Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Slow Living Diary - Month Nine (September)

These monthly posts are making me feel like my life is flashing before my eyes.  It doesn't help that I was so late with the last one!  I only posted it a couple of weeks ago.

I'm joining in with Christine at Slow Living Essentials for a look at what we have achieved (or not) over the month just gone.

So here goes...........

Nourish - In September I managed to bake most of our bread.  It has been my best month so far in this regard.  It's been made possible because I have started cheating with my sour dough.  I make the sponge (usually in the evening) and then the next day I make up the dough and chuck it straight in the tins.  No second lot of kneading or rising!  It seems to work.

I've been making lemon cordial and lemon meringue pie.  I tried a lemon delicious pudding but it didn't work.  I actually think the recipe was wrong so I've asked Mum for her recipe and intend to make a lemon delicious pudding for dessert tonight.  I bet you can tell our lemon tree is doing well.

I've been making pasta, quiches, scrambled eggs, vegetable slices.  Yes, we also have an abundance of eggs.

And asparagus is beginning to feature a lot in my recipes.

Prepare - I've been freezing pastry to have on hand and, for the first time ever, I managed to freeze two loaves of bread before they were devoured.

Reduce - Well, bread bags of course.  Home-made bread doesn't come in a plastic bag : )  Up until now we've used plastic bags hanging on a door handle to put our rubbish in.  I have finally bought a little bucket to use.  I want our rubbish containers to be small because it's easier to keep track of how much rubbish we're producing.
I've scrunched the rubbish to show you how much we've produced in a day.

Green - I've been using citrus cleaner undiluted to clean the shower.  It works well.  We've been enjoying using our own soap after many years of buying home-made or shop bought.  We've also been using a shampoo bar that I bought at the farmer's market.  What value!  We've had it for two months and there's still heaps left. (And no packaging)

Grow - Lots of seedlings went into the cold frame half way through August.  I think my tomato seeds must have been too old though.  They haven't germinated.

We have been picking lettuce, rocket, chard, mustard leaves, perpetual spinach and peas.  We also started harvesting asparagus.  As the weather warms up we are getting more and more spears.

Every year I try to grow brussel sprouts because Hubby loves them (yuk) but they keep flowering before they develop.  I'm trying to work out the right time of year to put them in for success.  Please let me know if you know the right time in Victoria, because I would love to grow him some.  It's very frustrating to grow them for months and months to have them  fail at the crucial stage!

Our broad beans have developed enough for picking but I haven't used them yet.  I might google today and see if I can find a recipe for broad beans that I can use with the pasta I'm going to make for dinner tonight.  I've never heard of broad bean pasta sauce but who knows?!

All of our fruit trees look amazing this year.  I am excitedly crossing my fingers and hoping for actual fruit. I know there will be a lot more hurdles to overcome before we sit eating our own organic juiciness (a hot summer, birds, insects etc) but they are all happily setting fruit by the dozen!

Create - IT'S DONE!!!  Finally I have finished Belle's dress!  I made her a matching headband as well.

And look what Belle made......... !  Her first ever finished item of knitting.

And Hubby skinned a rabbit.... What a month for the category of create!  It must be the sunshine waking us all up after winter.

Discover - I discovered that curiosity killed the cat.  I couldn't resist buying THAT book that everyone is talking about.  Well!  I certainly haven't got to any juicy bits yet because it is the worst written book I have ever picked up in my life!  I read a few pages, then picked up another book in disgust at the immature writing style and haven't gone back yet.  I'm not sure if I'll even read it.  I'll let you know next month.

Enhance - This month I completed the training to become a volunteer mentor to young mums.  I'm looking forward to being paired with someone.  There are a lot of teenage mums nearby and I'm sure they could do with some adult friends sometimes.

I started doing a lunchtime knitting club at the primary school.  It was an absolute hit!  So many children turned up that I couldn't get around to them all so I have been busily begging everyone I know to come and help next term.  I don't want the kids to lose interest just because I take too long to show them what to do next.

Enjoy - The sunshine!  The garden!  And all of the above!


Edwina said...

The dress is gorgeous and the little purple wrist cuffs are fantastic too! Very good effort :-)

Kim said...

Wow you have been busy , Linda. I am so pleased you are helping some young mums out-I have always wanted to do something like that.

kiwirachfindinghome said...

what a great month!. I am curious about what you'll do with the young mothers, as i am in the parenting edcation and childcare education field.

Urban Homestead South Africa said...

Well done. We also had some of tomato seeds not germinate. At least I always plant many more than what we can grow in our space. Cute dress, well done.

Mrs B said...

What a busy month!! :-)

I'm told the month to plant brussel sprouts in in Vic is January. I'm going to try that next year.

Linn said...

Sounds like a great month Linda! We had a few tomato seeds that we thought weren't going to germinate but eventually they did. Maybe wait a bit longer to see what happens. Love the dress and the mittens. Belle should be very proud of her knitting project. I have also helped with a knitting class at school - it is very time consuming - hope you get lot's of volunteers!

Jules said...

What a great month Linda, i have just found your lovely blog, and love the idea of a lunch time knitting club, might suggest it at our school. I think with the brussel sprouts that you need to plant them very early here in Victoria to give them enough time to form sprouts, I have tried to grow them to with little success, I am going to get them going at Christmas time and planted out around feb and see how we go. Love the dress too! Have a great day, Julie :)

lightlycrunchy said...

The lunchtime knitting club is a great idea - I know my girls would love something like that in their school.

I'm sure young moms appreciate any kind words and attention that they receive.

livingsimplyfree said...

I wish I had a knitting class when I was young. Amazing to me that Belle has already knitted something, I still haven't learned how.

Do you use any particular brand of shampoo bar? I have been considering this as I find using the baking soda approach to be good, but not so easy to do when I am visiting out-of-town.

Great month you had.

Linda said...

Hi Edwina, Thank you!

Hi Kim, Yeah it should be fun.

Hi Rach, We just do anything. Go to playgrounds, library, coffee shops... whatever is a common interest I suppose. If the mum wanted we could go back to their place and teach them cooking, budgeting, gardening etc. I guess it's up to them what they feel is ok. I'm looking forward to starting.

Hi Wendy, Sadly I didn't plant enough seeds so I'll try one more lot and if they don't work I'll need to buy some seedlings.

Thanks Mrs B! I would never have guessed January. It seems to hot to be planting brassicas but I will definitely try it this year.

Hi Linn, I think it's been too long. I'll keep watering them in case but it's time to try again. Yes, knitting classes are very hands on!

Hi Jules, Nice to meet you. I have popped over to your blog and it sounds as though you have a fabulous school! They'd probably love a knitting club.

Hi Heidi, Yes the knitting is more popular than I expected. About 20 kids turned up, a lot of them boys, and there was just me trying to teach them!

Hi Lois, Yes I was pretty impressed with Belle's effort. She has started quite a few thing before but then just gave up. It was good to see her complete an item.

I buy my shampoo bar at our local farmer's market. If you find someone who makes homemade soap, they might know how to make it.

Caro said...

Hi Linda,
I have made broad bean dip/pesto many times- everyone loves it. It would go well with home made pasta. You need to use small, double peeled beans (ie take off the outer casing of each individual bean after blanching for 1-2 minutes) and whizz them up with good parmesan, oil, lots of garlic and salt and pepper.
I've also made a yummy double layered dip with a broad bean and mint component, and ricotta and parmesan layer. I'll try to dig out the recipe for you!

Caro said...

Here it is!

Kathryn Ray said...

I think beans go into pasta. Frankly I think almost anything can go into pasta. ;-)

I have been longing for a green house for some time, but I think a cold frame is a much more attainable solution... at least in the near-term. I'll have to see about making one over the winter.

Congratulations on your knitting group... How exciting that so many kids showed up.

I am impressed with your lack of rubbish.

Joy Belle said...

Hi Linda,
I just checked gardenate.com and they say to start brussle sprouts seeds in Feb/Mar to plant out in 4-6 weeks. I use this website for all my gardening when-to-tips.

Linda said...

Hi Caro, thanks heaps for the links. I will definitely try them. I found a beautiful sauce online as well. I'll tell you all about it next time I see you.

Hi Kathryn, It will be interesting to see which of us gets our green house first! I'll race you! I think you're in with a good chance of winning though.

Joy Belle, thank you so much for looking into it. I'm determined to grow him some one of these days!

Wendy Meijer said...

Wow, a lovely month. Your blog is great!