Saturday, 7 June 2014

Stories From Under The Shower Cap

This morning painted an amusing picture, one dripping wet husband wrapped in towels, shampoo suds sliding gently down the side of his face, outside in the cold, changing the gas bottles over as one decided to run out mid-shower.  I tried hard not to laugh and wisely kept my camera safely in the cupboard.  :-)

Aside from errant gas bottles, we've had a good week.  The weather has been wonderful - balmy, sunny days hovering just over 20 degrees and nights with a pleasant chill, giving rise to warm, crackling fires. 

On Thursday we headed out on a 4WD expedition with friends Ruth and Laurie.  We headed out of town to the east, to a place called Bluff Creek.  It is basically a gigantic beach, over 17 km in length, starting at Cheynes Beach at one end, Bluff Creek in the middle and Warriup at the other end.  We gained some valuable experience driving in the soft sand on the tracks and on the beach, and with a lot more confidence with another car and nice people alongside!
We made our way along the length of the beach, stopping whenever the boys thought that little patch of ocean looked promising.  Then it was lines in for a while, and if the action was nil, then it was back into the cars and further down the beach we drove.  The boys were hoping for salmon, alas no, but they came home with a good haul of herring and skippy.
I've been busy in the kitchen the past few days.  Our lovely neighbour gave us about 25 kilos of apples from her trees, so I have been madly dehydrating them for the pantry and stewing them for the freezer.  I experimented with drying slices both in the dehydrator and in the oven to see which turned out best.... the dehydrated ones were a zillion times better, both in the intensity of flavour and also texture - the oven dried ones were very tough.  It was good to know.  I need to buy some more trays for my dehydrator though, I only have four and the unit can dry twelve layers efficiently, so I figure if it's going to take 5 hours to do a batch, I might as well do as many as possible.
The vegies are still exploding with growth given the warm days and damp soil, so I am harvesting a bucketful of various things every second day.  My carrots are teeny tiny as I haven't thinned them out yet, I was waiting for them to grow a little bit so we could eat the thinned out ones as tiny carrots, rather than just discarding them.  I can always find some potatoes in the ground, plants pop up almost as weeds where we've missed pulling up a potato from a few months prior.  This night was a yummy mixed bag of boiled veg with a steak.
Then yesterday was for picking a heap of greens... two sorts of lettuce, spinach, beetroot (both the leaves and some tiny roots), purple kale, rocket, dill, broccolini plus more teeny carrots and a few baby turnips.
That was turned into a delicious green salad with a dill dressing, with some King George Whiting from the freezer.  You can almost imagine the vitamins surging into your body.  :-)
I took a photo from behind our house looking down the hill.  I was pleasantly surprised to see how settled our place is looking nowadays.  Gone is the bare expanse of nothing, we are making our mark upon the landscape. 
I've been dabbling in the sewing room, making Neo a new toy, a little snake.  He loves it, pouncing on it, carrying it round and flinging it into the air to be caught and chewed.  Rather hard to get a photo in focus, such is the speed of this fabulous game.  :-)
I also started some knitting, a scarf/small rug using lots of different colours so as to use up lots of wool.  Supposedly simple stitching, knit one slip one all the way along, cut yarn, slide to other end of circular needle and do the same all over again but alternating the knit/slip to the line above.  Sounds straightforward enough yes?  Far out, I have spat the dummy and flung it into the corner.  Sheila, thank you very much for helping me by casting on the 400 stitches, but I admit defeat, I suck at knitting.  Knitting confuses me, it always sounds so sensible and understandable in the pattern, but I can stare stupidly at only two different types of stitch on the needles and cannot for the life of me work out what I am looking at.  So, dropped stitches and stitches in the wrong order later, I have decided to crochet instead.  And that is final....

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