I'm setting aside some time right now to sit and recap January. This is a great idea dreamed up by Christine at Slow Living Essentials. We all get together and list our achievements for the previous month under nine different categories. Please write your own recount of January and link up or just join in by visiting the other fabulous blogs taking part.
NOURISH: This month has seen us enjoying tomatoes. I love the daily task of collecting them! I made my first tomato soup for the season last week. Delicious! And oh so easy.
Melt a generous dob of butter with a dash of olive oil. Slice an onion or two and saute. Add heaps of chopped up tomatoes fresh from the garden and simmer until very soft. Add chicken stock in the right amount to give a nice, soupy but thickly tomatoey consistency together with a teaspoon of sugar, some salt, pepper and a couple of teaspoons of dried basil (or a couple of tablespoons of fresh chopped basil). Squeeze in a little lemon juice and simmer for five minutes. This soup is lovely with fresh sour dough bread.
PREPARE: Christmas before last Hubby gave me a preserving kit and I nervously began preserving a few jars. Never did I imagine back then that I would throw myself in preserving in the way I have done this year! I have made trips to orchards, had preserving days with friends, made jam and taken up a kind offer of plums from a generous local lady. She purchased a property this year that had HEAPS of different types of plums. More than she could possibly use. She put out an offer for people to come pick what they liked. It was plum heaven! I have preserved plums, made plum jam and dried some prunes. In fact, I really should be in there cutting up more right now but there's only so much plum-ing one can do before they need a break.
REDUCE: I recently had to put a call out for PET bottles for making ginger beer because we don't use purchased soft drink. I now have heaps put aside for the task. Sadly I didn't get around to making it in time so I'll need to make up a new plant soon. Too many damn hats that I'm wearing.
I re-used some material to make chair bags for the kids. I made one of them from a torn sheet and the other from op shopped material. Only one child had a chair bag last year. They are invaluable for keeping books close without creating a mess. Last year we used plastic tubs and they were too bulky for our small home.
GREEN: I tried coconut oil in my hair this month. I was whinging on a Face Book group about how dry and brittle my hair has become. I don't wash my hair often and when I do, I use soap that I have made. I often use cider vinegar as a rinse but it doesn't seem to help much. Someone recommended trying coconut oil. I've never used coconut oil before. It has to travel from Queensland which is an awful long way so I usually find a substitute if a recipe has called for it. Anyway, I decided to give it a try. The result wasn't great. I washed my hair, applied what I thought was a tiny amount and brushed my hair. It was soooo oily! I'll persist and see if I can apply even less this time.
CREATE: Apart from the chair bags I have created nothing. Unless all the things I've been working on in my mind count as the process of creation. ;-)
DISCOVER: I've been enjoying using The River Cottage Preserves Handbook to create new yumminess from all the fruits I've managed to get hold of. I've made a variation of sloe gin with some damsons I picked. It will take quite a while before I can report on the results. It will take about ten week to bottling and the recipe suggests I store it for eighteen months before drinking!
Please join in for our January linking with other friendly bloggers. Just link below.