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Jane Goat blends into her surroundings

Jane Goat blends into her surroundings

In Nelson, a frosty start like this generally melts into a gorgeous day.. which it has.




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Easter Chicks

Can you spot my 6 newly hatched Silkie chicks in this picture?  My last hatch for the season.

Silkie Chicks March2013 SA

This beautiful buff hen is not their biological mum.  She is “job sharing”, as Silkies often do  :)

Fresh off our tree .. crisp & sweet .. mmm

Apple : Golden Delicious

Apple : Golden Delicious

Hi all

It’s been a while hasn’t it?  

Well today I have to share with you the deeeeeelishous spaghetti I made for tea last night.  Every summer I hang out for enough tomatoes to make this. Some years I do well & get several ice cream containers full frozen to take me through winter. Sadly, this is not one of those years.  Hit by white fly early on, my tomatoes just aren’t producing much, in spite of growing about 6 different varieties!  Thankfully, my father has an over-abundant supply :D

I make a spaghetti sauce recipe from the Rally Cookbook my aunt gave me about 30 years ago.  It has far to much sugar in it for modern health, but, that is just what makes it taste so good, so I shall keep making it :O   The internet is full of many healthier recipes like Alison Gofton’s & this one on my favourite recipe site, Food.com but I can’t find anything like mine on the net, so, I will bravely share it with you sweet toothed folk out there.

Boil together until soft:

3kg fresh Tomatoes, chopped roughly & 2 chopped Onions

Put through your trusty old fashioned mouli to remove seeds & skins. Return to the heat & add:

1/2 teaspn Pepper

1 Tablespn Salt

1/2 cup Sugar (actually sometimes it needs a little more.. taste test & add 1 Tablespn at a time)

At this point the recipe says to add a serious amount of butter & cheese but I find it didn’t alter the flavour without the butter…  & the cheese is nice but not necessary for me… see.. I’m not completely unhealth conscious  :D 

I often add some cut up bacon here (about 125g) & always a good dose of crushed garlic.

If you want to freeze or bottle the sauce you will need to boil it for about 1/2 an hour to reduce.

If you are eating it fresh, you can choose to follow the recipe & cook 250g Spaghetti Noodles separately then add to the reduced sauce OR do it my way & add the spaghetti to the sauce & cook it all together  That way the pasta soaks up the tomato & becomes extra good!  You do have to watch it very carefully though & stir often.

If you manage to have some left over, you will find it tastes even better after a day in the fridge.

Spag 27.2 13 - SA

I managed to catch Jamies Oliver’s 15 minute meals on TV the other week.  Always seem to miss that.  In this program he made meatballs so I felt inspired to add them to my sauce.  I used beef mince, whizzed up with a bit of bread & some mixed herbs, salt & pepper.  Made tiny balls, fried them a little, then added to my spaghetti sauce & noodle mix to cook through.  Served with grated Parmesan on top.  My boys loved it so much they begged for more.  DEFINITELY going to do that again.




Life Goes On

Yesterday we made a hard decision.  Our dachshund x was diagnosed with cancer in July & we realised, with huge sadness & many tears, that her time had come.  This morning hubby took her to the vet.


As I sat reviewing old pictures of her I heard the chirp of a newborn chicken.  When I investigated, I discovered a little Pekin hen in the garden with 3 unexpected but very adorable babies. The first chicks of the season.

Chutney & Chicks

This happens often here. As I lose one animal another arrives to remind me life goes on.

Banana Jam

We were lucky enough to pick up half a box of ‘salad’ bananas last weekend for just $6.  So, after lots of smoothies & banana roll ups I thought, hmm, what else can I do & searched Food.Com where I found this recipe for Banana Jam.

It is seriously delish.. quite sweet. Would be wonderful over some icecream.  I only had lemons instead of the lime &, with the second batch, I used less cinnamon as I thought it was a bit overpowering & I sliced the bananas rather than mash them so the jam was a little more chunky/fruity looking  (the picture is of the first batch).

Goats In The Mist

For the last 2 or 3 nights we’ve had fog roll in shortly after sunset. .. as it often does at this time of year. We are about half a km from the river & it comes from that direction.. across the neighbours then slowly enveloping our property.  Hubby thinks it looks eerie but I find the way it softens everything to be really pretty so I took a couple of pictures to show you… 

The Elm tree .. with Jane goat in the paddock (if you look hard)


Looking down our drive towards the road.

This morning I went out, into the sun, to snap some pretty pictures to show you.

After the torrential downpours of rain with thunder (that shook the house) & lightening we’ve had for 2 or 3 days, Mr Sun decided to make an appearance this morning.

 I love the day after rain. The air is so fresh & everything seems so clean (all the sparrow poop gets washed off the gates & fence posts.. why do they have to poop right were you put your hand.. every time!?)  The rain drops glistened in the sun which streamed through the neighbours trees in coloured rays & steam rose from the fences & sheds as the sun warmed the wet.  It was soooo pretty.  I took the photos & came inside to download them but half an hour later..Mr Sun was gone :(  So much for hanging out the washing backlog as I planned.  

A Goat Shelter steaming as the sun hits it & can you see those gorgeous twinkling raindrops in the elm tree?

A few of my Pekin Bantams sun themselves on my back door steps

The goats were delighted to be out of their shelters (goats hate rain). 

Luwis & Jane

Little Luwis seems to be ‘becoming a man’. I noticed he is doing the charming boy goat thing of weeing on himself.. for some reason beyond me, girl goats like that stuff.. or at least the boys think they do!  I’m still wondering if he’s actually going to manage Jane. As you can see, she is twice his size at present. (See Luwis as a baby here).

And here is Luwis’ sister, the very portly Lindy Lu.. 

Jane, Lindy Lu & Lulu

Still with her mother & most likely sucking all our milk.  Hubby got half a cup today. It’s just not practical to separate them at present but it rather defeats the purpose of having milking goats.

My bulbs, which I confess I only repotted a week or two ago, are already popping through the soil.  These are my tulips (see pictures of them here), red freesias & my fancy daffodils.

And hubby bought me an extra packet of pretties this year…

Lastly, I just have to share with you my cute little Mini Feijoa loaves I made this morning… 

Frugal tipa butter wrapper cut into quarters lines these wee tins perfectly.

Today I have a some loaves to share with you… 

The most devine was this Chocolate Banana loaf with frozen raspberries:

Pre Mixing

Chocolate Banana & Raspberry Loaf

Will DEFINITELY do that again.  The recipe is here & I added about half a cup of frozen (unthawed) raspberries.

My Chilean Guavas (aka New Zealand Cranberry) are ripe :

Standardised Chilean Guava

Chilean Guava fruit

so I decided to try the same recipe with half a cup of fresh guavas instead of raspberries.  Interesting taste.  Not to my boys, or my, liking.  Wont do that again.  The rest of my little guavas will go into a chutney I think.

Then there is our Mandarins.  It has been the best year for them. We picked a bucket full of lovely large fruit so I had to try a Chocolate Orange Loaf (using mandarins instead of oranges of course)


Chocolate Mandarin Loaf

I’m not going to share the recipe I used because I don’t think it was that great.  This one looks good tho & the icing drizzle I made up was 2 tablespoons of mandarin juice mixed with 1/2 cup of icing sugar.

Am I the only one who is confused about the difference between cakes & loaves?  Is it really just the shape of the tin?

I have discovered the secret to a great loaf with a smooth top.. its my new Panasonic Convection oven.  Now I REALLY loved my Whirlpool, which had a great space at the top for my Happy Hen collection:

but sadly it gave out on me after 3 short years. So here’s the replacement; which doesnt allow for my larger hens.. what am I to do with them now??

Panasonic Convection Oven

 It came with virtually no instructions & there’s nothing on line so while it appears to do all sorts of marvellous things, I sure cant figure out how to use them!  The fan oven, however, does a supreme job of evenly cooking loaves.. no more volcanic action with the big crack down the middle :)




I take so many photographs to share with you all in blog land but I often don’t find the time to get here.  Sorting my files, I came across these pictures of the biscuits my son & I made for my mother on mothers day &, although it was a couple of weeks ago, they are too cute not to share.

My mothers greatest love (yes above her children) is her West Highland Terrier so when I spotted the cutter in my boys playdough equipment I had a light bulb moment … afternoon tea.  What else do you do for an 84 year old?

I made them with Gingerbread…

Ready For the Oven


The eyes are chocolate dots

And, since it is Feijoa season. I also made a feijoa loaf from the recipe here. It’s so easy & everybody in my family loves it.

Measuring the Feijoa Pulp


Feijoa Loaf .. so good it can be eaten on its own without butter

I made the same recipe into a cake with lemon icing for a school fund raiser last week:

Are you drooling ?

It’s been the best season for our feijoas this year.  Less of them perhaps but soooo big:

We've had many a similar size

We’ve sold a lot of bags at our gate along with apples & a few figs & grapes. The grapes came to an abrupt end, as they do every year, when the wasps smell them.  They descend in packs & devour them all within a week  :(

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