Putting things together.

We are very close to the finishing stages of our kitchen and exteno project. IMG_8852I’m in the process of moving everything from the temporary kitchen, the old dentist room, the shed and the spare bedroom into our new kitchen. So far all the bits are fitting in beautifully and I will have oodles of space to store everything. I’m being ruthless and items not thought about, used in 12 months or damaged are going straight to the op shop pile or tossed.  We still haven’t got water and gas connected in the kitchen but we do have it in the laundry so we have been able to clear the plastic table and babies bath out from the bathroom and can wash dishes in the laundry. This has been the greatest challenge I’ve faced with this whole experience. I really didn’t like having a loo in the dishwashing area!IMG_8848We can now work on plans for renovating this bathroom. The part with insulation is where we have extended the wall out from the existing room. Love the drapes? 2 shower curtains that do the job well enough. We still have to do a few jobs but it is certainly well on the way to completion and the space is working extremely well.IMG_8887 IMG_8859I’m still using the 2 butane gas camping stoves and hope this box of butane cans is the last I will need to buy for home use. They are an excellent product and you can cook everything on these cookers, I suspect there may even be times when I take one outside to the verandah to cook with.  IMG_8904We had friends around for tea last night and I felt like doing something ‘Asian’ so went to the gorgeous Dumpling Sisters website for some inspiration. My first exposure to the Dumpling Sisters was when Celia posted about their fantastic home made dumplings and I made the wrappers from scratch. Their dumplings are great and the wrappers are oh so easy! Anyway, for this meal I made their Mapo Tofu, well, it was improvised based around what I had and what I couldn’t get locally. I didn’t have chilli bean sauce so I used black bean sauce and added some chilli sauce and some of my home made chilli paste. I couldn’t get soft tofu, so I used hard but fried it off first to give it a nicer texture. I used veal instead of beef as I had taken some out of the freezer earlier to make  dumplings with. I added fresh beans, omitted the black beans and served with chopped red capsicum and spring onions. It was delicious!IMG_8863Next  up was their ‘One Pot Cauli Satay’. I’m not a huge fan of satay but I love cauliflower and really enjoyed this meal. I added a chicken thigh fillet, halved the curry powder (Keens) and also added peas. This was great! Glad I cut back on the curry as I was concerned that it would be too hot, but with using half it turned out to be just right.IMG_8864For desert (very unusual for us) I made lychee and orange sorbet. This was absolutely delicious, served with our freshly picked oranges that had been segmented and sitting in their own juice for a couple of hours. I only made half the recipe and it was more than enough for the four of us. We still have some in the freezer for when I need a hit. This would have to be one of the easiest and lightest of deserts I have ever made. It was perfect for finishing off the chinese style  dishes and cleansing the pallette.IMG_8870Today I bottled my Kombucha, I added ginger to 2 bottles and left one plain. I believe this will now do a 2nd fermentation in the bottle resulting in a bubbly beverage. Fingers crossed. I made a fresh batch with the scoby and a fresh batch of sweet black tea. Like the reflection on the bottles!IMG_8898I love my soda stream,  I have had one since they were first released and came with small glass bottles. I love the concept and my main reason for using one is to avoid all the plastic bottles soda water comes in. We usually use fresh fruit or lime cordial that you can buy in glass bottles for flavouring. I wasn’t really happy when I read this on the side of one of their new style bottles. Why on earth would these have such a short shelf life? Some research is called for here, but I suspect I might be going back to an old fashioned soda syphon that come with metal gas bombs and a steel carbonation chamber. IMG_8892I’m working on getting better results with baking bread in my new oven but I must say, the Sunbeam Pizza Bake N Grill is hard to match! Still a way to go but it does taste great.IMG_8874My capacola is doing what it should be doing. Not smelly, no blowflies, no mould and it actually smells wonderful. I’ll watch the conditions carefully and if it starts to warm up I’ll take it our daughters house which has a very cool and humid underfloor area.IMG_8856We’ve been picking oranges and amazingly Rene has been laying eggs. She is over 4 years old and we thought she’d lost it but it appears we were wrong. This equates to pretty much one a day. IMG_8851I’m impressed!

This entry was posted in Baking, Bread, Chickens, Fruit, Preserving, Renovation, sourdough, Sustainable Living, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

14 Responses to Putting things together.

  1. Orange and lychee sorbet sounds great. Thanks for the link to the Dumpling Sisters blog. Love their book. Sounds like the kitchen is almost there!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Glenda says:

    Hi Maree, I told you, you would miss that little oven. No big new oven will ever be as good!! Your kitchen is looking fab. We lived off a two gas burner for years in the shed. We cooked just about everything on it. It is amazing how little you really dooooo need.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. So happy that these recipes turned out nicely for you!! I also like adding peas to the cauliflower satay too. And your sorbet looks better than mine!! Such a fine grain and the addition of extra orange wedges looks beautiful ^_^

    Liked by 1 person

    • fergie51 says:

      Taste more important than looks, taste was brilliant. Thank you for sharing your lovely recipes! The oranges were beautiful, especially as they were from our own tree.

      Like

  4. ladyredspecs says:

    The kitchen looks fabulous Maree, you must be well pleased.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. foodnstuff says:

    Oh, that kitchen is looking great! You really needed it, because you do so much cooking…..your efforts put me to shame, but there’s only me to cook for now and I get so tired after working outside, I just don’t want to bother when I come in.
    I’ll check out those soda water bottles in my supermarket….I’m interested in what plastic they’re made of. A warning like that would worry me too. I have a huge stock of glass containers and generally transfer stuff out of plastic as soon as I buy it.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. EllaDee says:

    I love seeing the pics of your exteno… it’s great seeing an old house being given a new life.
    We bought a soda syphon to use at TA but when the soda stream died and then it’s warranty replacement as well we put the soda syphon to fulltime use, and it’s travelling in the nannavan with us. I buy the chargers in bulk off ebay. We use it for wine spritzers, or like you add a little fresh lime. At the moment we’re using the plastic soda stream bottles for cold water in the van fridge as they are lighter & less breakable than glass but will swap them for glass bottles as they’ll be out of date about the time we get home.
    Your version of Mapo Tofu looks and sounds delicious. It’s a dish I’m a big fan of 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Kitchen is beautiful! And I am very impressed with your curing efforts and will be interested in how it turns out. Delicious sounding dinner.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Jan says:

    I’m impressed with Renee as well, my chicken stopped laying at 2 1/2. The kitchen looks fantastic and I can’t wait to see how the bathroom turns out.

    Liked by 1 person

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