Sunday, July 21, 2013


It's so cold! SO cold!!

I'm sitting  exactly one metre from the fire (seeing as the dog has already comfortably taken the first 100cm for his own prime napping space) and it's still cold! It's times like these that I abhor cathedral ceilings with little room for insulation and large, large single glazed windows that allow the heat to escape in an instant while at the same time generously allowing the drafts in. Brrr!

Whine over. I'll focus on more pleasant things now, I really will.

Eggs. We seem to have a great abundance of eggs at the moment..that's good news, right?
A favourite way of mine to use up eggs is in a custard - whisk 3 egg yolks with 2 tablespoons of sugar until light and frothy and then add 1 1/2 cups scalded milk and whisk well. Return to a low heat in a clean saucepan and stir gently until thickened. Remove from heat and add a teaspoon of vanilla extract. Who says custard needs to be poured on something? It's a perfectly acceptable dessert in it's own right, wouldn't you agree? Thankyou muchly, hens.

Seedy treats from a good friend are the best!  That is, if they make it to the salad without being munched up along the way..
What I'm tasting are chopped almonds mixed with pumpkin, sunflower, sesame and linseed seeds all toasted (or roasted?!) and then tossed with a dash of soy? They are extremely good and extremely moorish. Yum!

Comfort food is common here at the moment. It is winter, after all! Chicken and leek casserole with dumplings is a good candidate to keep the family sated. 
I'm sure you know the drill, brown chicken in pan (or use up any leftovers from the roast), saute chopped leek, celery, carrot and garlic over gentle heat. Add a couple of tablespoons of flour with a knob of butter and stir through. A goodly amount of white wine and enough stock to cover. Simmer for around 30-40 mins, adding a chopped potato or two if you wish. Before serving, mix up a quick savoury scone dough adding herbs and cheese if it suits you. Cut them out and place on top of  leeky chicken mixture. Bake uncovered at 200c for around fifteen minutes. Using homemade chicken stock makes a person feel all the more wholesome. ;)

 A quick newborn dress was made for my youngest's teacher who was expecting their first baby. Exciting! 
It was good to dive into the stash and find what was needed there. Pattern is this one, which happens to be free on ravelry. It was knitted in the round, following the directions for stripes in one of the project notes linked to the main page.

With unexpected sightings of late winter bulbs, you would almost think spring was on it's way for us..

But no! Not until the frosty blast of snowy winds visit us first. 
   What a buzz to be tourists in our own backyard and visit the nearby mountain for a frolic in the snow.

And yes, even a snowball fight or two,

... much to these girls' delight!

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Recent moments..

1. The little doggy in his brand spanking new hand knit cardi.  L♥VE.
2. The current project on my needles and a new book finished. Take a look at the Australian Story segment if you get a chance and then try and get hold of the book! It's worth a read. :)
3. Homegrown mandarins. Such a treat.
4. Pom pom creations made with the sneakiest intentions in mind.
5. Silk! Not quite the colour I was after but it will hopefully do.
6. Refinements in the art of stick damper. We get that it's all about the coil. And the drizzling of the honey into the center hole of said coil! 'boing'!!

Happy Weekend!

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Slow Living 2013 - June

A monthly review as we make our way towards living a slower, more meaningful life. To join in, please leave a link to your own blog post written in this theme in the linky box below and enjoy taking a moment to see what others have been up to. Thanks for visiting!
Full details for this blog link up here.

Sooo...I hear you ask, what on earth did June bring for us? Well, taking into account a little bloggy holiday last week, quite a bit as it turns out. The weather turned chilly and the fires burned hotter. Frosty mornings followed by gorgeously clear, blue skied, sunny days were a real treat. Read on to catch up on our month of June...

Slow Living June 2013

This month we've been enjoying having fresh, homemade sourdough back in our kitchen again. What is it about a warm loaf of bread steaming it's delicious aroma through the house that makes one just sigh with contentment? Soups have been a real feature lately too,  the current favourites being lentil, good old reliable pumpkin (with homegrown pumpkins, yay!), spicy laksa and a German style chicken and dumpling soup that I love, love, love. We are also enjoying some local organic lamb again which is really nice!

Wow, where to start. June actually saw me doing some preparation on the food front. With the return of soups and winter meals, homemade stock is back! The eldest and I have been baking in large batches for school snacks and freezing the results which is such a time saver during the week. The girls can just grab their snacks and go, which thaw out just fine by lunch time. I also enjoyed delving into a cheesemaking book and had a play with some homemade mozzarella and a few other dairy products. Such fun! If a little messy..

In the kitchen I've been using up loads of leftover whey (from homemade cheese) into soups and bread. Outside, my husband kindly filled a trailor load of bark and fallen branches and placed it on my next hugulkultur bed in progress. Such good material to start off a new garden bed! Inside, I've unraveled a jumper that I no longer wear to knit into something else which appeals to me more..I am ploughing my way through pattern options now..

I'm not sure if it's the winter cold or not but my skin has suddenly become very dry, in particular my hands. Olive oil is a quick, easy fix and being so dry, the oil is soaked up like a sponge. Lemon, ginger and honey tea is still around and I have converted the 11yo to my lemon tea drinking ways, it's her current season's beverage of choice! She has stripped my lemon tree bare!

Well now, some exciting news from the garden. We have our first little crop of mandarins ripening. Just a handful but proof that our tree is on it's way to hopefully one day providing us with more of this winter treat. Elsewhere, we are harvesting plenty of rocket, broccoli and eggs, lots and lots of eggs. If you happen to see me coming towards you with a carton of eggs anytime, please don't run the other way, you really are doing me a favour by taking some off our hands!

It is very much the season to be inside, warm by the fire with a good project to work on. I finished a jumper/sweater this month which was a gift for a friend. (Details here). Little knitted doggy coats and a baby pinafore (also a gift) are keeping my hands busy and my mind soothingly calm. It is so wonderful to become completely absorbed in a pattern, lost in my own world as I work away and in such a calm state that nothing seems to phase me, not even the bickering of holiday going children.

Hmmm, what to say here. I suppose my big achievement here for me this month was taking some time to look deep into myself and asking questions..big questions about life, death and everything in between. While I still don't know the answers to some of my questions, it was good to get to know who I am a little better. I think sometimes we can get so sidetracked in the details of life, we lose track of who we are and where we are going. Knowing who we are is important and being comfortable with this even more so.
During my soul searchings, I happened to make a really huge decision - to return to study. :)

Supporting a local organic farm this month was a really nice feeling. As was passing along some spinning supplies to a (hopefully?) new spinner. I also cared for our neighbour's hens while they were overseas - it's so handy now, we help each other out when the other one is away. A great arrangement!

This month I loved celebrating the winter solstice. Nothing beats a raging bonfire on a clear night with happy kids running around! Two good veggie group friends also celebrated milestone birthdays, 40 and 50 and so combined the two and held a 90th! Very nice celebrations I must say.
Other than that, there is nothing I can say I enjoy more right now that a really warm fire inside!! Give me this and I am in a state of bliss.

So tell me, how was your month?