Thursday, December 16, 2010

What's cooking....?

 An unexpectedly cold day arrived and we were confined to the four walls of our little farmhouse today, but happily so, as we desperately needed the rain that our fellow country men have been getting in the Cape. On the itinary for the day was baking bread, making jam and getting a soap order together. Above, is a picture of myself grinding our own wheat to make our own bread. Once you start to eat your own bread from freshly ground flour, you will never enjoy shop bought bread again. This process is as simple as buying a grinder and buying a 50 kg sack of wheat (if you dont have your own homegrown wheat). A 50kg sack goes a long way on for an average family of four. You can also grind mealies and have your own polenta or mielie meal and this combined with produce out of your veggie patch, makes for a very healthy and self-sufficient lifestyle.
 Above is the dough, ready to rise. After a bit of practise, this bread only takes 15 to 20 min of preparation, about 2 hours of rising time and you will have fantastic wholesome bread. Not to mention the lovely aroma eminating through the house, while it's baking in the oven. The smell of bread baking, is one of the aroma's that every family member and friends will remember, whenever they think of homemade bread. If you are in the vicinity when our bread comes out the oven, Rae always makes sure that you get a nice chunky piece with a fat spread of butter,  to stave off the hunger that the oven smells have brought on. If you don't get any and try to steal.... there are serious repercussions!


Our beautiful wrapped soap, ready to go off to a customer. In the background you will see a big block of soap that has just come out of the mould, that I am still going to cut up.

Rae has the apricots simmering on the dover stove, 2kg of apricots ( from our own trees) gives us three huge mayonnaise jars and one little jar of jam. Just a word of advice, it seems that you can't do more than 3.5kg at a time, as the jam then seems to go dark brown, or even black.

More simmering. Its the perfect day for the stove to be going.

"T-bone" the dog, taking advantage of the lovely warm stove. As a matter of fact, this is his permanent spot  throughout winter. He had a hard time staking his claim on this crate, as we have now have nine dogs, compared to the three we arrived here with.

Yummy, yummy apricot jam simmering, whohoooo.

Our "Fynbos" soap and the "Olive & Coconut" soap, all nicely cut up and ready to go off to the curing room for 4 weeks.

Rainy weather outside with fruit trees and the beehive being buffeted by the rain

My dog "Bullet", alias,"Bully" or "Mister B". Bullet and T-Bone are brothers.

The Jacaranda tree is also taking a beating, can you see the carpet of fallen flowers.

Bread's out and I must say, they look like a pair of hot buns. Below we have the loaves along with the apricot jam. Right now, it's just getting dark and we are all holed up inside, in the kitchen with all the dogs, all nice and cosy with the little black belly Dover Stove, our supper on top and everyone nice and warm, with the falling rain outside.


Anonymous said...

ah, what beautiful homey pictures! lucky, lucky people!

Rina ... also Chester or Daisysmum. said...

Glad to see you're back, love reading about you guys. Wonder what happened to Alex and Michele?

Where did you buy that mill is it new? Name and Address please I want one.
Merry Christmas and Happy new Year,
Stay safe

Dani said...

T & R - loved the peek inside your world / house, and seeing your stove in operation LOL.

See you have a little window next to the stove - ventilation / draught?

And I LOVE your flour mill - how long does it take you to grind flour? Where did you find it? What else do you have that's hand operated?

Helen said...

That looks like a wonderful way to spend a rainy day!

African Bliss said...

The mill belongs to a friend of mine and is pretty hard work. I will be recieving my own, which is a smaller model that I will fit in the kitchen maybe.We will then grind as we need. Iwll then aalso give yu all the particulars on where to find it.
Dani, I put that window in to provide a bit of air circulation, because as you know things can get pretty toasty when cooking on " the old Dover", and I geuss it also adds a bit of character.