Both of us are a bit weary. Being unemployed is rather tiring. There’s so much to do!
An update on the chooks! They have settled in really well. During their first full day with us they laid 3 eggs! They even escaped their haven when Miranda left the door open.
In the garden – garlic are just starting to come up. In the orchard – we’ve maybe done 10% of what is needed before spring. With heavy rain over night and a showery forecast we left the orchard pruning and attacked overgrown, trees and shrubs which were overcrowding other plants down one of the fence-lines. We’ve made friends with a neighbours’ black faced sheep – who love to eat any tree lucerne we throw over the fence to them – and we discovered a Totara and some little Kowhai trees which were totally light deprived. We’re getting a good lot of firewood for next year, but the piles and piles of branches building up is quite overwhelming!
On the job front – Wednesday, we had a meet and greet with some of the members of the St Stephen’s Church in Reporoa. Actually they whipped up a morning tea big enough to feed an army. Apart from the hospitality centred around the food, it was a good chat and we’re looking forward to attending their service on Sunday. I feel excited about the possibility of a part time ministry among them.
Thursday, Miranda had an interview for the same type of community social work as she was doing. This went well too, and so we wait.
Reflection – All this cutting and trimming is quite addictive. You see one more branch to be trimmed and then another and then just one more.
In the kitchen the Lemon and Mustard Seed Chutney turned out really well. The recipe follows…
8 large lemons, 1.8kg. (top and tailed then sliced finely and remove pips)
450g onions, peeled and sliced finely. Layer the lemon and onion slices with 3 Tablespoons of salt into a large non-metallic bowl, leave covered for 12 hours to draw out moisture. Drain and rinse. Place rinsed lemons and onions into large cook pot, adding water till only just covered, bring to boil and simmer 35 mins till very tender.
Add the following ingredients, simmering for 45-60 mins till reduced and thick.
0.5kg sugar, 225 g sultanas, 25g mustard seeds, 2 teaspns ground ginger, 1 teaspn cayenne pepper, 900 mls cider vinegar.
Spoon into sterile jars, seal and keep in the dark for 2 months before using.
If you taste a little out of the pot, it is spicy, with a good lemon hit. It is great with cheese, cold meat, or stirred into hot rice.
Kevin & Miranda.