Thursday, August 6, 2009

Feel like taking the kids fruit picking?

Last year I got the desire to go fruit picking, to show the kids that fruit doesn't come purely off a supermarket shelf - there is a little more work involved than that.

I got the okay from hubby (he was the one who had to do all the driving, so that was only fair), did some research and settled on Pinecrest Orchard in Bilpin. It's a lovely drive there, long for the kids, but lots to see out the windows.

Did we enjoy it? Why yes we did! The kids loved every minute of it, especially being able to choose and pick their own apples. We did end up with a few unripe ones, but as my kids picked them, I was going to pay for them! After the kids took a few bites they realised why we were telling them to pick ripe ones (tee hee).

Here's a little about what Pinecrest Orchard has to say :-
"We have had a great crop of apples and stone fruit but all the fruit is finished for this season with winter fast approaching. Thankyou to all of our customers for supporting us during this season which for us has been one of the best for years. The young pink lady trees started to produce this year and we had enough of most varieties except Fuji which also suffered from the wet February causing a lot of splitting.
From boxing day (Dec.26) 2009 it all starts again with peaches to pick followed by the plums and apples from mid January.
We plan DV to be open Friday to Sunday through to the end of April 2010. . There is no entry charge. Just pay for what you pick. Toilets and picnic facilities available .


Enjoy a day out with your family picking your own fruit, strolling through the fruit trees and appreciating the adjoining Australian bush. If you plan to come in a big group we suggest you ring first so we can plan to maximise your enjoyment. Click on "NEWS" for the latest info.

We also sell homemade Jams including Apricot, nectarine and traditional Plum Jam. The Shed also stocks local honey and nuts (when in season)."

I can't remember exactly how much a kilo their fruit is, but I know it was still cheaper than at the Supermarket. They have buckets there for you to fill and are happy to show you around, how to pick the fruit, what to look for, and any other questions you may have.

We missed the peaches last time, so I'm keeping my eye out ;D

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Mulberry Jam

Just in case I lose my Mulberry Jam recipe when I need it in a few months, here it is:-

1 kilo mulberries
Juice of 1 lemon
500 gms castor sugar

1. Put mulberries and lemon juice in a large saucepan and simmer 15 - 20mins.

2. Heat sugar in oven, careful not to burn it.

3. Stir sugar into mulberries and simmer until it thickens.

Cheese and Bacon scones

I had a request today for my cheese and bacon scone recipe. I can't remember where I got it from, have had it for quite a number of years, but I love this recipe. It's so easy:-


2 cups self-raising flour
30 grams softened butter, cut into pieces
1 cup grated tasty cheese
1 rasher bacon, chopped (pre-cooked if you want it cooked thoroughly in your scones)
1 tablespoon chopped parsley (or a teaspoon of dried)
salt/pepper to taste
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup water

1. Sift flour into a large bowl. Add butter. Rub in lightly using fingertips until flour resembles fine breadcrumbs.

2. Mix in 1/2 cup cheese, bacon, parsley, salt and pepper. Combine milk and water. Make a well in the dry ingredients. Pour in ALMOST all the liquid at once, reserving 1 tablespoon for glazing.

3. Using a bread and butter knife, mix quickly to a soft, sticky dough. Don't over mix.

4. Turn onto a lightly floured surface (using self raising flour). Knead lightly. Press out to about 2.5cm thick.

5. Cut using a floured plain round cutter, or cut into triangles using a sharp knife (or place spoonfuls of mixture into greased muffin tin). Place close together on greased tray. Brush with reserved liquid. Sprinkle with a little cheese if desired.

6. Bake in a very hot oven (220 degrees C) 12 - 15 mins or until golden and sound hollow when tapped. Cool on a wire rack. Serve with butter.

For variations you could omit the bacon and use ham instead (no pre-cooking involved), cook some onion with the bacon and add to your scones. Capsicum and lots of cheese. Dried mushroom and onion for real earthy tasting scones.