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Leftover Pie

Leftover Pie

My new triumph – leftover pie.  Made with layers of chicken, turkey, roast veg and some added onion and herbs. 

It looks very much like the photo but a close look would show that this is a photo of a cherry pie – not leftover pie.

This is because I always mean to take photos before I eat but I guess that I’m just not that kinda gal.  I’m just happy to get food on the table at about the right time and stopping to take photos really isn’t my bag.

Pastry, either savoury or sweet, is super easy.  It just takes a bit of mucking around to roll it out and it makes leftovers a bit more special.  Served with potato mash and green beans, it has disguised the fact that we have been noshing down on the same leftovers since Christmas day.

Seriously though, I now have leftovers of leftover pie and I’m totally confused as to what to do with that.  Logically, there must be an end to leftovers sometime.  Its not like they are student cooking of curried veg. 

Did you ever live in a student share house where they do a big pot of curried veg, eat several serves, add some water, add some veg and go around again?  The best student foods have been handed down from occupant to occupant for probably generations.  I figure that they are an encouragement to graduate and move out.  So the poultry will have to become acquainted with xmas leftovers at some stage.

Lock the gate

Lock the gate

Lock the Gate!  Yes, I know this is originally about the anti-fracking movement. 

But I have reworked it to be an inspiration to every person who has been led to believe that any domestic focus is unfair to themselves and a burden to others.

Full employment, especially of women was espoused after World War 2 when western governments realised that they had spent an awful lot of money on making the world safe for democracy and that expanding employment, especially to women effectively doubled their tax base.  As a result, the Women’s Liberation Movement, in particular wanting equality in the workplace, played right into their hands and the subtle brainwashing of society to demean domestic employment started.

I totally support the ability for people to chose whether they are in paid employment or not.  But there has to be a choice.  Not overt encouragement to book your unborn child into daycare before due date and scurry back to the 9 – 5 because of some tenuous career ideal.  People who have one of a couple working full time in the domestic sphere are now considered to be a) oppressed b) wealthy or c) incomprehensible.  And I frequently hear girls saying that they wouldn’t know what to do with themselves if they didn’t go to work.  Well, you could relax a little and consume a bit less maybe as well as be available in the many care roles that someone in the community has to fulfil.  And support your partner.  Swap roles maybe with a couple of years at home and a couple at work for each partner.  Or some other imaginative solution that honestly takes into account the needs of both the adult and the children.

I am lucky to have some space at my place which encourages projects of all sorts.  But I would like to institute my “lock the gate” campaign where I stay within the property boundaries for a set time, say six or twelve months.  Just to prove that existence is just as meaningful as one where I am running out the door and down the road five days out of seven.

Let me know what you think.

Best Christmas Ever

Best Christmas Ever

Is this shaping up to be the best Christmas ever or not?  Definitely yes

A friend of a friend was giving away their (obviously) 1970’s Fowlers Vacola bottling outfit, complete with bottles, thermometer, lids and seals.  How wonderful was it that they scored it thinking that I would want it and YES absolutely I want it.

Aside from the attractive burnt orange d├ęcor, it is a stovetop model, not electric element controlled.  Which means that it can be used even in the event of a lack of power.  It is a slightly different set up from the little vacola model which is sold in hardware stores, doesn’t have any temperature control and is only suitable for preserving fruit in sugar syrup.  It uses slightly less water.

And the super score of the whole thing, a ’70’s issue vacola instruction book which tells me all about preserving lots of things that the food safety laws say I’m not allowed to preserve now.  It is a great addition to my 1950’s vacola book that a wonderful colleague copied and sent to me a couple of years ago.

I would like to point out to the man in the hardware shop that a vacola kit is NOTHING at all like a vergola shade system.  I need to tell you this due to the fact that you tried to send me down the road to the vergola people.  But don’t worry – I just drove to another hardware shop and bought one from the lady who had a faint idea what I was on about.

Apparently there are lots of bottling systems available to preserve food, for instance the English mason jars.  But they all need replaceable rubber seals and I tend to favour the Australian vacola most because you can often pick up the bottles at garage sales and in the op shops.  The old bottles are fantastic because they were made in lots of different shapes and sizes.  I believe more variety than exists today but I’m happy to be corrected on that.

Now off to think about what I can put in bottles with my new improved recipe book.  And loads of thanks to Pete and Prue for remembering that I’m just a mass of hobbies and passions.

One tree crop

One tree crop

And the final half hour of the garden walk involved picking blueberries off the one bush that grows them successfully.  There was nearly two kilos (some went at lunch time) and a few cherry tomatoes were popped in at the end as I walked past them.

The berries will be fridged in the hope that they will last.  They will – if they don’t get eaten.  They last extremely well.  A lot of the rest of the tomatoes went into the frittata for lunch.

I enjoy blueberry Danish so I make it with an apple crumble recipe but I add lots of butter and nutmeg and cinnamon to the crumble mixture to make an imitation Danish.  And BAKE!

A quick walk in the garden

A quick walk in the garden

I just popped out of the house to pick some lemon myrtle leaves.  I really didn’t want to pick them, I was going to pick elderberry flowers to make champagne but the other decision maker had a brainwave to make cordial out of lemon myrtle.  I’m not absolutely sure how I’m going to do that and I may have to do a bit of study to make sure that decoction of lemon myrtle is not going to kill us, but that was the reason I ventured into the big wide grassy world.

And then things just snowballed.  We dug one potato garden and picked a sack full of snake beans as well as chokos.  I’ve lined some up on the kitchen table.  Strangely, our tables just seem to hold projects and we tend to eat on our laps.  This could be a viable alternative lifestyle for consideration but at least the projects are well accommodated.

Eventually (sooner rather than later) I’ll sort and dry brush the potatoes for storage.  I dry brush them because I figure that the dirt is mine and I had to make all that dirt so none of it should leave the property or go down the drain.  I have plastic food buckets well lined with newspaper and pop the potatoes into them and keep them in the dark little pantry.  I take out any that have been spiked by the garden fork and any tiny ones.  The tiny ones I throw into a pile in the hope that they will eventually sprout and I can use them for seed. 

Once you have potatoes in your garden, they will always be there, sprouting back years later just when you don’t want them to.  But at least they are handy to have for an easy feed.  I have had potatoes flower and come to seed in the garden and then found them growing through the lawn.  Must have been where the seeds fell.  There are always tiny tubers that stay in the soil, avoiding the digging and they will pop up again next season.

Ours seem to do well in fresh ground.  Once I’ve put a few seasons of crops through the soil, they don’t do much good at all.  This must be the reason why traditionally potatoes were planted over last years long drop trench after it had been filled in and over wintered.  I haven’t tried that yet but never say never.

The snake beans or yard long beans love the hot weather and represent a fantastically abundant green veg option through the summer months when all the other green vegetables get very mushy from the heat.  They pick all through Christmas and New Year just when you think you will expire from heat and humidity, the other plants get sick and the candles melt in their holders.