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Life on two acres of arid dirt, on the edge of the Australian outback.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

No relief

Today's temperature at the moment is 44.8C (112.64F) and it is 5.30pm.

I took this photo at about lunch time when it had not reached it's hottest.

Hot dog.

Millie lays by the front door to get the cooler air from the air conditioner.

I have laid some water around for the wildlife.

Dying garden.


Roasted hibiscus flowers

I have tried to blockout the heat in the house.


Main bathroom...


and kitchen...

It's not working though.

Today is so hot, I'm sure that I am melting. The temperature reached 46C (114.8F) today.

I am going for a swim in the pool shortly to cool off.

The weather tomorrow is 45C (113F).

No relief in sight for at least the next week.

x Tania

Monday, January 26, 2009

Australia Day Lamingtons

I made these yummy Aussie Lamingtons last night to have today for afternoon tea with my daughter Sarah and her partner. They have just purchased and moved into their new first home. It is a lovely, quaint 100 year old cottage. Her mind is abuzz with ideas, so over the next few years she is going to have lots of fun getting this house just as she wants it.

This recipe is taken from

Lady Flo Bjelke-Petersen's Classic Country Collection.

Over 500 recipes and handy hints for classic Australian Fare


The late Lang Hancock's favourite.

125gms butter

125gms sugar

1/4 teaspoon vanilla essence

2 eggs

250gms self raising flour

pinch salt

1/2 cup milk

Chocolate Icing:

250 gms icing sugar

6-8 level teaspoons cocoa

1 teaspoon butter

few drops of vanill essence

desiccated coconut for coating

Beat butter and sugar until creamy. Add vanilla. Add eggs one at a time and beat well. Sift flour and salt together. Add flour alternately with milk to the mixture. Turn into a greased and floured lamington tin. Bake in a moderate oven (180-200C) for 30 minutes. Allow to cool. Cut cake into squares.


Sift icing sugar into a bowl. Blend in cocoa with a little boiling water, add a few drops of vanill essence. Add butter, mix well, adding a little more boiling water if necessary, until icing is smooth. Dip each cake into icing and then roll in coconut. Set aside until firm.

(I froze the cake as this makes it easier to work with, I also doubled it as I was greedy).

The recipes in this book are basic old fashioned, in your pantry type recipes. I shall be using it as my companion while planning menus this year. (Part of me getting more organised and saving some money).

No Aussie barbeques for us today, we are looking at having something cooler in this heat. I have some cold chicken in the fridge, I shall just add some salad.
43C (109.4F) is forecast for here tomorrow.

Until next time,

Take care,

x Tania

Sunday, January 25, 2009

We will be roasting this week


for Monday 26th January, 2009

Port Augusta 7-day Weather Forecast

I have just checked the weather on weatherzone for this week and I nearly keeled over. I hope this turns out better than it sounds.

Sun Jan 25 sunny 35C = 95F

Mon Jan 26 sunny 40C = 104F

Tue Jan 27 mostly sunny 42C = 107.6F

Wed Jan 28 mostly cloudy 42C

Thu Jan 29 mostly cloudy 42C

Fri Jan 30 mostly cloudy 41C = 105.8F

Sat Jan 31 mostly sunny 40C

Hope you all stay cool or warm where ever you are.

x Tania

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Keep on the Sunny Side - June Carter Cash

Johnny Cash's wife June Carter Cash (Wildwood Flower)
Click on June's picture to listen

Some of my favourite things

I am sharing with you today some of the favourite things that keep fond memories alive.

This little teapot was my grandmothers.

I use it all the time and everytime I have a cup of tea I think of her.

This size is just right for one or two small cups of tea. The taste is so much nicer and the tea leaves cheaper than teabags.

A set of scales that were given to us by friends that were leaving town. Unfortunately they don't have the original top. I have borrowed this one from another set of scales I have.

This tractor was my husbands a long time ago when he was a little boy. He also has in his possession his old three wheeler bike.

My grandmother made this out of some wedding paper given to me on the occasion of my first wedding 28 years ago. Something I really treasure because she took the time to make it especially for me.

Another of my grandmothers crafty things. This little toilet roll doll had pride of place sitting in grandma's outside toilet at the house she used to live in. It now has pride of place in my ensuite where I can look at it every day and remember.

Have a nice day,

x Tania

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Fox proofing our chook house

After having trouble with those dreaded foxes stealing our chooks for a feast, we decided to take effective measures to ensure it does not happen again.

This is hubby digging a trench all the way around the chookpen. He dug about 2.5 ft down and then placed corrugated iron in the hole and up the sides and filled the hole in. This way if the foxes tried to dig in, they couldn't. He is getting plenty of help from our girls.

This is the chook pen now which has been fully enclosed. There is shade cloth on the roof to keep the pen a bit cooler on hot days. The tin around the bottom is sunken in the ground. Even in front of the door, pavers have been laid so no digging in there either.

The guillotine style trap door rigged up to the front post with plastic coated cord for opening and closing. This was made to keep pigeons and spoggies (sparrows) out from eating the grain. Doesn't work, they still manage to get in, but at least there aren't as many.

A sideways view of the tin around the bottom of pen. This is dug into the ground.

What are you doing they ask, where's our scraps?

Side view.

Since taking these drastic measures we have not lost any chooks.

There is nothing more heartbreaking than going out in the morning and finding your friends eaten or mauled. One fox, I think may have been a mother and her cubs, went on a killing spree and we had dead chooks lying everywhere.
Keeping the chooks cool is done by a sprinkler set up under the shady trees in their yard. They tend to dig in the dirt there the most when it is really hot. We just turn the sprinkler on for a few minutes in the middle of the day. No chooks have died of the hot weather yet.

We are lucky enough at the moment to get our grain for free from my dad. He plants crops with the old equipment from the Yesteryear club and keeps the screenings for the chooks. I do find it hard to find enough green for them though. They live on silverbeet that we grow, some lettuce leaves that we collect from the supermarket and food scraps.

Until next time,

x Tania

Wednesday, January 21, 2009


These peaches were dropped off at our place last night by one of hubby's workmates.

So guess who got the job of peeling, stoning and cutting

and preserving.

22 jars of peach preserves, 1/2 of which will be given back to hubby's workmate.

The leftovers will be made into jam.

The jars below are Bertolli Spagetti jars, and work just fine for preserving when we have run out of Fowler's jars. They need to be the poptop variety of jar.

For those that want to know more about Fowlers preserves go here.

It was a cooler day here today with a temperature of 32C (89.6F).

Tomorrow's forecast is 36C (96.8F).

Hotting up again to 40C (104F) by Sunday.

We collected ds books this morning ready for school. Tonight he has been putting his name on all the books, pencils etc. We have purchased a new pencil case and lunch box as well. Uniform is all organised, he starts high school next Wednesday, and is getting a little nervous.

I had a new 6 month old baby start care with me today and our grandson came over for most of the day, so I wasn't much help with the peaches. Hubby would like to try apricots, but we will have to wait until our two trees bear fruit, next year hopefully.

Hope you are all keeping well,

Until next time,

x Tania

Monday, January 19, 2009

Preserves, jam and cooking

We spent most of the weekend taking care of our nectarines.

Made some jam,

and stewed enough for 27 containers to put in the freezer.

Hubby printed some labels for the jam.

Today for lunch I made some vegetable pasties.

I finely chopped 1 potato, 1/2 sweet potato, small amount of zucchini, 1 carrot, slice pumpkin, 1 onion, salt and pepper. I whizzed it altogether for a few seconds in the blender and added 1 egg to bind. Cut bought puff pastry into four and place a small amount on each square. Folded the sides up and pressed to seal the sides together. Place on tray and brush with a little milk. Cook in moderate oven until brown, around 40 minutes. I put the oven fan on to finish them off.

Then I made some apple pastries the same way. I had leftover cooked apple in the freezer to use up.

The pasties are a big hit with ds.

These are the apple ones.
The square ones are spread with a little jam and folded into an envelope shape.

Ready to serve.

Now I have these to contend with.

These beauties were grown by my son-in-law. (they put ours to shame).

This box full

was sliced

Put into jars

Into the Fowlers preserver

Made 20 large jars of preserves.

The rest of the nectarines we are madly giving away.

40C (104F) today and the same forecast for tomorrow.

Until next time,

Take care,

x Tania

Saturday, January 17, 2009

In memory of Heather

Sadly my cousin Heather lost her brave battle with Breast Cancer yesterday (16-01-09) morning at 9.30am.
Rest peacefully now Heather-Belle.

Friday, January 16, 2009


Luckily so far I have escaped the dreaded gastro bug that had hit my family.

I did spend a lot of time sleeping yesterday, so I must have been tired.

I awoke this morning feeling refreshed and ready to face the garden and the nectarines that are left on the tree.

Ds is a lot better, everyday there is an improvement and he is starting to get his appetite back. Hubby is back at work today.

On to the poor garden that had been neglected since Tuesday. I picked 40 apple cucumbers, (don't know what I am going to do with this many, will probably give them away). There is still plenty more on the vine.

Thirteen capsicums with more to come.

I forgot to include a picture of the box of nectarines I picked.

I will start cutting them up when I am finished on here.

I think there are way too many nectarines for us to handle so there will be plenty to give away to family and friends.

A lot has fallen on the ground but there is still an over abundance on the trees.

I was worried that I would find them all on the ground when I went out there this morning.

The grapes are also ready to pick.

A busy weekend ahead of us.

Thankyou for the many well wishes that you left for my family in the comment section. It is great to know there are so many caring people out there.

x Tania