Saturday, May 18, 2013

Lying down on the job and feeling chilly.

Wow, it's finally beginning to feel a bit like Winter. After parading around in Summer clothes i.e. shorts and t-shirts and no jumpers, Thursday was a shock to the system, 15 degrees all day, brrrr. (you Southern girls don't laugh)  Reminds me of our time in Toowoomba when it snowed on the outskirts of town, 15 degrees was a warm day, then we did three years in an inland country town, where 15 degrees felt warm and it was normal for dog bowls to freeze solid and to walk on crunchy iced grass every morning, no thanks. 
The oppy's have plenty of Winter stock in now and I managed to find an chequered Invicta blanket and a pretty double flannel sheet both in purple. I don't use much purple, so it was funny to find two in one go.

This is what we are having for tea tonight, pumpkin and bacon soup. It's my favourite go-to soup during the colder months. It's number four soup so far this Autumn. I like to fiddle around a bit with this one, cooking ingredients separately and adding them together to simmer for a while. The sweetness of the pumpkin offsets the saltiness of the bacon hock. I usually make enough for two nights, with a night off in between, don't want a family revolt serving soup two nights in a row, do I?
 I take a largish bacon hock and cook it in the electric pressure cooker with a few cups of water until the meat falls off the bone. I stick this liquid in the freezer for a while so that I can skim the fat from the surface after it cools. I boil my pumpkin until soft and then, using a stick blender, puree the pumpkin and it's cooking water. I fry some leeks/ onions/ celery or whatever I want to use up and add to the pumpkin. The meat from the bacon hock is shredded and added to the pumpkin with the bacon water, a good handful of rice vermicelli  and 2/3 cup of pre-soaked pearl barley, some cracked pepper and chives. Simmer until it's all soft and smells yum.

 I thinned it down a bit with some water after I took this pic. Thin enough to dunk a bit of bread or homemade garlic twist.

 Mr CH has been busy installing skirting and trims over at the Reno cottage. Ran out of trims, last bit, a join above the front door of all places.

 Cover strips for the new lounge wall can finally be cut to size and nailed in place.

There's always one big nail that was missed first time around.

Our unorthodox method of trying to make new skirting boards sit well on old warped floors.
I get to do the nail gunning as Mr CH is heavier. Mixed success.

The homemade routed cover strip for the wiring in the dining room, needs a paint touch-up after a run in with the nail gun. 

 You know you're getting weary of all the reno jobs when, amusement involves lying on the cold floor, feet tickling and conversations about nose hair.

We been enjoying watching the new veges growing well, after adding a raised bed to avoid another wash away like earlier in the year. I've been adding lots of sand and compost to lighten up the soil, seems to be working. Lots of self-seeded tomatoes are popping up everywhere and the bok choy have gone crazy.

                 Marigolds                                   azalea                                     Justicia carnea   
 Also enjoying a surge in garden colour after weeks of nothing.

What doesn't get munched by these fellows anyway.
Hope you're having a great weekend.


  1. Thank you for the soup recipe..looks and sounds delicious. I've got a couple of butternut pumpkins to use up so this looks like the prefect way.
    The crisp white trims in the house look lovely.

  2. I used to make Pumpkin Soup for my Mother and her partner, they lived on it for lunches, that's a nice twist with the bacon. Ingenious solution for the exposed wiring, I'm sure others will appreciate that idea :-)

  3. Your soup sounds AMAZING! I love a good bowl in wintery weather. This week it was mushroom soup for me. That blanket above looks like it will be warm and cosy too.

  4. The new skirting looks wonderful! It has been cool here too the last few days with Thursday being downright cold...brrrr. I took a hot water bottle to bed and put an extra blanket on the bed. Mr W is home for the weekend and is a great hot water bottle yay!

  5. I would never think to combo bacon and pumpkin- looks delish. Your reno is looking fantastic, on the home stretch now? chilly down here too, most of my vintage blankets are in a box under the house, maybe need to go opping! mel x

  6. It has been freezing hasn't it, I'm certainly not used to this kind of weather but I do love it for making soups and your's sounds yummy. Got to love warped floors in old houses. The skirting looks great, your home is coming along really lovely. Love your op shop finds too. x

  7. So I have no idea what a "bacon hock" is...forgot how to convert Celsius to am uncertain of exactly how cold "cold" is in Aussie...and let me get this straight: you get more flowers in winter? But I Do TOTALLY understand the hilarity of nose hair.


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