It's a holiday today in the north of Tasmania and it is aptly named Recreation Day.
The south has a public holiday in the beginning of the year for Regatta Day and to make it fair the north got Recreation Day and some bright spark opted to have it in the later end of the year where holidays are few and the weather is gorgeous.
So on this day of recreation I watered the garden and attended the chooks, and swapped some eggs for some seeds with Mr Jones across the road.
The table is covered with drying rose petals and another two trays of candied lemon peel.
I am delving into the world of re-batching soap.
One of my class attendees had a bit of a fail when her stick blender blew up and she tried to complete the process with hand stirring. Instead of wasting the batch I have brought it home to try to save it.
I chopped all the soap up small and placed it in the slow cooker on low. It melted well but it goes to a state that is more gel than pouring liquid. Even though I thought I had packed them into the moulds, you can see that we have gained air pockets. The soap is much improved but unfortunately the appearance is very rustic.
I harvested some stinging nettle from a farm yesterday and have washed it thoroughly and will use some of the leaf for a new batch of hair rinse. I like the rosemary but I think it is turning my hair darker. I rather like my grey hair and where it as a badge of honour. I have put some on a tray above the hotwater cylinder to dry and I have chopped the roots up into a jar to which I add pure alcohol to make a tincture.
Clearly the seed I have been saving is ready! The doves have come down and are tapping the pods, bursting them open and eating the seeds. I am happy to share but I high-tailed it pretty quick to get the best seed. This is from the Italian/Asian leaf mix we grew all through winter and is a real winner. Even the flowers are good to eat and it provides beautiful fresh salad leaf as a change from the winter root crops.
I have rendered 10kg of sheep fat for soap making and it's not so much the rendering as the cleaning up that is the real chore!
My hands don't know whether they are chapped and tired or smooth and soft!
And next I am going to start on the Broad (Fava) Beans. This is the harvest now and I will have to freeze the excess after I bundle some up for Craig's mother.
And then that's pretty much Recreation Day over!