Feather your Nest Friday, 26th August, 2022.

It has been a busy, busy week.   Where to start?   Each day I have tried to add something to the pantry or freezer.  I will save most of those photos for my report in the #everybitcountschallenge on Monday.

I made a double batch of Blueberry Muffins.   Some are for Mum and I froze a supply.

I was able to go to the swap tables.  I took bunches of Celery and I came home with Lemons.

This was good as I had a fair few eggs so I made up Lemon Butter.

It is so good and quick and easy to make.  If you want the recipe it is on my old Blog The Bluebirds are Nesting and the post is called Jars of Sunshine.   I make it in the microwave so there is no stirring over a double boiler.

I took three dozen eggs and some cooking to my younger daughter Lucy. 

One night I made dinner for Chloe and Luke.  (And Thomas.)   I made pizzas and it is ages since I made dough.   With the fire going the dough was soon enormous and lovely.

I made deserts in jars to go with the pizza dinner.

A friend used the cabin over the weekend.  He brought me a lovely box of veggies.  

As most of you know I always get veggies as when asked about payment for the cabin I said no payment is necessary but if you are coming from the city I always appreciate veggies. And so this started... 

During the week I harvested six big bunches of celery and more celery arrived in this box!    Most I dehydrated and I also just chopped and froze some.

I washed and stored the veggies as well as I could.   I saw that the Cauliflower needed using quickly so I immediately cooked it.  I made up a Cauliflower cheese, with some Broccoli in there as well.  It was beautiful! 

We only have one week of winter left so we picked a fine day and lit some of our bonfires.

Under the heap on the left side you can make out Andys legs.    

In this one I am saying "maybe you want to move the ute Andy..." 

We lit another four about the same size.

Andy also brought up more wood for the fire.  I think this will be the last load and we will burn this and then let the fire go out.  Already most days are not as cold.

Once the fire is out I will start Spring cleaning.  I did get started early though... each day I did some extra cleaning, organising, purging type jobs.   As I started now everything looks like it needs cleaning to me!

The baby Quail have grown heaps.  They are fully feathered.  During the week they learned to fly and I began to find them around the house.  One day I was missing one for hours and hours.  I looked under and behind things.   Finally I walked into the sewing room and there he was.  They don't run away I just bend over and pick them up.  But it was time to move them into the outside brooder.    We filled it with fresh soft fluffy hay and introduced them to the world.    They just loved it.  They fling hay everywhere and fluff up and burrow into it.

They are at a teenage stage. When they are fully grown they are round like little bowling balls.

I will be heading outside with a torch shortly to make sure they are warm inside the coop.  

Whenever there are new chickens Zackie can be found watching them most of the day.  Today I looked up and Zackie was sitting right next to a Bantam cage.  I thought oh!!!  the chicks must have hatched!  A Bantam was sitting but I had lost track of when the chicks were due.  Normally I know and keep watch.   So I made a mistake.   Just as I thought I found the hen had one chick and I looked in the nest and found three dead chicks.   She had left them I think and I was too late.  The one living chick seemed distressed so I picked it up and it was cold.   I decided this hen was doing a lousy job and brought the chick inside and warmed it up.  It is now under the brooder heater and eating and drinking.   

Chloe had a photo to share.  Chase is 6 weeks old on Monday.  He is wearing a jumper made by Nan Pat (Mum) and on a quilt and banner by our dear friend Jacqui.  Jacqui has made all my Grandchildren a quilt, a wedding quilt for Chloe and this week I had a huge surprise of a quilt for me.   I am going to feature that in some photos next week.   So beautiful!  

So that was my week!

This verse was posted by a friend during the week and it just hit me :

So be careful how you live.
Don't live like fools, but like
those who are wise.  Make the
most of every opportunity in
these evil days.  Don't act
thoughtlessly, but
understand what the Lord
wants you to do.
Ephesians 5:15 - 17

How did you build up your home, pantry or garden this week?  

For those that love Laine and have been praying for her...  I got a beautiful surprise this morning!  She has written us a letter!   I will post it tomorrow!  If you know others that followed Laine's letters please let them know she is posting an update.  xxx


  1. Your baking always looks lovely, I'm not a fan of muffins, but yours could tempt me!
    My daughter once said when she was a teenager that I made the best cauliflower cheese, I couldn't really understand why but it turned out to be because I always put broccoli in there too. I have to say that now she's an adult her broccauli cheese is simply to die for.
    How absolutely lovely to get a handmade quilt, that really is a lovely gift to receive.

    This week I was given a gooseberry bush, I don't even know the lady's name but we got chatting and I came away with a gooseberry bush.

    I have made more bramble jelly, but I am finding difficult to walk past a bramble patch, especially if it's got big, fat juicy berries! This could become a serious problem.

    I have a hop vine growing in my backyard and it's laden with hops, I have cut some vines and am attempting to dry them in my kitchen, I don't know if this will work but I am giving it a try. I thought I might make some hop pillows since I am not a good sleeper.

    I cooked 2 gammon joints, which may seem excessive for a single person, but it's as easy to cook two as one and one was reduced in price, so it's all sliced up, some made into sandwiches and frozen. I made pea and ham soup from the liquor too, so I probably have a couple of dozen meals or parts of, for about £6 which cannot be bad in this day.

    I finished my cross stitch but I now have to decide what to do with it, I may give that some serious consideration later today as I have enough almost completed projects hanging around!
    So, that was my week. As always, I hope everyone has the best week possible.

    1. Dear Su, I think if I could pick a bramble patch I couldn't stop either! Berries are about $30+ a pound here. Berries are just so healthy and good and delicious! So keep picking away!
      Very nice to be given a Gooseberry bush!
      Hops would be beautiful in a sleep pillow or sachet! You had some great meals and so many put away which will be lovely in winter!
      Maybe some of your cross stitch would make a nice cover for sachets containing the hops? Have a lovely weekend! With love Annabel.xxx

  2. Your blogs are so upbeat and ambitious. I loved reading all you’ve accomplished. I actually did do something to feather my nest this week. I froze blueberries. The season is coming to a close here in Michigan in the US. I froze an additional 10 lbs adding to 5 lbs froze before. I feel accomplished enough to comment here. I hope your week is fruitful and happy.

    1. Thank you Cindy! Well done on all those Blueberries! How wonderful! I would be so happy having them. They are incredibly expensive here. Like gold! Have a beautiful weekend! With love Annabel.xxx

  3. Debby in Kansas USA26 August 2022 at 04:32

    So many good things to see in your pictures! Candy for the eyes. What do you use the lemon butter for? I'm only familiar with lemon curd...which is YUM!

    The quail are adorable. We used to see them a lot in California. I love the little floppy thing on their heads! I wonder if all quail have them.

    I've been wanting to ask you about Laine for weeks, but I figured that you would tell us anything you were permitted. So I'm so glad to hear there's a letter. I look forward to it.

    I'm still recovering from the COVID cough. Between my asthma and the fall allergies starting from the dry summer, it just won't subside. I'm hoping my doc will let me in for a breathing treatment to see if that helps. My favorite time of year is getting closer and I want to feel better soon!

    Good week to you!

    1. Dear Debby, I am pretty sure Lemon Butter and Lemon Curd are the same. I fill cakes, tarts, sponges... I keep some in the freezer for deserts.
      No not all Quail have the thing on their heads. I have never seen those ones in real life.
      I have three letters to publish now from Laine. So I am excited. The first one is up already. I hope hope you start to feel much better soon! With love Annabel.xxx

  4. JulieT from Minnesota26 August 2022 at 05:21

    It is late summer here in the US. I continue to harvest, can, freeze, and dehydrate produce. We have 3-4 weeks until frost. Already the evenings are cooler and the days are shorter. Starting to see some color in leaves. The first to turn is the Sumac send it is turning a beautiful deep shade of red. We picked our first watermelon-a yellow one, yummy! I am working on another beaded Santa ornament for Christmas and I’m using the scraps from the tablecloth for a runner that will be a Christmas gift as well. In the next few weeks we will be getting in some wood. This will be for the following winter as it needs to season. We have our wood for this winter. Have a great and productive week.

    1. Dear Julie, It is wonderful you are a whole year ahead on wood!
      I love Autumn it is my favourite season! I love the leaves as well!
      I have never seen a yellow watermelon! That is amazing.
      Have a lovely weekend! I am having a bit of a rest today! With love Annabel.xxx

  5. Hello Annabel,

    Chase is adorable! The jumper he wears in the picture is very similar to what my dear mum knitted for Cristian, my son, when he was little - the same colours and patern, half the world away and 15 years in time distance. I guess granny love is the best everywhere...

    I saw a glimpse of Scout, too. Love that dog. Today, 26 August, is International Dog Day, so Happy Yummy Days for your puppies from mine, Athos and Charlie.

    We start to feel the autumn coming, lots to harvest and busy busy with garden and preserving. A bit melancholic as during summer life is so easy and sweet........One dress, something light to eat, ice cream and cool sunglasses, right?

    Last night we barely escaped a nuclear explosion as Zaporizhzhia plant, under the control of Russian troops was completely disconnected from the electrical network but the Ukrainians managed to restore the power line. I am so sick to hear the alarm siren several times a day or helicopters flying along the border line (more often then before). The iodine pills need to be taken in 6 hours after the incident and only for people under 40. It was not the case, thank God. The Russians are acting crazy and cruelly.

    Glad to hear good news about Laine and thank you for the letter in advance. I am trying to concentrate only on good parts of life.

    Have a nice weekend. Hugs and good thoughts from Laura_s_world in Romania

    1. Dear Laura, Yes Granny and Great Granny love is beautiful everywhere. Whenever Chloe takes Chase out he is wearing one of my Mums jumpers.
      Scout has to inspect everything. She has her nose poked in!
      Oh my goodness... I am hearing about the nuclear plant but only after searching for info, our news is saying nothing. I know that plant is not so far from you. The alarms sounding and helicopters must be very frightening. I am glad this disaster was diverted. I am so sorry you have this stress to live with currently.
      I hope you get a peaceful weekend! Laine has written three letters now and the first one is up! With love Annabel.xxx

  6. How nice you can harvest your own wood from your property. Red Eucalyptus sells $375 / 400 a cord here.

    1. Yes it is! It is about $400 for a trailer of wood here as well. We have a lifetime supply and we give wood to friends as well. I am so grateful for it! xxx

  7. So glad to hear about Laine! I have a link to her old letters and read one every so often. Love your quail photos and Scout ;). Hilogene in Az

    1. Dear Hilogene, I regularly read the old letters too! The first letter is up now and there are two more here already! Please share them if you know anyone else who followed Laine's Letters. With love Annabel.xxx

  8. I got a few things done even though both my husband and I had the flu last week. It was the kind that wasn't terrible but kept one sofa bound for awhile. We talked about what to do with the area in our yard that was formally our raised bed garden. It is now a miniature forest! That is what happens around here when you use soil from the creek bed (we did not know that).

    My husband said he prayed about it and the thought came to put bricks around half of it to create a burn pit, which we desperately need now that a house has been built in the forest down the gravel lane where we used to put all the deadwood. It would benefit our neighbor, too.

    1. Dear Brenda, It would be good to be able to have a fire. We love a fire! And I can cook on a fire if need be too.
      I hope you are feeling much better! Have a lovely weekend! With love Annabel.xxx

  9. The desserts in the jars are so cute but not nearly as cute as that baby!

    This week has been spent getting ready to be gone to the lake house for two weeks. Can't hardly wait to get there! One son's family will join as for a few days and it will be a joy to see those grandchildren.

    There are grocery deals out there if you look hard and are willing to go to multiple stores to get them.

    1. Dear Lana, Thank you! Have a wonderful time at the lake house! It will be lovely to have your son and his family as well! Yes... deals can still be found. It is harder work but worth the hunt! With love Annabel.xxx

  10. Thanks for the idea about freezing celery. I have never done that before and find it very interesting.

    God bless.

    1. Dear Jackie, Frozen celery is perfect in stock and soups, casseroles. It is so handy. I do the leaves as well. Have a lovely weekend! With love Annabel.xxx

  11. Dear Annabel, your posts are always so encouraging. You have been inspiring me to come up with new ways to add to my freezer.

    This week I had a handful of spring onions to use up, so I made a stack of freezer-friendly spring onion pancakes. I used my normal recipe but rolled the pancakes out between sheets of baking paper before freezing. This helps the pancakes freeze flat so that they can be cooked straight from the freezer. They were so easy to make yet so helpful throughout the week. They reminded me of your words about 'turning a little into a lot'!

    With love from,
    Kelly (Mrs. Kiwi)

    1. Dear Kelly, I love the sound of onion pancakes! Pancakes freeze really well. If you use any breakfast cereals... save the inner packaging and cut it into small squares. This stuff makes perfect freezer dividers like between the pancakes. Its really handy! You did turn a little into a lot, well done! Love Annabel.xxx

  12. Dear Annabel, Chase is such an adorable baby seriously, what a sweetheart. The jumper is gorgeous and very stylish. Your friend is very talented and I think this makes the most beautiful gift ever, what a lovely friend. I love those baby quails too. I am so impressed with your week, you get so much done. I was able to buy some great children’s books and shoes at a good price at the local thrift shop. I also found cotton yarn for 50c each. And every time I bake I try and be like you and cook more, and make hay while the sun shines. I have bromeliads to divide up and fill some spots of the garden- how wonderful that they are free. Lots of love, Lily
    Thank you for posting about Laine, she has been in my prayers.

    1. Dear Lily,
      It was fantastic to find cotton yarn! Great deal! The Bromeliads will be beautiful. I saw they are really expensive in the shops too! More from Laine next week! With love Annabel.xxx

  13. Dear Annabel, I finally got my overlocker working and was able to start on my cloths this week. I didn't get any chickens this time, I think the wet, then hot, then freezing and some thunder may have addled them. I will try again in spring. I didn't really achieve anything else much this week. Love Clare

    1. Dear Clare, I am sorry this batch didnt hatch! Now it is Spring hopefully you will have another broody hen and success. Great work on the overlocker and cloths! Love your cloths! With love Annabel.xxx

  14. I looked around this week to see what I already had. I realized I'd been looking at a 5pound bag of unshelled pecans for months now, so I sat down and began shelling those nuts. I got nearly 2 quarts off the portion I shelled (about half this week) and immediately prepared a pecan pie, using my Granny's old recipe. I haven't made a pecan pie in ages and it was soooo good! Made a happy hubby, too. I put a quart of pecans in the freezer and last night before Shabat I started on the next lot of them.

    I organized the fridge and determined what our meals would be for today. Using leftovers we will have a big pan of fried rice tonight.

    While prepping veggies earlier this week I did what I've been doing for years: when I top and tail an onion and peel off that first tough layer of flesh, I pop them into a zipper bag in the freezer which I save for making broth. I add tops and tails of carrots and any scrapings from a carrot (washed well before I start). I put the root ends of celery in the bag as well. All of these come in so handy when making broth and I don't have to 'waste' full sized portions of veggies, just the scraps.

    I cooked up a chicken frame and picked over the bones to gather meat. This made a lovely chicken noodle soup. While we were eating, the noodles absorbed the last of the liquid and it all got quite thick. I put that into a casserole dish and froze it. In future, I will thaw, top with breadcrumbs and bake as a scalloped chicken noodle casserole.

    Made my usual Saturday lunch of homemade pizza. A single recipe of dough makes two ample crusts for us, so I divide and then freeze one portion, which I thaw out the next week and use for that week's pizza.

    I harvested and dried some herbs from my yard and added to my containers of dried herbs as soon as they were fully dry.

    Instead of purchasing fresh flowers this past week I bought potted mums and asters. I can plant these in the yard or in pots and at least the mums will return next year but I'm not sure if the asters will or not. I should think they might as they are similar to the mums.

    I was feeling a bit down last week about what I don't have but this week I've concentrated on what I DO. Makes a huge difference in attitude!

    1. Dear Terri, It was a big jo to tackle those pecans! But great work!
      I love to buy a plant rather than flowers. I have so many plants this way!
      I hope you are feeling better. At times life does get on top of us. But you always have a positive attitude! With much love, Annabel.xxx


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