Category Archives: Apples

Pantry Staples at Hills Homestead

Pantry
Hills Homestead Pantry Staples

A large number of people (mainly Thermomix customers) have asked what my pantry staples are, so that it’s easier to make food ‘from scratch’ and additive free.  I did put this list together rather quickly, so I will most likely be adding items to it again soon.  Thank you Kirsty Keys (from BK Wines) for asking me about my pantry just this week, as it motivated me to complete my list.

Pantry:

Bakers Flour – for our ‘everyday bread’, I buy in 10kg bags (Foodland, Honest to Goodness)

Organic Whole Wheat Bakers Flour

Whole Buckwheat (to mill down for gluten-free flour)

Spelt Flour

Rye Flour (for sourdough starter)

Rolled Oats – for Thermomix porridge, Anzac biscuits, milling down as fillers for muffins/bliss balls

Quinoa –  always soaked/cooked/then cooled and kept in the fridge for a quick lunch, with left over roast vegetable and feta cheese.

Instant Dried Yeast

Cornflour (I used to buy the Nurses brand as it was cheaper, but now I’ve found out that the White Wings brand is the only ‘corn’flour made of purely ‘corn’.)

Arrowroot starch – for gluten free cooking/baking, use as a thickner also.

Bicarb soda – used for cooking  and  cleaning  (Bob’s Red Mill – Aluminium free)

Baking powder  – to make Self Raising flour (Bob’s Red Mill – Aluminium free)

Cream of Tartar – to make Self Raising flour

Oils – Extra Virgin Olive Oil (cold pressed), Grapeseed Oil (for mayonnaise etc), Avocado Oil, Coconut Oil (I buy in 10L containers from Loving Earth ,

Vinegars – Apple Cider Vinegar (with the ‘mother’… see stockists here), white wine vinegar, red wine vinegar.

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Coarse Sea salt / Rock Salt  – to mill down in the Thermomix with a sheet of Nori (seaweed) to use as our everyday ‘table’ salt and for all cooking.  We have Himalayan (Pink) Salt crystals in a grinder to use at meal times.

Coconut milk and Coconut Cream – full fat, always using in Indian cooking and  in a dairy free coconut/caramel custard (see Quirky Jo’s recipe here  )

Brown Rice (to have with curries) and Italian Aborio Rice (for risottos) and Basmati Rice

Organic Popcorn – to pop for school lunchbox fillers, I buy it 5kg at a time from Honest to Goodness.

Wholemeal pasta / spagetti

Vanilla Beans – Vanilla Extract (homemade.. see how I make it here with just Vodka and some Vanilla Beans) – Vanilla Bean Paste

Tea – Dilmah, Rooibos – a South African caffeine-free tea (see here for health benefits), Planet Organic, Nerada Organic / Coffee Beans –  Organic, Fairtrade if possible

Honey / Peanut Butter / Vegemite / Homemade Jam.

Cans/Jars  –  Canned pineapple (for pizza), Baked Beans (Charlie still likes bought Baked Beans!), Tomato soup (I try to make, but handy to have store bought in a can!), Tomato paste (for pizzas, I try to make but again, sometimes needed urgently!) , Tuna in spring water, Red Kidney Beans (to make this amazing gluten free ‘magic bean’ chocolate cake)

Dark Chocolate blocks – to more expensive usually means better ingredients (ie Lindt chocolate), chop in the Thermomix to make own choc chips or mill in Thermomix to make ‘grated’ chocolate

2013-02-03_2342CacaoBeansSourDoCacao beans / Cacao nibs / Cacao powder – see the differences here.  I do have some Cacao butter sitting in my pantry ready to make my own chocolate one day!!

Honey (raw and local if possible, our bees aren’t providing much at the moment so we’re having to buy it)

Black Strap Molasses – I use this (along with brown sugar!) to add minerals to my homemade water kefir (ginger beer).   My Gramps used this as a ‘medicine’ for almost anything… and he also used it mixed up with chaff to feed his cows!

Rapadura sugar / Stevia / Coconut sugar  /  Refined white sugar (for making jam to sell at road-side stall)

Pure Maple Syrup ($10 / bottle at grocery store, but so much nicer that Maple Flavoured Syrup, and better for you)

Dried fruit    – I buy huge amount of dates (they are one of the few dried fruits you can get that don’t have sulphites added to preserve them)

–  sultanas     – bought in bulk from Honest to Goodness 

– dried apricots – difficult and expensive to get sulphite-free, so sometimes I buy them from a supermarket, sometimes from a market, and sometimes we can buy apricots in bulk and make our own.

Adding the almonds, pistachio kernels, and sunflower kernels....

Nuts – I have huge jars stored high up in the pantry (away from kids that are allergic to nuts), peanuts, macadamias, cashews, almonds, walnuts.

Seeds – linseeds and sunflower seeds (for gluten-free bread and for bliss balls and muesli bars), Chia seeds, pepitas, sesame seeds.

Onions (brown and red) stored in brown paper bags with holes punched in them;  Potatoes; Pumpkins  09-2013-04-08_4427Autumn Garden

Homemade preserved peaches/pears/apple

Rice Cakes and Vita Wheat Biscuits as fillers in lunch boxes –   I don’t usually keep up with making all savoury biscuits from scratch!  I occasionally make up a batch of sourdough crackers that are lovely and so good for you.

Spices –   coriander seeds  /  fresh ginger  /  paprika / nutmeg (whole and ground) / cloves / chilli powder / cinnamon (sticks and ground) / ginger (ground) / cumin seeds and fegugreek seeds and mustard seeds (for Indian Cooking);

‘ all spice’ berries and cardamom pods (from Organic market) to make my favourite Chai Tea Concentrate;  whole black peppercorns, curry powder

Hanging up on the wall by the stove – garlic / chillis (tied with string to dry, then you just grab one or two as you need them) /  rosemary  /  thyme  /  bay leaves.

In large bowls I pop oranges / limes / lemons (locally grown lemons).  I peel the lemons and use this zest to mill up in the Thermomix to colour and flavour custards/sorbets/ dressings etc.  I pop sliced lemon in my water jug.

Currently I only have sage (HUGE amounts) and a bit of parsley and oregano in the garden, would love to have fresh basil!!

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Fridge:  Eggs (from our chooks)

Raw milk (we have a dairy cow!  Other Adelaide sources are via a cow share program from First Fruits and a few dairies around Adelaide that sell ‘bath milk’)

Fresh veges and fruit

Thermomix Vegetable Stock Concentrate  (recipe here)

Homemade Red Thai Curry Paste (Thermomix Everyday Cookbook recipe)

Homemade tomato sauce  (recipe here) and homemade sweet chill sauce.

Homemade mayonnaise (garlic/egg/mustard/Grapeseed oil)

Cheese – Tasty cheese, Parmesan cheese, Philly Cheese (for dips)

Homemade Thermomix Natural Yoghurt (mix with honey and vanilla extract)

Freezer:  Beans and Corn on the cob  – grown and blanched and stored in plastic Ziploc bags

Homemade (Thermomix) chocolate and vanilla icecream

Leftover Thermomix sorbet in plastic containers ready for school lunches

A huge tub of frozen homemade mini pizzas, scrolls, rolls ready to grab for school lunches

‘Homegrown’ beef/lamb

Breadcrumbs –  crusts of our homemade bread, milled down in the Thermomix and stored in freezer in Ziploc bags

Ziploc bags filled with peeled frozen bananas / blackberries (home grown)/ raspberries (home grown)

Note:  this pantry/fridge/freezer has developed over a few years (ie I’ve had a Thermomix for nearly 3 years now, prior to having the Thermomix I would never need or use 1/2 of the above ingredients).  Also my amazing husband and father-in-law are the one’s providing the raw milk / grass-fed beef / fresh eggs / home grown fruit and vegetables.

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Glass bottles - ready for raw milk distribution!

Our bee hive and raw honey.
Our bee hive and raw honey.

morning routines       .

 

.. and just a photo to show you how real food cooking and ‘making everything from scratch’ is MESSY… you are continually in the kitchen making messes and cleaning up messes!

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What’s growing in the Hills Homestead Garden – Autumn in South Australia

Just loving the crisp Autumn mornings, and the sunny days!

The kids jump in front of the heater to get dressed into almost Winter clothes!  They then run outside to play in the sun, and soon there is a pile of dirty jumpers at the front door that they’ve stripped off because of the beautiful heat of the sun (and the fact that they are running constantly outside).  Yesterday they built a fort down in ‘Lilly Valley’, they played a mock netball game (no rings or court, just grass) with Daddy and their uncles and cousins, they sat in the cubby house to chat, played with the chickens, they rode their bikes up and down the driveway, climbed the neighbours apple tree and ate some fresh apples, then all came home for tea and fell into bed.

Thought I’d post some Autumn shots of what’s growing in our garden at the moment.  It’s lovely making lunches and dinners with fresh produce – beans/capsicum/carrots cut up for kids lunches, potatoes and chillis in the latest curry, pumpkin quickly made into soup whenever other food is running out!    My husband (and my father-in-law) are the best gardeners! and I am extremely grateful for the crates of potatoes brought up from the garden, the huge zucchinis plopped on my front door, and for the reminders that ‘you have tomatoes, lots of beans, carrots ready to be picked, chilli’s are ready etc’.

Autumn Harvest @ Hills Homestead – Today’s Photos…

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We are getting a handful of strawberries a day at the moment – so sweet and delicious!

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The grandchildren helped Grandad dig up potatoes on Saturday.  They spent the morning in the sun, getting dirty and having so much fun.  Grandad gives them a surprise (usually chocolate!) for helping with the potato harvest!

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I posted a photo on Facebook of someone’s celery ‘stump’ that they put in the ground and it grew!  So today, I tried it… we’ll see how it goes!

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… strawberries, carrots, green beans, rhubarb, tomatoes dying off along the pickett fence…

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… a new variety of pumpkin that my father-in-law has planted – it’s not Queensland Blue but tastes similar.. I’ll have to find out what it is we’re eating!!  I’m roasting some in the oven for tea tonight – yum!

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Small chilli’s – I pick them and just dry them on the kitchen counter – then use them to flavour dips (like hommus) or soups, and use them to make Red Thai Curry Paste (in the Thermomix! See here for recipe of Green Thai Curry Paste  and the recipe for Red Thai Curry Paste is in the Every Day Cookbook… that comes with your Thermomix!!!)

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Carrots!

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The last of the cherry tomatoes – had a lovely harvest of these over Summer and they dying plants are still producing a handful a day of little tomatoes!

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The last of the apples from our tree.

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More strawberries.

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… and beans.  The kids love fresh beans in their lunchboxes!

Children Playing  – Beautiful Autumn Weather on the Weekend !

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ADDIT – Some indoor activities …..

… a cubby house that the kids attempted to sleep in Saturday night (see picture below)  – they lasted a couple of hours, then they ALL ended up snuggled up in their own beds!!

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… Charlie’s picture before she headed off to school this morning …

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… and do any of you have a one of a kind friend who comes over and clears out and organises your pantry ?  I do!  Thanks Karen!!!

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Enjoy this Autumn weather!!!!

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Picking Home-grown Apples

 

Apple Picking (7) Apple Picking (12)  Have you EVER picked and eaten an apple straight of the tree?  I do hope so!!!  There is nothing like it, the taste, the crunch, the juice that squirts everywhere, the crisp skin (not waxy and tough to get through!), … oh, it is lovely.  Every few days over the last 2 weeks, we have been picking a couple of bucketfuls of our home-grown Royal Gala apples.  They get eaten straight away or go into our fridges for snacks/lunches over the next few days.  The kids ride around on their bikes, then stop, and duck under the bird netting! and pick their own ‘snacks for the road’!!  I’m hoping we have too many to eat soon so that I can make apple pies, but I have a feeling that between the kids and our families and friends, we will be eating them all.

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Fresh apples in school and kindy lunch boxes (the apples keep nice and cold next to the fresh fruit sorbet leftover from the night before – whizzed up in the Thermomix of course 🙂 )

 

Jake getting the wagon to cart all the buckets of apples up to the house!!

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The John Deere wagon that we bought they boys for Christmas is the MOST useful gift!!!

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Getting underneath the bird netting is the most time-consuming business!

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Our Royal Gala apples Feb/Mar 2013

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Jake’s things to do with an apple 1. throw the one’s eaten by birds 2. balance them on your head 3. roll them down the hill to the chickens 4. eat them 5. pop them into a bird’s next 6. find the black hole in the apple and dig at it with a stick to try to ‘find the worms’ 7.  oh, PUT THEM IN THE BUCKET!  .. I don’t think even ONE of Jake’s apples made it into the bucket!

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Mmmmmmm…..

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The apple cores go back into the ground they grew from under the apple tree, great compost!

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Lovely kisses Jake!!!

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Charlie having a go with the camera – she had my camera in one hand, a 1/2 eaten apple in the other, a balloon under her arm, and one foot perched on the wagon to balance herself!

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A rest after a difficult and labour intensive… 10 minutes or so of picking apples!!!

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Apple Picking (12)  Action for the week – plant your own apple tree, or buy someone (or yourself) an apple tree as a gift!

… and if you can’t grow your own, buy locally grown, in season, and organic apples if possible.

signed - hayley @ hills homestead

 

 

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