Monday, 15 June 2015

Soda Water Scones

Yesterday was such a busy day here as is usual on most Sundays. The weekends are when we can both get lots of jobs done.
I was half expecting people to drop in for afternoon tea so I whipped up a batch of scones to be at the ready, just in case.
My scones used to be very hit and miss, usually turning out perfectly when there was just us and no one to impress, but just as soon as I was trying to make the perfect scones for guests, well.... you can guess the rest.
I found a perfect recipe that is easy and turns out impressive scones that the harshest critics could not fault. I guess Lemonade scones are no surprise to most of you, but my adaptation of them is now a winner here.
We found them a bit too sweet so I use soda water instead of the lemonade. We never have lemonade sitting around in our cupboards, never drink the stuff, but we do always have soda water on hand.

  Soda Water Scones 

3 cups SR Flour  (or plain flour with Baking Powder added)
1 teaspoon castor sugar
1 cup of cream (a good opportunity to use up that cream that's getting a bit old)
pinch of salt
1 cup soda water
Mix with a knife until the mixture comes together. It may be necessary to add a small bit of milk if the mixture is too dry.
It's important not to over work scones. Just bring it all together, tip onto a lightly floured surface and press out with a "light hand" as my mum would say, to a thickness of approximately 2 cm or 1 inch.
I believe it's best not to use a rolling pin which can overwork the mixture.
Cut out with a scone cutter or a glass dipped in flour after each cut.  Place close together on a baking tray, brush the tops with milk and bake in a hot oven - 200deg - for approx 15 mins or until golden brown and well risen.

Or cut with a knife & spread slightly apart on the baking tray. The latter seems to be the new trend, but who of us is trying to keep up with a trend?  Handy to know though when a scone cutter is not available when staying with friends who don't cook or away on holiday in the caravan and the craving for scones is impossible to ignore.

                            Enjoyed for morning tea with peach jam and Daisy's fresh cream.

I packed the remaining scones, six to a bag, and put in the freezer. They reheat very well.
A few seconds in the microwave and then approximately 5 minutes in a hot oven.
Lucky me, I have the wood oven burning at all times at the ready.

Thursday, 11 June 2015

I should have plaits and wear a dirndl

                               Camembert with white mould beginning to appear

It's been awhile between blogs and although there is so much to write about there never seems to be the time.
I'm in my element now that Daisy is producing the loveliest milk for me to continue my passion for cheese-making. I'm learning new things with every batch and having such fun experimenting.
Too frugal to pay out for a course or workshop, I'm ever thankful for the world wide web and the information at my fingertips. I have a love of improvising and experimenting which I can afford to do by making small batches, (the chooks rarely get my failures now) and having plenty of lovely raw milk from our own cow.
I really must remember to carry my camera across to the dairy one evening so I can show you the funniest sight of all three calves suckling from Daisy. Yes, the very same Daisy who would NOT accept a foster calf.
We are still supplement feeding the two bobby calves while Daisy's calf feeds solely from her mum, but we catch sight of them frequently, all three on the udder at once.
When I need milk for the house (and for cheese) I separate the calves from Daisy in the morning. In the evening we milk Daisy but leave a little in the udder for her calf Dusty. Apparently, cows will always hold back enough milk for their calf, but I always turn off the machine before she runs dry.
We pour fresh milk from the bucket into the calf feeders for Blackie & Jordie who slurp hungrily at their 2 litres each whilst Daisy stands blissfully as Dusty has his full.
All three calves are then released to spend the night with Daisy and the other cows, no doubt catching little suckles during the night.

We went back to the Market today with 27 of the lambs we bought a few months ago. Do you remember me telling you how small and dirty they were? We brought them home, cleaned them up, turned them out in the paddocks and watched them grow.
Well, it's never really quite that simple. We checked them daily for fly strike (maggots), grass seeds in eyes, ears and non- mentionable parts of anatomy, and had them shorn in January.
We paid $42 each for them and today sold them for $115 each!! Not bad eh?
Needless to add that no, we did not splurge on fripperies with our profits. That money will go towards the new (to us) tractor, or the hay cutting contractor, or one of many expenses that crop up during the year, including a month of holidays.

So, my mission for the following weeks is to take more photos, but there is cheese to be made so I can't promise anything.

Living the simple life requires frugality in just about everything we do, so I do believe it's time to share our little tips of frugality or "what Nanna would have done".
What do you do to save a little bit here and there? 
My tip for today is to use less. Yes, just use less. Less dish detergent, less washing powder, less hand wash.  The manufacturers want you to buy more so they instruct us to use a certain amount which is really double what is required to do the same job.
If you have a dish washer (I don't but I did this at my daughter's home last month) cut the detergent tablets in half. Same effect of cleaning and the packet of (expensive) dish tabs lasts twice as long.
I look forward to hearing some of your tips.
It's winter, it's cold, dress warm, put on another layer and turn the heater down.
Cheers until next time.

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