It’s been a long time between blogs, but that doesn’t mean life’s been quiet.
We had a wonderful time on Monte Casino near New Norcia minding the animals for Pam and Carson whilst they holidayed in Bali. Tic the dog won our hearts, and managed to let us spoil her rotten with nights inside by the open fire, duck egg omelettes for breakfast, and tours of the farm in the ute with us.
The 26 chickens layed around 18 eggs a day, the ducks one each, so it was eggs on the menu for us and Tic most days. Poached, fried, scrambled, lazy, omelette, salad-we had it all! I also found time to make another quadrupled batch of Maggie Beers Tomato Saffron Relish using the last of my Carnarvon tomatoes.
Whilst on the farm, we took a few drives to find some of the wild flowers the area is known for, visited the Benedictine monastery at New Norcia and went to town (Moora) a couple of times. We also had to make a quick visit into Perth to vote in the Federal Election (not that our votes helped the outcome). We mistakenly thought we’d be able to do our out of state voting in Moora, but no, the closest poling booth to do that was in Midland, Perth!
Pam and Carson and kids arrived home from a great holiday in Bali, we spent two nights with them then headed into Perth to stay with Blair and Leah leaving our van and boat stored at the farm in a super(phosphate) shed.
Leah had recently had a foot operation and we were arriving to help with cooking, shopping, driving her to and from appointments and to work and back. She is unable to drive for 6 weeks at least, so all of that is continuing. We are also here to look after Leah’s elderly cat Cosmo as they have a busy time with travel coming up. Cosmo is 16 and in pretty good health right now but he’s kept that way with daily insulin injections and thyroid tablets. He’s also quite particular about what he likes to eat these days so needs someone that knows him to care for him. We did our first baby sitting job over the WA long weekend just gone-everything went just fine!
We haven’t visited a market or done any fishing, but we have managed to cook some great meals-curries, home made lasagne, chicken pot pies, roast pork and beef, lamb and barley stew, Sardinian Lamb stew, saffron and leek fish pie, lots of asparagus with it in season, beef lok lak…… Lots of warming winter meals, as the weather here seems so cold after the northern part of the state.
Leah hosted a baby shower for daughter-in-law Deb on September 22nd, so we gave her a lot of help with the shopping and cooking for that and the organising of a few games. It was a quiet party with 12 of us enjoying a few tasteful games (no chocolate in nappies for Deb!), some great food and a few bubbles for us un pregnant guests. Deb got some gorgeous gifts for baby!
We’ve also found time to visit the Mint, Perth Aviation Heritage Museum, our doctors, dentist, hairdresser and have the car serviced and the heater repaired. Also had a bit of a spend up on much needed clothes. The Mint was a bit forgettable-just a talk on the history, then a gold pouring demo (which was quite good). Other than that, it’s really just a retail store in a lovely old building. The Aviation Museum was every plane and war buffs dream. Lots of lovingly restored planes, or models of various planes, all lovingly cared for by the volunteers. I especially loved the big, beautiful Catalina (sea plane) housed in the first hangar. We spent three hours looking at the exhibits, but a real enthusiast could spend days-there is so much to read and see.
With October looming, we’re looking forward to celebrating Blair’s 40th and the arrival of Deb and Todd’s first baby.
Here’s a really simple breakfast recipe Pam made for us, then we made again using those gorgeous farm fresh eggs. It’s hard to give exact quantities but you’ll soon figure it out! If you use bacon, line your muffin tin, then cook a few minutes before adding the other stuff.
- Eggs (as many as required)
- Ham or bacon
- Diced tomato
- Diced onion
- Grated Cheese
- Preheat oven to 220c
- Grease as many holes in a deep muffin tin as you require eggs (one or two each usually).
- Line each hole with ham or bacon rasher.
- Drop in a little diced tomato followed by a little diced onion, an egg, season with salt and pepper, the sprinkle over grated cheese.
- Cook 10 to 15 minutes or until the egg is done to your liking. Serve on toast if you like.
Chicken Pot Pie
- 2 cups good chicken stock
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- pepper to taste
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 2 large leek, cleaned and sliced thinly
- 1 clove garlic
- 6 chicken thigh fillets, diced
- 3 tablespoons flour
- 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
- 2 tablespoons cream
- 2 sheets puff pastry
- 1 beaten egg
- Bring the stock to the boil and reduce by a third. Add in the thyme and pepper and set aside.
- Melt the butter and cook the leek gently until well softened adding in the garlic in the last couple of minutes.
- Add the diced chicken and cook for around 5 minutes or until just cooked through.
- Add the flour and cook, stirring, for a couple of minutes then add the stock whisking as you do so. You want a fairly thick sauce, so you may not use all. Add the cream and parsley.
- Grease 4 pie dishes (mine were 2 cup) and divide the mix between them.
- Top with rounds of puff pastry decorated anyway you like, prick a couple of times with a fork, then brush with beaten egg.
- Place in the preheated oven and cook for 10 minutes. Reduce the temp to 190c and cook for 20 minutes more or until nice and golden.
We ate ours with a mash of potatoes, broccoli, peas and mint sauce It’s a Jamie Oliver recipe and part of one of his 30 minute meals. It was great too!