Tuesday, 29 March 2016

Lotions and potions

There's something incredibly satisfying about making things for yourself. It's nice to identify needs then feel you are able to satisfy that need without turning to someone else outside of your home. Perhaps it creates a little bit of security because you know you are not totally reliant on the outside world. Perhaps it's just the sense of pride that comes with being capable.

I like beginning my days caring for my various brews. I haven't been doing much in the way of this over the past few months and I'm realising it feels good. Kind of right. This morning began with sourdough. I made up a double batch of dough, kneading away in a quiet kitchen while the children still slept peacefully in their beds.
Next I fed the ginger beer plant and put some kefir grains in fresh milk. I added flour and water to the sourdough starter. Done. My brews are all taken care of.

I also have kombucha and some comfrey ointment sitting on the bench. I made the ointment to try and heal some eczema I've developed on my ear of all places! I'm not sure if it's helping or not but something is. I've read that keffir helps too by balancing your system. I'm very new to keffir and still quite wary of it. I only have a small sip each morning. I worry that I haven't made it correctly and that, in reality, I'm drinking milk that's gone off. I've taken to putting some silky material over my pillow as well in an attempt to fix my silly ear. It's much more comfortable than the cotton pillow case. If my ear doesn't improve soon, I'll make myself a silky pillowcase.

There are pleasant offshoot thoughts too as I tend to my concoctions. I placed my bread into the large glass bowl that a friend sourced for me at an op shop. I used to use a smaller bowl but found, as the bread rose, the dough would get on the teatowel I covered it with. It is so hard to get sourdough out of the fibres and it's just an added chore. I mentioned to her that I was looking for a larger bowl and she found me one. So I smile remembering this thoughtful gift. 
The keffir was given to me by a new friend I've recently met. I met her at a program I am taking part in this year. I'm warmed by the anticipation of this and many other new friendships I know I will strengthen as the year goes by and I spend more time with them working side by side.

There are down sides to the many various things I'm nurturing (but they are far outweighed by the positives). My benches are cluttered with many bowls and jars. Last night I tried to make room for a clean towel on which to place my gnocchi as I cut it. In the process of pushing a bowl further back on the bench, I knocked a carafe of red wine off the other side! It spilled over my handbag which I think may be ruined now. I'll try washing it today but I think it might get damaged in the process. The wine was from a bottle that tasted like it was turning so I saved it, hoping to turn it into vinegar. (Another lovely memory here of opening the wine during an afternoon with good friends)

The other down side is the dishes! So many dishes!

Tell me, what are you lovingly tending on your benches?


Joy Belle said...

So glad to see you back to blogging. I missed your posts!

I don't have any bowls on the bench ATM, but have recently been thinking I need to get a sourdough back growing and some fizzy rhubarb.

Jennathepiglady said...

Only tending to the clutter on my bench at the moment, as I take a break from having so many dependants! Am missing the bread making though, want to get back into that shortly will have to talk to you about the milk kefir, am very interested in that. Xx

Suzie Simplelife said...

Not a lot on my bench at the moment but am keen to try making my own gnocchi....had a recipe from a magazine that I have misplaced. If you get a chance would love it if you could post your recipe. So glad you are back :-)

Linda said...

Joy Belle my rhubarb is struggling atm but i used to love making fizzy rhubarb!

Jenna I can give you starter and kefir but remind me.

Suzie I may not be the best person to help you. When I made my latest batch Pumpkin said, "can you make it exactly like Lina's because I didn't really like yours." Lol! Lina is an experienced Italian lady and I AM trying to make it exactly like hers! She did, however, really enjoy my gnocchi this week so I must be improving. 😉

purplepear said...

Sounds very similar to what goes on here most days. I have an airing cupboard which I can use for the sourdough and cooling cakes etc. Nothing needs to be covered in there and our kefir sits on top so mostly our bench tops are freed up.But it does all take time giving our lives meaning I guess.

Linda said...

How wonderful to have a proper spot to leave all the brews. I've never thought about it but maybe I should try and create something for the purpose. Thanks for getting me inspired Kate. I'm thinking shelves in a cupboard similar to a coolgardie.

Fiona from Arbordale Farm said...

I think white wine helps get red wine out. That or soda water. I know the feeling of lots on the bench and lots of bench space is something I have designed in our new house for NZ.

Jess64 said...

I've taken to doing my milk kefir in the fridge. It is slower, but still works and I feel better about my milk being in the fridge. I kind of figure that it was "invented" in the cold northern hemisphere, where the it would have been colder where it was left out.

Linda said...

Fiona you won't know yourself!

Jess thanks for sharing. I would feel much more comfortable doing it in the fridge. I don't know why it didn't occur to me.