Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Home made cream cheese

first stage
 I thought that I would share this recipe of making cream cheese, as it is dead easy and absolutely cost efficient compared to buying the ready made kind from the shops. It also leaves you with a great sense of achievement when you arrive at the end product and it is as good as the best you will find in the shops. 
After 1 day and turned out.
 Recipe : You will need. 2lt Amasi First Choice sour milk (I found this brand the best to work with), a 10lt bucket or similar container, flour sieve or colander and a cheese cloth, or a dish cloth.
stirred into a smooth consistency with salt and pepper
  • Place the cloth in the sieve suspended over your bucket. Make sure the sieve wont fall in.  
  • Pour the Amasi into the cloth and cover with a plate. 
  • Let it stand for a day or two to drain somewhere cool, out of the reach of cats and dogs (this happened to us), to allow all the whey to drain out.  
  • Then gather the corners of your clothe to pick up your cheese and turn it out into a bowl like we          did in the photo's above.
  • Give it a good stir, adding salt and black pepper to taste. You can then be as creative as you like, adding chilli, herbs and perhaps even some shredded biltong for the meat eaters. 
  • Keep refrigerated and enjoy!.                                                                                                            
cream cheese ,avo and tomato sandwich on homemade rye bread

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Superstitious Cobra

I had to go Uniondale to have an x-ray taken of an odd blue hued lump under an old scar from a heart op I had two years ago. Uniondale is about 70km from where we live. My bakkie ( truck ) finally gave up the ghost, so our only form of transport in and out of the farm, is a Honda 200cc Bushlander, which copes with the dirt road exceedingly well but is a bit slow when it comes to tar, as the bike's top comfortable speed is about 90/80 km per hour.
Luckily for me, I have friends that stay the little hamlet of Harlem, 58km from where we live, and as they were going to do their weekly shop in Uniondale, they gave me a lift there. The trip to Uniondale was great as we chatted and caught up on news while traveling through the famous Uniondale Pass which is really stunningly beautiful, if you love the Klein Karoo landscape.
After arriving in Uniondale, they dropped me off at the hospital and we arranged to meet 2 hours later giving us all more than enough time to complete our separate missions. We said goodbye and we parted ways looking forward to our reunion in 2 hours time, followed by lunch back at their farm.

Two hours later, miraculously,  I walked out. I say miraculously, because, as you know, anything to do with governmental hospitals,  usually takes forever and a day. As I walked out of the hospital,  my friends arrived,  looking quite happy to see me walking out the door on time. They informed me that Rae (my gorgeous better half) had sent them an SMS (I never carry a cell phone) that I should contact her immediately and that the moment I was finished at the hospital, I should come home. I obviously thought, "what the f#@^k", because for me to get home, would take at least an hour and a half. What could be so urgent? My friends suggested that I give Rae a call and find out if there was some kind of emergency, which I duly did. My daughter answered and said that "Mom" wanted me to come home because there was a huge Cobra in the garden and she was terribly worried about our dogs.
"O my sack!", I exclaimed and informed her to remind Mom that by the time I got home, it would be gone and in fact, it had probably already disappeared. She agreed with me and said that mom was just in a panic. I could quite understand this because I am always been around to take care of snake incidents. I always catch and release them again, somewhere far away.

When I got home, I got the details of the story! Rae had organized for the next door farm labourer's wife, Silvia, to come and help her clean the house. Silvia was busy in our bedroom cleaning the windows, when she saw a Cobra slithering towards the house and Cossie (the cat in the pic above) ambling along the lawn in a direct trajectory to cross paths with the Cobra. The Cobra was, apparently, equal in length to my daughters height (157cm). Silvia saw the snake and let out an almighty scream that had everyone running to see what was going on, only to find her pointing out of the window. Looking out the window, they were just in time to see Cossie coming face to face with the cobra! The Cobra reared up and hissed at Cossie and Cossie followed suite by standing on her back legs with front paws poised in classic kung-fu pose and hissed. The Cobra, deciding this black cat was not one to cross paths with, then lowered itself and slithered away in a wide arc off into the Fig tree...... wow, I wish I had witnessed this! After hearing this story, we all went to check the Fig tree, there was no Cobra to be seen!.

This happened a few months ago and we have never seen the Cobra again! Yay to Cossie!

Below is a pic of the garden bounty on the same day: Basil, peppers, tomatoes, carrots and butternut. I guess it was just another day on the farm!

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Time for Tomato Canning!

STEP 1: Put all your tomatoes into a pot or glass dish. Poor boiling water over them until they are all covered. The boiling water will cause the tomato skins to "pop" making them easier to peel.

STEP 2: While the tomatoes soak, you can chop up 2 large onions.
STEP 3: After a few minutes the tomato skins will pop open (see above) and can be peeled.

Here are the tomatoes once they are peeled and cored.

STEP 4: In a big pot, fry the onion until lightly brown.

STEP 5: Add the tomatoes and use a wooden spoon to squish them up. Leave them to cook on a low heat until the sauce thickens . Herbs such as basil and rosmary can be added as well as some salt and pepper.

STEP 6: Steralise your jars and lids placing them in a pot full of water with its lid on and bring it to boil for 5min and then let it simmer for 30 min thereafter, before putting your sauce in them. If you don't steralise your jars your sauce will go off.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Christmas eve honey extraction

A beautiful photo of the frames for the "supers" which is the box that goes above brood box. The "supers" is the box where all the honey is stored by the little lady bees and the brood box is where the queen resides and all little workers get made that keep the colony fed and provide us with honey.. I use these to replace any frames that get damaged in the extraction process.

first full frame of the day . Rae took the pic from a distance lol
We had run out of our own honey that I had last extracted in autumn and we were forced to buy honey in town to use in our soap and for our own personal consumption. I have been working on a restoration project at the Institute of Objects Conservation in nearby Twee Riviere and had not had the time to extract honey.
After tasting the bought honey, Rae insisted that our honey tasted far better and gave up eating her banana, honey and cinnamon toast which she eats every morning. So the pressure was on and  I also knew that my hives were laden with honey that the nectar that the bees had harvested through winter from aloe, heather and certain Protea species and that honey is yummy!
My two helpers
On Christmas Eve, we harvested honey from 10 hives and got 3.5 x 20 liter buckets of honey. Thought I would just mention that on the last Christmas Eve, I was stuck in the middle of a river in a Land Rover with an artist and his paintings, a Dominee (Minister) and a nurse (the Dominee's wife) and no lights......it was awesome and I will tell the story some time!
Yahoo honey flow