Summer Solstice Cake

Sunday, November 17, 2019
Currently on TVNZ is The Great Kiwi Bake Off

Abbey (daughter) and I have set a challenge, to join in, but make it a gluten free challenge.

This week the show was all about Celebrations - Anzac, Easter and Halloween.

I chose the  celebration - Summer Solstice which in the Southern Hemisphere is on Sunday 22nd December this year.


My recipe is from the River Cottage Gluten Free cookbook by Naomi Devlin.



I used the Rich Christmas Cake recipe on page 239. It's $36.13 (NZ) which is 24% off and free delivery from Books Depository - Just saying in case you want to make a special Celebration cake too. Another book I highly recommend!

Only changes I made is the mixed spice - we make our own blend up as many contain wheat and whizz up in a coffee grinder that is used purely for cooking not coffee.

I also do not grease the pan with butter - just use baking paper and the cake comes away clean.

Abbey won the Bake Off again as I would not let anyone sample my Summer Solstice Cake due to being kept for 22nd December. Abbey made Anzac Biscuits (gluten free) which were yummy.



I've made a video of me making the cake and you can see the texture of the mixture before it was baked.

Do let me know if you have ant successful gluten free fruit cakes.

Cottage Tails gets a Beehive.

Friday, November 15, 2019

 Finally I've found time to join in with Bee In My Bonnet's Farm Girl Friday Sew Along.




I was at an Aotearoa Quilters Members - Wellington and Kapiti meet up and I took a long Lori Holt's  Farm Girl Vintage books stating this was the quilt I wanted to make. I shared that I was already two weeks behind the SewAlong. They suggested jump in and start at the current week - which is week 3. That is exactly what I did. Such FUN!!

My heart needs a good press - but i was thrilled how perfect it turned out.
As for the Beehive - I just have to tweak one row which I'll do today - so don't look to carefully yet at that.

The Gluten Free Bake Off

Sunday, November 10, 2019


Currently on TVNZ is The Great Kiwi Bake Off

Abbey (daughter) and I have set a challenge, to join in, but make it a gluten free challenge.

I've had such fun!



My recipe was from Alternative Baker by Alanna Taylor-Tobin.
She is known as The Bojon Gourmet on Instagram.

Interestingly the word Bojon is No Job spelt backwards and she shares a link about the Tao of Bojon - LOVE it!

My cookies I baked were Buckwheat Bergamot Double Chocolate Cookies from page 197 of Alternative Baker cookbook. It's $37.16 (14% off) at Books Depository at the moment (free shipping) - just a saying that I am highly recommending this book.

A real success! One recipe that I will make again and again.
Only thing I found tricky and if I owned the cookbook (it's Abbey's not mine) I would split up the chocolate information more carefully as it was not easy for me to do the maths in my non math brain. A small issue and if you are like me who LOVES to write notes in books I would add
 - from the 345g of chocolate,
melt 230g
and keep aside 115g to be chopped for the topping.
Plus I would be more generous with the Flaky salt on the topping.


Abbey made also a Bojon Gourmet recipe which is on her website.
They are called Gluten Free Ginger Molasses Cookies and the link to the recipe is here.

Also a very successful recipe - one I will be making for a Christmas morning tea function where I am to take a plate.

Talk about taking a plate - the three of us cannot eat this many cookies so they are being shared at a committee meeting - should I tell them they are gluten free?? Bet they cannot tell!

Who won the bake off??



The results are in the video.



Weekly Vlog/Blog

Friday, November 8, 2019
Hello!
Wow I am into my 2nd week of my four month break.
I still have no routine as Brent was on annual leave this week which was nice.
I've had another go at a Vlog - still not holding camera right, but getting better at editing and not so shy - I only forgot my words once.


Minnie got groomed - her before and after photo from the groomer.
I share in the video that Minnie visits a rest home. She is a Canine Friends Pet Therapy dog  we went around with a diversional therapist from the rest home (I couldn't remember the job title in the video)

The new addition to the family - Layla who is our sons and partners pomeranian puppy.

Renovations started on the 1900 villa. A new pile was needed and Brent has replaced it. This all happened because I decided to change a garden bed to plant dahlia's and it highlighted the dodgy pile. So the dahlia's are not yet planted - maybe next week.

Right I better get cracking as I am wanting to hit the markets hoping to buy some heirloom seedlings from the markets.


November Garden Tour

Friday, November 1, 2019




November Garden Tour is up on YouTube
I took you for a stroll of our 3 acres showing the vegetable, flower, herb beds and orchard. But beware- it is very real and authentic as not a lot of gardening has been done over the last 10 months while I’ve been studying. But I am excited to have such a wonderful blank canvas. I’ll do another video 1st December so you can see the plantings of my summer garden

And yes I am all finished - and now just wait for the official paperwork, register and then qualify as a Medical Herbalist. It sure feels GRAND! 

So for next four months I'm whipping my gardens into shape and going to enjoy summer - my favourite season of all. I'll be a little brown berry by the end of summer with all the days I have planned in the gardens. JOY!

Special News

Wednesday, October 9, 2019

I've been playing.
I've joined in Vlogtober where I'm learning to vlog. Please note the word LEARNING - I have no idea what I am doing!
Vlogtober is where people video blog about their day.
In case you do not know I was doing this - (like how could you as I have told NO ONE) and you want to know the news here is the link to my You Tube.

New Chickens

Monday, September 23, 2019


Gosh what a difference a week makes, the first photo was taken nine days ago and look at all the blossom on the trees.

A week a go we got some new chickens and I'm just loading it on to the blog. So for my own records the new girls arrived Sunday 15th September.

We have quite a Practical Magic naming theme going on....

This is Gilly - well really Gillian but as we personally know a Gillian she is called Gilly. Gilly is a Wyandotte.

Here is Sally - she has the sweetest little black tail ever! She is a Buff Sussex.

Here we have Aunt Bridget (left) - and as we personally know a Bridget she is called Jet. Jet has black eyes and feet. She is a Lavender Orpington.

To the rear of Bridget is Aunt Francis she is a Lavender Cuckoo Orpington.

 or is it Uncle Francis?? The tail feathers are indicating possibly....
We keep hearing a croaky crow, and Aunt or Uncle Francis is taking a wee while to settle in. We sure hope it is not another rooster. I wish she would lay an egg and then we would know for sure!

Bertie does seem to give Aunt/Unc Francis a run about. The man who delivered the hens to us did say he was not sure - but we would know straight away as a wee fight would happen - OH MY!

Just no big dust ups, but it has taken until yesterday for all to settle in. Now to sort out the mystery of a croaky crow in the morning.

You can see Jet and Aunt Francis keep away from the rest of the flock.

Out of our original flock we have Wanderer still in here.  Brodie and Frizzle have a coop of their own as Bertie was dealing to Frizzle - we thought she was going to cark it - she should really as James was only 7 when we got her and Brodie is a hen we raised when James was about 9. So that makes them 15 and 13 years old..... Hang on, Frizzle was about a year or two before we got her.

Animals just live forever with us. - So as I was saying we bought a retirement chicken coop for them and I'll get some photos next week of them.


This is Florence she is an araucana (as is Bertie the Rooster) she's my fav!! And she lays blue/green eggs.

Oh we should get 42 eggs per week if all lay.



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