The Old Splitter

I was up at dad’s place and split a few logs for him with the old splitter.

spliter

This old girl has been with us for 50 years. When dad broke the handle he took it down to my uncle who welded a pipe into it for him.

We talked that if we had a few cents for every log it had split we would be a lot richer than we are now. If I had a dollar every time that handle jarred my hands on a cold morning getting the wood for the day 😉 And in a way we are. My family heated house hot water and cooked on wood almost entirely in my youth so each split was in its own way a version of currency. A self sufficient currency many of us might end up going back to.

IMG_3705 A good Canadian splitter is a must if you have a small holding or just warm your house with wood.

It fills the roll of a sledge for most farm jobs like putting in posts and is one of the most used tools even at my place in the city.

trailer

Not in my backyard …

This is the second thing today that makes me wonder about how selfish as a society we have become

http://civileats.com/2014/08/06/to-locavores-dismay-a-humane-meat-processor-is-put-out-to-pasture/

The second was the ABC morning team that on an interview Doug Purdie was making comments about ‘well I would not like them in my neighbour’s yard..’ then ridiculing the responses to them not understanding where we are at with the state bees and the world and there feral bees in their backyard.

People buy in places where there are already farmers then complain about the smell or the flies or the trucks or the mooing of the cows (I kid you not). And take action to ban these.

Take some ownership of your own life !

I would simply ask every person who has an issue with their neighbours yard being not what they want or the sound of a rooster waking them up in the morning to remember that this a very isolated epoch in time and a few years you might be grateful for the a neighbour who can supply chicks to you or for local honey not to mention your vegies getting pollinated.

Take a long term view on these things.

Organic Yep there is Fauna.

This is the non cool view of organic food. This is from my father and as you can see it is more than healthy.

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I found this when working out what I could make from what I had in the house . With A. staying home for 12 months for number 3 (more on that later) our budget is being pounded (however there is still a lot of fat in there to be honest compared to many) and we are living on what is in the house and what we have.

So we had a nice cabbage from my father and some cooked rice we had for dinner the night before with some left over curry. So my thought cabbage rolls.

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We did a big purchase of meat from a local farmer at the farmers market and some of the good bacon, a leek, and a few bits and pieces. Below is the recipe I used. So there was a meal for last night along with fresh bread just made and still warm.

This needs to be the philosophy for all, what you have, what is local, a few luxury items and not letting anything to go to waste.

Cabbage Rolls

For the rolls

  • 500 grams of mince
  • Leek finely sliced
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 3 rashes of the good bacon diced
  • A cabbage cored and as leaves.
  • 2 -3 cups of rice
  • 1 tsp of cumin
  • 1 tsp of smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon of nutmeg
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 eggs to bind
  • Bowl of iced water to quench the leaves.
  • 2 table spoons of passatta sauce.
  • Grated cheese.
  • ½ cup red wine
  • Bread crumbs

Sauce

  • Two cans of organic tomato. Buy European organic if you can (I know not local) as they have rules on BPA in the lining
  • ½ cup red wine
  • ½ cup of water
  • Table spoon of molasses
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 bay leaves
  • A handful of perennial basil or other herbs (optional)
  • Teaspoon of chilli or to taste.

Fry up the bacon and leek and add the mince, cook till almost brown then add the garlic crushed for a further 2 minutes add the spices for a further 1 minute. Add the red wine and passatta. After 5 minutes add the cooked rice. Cook for a couple of minutes until mixed through. Drop into another bowl to cool.

IMG_3488-2000 IMG_3487-2000Blanch cabbage leaves 4 or so at a time for around 1 minute in lightly salted water. Refresh them in iced water and drain in a colander.

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Mix all of the ingredients for the sauce ready to add.

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Once the filling has cooked add some cheese (of your choice) and two eggs to bind. Mix through and add bread crumbs till the mixture is no longer sloppy.

Once the filling is ready put a tablespoon or so in each blanched leaf and fold, putting the fold down the bottom. Fill the container with rolls ladle over the sauce and either put in an oven until the sauce has thickened or on stove top till the same.

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I served it with grated cheese but some sour cream would be nice as well.

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We need to get over the fact that there will be bugs that things will not be perfect in our vegetables. Be grateful we have food and help out the world by eating what is there not what is perfect. We cannot in the long term afford to ask farmers to throw away straight banana’s or bent carrots. And why should we?

10 minute bread kind off…

I got some comments on my facebook timelines to on the bread photo’s I have been posting that it was delayed gratification. And to a degree it is 🙂 but short of buying it in a shop this is the easiest and quickest bread I have ever made and it is SOOOOO GOOOOOOOOOD. IMG_3437-2000

One of the things I looked at in July was no plastic July. We didn’t do it as it is a bit hard with only one of us really on this path (I sneak it in when I can 🙂 ) what I did look at was at what plastic we had and how we could reduce it. One of the things I noticed was plastic bread bags and those nasty little clips that close them. Add to this if you look at the list of ingredients on a loaf of bought bread you will go ‘what the …’ so I decided while I am on leave I would get the bread making down pat so I can do it couple of times a week. This is the link to the original recipe I used I have consolidated it as below. It takes less than 10 minutes in all steps but there is proofing and resting time as well as cooking time. I still love that this can be done in around 3 hours so come home from work and have fresh bread for the next day.

Step 1.

Fill measuring cup or bowl with ½ cup of freshly boiled water and 1 and ½ cups of tap water. Add a table spoon of sugar. Mix. Sprinkle a packet or two teaspoons of dried yeast over the top of the water and leave for 10 minutes in a warm spot. (I use Tandaco sachets but need to find a bulk supplier of yeast to avoid those nasty little foil wrappers (we do what we can)).

yeast in a bowl

Work Time 30 seconds.

Step 2.

Put 4 cups of plain flower and two teaspoons of salt in a bowl and mix with a wisker to incorporate.

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Work Time 1 minute.

Step 3.

Once the 10 minutes is up and the yeast is nice and frothy, mix into the water and pour into the flour mixture and mix through thoroughly. The dough should be quite wet so add a bit more water if it looks dry.

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Cover in a tea towel and put in a nice warm spot and leave for 2 hours (you can leave for less but this is the best time I have found)

warm bread

Work Time 3 minutes.

Step 4.

The dough should have risen nicely by now. Grease the bowls to be used for baking with a good coating of butter (don’t be tempted to use olive oil I tried it, didn’t work for me). Once buttered use two forks to divide the dough mix into two parts this will knock it down as well use the forks to separate the dough from the edge of the bowl and lift with the forks and drop each half into a buttered oven proof bowl. Put in a warm space for 30 minutes. It will rise a second time.

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Work Time 3 minutes

Step 5.

After 30 minutes put the bowls in a pre-heated oven to at 220 degrees Celsius and set timer for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes drop back the oven to 190 degree and set time for another 15 minutes.

Turn out the bread. If it is still a little pale. Put it back on the rack for 5 minutes out of the bowl to brown off (I never have to do this)

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Let it rest for 10 minutes then eat 🙂

Work Time 2 minutes

Total Work Time 9 ½ minutes.

The bread is great warm and toasts nicely but doesn’t brown as much as commercial bread. It last ok for few days but will not last like store bought bread as it has no preservatives in it (this is a good thing FYI)

This will become a regular for us moving forward. Cost wise because we purchase good organic flour the cost is about $1.50 per loaf only about $1.20 cents less than I can get at Aldi or a local supermarket on special but this adds up when I work out a 4 loaves a week over a year it works out at $250 saving per year. Nothing to be sneezed at.

But the big thing is I know what is in this bread. It also means that there is a few less plastic bags and clips in the world. A little less food km and more money out of the corporate system.

The latest reports on plastic in oceans is not pleasant reading and honestly cleaning up is great and we have to do this but first thing we need to do is to make sure as little as possible gets into it from now on! Every single piece makes a difference 1 item per Australian per week not kept out of the waste stream is 1,196,000,000 objects. Yes a lazy 1.2 billion items out of the waste stream every year if we are careful. Still don’t think that your little part in this little country can make a difference?