Monday, May 21, 2012

Bananas, Cofffe and Camping

It has been a bit since I posted but I actually haven’t had anything to say and didn’t want to be like face book and saying things like “I’m bored”, “I am going out now”, “I am having a cuppa tea” or “What do you think about ‘insert the name of any TV show’”.  As you can see I am not a fan of face book and think it is mindless drivel, my partner in crime and life disagrees though he gets annoyed with the stupidity of some people who just make themselves look foolish and then can’t take it back.  That is my whinge for the day :)

We have cut our first bunch of bananas and it is hanging on the veranda waiting to ripen.  We won’t cut the second bunch until we have eaten the first as once they start to ripen they all ripen all at once.  Though I am sure that I read somewhere that we could cut just half a bunch at a time so we don’t’ have to eat 50 bananas today, need to see if I can find that information again.

Our trees in pots on the veranda are going very well, especially now there aren’t so many grasshoppers around eating them.  The coffee bushes are very shiny and my partner in crime and life is looking forward to have home grown coffee, he is also worried that the world as we know it may end and he won’t have coffee.  I am just looking for the right coffee grinder, as I don’t care about coffee it is a bit a dilemma, I want a manual one not electric and there is a few choices out there, I think I just need to shut my eyes and point and buy whichever one I am pointing at.

We are going camping this weekend and we are all SO looking forward to it.  We are going out to a station about three hours drive and will be camping by a river so we can fish.  Actually, my partner in crime and life and our number one and only son will be fishing and I will be reading and keeping the fire going and generally not doing a whole lot.

Of course, even though it is only a three day trip, there has been lots of planning and we have had to purchase a few things as it has been a while.  Our camp chairs were broken so we needed new ones, and we needed a new wok for the kitchen so we got one and will use it camping before it takes up permanent residence in the kitchen.

My partner in crime and life had a laugh at my first aid kit which is a box.  Not sure what he was thinking we should take, maybe a couple of band aids and some paracetamol, however I like to be more prepared than that.  I won’t be stitching anyone up but I am prepared for sprained ankles, burns, cuts and gashes, headaches, diarrhea, strong pain, broken arms and insect bites, all those basic injuries that can happen when you are in the middle of no-where, and will happen if you aren’t prepared.

I have also thrown in to the top of the box “Where there is No Doctor” and a recent acquisition “The Doom and Bloom Survival Medical Handbook” which I have only flipped through so far, both these books are on my reading list for the weekend.

We have our billy and kettle, the wok and a camp oven.   We plan on making damper and stir frying fish and yabbies, drinking lots of tea and toasting marshmallows and apples.  We have a new lantern, actually two, one with a rechargeable battery in it, it can take batteries too and lasts about 60 hours and the other one is a wind up lantern which doesn’t last so long but is still a light.  We also have our solar shower and our number one and only son has a spear so he can go snorkelling in the river and get crays (they say there are only fresh water crocodiles in the river and they should stay away).

Good thing about camping gear is that while it is good for the fun stuff and for learning bushcraft (like lighting a fire with those stupid flint things that I can't seem to make work but we will be trying again this weekend though we of course have lighters for back up), it is also useful for when the lights go out.  If we have a cyclone or just a blackout, we can still cook and have light, our tools and appliances are manual not electric.

So we a have pile of stuff ready to be put in the back of the truck and I really hope that it will all fit, we used to camp rough but now we like to camp in comfort.  Could do it very basically if we had to, but if it will fit in why leave it behind.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Halloumi Recipe

You know how some weeks are longer than others, well this week have been one of those, I think it was a carry-over from last week.  So here I am and I just feel like I need to run away for a weekend, but I won’t, however I do have a camping weekend to look forward to in a couple of weeks.  My partner in crime and life is organising to go camping and fishing on a station about three hours away, so that can be my run away weekend, I just have to be patient :)

The weather cooled down, then warmed back up and this morning is cool again, so I think it is coming.  We did buy some wood in case we suddenly needed it, but this weekend we are hopefully going out to friend’s and helping them with wood collecting on their place and getting some for ourselves too.

In preparation for the cold I have bought more scarves, was going to make them but found some on sale for a couple of dollars and I can’t make them for that, so we are all scarved up.  I have my purple beanie I made last year plus a big one that has ties on it (daggy but warm), we are also carpeted this year which I think will make a big difference.  I would like to finish insulating the walls and putting up wall sheeting but we will see how we go, I am happy to sit on top of the wood fire, with its red kettle that whistles, to keep warm.  I do have two more hot water bottle covers to finish and we are good to go, I will not be cold.

Here is the Halloumi recipe (did I even spell that correctly last time) and we must be nearly due to make more.


4 Litres whole unhomogenized milk
1 tablet of rennet diluted in ¼ cup cooled, boiled water

Bring the milk to a temperature of 45 degrees C. 
While stirring add diluted rennet.
Stir thoroughly and allow to set for 45 minutes inside incubator or until a clean break is achieved (when cutting curd)
After 45 minutes the curd should be set firm, if not, leave for another 5 to 10 minutes
Cut the curd into 1cm cubes then gently stir for a further 10 minutes until curds are smaller
Scoop curds into a muslin lined strainer
Press the curd in the muslin with a heavy bowl on top till curd is firm
Cut the curd into desired blocks
Bring some eater to the boil in a large pot.
Place Halloumi into the hot water, after 5 to 10 minutes the curd will rise to the surface and then place on a drying rack.
Sprinkle salt all over the cheese and leave to cool
Wrap and store in the fridge, eat within two weeks.
To eat,  grill or fry till soft.

I really need to refresh my gardens and get moving on them.  The snake beans really need replacing, I have been given coriander seeds and I need to get bok choy, pak choy and rocket going plus I have chokos to plant down the creek garden where they will be protected.

I also need to clean out the fridge and mow the garden area (the grass seeds in my pants are driving me crazy).

I have some work in front of me but I think I will have a cup of tea first and work up to it, though even before that, I will hang out the washing.