Two wings lift a person up from earthy concerns: simplicity and purity. Simplicity should be in intention, purity in feelings. Simplicity reaches out after God, purity catches hold and tastes. ~ Thomas A’Kempis

Sunday, 9 September 2018

Spring at the Homestead

Hi friends and quiet visitors :)
I just wanted to spend a little bit of time writing and catching up...it's been a while. As the years go by I don't seem to do so well once Winter arrives. Each year, no matter how fit I try to keep, how warm and dry we keep our house, how many vitamins I take, or how much Kombucha I drink,  I still seem to succumb to bouts of ill health that linger. I'm trying to recover from yet another round of one of those at the moment....sigh. Being asthmatic doesn't help. However I still choose to look up and praise the Lord that Spring has arrived and rest in His love. Seasons are so faithful.

We've had a couple of slightly warmer days, lambs are seen out in fields, daffodils are blooming, but icy winds, and heavy rain is still ever present. When we had a warmer day I took a few photo's of the garden and some from around home of various crafts etc that I've been busy with.


~ Plum Blossoms ~


~ Little birds nest that survived from last year ~


~ Our trusty woodfire continues to keep us warm, even though it needs a little T.L.C ~

I N  T H E  K I T C H E N

We've eaten a lot of Soup and sourdough bread this past Winter, and still are :)
Chicken Soup in the crockpot : My quickie soup: saute onions, and celery. Add chopped carrots and kumera - chop small. I x pkt of King old fashioned soup mix (it contains split peas, barley and seasonings), dried onion powder - 1 t, chicken stock powder - 2 t, vegetable stock powder - 2 t (both Vegeta brand) 1 - 2 large chicken breasts. Throw all in the crockpot. Let it simmer all day (about 6 hours. Shred the meat. Serve hot with crusty bread - YUM




 ~ I've cooked and we've  eaten gallons of delicious creamy pumpkin soup ~

~ My Pumpkin Soup ~

This recipe has evolved over the years. When I've had a good soup at someones house, I ask
how they made it...oh a little garlic...a little curry powder...some brown sugar...and on it went. Now I consider it to be tweaked to perfection (well for our tastes). I hope you'll try it for yourself, and let me know if you do.

Ingredients:
1 Large well flavoured deep orange flesh Pumpkin or Buttercup - peeled and cubed
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil 
 1 Tablespoon Butter
1/2 cup of tomatoes chopped. 
(in the summer when they are plentiful, I stew cherry
tomatoes, in their own juices very slowly, seasoning with salt/pepper and a pinch 
of brown sugar. Then I freeze in 1/2 cup bags.)
1 large onion - chopped roughly
2 cloves garlic - chopped
1 - 2 teaspoons brown sugar
1 - 2 teaspoon curry powder
3 - 4 teaspoons of chicken stock powder. I use vegeta brand, it has the best
flavour in this soup.
Salt & fresh black pepper - be generous
1/2 cup full cream (add at the end after pureeing).

Method:
Heat the olive oil and butter until sizzling. Add th onion and garlic. Fry for about 5 minutes.
Then add the sugar and curry powder. Cook another couple of minutes. Then add the pumpkin, tomatoes, stock powder, seasonings and water to come about just over 3/4 of the way up the pumpkin cubes. Cover and cook until the pumpkin flesh is soft. Puree the mixture. Adjust stock/seasonings if required, but it's not usually (as long as a tasty pumpkin was used). Add cream. Puree again and serve in bowls garnished with chopped parsley....from this...


to this yummyness :)

Note: I didn't photograph my finished soup served. I snagged this one of the net, from Palmers Garden World site: https://www.palmers.co.nz/pumpkin-soup/  (a lovely Garden Centre in New Zealand)..and no they are not paying me at my little outpost blog site to advertise for them :)

A R O U N D  H O ME

Over the winter months I caught up on many sewing projects. There was a lot of mending to do. I don't tend to sew in summer...it's just too warm and humid to sit over the sewing machine. But come Winter I set my machine up on a small table in the old dining area and happily sew...it's also close to the fire. This time around I cut up some old white towels  to use as dish rags. I also cut some white fabric I had to make bias binding. This is the second time I've done this with old towels. The first time I just zig zagged the edges, but I didn't like the little bits of white cotton fluff that ended up on other laundry. The bias edging works wonderfully. Every day I put my dishcloths out to wash and after a few washes I soak them in some sort of whitening solution. In the summer months I soak them in bleach (yes I know thats not considered very green these days), but it's the only thing that truly kills bacteria that can make a dish cloth smell 'sour'. If anyone knows another effective 'green' method, please tell me.

~ T H E   C L O T H S ~

 Handmade bias binding.
~ Binding pinned on ~
~ Finished product: Yield about x 6 from one old towel ~

Other sewing: Napkins, for everyday use. I purchased x 2 packs of 5 tea towels (one blue and white, the other tan and white), which were large. I cut them in half, hemmed and stitched the cut edge and yielded a total of 20 napkins. They are just for us to use instead of paper towels.

~ T H E   N A P K I N S  ~

 I stack them up in this little black wire basket I found at K-Mart for about $4.00. Washing and ironing them is quite a joy actually :)

I had to put a floor lamp close by when I sew as the lighting isn't so good in this old house. The covered verandah outside is great for helping this room stay cooler in summer , but in Winter the room's always a bit dim.

~ B E S T  P U R C H A S E S ~
Since starting my sourdough bread journey I have done a lot of research on various different ways of  mixing, baking, kneading, stretching etc. Quite often a tool called a Dutch dough whisk was mentioned. I found one on Aliexpress for around $5.00, so ordered two. One to give to my daughter as well and use at her house, as I make bread when I go there too. It's' a wonderful very strong and sturdy tool, just perfect for working a dough. The other item I love is my new Kilner glass butter dish. I had pinned it :) and thought maybe I would get it for Christmas, but then I saw it advertised at half price locally and couldn't believe it, so as I had a little extra money, it is now installed in our home and used all the time. I love everything about it. 


W H A T   I   H A V E   R E A D,   A N D  A M   R E A D I N G

I absolutely loved both of these books, such great writing...and totally different stories. They were both books I had picked up at the local book fair for less than a dollar each. 

Book 1. The Light Between Oceans by M. L. Stedman - a great read, based in Australia. A movie was also made from this book. The book was better and had a lot more detail. The movie (we rented online) tried to squeeze too much into 1.5 hours and also 'scenes' we didn't care for, or watch (we had to fast forward quite a few times) ...sigh. The book didn't really mention in any great detail that sort of thing.
I know everyone has different standards when it comes to movies, but as Christians we try to steer away from extreme violence, offensive language and sex scenes...enough said.

2. Book Two: Peace like a River by Leif Enger - a fantastic, sort of Christian based book.

3. Book Three: In my quiet times I am just beginning 'The Cloister Walk, by Kathleen Norris. I read another of her books many years ago..I think it was 'Amazing Grace' and also enjoyed that.





~ F I N A L L Y  -  M Y  P A S S I O N ~
 Soaps made during Winter

' Rose Geranium' 
 'Gypsy Moon' - a mysterious cedarwood and violet rose soap
 ~ My inspiration, was old art , dreamy, ethereal images...longong for summer, wellness 
and carefree days.
 'Sweet Pea'

 'Wild Strawberry & Yoghurt'
 'Earth Angel'
 'A sweet little lotion bar'. I made a few bars and gifted one to my dear Mother in Love (Law)
This one is scented with pure essential oils of Ylang Ylang, Patchouli, Lavender and Lemongrass..but only very lightly.

Well dear friends that is all from me for now. I pray you are all well. Thank you for stopping by and please leave me a comment if this blog inspires or encourages in some way. Blessings ~ Linda










3 comments:

  1. Tried the chicken soup so yummy . I would love to try the strawberry soap is it on your website . Love your post

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi,
    so lovely to hear from you Miss Cinnamon Sugar :) That's so cool that you tried my soup recipe !!! Yeh. I often wonder if anyone reads this blog, much less try's any of the recipes, so this comment made my day. Regards the strawberry soap, I have a few more bars of it available. Thanks so much for stopping by :) Blessings to you ~ Linda

    ReplyDelete
  3. This was a wonderful catch up post. Blessings to you!
    Laura

    ReplyDelete

Spring at the Homestead

Hi friends and quiet visitors :) I just wanted to spend a little bit of time writing and catching up...it's been a while. As the years...