Dec 24, 2011

Solstice and Christmas Blessings

Summer Solstice was celebrated here on the 22nd and tonight I sit with a smaller than usual family getting ready for. the next celebration.. My two kids from another mother are on the other side of the country with their maternal grandmother, my son and grandson are several thousand kilometers away back in New Zealand.. My Christian daughter Sarah loves Christmas and I get a lot pf pleasure out of making it special.. her boyfriend will join us for a traditional celebratory meal of roast turkey, roast veg, Brussels sprouts, followed by pav good raw cream and Chrissy cake..  it is always feels a little sad without my son with us, but we will give him a call.. tonight we will dine on German sausage, potato salad and sour dough rolls - a tradition I remember from my childhood and set by my German mother..
For my Scottish husband New Year is the bigger celebration.. but that is another post..
Tonight though, I wish all my readers, a safe and happy holiday.. no matter what path or faith you follow.. my wish for you all, is abundant blessing to your hearth and home, and a safe and prosperous new year..

Dec 13, 2011

Bit of this and that

It seems forever since I was here blogging. So many things going on, and sadly I have just not had the energy to share them. It has been my first Christmas running my soap business, and I have been blessed it has been so busy, however I had not been 100% prepared for the rush. I have been working sometimes 6 or 7 hours a day.. next year, I will have a better idea of what to expect. A couple of little challenges have been popped up,  throwing a spanner in the works, an unexpected night at the hospital last week and  more Drs and tests this week and next.. all little things that make settling down to blog, just a little harder.

However, we did get the tree up on Sunday, we opted to replace our tired old artificial one, with a real one from a Tree farm.. the house smells so nice, with the fragrance of pine.

Today, I got the cake done, a bit late on it, but last week I managed to get all the cake fruit soaking in a  serious amount of booze, thanks Delia Smith for the recipe   I didn't take photos as I was doing it to share, but when the cake is turned out I will take a few. From what I can see and feel this is a very moist cake..
I have recently started to get some beautiful raw milk, oh it is so nice... last week I bought a small pot of cream and today, I used the cream skimmed of the milk mixed it with the cream and made some beautiful butter. I did not add enough salt for my husbands taste buds, but it is so smooth and silky and how natural does it taste!
This was the butter after about 3 minutes mixing
Draining off the buttermilk..
While I had not added enough salt, this buttermilk was a little to salty to use, *shame faced* I threw it away, I didn't know what to make with it.
This was after I had "rung" it out and rinsed it a few times in ice water, to get rid of the last buttermilk.
The finished butter... ready to eat

Well, thats me lot really, aside from a pot of cherry jam, made when the power went out for 8 hours the other day ( got to appreciate a gas cook top in a power cut)

.. luvely stuff :-) 

Nov 11, 2011


Every year, on 11 November at 11 am – the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month – we pause to remember those men and women who have died or suffered in all wars, conflicts and peace operations. Today I will bow my head, and remember. I will stop what I am doing and remember, those men and woman who gave their all for our freedom.

 There is nothing sadder than watching a ramp ceremony..I will remember the families of these men, who arrived back in Melbourne, Australia just days ago.. There are days when can I take what these men and woman do for granted,  yet I will also be thinking of my husband who next week will have given 30 years of his life to this country.  I will also remember those who are my neighbours and friends, offering a quiet thank you to them and those who still actively serve this country. When I wander around the base and see the uniforms,  I am often humbled by their choice - to fight and lay down their lives in time of conflict. No greater gift can be given.

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old.
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning.
We will remember them..

Nov 2, 2011

New Article

My article for this month over at PaganPages - if you feel like a quick read pop over to PaganPages - Hearth and Home 

Nov 1, 2011

The wheel has turned ...

To those of you who are in the North and who celebrate in welcoming the ancestors home Blessed Samhain / Happy Witches New Year / Happy Halloween my friends and to those of us here in these Southern lands Blessed Beltane, may your balefires burn bright and your paths be rich and fertile. May you all be blessed by the God and Goddess, with health, abundance and success. The wheel has again turned and the veil is
thin.. Blessed Be

Oct 30, 2011

Fingers Crossed

We have just sent an application to Animal Rescue, to adopt a 10 year old, blind Maltese terrier who has had a hard life.. we would love to enrich his life, as he would ours.. soooo prayers and crossed fingers please,  so that if Kedron is our new doggie, it will come to pass.

Oct 26, 2011

A little nourishment

Recently, I have noticed my body has not been to happy when I eat red meat and last week I was feeling lethargic and a little seedy, nothing I put in seem to agree with me, and funny enough I started to crave kefir, be it milk or water kefir - I really believe now my body is now acquainted with kefir, it knows what it needed so that was close to all I consumed.  The natural healthy bacteria in Kefir, cling to the lining of the stomach and colon and stay there, this is a good thing.. I was given some water kefir from Narelle over at Just Like My Nan Made  it has been a wonderful gift, one which I have already been able to pay forward, here is some of it in apple juice, one of my two favourites, I love kefir blueberry juice as well.. *laughing* I think this though, is turning into cider, might need to get a hydrometer to check the alcohol content.
Yesterday, I strained and bottled it for a second ferment.. I had some of this juice this morning with some rice pudding for breakfast.. for lunch I made some lovely mushroom soup.. it is so easy and quick..
the recipe needs
Mushroom Soup
500 grams of mushrooms
1 onion
2 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons of flour
1 cup chicken stock or vege if you prefer
2 cups milk
salt and pepper
a little lemon juice
Melt the butter and fry finely chopped onion until just transparent, add finely chopped, peeled mushrooms, cook 2 or 3 minutes, add the flour and stir.. add milk and stock and cook until thick about 6 minutes, now I like it a bit smooth so I take out a cup of the soup, then blend the rest a little with a stick blender, pop the missing cup of soup back and stir.. now if your like me, I do not like it to thick so I add about 3/4 cup of water, bring to the near boiling, add about a tablespoon of lemon juice and serve.

It is a nourishing and quick meal, we had it with a slice of fresh sour dough bread.

Oct 23, 2011

Mind the fence..

The things you can see when you are hanging out the washing...

Zooming past the house

In the sky over HMAS Cerberus married quarters

Oiii - watch out for me fence!

Playing nicely together

Game on!

Umm.. I think this one is upside down

I could see the pilot - could he see me?

bypass the trees please

Oct 22, 2011

Out with the old

Yaaaaaaaaay.. after two weeks with no oven..I finally have a new one..

oh trust me, you do not know how much you miss an oven till you do not have one... As we are in a Navy house, it is basic..

but bless my bread, it goes. My first loaf in two weeks..  I cant wait to have a baking day :-)

Oct 11, 2011

It Flashed "HELP"

Hauling my sorry butt through the second week of another sinus infection, I thought the easiest meal would be pizza's - a few toppings on top of pita bread.. yes store bought *sigh*
Tom paste, basil, some mushrooms, capsicum and a bit of mozzarella and into the oven it went - it smelt reaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaally hot, so I stayed to watch, came out looking awesome, and tasted as good as pizza can when your head feels like a busted hockey puck..
During the dishes there was an awful lot of giggling, went to check the feral's who were watching the oven.. and it was flashing "help help help help help" gee's the pizza wasn't that bad... we wiggled some switches and it settled back down... but it really did need help.. it hasn't worked since.. I may never make pizza again..
Well, maybe when the new oven arrives ;-)

Oct 4, 2011

Hairy Bikers and a bit of chicken

I am huge fan of  hairy bikers. Not just any hairy biker...two in particular,  you know Dave and Si those two lover-able rough around the edges blokes who travel around the UK and other far off places on a couple of Triumph motorbikes.. The Hairy Bikers It is a treat for me to sit and watch these guys show off great local produce in often unorthodox ways.. I have seen many do-able recipes of these and recently, I took one to our table and oh my goodness it was sooooo good. It was rustic, comforting and easy.. Now I did miss some steps in the photo taking but you will get the idea..
Somerset Chicken
It serves six, but I used 4 chicken breasts and the same amount of everything else. Now this recipe calls from some Somerset Cider, you could use apple juice but I was happy having a bit of a boozy twist to this. You can also do this recipe using pork.

6 boneless chicken breasts, skin on
3tbsp olive oil
75g butter
2 onions, sliced
4tbsp plain flour
2tbsp grain mustard
2 dessert apples, peeled and sliced into batons
110g button mushrooms, sliced
250ml chicken stock
300ml cider
250ml double cream - I used fresh cream without any of those additives they tend to put in these days
1tbsp finely chopped sage leaves
300g Cheddar cheese, grated - I used Mainland Tasty
6 baked potatoes
Preheat the oven to 200°C (gas mark 6).
Season the chicken breasts with salt and black pepper. Heat a large saute pan and add 2tbsp of the oil and 50g of the butter.
Fry the chicken breasts in batches for 1-2 mins on each side until golden. Put them into a deep-sided oven tray and roast for 25 mins until the chicken is cooked through.
Add the remaining butter and oil to the pan and cook the onions for 4-5 mins until softened but not coloured. Add the flour and mustard to the pan and cook for another 2 mins.
Add the apples and button mushrooms and cook for 1 min. Pour in the chicken stock and bring to the boil, then pour in the cider. Bring back to the boil and cook for 5 mins.
Add the cream and sage, cook for another 5 mins, then season with salt and black pepper. Take the chicken out of the oven and pour the sauce into the dish to cover the chicken completely. Preheat the grill to high. Sprinkle the cheese over the chicken and place under the grill for 5 mins until the cheese is melted, golden and bubbling. Serve with jacket potatoes topped with a knob of butter.
This photo doesn't show this dish in all it's wonderfully, scrumptious glory, my camera work not the recipe. My husbands tummy was growling, so I never got a photo of it plated up.. it is well worth a try, a great winter warmer, or a tasty dinner when our souls need a little nourishing too.
We really enjoyed it, and I am looking forward to making it with pork..

Oct 1, 2011

A Matter of percetption

My article this month over on Pagan Pages... A Matter of Perception

Sep 29, 2011

Catching Up

I have to admit to feeling like I semi abandoned my blog over the last month. A few of lifes wee challenges has seen the blogging energy dwindle, but in saying that my hands have not been idle.  I thought I would play catch up and post a few photos of what I have been up too..
Well, firstly we went shopping, we had been looking at replacing my car due to it's old age and it had developed Salamander Syndrome, it was bought forward when some wally in a HUGE 4x4 drove into the side of the "da broom" this is what it was replaced with.
It was a very good buy actually, it has already shown its usefulness bringing home to very large 8 foot book cases. It will also be useful for bring home all manner of things in the future.. We took it to the Dandenong Market a few weeks ago, and bought home a serious amount of tomatoes.. about 18 kilos - last year here was shocking for vege due to the floods, so my tomato sauce supply ran out, gosh eating canned sauce after homemade is nothing short of disguising.
This is half of what I had the rest have been, chopped and added to this pot.
I made two batches this size, about 5kg per pot
It made about 7kg all up, and there is always one random half jar.. I will buy another lot later and make enough to last a full year, the rest of the tomatoes became soup.
While I am on the cooking thing.. I finally got around to making some delicious steamed fruit rolls, now it seemed to take forever to accumulate the tins to make them in, but here is the final product..
and umm yes I had to slice a piece to quality control, pretty good.. thanks to Narelle over at Just Like My Nan Made for the recipe..check out her blog, it is an awesome place to pick up some nifty ideas not to mention great recipes.
Now, I know I could have done this in a more frugal, recycle-y way, but I didn't.. it was a serious bargain though so please don't be to harsh, when you see what I bought..
  I have wanted one, well forever..
No show without Punch, in this case DimSim aka Sacred Temple Kitty
Once I managed to convince the cat it was not something for her, I got onto the job of mushing the worm bedding and adding the worms.
I will keep you updated on this little venture, I have used some of the worm water already on some plants and was seriously astounded by the results..

We went of to the Red Hill Market about a month ago, and I was delighted to bump into Rod and Eryn Barnett from Wee Folk Garden Art  it had been sometime since I had purchased any of there work and it seemed fitting that I add something new to my collection..
This is the beautiful Emily Havachat, isn't she just lovely, she has joined the family and she hangs proudly on the wall in my kitchen.
There has been another wee venture going on in my kitchen cupboard, will photogragh and update you on this one... I am hoping to drink some of  it later today, hopefully I won't wake up drunk and naked, in a dumpster with any non vital organs missing.

Oh and here is the link to From My Hearth - my new soapie website and blog

Sep 28, 2011

Mornington Peninsula Handmade:.Meet The Maker

I was privileged to be asked recently, to be part of Mornington Peninsula Handmade's blog.. a blog promoting local business who make and sell handmade goods.. I was chosen to take part with meet the maker. Next time I need to be photographed, I will smile in the photo.. :-)

Mornington Peninsula Handmade: Meet the Maker.........Wendy from "From My Hearth"...: .

Sep 16, 2011

On My Mind - Freedom of Entry

This is a Friday photo feature that anyone with a blog can join. To take part, post a photo on your own blog, write a short caption explaining it. Then scoot over to On My Mind at Down To Earth leave a comment and post your link there. Great way to meet your blog neighbours.

 On My Mind - Freedom of Entry

On My Mind today is the pride I have in my husband for his service to this country and the Royal Australian Navy. It is a centenary year for the RAN and HMAS Cerberus celebrates 90 years of service. Today, 1500 men and woman of the training establishment, HMAS Cerberus march for Freedom of Entry to the city of Melbourne. An age old ceremony that has only happened here in Melbourne, 3 times in 90 years. They will march the Queens colors, a ceremonial honour.
 A small section on Freedom of Entry Sailors ahoy! It’s been 100 years

Sep 1, 2011

Finding the Divine

Things have been hectic here this month. With Fathers Day and Christmas coming, my soap production has been on the increase, my husband has also had 10 days leave from the Navy, so everything is put on the back burner, so we can spend some good quality time together.  Because of this my second article on Pagan Pages has been partly borrowed from a post I made here a few years ago.. however it is still relevant in my life today.. if your like minded or would just like to pop over for a read, here is the link Pagan Pages - Hearth and Home

I have been taking all sorts of photos though, so over the next week, I will play catch up and post some piccies..

Aug 26, 2011

On My Mind - Lions & Tigers and Oh My

Today I am taking part in On My Mind over at Down to Earth -
This is a Friday photo feature that anyone with a blog can join. To take part, post a photo on your own blog, write a short caption explaining it. Then scoot over to On My Mind at Down To Earth  leave a comment and post your link there. Great way to meet your blog neighbours.

On My Mind ....

A day so special, I can barely find the words to express it.. my husband has been on leave for a week, and he arranged a secret date with me.. little did I know, it was a behind the scenes, with the zoo keepers from Melbourne Zoo. It was an amazing experience with these beautiful animals.. and enlightening talking about their natural habitat and the issues they faced , with Mike who had just recently returned from 6 months in Borneo. My husband knows my heart and not a greater gift could he have given me.. yesterday will be treasured always. 

Aug 18, 2011

Aug 12, 2011

On My Mind - Feeling Connected

Today I am taking part in On My Mind over at Down to Earth, Please join in by following the link.

On My Mind....

We had a beautiful taste of spring here last week; the weather was unseasonably warm and the sun, while still low in the sky, shone.Seeing this photo this morning reminded me, how much pleasure I get from washing up at this sink. A few of my favourite things line the window ledge and I have a wonderful view into a wee garden where lilies and lavender grow.  The sun on the leaves of the gum tree sparkled like jewels and I feel refreshed by the breeze that comes through the window. I can look over the golf course which looks more like a huge park filled with gums and pines. So even on those days when my health is not doing my day justice, I still feel connected to my home and nature while working at my kitchen sink.

Aug 4, 2011

H triple M - Hmmm

The other day I was out front, putting a few pansy's into a planter box, and as I walked past a container near the front door, that homed my red geranium - I had a look at it and thought how the winter had been a little rough on the coconut fibre inner, it was all falling apart.. I decided this weekend I would take a trip to the garden centre and get a new one,.. here it is below in all it's scruffy glory.

Now this morning I was sitting at the computer doing a little work - The computer is right beside the window looking over the front lawn, and as I was sat, I noticed a little movement out of the corner of my eye.. Thinking it was the crow that comes up to the floor length window to peek in at me most days, I turned for a look... nope not a crow to be seen... but there was a visitor - A Magpie.. some folk hate them as they are very territorial in breeding season, but I really like them..

Be gentle on the photographer,  these photos where taken hastily, between a gap in the blind, through the glass of a closed window, which is covered in fly mesh.. so some are a little funky.
Now it took a double take to realize what this bird was up to.. hmmm

I think I might hold off on replacing this liner as it was not a cold, blustery winter that had reeked havoc on my coconut coir, pot liner! It was Mrs Maggie Pie, tugging out the fibres, until her beak was suitably full.. Well, I may have a scruffy planter, but I am feeling a little blessed to know it has gone to a good cause, and she will have a warm and cosy nest for her family and really isn't that what we all strive for.