31 Aug 2012

Weekend cooking?

Kim, from The Little Black Cow blog, requested this recipe and with the hacker and my hayfever driving me nuts I haven't typed it up till now. At least it's in time for everyone to try it out on the weekend :).
There are photos here if you want to see what it looks like.

German Apple Cake


60g butter; 1/3 cup sifted sugar; 1 egg; 1 cup self-raising flour, sifted; ¼ cup milk; 4 medium apples, peeled quartered and cored; juice of1 lemon; sugar; cinnamon


Cream butter with sugar. Add egg and beat well. Add ½ flour and beat to combine. Add milk and remaining flour alternately (this will make a thick mixture). Spread mixture over bottom of greased 23cm (9”) springform pan. Cut quartered apples into thin slices but not all the way through. As you are preparing apples put them in a bowl and squeeze over lemon juice to keep them from going brown. Place drained apples, cored side down, on cake. Bake in a preheated moderate oven (180ºC/350ºF) for 1 hour. While cake is still warm sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon.

29 Aug 2012

Web Fascination

It was a cold foggy morning this morning and we haven't had one of those for a while as the wind has been fairly consistent. First thing I noticed was that I was unable to see DD catch the bus, but I could hear it slow and stop then start off again.

Where's the bus?

Not quite so foggy in the yard because of the tree cover.

Of course my assistant, Maddy, had to help out with the light settings and the view of the webs along the fence :P! 

The next thing I noticed was the bejewelled spider webs. 

Lol, you all thought I was going to talk about the internet web after the blog problems I've had lately, c'mon admit it! I know I've posted spider webs before but it still fascinates me how something so delicate, intricate, artistic and beautiful can be a means to the death of another creature. 

A web strung between the barb wire strands of the fence. Love the line of bigger 'jewels' at the bottom right where the spider has probably exited the web and smudged the dewdrops together :).

The web below is in the peach tree that is in the first photo. The sun was coming up and it changed the appearance of the web as the light changed.  Time difference between first and second photo  is 40 secs. Second to third photo is 2 mins.  The light breeze played a bit of havoc with the focus so there were some 'dud' shots in between.

What do you think - does my fascination for spider webs and their beauty make me a closet Goth, or just an appreciator of a natural art form?

Robyn xo

Hijack Fix-it (?)

After typing the title I feel a bit like Bob the Builder – can we fix it?!

First, Apologies for not deleting the old blog earlier but I believed Blogger’s integrity claim about blog security and I tried my best to follow the, sometimes confusing, instructions about transferring, redirecting and URL changing of blogs. Quite possibly I’d left a glaring hole for the hacker to jump into with the few HTML changes I had to do – very unlike the simple procedure when I changed my blog name/URL 4 years ago. There were no problems then.

I'd like to thank my long term followers for being so patient while I tried to sort this out as it doesn't seem to be affecting new followers to Farm Fancies. Which brings me to the conclusion that it's the redirection link Blogger suggested I put in to guide followers to the revamped blog and supposedly make it easier for them! 

Yeah....thanks Blogger.....grrrrr....

An idea that seems to be working to remedy the “accountancy” problem this blog is having is to delete the old blog link to “Stitchin’ Time”  from Google reader or from your blogs followed list then leave it a few hours, probably for Blogger to receive the message and act on it, and then follow “Farm Fancies”. This must remove the link to the redirection at the source of these posts.

Sorry to put some of you people through the following procedure again :(.

If you try the above this morning I’m going to do a photography post later today – Yes, 2 posts in one day! – and you can decide if I’m a closet Goth or not, LOL!

Hopefully, by then, all the miscellaneous accountancy will have bankrupted itself and disappeared.

**Fingers and Toes Crossed**


28 Aug 2012


It seems someone has hijacked my old blog and some of you are receiving update notifications that refer to accountancy etc. I've disabled any links from this blog to the old one but I am unable to access the dashboard and settings to the old blog so I can't disable any code there and can't delete it. I've reported the problem to blogger but I have no idea when, and if, they will/can delete the old blog or disable links from it. I do hope everyone has effective security on their computers, though as I haven't had any problems with my computer I'm hoping it's just a spammer :(.

24 Aug 2012

Violet finally had her calf at Noon yesterday (Thursday 23Aug). A sweet little brindle Brahman cross Jersey. Violet is very pleased. So are we as it's a heifer :).

Geez Mum, stop cleaning me I want a drink.




Robyn xo

20 Aug 2012

Harvests and Homemade

Yesterday became a gardening day instead of a sewing day as DH finally decided to shift the dead peach tree out of the vegetable garden area. Sorry, no pics of that as I was navigating and guiding branches over fences. He also removed the lawyer thorn (local terminology here but we all know how prickly some lawyers can be - hence the name!) in the corner so I now have an area of about 4m x 5m  available for planting with vegetables or fruit vines *great big smile*.

I harvested some edibles too:

Globe radishes: Cherry Belle - top, Sparkler - bottom

Common Oranges - the trees with the thorny branches that are tough but yield big sweet juicy fruit!

and I'm waiting in anticipation for these to ripen...Mmmmmmm......

They are usually covered by wire mesh so the possum and the birds don't pre taste test them!

I've been promising Miss13 pizza for tea for ages and this time I remembered how long the dough takes to rise and had it ready so we had thick crust homemade ham and pineapple pizza for tea. It does look better than this but night time indoor photography isn't my forte, lol.

I also had some apples that were looking a bit tired so I made a German apple cake which turns out sort of like an apple slice. I misread the directions and sliced the apple quarters, instead of leaving them whole, but it looked quite pretty and made the texture different so I'll be assembling it the wrong way in the future too :).

Crosscut showing the layering.

It's nice like this but we ate it still warm with a lavish coating of hot custard! 
A nice finish to a busy day.

Robyn xo

16 Aug 2012

Seasonal change

Now the weather is warming up everything is bursting out in bloom.....

Though there are still frosty mornings when you need to fluff up your jacket.....

and it's nice to welcome back some seasonal visitors, even if they aren't keen on some of the locals!

 Is that a cat?

Squark! Let's get out of here!


4 Aug 2012

Keeping busy trying new things...

..Like making soap from Rhonda's recipe at DTE blog

I didn't follow the recipe instructions very well as I had the oils heating before I put the caustic soda/lye in the water so it took ages for the temperature of the lye/water mix to cool down from 85degC to 50degC and I had to reheat the oil in the meantime. However it didn't spatter when I mixed the water and oil solutions (I was wearing my rubber gloves and sunglasses though) and blended nicely after about 10 mins of mixing with a stick blender. I then poured them into silicon molds I had purchased cheaply at the local supermarkets and waited, and waited, and waited for them to cool and begin hardening. 24 hours later, when  they were still mushy around the edges, I asked for help on the DTE forums. The advice was to put the whole lot in the freezer, still in the silicon molds, so I did this overnight and demolded them the next morning. The 2 soaps at the rear are the ones I kept unmolding early on to see if they were set, so they are a bit mangled around the edges but they can be hand soaps for the bathroom basin. I found another use for my scrapbooking stamps too!

I've made a few notes on my soap recipe for future soap making sessions
  • Mix lye/water first or it takes much longer than 30 mins to make soap because of the long cooling time
  • For intricate mold patterns lightly oil the pattern itself for a clean imprint if giving for a gift (not essential but me being fussy)
  • Either half fill "presents" molds or cut the finished soaps in half sideways while soft or I'll have humongous soaps that will be a bit difficult to use
  • Let soaps firm a little more before stamping 
  • Research superfatting with essential or other oils - jojoba, almond - for home use and for gifting

.....And washcloths to use with them

I started the blue and cream knobbly knitted one the day before I went to visit DS after his accident. I'd purchased the different coloured yarns at my favourite op-shop at 50c/ball! As I was a passenger it helped to fill the time on the long drive and I had it finished, except for weaving the ends in, before the return trip had ended. The purple and cream crocheted one was made just before that but I also hadn't woven the ends in either as I couldn’t find my fine crochet hook. Think I'll double the yarn in the future like I did with the blue/cream one. I finally finished them a couple of days ago as I realised I could just use my large eyed darning needle to weave ends in - duh!