Monday, January 30, 2012

Sew satisfying....

As someone who is an adequate but lazy sewer, I have to admit that the perfectly good sewing machine I have in the cupboard is rarely used these days! In days of yore, I have been known to whip up a cute little outfit for one of the children-but considering that the "children" are aged 28,25 & 18 it has been a while!

So when I read of a challenge on the Down to Earth Forum ( ) to handmake one item a month for 2012 I decided to sign up! The theme for January was " something for your kitchen" and I decided that I would make a heat resisant pot trivet and oven mitts.......................well, as January mosied along I was too busy to sit down & sew! I finally made it to today ( 30th January) and found some time to make my planned items.

I used some brightly coloured printed drill fabric which was left over from an outfit I made our youngest 16 years ago ( yep, that's right.. I still had the leftover fabric in the cupboard-I've carted it with us through 5 house moves!) and used some thermal batting picked up from Spotlight. I didn't want to buy a pattern- so I made it up as I went along! All things considered I'm happy with my efforts!

I really like the shot of colour they add to the kitchen!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Cream,cinnamon and continuity....

When I couldn't get back to sleepafter 4-30am this morning I decided to be productive instead! Last night I'd freshened some of my sourdough starter ( Edie), so as well as baking some more bread I also made a sourdough cinnamon cake...mmm...!

To a cup of the sourdough was added warm water, flour, bi-carb, sugar and cinnamon and this was mixed to a batter and place in a greased & lined square cake tin:
In another bowl I mixed some flour, butter, honey,sugar,cinnamon and rolled oats into a thick paste:

The paste was spread over the cake batter and baked for 35mins at 170c

Yumm is all I can say! :)

The two cuties below are our two elder grandsons Zane (on the right) and Angus); they are enjoying a treat my grandmother used to give me: fresh bread spread with jam and whipped cream. I love the sense of continuity this picture brings to me-my grandmother passed away 23 years ago, yet at moments like these I feel her beside me still. I hope to develop that sort of relationship with my own grandchildren.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

A piece of peace....

Now that I'm the other side of 40 I've found that there are times when I realise that I am truly at peace. These moments can be anywhere, anytime. They are moments when I feel so deeply part of the world around me...they can be when I am lucky enough to be gazing over a still, blue ocean on a warm summer's day-or when I hold a grandchild and they nestle their head into my shoulder. These moments make me  truly realise what the word " blessings" means....

It has not always been this way-many years have been endured where I thought that I had to strive and work and achieve in the eyes of others. Now though, I finally understand how to

Tonight has had one of those moments. His Lordship and I spent some time in the food garden digging up the potatoes we planted some months back with the help of two of our grandsons.

A cool breeze was teasing away the heat of the day, the corellas wheeled overhead and a group of 7 black cockatoos winged their way across the sunset. Life could not be much better than it was at that moment. Him, me and our life.

I thought that I'd also post a couple of photos of the bread created from my sourdough starter:

Below is the breakfast His Lordship had the next day:

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Sourdough and salve........

Over the past few days I've commenced two sourdough starters ( I had to start a second after the cat ate the first one......) and made calendula salve. I have a yeast intolerance, but can tolerate REAL sourdough I'm very keen to become successful at sourdough baking!

I've wanted to make the salve for years and a few months ago planted a number of calendula plants purely to do so. I was then pleased to find a post on a few weeks back about how to go about doing so!

So back in December I started infusing the petals in olive oil on my kitchen window sill, then strained the oil through muslin to remove th epetals leaving me with a lovely golden oil:

I melted some pure beeswax in a bowl over a pot of simmering water ( because I don't have a double boiler!):

Next I mixed with the slightly warmed oil, giving it a whizz with my stick blender to emulsify it:

This salve is thick and a little goes a long way-it smells slightly of honey due to the beeswax. I applied some to my hands earlier and they feel wonderful!

Sourdough starter:

There are many options on the net to peruse if you want to try a sourdough starter-this is the one I am trying which I found on the Down to Earth Forum!

Day 1: Mixed 50g wholemeal flour with 50ml rainwater-forgot photo! :)

Day 2 : Added 50g wholemeal flour with 50ml water. Starter already bubbling and looking "spongey". Definite sour smell.
Day 3: Add 100g white flour and 100ml rainwater. Bubbly but looks wetter. Smells like slightly off milk.

Day 4: 200g white flour plus 200ml water added-very wet and looks like pancake batter. Smells yoghurty.


Tomorrow I will remove most of the starter, leaving 100g; to which I will add 50g white flour with 50g rainwater.

The starter I remove I will attempt to bake some bread with!

Friday, January 13, 2012

Soap me up Scotty!

After spending the morning at work  I came home to "potter" in the garden in order to destress-and then decided to make a batch of soap.

I use the cold press method described here: . It is very easy and safe ( as long as the appropriate precautions are followed).

This is my third batch of soap-the first I just made as the Castile Soap, whereas my second batch became Oatmeal & Honey. All I did was whizz some rolled oats to a finer consitency ( around a cup I think) and added the oats plus a tablespoon of honey to the saponified mix once it reached trace. My husband loves the Oatmeal & Honey, so with this batch I used some of the base mix to make some heart shaped guest soap, then use the rest to make Oatmeal & Honey.

I think that 3 or 4 batches a year will provide enough soap for our personal use plus what I give as gifts ( I used half of each of the first two batches as Christmas gifts last year!).

Soap making is such a simple yet useful skill-yet so few know how to make their own soap these days! I am so grateful to Rhonda at Down To Earth for not only drawing together the skills which were in danger of becoming forgotten; but also in having the generosity of spirit in sharing them!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Doggone it.....

Two of our family members are of the canine variety and as such a portion of our food bill belongs to them! In recent years we have been purchasing a "chub" variety to add to their dry food each day. One of the dogs ( His Lordship Turbo) has very sensitive skin and must eat all natural food with no artificial additives-otherwise he has skin reactions requiring medication!

Above: His Lordship Turbo on the left, and his subordinate Indy ( aka Potter!)

Today we purchased 6 kilos of pet mince ( $2-50/kilo) and added it to 2kg of pasta ($1-20/kilo), 2 kilo of shredded zucchini ( homegrown), 2 kilo shredded carrots ( homegrown), 1 head of minced garlic ( home grown) and 1/2 jar vegemite ( $2). Boiled up in a few litres of water it made 6 weeks worth of wet food for the two dogs ( 1 cup/dog/day in addition to the dry food).

Considering that we were paying $6/week for the wet food this homemade version is quite a saving!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Sweet,sweet sugar....

This season has been as relaxed as we could hope for! We are both back at work this week, but have enjoyed the seasonal break catching up with family and friends!

Last week, one of the Down to Earth Forum members posted a link to homemade sugar scrub-now, I have made this and salt scrub myself in the past......but this time I was intrigued to realise that I could make use of the leftover Christmas Candy Canes ( other than adding them to my hips that is!).

I crushed the candy canes in a blender:

Then I added some olive oil until I was happy with the consistency and voila! It is a pretty pink,peppermint scented sugar scrub!:

We also have celebrated our youngest grandson's 1st birthday. Unable to be with him on the actual day of his birthday, we celebrated here a couple of days later with some family (including his 93 yr old great-great grandmother!) and a cake I made for him:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...