Supermoon

Another plus for moving to the country is that you get to see the night sky and the moon. Previously we would have to peer between tree branches to see any stars. Any special event such as an eclipse meant a drive out of our valley to a higher viewing area. Now, such times as a supermoon or blue moon are easily seen.

supermoonThe  stars can be seen from my pillow which is indeed a novelty. Sometimes during a full moon we have thought that we have left some lights on due to the moonlight flooding in.

We have been experimenting with ipad astronomical apps that name the stars and planets when you hold the ipad up to the night sky. There are many free apps to choose from, such as:

Star Chart, Sky Map, Planets, Sky View and Moon Finder.

These apps are great, they will amaze you.

 

 

 

Advertisements

Plover Season

Two new birds arrived on our front lawn today. They are Masked Lapwings, commonly known as plovers. They are a common bird mostly found in open lands such as parkland, sporting ovals, and yards.

This is a pair I snapped previously. Their chick is on the far left.

a plover family

They can be aggressive this time of the year during their breeding season. They lay their eggs directly on the ground and that is what happened today.

plover eggWe thought they had abandoned the egg as they moved away after the resident magpie family didn’t approve. It is now dusk and one has returned to sit on the egg. So we will see what happens.

The magpies also are busy building nests so it could be interesting.

The Big Change

After staying in the one house for more than thirty years, we finally decided to make ‘the change’. It is not a ‘treechange’ as we have left the trees behind.

This is what we left behind.

garden view

We have moved to the South Coast of NSW, on 2.5 acres with hardly a tree in sight, yet.

new view It is not quite a sea change, although we are less than 10 minutes drive to the nearest beach. That is only the beginning as there are endless numbers of beaches here within a short drive.

Mollymook Beach With the house facing north, we wake up with the sun shinning on our faces. It stays with us all day until it sets. I can actually dry my washing!

sunriseThis is an example of the spectacular sunrises.

I guess we could say that we have made a ‘sun change’!

The locals call us Sydney refugees!

 

Easy Peasy GSP’s – (Golden Syrup Puddings)

What can be better for dessert on a cold Winter’s night than a steamed pudding? The thought of messing about boiling a pudding for 2 hours, puts the idea away for another night.

But these little puddings are so easy! They take just a minute in the microwave.

GSPThey may not look as beautiful as a proper steamed pudding but they with have you wanting more than one.

All you need are some tea cups or small souffle dishes or microwaveable cups. They take such a short time to cook that you won’t need a cup for each person.

Substitute syrup with jam or ginger syrup or your favourite topping.

Golden Syrup Puddings (microwave)

1 cup SR flour

1 egg

½ cup milk

Golden Syrup/ jam

2 tablespoons sugar

½ teaspoon vanilla

1 tablespoon melted butter

Put ingredients, except Golden Syrup, in bowl and beat until smooth. Place spoonful of syrup in each individual mould or cup. Spoon pudding mixture on top, half way up mould. Cook on HIGH for approx. 1 min. for 1 pudding.

To serve: unmould and serve with cream. Makes 5-6 individual puddings.

In My Kitchen – July 2014

Hooray! After a long absence and a big relocation, I have finally managed to get a blog post ready. Thanks to Celia for providing this opportunity for us to join in. Check out more posts here.

In my kitchen is . . .

view from kitchen

a new view! Very different from the bush view I had previously.

Also, in my kitchen is .  . .

oven

a different oven! I do miss my huge Ilve stove but I am becoming appreciative of this Miele oven. It cooks very evenly and heaps easy to clean.

Perfect Clean oven tray This Perfect Clean oven tray (from Miele) is excellent, great for pizzas and pies. Roast vegetables cook well, then you just wipe clean!

In my kitchen is . . .

onion glassesa pair of onion goggles that I bought for my daughter from The Monday Morning Cooking Club.

In my kitchen are . . .first leafy greens

our first leafy greens from our own brand new veggie garden. We have never been able to grow any vegetables  successfully before, due to lack of sunlight in a bush location. Now we have full sun all day so have been busy creating some garden beds.

Here is our first crop Bok choy, eaten within an hour of picking.

choy sumIn my kitchen is  . . .

Copco kettlethis Copco enameled kettle from the 70’s that seems to be fashionable again. I keep seeing it appear in magazine and newspaper pictures.

In my kitchen is . . .

slow cooked beef ribsa plate of slow cooked beef ribs. This is a Gourmet Traveller recipe and can be found here. Just the dish for a cold Winter’s night.

 

 

 

 

How to Catch a Sydney Funnel-web Spider

Warning: Do not read  this post if you suffer from Arachnophobia.

(The publishing of this post is well overdue as the spider was encountered last December and it is now Autumn here. Hopefully we won’t find these in our new environment.)

The weather in Sydney has been hot and humid with the occasional overnight shower of rain. These are perfect conditions for the Sydney funnel-web spider.

To my horror, I discovered one in the bathtub! It must have come in overnight through the open window.

 Funnel web Spider

This particular spider is very aggressive and its venom is highly toxic. So, what do we do? Do we spray it and risk it becoming aggressive? Do we stamp on it and risk missing it?

We decided the safest method was to try to capture the spider ALIVE! A large jar was quickly found and a recent Christmas card, to cover the opening. The jar was inverted over the spider, very carefully.

spider jar(Sorry about the dirty jar but there was no time to be choosey.)

The Christmas card was placed under the open jar, making sure the spider stays inside the jar. The jar is carefully turned upright.

Tape was then used to secure the card as an escape-proof lid.

sealed jarSo, what can be done with a live funnel web spider?

We took it to the local hospital where the spiders are accepted.

Hornsby HospitalThe spiders are collected by The Australian Reptile Park where they are then ‘milked’ for their venom to make an anti-venom.

Aah, what a relief!

There have been other encounters with stingers in our garden.

Saint Andrew's Cross SpiderThis attractive St Andrew’s Cross spider is very common and unlikely to cause any trouble but can give you a nasty sting.

paper wasp nest Don’t do any gardening near this paper wasp nest.

scorpionThis scorpion could give you a nasty sting so I wouldn’t try to pick it up.

Although these ‘nasties’ may cause you pain or even death, they rarely cause problems. We have managed to live quite happily with them and find no reason to harm them. Avoidance is the secret.

 

 

In My Kitchen – December 2013

Thanks to Celia who provides us bloggers with exposure through her own blog Fig Jam and Lime Cordial.

I have been neglecting my blog recently as I prepare my house and the 30 years of acquisitions, for a big move early next year. What a job!

I have found some interesting long forgotten items such as this recipe book!

Girl Guide Biscuit recipes

It is full of recipes using Girl Guide biscuits,  guaranteed to use up all the biscuits you had to buy. Each recipe is accompanied with a handy household  hint, such as cleaning white cloth with ground rice. Also, quotes from Lord Baden-Powell, “In order to get money, you must expect to work”!

I wonder if the guides still sell the biscuits?

In my kitchen is . . .

a stack of Magimix attachments.

Magimix attachmentsMy former Magimix expired, after many years of hard work. My new Magimix came with its own attachments so these are waiting for a new home. They fit the 5100 model and maybe some others. Let me know if they could be of use to you. My email is invspice@gmail.com.

In my kitchen is . . .

this sugar bowl.

Barham sugar bowlIt has not  been used for a few years now as we don’t use a sugar bowl anymore, do you? Sugar is kept in the pantry for cooking uses, not on the table. This bowl was made in Barham, a small town on the Murray River, now famous for its avocadoes. I have had an idea to start using it again by filling it with my favourite salt, Murray River pink salt flakes, which is always close at hand.

In my kitchen is . . .

some rhubarb.

rhubarbMy friend gave me a huge bunch from her garden. It kept its beautiful colour when I cooked it and has the best flavour I have ever tasted in rhubarb. I can’t wait to grow some next year.

In my kitchen is . . .

an early Christmas present.

amarena cherriesThe BW came across this huge tin of Fabbri Amarena cherries on a trip to Melbourne. Knowing how much I love them, he struggled home with them on the plane. All I need now is the large container to store them in. Has anyone seen the large blue and white decorated containers anywhere? I think a cherry dessert is on the cards for Christmas. I did make some star anise meringues ( a Belinda Jeffery recipe). The cherries go wonderfully with them.