Side-tracked

It’s been a while since I have posted a new recipe as I have been thoroughly distracted by a few things: interior decorating, gardening & fermenting.  None of which have much to do with apples.  They could, but they didn’t this time.

Interior decorating:

First coat of paint
About 7 years ago we majorly renovated our house.  Majorly in that we basically gutted the house.  Majorly in that it probably would have been cheaper to shift the old house off and build a new one.  A little too majorly as once we had the structure in place, the money tree died and renovations ceased.  We have lived in a perfectly liveable house with no wallpaper or painted trim, unfinished floors…… We have got used to it and only see our unfinished house when we have visitors.
Almost done
My sweet daughter, who turns 16 in a couple of weeks, is a messy wee chick.  She blamed her messy room on the fact that there was no impetus to keep it tidy when the walls were gib & a bit of plaster.  At least the curtains had progressed in recent years from a couple nails and a scrappy piece of curtain material to proper curtain rails.  She argued that if her room was nicely painted and wallpapered then she would be able to keep it tidy.  Her argument certainly had flaws but we decided to call her bluff.
Almost done
The colour scheme was difficult to pin down.  We started with blue and ended up with brown.  She was allowed carte blanche on the colours, after all, it’s only a bit of paint and could easily be re-done.  So after three weeks of sleeping in the living area, she is now ensconced in an almost-completed bedroom.  One wall is waiting the feature wallpaper to arrive in the country.  Once that is completed, the curtains can be updated to match the colour scheme and a light shade installed.  We will see how tidy the room stays…….

  • it seemed a great idea to have battens on the ceiling a different colour to the ceiling until it came time to paint it!

Gardening:

Vegetable Garden
The vegetable garden is full – so full we keep making more gardens so I can grow more stuff.  The Anster is more than happy to grow seedlings and it is my job to keep the gardens weed free.  The job is quite intensive as we try to be as organic as possible.  Any sprays we use are made from natural products – ie garlic spray, rhubarb spray.  We have resorted to using snail bait as the beer traps weren’t quite doing it.

Our home-grown seedlings are much stronger and healthier than any store-bought seedlings, some of which have failed to thrive and become chicken fodder.  At least that way we get some returns in the eggs.  We are eating more than ever before from the garden but still cannot keep up with the production.  Visitors are sent away with bags of lettuce and spring onions.  Some leeks were pulled out after going to seed and the slow-bolt coriander is ignoring the ‘slow’ part of its name.
Rhubarb
But we are having stewed rhubarb for breakfast, and fresh strawberries most days.  The silverbeet is keeping us in greens and the spring onions are great, saving me from buying onions.  Our garlic harvest from last year will be sufficient until this year’s harvest is ready.  The early potatoes are dying down nicely so we should have new potatoes for Christmas dinner.

Another great part of the garden is wandering around the orchard watching the fruit develop – we will have a good harvest of apples this year.  The apricots are getting bigger though there isn’t so many of them – we had terrible wind which blew a lot of blossoms off the trees.  I missed the early cherries again this year – they were a little later to ripen and then the birds had a great feast while I wasn’t looking.

And speaking of weeding….I should be out there now with my hat and gloves on.

Fermenting:

Probiotic Lemonade
How could things such as kefir, probiotic lemonade and kombucha exist for so long without me knowing about them?  I stumbled across kefir a couple of months ago and since then we have milk kefir constantly in production.  I prefer it over yoghurt on my breakfast.

Mr L loves loves loves stir-fries and if I am honest, they aren’t my favourite meal to make.  I am not sure why as they aren’t difficult and they’re very tasty.  I found an interesting recipe for Singapore Noodles which included Paneer, a simple milk cheese.  It was easy enough to make from scratch though the kids weren’t sold on it in the stir-fry.  A by-product of the Paneer was jugs full of whey.
Probiotic Lemonade
A quick Pinterest search soon brought up probiotic lemonade.  I even have the Nourishing Traditions cookbook by Sally Fallon in my pile of cookery books.  I can’t keep up with the production of probiotic lemonade – I have a batch on the bench at all times.  Every three days it goes into the fridge and lasts less than a day.  Now I have two batches on the go – or one and two half batches as I am trying a probiotic grapefruit-aid.

The popularity of the probiotic lemonade lead me to water kefir grains.  The first batch of water kefir I enhanced with pomegranate juice  – it was nice and disappeared lightening quick.  The second batch is almost ready to be chilled.  I need more large bottles and more bench space to keep up with production.  I am super stoked the kids love this stuff as it is much better than them drinking “juice” made with powdered chemicals & sugar.
Probiotic Lemonade
My next project is honey ferments – these sound utterly delicious.  I have searched my local area for raw honey…… I have to wait until mid-summer.  If I get too impatient I could buy honey in from the South Island.  I am also contemplating getting a couple of hives for our section…..but that is a little ways down the wish list.

So while I haven’t been very active on the apple front, it is still quite busy here at the sevengreenapples base.

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