Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Arranging Stuff

Six months in to our new life here in the bush in Fryerstown, I have still got many, many things to find homes for.

Some of our artworks and prints are up and the others are waiting for the muse to hit me re: their just-right, new homes. The ones I have hung, have involved a fair bit of "no, that's not right" and have been moved to a completely different spot and some, more often than not, are moved very small distances, until they are in the perfect spot creating lots of unnecessary holes in the wall only centimetres apart! Ooooops.

All my other stuff, nick-nackery, collectables and let's face it, crap...I am playing musical chairs with. I arrange and re-arrange then leave, then walk by and change. Here are some shots of some current configurations...

Nothing on the orange wall yet...because I am trying to decide whether I should learn to live with the colour or and I, have never really been friends.


Well, the Quince paste-a-thon is over.
I made two large batches and being a novice it involved a bit of trial and error.

Maggie Beer and Stephanie Alexander, two doyennes of Australian cooking, don't share the same basic recipe, so that threw me.

The first batch I made with skins on, simmered, blended then cooked on a low heat, with a simmer-mat, in a large cast-iron pot. It took 5 hours for the colour to turn to a deepish orange.

I was happy with the result, although it was a little grainy.

The second batch, was skins off and I cooked this lot for almost 8 hours (!) using the same method as before and got the batch to a much richer, darker colour.

The first batch, early on...

1st batch after a couple of hours...

Final result of the first batch...

Final result of the 2nd batch

And...We are still collecting tomatoes! What a crazy old season it's been.

I am adoring the sublime Autumn weather we are having here in Central Victoria, cool chilly evenings - perfect for sleeping and lighting the fire and magnificent daytimes with the low-slung sun gorgeous and sparkly and perfect temperatures in the low 20's.

Friday, 1 April 2011

Quincing Around

A couple of my lovely, Fryerstown neighbours have trees laden with quinces.

I had considered planting a couple of varieties, but really there is no need if I have access to theirs, is there?

They are such a quirky old fruit, gnarly and knobbly covered in a thin, furry skin. A still-life artist's delight really.

Margaret Olley

Jeffrey Smart

The thing with quinces is they are inedible until cooked (unless you like bitter, astringent and incredibly sour flavours!) and the magic happens when you DO cook them, because that is when their pale appley/peary type flesh changes to become an awesome, deep, burnished, coppery red.

I am going to attempt to make quince paste...yes I am.
I have poured over all my recipe books and online for a fail-safe recipe and I think I will fall back on both Maggie and Stephanie to get me through.

Fingers crossed.

Autumn and it's bounty...glorious