Saturday, 30 November 2013

Mini Plum Pudding Truffles

It just isn't Christmas without a hearty dose of these little treats.  We've been making these truffles for years, the centre filling changing as we see fit, but the jolly 'plum pudding' exterior always remaining the same.

So festive.

These ones are particularly rich and were put together to accompany Dad, Wallace and Jess on a quick visit down to Grandi and Old Nev's this weekend.  Settled into the esky with some pork product and mud crab, fine Christmas fare indeed.

Crumble 500 grams of the cheapest plum pudding you can find into a bowl, add 3 tablespoons of Rum and 200 grams of melted dark chocolate.  The mixture is quite wet at this point and best refrigerated to 'stiffen' before rolling into small balls.

Refrigerate again to set, before rolling in 200 grams of melted dark chocolate to coat.  Placing back on a tray, the choc coating will nearly set without further refrigeration, allowing white chocolate to be drizzled over.  We use cut up jelly snakes as the final adornment.


Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Tuesday, 26 November 2013

The View from the Molasses Trailer

Despite storms bumping all around us these last ten days, we're still left wondering when our turn will come.
Today was molasses delivery day, an all-day event involving little in the way of excitement or challenge.  It's being run out every four or five days, though should be lasting them seven.  I'm a bit of a soft touch though when it comes to hungry heifers.

As I added the required quantity of water to mix the dry components, I snapped away.

The poincianas are basking in these hot days, their fiery orange visible from all over, starkly contrasted against brown paddocks.

Sprinkling continues, the lawn enjoying our largest fall to date of 12 millimetres Saturday morning. 

Not visible is the deserted mower, abandoned by Wallace Sunday after several mechanical issues.

My hints toward maybe a new mower for Christmas met little enthusiasm.  Perhaps a second hand cutting deck the best I can hope for.  Failing that, ear-rings will suffice!

These variegated hibiscus in need of a trim, the different coloured ones in between not handling the last chainsaw manicure.

The temperature remained constant from smoko on.

A beautiful summer in the balmy tropics.

The molasses tank is getting low, resulting in much time spent waiting for the trailer to fill.

Which means some guilt-free daytime reading,
the only good thing about being on molasses duty.

A set of paddles inside the trailer, motorised by this Honda, mix the molasses/water/fortifier mix.
Look up 'frustration' in the on-farm dictionary, and you'll find the above picture.
Another love-hate relationship right there.

As I returned for my second fill, the above clouds to the north, and below to the south were building beautifully.

By the time I headed to the younger heifers, the temperature had plummeted and rain started to fall.

Soaked to the bone I returned home to tip four millimetres from the gauge.
Which just pulls us over the inch mark from six falls over the past fortnight.

Maybe tomorrow will be different.

Monday, 18 November 2013

The Weekend Edition

After a compressor melt-down, our cold room is back in fully functional mode and this weekend welcomed two fat porkers.  

They will be converted into Christmas hams, bacon, sausages, ribs, chops, pork belly and all manner of other porky goodness in coming days.

While Sarah oversaw proceedings with boundless teenage enthusiasm,

Jess manned the hydraulics, a job I gladly handed down the line.

Too fast on the down and Dad gets splashed with hot water. Or doinged on the head with the forks.  Too slow and his hand motioning becomes a blur of irritation.  You've won yourself a job for life Jess.

Humidity levels were incredible, as were excitement levels as the anticipation of rain spread through the ranks.

Every cloud studied, every distant roll of thunder noted, phone batteries were run flat as we studied the radar at every opportunity.  And unfortunately all to no avail.  Three millimetres falling Saturday and another three Sunday, not quite the fanfare we were hoping for.  Nevertheless, there are plenty in worse situations than us, and with rain predicted for the rest of the week, we're confident hopeful the gaps will fill in.

With no wet weather to keep us indoors, much of the weekend was spent working on the new feed yards.

Sarah's brief appearance at the yards providing a break from her long list of assignments and study.

Sally passing comment to Dad after an afternoon of standing posts, that she wished she had assignments.

Jess and I spent Sunday afternoon running out molasses while the radar indicated that everybody else in Central Queensland was receiving rain.

I've since heard that wasn't the case.  One friend receiving no rain, but a lightning strike which burnt out 3000 acres.  
Who are we to complain?

Wallace and Sally spent their lunch break fashioning bows and arrows.  
Mulberry tree branches far superior to Poinciana if you were ever in doubt.

Jess spying them from atop the molasses trailer stalking Squatter Pigeons at the yards, while Dad split posts and was not requiring their offsiding services.

All Squatter Pigeons and baby rabbits remain unharmed.

Hoping to post some huge rainfall reports in coming days.

Friday, 15 November 2013

Stop moving the Goal Posts

I'm sure all this talk of weather must become a little tiresome.

It does become all encompassing for us though at this time of year.

The rose coloured glasses I've been wearing these past few months as we've waited for rain are sitting a little skew-whiff today.  Scratched, bent and covered in a light film of dust, it's hard to keep them on doing the rounds of the paddocks.

The rain my weather-studying husband assured me would arrive yesterday didn't.  Even Sally's first sleep-soaked words as she tumbled from bed this morning were "Mum, did it rain last night"?

So I'm putting my crooked rose-coloured glasses back in their case,

and putting on my geranium coloured glasses.
(Geraniums being far more tolerant of the dry weather).

And I'm not leaving the green confines of my houseyard until it rains.

Which will be Sunday.
Not Thursday.


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