So, 2017. What is planned?

We knew 2016 was going to be a big year and it was. Our first grandchild (I cannot believe he turns 1 on Saturday), a wedding, an overseas trip to Greece and Turkey, our exteno close to finished. In what was an unplanned and somewhat hasty move I decided to pull the plug on a job that was sending me nuts. Best decision I could have made and most importantly, yes, I have a kitchen. A kitchen with everything in the same room, an oven bigger than a pocket handkerchief and a space that is a delight to work and entertain in.

img_1617  Consequently, I find that I am spending a huge amount of time ‘playing’ in this new space. I do struggle some days trying to justify my ‘playtime’, but then remind myself that it has been a very long time since I have had the opportunity to really enjoy being in the kitchen. I love the fact I don’t have to get anxious about fitting whatever I decide to make into a tight timeline but can cruise and enjoy. That is a little hard to get used to but I’m practicing a lot at getting it right!

Because of this my vegetable garden has also been a bit neglected but things seem to be taking care of themselves pretty well considering. A bit of water has been splashed around on those really hot days but the wicking beds seem to be doing their job well. The basic food stuffs are growing  and starting to bear,  tomatoes, capsicum, eggplant, cucumber, pumpkins, chills, beans and herbs. I must add some salad greens next week. I made this little video doing a tour of the veggie patch.

 

So what are the plans for 2017?

Painting is definitely up there. The windows, both new and old all need painting. Mr ATMT is planning on cracking on with painting the outside of the house and that is huge.

We are heading to New Zealand for  4 weeks a little later in the year so I am looking forward to eating (and drinking) our way around both islands at our own leisure.

As always there will be tinkering in the garden with setting up a couple of new areas, moving an old building (the visiting dentist’s room) to create a courtyard off the kitchen and tarting up the front yard a bit.

Bread-lots more bread! I really want to focus on developing more and more skill with sourdough baking. I am concentrating on milling my own grains, using lower hydration starters and creating more baked goods using sourdough. Things such as muffins, pastries, crackers (dry biscuits) and more. These are some sourdough croissants,

15936863_10155014395349455_8363030558073077763_oThese loaves are made using my home milled whole wheat and blending it with organic white flour.15800610_10155009828704455_2292718470782370349_oI have so many friends who want me to do some classes that I need to plan and work out the logistics of how this can happen.

I also want to get back into cheesemaking. I won a few awards at the Red Hill Show many years ago and have done intensive study at Gilbert Chandler University in Werribee. We dug out these old awards when moving ‘stuff’ out of the dentists room we are moving.cheese-awardsI stopped making cheese for a couple of reasons, due to arthritis I had undergone joint fusion in my fingers so I was a bit nervous about lifting 20 litre containers of hot liquid without incident, it was overtaking our home (the old home), kitchen, lounge-room and garage and the family were having to live around all of the paraphernalia and then there was the change in health regs and it became increasingly difficult to source a milk supply from local dairy farmers. This last point is going to be a challenge still, as many of the dairy farmers have opted out of dairying due to the hammering they got from major supermarkets squeezing the cost down to a point where it was just not viable. I would never be able to sell my cheese but is a process I loved doing and friends and family that ate the results loved it. Ah, our nanny state……. one wonders how Europeans have survived for so long.

These things along with spending time with our delightful little fella will take up more time than I imagine now. I might fit in a bit of work too, who knows what the wind will blow in?

 

 

 

 

 

This entry was posted in In The Garden, Renovation, sourdough, Sustainable Living and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

16 Responses to So, 2017. What is planned?

  1. Love the look of those croissants. I am very impressed by anyone who can make cheese. I had a brief foray attempting to make feta… Attempt is the key word in there. Sounds like you are on the right track for 2017.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Anne Wheaton says:

    Your croissants look amazing. How wonderful to have a kitchen again in which to cruise and enjoy – it certainly looks a lovely space to work in. We’ve lost so many dairy farmers around here that sourcing a local milk supply is now impossible – UK and European rules & regs, aggressive buying by the major supermarkets and low prices for a lot of very hard work have led to their demise, which is very sad.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Francesca says:

    I am very keen to see your cheese making in action. what about some cheese making classes? One of the joys of French country travel is finding tiny markets and the lady who has brought along her little cheeses- some fresh, others dried out into little golden nuggets to accompany a good red wine. You have achieved a great deal this year Maree. wishing you all the best with your plans for the new year..

    Liked by 1 person

  4. foodnstuff says:

    Life sounds very satisfying for you. Giving up a job, especially one you don’t like, is a major achievement. I’m sure you won’t be bored! Well done with it all. Will be keen to see your cheesemaking efforts although all I’ve done is fresh ricotta; don’t seem to have time for anything more complex. But….wish your videoing was as good as your cooking. 😉 So fast with that camera, I got giddy! Nice and sloooow, leaving it on each spot for a few seconds, so we can drink it all in. (I must try and do a video sometime, too.) Looks all very lush and healthy.

    (Batch of muffins in the toy oven this morning….worked well…bread the other day, not so good. Have a blogpost almost ready to go about it all).

    Liked by 1 person

    • fergie51 says:

      Ha ha Bev. I hadn’t actually planned that video just threw it in really. Didn’t mean to cause motion sickness! When I cooked bread, I cooked it inside a cast iron pot that I took the lid of handle off so it would fit in. Top temp, 20 minutes lid on, drop temp to about 190, 20 minutes lid off (or however long it took to cook) with a loose cover of foil to prevent top element burning loaf.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Glenda says:

    Hi Maree, you will be wondering soon how you found time to work. It is the good life. Enjoy it.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Nicole says:

    Your veggie patch is so amazing! I am looking into setting up a few raised beds to grow herbs and tomatoes but I am not a gardener at all and know nothing about those things. The video has inspired me to give it a go. I love the variety and independence you have with all your produce! Wonderful!

    Like

    • fergie51 says:

      Hi Nicole, thanks for visiting. As another blogger pointed out, it was a bit of a quick dash through the patch but I think it gives a general idea. I would suggest to start small, keep it manageable and as you get more confident expand accordingly. Good luck!

      Like

  7. Time passes so quickly, the best thing to do I find is to make sure to do those things you want to, to mark them off throughout its flight. And take photos, load them onto Instagram, FB or blog about them so as you have done so you can look back and say I did that, otherwise it can become a blur.

    Like

  8. The kitchen looks awesome! Well done. Extremely impressive effort on the croissants too.

    Liked by 1 person

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