Nowhere is the change of season more obvious than in the kitchen. During April we moved from salads to roasts, casseroles and even a pudding or two. Soup is often featuring for lunch. There's nothing nicer than actually bothering to set the table at lunch time and sitting down to a nice warm soup. In summer, we often don't bother with table setting. We just sit down for a quick sandwich or similar.
Milk has also been on the menu. We've just moved from milking one goat to two. We have an excess of milk so I've been trying to master a simple goats cheese. It's easy enough to make but is fairly flavourless. I've tried adding salt and herbs but I'm still not happy. Any advice would be welcome.
A friend gave me heaps of oranges so I've been baking Rhonda's orange cake lately. Thank you Susan. We love the oranges. They are so juicy and full of flavour!
I bottled even more tomatoes at the beginning of April. More apple cider vinegar is brewing away and I helped make some Autumn Fruit butter with friends. This is the first year that I have had bottled fruit on my shelves but it certainly won't be the last!
I've been working on reducing any time consuming activites outside of our daily lives. Homeschooling our children and milking the goats are very time consuming and the only way to make it work is to be very careful about taking on too much.
I've finally worked out how to make a useable liquid hand soap mix. While it's not the same as shop bought, it works well. Watch this space - recipe coming soon!
I'm harvesting a few stray cherry tomatoes and the last of the capsicums. I'm so glad summer is finally over. It was disastrous in my garden. We ran out of water and the heat wave was just too much. Now I'm happily planting brassicas, trying my hand at carrots yet again (I'm nothing, if not persistent) and the garlic went in the ground.
We harvested quite a few apples this year. Gradually, year by year our harvests increase. I still clearly remember when Belle was picking from a handful of apples on the tree. We never used to go out and collect them en masse because there weren't enough. She would just pick them as she needed them for school.
I decided to make a nice bed cover for one of the girls. Their rooms are fairly drab so I wanted to pretty them up. I chose to make a strip raggy quilt which hasn't worked out too well. With each added strip, the quilt is becoming more and more banana shaped instead of flat. The lady at the craft shop tells me I need a quilting foot. I have to buy one next time I go to our nearest 'big' town.
I've picked up my knitting again. Still working on a jumper for Buddy Boy. I also usually have a knitted dishcloth on the go for easy knitting when I'm out somewhere. They're small enough to be convenient to carry and require no thought.
I've been learning heaps about goats. I've been working my way through Pat Coleby's Natural Goat Care. I was also lucky enough to visit a biodynamic goat farm in April. There is so much to learn by watching experienced people. Their set-up was fantastic! It will take us a long time to be as well organised. They had a stable divided into stalls and a little kitchen area attached. I run back and forth to the house to put milk in the fridge, wash the milking bucket etc. The milking routine is very time consuming but we are all enjoying it. The children join us for milking time and it has become a wonderful family activity.
Well it's all about food for April. I came across some road side quinces which I gave to my daughters. Love finding wild food!
Others have enhanced my life considerably by teaching me more skills. "Give a man a fish and he will live for a day. Teach a man to fish and he will live for a lifetime" A few of us were invited to a friend's house to bottle Autumn fruits and to make Autumn Fruit Butter. The butter is a mix of quince, apple and pear and is DELICIOUS! We've been having it on porridge and particularly love it with yoghurt for a yummy snack. Thank you Caro!
And thank you City Garden Country Garden for helping me put up the button to this link this month. Looks like I know my way around a computer now, don't you think?!
So many generous people in my life!
My favourite part of April was receiving some real rain! The onset of rain has brought green growth which is fresh and lush. I didn't realise how much the weather could affect my mental state but I am now filled with hope, happiness and anticipation for the year ahead!
I hope your world is filled with happiness too! Don't forget to visit the other blogs linking in.