Small pickings

It really is very satisfying when things are at a pick-able size and you reap the rewards of patiently waiting and nurturing them into fruition . With broad beans now at their peak, I am trying to use them while they are still small enough to avoid the double peeling that larger ones need. Some of the beetroot is also ready to harvest and some young beets are following giving me  succession harvesting. Along with some silver beet, lettuce and young beetroot leaves there is a great base for a salad. I had to remove some rogue potato plants from a pathway so the young spuds were also put to good use. Fresh lemon juice, some marinated feta cheese and it was a great salad!

 

Windows, paint, electrics and lettuce.

Windows coming unstuck!

We have only been able to open 2 or 3 windows at our ‘new’ old house and even though there are several air pathways under doors, down chimneys and through the timber floors, there is nothing like throwing open the windows and letting a good blast of air in. Luckily there haven’t been too many coats of paint thrown on over the years so they loosened relatively easily. I simply gently hammered a paint scraper in between the window and casement and tapped, did this all the way around and on the exterior until all paint sealing the joints had been broken. I haven’t concentrated on the top section of the sash windows yet, that will evolve!

In the old surgery:

   

Yay, we have lift up!

Lounge room next!

Paint

My new VBF from Moe Paint Spot called in today and the good news is that the surfaces I had thought had been previously coated with calcimine paint aren’t! He also gave me some great tips for cleaning the roof, how to paint the pressed steel ceilings and how to test existing surfaces to see what products we need to use to get the best effect. Nice to know there are still some businesses that offer such great service.

Electrics

More work progressing on having the house rewired. It is so good to be on a break and be able to be on site with the guys so that first hand info regarding needs can be relayed. The boys are quite stunned at the ceilings in some rooms of the house and haven’t seen another like it. Glad that they are happy to share our vision and they really seem ‘stoked’ to work on this project. This is why we chose them and I am pleased it is going well.

Bit scary seeing electrics wrapped in steel.

Lettuce

Bit excited! I have planted some lettuce seedlings into my first wicking bed today. They are still very tiny but incredibly the roots were about 3 inches long. I have covered the bed with some bubble wrap saved from parcels received. This should create a comfy home for them until they grow a bit while this weather is still so unpredictable.

Tomorrow I work on getting the second bed up and running!

Warm Chicken Salad

I always seem to have run out of steam when its dinner time and I’ve had a busy day at work. I like to keep evening meals really simple to prepare, not taking up too much time to cook and to be relatively healthy. As usual I don’t really deal in measurements, it sort of evolves around how much is needed and adjusted accordingly. Too much and it ends up in a lunch box, too little and we can always have an extra treat after dinner! This was tonight’s fare.

Chicken ( cut into short strips), put into a bowl and pour enough sweet chilli sauce in to give chicken a thin coating, stir through and sit till ready to cook.

The other things I am adding to this salad tonight are some onion bread crouton, crunchy potatoes, cucumber, seared cherry tomatoes, beetroot, feta cheese and some fresh herbs. As my bok choy has bolted (if anyone has any solutions to this I’d welcome them), I am throwing in a few leaves and a few of the thin stems. I will quickly throw them in with the chicken for no more than the last minute or so. This changes according to what is available, which tonight isn’t all that much!

I had baked an onion and rosemary loaf of bread on the weekend so used a bit of that to make some crunchy croutons. Cut bread  into whatever size you like, put into pan with smallest amount of olive oil and keep turning until they are nice and golden and very dry and crunchy. Put aside.

Spuds – Wash, peel and cut into small enough bits that they will mix through salad well. I just bunged them into the microwave (covered) for about 5 minutes, waited till steam had evaporated and put them into pan with a ‘plop’ of olive oil. Turn and stir until they have reached the colour you want. There is no reason why both the croutons and the spuds could not just go in the oven and do their thing in there while you prepare other items.

Toss the halved cherry tomatoes into pan that is still hot and cook until they just start to soften, don’t overdo it! Put them aside.

Add chicken to pan and start cooking it off, not too hot, not too cool. Stir occasionally. While cooking tear lettuce into pieces the size you like, slice up some beetroot, finely chop some herbs (tonight mint and oregano), crumble some feta or goat cheese, slice some cucumber  and green capsicum and put with the croutons and spuds. I actually like to put everything into a bowl or plastic bag and swirl everything around to make sure flavours have combined well. When chicken is cooked add this and turn through the mix.

Looks a bit ordinary at this point!

Turn everything out onto serving platter, top with some more cheese, herbs and maybe some spring onion. Really does taste quite tasty!