This week we've had the pleasure of the company of Mel and Sheila. We were fortunate with the weather one evening and managed to have a barbeque on the front patio with a magnificent sunset surrounding us. Bliss.
It was Round 2 of the Boules Championships. Last time Mel and Sheila visited, Steve and I were the Boules winners, so a certain man was verrrry keen for a re-match. We believe he had been practising. :-)
With an old car mat on the ground for the launching pad, the match was underway. And taken very seriously I might add. The measuring tape had to come out on a few occasions.
Using the lumpy floor of a peppermint tree forest makes for a challenging course. One has to manoeuvre their ball around slopes, bits of fallen branch, ruts, piles of kangaroo poo and goodness knows what else. Good fun. Mel and Sheila reigned supreme this time, and yes Mel, I will tell everyone that it was a convincing win 14-7. :-)
Steve and I were only thinking the other day that we needed to go and get a 10 kg bag of small onions for pickling, but Mel very kindly brought us a bag - great minds think alike. So Steve and Mel set to work peeling them and into the spiced vinegar they went. Steve will be champing at the bit to starting munching on these! I must say at this point that I am so so happy that I designed the walk-in pantry in our house with one wall of skinny shelves specifically for preserves. It is tucked away behind the door and I love going inside the pantry, shutting the door and gazing at all the wonderful things lined up.
I dragged out the dehydrator the other day. I've had it for years but have virtually never used it. As I still had loads of apples I dried a batch of them. 5 hours later and I had a big jarful of dried apples from about 15 fresh gala apples.
They are rather nice with cheese and just to snack on. The texture is different to shop-bought dried apple, these are lighter, when you first start chewing it's like nothing is in your mouth, but then suddenly you get a taste explosion. I think other apple varieties may be better for this, I reckon Sundowners would be good as they are a dense apple.
I hopped onto Google to see what else I could try dehydrating, and I found a few articles about pumpkin flour. Not sure of its usefulness but a challenge nonetheless! Well, half a Qld Grey pumpkin later, and TWENTY TWO hours in the dehydrator, this is what you get. I shudder to think how much electricity that used just for a mere pinch of orange powder. Fascinating though, isn't it amazing that that handful of orange stuff is actaully half a decent sized pumpkin. I guess this is the sort of thing they used to do for astronauts' meals. I have yet to grind the dried pumpkin down completely to powder, probably wont bother but I think I'll add a couple of spoonfuls as is to the next stew or soup I make just to see what it does.
I have also continued on with curtain making and the two front windows in the living room are now covered. Tedious but I am always really pleased with myself each time a window is completed, it looks so much nicer with non-naked windows.
I don't know if you remember that our front door has patterned and etched glass panels in it, and I got such a thrill the other day. The sun has shifted round so late afternoon for an hour or so there is sunlight streaming in through the front door and I happened to notice these beautiful patterns on the wall opposite. Just like dancing light fairies, I was entranced. :-)