Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Garden update

I went for my usual walk around the garden this morning and wanted to share some of pictures I took. I am so happy to see how much is growing over these winter months. I really feel lucky to live in such a mild climate area where we can grow all year round.

Borage flowering:

Peas have arrived:


The broad beans are flowering:

 The 3 tier looking good. Growth here has been a bit slow, but it doesn't get a lot of sun, just a few hours in the morning. I think they will make great summer beds.

Carrot pot:


Potato patch that I have started to hill:

The office garden. Growth here has been much better than my 3 tier. It does get quite a bit more sun, but we might have to shade it during the hot summer months. Just have to wait and see

We even have a strawberry flower:

Only 10 and a half weeks till spring!!!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Maas Bread

Last week my Aunt gave me this strange recipe for a very simple bread that I thought couldn't possibly work. Only two ingredients to make Bread! It had to be a mistake. So I gave it a try...

500g flour
500ml maas (to find out what maas is, see my cream cheese post)

Mix together to form a very thick, sticky dough and bake at 180 degrees Celsius for about an hour or until a knife comes out clean.
I thought the bread was great! Just a bit bland. So the next loaf I made I added 2 tablespoon sugar, 2 teaspoons salt and 3 tablespoons melted butter (you can also use oil)
It was amazing! Hubby said the best bread he has had!
The crust is crunchy and almost scone like and the middle is soft but quite dense. Its a good bread for dipping in soups or stews.
You can also add any little extras that you want like herbs or cheese.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Easy Coffee Biscuits

 My husband is a coffee addict. Seriously! He even won a "coffee addict" competition on facebook to prove it. So when I asked him what he would like me to bake, I should have guessed the answer would be coffee biscuits.
I tried a few recipes before deciding that this is my favorite so far. Its so quick, uses only 4 ingredients and makes the most divine soft  biscuits.

What you will need:
 200g butter or margarine
100g brown sugar
100ml strong brewed coffee
240g flour

Cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Its best to use an electric beater for this.

When creamed, slowly add the cooled coffee a bit at a time. It might look like it doesn't want to mix in but just keep going, it will come together

Use a spoon to mix in the flour, it mixes in very easily. You will end up with a sticky (and tasty) dough mix.

Plop teaspoon size blobs onto a greased or wax paper lined baking tray and bake for about 12 minutes at 180 degrees Celsius or until golden

Yummy, soft and crumbly coffee biscuits, so simple!

Joining in the fun at the Housewife Linky Party:

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Harvest Tally

I noticed on a few other blogs how people would keep a record of what they harvested throughout the year and were able to compare year after year how they had grown and become a better gardener. I think it is a fantastic idea so I have created a little Harvest Tally on the side of my blog too. I will update it whenever I harvest anything edible from my garden.
It is going to start off slowly but I am hoping it will grow with each month.
I will have a much more detailed tally set up in excel which I will share at the end of each month. It will be broken up into how much of each vegetable.

So to start it off, today I harvested 6 tomatoes which weighed in at 358 grams, a good starting point I think.

The Royal Show

On Wednesday we decided to take a day off and go to The Royal Show in Pietermaritzburg, just under an hours drive from us. The Royal Show is mostly an agricultural exhibition, but now also includes many other stalls including home improvement, crafts, tons of food stalls and a military display.
We really had a splendid day but after walking around for about 4 hours we were exhausted. With so much to see we could have stayed longer.
Seeing all the animals was the highlight for the children as well as myself. The variety of chickens was amazing and the goats a real inspiration to future goals of maybe having some of our own. The cows were stunning. Huge, well groomed, pedigrees that pranced around with such grace.

I must say, the one thing I was quite disappointing in was the lack of displays devoted to crop farming. It was all about the animal farmers. I was hoping to come home with a a lot more knowledge to use in my own veggie garden as well as maybe some seedling or fruit trees, but there was nothing to be seen.

But nevertheless it was an enjoyable day that I would love to do again next year.

Here are just a few of the pictures I took during the day
Just 2 of the many, many chickens:

 The goats, maybe one day we will have our own

My eldest son loving the kids:

Look at those udders! I couldn't get over how much milk could be in there. Made me wonder why none of the farmers had raw milk for sale. I was really hoping to get some there.

The big bulls:

There were some ladies busy spinning wool next to the sheep, it was quite amazing to see.

And the miniature horses, very cute but I can't help but think how "unuseful" they are: