Posted by: Mindy | March 29, 2013

Easter Baking 2013

After years of thinking ‘I should do that’ I have finally done some Easter baking using Beefaerie’s Hot atheist buns recipe.

I did a check through the spices and, suprisingly, found I had the right ones and plenty of plain flour so off I went.
Everything went fairly smoothly, although there was a moment when I was worrying that the yeast was going to bubble all over the counter.

Clear plastic jug filled with brown frothy liquid threatening to spill over the top

Clear plastic jug filled with brown frothy liquid threatening to spill over the top

The dough came together well, although I think I needed a little more milk or possibly a bigger egg or both as it wasn’t quite as sticky as expected. The eight minutes of kneading seemed to go on forever, but I could feel by the texture of the dough when it became ‘elastic’. I divided it roughly in half and put fruit in one half and white choc chips in the other. Next time I would use about half as much fruit. These buns have dried cranberries, sultanas and currants.

Dough and dried fruit

Dough and dried fruit

Dough with white choc chips in the centre.

Dough with white choc chips in the centre.

Once I had kneaded in the fruit and the choc chips I put the dough into covered bowls and put them out onto the verandah to rise.

Bowls covered with teatowels sitting on the verandah in the sun

Bowls covered with teatowels sitting on the verandah in the sun

When I checked them an hour later the fruit dough had risen nicely, but the white choc chip one was still a bit flat so I left if for another half hour.

Fruit dough in bowl, nicely risen

Fruit dough in bowl, nicely risen

I didn’t have a swiss roll tray or a square tin so I used a rectangular slice tin and a pizza tray instead. The bottoms of the buns got a bit overcooked, but I think I also need to check the temp of my oven.

Fruit buns ready for baking.

Fruit buns ready for baking.

The fruit buns smelt glorious while baking, although they only took about 25 minutes. I discovered at 6pm (on Good Friday) that I didn’t have any gelatine so they are unglazed. The symbols on top are supposed to be spirals but I couldn’t find my piping gear either so they are sort of ‘Circles of Life’ which is the closest I could get to something that wasn’t completely crap.

Baked Easter buns with rough circles on top.

Baked Easter buns with rough circles on top.

The white choc chip ones are more like a pull-apart because I cooked them on a round pizza tray. They took about 35 minutes in the oven, but after the first 20 I covered them with foil so the tops didn’t burn. I put an extra tray underneath to try to protect the bases a bit more too, but they are still a bit firm on the bottom.

White choc chip Easter buns in a pull-apart

White choc chip Easter buns in a pull-apart

They taste fantastic and will do very nicely. Next time I should remember to add a touch extra milk and use a larger egg or perhaps an egg and a half if they are little. Many thanks to Beefaerie for the recipe and how to tips.

Posted by: Mindy | September 27, 2012

It must be Spring

We are painting the house again. When I say we, I’m providing moral support and occassionally picking up a paintbrush while hubby does the bulk of it. I have saved him hours of mind numbing tedium by taping up the windows before we paint the window frames though. You can just paint straight onto the glass and scrape if off later with a paint scraper, but I’ve done that before and I find it even more soul destroying than taping the windows in the first place. Plus when you tape you get to pull off the tape leaving (if you have been careful enough) lovely clean lines of painted wood and clean glass. Unfortunately this also means that you can see how dirty the windows are and have to clean them inside and out. Or at least I do.

We have been wanting to change the basic colour of the house for a while now but were having difficulty deciding on a colour scheme. We have seen a few we liked but they were all on small weatherboard cottages and we weren’t sure how it would translate to a bigger weatherboard house. Then at Easter we visted my brother and his family in Queensland and across the road from them was a beautiful two storey weatherboard Queenslander house with a colour scheme hubby instantly fell in love with. I was sceptical at first, but now I have to agree that it was a good choice.

We have been getting colour advice from friends of ours who have a good eye for colour. One of them suggested that we paint the front door a different but complementary colour. So I went looking at heritage reds and greens. Then I saw a colour and instantly knew it had to be that. I knew hubby would be sceptical but I went for it anyway. It will look awesome I assured him. He believed me.

And that is how we came to have a purple front door. I like it. Which is good, because it will be very tough to paint over!

Purple door

Posted by: Mindy | December 18, 2011

December at my place

Bluemilk has a post on ‘December looks like this (2011)‘ and has invited everyone to play. Since it has been a while since I have posted anything here, I decided to kick off again with a photo essay on ‘December looks like this (2011)’.

First up:

It doesn’t look like it will ever be my turn to have the remote.

We need to get onto the weed control.

Hoping for a good crop of apples.

Looking forward to warm afternoons picking and eating raspberries straight from the canes.

Some lovely things emerging from the garden after the danger of frost is gone.

The Xmas tree is up early, groaning under the weight of its decorations and the occassional kitten.

We haven’t escaped the Goddam Craft, this came home from school, I suspect it is a great way to use up time and old Womans Weeklys.

It is only day two of the holidays and already two glasses of milk have been spilt on the floor. February seems such a very long time away.

Posted by: Mindy | July 17, 2010

Artoo and Sweepyswio

We got two new chookies today at the Markets. Well the last one from the markets and another one that the people selling the chooks went to pick up because they had sold out today and were bringing in spares. Can you guess that I didn’t get to call them Henrietta and Beatrice as planned.

So introducing:

Artoo (the smaller of the two)

(image of dark rust red coloured chook, an Isa Brown)

and Sweepyswio

(image of a brownish rusty red colour chook)

and from the back.

(image of two chicken bottoms).

They seem to be friends already. We will probably get another two tomorrow. Names suggested have been Vada and Palpetyne.

Posted by: Mindy | July 15, 2010

First Test Fire

Posted by: Mindy | July 14, 2010

Pizza Oven #8

Despite the lack of blogging, work has continued on the pizza oven.

Chimney is in, insulation is on, chicken wire is on. Render has been applied. Packing sand and pots have been removed from the oven.

Posted by: Mindy | June 27, 2010

Pizza Oven #7

Work on the dome has continued and the internal part of the dome was finished today. Over the top of this will be an insulating coat.

Posted by: Mindy | June 19, 2010

Pizza Oven #6

Work has been continuing on the pizza oven, despite the cold weather. Now that the base is finished, the actual oven is being built. The first level of bricks has been put in and the floor of the oven put in. Then the sides were reinforced and the door arch built. A sand mould has been made today – this will support the bricks above as the mortar dries and will then be scooped out. I think there are also some garden pots in there taking up space so it didn’t use up as much sand. As I type the next course of bricks is being laid around the mould but it is cold and getting dark and I’m too lazy to take pictures again today.

ETA: I didn’t know it at the time, but this day¬†was Juneteenth. Juneteenth is the celebration of the abolition of slavery in the United States. It has been celebrated for 145 years and is a holiday in 36 US States. Now you know.

Posted by: Mindy | June 19, 2010

Farmers Market

Went again today. Not as many people today, but it was cold and miserable which may have kept some people at home. Still quite busy though. Layout was better this time, the fruit and veg man had a whole shed to himself and needed it too. Some new stall holders, lots more stuff from the ones who came to the first one and a sausage sizzle made it really good.

My haul: 2 lamingtons, a kg of Pink Lady apples, sourdough loaf, 6 bagels, 1/2 kg diced lamb, dutch donuts (they didn’t last long), hummus, beetroot dip, sausage sanger and a drink of fresh juice. Also bought some cauliflower seedlings for the garden, but they will have to wait until I get to the hardware shop to buy slug and snail killer to stop them being eaten the moment I plant them.

There was a lady there selling chooks, I almost bought some but decided not to test fate so soon. She said she was local though, so if our plan to adopt a friend’s chooks doesn’t work I know where to find some lovely looking chooks.

Posted by: Mindy | June 17, 2010

Fox #2

Things caught in the fox trap:

One white cat (lives around here somewhere)

One black and white cat (ours)

One black and white collie dog (friend of neighbours)

One (now deceased) fox.

It doesn’t bring the chookies back, but it won’t be taking anyone else’s chookies either.

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