Saturday, September 1, 2012

Slow Living August

This morning the Hadidas woke me at 5:30 serenading the first spring morning. The year is flying past, my children are growing fast, life is full and busy and God is good!

This month of August along with other at Slow Living Essentials

I probably sound like a stuck record saying “Soup Again!” but we are still enjoying soups every day for lunch. This means that the stock pot is on the go at least twice a week.

We have enjoyed the harvests from our winter garden, in particular broad beans, spinach, peas, spring onions, beets, the last of the purple sprouting broccoli and cauliflower and loads of herbs for lovely meals. The first asparagus spears disappeared into Superman and my mouth in a flash…

 Keeping with my plan we are still enjoying delicious homecooked “restaurant” meals from Jamie’s 30 minutes meals. I know the book is expensive, but if there is one cook book that I can recommend to a struggling cook, it would be this one. The emphasis is on good wholesome whole tasty food a couple of nights a week and for us to learn some more cooking skills.

Baked oatmeal and homemade yoghurt has been a hit for breakfast on some days. I use this recipe but add a layer of blueberries and apple to the bottom of the baking dish then the oatmeal. So yummy!

Scones for tea, with fresh lemon curd, 5 minute bread once a week,  muffins, cheese twists for picnics, cookies and more were churned out as my daughter got back into baking.

This Asian beef soup was an adjustment of one in another cookbook which called for chicken…

Brown 4 cloves of garlic, 1 chopped red chilli and a thumb size of grated ginger in some sesame or peanut oil.

Add you cubed beef and brown.

Add in 125ml of soya sauce, a tablespoon of fish sauce and a tablespoon of sweet chilli sauce. Then pour in 1 litre of beef stock and 250ml boiling water.

You can either cheat here with 2 packets of 2 minutes noodles (do not use the season sachet) or make your own egg noodles and add to the broth.

Lastly add in about two big handfuls of chopped Asian greens.

Cook for as long as it takes for the noodles to soften and then serve into bowls.

We are preparing for spring…this month we got the compost sifted out and dug into beds that were empty.

The kids have been making newspaper pots by the hundreds for spring plantings.

Loads of lemon curd was made as I picked up a pocket of lemons for R20 at the market and we were rained out the one Saturday leaving too many eggs over!

Normally, when it comes to containing our newspaper pots I was going to the liquor store to collect old beer pallets. Now with my sons bringing in so many eggs each week for clients, we have all these cardboard boxes lying around. We cut them off about 7cm up and there we have our own trays. The cut off part is shredded, soaked and put in the compost.

Still using the citrus cleaner and homemade laundry liquid and am happy with both.

Seed planting is high on the agenda and we planted about 120 seeds of courgette, tomato, spinach and peppers. It was with great excitement that I fetched my seed potatoes from the Post Office this week. I also found myself impatiently sticking my fingers into the soil around my garlic to see IF there were any bulbs forming there. It is a little early as they are only due to come out in December!

Well I have not even managed to finish my winter pair of socks…creative time actually is in the kitchen and for now this is what needs to happen. I really don’t have time to knit. By the time school is done for the day, sports and cultural activities attended to, business needs met, it is 8 o’clock at night. We have family devotions most nights and then I am ready to turn out my light at 9. We have given up TV for the most part over the last 6 weeks making our evenings free for real life and this is such a good thing. I was never an addict but everyone else loved their 7-8 TV slot. We all wonder now why we didn’t do this sooner.

So stretching this category to creating a home that is more in line with God's word and a place where we can truly nuture relationships built on the Lordship of Christ.
Discover & Enjoy
The last three Fridays have been a special time for my littlest one and I. We have done three outings for his history and science lessons and they have all been special. A rock classification workshop and treasure hunt in the Company Gardens, a sustainable fishing workshop and visit to the aquarium and then yesterday a visit to Vergelegen.

I think we chose the wettest, windiest, coldest day and headed out to Somerset West to visit the farm of the infamous William Adriaan Van Der Stel. The home and gardens are hugely impressive as is the later owner’s personal library of 4500 books.

I loved the formal garden with the veggies and herbs planted in between the low hedges, the gorgeous camphor trees and strong flowing Lourensford River. My son and his friends ran around in the rain without a care in the world, spotted the old slave bell, the owl in the tree and the hollow oak that featured in a story we read before visiting.

My son and I have been selling his chickens at the market. We have met some lovely folk and even some who follow this blog have popped in and said hi. We have however decided that the 5 hours spent there are too demanding on me and will not be continuing with this, but will continue selling from home and to friends.

We believe that these fabulous chickens and eggs that he sells have enhanced the community as they are the best that we can get for people around us. We even have repeat customers who have come to the market especially to buy from him.

So that was the month that was yours?


Cath said...

Mmm, lovely delicious month. If only I could come for tea and some scones with lemon curd...

Kathryn Ray said...

That baked oatmeal sounds delicious and I really like the photo of the formal garden.

Mrs B said...

You've inspired me to make cheese twists for some picnics we have coming up (plus I think dear hubby would just like them as a snacky with dip).

I also love the sound of the rock classification class. That's something my little boy would adore.

Claire Davenport said...

Oh, lemon curd! My favourite. You've reminded me that I was going to have a go at making some. I gave up TV a few months ago. It has definitely boosted my productivity!

Anonymous said...

I'm looking forward to the soup time of year again. And the cheese twists that your daughter made look wonderful.

Lois Evensen said...

The food you make always looks so good!

Our last month has been busy. We finished ten weeks at sea and just got home. I have already made bread, of course! It is wonderful to be home to family and our own kitchen. :)))


Urban Homestead South Africa said...

Thank you all for popping in here with your comments.

Cath, you are welcome anytime, I hope its around your table though, soon.

Kathryn, the gardens were so lovely and made me feel like I should have things in the ground already!

Mrs B, the cheese twists have a spread of marmite and mustard then the cheese which give it a nice tang.

Claire, glad that you are inspired to try, we love lemon curd...well obviously.

Lois, welcome home!

Crystal said...

I also bought the Jamie's 30 minute meals a few weeks back and really love his recipes. This week I spoiled myself to a nice food processor, so I think I will start with Jamie's meals this week.
The oatmeal recipe looks great, will be a nice change from the usual morning oats, thanks for sharing that link.

Christine said...

Thanks for the tip on the Jamie Oliver book, Wendy..I'm off to check if my library has a copy. 30 minute meals sound very tempting at the moment.

Congratulations on your son's market stall. How wonderful for him! :)

Shells said...

The baked oats looks great, going to give that a try - also yr cheese straws - yum. We have not had TV for about 10 years, and we dont miss it at all. The occasional weekend dvd works for us ;-)

Anonymous said...

A very tasty month indeed. I can completely agree with you about Jamie Oliver and especially the 30 minute meal. I've been doing one of his menus every week or two for quite a while and have enjoyed them all. I love that everything gets taken to the table, I find serving up like that a much more social way of eating. I set the table with flowers and use nice serving dishes and spoons, a much more mindful way of eating.

Linda said...

I love how involved your children are in daily life! That cookbook has piqued my interest, but the last thing I need is another recipe book! Lol