Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Slow Living Essentials Monthly 9 Link Up - March 2014

Helloo! I have missed this space this month. Things are just so very crazy busy here!! I am longing for the time when I can come and hang out more often here, which shouldn't be too far away. In the meantime, I'd love it if we can catch up on each others news and achievements over the last month. What's been happening in your world? Feel like joining in? It's simple, just leave a link to your blog post written using these nine categories, in the box below anytime during the month of April and enjoy the sharing experience with like minded bloggers that follows.

For more info on this blog link up series, please see this post.

March 2014


{Nourish}
What have we been eating over the past month? Good question! Loads of homemade chicken stock has been finding it's way into dishes, using the slow cooker picked up recently at the fire brigade flea market. The weather also turned strange and we found ourselves jumping from salads and barbeques to soups and hot roast dinners and then back again! I have been enjoying baking up some gluten and lactose free treats - my favourite being a chocolate beetroot cake that I took to my brother's house for a get together. Recipe will make an appearance here at some point!

I was also inspired and made up a few batches of a 'healthier' Anzac biscuit, which included linseeds, chia seeds, sunflower seeds, coconut sugar and such. One of those winging it type recipes..you know? Savoury wise, I am turning every spare vegetable into fritters..loaded with cumin, coriander and other favourite spices, they are a family favourite, served with minted homemade yoghurt. Yum!

A healthier Anzac biscuit?


{Prepare}
Ahh, March, month of the pickles! My mum's cucumbers went out of control and she gave me a big bag full, and with a bowl here from our own garden to use up, bread and butter pickles they were destined to be. Our zucchinis also came at once (don't they always?) and these were made into a favourite relish recipe that I keep going back to (recipe is in this book). Chicken stock? Yes, I think I mentioned this. I find that putting it on in the afternoon works best for me, as then it can be left to simmer all night and turned off later the following day. This creates a most wonderfully dark, rich stock like you wouldn't believe! We have also been enjoying some of the homebrew hubby bottled recently..ciders and pale ales. I think they're still a little..'green', but he is loving them!

Bread and Butter Cucumbers & Zucchini Relish


{Reduce}
I was so impressed with a friend's strawberries growing in repurposed light fittings this summer, I set aside a morning to go to the local tip shop to have a good, proper scrounge for similar containers. It's been so long between scrounges, I had a wonderful time, coming home with more than just useable items for growing strawberries! But staying on track, I found several lengths of roof guttering that I am in the process of attaching to a brick wall in our courtyard, that I hope will create an abundant vertical patch. Growing them this way, I think it will be easier to net them as well as harvest...we shall see. Has anyone grown strawberries like this and do you have any tips to pass on?



{Green}
I have been loving the glorious days of autumn, it's been perfect for getting out and biking around town. After getting over the initial shock of pedalling places, my body has responded and I am noticing an increased level of fitness and a need for heavier gears where previously I was in the lightest gears. This is great! I love not having to rely on a car 100% of the time..even if I am just going to a friend's house or biking to the woodfired bakery for some (gluten free!) bread on a Sunday afternoon! Bliss!! Now if only I could fashion a basket to fit the pooch into (with seatbelt?!), all my dreams would come true! Well, very nearly..

{Grow}
We have started harvesting our summer crops and while generous, they are not as bountiful as previous years, which I have to put down to the limited time I invested in them this time around. We have, however, been enjoying the sweet juicy taste of homegrown corn once again, and a ridiculous abundance of french beans. Now don't get me wrong, I love beans as much as the next person, but sometimes I think a person can have too many! What are your favourite ways to use up excess beans? Blanch and freeze? Salads? Pickling? Do tell!

The first basket of the season.

An exciting event which took place this month was a hatching of some chicks! Our black silkie sat on six eggs and of those, three hatched, two being barnevelders and one a barnevelder/rhode island red cross. What I loved most about the whole event (besides obviously the hatching!), was the way she could tell the 'bad' eggs and turfed them off the nest halfway through the sit! She is one very cool mama..

Barnevelder chick, two days old


{Create}
My main creative outlet this month for me has been diving into photographicland. After going to a tutorial on audio visuals at my local photography club I managed to find a little bit of time to play around with this addictive form of creative expression. Music and pictures? In time, choreographed? However I wish it to be?  This is too much fun to even try to explain! If only there were 80 more hours in the week to play around with this new form of time vacuum..sigh.


{Discover}
See above! This was more than enough for my overworked, study fatigued brain this month. ;-)



{Enhance}
Supporting farmers markets and helping out with school woodfired baking featured this month. I also found myself in the world of volunteering in a local aged care setting one afternoon a week. I am finding this an amazing experience that I can't really describe; humbling, joyful, nurturing and touching all at the same time. I look forward to more visits..

{Enjoy}
After spending many, many hours looking forward to The Rolling Stones performing in our area, we were disappointed when we heard the news and the reason that was preventing them from commencing their Australian tour. Sad times for them.

Finding enjoyment on a smaller scale, hubby and I took in a local theatre show of "A Few Good Men", which had me in awe at the lengthy dialogue the cast delivered flawlessly! Getting out and enjoying little spots in our town for a Friday night cider or a small meal with just the two of us was also really nice. After watching Ferris Bueller with my daughter recently, he sums it up perfectly, "Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and take a look around once in a while, you could miss it".
So true! Save Ferris! :-)

How were things in your month?





80 comments:

  1. Your photos are absolutely gorgeous. I am using my iPhone at the moment and am in desperate need of a proper camera.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I use my phone more often than my camera, Wendy! It's so much easier to tuck the phone in the pocket rather than lug the camera around.. :)

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  2. Looks like another great month to reflect on. Regards Kathy A, Brisbane, Australia

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  3. Hi Christine- all looking wonderful for the month of March. I will be fascinated to find out more about your photo course .Great idea with the anzac biscuits ...going to try that !!
    I freeze my beans and put them in casseroles over winter as they tend to go a bit squishy after being frozen.
    Mr Winky wouldn't let me go on there again - so my blog address is http://thelittleblackcowblog.blogspot.com if anyone would like to visit my slow living post. x

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    Replies
    1. Anzac bikkies were a hit, Kim, unsuspecting kids didn't know what was in them! Have added your link to the page. ;)

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  4. I love perusing all the blogs each month, but never seem to get around to posting! too slow I suppose;) I have often wanted to try a beetroot chocolate cake, I look forward to your recipe. Gosh I love that rusty iron fence/gate - is it yours?

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    Replies
    1. Ahh, no, unfortunately it's not, africanaussie. It was on a recent day trip.. would love one like this too, though!

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  5. It looks like a full month for you Christine. Mine has been full too with seed planting, seedling planting, digging up new garden areas, some lovely rain, my hubby resigning from his job to work from home in his own business, spending time with my hubby and boys plus all the usual jobs that keep getting on top of me. I also started sewing a top for myself but this is going slowly. I hope you have a wonderful April. xxoo

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    Replies
    1. Your month sounds lovely, Julie. All the best with your hubby's new venture. xx

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  6. Great pictures Christine - the little chick is so cute.
    We always get lots of beans too and I usually freeze the excess. I've tried canning but I don't have a pressure canner and I'm never sure I've sterilized them properly. Do you sterilize your bread and butter pickles?
    Enjoy your april.

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  7. Hi Emma, I used to run the pickles through a waterbath, but had many batches of soggy cucumbers. I now just pickle in straight vinegar, sugar and spices, bringing them all to a boil in the pot first and then hot pack them into their jars, sealing immediately to create a vacuum. :)

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  8. Ferris Bueller is one of my favourite movies of all time, I can practically recite the script.

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    Replies
    1. Oh, I am right there with you Rose, 100%! Never tire of it... x

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  9. Hi Christine, how funny that you're sick of beans. Our garden did so badly that Mum's beans have seen us through! I'll love beans forever more now! Can't picture you as a dog-carrying-bike-lady! Haha.

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    Replies
    1. Ha! That's funny Linda! I did try once but he caught an enticing scent on the wind and jumped out, lead still attached to the neck. Not ideal! Hence seatbelt considerations.

      Glad you got to enjoy some bean love after all! :-)

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  10. So many wonderful things to look at. I like the sound of those anzacs too :)
    Looking forward to seeing your strawberries! We did this last year with a recycled gutter and I think it's a great way to grow them!! I wrote a little bit about here.
    http://www.ock-du-spock.com/2014/01/youre-growing-that-in-what.html#.Uz0_AFcbA0o

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  11. They always were wise words from Ferris weren't they...that and, wrap a hot towel around your head :-)
    Good things happening in your part of the world Ms Christine., good things. xx

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    Replies
    1. Ha, yes! Can never go wrong with a hot towel, Brydie! He was one very wise (very sick) boy. ;-)

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  12. My beans didn't take off this year. Lovely photos and thanks for the link up :)

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  13. Hi Christine, I'm having trouble setting up the link up. It looks like a different set up to what you used to have before. I've gone through the process, gone to next, clicked on a photo for the link up and nothing....I've hit done but it just says do you want to close the window. Regards Kathy A, Brisbane, Australia
    www.oursimpleandmeaningfullife.blogspot.com

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    Replies
    1. Christine, it looks like it has worked after all. Regards Kathy A, Brisbane, Australia

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  14. I look forward to seeing how you go with the strawberries in guttering Christine, that might be a good addition to the City Garden side fences! I wonder whether they will dry out quickly as there won't be much soil?
    Congratulations on the successful hatching of the chicks :)

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  15. Oh yes, Christine, I am with you on the bean thing. Bushels and bushels of beans are making their way onto my kitchen table. My favourite recipe for them, as the weather cools, is a bean bredie. It's a South African lamb and bean stew. (You could google it is you like). Green beans are also delicious blanched then tossed in a lemon and olive oil vinaigrette and then stirred together with olives and chunks of tuna fish.

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  16. Your dog makes me happy :) Looking forward to my visit to Oz next month to experience autumn there for the very first time after only seeing summer !

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  17. Oh my!!! What a month we've had! I'm excited to be able to join in here once again but it was nearly a no go!! I haven't even had a chance to read through what you've been doing yet! For once, I'm actually almost looking forward to winter when there is less garden work and I can spend more time doing inside things!
    Lovely to see your beautiful photos though….. did you make the lovely rusty gate?

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  19. I had to re link as I accidentally linked up to February.

    ReplyDelete
  20. I have missed this space too.... it's been months since I've participated. Hopefully I'll have something to share next month. :-)

    Happy Harvest Season!

    ReplyDelete
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