August 31, 2012

Trees, some eggs, sticky date pudding and more trees

Hi everyone,
Today I want to share my ultimate sticky date pudding recipe with quote the lion king " it's to die for Simba"
Ingredients for pudding:
  • 1 and 1/4 cups pitted dates (chopped)
  • 1 and a quarter cups boiling water
  • 1 tsp bicarb
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar (firmly packed)
  • 60g butter
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 cup SR flour
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla essence
Ingredients for sauce:
  • 1 cup brown sugar (firmly packed)
  • 100g butter (chopped)
  • 300ml cream
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla essence
Method for pudding:
  1. Put chopped dates & boiling water on stove, heat until water evaporates, keep stirring constantly towards the end (it should be nice and moist)
4. Add bicarb to dates and stir (froth) take off heat
5. Cream butter and sugar, stir in eggs, add dates mixture (allow to cool slightly) & gradually stir in siffed flower, then add vanilla

6. Add mixture to 20cm cake tine (greased)
7. Cook in 180' for 40 -45 mins
8. Once pudding has risen (around 20-25 mins) add 1/2 your sauce mixture and let cook for
Method for sauce:
  1. Melt butter and sugar in saucepan over high heat.
  2. Stir in cream, allow to boil (stirring constantly) then reduce heat & stir until dissolved and smooth, then add vanilla.
 And finally:

'Serve warm with ice cream, the yummy sauce and if calories don't matter...add some cream.... '


Trees a crowd....

We been a planting, digging, stakin and breakin (our backs!) in our latest crusade to establish the foundations for the garden....
With no tractor or those funny curly things that make holes for you, we relied on the old faithful shovel and hard graft to create our holes for the trees. You can see we had a quality control officer on board...we passed!
  Brookie dug away
I shared the load, but someone had to take the progress and development photos... so here's Brookie again a bit further on
And after 5 hours the first day, and 7 the second, we were done diggin...sorry about the ball!!
We used the magic compost again to help the wee trees on the way, it's just lovely to work with. 
Green means go!!!!
We have also been busy getting the vege garden ready to rock'n roll with the new season greens...Brooke turned over all 4 gardens, took away old stock and gave it to the chooks, she then set the carrots, onions, lettuce, beetroot, tomatoes, garlic, silver beet, broccoli and spinach...yippee, love them all.
The cost of the initial purchase compared to how much they would cost to buy at the supermarket is really unbelievable. 
The money you save, and the quality you gain is huge.
I really encourage anyone who has some space around them to "get growing ".
Eggs and chooks and labels.
I'm testing out a wee label for our cottage eggs, it's kinda quirky and a little bit cool....ideas welcome for any improvements... we are getting between 5 & 7 eggs a day now.We are loving them and so are our workmates... even wee Georgia who has been the last one to adjust to her new surroundings has been having a go...she had really dry legs a few weeks ago when she arrived, but we have been treating her with wonder powder it's called diatomaceous earth and it is amazing..please have a read about it.

Eggs and label


Sign for our wee gate:

We wanted to have a nice wee welcome sign at the front gate and our lovely friend made us one. I painted to background first, then once it was dry, I filled in the letters.

And found a nice wee spot on the front gate to hang it.
So my friendly's been a good week, I think if you feel satisfied with your efforts and that the energy you spend was worthwhile, it can only be a good thing.
And my words for the week are relative to exactly how I feel...
Spending energy is the same as spending money.... choose wisely where it goes, and always know, that you will only ever get a quality return for a quality investment, giving less and and expecting more does not happen...


August 20, 2012

Awesome photos

Morning has broken.

Like the first morning

A lovely morning pic to bring you back on board to the Station Masters cottage.


What's new?

Well I got my Tetley Tea bags in the mail all the way from Australia. I've had 5 cups in 5 days and gave one to Mary at work to try, she loved it (no surprises there), I am so happy I got them, cheers Karen.

Rain rain go away,

Everyone has had enough of the wet stuff, water tanks are overfull and fields are soggy as!!!!
Chickens are totally over it, poor wee things are running for cover when the heavens open. But hey, guess how many eggs we are getting a day? between 5 & 6, what a range and such a variety of size, but no lack in quality and taste.. they are so nice, we're stoked and so are our work buddies. We managed to make enough sales to meet our goal, that is to be able to buy a bag of feed and keep the cycle going.

check out my wee labels 

 Morning magic,

Some of these pictures really capture the very reason we just love where we're at. The morning mist as it settles on the saddle of hills creates that sense of anticipation of what the day will bring?

Sun, rain or something in the middle!
And then there's little Miss Murphy, there's a saying about how some people walk in the rain, others just get wet. This little girl just loves simply being.....she is such an introvert, she can take so much of Finn the terrible, then she takes herself off the her quiet place which is usually the front deck with or without sunshine (and usually it's rain these days)

Sitting in the rain.....

This weekend we went to the Dame Edna show in the city - Eat, Pray, Laugh. Luckily we were in row 4, well away from the spitting character and out of range from Edna as she selected her cast from the audience. One of my work colleagues was asked up to the stage and given the Edna interrogation. She done so well. Definitely a night to remember.

Progress on the farm:
Bought some Trees from local supplier. We have decided to start our big garden venture, I reckon once the framework is in place, the rest will follow.

This week.
We have invited our neighbours over to watch the Rugby match. I'll cook my special beef curry and yummy sticky date pudding, then hopefully a Kiwi win and a better performance than last weeks effort will round off a fine evening.

There you go friends, things are ticking over nicely, we hope to get going with our bathroom renovation plans and have this project complete by Christmas when Miss Ivy Knight and Mum comes over.....yay!!!!!

Special note: Laura at my wee farm, did I see you guys pass through Warkworth on Sunday about 12.15 in a silver BMW? I'm certain it was Lloyd driving.

All the best everyone....

Wise words: Be, Do, Have.

August 04, 2012

Water water everywhere!

Ok, ok we get it........ we just can't stop the rain.

What power water has, it just gets everywhere. Although we are often thankful for a wee bit of rain, this is just crazy! Everything at our place is just soaking wet, we even had to make a washing line inside the shed because the wind was blowing the rain under the car port. It is a bit like a Chinese laundrette, but it's doing the job.

Let's make even more of a mess!

Last week our plumber came round to check our septic tank and soak away as levels were quite scary. He lifted the cap off and the amount of sludge that poured out was quite alarming! He strongly advised we get another soak channel in as soon as possible.... So what better time to get diggers and heavy gear on your lovely lawns? And so it began,

Friday morning our lawn looked like this:

And at 5pm it looked like this..OMG.

The important thing is, we have achieved the necessary and when things dry out, the land will be dryer and we can be assured that next year, we won't be in this state. Sometimes you gotta break some eggs to make an omelet eh??

Someone didn't care and just got on with life as normal


Grand final at neighbours place.

We really are so thankful and lucky to have received such a great welcome by our neighbours, we have been introduced to their lives, their home and land and an insight into what is possible to achieve over time in this magical area. Lloyd and Sam ran a pizza store back in the UK and we had the pleasure of fine dining at their place last night, we watched as Lloyd threw Pizza dough around his head and then he and Sam created 3 master class Pizzas for us to enjoy as we watched the Chiefs take the Rugby title with somewhat ease. Here's to good neighbours.

Chicken update.

Eggs are in abundance and we are now selling them to our work mates. Not for profit, just to cover costs. But it is such a joy to head out late in the day and our lovely girls have left us 4-5 eggs every day.

Eggs in abundance

The team are doing fine and we continue to be thankful for having these fluffy wee things in our lives.

Here is the most inquisitive of all the chooks:

little Georgia

she is always the first over when you go into the choock area, she even pecks my backside when I'm saying hello to the others.
And our Sussex girls are laying at last, yay!!! their eggs are bigger than the bantams and smaller than the shavers , just perfect.

So, friends, it's a life we are so glad we have chosen, we learn new things continually, we connect with nature daily and are reminded that life is really what you make it.. Thanks for reading my wee blog, and thanks to my cousin Liza and reader Karen, both in Australia for getting in touch for my Tetley tea bags.

Go NZ and go the Olympic games.

Thought for the day: "If it feels right, it probably a is!"

Chooks hanging out at the bath