NO 2 DAUGHTERS RICE PAPER ROLLS

I cooked some beef yesterday in my slow cooker and wanted to do something different so we decided to use it in some rice paper rolls for tea tonight.

These are really delicious and we enjoy them almost as much as sushi rolls.

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Here is No 2 daughter with the rolls and a Vietnamese dipping sauce that I like but it is a bit hot for some so they have soy sauce.
Here are the ingredients:

  • Rice paper wrappers
  • Roast Beef
  • Shredded lettuce
  • BBQ sauce
  • Rice (not pictured)

DSC_1025[1]We used sushi rice instead of noodles in these as we find noodles make them very hard to roll up where as the rice is slightly easier and stays together better.

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We put the rice paper sheets into water to soften them, then placed them onto the bench. We added a spoonful of rice then some shredded beef and some BBQ sauce and lettuce.
DSC_1027[1]Then we roll them up and place them seam side down on the tray.  You need to roll them quite tightly so they hold together.

We leave them sit for a few minutes before eating and they sort of stick together better.

We all enjoyed them for tea, they were yummy!!

Blessings…

CREATE YOUR OWN HERITAGE

I was going to write this huge long post about why we value our family so much and why we just love being together, but it contained things that aren’t worth talking about, things that are best left in the past.

Some of us aren’t born into Christian families that value supporting each other in the journey that God has them on.

Some of us aren’t even born into Christian families.

I am here to tell you that even though the above may be true you can still create a Godly heritage for your children, grandchildren and generations to come.

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All of us at our No 1 daughters wedding nearly 3 years and 2 and a bit grandchildren ago

You may not have the support of your family with certain decisions, and although that can be terribly difficult to live through, you will live through it and come out the other side stronger and more determined to follow God’s ways.

After many trials and tribulations my husband and I decided that we were going to create relationships with our children and support them as they grew up and keep the lines of communication open.

If you are the same as us, please just spend time with your children and love them, show them how you support them, guide them in their decisions and create a Godly heritage for them.

Teach them that God is their all in all and without Him they are lost. Teach them that God will guide them and lead them and that they should stay close to Him. Pray for them and with them. Pray for their future spouses and let them know that you are there for them.

If you are travelling as a family alone in your journey, be encouraged that there is hope for you and the generations to come, between God and you there is a wonderful heritage coming.

Psalm 127:3 Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward.

DOWN ON THE FARM UPDATE #4

Well it has been a while since I have shared how things are going on our little farm.  Summer is over and Autumn is here and it is a lovely time of the year.

We had a couple of fires this year within our brigade – one being a header that caught fire. This isn’t our header, it was working on one of our neighbours property.  Below is a picture of the header after it was put out.

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Our local fire brigade also burned along the sides of the road from our place to the next town, about 12 kms.  This is to keep the grass down and hopefully stop the fire from jumping into the paddocks.

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Here is one of the fire trucks out the front helping to keep the fire along the side of the road and not in our paddocks.  Our Brigades are all run by volunteers and they do a great job.DSC_0899[1]This is what it looked like out the front of our house. It looks black for a little bit and then the green starts to show through.

My husband is still milking two cows each morning and we are still making feta and cheddar cheese. Below is where he does the milking, it is good in the summer but can be a bit difficult in the winter. We are in the process of moving the milking area to the end of our wool shed and the power is waiting to be attached at the moment. Once that is done the men will concrete it out and move everything over. This will make milking more pleasant in the winter and also make it feasible to milk more cows.

DSC_0987Here are the two cows that we are milking at the moment.  Both cows are a Fresian / Jersey Cross bought from a dairy farmer friend who uses a Jersey bull over his heifers as they deliver smaller calves and thus making it less likely to loose either cow or calf.   Both are totally different looking one looking more Jersey and the other more Fresian.

DSC_0988The cow not facing us has been here for quite a while and her name is Cornetto (after an ice cream we can buy here).  I think the other ones name is Daisy and that really suits her.

The piglets are still growing well and when it gets a bit cooler we will be butchering a few of them.  The bigger ones will go first of course. We have really enjoyed the last lot of sausages that we made from our own pork so I think that will be first on the list to do.

DSC_0994My husband is keen to make some dried cured meat and we might do our bacon that way this year.

Here is Roses our little kitten. We have two kittens and a cat at the moment, so the younger children have one each and the cat – Smokey belongs to all of us.  They really help keep the mouse and rat population down.

DSC_0992If you knew my husband well you would know that he has an aversion to cats, especially inside as he is allergic to them and if they are inside they give him asthma.  Over the years he has really softened towards them and now I find out that he is feeding them milk each morning down at the shed.

We have been offered an alpaca, and I hope that it will be delivered shortly. I don’t have too many details as yet but I feel very blessed that it isn’t costing us anything as they can be quite expensive. Maybe we will get it a mate when we find out what type it needs.

Well that’s all for now, stay tuned for the next episode.

What’s happening on your farm or homestead at the moment?

Psalm 24:1  The earth is the LORD’S, and the fulness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein.

UNCONDITIONAL LOVE

I have spent years being not happy with the way I was, whether being too short or too wide or my hair being too frizzy, the list could go on.  I have wasted many hours of thought on these things that I cannot change about myself.

Then 29 years ago I met my husband and I suppose he has spent the last 29 years loving me for the way I am.

Sure it has taken us quite a few years to get where we are now, that is a proper relationship with Christ at the centre, but he has loved me all the way along.

We were picking apples off trees on the side of the road the other day, and I stated that if I was a bit taller I could reach more. His statement to me was that I was his pocket rocket and he would get the high ones and I could get the low ones.

He loves me unconditionally, whether I am short, or too wide or my hair is going gray and is too frizzy, he thinks I am wonderful.

Sure there are some things I am sure he would change on me. I know he would like me to loose weight – not because he doesn’t desire me but because he is concerned for my health the same way I am for him.

His love for me is like God’s love for me, he loves me despite myself, my lumps and bumps and insecurities. He has stood beside me through 6 caesar operations, holding my hand, even dressing a wound I had from one operation for 12 weeks, he is pretty amazing.

What a blessed wife am I to have such a husband. May God help me to love him the same and to care for him the same and support him and stand beside him as he leads our family. God help me to love him unconditionally.

PS: I want you all to understand that we aren’t a perfect family. There are no perfect families, there are no perfect people. We are as real as the next. We argue and our children aren’t always obedient, but through it all there is the love of God and I think that is the key.

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SLEEPING OR PRAYING – WHAT’LL IT BE

Another day has gone by and it is bed time.  I am tired, it’s been hot and we’ve been busy, and in town shopping,

I’m sitting here thinking that I need to go to bed.  My men folk are out at a fire brigade training session and will not be home for a while yet.

I could go to bed and read and pray or just sleep, but I know that I should be praying for my family.

I know of a family where the grandmother prays for her children and her grandchildren every day.  She prays for their relationship with God and for their future, she is definitely a God fearing woman who knows the power of prayer and all her children walk with the Lord.

I want to be a praying mother and now grandmother.  Each night I pray for the safety of our children and grandchildren.  I pray for our unmarried children’s future spouses and their safety.

But I want to be able to pray more and to be able to stay awake at night instead of falling asleep.  I sometimes joke that if I can’t sleep I pray, but that’s not really the way I want it to be.  I want to be a God fearing prayerful women who knows and understands the power of prayer.  I want my sons and daughters to be prayerful people who put their trust in God and not in man.

I want to pray for them to turn their backs on the ways of the world and keep their eyes on Jesus.  I want us to be in the world and not of the world.

So I think I will go to bed and pray.

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PS: I wrote this post a month or so ago hence the reference to warm weather.

GOOD MORNING MONDAYS #21

Wow another week gone by and autumn seems to have come to our corner of the world. The mornings are very crisp and the evenings even crisper.

Welcome to another Good Morning Mondays Link Up, we have been going now for 21 weeks and it so good to be developing relationships and getting to know each other better.

If you read last weeks post you will know that my husband and oldest son went to Melbourne Sunday night to help Gideons International in Australia with their Bible Blitz.  They had a fantastic time and really enjoyed the street handouts as compared to Nursing Homes and Universities.  They came home on fire to do more when they can.

The younger two children and myself had an interesting time, the animals must have known my men folk were away because some of them behaved quite badly. See my post on When The Men Are Away The Stock Will Play to find out all that went on.

So by the time the children and I handled everything  we only managed some school and a few other things. We went to our bible study on Tuesday night and had Subway for tea as a treat for all their hard work.

DSC_0960They enjoyed this and so did I. They behaved very well during study with No 2 daughter doing some bible readings and when you have a King James version it really means you have to pay attention to all the Thous and Thees.

We were all really pleased when the men came home, we missed them so much but I was also very quick to hand back the reigns of management to my husband (of course with a smile).

No 2 son was straight back to work on Thursday morning, he has a 2 week shearing job and was itching to get back to it.  My sister-in-law arrived on Thursday afternoon and it was great to have her stay with us for a night. She has a great time with the children and they love her and she gets down on the floor with them playing lego.  She then went into town to visit with my husbands parents for a couple of days.  She lives in Melbourne (350 kms) so she can’t just pop over.

No 2 son had a wedding on Saturday up near where his sister lives so he was going to take no 2 daughter with him and then our No 1 daughter and family offered to have both younger 2 children stay. So off they went before tea on Friday night.  It was very quiet here and after a few tears I settled down.

On Saturday my husband and I went apple picking from the trees off the side of the road. The trees are about 5 kms from home and they were loaded.  We only picked off 2 trees and had the ute full of boxes. We are going to pick some more in the next day or so, as we usually preserve heaps and also pick some for our no 1 daughter.

After apple picking we headed to the Port Fairy Folk Festival. Port Fairy is on the coast about 50 minutes away and has a music festival every year.  I am not really keen on crowds but it wasn’t too bad. There was a lot of new age stuff there but we did see some good musicians.  There was a really good blue grass group and then we stumbled upon this group.

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I couldn’t fit all of them in as they were spread out a bit, but there were at least 9 button accordians, a couple guitars, a violin, and drums and whistles being played.  Apart from a couple of young people the rest of them were all over 60 at least and some quite older.

Now I probably haven’t shared with you all that we have our own piano accordians here.  We have 5 piano accordians and 1 button accordian. My husband is teaching our youngest son at the moment, and No 2 daughter plays the ukelele.  This is all apart from their piano.

So you can imagine how thrilled we were when we saw this group. I think we watched them for over an hour and they didn’t stop playing during that time. It was really a pleasure to listen to all the good old tunes.

Whilst we were doing this our son was at the wedding and our other children and their sisters family were fishing.

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They all looked like they had a great time but I think they had bought fish and homemade chips for tea, but lets give them points for trying. Thanks to our son-in-law, daughter and her lovely family for having their brothers and sister for the weekend.  It is great for them to spend time together.

Well that’s enough about our week, onto the link up.

Our top three posts this week were…thmb54f3181dc91c3Marriage Trouble Warning Signs by Crystal at Tidbits of Experience

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What Not to Say to Someone Who Has Cancer by Candy at Mom’s Morning Coffee

thmb54f3836e50062Out of Place? A Challenge by Laura at Harvest Lane Cottage

and my favourite was…

thmb54f632337151e3 Moose and a Woodpecker by A Family, A Cabin an Adventure in Alaska

This is a great post and I really enjoy hearing about this families life in Alaska.

If you haven’t had time pop over and have a look at the 4 featured posts, there is heaps to learn.

Thank you all for taking the time to link up, I feel so blessed that you took the time to do so and I look forward to what you have for us this week.

I have been doing the “Read the Bible in a Year” with Donna Reidland and I am just enjoying this so much and I am reading certain scriptures that I haven’t read in a long time.

Something that really touched me this morning was that time is short and what are we doing as Christians. Are we arguing over the little things and being distracted by Church politics or maybe we are allowing too much of the world to seep into our lives.

I really feel convicted to spread the love of God to others and share the Gospel whenever I can.  This can be such a difficult thing and I pray that God will help our family and yours to do this.

Our children won’t be home until Monday some time so I have a quilt to finish and then I am going to try and get some school work done this week.

We have another sewing day coming up and I am looking forward to that and then just the normal day to day activities. Oh and I might start canning our corn, but I will keep you updated.

May you all be blessed this week as God challenges you to be who He wants you to be.

Blessings to you all and your families. XXXX


WHEN THE MEN ARE AWAY THE STOCK WILL PLAY

If you have read my Good Morning Mondays #20 post you will know that my husband and No 1 son have been in Melbourne handing out Bibles for Gideons International in Australia. They were away for 3 nights and almost 4 days.

So while they were away the younger two children and myself were in charge of the stock and general overall running of the farm. There were things I had to do that I haven’t done in ages.

I had to feed the piglets and the fish, make sure that all the stock stayed where they were meant to and make sure the aquaponics was still flowing along.

We had a good night on Sunday night but then it started on Monday. One of the sows decided she could smell grain and pushed the gate off the hinge and got into it. Now those of you who have stock will know that once they get a taste for something they will keep on trying to get to it.  In the end after numerous attempts we had to barricade the gate shut.

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The sow and boar hanging around the barricaded gate

Then when I was feeding the fish before tea I noticed one of our calves out on the firebreak along the side road.  The two children and I had to herd this calf back along the fence and down the main road into the drive.  We live on a major road with lots of big trucks driving past, so I was on the road in our car with the hazard lights on and the children (in their pjs) were running along behind.

I was just so concerned about it getting onto the actual road and being hit by a car or truck, for both the calf and the drivers sake.

We got it back in and through the gate to its mother and all was well again.

Tuesday dawned bright and clear and we got into our day. No 2 daughter was doing school and must have looked out her window and saw the calf from the night before in our vegetable garden, so off we went and chased it back again to its mother. Boy this calf was determined to cause difficulties. She then pushed her way through the fence again and we had to move her.

Then that afternoon I decided to plant our sweet potato shoots in the aquaponics bed. Now this isn’t a hard job and it went quite well but I knocked a stone down the outlet pipe.  From then on the water wouldn’t drain away properly.  I rang my husband and got instructions on how to remove the stone and I did this but it still caused us difficulties.  It started working well so we decided to go to our bible study.

When we got home I noticed that the sump was nearly empty and one of the pumps wasn’t working. So again another phone call to my already worn out husband and we decided to add some water and as he was coming home the next day he would work out what was going on then.  It was midnight and No 2 daughter and myself were still out there trying to sort it out.

I sort of decided that it would be great when my husband and son came home.

We talked about it being a spiritual attack because they were in Melbourne handing out bibles and it may have been and I did try and keep my cool and remember to pray instead of getting stressed and it sort of worked.

Thank you Lord for helping us keep it together.

All in all it wasn’t too bad but I didn’t really achieve too much other stuff, but that’s okay, keeping everything going is good too.

James 1:2-4 Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.

What mischief does you stock get up too????

PS: There has been no more issues since the men got home – makes you wonder.

 

PRESERVING THE HARVEST – BOTTLING TOMATOES

Well it’s that time of the year in Australia, time to gather in the harvest and deal with it so that it lasts for the rest of the year.

Once again our tomatoes are only just starting to turn red, it is almost too late for them but hopefully they will continue.  We are blessed to be able to purchase bulk tomatoes from our local farm produce store in town so each year our tomatoes don’t fruit enough I purchase a couple of boxes from them.

Where we live can be so tricky weather wise and it isn’t always beneficial to growing certain vegetables.  Our corn looks great but I will leave that for another day.

I like to have over 50 bottles of tomatoes in the pantry each year.  I could probably use 100 bottles but when I have to buy the tomatoes it is just too expensive.

Here’s what I do with them.

First of all I put as many tomatoes as I can fit into a saucepan and add some water and let them cook away until they are soft.   I just chuck them in whole like they are below.

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When they are finished cooking they will look like this.  Nice and soft and juicy. They have reduced quite a bit too.  DSC_0876My husband bought me this special tool years ago and I use it mainly on my tomatoes and when I preserve apples.

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It’s called a tomato press and we got it at an italian/greek supermarket in Melbourne.  It is a great store and we have been back there and always enjoy the experience.

You put the cooked tomato pulp in the top. (I wait until it is cooler)

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You turn the handle and the tomato pulp comes out into the white dish.DSC_0896[1]and the skin comes out the side.  Once I have done the whole pot I put the skin mix through again to get out any more tomato pulp.

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Using this tool leaves you with beautiful tomato pulp that is skinless and ready to go into bottles.  You could put it back on the stove and add other ingredients and spices if you want.  This lot I just bottled plain.

Now I fill my jars. Because of the acid level in tomatoes they can be processed through my Fowlers Vacola Unit which basically uses the water bath method.

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My unit is a bigger electric one and it fits about 8 of these bottles.

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Here is the finished product.  I always double clip my bottles and then leave the clips on for 12 – 24 hours before removing and storing the bottles in the pantry.

DSC_0879Sometimes, if I have them I add zucchinis, and onion and other seasonings that I have on hand and then I can just cook up my mince and add this straight in it for a lovely bolognaise sauce for spaghetti.

How do you process your tomatoes??

 

SOMETHING TO CONTEMPLATE

We were in town on Saturday morning for our youngest 2 children’s piano lessons and if we can afford it we have breakfast in town afterwards.

So we were sitting in a local cafe having some brunch (by the time we got there) and I was rather interested by something happening around us.

Now my daughter and I either wear skirts or dresses, because that is a conviction that God has given to OUR family.  This post isn’t to start a debate about whether women should or shouldn’t wear pants, this is a post to get you thinking.

As I was sitting there drinking my cappuccino in came a family. A mum, 2 daughters and a son. Now when we shop we go to our nearest large town which is a small town of under 10,000 people, so although I don’t know everyone, you get to see the same faces around.

We have a group of Exclusive Brethren who live in this town and they have a couple of businesses as well.  Now if you know about the Exclusive Brethren you know that they wear dresses or skirts and head coverings.  The group in town has women only wearing head bands instead and I must admit this family didn’t have any head coverings at all but I knew they were Brethren.

The mum was wearing a beautiful dress and both girls were wearing lovely summer frocks and the son had on long pants and a white shirt.  I noticed them straight away when they came in and used the bathrooms and then ordered a take away breakfast.

The whole family stuck together and spoke quietly to each other, they did hold themselves apart – I suppose of the world not in the world, something that we Christians are supposed to be.

There was a young girl there about 13 years of age I’d guess and she was waiting for her order. I hadn’t noticed her before but as I was watching the other family I noticed her looking at the brethren family with interest.

This family stood out, they were dressed differently, they weren’t rowdy,  they held themselves together.  They didn’t go along with the worlds ways.

Now this also isn’t to turn into a debate about the Exclusive Brethren and what they believe, but do we as Christians hold ourselves apart from the world and are we standard bearers for our children and our children’s children.

Do we just go along with the way everyone else does things because it is easier and even I must admit sometimes it is hard being a Christian and having to stand up and be different, but in the end what can the world offer us but soul destroying fun times.

I love the scripture of Romans 12:2  And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

We must stand firm against the worlds ways and not be conformed to them, we must set ourselves apart otherwise we wont be able to discern Gods will for us.  We must take the hard road (dirt road in the country) and hit every pothole if that is Gods way but his way leads to the cross of Christ and the forgiveness of our sins and everlasting life with him.

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Why would we want any other road than HIS.

Matthew 6:24 – No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.

1 John 1:7 – But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.

 

This post is linked up at…

Word Filled Wednesday

WHEN FAMILY COME TOGETHER

What a wonderful time it is when family come together, when they haven’t seen each other for a while hugs and words just flow.

As I have said before our oldest daughter and her family have been travelling around eastern and the middle of Australia for about 7 weeks now. Although we only see them once a month or so, they just seemed so far away.

When we finally managed to get together (sicknesses over) we had a wonderful time.  We are so blessed that all of our children get on so well from the youngest to the oldest.

We sat and we talked, we ate and we talked, we ate again and we talked, it was wonderful.

Our younger two children aged 9 and 7 just adore their big sister and her husband and our oldest son aged 19 and our son-in-law are the best of friends.

Here is a photo of them playing UNO at the kitchen table. Don’t they look so happy together!!!

DSC_0927[1]The young man on the right is our son-in-law with their eldest daughter.DSC_0926[1]

Here is what they are really like, stirring each other up, poking and prodding and often bickering.  They can drive me crazy, but it is a good crazy.  But you know – they would do anything for each other and they just love each other.

Don’t ever worry about age differences with your children, if your oldest is grown up and you still have children under 10.  Take it from us it is a blessing and they can get on together.

Here is Granddad with our youngest granddaughter keeping out of things and enjoying her company.DSC_0924[1]

I must admit I am really enjoying the relationship I have with our adult daughter. We have such wonderful discussions from child raising to blogging. So while the men our outside we are inside talking and we never run out of things to say.

I am working on having that relationship with our younger daughter too, but that is still a work in progress as she grows up and it will change as she matures.

When our daughters family leave it is sad and we miss them, but the quiet returns (somewhat) and we become reflective on all our Lord has blessed us with – our family, our home, our land and each other.

Psalm 127:3  Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, The fruit of the womb is a reward.  Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, So are the children of one’s youth.  Happy is the man who has his quiver full of them; They shall not be ashamed, But shall speak with their enemies in the gate.

 

This post is linked up at…

Word Filled Wednesday