Saturday, March 16, 2013


I moved the washing machine outside because the chipboard beneath it was beginning to rot. The washing basket is now stationed below the bathroom window and the clothes go directly out the window and usually into a basket below. There are a few advantages to this:
  • No clothes on the bathroom floor AROUND the washing basket being trodden on.
  • no heavy wet clothes baskets to lug down the stairs after washing
  • clothes don't go mouldy inside the basket because they're in a fresh air environment (this happens very quickly in summer
  • the outside hose fitting has a much higher flow rate so my time is also halved when filling the machine (remember I have twin tub and it needs to be manually filled)
  • When it rains we get a free rinse!
The ONE disadvantage is that we often miss the basket and the clothes end up on the mud. Today this clothing basket system popped up on Faceplant. Thank you to whoever posted this because aside from already having the parts - it is exactly what we need to collect & sort the clothes. Now...let's see what version we end up with - believe me - it won't look like THAT!

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Saving up for the ice age?

This region is suffering the biggest floods in recorded history and here in Gin Gin people are pretty understated about it. There's no need for dramatics, they just clean up. However there are some people who are panic-buying as if they can't live without bread and milk. What's the big deal? Do they lack creativity?

Just for the fun of it I went through my cupboards and considered what sort of menu I could create without milk, eggs, white flour & bread.  I haven't done any serious shopping for a few weeks and the markets were not on today but one would still think I was preparing for the armageddon. There are 3 full weeks worth of meals without repeating a dinner or going to the shops. The breakfast & lunch menus will have to be repeated once or twice. Let's see how far iget before the preparation time kills me. 

Notes: (1) I DO have a freezer full of dead cow (2) soup can be a meal for us (3) I have a garden although the rain has killed a fair bit of it (4) I buy huge bags of rice (5) there is still 4 cups of wholemeal flour [WM] (6) I make everything from scratch - including the rice dough.

Dinners: GF spag bog, WM pasta with pesto, soba noodles (buckwheat), corn tortillas with beans & salad, steak with quinoa salad, Thai curry beef, carne con menestra y arroz (BBQ beef with mushy lentils on rice), crab & scallop sushi, crab & scallop nabe (hotpot), crab salad, pea & corned beef soup, honey-soy-garlic stirfry, Tandoori beef,  cornish pasties, beef curry, marmelade beef, beef stew, corned beef, spring rolls, chuncky chowder, stuffed potatoes, stuffed pumpkin, vermicelli stiry fry, yogurt stroganov, steak, steak and MORE STEAK!  (If you don't like beef - don't visit.)

Lunches: wholemeal crackers with melted cheese, pumpkin soup, minestrone, polenta cake,  laksa, potato patties, noodle soup, tomato soup, mung bean soup, curry soup, vegie broth, bean soup, thai soup, beef broth, japanese seaweed soup, french onion soup, osembe, BBQ pumpkin, pumpkin pie.

Breakfasts: wheaties & honey, wholemeal/buckwheat crepes, bubble'n'squeak, fried rice, cheezy rice, cheezy rice cakes, museli, porridge, quinoa & berries, quinoa & dried fruit, quesadillas, fried tatties.

In Betweens: coconut jelly, rice pudding (no milk), sweet rice jelly, fruit jelly, dried fruit, nut mix, vege dips, fruit, date balls, apricot balls, caramel pop corn, peanut butter balls, malt & oat balls, lemon tarts, and finally.... DAIFUKU! 

...from scratch of course. I made the ingredients tonight and will see tomorrow if I can make them as well as Jenna Pollard can (and from whence I stole to photo ;-) 

Dirty Little Secret

The neighbour across the valley swears he can hear a donkey braying and and his wife tells him, "The only donkey around here is YOU!" Yesterday, she dropped her computer in for repair and had to apologise to her husband.

OK - I'm out of the cupboard. I admit I own a donkey.

Horse owners roll their eyes and ask incredulously, "WHY would you buy a donkey?"
Another horse owner confided in a whisper, "I used to ride one as a kid."
Many implore, "What on earth will you do with it?"

Well...I suppose the simple answer is, I like them.
They are intelligent animals, with big personalities and their advantages over horses is they are small, hardy and low maintenance.

TODAY he decided that since the dog was allowed inside, he should be allowed too...
The dog was not impressed.


Wednesday, January 2, 2013


Rob Geraghty posted  the above pic of senbei (rice crackers) being cooked by a street vendor in Japan. I wasn't aware this was such a simple process and now I HAVE to try it. So I found 2 recipes from Carmen's Kitchen and Ivy's Feast.

One of my personal cooking challenges is to make EVERYTHING from scratch. Not all the time because I don't have all day to spend in the kitchen but often enough to become good at them. To take it a step further I like to try processing the foundation ingredients as well,

I still have a long list of things to make;
  • Tortilla chips (like Doritos). I have made wheat crackers, tortilla chips are just deep fried tortillas but the tortillas never last long enough here and I really
  • Sausages of any sort including salami & blood pudding. I have the skins, I just need the mincer attachment.
  • Matured cheeses. I have made panir, cottage & basic haloumi, but am yet to do anything which requires rennet and ageing.
  • Rice noodles & paper (method 1, method 2)
  • Tamales
  • Chinese steamed dumplings. I've made plenty of boiled English dumplings but the Chinese steamed dumplings are very light.
  • Pemmican  Which I can probably make with the jerky I have stored but there's not enough fat on the beast in the freezer. Maybe I'll buy it.
  • Fufu. I've eaten plantain fufu in Guayaquil but never made it myself.
  • Churros & doughnuts. As I said - I rarely deep fry anything.
  • Masa which the Sierran Indians in Ecuador used to make their tortillas. I currently buy masa lista which costs me $14 for a 3kg bag.
  • Flavourings inc. Soy sauce (you'll wish you hadn't read this link), Tobasco, vinegar, mustard, horseradish, curry blends etc... 
Hopefully this year I will be able to tick many of these of these off my list.