This week Harper turned 5. It was just a beautiful family day. I remember the day she was born like it was yesterday. It was a such a special day and so was her birthday yesterday.
This week I was able to pick another bucket of figs. I also used up apples and make puree which I shared and froze. I made a kind of cheats Samosa by using puff pastry and the sandwich maker to cook them. They turned out well! Completely non authentic but tasty and fast.
On Sunday Mum came over for afternoon tea for Mothers Day. For some reason my scones (gluten free) turned out to be the best ones ever. For anyone interested I never could make scones. They were terrible. My Nan stood over me and watched (as she made great ones) and they still didn't work. She couldn't believe it! After about 40 years of this I decided the conventional scone making advice wasn't working and to do something else. So.... I ignored advice to handle them gently and made them in the mix master. I added a bit extra baking powder. I added an egg as eggs encourage rising, right? I cut them thickly and I melted the butter. So I did EVERYTHING wrong. And ta dah! There were amazing.
I use gluten free SR Flour. However you can use regular flour just the same. It is 4 cups flour, a big bit of melted butter... (say 100gs or a couple of big spoonfuls) 2 cups milk, 1/2 teaspoon baking powder, one egg. Mix in the mixer until it is a lovely smooth dough. Adjust if it is too sticky. You want a really moist dough that you can handle. I dip my cutter into flour and cut each one thickly. Add cheese or pumpkin if you want savoury. Add sultanas or dates if you want fancier sweet ones.
Anyway these were the nicest ones ever! Mum loved them and I sent her home with some.
Chloe gave me beautiful Mothers Day flowers...
I put a gift together for my Uncle who isn't well. I was able to include some of my homemade little soaps to take around with him and used a little tin for them.
We are taking measures to improve our security. I had a series of prompts to do this. Several people I really trust and respect told me how much they were increasing their own security. Then we heard of a local burglary on a farm. Next we heard of trailer loads of animals being stolen over the border. Since then someone said to me that they have had intruders on their land and to please take every precaution. This will all enough for me to get the message. We made a list of things to do. One small step was to revamp a sign in our driveway is meant to get cars to slow down. But the writing was faded and unclear. I revived it and added a Beware of the Dog sign.
All week we have added some conventional and some sneaky security measures.
I made up trays of Enchiladas. They freeze really well so I added a tray to the freezer for "baby week."
There was some progress on the cubby house. Finally it is in position thanks to my son in laws help.
We had no way of unloading it as it was so heavy. It was even heavier as inside the big box was another box!
The box inside is pretty big but low and squat. I had been thinking dog kennel, goat house... until I saw it. Then I realised it is a perfect raised garden bed!!
By the evening I had painted the cubby house box with an undercoat of a weather sealant. So it is painted white now. The raised garden bed is next. I am lining that with thick plastic also to keep the wood from rotting. I started to study up and things to fill a raised garden bed since I am hoping to have a series if them. Also I was reading up on compost and material for chicken bedding. For some reason I have always thought shredded paper would be messy and was not really suitable. But I was wrong! And this is the best thing ever as I have access to ridiculous amounts of shredded paper.
So now I have several bags of this ready for my garden beds and several bags are already in the texting boxes for the chickens. The eggs are perfectly clean everyday. When this breaks down it will be compost I can also add to my garden beds. I had a resource I wasn't even using.
Today I worked a little on the cubby house. It now has trees. Leaves are next. It is going to be covered in trees and the animals we have here on the farm. Andy is adding a tin roof and cutting out the door and windows.
On the way home from Lucy's we go through some pine forests. I saw a new huge Wedge Tailed Eagle nest. It is hard to guess the size but it must be five feet wide. And several feet deep...
I love these nests!! The chickens look like white fluffy chickens (Silky Bantams) not that I saw them on this occasion but I have been lucky enough to in the past.
Our stores have returned to almost normal. Not quite... but much better. A good deal is harder to come by. I am noticing a big demand in everything to do with self sufficiency from seeds to caning lids. And from chickens to guinea pigs! Yes Guinea Pigs... suddenly everyone wants them. I put this down to quite a few You Tube gardeners and articles suggest that for manure for your garden small animals like chickens, rabbits and guinea pigs are great to keep. Many people can keep small animals whereas large livestock might be out of the question.
I was so happy I already had my gardens set up and my chickens established when lock downs and shortages began. But I decided if I had a chance to get more chickens I would. I put my name down on two waiting lists. This week I got a call! These are x battery hen chickens.... $6 each. I have had these before. They arrive sad and sorry. But they respond to love and care and lay for a good couple of years at least. The going rate for chickens is $20 to $25 each here and this is for ordinary laying hens and not fancy breeds which can be much more. So I ordered 12. Chicken maths is a known formula for anything to do with hens. A few plus a couple extra and a back up = 12. Anyway I am so exited and I have about a month to wait.
So overall I am very happy. We had two special occasions, I found a resource I didn't know I had and set it to good use. The cubby house is underway. The first raised garden bed is nearly ready to set up. I have seedlings coming along in the garden and seeds sprouting. I am mulching all the garden beds day by day until they are all done. I even nearly used up all the apples! And we had rain!
I hope you had a good week. Did you find ways to add to your pantry or garden? There are lots of little ways to get ahead. They really do all add up. Sometimes we see things in a fresh new way and see possibilities we didn't see before. As we learn more we can put new things into action. This is what is going to help now as many of us face new challenges. Added helpfulness and kindness is needed too. We can actually help each other so much! Tell me about your week and what you are doing to build up your home and family?
Have a wonderful weekend! xxx