About Me

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Fifty six year old empty-nester. Wife to one, mum to four and nan to three precious grandies. Living simply is my passion, I enjoy growing food, living healthy and playing with a variety of crafts. I am always up for a bargain and love to op shop for vintage treasures.

Saturday, February 28, 2015

February Catch Up

From my Valentine J

A lovely calendar from my new blogging friend

Getting back to basics in the kitchen.

 A special request for Lemon cheesecake. 

From the garden...

A weird looking cucumber

One huge sweet potato...almost three kilos! (6.6lbs)

And lots of smaller ones.

Pumpkins and rock melon...

And zucchini and beetroot...

In the heat yesterday I pickled the beetroot , then water bathed them for twenty minutes.

Twelve jars of deliciousness!

 Kale, cucumber, tomatoes, beetroot and rhubarb.

I cooked the rhubarb using this method;

1/3 cup sugar
juice of one orange
500gms of rhubarb cut into 4cm pieces

Place sugar and orange juice in a medium saucepan. Stir over low heat until sugar has dissolved, then bring to boil. Add the rhubarb and reduce the heat to low. Cook covered for 8-10 minutes until the rhubarb is soft but holds its shape.  Cool in the pan.
I eat this with homemade Greek yogurt and a sprinkle of weet-bix.

I bought some plums on special and stewed them up...they were oh so nice.  
Love the red colour J

On my needles...

Crocheted this teacosy using this pattern

I knitted this toilet roll holder using the boot topper pattern I have been making for my daughter.  I just added a couple of rows of crochet loops to the top and threaded a chain stitch tie through them.
My girl is now in the UK! I am following her travels via Instagram J

Out Back...

I am looking after the not so happy noodle spoodle, my daughters very much loved baby.  He is going to miss her while she is gone...

A new window

in the chook house

We have had visits from two rather large snakes this past week. And as everyone knows Australian snakes can be deadly!
Hubby nearly put his hand on one that was hiding in the nest boxes, so he decided it was time for a bit more light in the nesting area.
Sadly we lost one of our bantam girls to a snake bite. She was broody and sitting in one of the nests.  We presume she may have pecked at the snake :(

A tiny gecko wandering around outside, he was so small...

It has been hot here...
It reached 46.9C (116.2F) a few days ago at 5.30pm!

A cool change is due later today, and it should be cooler all week.  This will give me a chance to clear out the garden as most of the veggies are almost finished for the season.

Wishing you all a lovely weekend J


  1. What a wonderful bounty from your garden :) Fresh produce always tastes delightful!

    Happy weekend to you! Hugs!

  2. Wow you have had some hot weather, Tania. I am amazed at how hot SA gets as I always thought it had a mild climate for some reason although my sister used to live at Hawker where it was extremely hot. Glad you have more light for your 'girls'. Snakes give me the creeps.

  3. Oh Yes - a super update :-). I like that tea cosy lots!
    What a wonderful harvest - more things to be grateful for.

  4. Love the tea cosie, and your garden is going gang busters

  5. loved the tea cozy & thanx for the link, have saved both of them, also love your toilet roll holder, my stepmum used to crochet hers around a small doll, it looked like a ball gown when she finished them. any chance of that pattern too? please?
    thanx for sharing

  6. Love your abundant harvest. Beautiful food that has had lots of labour expended over it.
    Snakes give me the creeps too after seeing one rear up massively at a 4wheel drive with lights on arriving home in the dark...we, and that includes little children had been wandering and playing in that part of a property all weekend long...shiver!
    LOVE your beetroot relish mmm
    Hope that you get some relief from your heat wave soon.
    Alexa-asimplelife visiting from Sydney, Australia

  7. What a great harvest you have had. Glad to see that the calendar is being put to some good use. Love the tea cosy. And I do really hope that cool change arrived for you. Enjoy!!

  8. Hello Tania,

    Terrific update ... all your summer harvest is making me eager for spring & summer to arrive up here on the Montana prairie. Our temperatures are still below zero Fahrenheit.
    I too have been using my spare time to crochet. Your projects are lovely.

  9. Wonderful harvest Tania! The heat and snakes are not so good though! I really hate snakes. From the south east we are used to tiger snakes and they are aggressive and do not slither away trying to avoid people. Many encounters with them. Andy used to be a snake away worker but doesnt do it anymore. Yet is scared of spiders. Go figure!
    You will be enjoying that harvest for ages. Plus its so healthy!
    Re back to basics cooking... that is my big thing, simple, nourishing things. I think they are the best overall. Have a good week this week and great march! xxx

  10. Tanya, your harvest is awe-inspiring! And really is there anything better than home pickled beetroot....yum! So sorry you lost a chooky to a snake. The hazards of Aussie life, eh? My efforts are amateurish compared to yours...Mimi xxx

  11. Just love pickled beets, forgot to pick some up this week. You are a lot braver than me regarding the snakes, they give me the creeps.......

  12. What a great post Tania. Lots of wonderful things happening in your world like cheesecake and crochet and garden produce. Not so wonderful are the snakes and loss of your bantam. Have a great week.
    Anne xx

  13. Hi Ho, its me.. Gosh that's hot. Im amazed at how your garden flourishes with such temperatures. I have one full size pumpkin and im jumping around doing a dance. I guess you are a bit blasé these days. So much harvested.

  14. Great harvest! with temperatures like that it must be hard on your garden and you, we have had a few of those days but not many.
    Love homemade pickled beetroot but haven't made any for a couple of years now.
    The tea cosy is wonderful and that might be my next thing to make before winter to keep the tea warm :)

  15. Love the monthly update, we lost a couple of hens this year (to snakes we suppose). I wish my patch was as productive.

  16. Oh my goodness. With all of the lovely things you shared in this post, I somehow got stuck on the idea of 116 degrees!! That is HOT! I am so pathetic in the heat. Of course, where we live (Mid-Atlantic, USA), the heat is magnified by the oppressive humidity. So...are you ready for summer to end, or do you fare well with the heat?

    Thanks for coming over for a visit to "Thinking About Home" and for leaving your thoughtful comments! I hope you enjoy the sweet potato muffins. We loved them!!

  17. I hate snakes. One reason I keep free range chickens is that the chickens kill snakes. Sorry you lost a hen to a snake. I had a copperhead kill one of my cats once, and have been bitten by copperheads twice myself.

    As always, I am enthralled by the food you raise and prepare there on your homestead.

    I hope your daughter is having a great time in Europe.

  18. I have always since I was a small child had nightmares, visions, dreams (whatever) that I too would put my hand into a nest box and find a snake. Now that we finally have chooks that are just about at laying point, I keep thinking about it more and more.
    What a wonderful supply of vegies from your garden and the added preserving as well, well done, and especially in the heat we have been experiencing over the last few weeks.
    Take care,
    Jane. :-) :-)

  19. Your crocheted tea cozy is very cute! I may have to try my hand at that. :-)

    We've had snakes in our chicken house here in Texas as well. I think most have been non-poisonous. My brother and brother-in-law got two out of the nesting boxes one day. Another morning my sister-in-law found a dead snake crushed beneath the chicken house door. It must have been leaving the night before when she lowered the (heavy) door with the pulley outside the fence! It's a very good idea to have more light in yours!

    Lovely garden produce. The canned beetroot will be delicious. :-)

  20. Seeing the Rhubarb reminded me that a friend told me how she makes rhubarb and ginger jam. Sounds lovely and easy to make. She uses candied ginger so its sweet.

  21. Hello Tania,
    I have just found your blog and am loving it.
    I'm newly retired and always looking for simple and economical ways to live. I live in the city and am about to start a vegie garden...yours is an inspiration.
    Thank you for sharing.
    Anne xx

  22. Busy girl, I need to have a harvesting session, the garden has been a bit neglected recently, it's all a tad over gwon but a lit will need to be cleared so I've left it so I only need to do it once. Poor dawg, hope the travels go well. Shame about the chook, I couldn't handle living in Australia, I would never sleep worrying about spiders and snakes, I'd probably melt first from the heat though :D


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