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

Saturday, May 16, 2015

In My World

In my world...

I have been trying my hand at making sourdough. 
It wasn't as hard as I expected.
I have been using this method

I tried some in the bread maker.

And a loaf in the pizza oven

Baking sourdough is a regular occurrence at our house now, I make a loaf at least once a week, and this is a big loaf.

I baked some sourdough banana bread. 
I  hope to make some scones, pancakes and all sorts of other goodies with the mix.

I have put one cup of sour dough in each of these jars and placed in the fridge for when I want to use them for more bread.

I have decided for health reasons to go completely vegan. 
I am getting a lot of exercise and feel great.

 We went to a concert in the park, the Salvation Army Brass Band from Adelaide were playing.  They were great to listen to. The ladies in the front were from our church and they were playing the timbrels.  I tried to upload a video for you to have a listen, but was unsuccessful, probably due to our slow internet.

 Getting wood ready for Winter.

 We will need to do some log splitting very soon.

 While out watering the garden a few days ago, three black hawks flew over.  I dropped my hose to snap this photo. There has been a lot of activity around town from the Army Camp this past week.

 I made my own laundry powder using this recipe.

 I used leftover bars of nice smelling soap, grated it up and added 1 cup of washing soda and 1/2 cup of bi carb soda. I used bi carb soda instead of borax as I was concerned about its effect on my fruit trees as this is where my wash water goes by way of a french drain. I am very happy with the way it cleans the clothes etc so will continue to use it.

My garden has slowed right down in preparation for Winter. We have decided to remove the garden beds as we found tree roots in the soil. No wonder my plants struggle and I need to water all the time. We will be using barrels like the one below to make wicking beds instead.  At the moment we aren't able to get any from our usual place of purchase. We have used old sulo (curbside rubbish) bins cut in half too, but I will say more about that in a later post.

In with some Kale seedlings

 and I planted garlic

 Plenty of tomatoes are still growing.

I am picking yummy juicy capsicums.

 Sweet potatoes and lots of stinging nettles.  I am hoping to make some liquid stinging nettle tea for the garden when they grow a bit bigger.

 The kale from Summer is just about finished, we are still enjoying green juices with this.

 Crazy spring onions that think they are leaks!

 I have about another half a dozen butternut pumpkins growing.

And also some others...not sure of the name of this golden beauty.

 This one is a JAP (Just Another Pumpkin) type.

 As is this one.

 I bought some more strawberry plants and placed them in one of the bath beds.

 In among the weeds are garlic and chives.

 Sweet potatoes, these just keep growing and growing.

 It is citrus time here in Australia, 
here are our oranges, they are just starting to turn.

Wont be long now.

 And the mandarins...

Very overloaded as usual.

Not my favourite fruit, but I do use it to add to our breakfast juices. Citrus is a great source of vitamin C and helps to keep the colds and flu's away. I am happy to report that I have not had either a cold or flu since 2002.

And of course my little lemon tree in a pot. I have twenty three lemons at different stages on the tree this year. The first year of multiple fruit.  

 This was my Mother's Day gift from my eldest daughter Sarah.  She knows me so well. I received some lovely smelling organic soap, a Tea Fit For A Queen cookbook and the most gorgeous little tea cup and saucer in a cute box. All of these were lovingly purchased in England on her recent trip over there.

I am loving my new little tea cup set.

 I found this cute sight when I went out to shut the chooks away tonight.  
Mama and her three chicks.

I heard a strange noise outside recently and when I looked out the kitchen window I saw this poor sleepy lizard trying to shed its skin.  

Oh and I cant forget to show you the progress on our shed.  It is getting there slowly, the cars can now be under cover and out of sight.

It is one year this Sunday since we were married after twenty three years together.  The time has flown by.  We are going out to dinner and then will go to the the same motel room we stayed in this time last year.

Hope all is well in your world.


  1. Tania - what a satisfying read. I have always thought vegan would be at least a great way to detox but have never done it.

    1. Thank you Phil.

      I have tried vegetarian/vegan on and off for many years. I have not been feeling 100% a lot of the time and it was getting to me. So I had to do something about it with no regrets so far. And yes it is a good way to detox, what does that tell you about the food we consume?


  2. Happy anniversary. I remember that post wow it has gone fast. Your gardens are looking fantastic. Hopefully ours will be just as productive nest spring. Meanwhile our winter crops are in but being south of Melbourne it's cold and they are frowning slowly

    1. Thank you Angela and yes the time has really gone fast, it will be Christmas again before we know it :)


  3. The vegan way is not for me but I am glad you are feeling so well and energised. Your garden amazes me and I am jealous of all the citrus fruit you are producing. Riverland oranges are just starting to come good - I think the ones I have been buying have been in cold storage for two years! Disgusting!

    1. You should plant some citrus trees Joolz, you will wonder why you hadn't done so sooner. Or find someone that grows them.

      I refuse to buy oranges etc from the shops as most times they are so dry and disgusting a lot like most of the veggies in the stores. Ours here are shocking, I really hate grocery shopping these days, hence why I grow as much as I can. You are meant to eat most fruit and veggies within 48 hours of picking to get the most benefits. I go out in the morning and pick my oranges and squeeze them for juice straight away.


  4. happy anniversary to you. I am afraid I can't go Vegan either, though vegetarian would be fine.

    1. Thank you Gill.

      I thought I could not go vegan either but I tried it and liked the way it made my body feel. Lots of plant based recipes, cant go wrong with that. I gave up dairy due to stomach issues about eighteen months ago and it went from there. I have lost the desire to eat meat over the past few years, and I definitely feel better for it.


  5. I love your presents from Sarah especially the cup!
    Congratulations on your wedding anniversary!
    How do you get the sour dough starter and get it going and keep it going... I would love to learn that. The bread looks wonderful.
    Also your fruit trees look beautiful. So productive! Have a great weekend! Love Annabel.xxx

    1. Dear Annabel,

      It all started with one cup of flour (I used organic) to one cup of water. Mix together and cover with a tea towel and sit on bench. Feed everyday with one cup flour and one cup water. Do this everyday for 5-7 days. Then the mix is ready to use. It will smell, like a strong yeasty smell. If you visit the link I posted Tricia explains how to make sourdough very well, probably better than I can. I have done lots of searching on the net to find recipes for using sourdough. When not required the starter just sits in the fridge with a loose cover, until you need it for another loaf. Hope this helps, but do check out the link if you are really interested as that is where I started.


  6. Congratulations on your anniversary.

    As always I was glad to see the lizard picture. I can't get over some of the wildlife there.

    1. I thought you would like the lizard Harry :)

  7. You have been busy, Tania. Glad you are feeling better since you have gone vegan. Not sure if I could though but giving up sugar has been possible so perhaps that would be as well. I haven't made sourdough yet although I have intended to for years and went to a workshop about how to make it. One day! :-) Love your Mother's Day gifts too.

    1. Give sourdough a go Nanna Chel, I feel sure you will love it, and it is so good for you as it is fermented!


  8. Your loaves look delicious! I've pulled my starter from the fridge to reactivate it. I haven't made bread in weeks. Good luck going Vegan. Sounds hard!

  9. One busy gal, you are! Everything looks great, including the decisions and wise choices! Been there... DOING THAT!

    Hugs for a happy weekend,

  10. Sounds and looks so delish...:)) The garden still looks wonderful.ours has gone into hibernation .. didn;t manage to produce any sweet spuds worth reporting... trying them out in a large pot now......
    Thanks for all the up dates great reading and great pics :))

  11. Hi tania,

    I absolutely love your garden and all your citrus fruits!!!
    Your sour dough looks absolutely amazing!
    Congrats on your one year!
    And love your mothers day present.
    Hope you have a lovely week!

  12. The citrus fruit and the sourdough are a real achievement Tania! Well done, and Happy Anniversary! Mimi xxx

  13. Great pics as usual. Vegan is not for me but I understand the concept of feeling better glad it is working for you. Gave up making sourdoug bread will take it up again one day. Yes I remember your wedding posts.

  14. Hi Tanya, I'm just catching up while I have internet :) I had *one* lonely little lemon on my tree when I left home, but the orange and mandarin trees were loaded down and they were starting to change colour too! So exciting to think I'll be eating our own citrus fruits when we get home, I can't wait - lots of Whole Orange Cake and marmalade for our toast.

    Your tea cup is beautiful, so pretty and delicate, I'm sure it makes every cup of tea just perfect :)

    I hope your anniversary was beautiful too, congratulations to you both.

  15. hello tania,
    your sour dough looks good. your garden is wonderful.
    love the tea cup!
    have a nice week,


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