Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Slow Living Diary - Month Eight (August)

I'm joining in with Christine at Slow Living Essentials again for a look at the month past.  I'm very late with my post this month.  Life keeps getting in the way!

Nourish - I had an absolute adventure in this area during August.  I took part in a dinner where the request was to use local food.  I threw myself into this challenge with enthusiasm.

Rhubarb Meringue Pie
I invented a new dessert for the dinner.  Rhubarb and Meringue Pie.  It was a hit with my family!  We've made heaps of bread this month, baked beans featured heavily and we've been making pasta with our own eggs and heaps more.  Food is good!

Prepare - I made beef stock and froze it.  I've also been making double batches of pastry and freezing half.  Now I'll have the convenience of that tasteless stuff from the supermarket but with yumminess and the health benefits of my home ground flour.

Reduce - We have been running out of plastic bags a lot this month.  We are up and down in this area.  I re-use bread bags so, when I am buying bread, we have plastic bags.  The down side when I am organised enough to make most of our bread is that I have to come up with other solutions for plastic bags.  Mainly I use my plastic containers.

Ages ago I made hubby some sandwich wraps.  Now, I must point out that hubby is in earthworks so there are some unspoken rules.  They're a boysy bunch of men blokes!  (I actually heard him on the phone once, referring to me as 'The Missus'!  He hasn't lived it down!)  He happily takes scruffy looking, re-used sandwich bags and doesn't care if they rib him, but I have noticed that he never uses the sandwich wraps.  They must cross some invisible manly line!!! So we have discussed it and we are going to trial damp calico wrapped around the sandwiches.

Green - I've been making my own soap again and having a ball!  I used to make our own soap, but haven't made it for years because I won't make it with children around.  Lately I have had some time when Pumpkin has been elsewhere and I have been able to make it.

I purchased some hand cream made from pigs lard at our swap market.  I'm planning to buy some lard from this same woman so that I can try it in my soap.

I've been experimenting with solidified animal fat vs. vegetable  oil.  I put dried lavender on the top of the bars that have lavender oil in them.  The rest have no fragrance.

Grow - I bought seedlings from our farmer's market.  I was attracted to the stall because the plants were in little newspaper pots.  They are in the ground but have made slow progress.  I imagine as the soil warms up they will take off.  I planted mustard, chard, red cabbage, kale, pak choy and maybe some more.  I can't remember.

I finally sorted out the raspberries.  I haven't pruned them in the three years they have been in the ground and, oh my goodness, the mess!  It was a prickly jungle.

Create - I can't believe I have to say it again, but I still haven't finished the dress I'm knitting for Belle!  I was nearly there but I sewed the sleeves on wrong.  In the process of getting them off again, I damaged the sleeves.  My goodness I'll be glad when I finish it!

Discover - I borrowed books on backyard poultry, natural farming, re-vegetation etc. from the library.  I haven't really had time to read any of them, but I have had a peek inside them every time I've had a chance.  Although I would like to read them cover to cover, a peek is enough to get me thinking about what we would like to achieve in the future.

Enhance -  I gave away seven lots of raspberry canes.  Yay!  Seven families growing their own yummy berries.  I had so much fun giving them away.

In August we joined an environmental group.  I am so happy to be a member.  We attended the AGM and were amazed at the number of very committed members.  They have been a great source of information for me.  I found out through them that Julian Cribb was speaking at a seminar nearby and was lucky enough to be able to attend.

Enjoy -
I've been loving the glimpses of spring.  The garden is starting to be a real focus again.  And, as always, I've been enjoying these guys.......

Poor Pumpkin doesn't feature in this photo because she was so grumpy at the time she wasn't in the mood to have her photo taken.


Kathryn Ray said...

That rhubarb-meringue pie sounds very interesting.

I have plans to can turkey stock this week. It will be my first time canning it. I'm a little nervous. :-)

Anonymous said...

Better late than never they say. I am glad to see I wasn't the only one who wasn't right on time with my post this month. I love what you are doing. I have no idea where you find all the time with raising the children as they need so much of your love and time.

Sounds like you are pretty well stocked up, I wish I could say the same heading into winter here.

Anonymous said...

hi Linda, thank you for commenting on my blog. your looks very interesting to me as i share a lot of the same interests, so i shall enjoy reading it. your soap looks fab, and i'm impressed with the home ground flour - did you grow it as well?.

Linn said...

Hi Linda, sounds like you have had a very productive month. The photo is absolutely gorgeous. (glad I'm not the only one with, not in the mood kids. The rhubarb pie looks delicious. I'm the only one that eats rhubarb here so just wondering if adding some meringue to it would entice my picky eaters. How long does it take to grind your own flour and where do you buy your wheat berries from or do you grow it yourself?

Busy mum of 3 said...

Phew, I'm exhausted just reading about your month.

And some wonder what we do all day!

Linda said...

Hi Kathryn, I haven't made preserves yet either. I just freeze or make jam but I've been looking around for a second hand preserving kit. Good luck with it. I'll be thinking of you and looking forward to hearing how you go.

Hi Lois, I've only posted at the beginning of the month on one occassion. It felt good! No we're not stocked up but the garden looks promising, so we'll eat straight from there.

Hi Rach, I enjoy visiting the slow living diary posts. I buy my wheat. It is a Victorian grown biodynamic wheat that I buy in Castlemaine.

Hi Linn, Pumpkin is my best at doing 'moods'. In fact she excels at moodiness!

I think the tart and sweet go well together and my kids certainly like it, but they are quite used to rhubarb in cakes and puddings. Maybe try cooking the rhubarb with sugar as well as putting meringue on top till they get used to the flavour?

I have an electric stone grinder so it only takes a couple of minutes to grind enough flour for cakes, pastry etc.

Hi Busy Mum, Funny - I don't feel I did much last month. Have you read about Kara's month? She is amazing! Check her out at Practical Frog.

Christine said...

Aww, sweet pic, Linda. Love your rhubarb meringue pie..genius! Looking forward to hearing how your new sandwich wrap idea goes...The Missus! *chuckles*..

Thanks for sharing your month. :)

Anonymous said...

I love the rhubarb meringue pie idea - I've never liked lemon meringue, except for the meringue part. You had a full month - looking forward to seeing how your September is going.

Linda said...

Hi Christine, Yes I know! He looked horrified the minute the words came out of his mouth. To make matters worse, Belle kept teasing him about it.

Hi Lightly Crunchy, Let me know what you think of it if you decide to give it a try.