Wednesday, January 29, 2014

New Blogs ...

I'm always on the look out for new blogs to add to my blog list.  What is your favourite blog and why? - leave a link in the comments so I can check it out! 

Cheers - Joolz xx

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

What I've been up to...

I wrote ths past last Friday and didn't get to post it but thought I may as well anyway. I'll be back with what we got up to on the long weekend a bit later.
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Friday, 24th January, 2014
Making: plans for this weekend. We have friends coming from Melbourne and Kirby is coming home too! Excited!
Baking: more bread rolls in preparation for this Australia Day long weekend. Also I will make lamingtons to have with our cuppas.
Drinking: good red wine, some tea and water.
Reading: Secret Daughter byShilpi Somaya Gowda - enjoying it so far but its slow going as I am tired at night.
Playing: with a new app on my ipad - it has jigsaw puzzles and its quite fun and very relaxing with nice music!
Sewing: not much. I have a top I'd like to take in a bit and there is a supermarket bag that has a hole in it.
Hoping: the weather is fabbo for this weekend - might even get my first swim in for summer!
Bookmarking: some good things here and there...
Wearing: black 3/4 pants (what else!) and a black and white top that I bought in Macy's in San Fran.
Waiting for lots of things to arrive from Fishpond - novels, Bruce Springsteen CD, Rick Stein's India cook book...
Liking: todays temperature - a very liveable 25C.
Knowing: I will be knackered after this weekend...
Wasting: time on the interwebs when I could be knitting, cross stitching, baking, reading... but I love surfing.

Enjoying: Kevin McCloud's Man Made Home on ABC1... 
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... and The Hoarder Next Door - I just can't imagine living like this! 
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 Oh, my goodness!
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I'm looking forward to my other favourite TV shows starting up again - My Kitchen Rules & The Block !
Cheers - Joolz xx

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Dinner on a cray boat ...

Once again, we had a lovely evening. We were aboard Mally's Pride which had been scrubbed and cleaned and didn't smell like a cray boat at all.
As you can see, it was a jolly crowd (I think we all like a drink)!

The table was set nicely and we dined on sweet pickled octopus, cheese platter then a half crayfish each with a lovely salad...

 

 

It got chilly as the night went on but I was prepared and took socks, boots, scarf, gloves and coat to keep me warm - remembering how cold it got last year!

It was a good night indeed!

Cheers - Joolz xx

 

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Bread and Butter Pickles ...

Since I have been following Rhonda at Down-to-Earth, every now and again she puts up her recipe for Bread and Butter pickles. I finally thought it was time to give them a go.
Her recipe is here
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I have no idea what possessed me to come home from work on a Friday, after temperatures have been in the 40C's to make pickles but that's what I did!
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I bought this mandolin a few weeks back and it's fantastic. I don't know how I have never had one before. It made quick work of the lebanese cucumbers, onion and capsicum.
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So here are the vegetables with the salt added. I gave them a stir occasionally. This is left for 3 hours and the water that came out of it was amazing. I was wondering how so little pickling liquid would cover all the veggies when bottled but as the water comes out of the cucumbers, the volume goes down significantly.

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This is all the sugar, vinegar and spices that make the pickling juice. These are all boiled together, ready to pop the veggies in.

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The veggies have just been added to the vinegar mix ...
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... And here they are after just two minutes of boiling.
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I got 5 jars out of this batch. I just use ordinary jars that have had jams etc in them. I sterilised the clean jars by pouring boiling water in them and leaving a minute or two. I also submerge the lids in boiling water too. Then I quickly emptied them and filled with the boiling hot pickles. Make sure you pack them in well then pour extra liquid in right up to the top. Quickly screw on the lids and hopefully they will seal well and the little button on the lid will pop down. Four out of the five popped so that fifth jar has gone straight into the fridge. The other 4 are safe to go into my pantry.
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Here is the finished product. They were very easy to make. Rhonda says to let them cure for 3-4 weeks before eating but one lady commented that she couldn't wait that long and they were delicious straight away! I will try them on Sunday with some cheese and biscuits!

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A cool change blew in at around 6pm so it was lovely to throw open the front and back door and pull up some windows to let the breeze in. All week the house has been closed up and curtains drawn closed, I hated being in the dark!

We had a thunder and lightening storm later last night that brought good heavy rain to settle the dust after the wind whipped up from the North in the afternoon. My garage is a mess of dust, twigs and leaves - a job for Sunday!

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We are off to Robe to the Boat & Fishing Festival - dinner will be on a fishing boat moored at the marina. We went last year - here's the link - http://simplyjoolz.blogspot.com.au/2013/01/dinner-dockside.html

I hope this extreme hot weather is over for now, today its going to be about 25C so that should be pleasant.

Stay cool!

Cheers - Joolz xx

Oops, I couldn't wait! Deeeelicious! :)

 

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Hottest day on record!


Our capital city, Adelaide is bracing for 46C (114.8F) today, making the hottest capital city in the world today! Conditions are perfect for bushfires with gusty northerly winds. There are already fires blazing because of dry lightening strikes.
Outback Tania, in Port Augusta, has already experienced 49.1C (120.3F) this week! Crazy! We got to about 43C yesterday and that was bad enough. I don't think you could breathe the air, it would be that hot!
My garden is holding up okay. We have a sprinkler system which waters early in the morning and I have been moving a manual sprinkler along the back garden so the ground stays moist. Of course, the roses are burning off but that is to be expected.
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I feel sorry for our mechanics who work in a big tin shed - we have industrial fans and provide ice water and icy pole icecreams for them and dont begrudge them having cool down breaks when they need. I would say they will knock off early today, its not worth risking heat stroke.
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Perth in Western Australia has had devastating bushfires and property losses. This morning on the news, it was reported that 4 teenagers had been caught deliberately lighting a fire in grass. Oh, my God! These mongrels need to be locked up for a very long time! My solution would be to take all their worldly possessions, everything they hold dear and put it on a bonfire and light it up in front of them! Next, make them do volunteer duty in a burns unit at a hospital just to see what its like to be burned badly. Then, maybe a stint as a volunteer firefighter, putting their lives on the line in extreme temperatures! If it was my child, I would kick their ass into the middle of next week and make sure all of the above punishments were carried out! It makes my blood boil!!
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Now I've had my rant, its time to get to work. Our air conditioning in our office went on the fritz yesterday so it ain't gonna be pretty, but I will be cooler than our poor mechanics!
Stay tuned for a top temperature report! My Weatherzone app on my phone tells me that Mount Gambier reached 44.1C so we would be much the same.
Cheers - Joolz xx

Monday, January 13, 2014

Hotting up!

 

It was a ripper of a day here yesterday! Sunshine, blue sky and a top temp near 30C.

But its going to get scorching hot during the week ...

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Expected temps for the week :

Monday 35C (95F) - it reached 38.5C at 3.30pm now its starting to cool off.

Tuesday 40C (104F) - it made 43.1C

Wednesday 40C (104F)

Thursday 43C (109.4 F)

Friday 38C (100.4F)

I hope the wind stays away as this creates the biggest bushfire risk. There is a lot of grass fuel around be ause we have had such a wet summer.

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I've been shopping already today, bought a cooked chicken which is now in the fridge and I have salad stuff to make potato salad and a coleslaw.

Stay cool, Aussies!

Cheers - Joolz xx

 

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Wardrobe purge..

 

From this ....

... to this ... in about 30 minutes - I was ruthless and basically have no winter clothes for the coming season! I don't own a pair of jeans!

 

Rustic yeasted loaf ...

I've just got my rustic yeasted loaf out of the oven and I'm really pleased with it....
425g (15oz) bread flour

375g (14oz) water
1 teaspoon find grained salt
1/4 teaspoon dried yeast
semolina, optional
(The dough, mixed up last night - I added 100gms wholemeal flour into the flour quantity)
This was the dough this morning (I just left it covered with a tea towel on my bench overnight).
Looks like an angry mess this morning. I tipped it out onto a heavily floured bench thinking it would be sticky to work with but it came together nicely, I just kept bringing the dough into the centre then turning, into the centre, turning, flouring as neccessary.
I floured up a clean tea towel for it to sit for 30 minutes while the oven and my Le Creuset dutch oven came up to 230C temperature.
The dough ball, ready to be flipped into the well floured pot...
So now, the bottom becomes the top so you get a craggy crusty look...
After one hour, the lid is removed and then you bake a further 15-20 minutes to colour the loaf.
Et voila! A delicious crust loaf...
This bread making caper is so satisfying - every loaf is different, you never quite know how it will turn out.
This is how it looks on the inside. Not bad for using just 1/4 teaspoon of yeast...
We will use some of the loaf to make this deconstructed Steak Sandwich for our dinner tonight - Gus is in charge of that one!
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Here is the steak sandwich - underneath is torn,toasted crusty bread, roasted tomatoes and swiss mushrooms, balsamic caramelised leek then baby spinach dressed with a sour cream mustard sauce and strips of rump steak. Totally delicious!
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Things are a bit busy at the moment for me to get a sourdough starter going, I'll wait until later in the year (winter) to see how that goes.
Now I am off to tackle my wardrobe - the charity shop is going to do well out of me today!
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Cheers - Joolz xx

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