Sunday, October 30, 2011

Midwifery and more planting in the Patch

While I was working in the vege patch this morning, I noticed one of the cows in the next paddock seemed to be having a bit of trouble giving birth. I climbed over the fence and after a bit of a tug on the legs of the calf that was half out, I helped this little calf into the world. Then I discovered he was a twin. I guess the mum was getting a bit too weary to push anymore so was probably grateful for a helping hand.
The little calf I helped deliver and his mummy

Then I got back to planting all my tomatoes, pumpkins, zucchini, cucumbers, melons, squash, and basil. If any more chilly nights or mornings are predicted by the weatherman, I will just have to make sure I cover them all up before bedtime.  The last week or so has been pretty warm though so I am hoping we have had the last of the frosts for the year.  And as it is 2 days off  November, I feel I can chance it.

In the patch this morning

First of the tomatoes go in

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Ice Cream Christmas Pudding and Fondue

As the Silly Season approaches, it is time to start thinking about putting things in the freezer for end of year get togethers. The good thing about an ice cream Christmas pudding is that it can sit in the freezer for months (as long as we don't eat it in the meantime) ready for entertaining in the summer.

This is a simple recipe that my mum used to make and we have every Christmas. Soak one and a half cups of dried fruit in one cup of creme de cacao or Kahlua overnight. Next day chop up some marshmallows and mix everything together in some vanilla and chocolate icecream.The recipe says to use 1 litre of each flavour but I always double it as it is so delicious I want Christmas food to last on and on!
Tonight we are having a fondue made with some of our homemade Gruyere cheese. Haven't had a fondue for a long time but it is such a lovely way to enjoy cheese occasionally. We might try dipping in some raw carrot, broad beans and fennel from the garden to see what they are like.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Gruyere or Gremmental?

Here's a test for you. Which of the two photos below is my Gruyere/Emmental (see my blog post in April when I made it and mixed up the pressing regime) and which is the photo from the Artisan Cheese Making book? Can't tell the difference?. Imagine my surprise when I cut open my 6 month old block of Gremmental the other day and it had the right kind of holes in the middle. Not only that, it even tasted like a Swiss cheese. I also gave a piece to Max to taste, not telling him what it was, and he identified a Swiss cheese flavour. Amazing. I was fully expecting a failure as I have heard that Swiss cheese is notoriously difficult to make. It had cracked badly during the early maturing process and a bit of mould had grown in the cracks under the wax which was why I was cutting it open the other day.

Glad all that hard work paid off!
Over the past couple of weekends, I have been madly preparing the vegetable garden for the spring summer plantings. So far I have planted carrots, parsnip, spinach,corn, kale, bok choy, silver beet, beetroot, lettuce, broccoli, fennel, snow peas and climbing beans. All my frost tender plants are still growing under cover to protect them from the sometimes still chilly mornings (like the frost today). Have to wait another 3 weeks before it is safe to plant them here.....but the ground is already dug over and ready to go.
And just for the record, the first photo is my cheese.