Friday, August 2, 2013

Moving right along....

In the local paper today, there is a report that we have had the warmest July for 12 years. I'm not too sure about that... There have been quite a few mornings where the grass was crispy white from the frost. The paddocks are green, but the grass is not growing much. It is still too cold. Many farmers in the district are struggling to feed their cattle. We did not get any rain last Summer, and when it did start raining in Autumn, we didn't get much growth on the pastures. The garden is at it's barest right now. There are a few determined shrubs showing a little bit of colour. 
I'm not sure what this purple flower is. I got a few cuttings from the local co-op. They had a row of these lovely bushes growing along the edge of the car park. Yes, I did ask!  
The magnolia is starting to put on buds. Soon it will be covered in beautiful pink flowers. In the background you can see the calves and one of the mothers. On the far left is Thursday II. In the centre is Sunday. On the right is Thursday, who is Sunday's mother. Confused? Missing from the pic is the boss cow, Eileen.

We had a little burn off a few evenings ago. Frans has been piling dead branches and debris on the fire pile for a few weeks. We had a few dry days in a row which meant that the stack would hopefully burn when lit! 
When preparing for a burn, there are important steps to be taken. Wine must be poured and music must be selected. 

A few sprinkles of diesel and the fire is lit. Note: Never use petrol!

Work on the cabin is progressing. Last week we had a friend, Martyn, down from Melbourne for a few days. He and Frans finished off the deck and started on the roof beams.

Then on Sunday, the cavalry arrived. Michael our chippy mate and his very capable friend Adrian came to help. 
An idea of what the view will be like from inside the cabin. I could handle that for a weekend!
My job was to keep the men fed and watered. Morning tea was homemade scones and farm jam.  
A much nicer building site than what they're used to in the city!
When you know what you're doing, things go really quickly! 

By lunch time on Monday the deck roof beams were up and the sliding door was in place.
After lunch the side weather boards started coming off. 
Michael checking the plans.  
This is the bedroom. Airy....

After the boys left on Tuesday, Frans and I attached the blue stuff (there's a special name for it... ) to keep the weather out. Next week we have a framing inspection. Then it's on to removing the old roof and replacing it with a new one. 

And meanwhile in the kitchen....

Another batch of our every popular Worcestershire Sauce being bottled. 
And there was a day of cheese making. I'm trying a new recipe here. This is Normandy Style Camembert. I'll let you know how it turns out!

Time is marching on and Sara and Stephen's wedding is drawing closer by the day. So I decided to made a big batch of Vin d' Orange. In other words.. Orange Wine. I made some last summer and it is rather moreish! It's delicious on ice, on its own served chilled, mixed with mineral water or splashed into a glass of bubbles. I bought inexpensive white wine from Aldi and got cracking.

 Once all the ingredients are cut up, mixed and added to the large jars, all that is left is to put them in a dark cupboard for 6 weeks then bottle them. (Keep the wine bottles for this!)
In six weeks we'll enjoy a new batch of this lovely French style aperitif.
Here's to a great weekend!

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