Sunday, 25 November 2012

Hams, Hats & Ho Ho Ho

You know it's officially Christmas when the smell of smoking hams permeates every area of the house and surrounds.

Smoked ham ... our official scent of the season.

The big fella took the reins today, my turn yesterday while he cut hay.  The intricacies of the smoking machine a fine match for those of the Acco gearbox, there are just some skills in life I'm sure I can live without.  The steel handle in his grasp the controlling factor in how much air is allowed entry to the fire, and thus what level of smoke is created and temperature generated.  It mightn't be rocket-surgery, but it's close.

The teenager finishes school this Friday.  With an assignment due tomorrow and four exams before Wednesday, she had a little light reading to catch up on this weekend.

Jess and Wallace are far more importantly preparing for a dress up character day this Friday,

a little millinery activity

preceded a dress rehearsal.  Sal busied herself with the important task of providing Santa with some helpful hints.

Workboots for Christmas. Ho ho ho.  I'd rate that one up there with the weed-eater, the frying pan and the iron.  True story.

So with the whips-a-cracking we're heading into the silly season.  A planned two day town trip this week cut short by the need to be home to bale hay.

The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry.

There's No I in Christmas

... apparently.

Saturday, 24 November 2012

Marshmallow Crunch Slice ... the recipe

4 Crushed Weet-Bix
1 cup Self Raising Flour
1/2 cup Brown Sugar
1 cup Coconut
125g Marg/Butter
Dash of Vanilla

Mix all dry ingredients, add melted butter and vanilla.
Press into a well-greased or lined tray.  Bake at 180 degrees for 20 minutes.
Allow to cool before topping with marshmallow.

1 cup Sugar
3/4 cup Water
1 dessertspoon Gelatine

Combine all ingredients in saucepan, bring to the boil and cook for 3 minutes.
Let cool, then beat until white and thick.  Spread over base and sprinkle with coconut.

Make the topping as soon as the slice goes into the oven, as you do need to leave it quite a while to cool before beating.


Friday, 23 November 2012

Marshmallow Slice

So popular first go-round, we tried it again ...

We're not scared of artificial colours.
With some weetbix in the base for added crunch and a marshmallow topping comprising of only sugar, water and gelatine, it's a bit of a crowd pleaser, (even if not ticking all the nutritional and health requirement boxes).  Let me know if you want the recipe ... or if you happen to have a copy of the Charters Towers Distance Ed recipe book, you'll already have it.

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

It's a Boy Thing

Found whilst yet again tidying his and Sally's bedroom.  He obviously hasn't ticked that one off the list yet, though I think he's going fairly well with point 1.

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Rain, Hail or Shine

We love rain.  

All the more exciting if accompanied by a good bang of thunder and flicker of lightning after a sultry hot day.  Now the younguns even race to the radar to see exactly what lies ahead.

This afternoon's offering had them simply beside themselves.  Mark it down in the history books said Jess, her first hail experience.

Just to the very southern edge of what looked a particularly nasty storm, we received only some very small hail and 9 mil of rain.  Enough to drop the temperature thankfully.

With storms predicted until the end of the week, we're hopefully in with a chance for some more.  The neighbour's early morning report suggests maybe an inch at Bottle Tree last night.  

And finally, spare a thought for the big fella who drafted several hundred feeders today, somewhere close to Boulia.  He rang in a 47 degree weather report this afternoon ... sometimes it's good to be the stay at home mum!

Monday, 19 November 2012

Another Weekend

We spent most of the weekend finding fat cows.  

hands on hips mandatory for counting out.

A meatworks cheque a few weeks before Christmas helps put the ho in the ho ho ho.

The team found it a little dull, and stinking hot.

Jess displayed her artistic talents, yet another shortfall in the genetics lucky dip.

Baby calves are still falling.  This little heifer hiding herself in the brown grass.  Unfortunately very limited rain having fallen at Bottle Tree yet.

Her young Mum quick to arrive on the scene after seeing our interest.

What are you doing behind that tree big fella?

Spirits rose considerably when we headed west to undertake a fixed time AI program Saturday dinner time, with a hundred and twenty droughtmaster heifers awaiting our arrival.

Most exciting was the knowledge that nine puppies were also present.

Try as they might we managed to come home without one.  Our Ruby hopefully due to deliver some of our very own just two days after Christmas.

Back to Bottle Tree Sunday. 
These youngsters starting to look like a bit of branding work come first week of school holidays.

Four weeks of school left for the youngsters, two for Sarah.
But who's counting?

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Nature's Beauty

We've all just lined up for a glimpse of the solar eclipse.  Not as spectacular as further north (waiting for a report Sharon), we did have approximately 90 percent coverage, a noticeable darkening of the morning, and a quite amazing sight to behold.

Dad's welding helmet quite the tool.

Throw another Snag on the Barbie

Looks like we'll be doing a little of that.

And with eight hams soaking in brine in the cold room,
it's starting to feel a lot like Christmas.

Thursday, 8 November 2012

Of Convicts and Cows

Our school enjoyed a visit from a pair of drama teachers this week.  This is the third year Tim and Howard have visited and this year the theme of the day was Australia's early settlement with much discussion of convicts and penal colonies.

The students went to school dressed as convicts.

Sal making use of a Cinderella costume I'd made for Sarah quite some years back when she performed the title role in the end of year play.

On the same day I delivered what I hope to be the last round of molasses for the year.

The trickle from the pipe indicating just how low the tank is.  The suggestion from my husband last week to just wait until this latest weather system passed through before ordering another load proved to be great advice.

By the time they enjoy these last troughs of goodness, the three inches of rain we had should have pushed some good fresh feed through for them.

Perfect timing, with bulls gone out to work.

Some good luck combined with good weather makes good management seem easy.

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Melbourne Cup, Marlborough Style

We love an opportunity for a 'do' in the bush.
And Melbourne Cup provides not only a chance to sample some delectable culinary delights, but also to glam up a little.
Here are a few glimpses of my day.

Bull Sales.  Check.
Melbourne Cup.  Check.
Next stop ... Christmas.


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