After many months of no bread, it is back on the menu a couple of times a week. I have had great fun making this 5 minute bread from Down to Earth. I have made a 50%rye, Spelt and white loaf so far and they taste really great.
We have enjoyed purple cauliflower, purple sprouting broccoli, spinach and peas from the garden and of course the herbs in our soups and stews.
I have also given in to the winter need (note: not temptation) of puddings and cakes every now and again.
We made this orange and coconut cake which was stupendous.
I also made another gorgeous blueberry and apple pie this time with a Jamie Oliver short crust pastry which he adds lemon zest to. So light and tasty!
We tried some new soups this month, which is still the mainstay for lunch in our home. This one was shared with me by a friend and it really is filling and scrumptious.
Chicken and corn soup.
Roast a chicken, and use the bones for stock, and save breast meat
2 Onions (or leeks if that is on hand)
Sweet red/yellow peppers (2-3 medium)
3-4 ribs celery
Lots of garlic (I use 5-8 cloves)
About 2cm piece of ginger
Cumin (I just shake, and I use a lot, probably a Tbs)
Chop and fry all of above together in olive oil until onions and celery are opaque.
A Add stock. Add vegetables of your choice like: Potatoes or sweet potatoes, Baby marrow, Carrots, Butternut
Add more stock to cover veggies. Cook until potato/carrots are soft.
Blend everything to a smooth consistency.
Cut raw corn off cob (I usually use 2 mielies) and add this and finely chopped chicken meat to soup. Add 1Tbs of coconut oil for a yummy eastern flavour (goes well with ginger) if you like that.
No need to cook further – (I like my corn more on the raw side).
I serve it with a blob of Greek yogurt. We add herbal salt at the table.
Lots of stock was made but a new thing for me was collecting all the veggie peels once a week and making a gorgeous veggie stock.
Also made ketchup from tunnel grown tomatoes, expensive but tasty.
I made some onion marmalade and lots of yoghurt for my one yoghurt-olic child. I added some vanilla pods to the warming milk and it had such a nice flavour.
Soap needed to be made this month and it was the basic recipe with cloves, cinnamon and nutmeg added to the oil to infuse. We are using the lavender soap from May and it is deliciously creamy.
I have managed to kick the plastic bag habit completely and only use cloth bags. I was always a more cloth bag person but I had to build up my stock of them to cover all the bases.
Now I need to work on reducing products bought in plastic. While we do recycle I want to reduce what I have to recycle….we’ll see how it goes by next month.
We refashioned our potato planters to be a container for our clementine. We reused bamboo poles for broad bens support and a dog deterrent around our transplanted fig tree. We planted some broccoli and calendulas around the base to pretty it up a bit…need to keep big white dog out.
This month I made and used this laundry liquid and so far it’s working well. I pre-treat stains with some of it before adding to the wash and it lifts them out.
I also am enjoying the citrus cleaners and have a host of them in different stages of development.
They do not get rid of the brown marks around stove plates from spills so what I do is put a little Bicarb on the mark then spray the citrus cleaner onto the bicab. There is a great fizzing and then it settles. I will then go about my dishwashing and at the end of that wipe off the bicarb. Lifts the marks off very well.
I finished a cowl this month, which should have been a snood but I an out of wool before knitting the length.
I have also started another pair of socks…I really like knitting socks!
We planted some fruit trees this month – lemon, clementine and olive as well as a blueberry bush. I also planted the last planting of broad beans for the season.
This month saw my son launch his Funky Chicken business at a local market. It was great fun to meet many people and see their eagerness to buy the chickens and eggs. I was so blessed that a few homeschooling friends also chose to come and support my son.
My daughter made a lovely personalised beanbag for a friend’s mom who recently burned herself with a hot water bottle.
And I had a delightful visit from a former homeschool mum who is now studying at Stellenbosch and needed to see micro agriculture for her thesis. Such a nice chat!
I love that the Lupines and other bulbs are up on Dreyersdal Farm and while walking there is not so pleasant now that they are allowing builders to dump rubble in some areas, we still walk on the top fields and my son plays hide and seek in the lupines.
I have had a good month, enjoying it most of all at night when a warm bath, a cup of tea and warm bed end off a busy day.