Friday, 1 April 2016

... facinations of ...



by Simone McPherson
The month of March brought us some beautiful ‘Big Sky’ days where the sky just seems to go on and on forever.

The first year heifers are doing wonderfully even though the pastures are becoming a little scarce and … 

… the dams a getting a little lower each day now, as we get into our Autumn here in Eastern Australia.

We are starting to bring in the mobs with Maxi’s help and it seems as though now that  he is becoming older he looks as if he is getting more and …

… more agile where his work is concerned, can  that be right? However I must admit that at the end of that working day he is truly pooped and just collapses upon the concrete veranda flat as a tack.

We have been getting some of the bulls out as the mobs come as they are suffering from sore feet following the cows and their calves all over the countryside.  it has nearly been three months or so now and they are due to come out of the mob again.  Giving the cows three cycles for them to get into calf, ample time I am told by El Ranchero.

With the change in the weather I too have been busy in my little garden as the Oak leaf lettuces are really starting to flourish …

… and each day I have been picking their beautiful leaves for salads along with the new leaves of the Kale, the Basil, 

... the Italian parsley and the sweet peppery Thai Basil, delicious …

The Bougainvillea’s that I planted nearly a year ago in hope of getting some colour into the little gardens …

… have truly outshone themselves with enduring colour, over and over again just glorious …

… even the geraniums are doing well after a bit of trial and error on soils on my behalf and I think I have finally got it right.  It seems they definitely do not like wet feet or molasses water however they enjoy clay and a bit of gypsum; and definitely no morning sun though they adore the afternoon sun? Interesting, fortunately for me they have been very forgiving and have eventually surpassed themselves in growth and flowers on a minimum of water. 

The little kumquats are busy again putting out another array of their beautiful heady fragrant blossoms and …
 
 … I have also picked all the Kaifer limes off the little tree in readiness for grating/zesting and storing to use later in salads, Asian stir fries, soups and some cake mixes, giving those foods an exquisite and exciting tang …

I have been a bit partial of late in having Biscotti too with my one and only coffee of the day …

I have unintentionally been experimenting with all the different types of recipes and combinations of nuts and so-forth looking for that perfect Biscotti in my minds, taste-buds eye.  I am proud to proclaim that I believe that I have finally come up with a true and tried recipe that I think works well, admittedly I seem to be the only Biscotti-holic that I know of.  Nonetheless this is a Biscotti recipe which you do not end up breaking  your teeth on with your first bite, a recipe that does not turn into mush when you dunk it in your coffee – which I love to do, a recipe that does not taste of cardboard and nothing much else.  

And I truly believe it has to do with the time in which the eggs and caster sugar are whizzed together, until light and fluffy with the addition of a cap full of Brandy instead of Vanilla along with ‘oven’ baked almonds not just toasted over the stove ...

 … a very big difference and the replacement of 100gms of the Low protein flour with a 100gms of Rice flour, for that extra bit of ‘Crunch’ in the Biscotti which I enjoy.  The Low Protein plain flour works well in this mixture too because it can absorb more moisture and sugar than the ‘standard’ flours.  And with the double baking that one does with Biscotti I find it gives the biscuit a better lighter texture.

And on that note I await for what else the month of April has install as I meet it with my newly found perception and fascinations; of understanding the world that is around me I hope the month brings you a fresh insight to what is around you as well  …