.

“Two wings lift a person up from earthy concerns: simplicity and purity. Simplicity should be in intention, purity in feelings. Simplicity reaches out after God, purity catches hold and tastes. ~ Thomas A’Kempis

Friday, 26 October 2012

Hierloom Tomatoes

 

I woke this morning, still not feeling fully restored, but we as believers are not to rest on feelings, so I am plowing on regardless :)
I was reading Smith Wigglesworth, and this is what he had to say: 'We may be very ordinary, but God wants to make us extraordinary in the Holy Ghost'..and as I was meditating on that, an old hymn came to me..'there is power, power, wonder working power in the blood, of the lamb..there is power, power, wonder working power in the precious blood of the lamb.
It all reminded me, that this life we walk, is all based on faith..faith in the unseen. Some people, myself included have experienced the supernatural, but many have not, and still their faith is as sure and solid as a rock.
Then Jesus told him, "Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed."
 
 
~~~ oooOooo ~~~



Today I have Hierloom Tomato seedlings, that need to be potted up. Maybe I should have sowed the seeds a lot earlier, so the plants would be bigger by now, as the growing season is shorter here in Central Hawkes Bay. I found this image of the tomato seedlings on line..and whata neat idea..planted in upturned bottles, resting in the bottom of the containers !!! perfect, reuse, recycle!!. I must try this for next year.

The only thing with gardening, is that there is always something to be done, it talkes a lot of stamina, and no resting on your laurels. A seedling neglected for even two days will suffer. Last weekend my husband helped build a new raised bed, where the tomatoes will go this year. Its by the shed and is more sheltered. I may also put a plastic sort of shield on the sides of the bed, just to keep the cool wind off them for now...
okay thats all for now, have a blessed day people :)
 

Thursday, 25 October 2012

Unwell

 
 
Hi,
I have a virus and am in bed today..tummy bug etc...its a bit of a blow, as I had a days work lined up as a reliever at the local daycare and need the money. Never the less I am using my time to catch up on reading (Bible, and my Smith Wigglesworth Devotional book) :)
My daughter Katie has also been unwell (she's grown, and has a toddler.) They've lived with us here for almost a year now, but will move out when she marries her fiance John, at the end of February. I will miss them both, but it begins a beautifull, exciting chapter in their lives, so I am excited for her.
I prayed for God to heal both Katie and I & to restore our strength and vitality. God is always faithfull and true. Just the other morning, I was fretting about something, so I turned to 2 Peter, and just reading verses comforted me. There is truly wonder working power in the word of God, I couldn't count the thousands of times it has soothed and healed me, which is impossible to explain to non-believers.
So here I sit tucked up here in bed, (very thankfull for my laptop), surfing the net and I found a good site, with usefull tips on how to can food. I already know how to do this, but many people don't...so i thought I'd include the link. Also utube has masses of usefull videos on varying methods of canning/growing practically everything. I find this sort of visual learning really helpfull.
 

http://www.simpleorganizedliving.com/2010/09/27/peaches-pears-and-apricots/



Something else on my wish list is a Pressure Cooker. They cost around $700 new here in New Zealand !!! yikes, but no doubt one would last a lifetime, if looked after. I find a lot of recipes for beans preserved by this method on utube (which is regarded as the only safe method for beans, meat etc.)..so I really want one. I have frozen beans in the past, with varying degrees of success, and also have a dehydrator, which I still havn't used, but plan to this year.

Thats all for now. God Bless

Thrift is not an affair of the pocket, but an affair of character.' ~S.W. Straus

Frugal Living


'One of the very nicest things about life is the way we must regularly stop whatever it is we are doing and devote our attention to eating'. ~Luciano Pavarotti and William Wright, Pavarotti, My Own Story

Today was grocery shopping day. My grocery budget has practically halved - this brings out the practical creatice side in me. It takes time to plan out menu's, and to draw up a thorough costed out shopping list. Then at the supermarket, I check the weights against the prices and compare brands to get a good deal. Green-grocers don't always have the best deals on vegetables, as supermarkets can buy in bulk & have very good deals. I don't live close to an organic supplier, but the bulk of our veges in summer are from our own organic vegetable garden anyway.

On countless days I have thanked, no praised the Lord for his provision and my passion/ability for cooking. I come from a line of good home cooks, so enjoyed many happy memories of my mother and nana baking and making jam etc. My nana also made all her own clothes and knitted her jerseys, stitched together rag rugs, boiled up her washing in a copper, and continued to mow her own lawn, right up until her 80's..what a trooper ! She was a fiery little sweety :)
Over the many years while the children were at home, I manged to serve up budget meals that were still delicous and nutricious...and learnt a variety of techniques out of necessity. If I couldn't make it, we didn't get to eat it.
 
 
Many young woman today have no desire to take cooking at school, and sadly a lot of  basic homemaking skills are being lost. I make practiacally everything from scratch - bread, pastry, biscuits, muffins, cakes etc, all our meals, plus grow a garden, berries and have planted a small orchard. This is all done in Suburbia..in our little country town, so a farm, is not always necessary. We don't eat meat at every meal, and sometimes just a few days in the week, instead stretching things out with beans, eggs, fish meals etc.
 I've been reading thru various blogs lately related to people 'prepping' for lean times and alternative lifestyle 'homesteader' sites. One of my favourite ones, for those who are truly finding themselves 'pinching pennies' is the Prudent Homemakers blog.
Here's the link to this lady's wonderful, encouraging and practical blog:

http://theprudenthomemaker.com/

So anyway, back to grocery shopping, this week I decided to check out 'dried milk', as many blogs suggest its cheaper, and I discovered it is. One regular 3 litre (3000 ml) container of milk - the cheapest brand in New Zealand costs around $5.00. The cheapest brand of Powdered milk (Homebrand from Countdown), 1kg worth, will yield 10 litres of milk and costs $9.00. It mixes easily with cold water and of course you just make up what you require. I would make it up 1 litre at a time and store in a glass bottle (re-used Ocean Spray glass juice container). I also read online somewhere, if you whizz it up in a blender, that removes any lumps and makes it creamier.

You can also make yoghurt from powdered milk


Basic Yogurt
3 cups cold water
1 cup hot water
1 c powdered milk
1/2 c plain yogurt (use from your last batch)
Stir the water and powdered milk until dissolved. Add the 1/2 cup of yoghurt. At this stage I pop it into my esi-yo yoghurt maker, which is really just a large plastic, insulated thermos. Instructions come with the kit, but I love it, as it uses no power, just the heat of hot water you fill it with. I wrap the container in a towel and leave overnight on the bench.
The next morning, you will have yoghurt. You can flaour it up with vanilla, if desired and or maple syrup. I just use it plain in a variety of ways.
 
This links below have recipes to make from your powdered milk made yoghurt, like cream cheese.
 
 

http://www.joyofbaking.com/IngredientSubstitution.html - A usefull site with allsorts of ways to substitue in baking/cooking.
Next week I am headed into the city to do a fortnighly shop, at a larger supermarket. They have better deals, and I want to stock up on some more canned goods, and ingredients for making homemade natural cleaning products. Yes saving money, and being frugal has consumed my life.
Bye for now.
 
 

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Green Beans

 
Hi to anyone out there who may stumble upon this blog. After a long time I've decided to post again regularly, even if its just a few lines as a sort of an online diary of home/garden activity. So if you do stop by, please feel free to leave a comment.

~ The Garden ~
 

 
Day 1
Today I built a Bean frame similar to this one in the picture. It was super easy, made with some of the bamboo, which grows freely down the back of the garden.
I started the bulk of the summer gardn plants from seeds this year (to save money) and so far every thing has sprouted. I also saved a few seeds from last years harvest (Pumpkin, Kale - Cavalo Nero & Coriander).


 
The first thing I do in Spring and Summer,when I wake in the morning, is to look out the window at the vegetable garden. Every day I stroll around it, to see whats happening, if anything has sprouted or grown much overnight. Every day is different, little subtle changes, and none more so than after a heavy rain.
This year my husband has a new job, less stressfull, but also less money. So to counteract that, I've planned a large summers vegetable garden and hopefully we'll reap a bountiful harvest to preserve, freeze, bottle and pickle.
 
Another venture I'm hoping to start soon, is making handmade soap. The initial set up costs a little bit, but the quality and fragrance of natural soaps is so beautifull, that its worth it, plus they make lovely gifts.
I'm using the recipe from 'Down to Earth' Blog http://down---to---earth.blogspot.co.nz/2007/07/how-to-make-cold-pressed-soap.html


Thats all for today :)
 

"I used to visit and revisit it a dozen times a day, and stand in deep contemplation over my vegetable progeny with a love that nobody could share or conceive of who had never taken part in the process of creation. It was one of the most bewitching sights in the world to observe a hill of beans thrusting aside the soil, or a rose of early peas just peeping forth sufficiently to trace a line of delicate green."
~Nathaniel Hawthorne, Mosses from and Old Manse

Thursday, 27 September 2012

Humility


Humility is perfect quietness of heart, It is to expect nothing, to wonder at nothing that is done to me, to feel nothing done against me. It is to be at rest when nobody praises me, and when I am blamed or despised. It is to have a blessed home in the Lord, where I can go in and shut the door, and kneel to my Father in secret, and am at peace as in a deep sea of calmness, when all around and above is trouble. - Andrew Murray  
 
     

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Choices - Its so easy to be fooled by the 'empty' things that this world counts as valuable. But we all choose what we watch, listen to, read, the places we go, who we 'friend' , the words we speak and what we believe. The choices I make every day have an effect, either positive or negative to myself and others. ~ (Me)

Monday, 6 February 2012

Summer at the Homestead



Hi everyone,
I've spent several weeks witing and adding to this post, and finally decided, I really just need to publish it lols, before its Autumn !
The weather is sill warm here in New Zealand and we have about 3-4 weeks of summer left. I don't enjoy gardening in the heat as much as I enjoy the cooler seasons of Autumn and Spring, so I'm looking forward to Autumn.
Out and About:
This morning I was at the Library and I saw a new cookbook just in by one of my favourite cooks 'Hugh Fernley-Wittingstall'..

I got home, made myself some fresh coffee and sat on the verandah to have a flick through..and I love the book. Its all vegetarian, which I didn't initially realise, not that that matters.  Its all food similar to what I already cook too. So having said all this..it reminded me of a little revelation I had the other week. I noticed that even though I grow so much of our own food (vegetables) my grocery bill still hasn't decreased by that much!!...(not that I'm only growing vergtables to save money, its also because I prefer organic and like to know where my food comes from). I realised I'm not really basing meals purely around whats ready in the garden, but basing meals around meat, and adding the vegetables as side players and salad. If I want to make a saving I ned to do the reverse, make the vegtables the MAIN FEATURE..and not the side.
 I used to be vegetarian for just over three years, but started working fulltime in a childcare centre a few years back and would come home exhausted and starving. All I felt like was a sausage or bacon, and so I sucumbed and have never made it back to those vege days..but I do think finally the winds of change are - a - blowing. :)

 Here's a link to one of Hugh's fabulous vege dishes that I like the look of  from the book - 'Sweet Potato and Peanut Gratin' http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2011/aug/26/vegetable-recipes-fearnley-whittingstall

I'm sure sweet Pumpkin or Squash could just as easily be substituted :), if you have more of that in the store cupbard. To date I have 9 Pumpkins growing..woo hoo, the best summer ever!. I planted 3 in an old tyre and the others just in the ground and then let them run wild..which they seem to have loved !



~~~~~~~~oo0oo~~~~~~~~~~~~
 We had some strong winds a few weeks back, so I was been busy staking up Dahlias, which have grown very tall this year, thanks to the good soaks of rain we've had. Here's pics of two of my favourites in the garden:

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~



The Summer Garden


It may look like a small potagers garden, but bewtween the four raised beds and the middle garden, there's a huge variety planted: Leeks, Beetroot, Silverbeet, Carrots, Eggplant, Spring Onions, Cabbages, Celery, Lettuce, Corn, Tomates, Zucchini, Peas, Beans and Buttercup pumpkins dotted around here and there in other areas of the property.


 Our Corn, which is just now being harvested..so delicious, with salt and butter...mmm
~~~~~~


'A Self-seeded Skyscraper Sunflower'


A little Dahlia getting ready to open fully :)
~~~~~~~~
The most exciting thing to happen lately was harvesting the blackcurrants. I planted two bushes last year and read that they only fruit on old wood, so I didn't prune them. We were amply rewarded and the yield was 2 1/2 kilos !!!! (about 5 lb).


~~~ooooOooo~~~


~~~oooOooo~~~

My precious grandaughter helping.

I turned  all the fruit into Jam (11 Jars) & its divine. Even just the aroma of the jam boiling away was fabulous. I used to pick blackcurrants to earn pocket money as a young girl, so it all brought back pleasant memories to me.


~~~ Adding sugar to the preserving pan ~~~


~~~bubble, bubble...~~~



~~ Ta da, the finished product. ~~


This is my little cupboard I purchased from an antique shop.Its to store my preserves and jars etc. Today I made some gingham curtains (from a small tablecloth, cut in half) to keep the light of the jars. I thought it tuned out well, so decided to share the pictures.


~~~

The original tablecloth only cost $2.00


The little storehouse is now full :)



We have Tomato Relish, Chow Chow Pickle, Zucchini Relish. Plum Sauce, Bread and Butter Pickles, Blackcurrant, Strawberry and Plum Jams, Bottled Pears and Plums, Chili Jelly, Marmalade and Bottled Beetroot..Yeh all finsihed for the summer :)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ooo0000ooo~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


I also wanted to share a recipe I've been making lately, its actually from a recipe book of Rosie Daley's and its called Unfried Chicken, a much healthier version of an old favourite. Its delicious cold too and perfect for a picnic. I've tweaked her recipe somewhat, so I'll give you my version :)


'Linda's Unfried Chicken'

12 pieces of chicken ( chicken drumsticks, wings etc)
1 egg
1 cup natural unsweetened plain yoghurt
1 cup dry breadcumbs
3/4 cup of plain flour
1/4 cup of seasoned chicken coating mix (anybrand) I use coat and cook

Spice Mix:
1/2 teaspoon celery salt
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/8 teaspoon Black Pepper
Dash Cayenne
1/2 teaspoon each of dried Basil, Sage & Oregano
1/4 t chilli powder (optional)
1/2 teaspoon Cajun spice

Method:

1.  Remove the skin from the chicken pieces and soak the chicken in cold water for 20 minutes.
2.  Heat the oven to 180 C (fanbake).  Mix the spice mix into the flour, coat n cook, and
     breadcrumbs.
3.  Oil a large roasting dish.
4.  Mix the egg and yoghurt together. Pat the chicken dry and roll one piece at a time in the 
     yoghurt/egg mix, then in the coating mix until quite thickly coated. Work quickly as the mixture
     will soak up the yoghurt and soften.
5.  Place each piece on the oiled tray. Spray the chicken with spray oil and place in the hot oven.
6.  Cook without turning for 30 minutes, then turn carefully just once using a spatula. Cook for  30
     minutes more.The chicken should be browned and thoroughly cooked through at this stage.


~~~ooo000ooo~~~

There shall be eternal summer in the grateful heart. 
~ Celia Thaxter ~


'God's work done in God's way, will never lack God's supply'
J. Hudson Taylor 1832 - 1905

*...In the Laundry Room...*



While I was surfing around facebook last week, I saw someone had posted a link to a Mother Earth News site, advertising a recipe for homemade Laundry Powder. It peaked my interest, so I followed it up and was excited how simple the recipe looked. Since then, I sourced the ingredients at a bulk foods store called Binn Inn in New Zealand and made a half batch of it.  I really didn't know what to expect, and must admit I was a little wary. I've purchased various brands of ECO Laundry powder/liquid over the years with varying results, but I must say I am very impressed with this new homemade one. For starters my bath towles come off the line very soft, even on a hot day, where normally if I havn't used fabric softener they would be a little stiff, before being folded. So anyways I am posting the link for the recipe (even though I'm writing it here on the blog), as they have other recipes for homemade dishwasher detergent etc too.
 
The Article:               
According to our grandmothers’ wisdom (and verified on thenewhomemaker.com), Monday is Wash Day. After Sunday’s day of rest, homemakers traditionally took on one of the week’s most difficult tasks: the laundry. Whether you’re disciplined enough to schedule your laundry days or you just do a load or two when you’ve run out of socks and underwear, the following recipe for simple washing powderwill make the task more fun. This laundry detergent is simple to make, saves you money and smells heavenly.
Simple Washing Powder
16 cups baking soda
12 cups borax
8 cups grated castile or glycerin soap flakes* (I used Lux Flakes)
3 tablespoons lavender, lemon or grapefruit essential oil


Combine baking soda, borax and soap flakes. Add essential oil and mix with a wire whisk. Use 1⁄8 cup per load.
Yield: This recipe makes enough powder to last a family of four one year.

NOte: It makes a very large quantity, so I just made half initially, to try it out. I use 2 tablespoons per load.  suppose quantity may vary depending on the size of your machine. I noted down the date I started using it, to see how economical it is too :)

~~~~ooo0ooo~~~

~ The Sewing Corner ~

As sunmmer comes to a close I start to turn to all those sewing projects awaiting my attention. I purchased some fabric a while back and finally got around to making some pants for my little grand-daugter..I surfed the net to find a pattern and get ideas, then I made my own from paper. The pants turned out quite well...here's a pic:

Demin with a frill at the bottom

....and then I got on and finally made a little curtain for the bathroom, that I'd been talking about for a long time.Its made out of a lovely floaty soft fabric called Mull..pure cotten, and a slightly thicker version of muslin.



..and close up of the little trim I put at the botton, pale blue, like the bathroom :)


..and last but not least. My daughter Katie and I love visiting second hand stores looking for bargains, and this summer I found two fabulous pairs of shoes..the pink ones havn't been worn and the red ones are so cool (made in Italy)..total cost for both pairs = $4.00 :)


side view of the pink ones, such a lovely soft shade and so dainty :)



So thats all from me for a while....there's still a lot to do in the garden, and I need to get to work on other projects, such as the Folk Art wall hanging..God Bless you all.
~ To live a life of virtue, you have to become consistent, even when it isn't convenient, comfortable, or easy. ~ (Epicetus)






Tuesday, 24 January 2012

All Things Beautiful 2008 - Misty Edwards

Just Before...


Just before…

There’s something magical about the moment ‘just before’ that always grabs at my heart.
This morning as I was working out, and listening to Misty Edwards beautiful voice these thoughts came to me….

The moment just before a wave breaks, as it builds, rolls and then crumbles, in a thundering crescendo.

The moment just before I break through in worship....and have that intimate encounter with the Lord...I feel it building...the anticipation
  
The moment before a flower opens, its bud so tightly furled, only revealing a little of the beauty contained within. Then slowly it  unfolds and I get a glimpse of something amazing about to happen.


The moment before the leaves fall from a tree in Autumn.  Such a symphony of colour displayed before my eyes. A palette of reds, yellows and deep oranges.  I almost take the beauty of it all for granted, then before I know it, I realise I was actually  living  in that moment of ‘just before’, as the leaves one by one start to fall and the stillness of winter arrives once again.


..and finally the most beautiful -  the moment just before a soul gives their heart to God. God has witnessed the struggle, the misconceptions of the world, then the moment finally comes…the revelation comes to the heart, the eyes are opened and the soul steps forward, and into the arms of LOVE that waited there all along.  What must that moment  be like for God, who sees and knows?

There’s nothing quite like that 'just before moment’…I’m sure we each have many of them stored in our memories and in our hearts.
Just wanted to share this thought. Blessings to anyone who reads this J

Friday, 6 January 2012

Hi friends, I'm sorry I havn't posted a blog in a long while, I've just been very busy with Christmas and family visiting etc, and the garden, but I plan on sitting down in a few days time and putting a little update together. May God Bless you all richly this new year. (Linda) x

a delightful day..

A lovely day today, just little Kora (my granddaughter and Me :)   take lots of photos Nanny !!! was the command :)  getting...