Feather your Next Friday, 28th October 2022.

This week I had a long list which was kind of daunting.  I do love crossing things off a list though!  

Number one was to get my fruit cakes made for Christmas.  I did it over two days making two double batches.  That was 20 eggs and 4 kilos of fruit.  Many times over the years I have had various themes at Christmas for my wrapping and gifts.  This year the theme is "use up all the odds and ends of ribbons, papers, cellophanes, boxes...."   

One batch was cooling and I got the next lot of fruit soaking to make the next day. 

I stuck to my plan to make more smaller cakes.    One was larger which is for us and guests and I got nine all up.

My next goal was to organise a place for the freeze drier.   I have a room that is a kind of entrance room and it is going to become a food preserving room.  To do this I had to move so much!   It went like this:

Empty a large set of shelves in the laundry.   These held all my laundry products.  So I moved these supplies all into a cupboard elsewhere.  Doing this I reorganised everything and lined them up so I can see exactly how many laundry powers and liquids I have,  stains removers and general things like cleaning supplies.    Finally the shelves went out.   Then I mopped the floor and cleaned as you do when furniture gets moved.

Step two... the ready meals freezer went into this space then same again clean the space,  mop the floor and so on.

Step three... a table of all my plants and stuff I can't help but collect also had to be moved out.   Then again cleaning and mopping etc.

Now I have a clear space waiting for a long stainless steel work bench that will hold the freeze drier.   And the freight centre in town rang me and said my freeze drier has arrived!  This is so exciting!   It is coming together!  I hope by this time next week I am all set up.

I have Broccoli ready to harvest and it is the best I have grown so far.   

Of course I don't want to harvest anything right now as next week I might be able to freeze dry it.   But still I needed to harvest Broad Beans as they are getting away from me.

We sat outside shelling beans like old timers.  

Even after using 20 eggs in cakes I still had a lot of eggs so I made a big Impossible Pie.   It was really delicious.

I moved the Ducks into bigger premises and also Quail.  I have one lot of chickens that need to be moved as well so maybe over the weekend I will get to them too.  I need to stop hatching chickens for a while but I am glad now that I know I can do it at any time it is needed for our own flock or for anyone else.  I am pleased about that.

We continued to get rain and the weather is cool as if Spring just went away.   Things have grown so much it is just incredible.  I thought the coolness might slow things down but the rain is so good for things and they have shot along.  I am amazed.  Growth everywhere.  We are grateful!  

So it was a good week.  My list is whittled down so much which feels great.   The weekend is going to be quieter which is just what we need.  

How did you build up your home,  pantry or garden this week?  I hope you found some good deals out there and things that helped. xxx


  1. Dear Annabel, I am sorry for my late comment. I hadn't got a chance to write until now. I am dreadfully sorry about Mimi. I learnt so much from you both in the Simple Savers days and I have always loved her positive energy and zest for life and the way she made everything so beautiful. She really turned the ordinary into exquisite. Her family are in my prayers. Do you think it would be wise to comment on her blog, if her family wouldn't mind? It would be lovely to let them know the impact she had on me/on so many.
    I am very impressed with your Christmas cakes. They look so beautifully presented. I love foods for a gift, especially at Christmas as it can be so lovely to have this with a cup of tea. Congratulations on your freeze drier! I am so excited for you!
    I have had a lot on. My Mum is to undergo some testing soon. I am praying for her.
    On other news I did get some plants from a community group on FB, I even got them planted. It was good to be outside.
    Lots of love, Lily

    1. Dear Lily, Thank you so much! The Simple Saver days were great! You could try commenting on her blog... I am not sure if she approved posts before publishing though. Her FB is Mimi Marshall and you could comment there as I think her family will see that.
      I hope things turn out to be ok with your Mum. Good work on the plants! Time in the garden is a very good thing! Have a good weekend! With love Annabel.xxx

  2. Your cakes are beautifully wrapped. Smaller sizes are ideal for gifts……I might do the same. In my dreams to buy a freeze dryer. I too watch Becky on acre homestead and love to watch her freeze dry her harvests .."and oh what a garden she has. You and her inspire me greatly.

    1. Thank you so much! I love watching Becky! She is one of my favourites! Now she has to start a whole new garden and with a baby! But she will do it she has so much energy! Many thanks! xxx

  3. Congratulations on the freezer dryer! Your pantry will grow much bigger with this gadget! It is a stranger to me - we do not have it here. But what a big help will be for you!

    1. Dear Laura, We did not have freeze driers here only a couple of years ago. It is from watching USA you tubers put up food that had me investigate further. I hope I can work it very hard and it will be worth the investment. Have a good weekend and new week! With love Annabel.xxx

  4. I admire the christmas cakes! And I think smaller sizes will be a much easier and better gift. People like the gift, no matter the size. I buy local extra virgin olive oil as gifts (from a local olive oil grower and producer) and found the small bottles make people just as happy. Love your blog ;). Hilogene in Az

    1. Dear Hilogene, How great to have local olive oil! That is a good gift. I have also given jars of honey from our farm. I think food gifts are fantastic. Thanks so much! With love Annabel.xxx

  5. Dear Annabel,

    Your cakes look beautiful and so professionally wrapped, and since I've made your recipe before, I know they taste just as good as they look! Very exciting about your freeze drier. Here prices for everything are going up, up, up...groceries pretty much weekly. We've just heard electricity is going up dramatically, too..."due to rising fuel prices". Ha. So if a person thinks they will save money on oil or gas by switching to electric (which there is nowhere near a big enough grid in place for everyone to heat and drive with electric), it's likely that all will be virtually as expensive as the other. What a racket! There are going to be a lot of very cold and hungry people this winter. Praise God there are blogs like yours that help steer folks to money saving ideas and skills!

    Seeing this post has definitely reminded me that it's time to get cracking on Christmas plans!

    Hope you have a lovely weekend.

    xx Jen in NS

    1. Dear Jen,
      Thank you! We were told our electricity will go up 80% and I think we are already the most expensive in the world. This will send up the price of everything of course and it is happening already ... like you each week prices are up. I am truly worried about families in freezing climates and this situation. I dont know how many people have listened. I hope some. And there is still a little time but not much, I know you have put up a lot of food and are well ahead. Even with warm clothing, bedding etc. Many people dont have these as they have lived with a lot of heating. Once that level of heating is no longer possible they will need these things! Yes Christmas is coming around fast. We are almost in November! I am working on it! With love Annabel.xxx

  6. Congratulations on getting a freeze dryer. That is wonderful. Your cakes look delicious. I am released from physical therapy but have to do a lot exercises for balance and strengthening and still need lots of OT for arm. Will be glad when I can make lists again! LOL.....Nancy

    1. Dear Nancy, You are making great progress! I hope you can do your exercises everyday and see even more progress! Maybe you can make planning kind of lists. I think planning is half the fun! With love Annabel.xxx

  7. Dear Annabel,
    Your cakes look beautiful. Such lovely wrapping and delicious looking ingredients.
    Congratulations on the new freeze dryer. I have seen the videos of them in action and they bump up processing for food storage several notches.
    We have discussed a freeze dryer several times. It would be so much easier for me to use than the canning process. The issue we seem to have to overcome is where to put it. It is very loud and I have super sensitive hearing. Pretty much any machinery over 45 decibels drives me up the wall. 🙄
    This week, I have been canning relish and pickled beets. We had a couple of nights below freezing, but not a hard freeze. John brought in all the beets and tomatoes. The tomatoes are all I have left to process.
    Have a blessed and wonderful weekend Bluebirds.
    Love and hugs,

    1. Dear Glenda, I will be able to report to you how I go and what the noise is like. I dont like noise either although it is a steady noise which is ok as I like to sleep with a fan on or an air conditioner because of the constant noise blocks out other noises. I think canning is hard work. I guess all preserving is some degree of work but I am not a big fan of canning and get on better with dehydrating. Also Im wanting a longer shelf life where possible. With your two kitchens on different levels Im thinking the bottom kitchen might be a really good place if you were to freeze dry. I will soon be able to tell you more.
      I love relish and also love beets! You have been at it all season and with only tomatoes to finish up you are near the finish line! Thank you re the cakes. I am so glad to have them made and will do some more Christmas cooking in the last couple of weeks.
      Have a lovely weekend to you too, with love Annabel.xxx

  8. Annabel, what beautiful cakes!

    This has been a difficult week. My 46-year-old daughter, who is developmentally disabled, has been having a meltdown for the past 5 weeks (and counting). She normally has a sunny personality, but she has been severely depressed for about 30 years and her meds become ineffective over time. We are working with a new med as an add-on, but antidepressants take several weeks to kick in. She seems to be doing better, but we are not there yet!

    We are messy people, and it gets to me. Taking a page from Annabel's book--when she cleaned her craft room 10 things at a time--I have been cleaning 10 things every day and taking on one extra small project. I have done this all this week. Things are so much better! But, with stuff picked up and put away, now you can see the dust and dirt, LOL!

    I'm in the process of taking apart and putting away all of my container plantings and moving the patio furniture under cover for the winter. We still haven't had frost, but fall is definitely here. This was supposed to be "a little project" but emptying 11 big planters about killed me today. I have arthritis and the only way I can accomplish things is a little at a time.

    Still feathering my next by filling in my pantry. Although I haven't been to the store yet this week, some of the things I will be buying are 2 cases of evaporated milk, .67 can; 3 more pounds (the limit) of 80% ground beef, $1.99 (haven't seen this price in 2 years); and top sirloin steak, $3.99 lb. I don't know what the final price will be, but Costco has the only brand of canned veggies I like (Del Monte) for over $3 off per case.

  9. The week behind was spent helping daughter by keeping her 3-year-old, so she could visit with her fiancée at the hospital, and cleaning and packing up her house for her move out of state. I also prepped a few items of food for her to have to start fresh at the new house. I feel like I didn't get much done at home this week but it's okay. The new week has plenty of room to start afresh.

  10. Your cakes are wrapped just beautifully. And made me want to have a slice. I have not had fruitcake in decades as I don't know anyone who makes it. My Christmas indulgences are Scottish shortbread and eggnog. Lots and lots of calories there.

  11. How exciting to be awaiting a freeze dryer!! The possibilities will be endless!

  12. I was wondering what freeze drier you purchased. Here in the states, HarvestRight seems to be the go-to brand. Thank you for all of your posts … your energy level is amazing! I have learned so much!
    Louise from Long Island, NY

  13. Dear Annabel

    How funny that last Friday saw me looking at your Christmas Cake recipe to add ingredients to my shopping list. Then I see your post.

    Last week saw lots of storms here and incredibly hot and humid weather and hail on a few of the days. Thursday we lost power for around 4 to 5 hours, as it was so hot we decided to drive to town and have some dinner where it was cooler. Friday saw 2 storms fronts move through one after the other and more hail. We had packed the generator into the larger car to take in for checking and to change a switch on and of course the power goes out. Our night time temps last week were 25 to 27 on some nights so yes the air conditioner was on.

    I have checked and rechecked food supplies in our emergency kit but a generator is a really handy item to have in situations that we often face with cyclone season upon us.

    Earlier this week I took ill after being on antibiotics and reacting to them so I have been having a relatively easy week

    Take Care
    Aly xxx


Post a Comment

Popular Posts