name.

This is taking a surprisingly long time to do.  But as I complete each one (they need cellophane like the one in the back) I am so happy!  I hope to get many more done in the next few days.

In the workers cottage Andy pulled up a filthy and disgusting carper.  Underneath is polished floorboards! 

I also planted more sunflowers, radishes, and have a windowsill of seeds coming up.

So that was my week and I am so pleased with some of the biggest jobs of the year being out of the way now. That is a good feeling!

I hope you had a good week.  How did you build up your home, get ahead, stock your pantry or freezer?  Anyway you can get ahead is good!

Have a wonderful weekend! xxx

Thursday 17 October 2019

Feather your Nest Friday, 18th October, 2019.

This was a much better week!  And Andy is feeling well!  I felt tired for a few days but soon farm life was up and running again and I felt a bit caught up.  Then it was eventful!

I got my dried fruits soaking ready to make my Christmas cakes.  October is the time to make them as time makes them better and better.   Also I had a lot of eggs in the fridge so this was an extra good time.  I did 4 batches (two double batches) and got six cakes.

This gives me one for Andy, some gifts and one each for the girls.

I got a batch of Coffee Liqueur going.  Once I bottle it I will show how it looks and put up the recipe.

Mum and I headed off to see the girls.  I took a giant impossible pie.  This meant I used up more eggs. It is just eggs, cream (my 25 c cream) bacon, parsley, pepper, onions, (cook first)  cheese and a cup of flour. I used gluten free flour and twelve eggs.    Everyone loved it and it cost me hardly anything.   So with the cakes then this I used up 32 eggs in two days!

Mum and I were all loaded up and heading off.   At the moment shearing is on so there are trucks and utes driving in and out a lot. Because of this I take less notice of who is coming and going.   On the way out we passed a ute.   It took a second for my brain to register that there was a calf on the back!   I said Mum stop!  We turned back.  Yep, the calf was for me, sent over by a manager of another property.  What timing!    But he is a beautiful boy calf and he drank well right away.  His name is Brady as the lovely young man who delivered him was Brady.

On the weekend it was Chloe and Luke's anniversary.  He got her the best present! Something she has always wanted.  (seriously) 

His name is Paddy.  Luke really did well with this gift!   Paddy loves Chloe from day one.

Alpaca's like company.  He wants to be with Chloe all the time.   So he needs a friend for when Chloe is at work.  Enter Blossom.  If there was ever a lamb that wants to be with you it is her.   Also if there was ever a lamb who doesn't know she is a sheep that is also her! haha!   So Chloe brought over the old farm car and Blossom went for a ride to meet Paddy.   You can't make this stuff up.   So this is Blossom in her ride to Chloe's farm...

Next thing she made friends with Paddy and they were just fine.

Every evening Chloe goes for a walk.   She has a feeling she is being followed...

All this action happened on Wednesday.  So on Thursday it seems God thought "oh no ,Annabel is down one sheep!" and quickly moved to rectify this...

Luke came to the door with a lamb. It isn't even lambing season!   This lamb is far from new born, I think a few weeks old.  I have called him Freddie.    
So one moved out, two moved in this week.   Now I am bottle feeding five!   But Loui is finishing up bottles on the weekend and I think I will only feed Eddie for another week or two. 

In town I picked up a big box of bottles and jars for jams and sauces.  I saw them for free on Facebook local buy swap and sell.   This will help me out in summer!   

My pumpkin seeds failed.  So today I am planting pumpkin seedlings.   And I have hundreds of cherry tomato seedings coming up everywhere so I am moving some and potting up others.

We had rain this week.  This is the most help of all.  

I think that catching up after being away and the trips back and forth to the city etc.  was the biggest thing.   If I am not here things go backwards fast!   It seems to take several days to catch up.
I then decided to get everything out of the present cupboard and go through all I have made over the year.  The Tuesday Afternoon Club has really helped me make more than ever.   It is a joy to go through it all and make up gifts!   I am trying to do fifteen minutes a day on this.  Then I can reclaim my craft room where this is all spread everywhere!

How did you build up your home and get ahead this week?  I hope it was a good week for you! xxx

Thursday 10 October 2019

Feather your Nest Friday, 11th October, 2019.

Well, this was NOT a good week.  It was a shocker!  I will first say today is a beautiful Spring day.  Everyone is ok and we are home.  But Andy wasn't well and they thought he had a heart attack.  He was flown to the city by the Royal Flying Doctor and had several days in hospital.  It has turned out that it is his lungs that are the problem and a lung infection plus there lung problems that convinced them it was a heart attack.  It is still not good but it is better than a damaged heart.  It was such a shock.  You are just in shock that is all I can say.
Chloe was also unwell.  I had three animal babies on twice daily bottles and three hours each way to the hospital.  So you get the idea.

Andy is up after a massive sleep and looking and feeling good.  I on the other hand look like the creature from the Black Lagoon and feel like I have been run over by a train.  I am also overwhelmed by things that need catching up on but today just can't do much about them.  So these are the times we talk about.... making hay while the sun shines so that when the sun isn't shining so much you have meals in the freezer and things were basically ok.

Some weeks are good if you just make it out alive!   Literally.

BEFORE any of this happened I was busy doing the usual stuff.

A little patch on the side of our yard was fenced in.  This gave us a lovely little animal yard.  To get Laffie and the lambs in there I broke out a packet of biscuits and they just followed me in a reverse procession (to last time) into the yard!!  Then they had a great time as they were knee deep in grass!

When I say lambs they are still as sooky as lambs but now they are sheep! 

Haha!  Sheep that still want a bottle and like biscuits! 

Meanwhile the two actual baby calves are doing well.  Georgie learned to Moo.  For the first three weeks he could not moo he just tried and made dreadful noises.  I figure this is a milestone like when your baby first sits up!

Eddie spends his days leaping, climbing and he even stands on the calves and bugs then so much but they don't seem to mind.  At night they all snuggle up in their little hut together, which is very cute. 

I had made a Banana Cake for the girls and threw sprinkles over it to make it pretty.  This ended up going into the freezer.  

I have to comment on Scout. They say pets are good for your health.  Even when you are worn out or gloomy Scout MAKES you play with her.  And laugh. Her enthusiasm is contagious.   She is also big now!  This is her favourite Frisbee.  She runs around with it like a halo on her head.

Also before everything happened I had been working on a Christmas present.  The links to the video with instructions are up on The Tuesday Club.  In winter even though I was wearing leather boots a few times I got wet feet.   We were working all day in the grass cutting wood and hauling logs and so on.  I discovered moisture can come in especially via the stitching on your boots.   I found a recipe to make on one of my favourite You Tube channels Prepsteaders. 

Essentially it is one part melted Beeswax,  one part solid coconut oil, three parts Castor oil.

The melted mixture is more or less clear.  Then it sets to a white polish.

I thought this would be  good gift for the farmers and for the boys as I have a harder time making boy gifts!   I have found some nice shoe cleaning brushes.  Next I will make a stack of soft polishing cloths. Then I will make up kits with instructions soon how to use it.  

After a week in the little yard Laffie and the lambs left it looking as if the lawn mover had been through.  Once again we walked down to the big paddock with a packet of biscuits as bribery.  Easy as that! 

I achieved a goal and bought a spinning wheel. It needs a couple of minor repairs. But yay! I found it on Facebook buy, swap and sell for only $85.   The lady was just lovely and gave me contacts if I need help getting going.  Shearing is coming up sometime soon then I will have wool!

I ordered online an apple peeler and corer.  The ones that you turn the handle and it peels the apples.  Nan had one. I used to love turning the handle.  Last year I peeled and cored hundreds of apples.  I hope we have an apple crop again at the end of summer.  So this was a kind of investment.

My Dyson stick vac seemed to be dying.  I ordered a new battery and ta dah! I read an article that thousands of stick vacuums are thrown out because people just buy a new one rather than clean it properly and replace the battery. 

Well, that is my week.  Most of my achievements were before Monday when Andy went to hospital.   The rest were just getting through the week. 

I hope you had a good week!  How did you build up your home, feather your nest, get head in your pantry etc? 

I am hoping for a quite weekend!  xxx

Sunday 6 October 2019

How to beat rising prices like Nanna did and how to make meat go further.

We have all noticed rising meat prices.  In Australia there is a major and long lasting drought and this is one of the reasons for it here.  But still very often I am shocked at the price of meat.  And the things that were once cheap are no longer.  It is nothing for even ground meat (mince) to be $15 a kilo.
So that will be my first tip... just because something used to be the cheaper option it may no longer be! Don't assume your old favourite is still better value.  Look elsewhere!

My Nan used to cook a Sunday roast lunch for the whole family.  We would go to church them meet at Nan and Pa's for a beautiful roast meal.  From memory there were usually ten or so of us.  As a kid it never once occurred to me how much this would have cost my Grandparents.  I do know they used to study the catalogues and specials and store hop to get them.  It wasn't until I was an adult that I realised some of the yummy things I loved were in fact clever ways Nan made the meat go much further.  She had many tricks and no one noticed!  And this is the thing... no one does notice. When the food is delicious and stomaches are full everyone is just happy!

We always had a lot of different vegetables and side dishes.  One I have mentioned before is a really simple one Nan made to go with roast meat.  It was a cooked up mix of onion, tomato, zucchini and whatever else was on hand and baked with bread crumbs and cheese over the top.  I loved this.  I make it every Christmas day in memory of Nan.   You can find this recipe here.   And it there are left overs of this I make little spaces in the pie plate and crack eggs into them.  Then I bake it as a breakfast or brunch.  It is delicious!

Nan very often served soup and/or desert.  These in themselves fill you up or in the case of hungry teenagers and hard working people they slow them down!
After we all went home I know Nan used every bit of meat and any left overs!  The bone from the roast then became the base of a soup.  One of her soups I have never been quite able to replicate but it was the bone from the roast lamb,  soup bean mix, loads of veggies and pepper.  This was all cooked down and blended.   I grew up on my bowls of this delicious soup.   After a roast the bone still has just a ton of goodness and a surprising amount of meat left on it.

Roast chickens or turkeys were made into stock.   A stock has so much goodness and then is a nutritious base for further soups.  You can also cook your rice or pasta in stock rather than water to add extra goodness.  If you freeze some stock (or can it) whenever there is sickness in the house you can make chicken soup very quickly.  Both itself is so full of nutrients. I am noticing bone broth now is the in thing and sold in supermarkets.  I use the tip to add a seals of vinegar to the bones you are cooking up to draw out the goodness.

This is how Mum and Nan talked.  Cooking for your family was about giving them nourishment and as much "goodness" as possible.  It wasn't meant to be fancy, it was meant to be nutritious.  The water from cooking veggies and the juices in the pan from roasting all were used as they all had nutrients.   Pan juices and vegetable water made the gravy.  Full of goodness!  It would have been a crime to pour something with nutrients in it down the drain.  It went into something.  Think about this. What goodness do you waste?

One of the most expensive types of meats are deli meats.  All the sliced up and packaged hams are incredibly expensive.  If you work out the price per kilo it is shocking.  Also generally they have preservatives and things added.  Going to the deli and buying it there rather than the pre packaged ones is cheaper but still expensive.  Neither Mum nor Nan ever bought this.  And neither do I.
Instead left over roast meat or extra meat was roasted, usually on a Sunday.   When it was cold it was sliced up thinly to make up sandwiches and rolls for the working week (or school week).  I still do this.  I always watch out for meat on special that can be roasted.  If I find a ham I will still roast that as it improves it so much.  Most often we will have some dinners from it and many things make from the cold roast meat.  It is not a small saving.  Packaged deli meats mostly work out from $30 to $40 a kilo.  You have a whole chicken for $10. There is no comparison.   Lately the cheapest roast meat has been chicken but I see specials and markdowns and swoop!   After Christmas and New Year I found hams marked down and this was a great way to build up lunch meats supplies.  A piece of corned beef cooking in the slow cooker will make lots of lunches.  If you roll your cooked corned beef in cracked pepper and a little oil and roast this, then you have Pastrami!!   Once cold slice that thinly.  It will give you just a ton of "deli meat."   Because this has a strong flavour it will go further too!

That gets me to my next point.  If you have family members who are big meat eaters and object to meatless meals then choosing meats with a big flavour impact gives the impression of more.  Bacon,  chorizo, salami etc. all have a big burst of flavour and you don't need much.   So you can make pizza, fried rice, frittatas, salads, cheese boards etc all seem to be meaty but for very little.  Some things are perception, it is not really a meat meal it more has meat as a garnish.  

Of course then you have meatless meals too.  I always serve protein so if we have a meatless meal it will be based around eggs or cheese mostly.

Different countries have their own special "stretch the meat" tricks.  The English have Yorkshire Puddings and I notice these are becoming popular here.  Indian cuisine has so many beautiful sauces and spices and Naan Bread so that with all of these little bowls of sides you have a surprisingly small meat dish that just goes miles.

We are so lucky now that any skill we want to learn is as simple as a quick search on You Tube or a bit of a Google to find instructions.  I like that you can Google "How to...." basically anything!  And there are really simple instructions and pictures for a free lesson.   If you don't already know how to make stock or bone broth then next  time you have bones from a roast learn these skills.  Then learn how to add this goodness to another meal.   Try some recipes and make a tray of Yorkshire Puddings!  Or my Nans Tomato pie.  Use what you have too as your number one meal stretcher!

Very often my meaty meals are a slow cooker casserole.  I put in a lot of vegetables.  They are usually served then with more vegetables, rice or mashed potato.  So my cook up makes a lot of meals.

The soft cooked down meat from the slow cooker is just ideal to make up meat pies.  And they freeze well.   Your pies are a very good all in one meal. The type of thing to pull out of the freezer when life has meant you are too busy or unwell to bake.

 You can find some good combinations for the slow cooker and pie making here.  (And some of my saving calculations I did at the time.) I just keep ready pastry on hand in the freezer as so often a bit of meat and a few veggies get me an extra dinner... or several.  Even if not enough for a meal I might have enough for a couple of individual little pies to use for a lunch.  Very handy!
Sometimes I will not have much meat left but still get out the pie maker and make some pies for dinner or to put away for later.  A big stretcher of left overs!

A lady I spoke to in the supermarket last week told me how she is a basic cook and her daughter and son in law are foodies and they came to dinner.  She was a bit nervous as the SIL is new to the family.   And at home they have pretty fancy meals.   But she thought she would go with what she knows and she did roast beef with lots of roast veggies and gravy.   Well, the son in law could not stop talking about how beautiful it was!   It was if an old fashioned roast dinner was a new invention!  And really who can beat this?  Some things are classics for a reason!  
When I do a roast now it is just the two of us I cook extra veggies.  When I plate up I serve dinner and then another dinner goes into a casserole dish.   Then I skip a night and we have a roast meal again.  This gives me a night off!   Left over meat becomes lunches.   Last week I still had meat so I made up a heap of rolls and froze them.   I stick to roast meat, butter, pepper and maybe mustard or cheese.  Andy loves them and these freeze perfectly.  Even if he is driving into town he will grab a roll to take with him.  These save us a lot.

I loved a tip from Jamie Oliver which was to make a whole heap of extra stuffing and cook it in a loaf pan.  This way each person doesn't just get stuffing from inside a chicken or turkey but there is a ton extra. Genius!  I always liked the stuffing best when I was a kid.  Imagine how much further a roast would go with slices of stuffing added to the plate!

Mum used to make left over roast meat fritters.   Usually they had roast meat, corn, egg, flour and milk to make a fritter and fry it.  As kids we loved these.  Of course there are Shepherds Pies also.

I hear lots of ladies say that if they make planned left overs they are just eaten.  Well, I have been through this.  You have to be tricky.  You can ask  "would anyone like anymore?" and have extra rice, veggies or other bits and pieces.  Or dessert.  But you need to have dealt with and hidden the meat!  I usually serve up what I want for the next meal and set it well aside.  I also write on things i.e. "Friday nights dinner" so there are no illusions it is free to eat! You have to do what works for you here but there is nothing wrong with teaching kids about the budget, planing etc.   We were never free to just raid the fridge.  We always asked if there was anything to eat.  My daughters were not free to help themselves either.  I always had afternoon tea ready after school and THIS was afternoon tea.  They didn't go grab what was set aside to be lunches, dinners etc. So if you have good plans messed up by others then change what you do.  Keeping in the budget is important!

The area of menu planning is another big thing here.  Plan around what you already have and what you find on great deals or markdowns.  I have stalked the mark down person many times for some great deals!  I get asked how am I so lucky on finding mark downs?  How do I know when is the best time to find them?  There is no science to it, I just ask the staff.  I have never had anyone refuse to tell me.  Most of the staff also are on budgets and find meat expensive!  So I just ask and try to shop at the good times.  Also if possible I shop late when I know that store will be closed tomorrow.  I follow the catalogues and Facebook pages of butchers and meat wholesalers.  One wholesaler we found has a weekly email.  Some of their best specials have been just incredible!    I have also phone butchers and asked questions like "what would be your best price on 50 kilos of ground beef?"  as often buying a big lot of something and dividing it up yourself saves a lot of money.  And asking can't hurt, right?

Packaging is another...  buying a whole side of lamb or some kind of bulk pack can save you a lot but, yes,  then you need to package it up into nice meal sized portions for your family.  But this is a huge saver.  I also do mixed grill packs where there is a smaller serving of steak or lamb but also a sausage per person.   When you need to serve up a BBQ and feel you need a lot of meat mix it up... a little bit of streak and a lot of sausages, burgers, onion rings, potato bake, salads, breads...  it can be all smoke and mirrors that you spent a lot on meat.

Now there are lots of other ways to stretch a meal i.e. beans, textured vegetable protein...  I will leave some of these to you as these are two I don't do.  However I do add granted carrot to sausage roll meat and I put lots of grated or chopped veggies into my spaghetti bolognese sauce mix. And a lot of onion.  I would say I double my volume of meat easily with zucchini, capsicum, spinach, mushrooms, parsley... depending on what I have.  No one even knows it is there.  In fact if you are a Mum wishing to get more veggies into the kids look up Jamie Oliver's seen veg sauce.  Once you have this you can make pasta, pizza etc all so full of veggies!

To make meat sauce go further with pasta you can make a lasagne with some layers of vegetables instead of the meat sauce and your cheese sauce or béchamel sauce really fills up the dish and is delicious.  So if I am making a spaghetti dish I will often do a cheese sauce also .... this will usually mean I end up with heaps of meat sauce left for other meals.

You can sneak a lot of extras into curries, meatloaf, casseroles.  The sky is the limit really.  To each you can add so many side dishes.  It is time to get creative!

When shopping look in the places you usually skip.  The price of chicken will vary widely depending on the cut.  It is often cheaper to get a whole chicken than two chicken breasts!  Then the prices will vary from what is in the fresh meat section to what is over in the deli section.  Then explore the freezer section.  For some recipes you could also consider canned.   Don't assume which will be the best deal.  The deli section of the supermarket often has amazing end of the day specials too.   A few years ago I stocked up big time on turkeys from the freezer section after New Years Day. Suddenly they just decided enough with turkeys and cleared them all out!  My only restraint was freezer space.

When the going gets tough, the tough get going!  Break out of your usual shops and routines.  Try markets, supermarkets that are further away, wholesalers... if you know someone who has a business maybe they will let you shop at their wholesaler?  Try new recipes.  Learn learn learn!
Attend to re packaging and freeze your meat.  Letting things sit in the fridge until you figure out what to do with it can lead to wasted product.  Add a side dish so maybe your dinners worth of protein will in fact be enough for two nights.   Use things up as they need using rather than cooking "what you  feel like" and menu plan this way!

Really old style cook books tend to be wonderful for basic ingredients and using up the cheaper cuts of meat.  I use my slow cooker a lot. Meats that are tougher or harder to deal with turn out melt in your mouth tender.  Some thing that has turned out tough can be re cooked and made into pies.  I have had a few things that were less than spectacular that I have added a sauce to, cooked for the whole day in the slow cooker,  and turned into tender and good pie filing!

If you have tips on how you save in this area, things your Nanna used to make or other tips please do share.   Between us and the different countries we come from we can probably come up with so many more savings.

Have a good new week!  It is a public holiday here for us tomorrow. It has been drizzling... I hope it keeps going! xxx

Friday 4 October 2019

Feather your Nest Friday, 4th October, 2019.

Here we are in October!  To me once it is October it is truly the run down to Christmas.
It has been a long week.  Andy had to have a medical procedure and this involved a trip to the city.  He is ok and doing well.  Chloe baby sat and bottle fed the babies!
I feel a bit battle worn and the internet here is terrible just now hence my late post.   It is a very good thing to be able to sit for a little while and think of the good things of the week.   One of them I know is that we were very lucky on the trip home. I had to drive as Andy had an aesthetic.  I am not used to his ute and we were loaded up!  I was right next to a really big truck when I heard a noise and felt a sudden loss of control.  A tyre blew out.  The loss of control was split second. I didn't understand what was happening!  Then we knew!  I was able to pull off and there we were with half of our big load of things unloaded to get to the tools and tyre.   I know we were very lucky to have stayed on the road and it not been an accident.  So I am grateful!

When we finally arrived home I just felt as if I had never been happier to get back!
Before going away I thought how I just do not want to go.  I was longing to get back and I hadn't even left yet.

Some of the ways I feathered the nest this week were:

I had two more fires getting cleaned up before summer.

We were given a lot of meat.  It is beautiful and many many meals.  Such a bonus!

In the city I sold my little town car.  It was not suitable for here when we moved.  But I kept it until now.  The money from this will help a lot and especially with a project I am working on which is to fix up a little workers cottage.  This little house is quite cute but really really uninhabitable. With some work we can turn this cottage into an asset. So this is one of my 2020 projects.

Andy built a beautiful kennel for Scout.

In the city I did a big Aldi stock up.

Also I checked out a few op shops (thrift stores) and was so lucky!  I got a big box of glass jars for 25c each.  And a beautiful bottle.  Also many fantastic books including one excellent one for my medical pantry.    The bottle is for Coffee Liqueur that I am planning to make for Christmas gifts.  I have been saving nice bottles all year.  And with this in mind I found these...

I thought I could add a glass with each bottle of Liqueur.  The whole set was $8.  I love them!

In Mum's garden I picked a big bunch of mint, some with roots to plant up another pot.

Also Mum gave me some Agave plants for my garden.  I have one garden bed that really gets the full force of the weather so I am trying succulents in it.

One street from where we were staying I found two boxes of succulents on the side of the road!  I gave one boxful to Chloe and planted the other in my succulent garden bed. So this is all started well and all for free so far.

In the supermarket they had just marked down cream.  Because of so many eggs I make quiches a lot.  I got 24 containers of cream for 25c each!  Into the freezer they went!

I was given some beautiful venison.  So this week I had so much fresh meat added to the freezer.

As usual I did lots of cooking and I gave some to my niece as she gave me Eddie and is a great help to me.

So that was my week. My pantry and freezer did well.  So did my present cupboard.  The brown sheep and their lambs have settled in and now hang around with Laffie and my lambs.  We sit on the deck in the evening and this is our view...

And this week the Black Cockatoos are back and the Galah's on the front lawn.

Today I am hoping we might get a little bit of rain. It is a vague possibility.  I am going to get busy and plant my mint.  Then I want to make a mint sauce.   Then get my Coffee Liqueur brewing! 

How did you build up your home this week?  I hope many opportunities came your way!  
Have a lovely weekend.  Sorry for my late post! xxx