Tag Archives: winter

Let It Snow…

I snuggled under my down quilt last night, listening to the wind buffeting the house and snapping the shade cloth over the breeze-way like a spinnaker on a yacht.  Through the open curtains I could spy the trees whipping back and forth in a hazy, dark blue world, and I was glad of the cuddly warmth of my bed and the fireplace on the other side of the wall, making sure our bedroom was nice and cosy.

It was still dark when I struggled out of bed, but the view from the window had already been transformed into a magical winter scene, sparkling in the light thrown onto the snow covered garden from our room.

In that instant, I, too, was transformed.  Excitement thrilled through me, and I hurried through my chores so that I could wrap up warmly and head outside with my camera to capture some of the beauty of a snow swept morning at SeventySevenAcres.

Winter had arrived…

Snowy leaves and an open gate

Come for a walk with me, beyond the garden gate…

Snow covered trees beside the track

…to see snow covered trees beside the track…

Morning light tinges the snow on the Hill across the Valley a soft, rosy pink

…morning light tingeing the snow on the Hill across the Valley with a soft, rosy pink…

Snow on the little dam above the house

…snow on the little dam above the house….

across the Valley from the top of SeventySevenAcres

…one of my favourite views, across the Valley from the top of SeventySevenAcres…

The Hill seen from further down the track

….The Hill seen from further down the property…

Walking down the track towards the road

….as we walk down the track towards the road…

Down the Valley from the track... not quite so snowy

…to look at the view up the Valley from down near the road (not quite so snowy to the North)…

Walking back up the track, with sunlight just peeking over the mountain and through the trees

…then walking back up the track, with sunlight just peeking over the mountain and through the trees…

 the hardenburgia is buried under a blanket of snow

…to the side gate, where the hardenburgia is buried under a blanket of snow…

over the Valley

…to glance back over the Valley…

... and back to the house

… and then up to the house, where a warm fire is burning in the grate.

Cooks’ Own Ladles…

With storms and floods happening all around NSW, it is hardly surprising that we feel as though winter has already arrived at seventysevenacres, although we are lucky, and, apart from more rain damage to our long suffering track, we are doing all right at the moment.

track

The track washing away down the hill.

Will and I have been home for school holidays and have enjoyed being able to light up the wood fire stove in the family room, and, as Matt says, the aroma of wet earth, eucalypt, and wood smoke as he works around the block is a defining smell. Winter has arrived!

We’ve already enjoyed a bowl of spicy pumpkin soup or two, as well, to warm us up after some invigorating outdoor activity.

I make pumpkin soup simply by roasting some chunks of lightly seasoned pumpkin (often butternut) then blending it with some stock, or even just water if I want to use it as a base for something else.

Just lately I’ve been spicing it up with a mix of warmer herbs such as coriander and Thai basil, or a touch of chilli. Adding a bit of garlic and freshly ground black pepper is always a goer, too, and really brings out the flavour of the pumpkin.

I’ve always loved soups of all sorts, and one I miss these days is minestrone, but I really daren’t risk eating tomatoes. There is really no good that will come of that!

Instead, I have recently started using pumpkin soup as a base for creating a hearty veggie soup, using whatever I have in the fridge, and have even torn in some strips of roast chicken breast that were left over from an evening meal to add some extra richness into the mix.

No pasta or noodles allowed, as I am completely grain free, but some fabulous friends gave me a zucchini noodler for Christmas a couple of years ago, and spiral noodling a zucchini into the pot provides a suitable alternative.

Depending on what I have hanging around in the crisper drawer or how much I turn up the heat with spicy herbs, the taste can be quite varied.

My next challenge is to get some pumpkins of my own growing without the cheeky possum feasting on the young plants. I recently saw a great design for a growing bed with a lift off ‘lid’ that could be clear plastic, shade-cloth or just bird wire, although I might go for chicken wire which would be a bit trickier for the possum to munch through (and might provide a suitable home for a chicken or two when the bed is not being used for growing)… now to persuade Matt to get to work with his carpentry skills.

I’ll make him some soup.

...some scrumptious looking pumpkin soup (image courtesy of Apolonia at FreeDigitalPhotos.net)

…some scrumptious looking pumpkin soup
(image courtesy of Apolonia at FreeDigitalPhotos.net)

This week’s title quote is from Robert Browning’s Pied Piper of Hamlyn

Rats!
They fought the dogs and killed the cats,
And bit the babies in the cradles,
And ate the cheeses out of the vats,
And licked the soup from the cooks’ own ladles

Happily, we don’t have any trouble with these creatures… possums are far more agreeable!