Sunday, April 29, 2007

Celery Bog

A Saturday midday (just after we got up) and wondering what to do. It was too late to drive the 2 hours to Terre Haute for the German Strassenfest, and we couldn't find any information on it. We didn't even know what time it ended. Anyway, there is a much bigger on in Fort Wayne in June. We can then take Jo too.

So we decide to go for a walk in Celery bog.

Of course we decide to take Lugh for a walk there because it would be mean not to. :( So the three of us cram in with Lugh in the Mini. Strange journey. Luckily it was only for 10 minutes. (I didn't try and get these photos like this, it just happened.)

So here we are ready to go.

Following are some pretty photos during the about 1 hour walk.

Below there is a frog. See if you can spot it.

(Hint: it is black.)

Nice geese...

Lugh thought so too!

See, it is boggy, but only in parts.

Afterwards we were really hungry, so we dropped Lugh home and went to a really unique American place. Dogs n Suds is a drive up fast food joint where you drive up to a speaker and order, then they bring it out to you and you eat in your car. There are about 20 such booths. We decided it was too nice a day to eat in the car (and it smelled like wet dog) so we ate in the outdoor area. There is a speaker there too where you order and they give you a number. It was literally 3 minutes and the food came out. Llew said the burger was good. The hot dog was typical American, but OK. Robin said the corn dog (dagwood dog for the Aussies) was more of a muffin dog because the dough was sweet. The chips were good and they are famous for their root beer floats. (Root beer is nearly the same as sarsparilla and they 'float' icecream in it, what we call a spider). These though, had a glass full of icecream with root beer poured over. Too much icecream. It was an experience.

Menu and ordering speaker.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Kitten update

The kittens have now gone to another home. Before they went, we got a few more photos.
Clockwise from left: George, Skye, Bobbi, Joe, and Ozzie.

Ozzie went for a wander on the Aussie.


Friday, April 27, 2007

Spring planting

Llew decided to plant some herbs. It is time now that the last frost is over. He decided to get a mini greenhouse to plant basil, thyme, chives and parsley.
The box comes with pellets in it that you add water to and expand to about 3cm high. Then you just put the seeds on top. It is covered with a plastic cover and put in a warm spot.
A week later and ta-da!
and chives. The others are starting too.
Now we have to put them in pots and sooner or later put them outside. Of course there is one thing that we have to keep in mind. Chipmunks. They have been getting in the walls as I said, so I told management. They have now laid bait. We only wanted them out of the walls, not dead! Apparently chipmunks are a big problem and many tips are given for how to get rid of them. Some are a bit drastic!

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

A kitten story

There was an emergency placement of 6 kittens at the shelter yesterday. I went down to see if I could help. Myself and the 2 vets spent a couple of hours de-fleaing and feeding. Then they went to Purdue vet clinic to get tests. They all came back OK despite 2 having eye problems. They may be blind. Anyway, until they find a more permanent foster family, I agreed to take 5 of them. They wanted the runt to stay with the vet. Now I know they will leave us tomorrow.

So this is the box they came home in.

We also were told to give them names. The one on the left, fully grey one is George. He was the biggest and he was "strong as he can be" George of the Jungle. The grey and white one was Jo's favourite, so he is now Joe. The tan, blind girl has blue eyes with a coating of white so they are sky blue, so she is Skye. The tan boy is big and strong too and we called him Ozzie. The reason for the O and not Au is otherwise when said in the american accent it comes out more assy. That's not right for a little kitten. The final tan girl we didn't have a name for. I came up with the idea for a name. Robin called her dog Lugh, so we were going to call her Robin. The name just did not fit though, so we changed it to Bobbi.

This is Bobbi getting a very messy feed.

This is Jo feeding George.

I am giving George a bath. They had fleas and had treatment to kill the fleas. Then I washed off the flea dirt. Jo did a great job of towelling them off.

On top is probably Bobbi.

Robin with Skye.

Me with Joe and Ozzie.

They are getting feeds every 4 hours during the day and 6 hours at night. It's not too bad. Llew is a good Dad and does the 12:30 am feed then I do the 6:30am.
Now Jo and Llew are playing with them.
And Jo is giving Joe boxing lessons.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Food Blog - Piccalilli (Sandwich Pickles)

Hi all. I thought I'd update you all on another food exploit here in the cornfield. As I couldn't find a sandwich pickle at all, i had to make my own! While the recipe is based on Rick Stein's recipe for Piccalilli, i have changed it a bit, making it simpler. I also prefer my pickles to have smaller vegetable chunks (so it spreads better), so change it as you wish.


450g salt
4.5 litres boiling water
1 medium cauliflower (weighing about 450g), diced finely
2 onions, peeled and diced finely
200g runner beans, topped and tailed, and sliced 5mm think
1 large cucumber, halved length ways, seeds removed with a spoon and then diced
2 courgettes, topped and tailed and cut into 1cm chunks
275g/10oz caster sugar
750 mL distilled malt vinegar
2 cloves garlic, crushed
half tsp nutmeg, grated
half tsp ground allspice
1 can creamed corn
25g/13/4oz plain flour
18g/1oz mustard powder
13g/1oz turmeric powder
7g/1/2oz ground ginger
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper


1. Mix the salt with the boiling water. Leave to cool, divide between two large bowls and add the cauliflower and onions to one bowl and the runner beans, cucumber and courgettes to the other. Cover with a plate to keep the vegetables submerged and leave for about 3 hours.

2. Drain the vegetables and rinse them well, still keeping them separate.

3. Put the sugar, garlic and vinegar into a large pan. Bring to the boil, add the cauliflower, onions, allspice and nutmeg and cook for just three minutes. Add the beans and the cucumber and cook for a further4-5 minutes. The vegetables only want to be just cooked, with still a little crunch left in them. Lift out of the vinegar with a large spider or sieve into a large bowl and set aside. Add the creamed corn to the mix and cook for a few minutes.

4. Mix the flour, mustard, turmeric and ginger powder with a little cold water, enough to make a smooth paste. Add a little of the hot vinegar mixture, stir into the rest left in the pan and bring to the boil, stirring. Simmer for 10 minutes or until it has reduced and thickened.

5. Stir the sauce into the vegetables, spoon into warm sterilised jars and seal with vinegar proof lids.

Cutting up the cauliflower.

The green beans.

Ready with the cauliflower and onion in salt water (left) and the thickening mix (right).

The other vegies (this time I added a little red cabbage and red capsicum).

The cauliflower and onion cooking in the vinegar.

The thickening paste and other veg.

The final product, bottled hot to preserve.

Saturday, April 21, 2007


Firstly, it takes teamwork.
Mix the flour and eggs.
Knead the pasta.
The tomato based sauce.
Ah, the kitchenaid makes life easy!
Roll out the pasta and pile on the ricotta and spinach mix.
Roll up the piece.
Place over a layer of tomato sauce in a baking dish. Line up many such rolls until dish is full.
Cover with rest of sauce and plenty of cheese and bake.
Take a roll onto a plate and sprinkle with a little parmesan.
Eat up quick before someone else gets it!