Getting there… slowly…

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Well I started writing a ranting and raving post but didn’t post it and I’ve calmed down now and rewritten it so it’s a lil less venty. Basically I got my house building inspection report back which is a mandatory report required for selling your house here. My house got a pretty good EER rating of 4.5 stars out of 5 so I’m quite happy with that (EER stands for Energy Efficiency Ratio). What I did discover is that my bbq/patio area is not “development approved” and is also on the electricity and drainage easement which means that even if I did seek approval that it probably wouldn’t be approved because of the easement. Basically the water company could come in at any time and rip it all up if they needed to get access to the drainage.

Had a chat to my wonderful lawyer cuz I was freaking out thinking I’m going to have to tear the whole thing down and put something else in it’s place and she said that if it’s stated in the contract that it’s not DA approved then the seller cannot get me to seek approval or seek compensation for it so that’s a massive relief. So if the buyer wants the house they’ll just have to wear the fact that there is a potential risk that the water company could come in if they needed to.

The house is basically in good nick but I’ll have to get the sagging fence repaired (which I kinda figured anyway). The photographer is booked in for next week so I’ll  be packing and decluttering to stage the house properly this weekend. I had a bit of a karma moment last week in that I Freecycled the agapanthus plants from the front of my house with the catch that the person had to come and dig them out themselves. I was teeheeing to myself that I was getting someone else to do my dirty digging work AND carting all the unwanted plants away (they were a bit straggly and not happy in that position so didn’t look very good). Unfortunately I wasn’t very specific and she took some of the plants from my front garden as well and left me with an ugly bare patch. So I had to put chips over it and I’ll probably put in a few flowers or something to make it look less ugly. I’ve planted some dwarf nandina in their place and it’s looking really pretty because of the winter color.

This is the other thing that I’m doing this weekend as there was a glut of lemons from the guys at work:

from: http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/1898654/lemon-marmalade

Lemon marmalade
marmalade
Cooking time
Prep: 20 mins Cook: 3 hrs Plus cooling

Makes 6 x 450ml jars

Ingredients

1kg unwaxed lemons
2kg granulated sugar

Tip

To sterilise your jars, wash them in hot, soapy water, rinse, then place on a baking tray in a low oven to dry completely. Keep them warm until you fill them.

Method

1. Chill a saucer in the freezer, ready for checking the setting point of your jam. Wash the lemons and remove the top ‘button’ which would have been attached to the stalk. Put the lemons in a large saucepan with 2.5 litres water. Bring to the boil, then cover the pan and simmer for 2½ hrs or until the lemon skins are lovely and tender, and can be pierced easily with a fork.

2. When the lemons are cool enough to handle, remove from the saucepan. Measure the cooking liquid – you’ll need 1.5 litres in total. If you don’t quite have this, make up the difference with water. If you have too much liquid, bring to the boil and reduce to the required amount.

3. Halve the lemons and remove the pips – reserving the pips and any lemon juice that oozes out during the process. Cut the lemon peel and flesh into strips, as thick or thin as you like. Put all of this, including any juices, back into the pan. Put the pips in a small piece of muslin and tie up with string. Add this to the pan, as the pips will aid the setting process of the jam.

4. Add the sugar and bring to the boil, stirring until it has completely dissolved. Boil rapidly for about 20 mins until setting point is reached. Test the setting point by dropping a little marmalade onto the chilled saucer, allowing it to cool for 1 min, then pushing gently with your finger. If the marmalade crinkles, the setting point is reached; if not, continue to boil and check again in a few mins.

5. Leave to cool for 10-15 mins (this will prevent the lemon shreds sinking to the bottoms of the jars), remove the muslin bag, then gently stir in one direction to disperse any scum (small air bubbles on the surface). Pour jam into warm sterilised jars and seal straight away.

Seems pretty easy and I have jars at the ready, will post an update once I’m done.

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