Resolutions

Wednesday, 13 January 2021

 Happy New Year! 2020 was a strange year wasn’t it? Here’s hoping 2021 is a better place be for all of us.

2020 bought about some fairly big changes for me, I decided my newish job wasn’t the right fit for me and so I returned to a previous job and, I’m relieved to say, it was absolutely the right decision for me. I am at a different location than last time but the team I’m working with is a perfect fit for me, an extraordinary group of people and almost 12 months on I still look forward to going to work each day. Mind you I still really like the days when I don’t have to too :)

I have spent the last few weeks, as a lot of us do, thinking about New Years resolutions. I’ve made some in the past but only because I’ve kind of thought I’ve had to, they have never really meant anything to me and as a result I didn’t stick with them but this year it feels different. Finishing my PDC in late 2019 caused a few mental changes in me, hence the job change, and those changes have kept developing, so I feel really good about setting goals in 2021.

So my resolution this year (although it feel weird to call it that, I feel like it diminishes the gut feeling that  this is something I feel really strongly about so let’s just call it what it is, a goal) is to not purchase any new clothes. I will make some exclusions, uniforms for work and underwear because let’s face it, my sewing skills aren’t that good, but everything else I will need to purchase second hand or make myself. I purchased so very little last year due to the pandemic and not spending any time in shopping centres. I think the only thing I bought (besides the aforementioned uniforms) was a dress for a wedding that didn’t go ahead thanks to Covid so the plan doesn’t feel like too much of a stretch. I’m also hoping it’s an opportunity to improve my very rough dressmaking skills, although I need another hobby like a hole in the head!

Do you sew your own clothes? Or have you made a resolution for 2021?

xx

Sauerkraut

Wednesday, 16 December 2020

This year is the first year I have been able to successfully grow cabbages. Sure, some of them were absolutely smashed by cabbage moth and the subsequent caterpillars, but I still managed to get some out of the seeds I planted. Now I know I can grow them I'll look at some netting options for next year.

I've also had some health issues over the past few years being diagnosed with a Helicobacter Pylori infect not once but twice! The antibiotics and other medication given to treat the infection are absolutely vile so I'm trying to do everything to ensure I don't get a third infection so it was an easy step from cabbages to making sauerkraut!

I bough one of Sandor Katz's books a couple of months ago but still hadn't taken the step until I was watching an episode of Gardening Australia and there he was, the man himself, making sauerkraut. And it was dead easy.


So here it is, my first attempt. I can't wait until it's ready, I have no idea how long it will take but as it is the middle of summer I'll be keeping a close eye on it.

Have you made sauerkraut? Any tips you'd like to share?

xx

R

Cinnamon Scrolls

Monday, 28 September 2020


Who doesn’t love a cinnamon scroll? 

Bueller? Bueller? Right, just as I thought.

This recipe is a bit of a hack, ridiculously easy and so quick! It only has 5 ingredients with another 2 if you want to glaze them and it’s a great one to make with the kids. The dough can also be used to make your own flatbread.


Ingredients 

2 cups SR flour

1 cup Greek style natural yoghurt

Butter, softened

Brown sugar

Cinnamon


Method

Preheat oven to 180 degrees.

Combine flour and yoghurt in a large bowl until you have a bit of a sticky mess. Lightly flour your kitchen cupboard and get to kneading the mess until you have a lovely, well combined dough.

Roll the dough out into a rectangle about 30cm long and 20cm wide, or until it’s nice and thinnish. 

Spread softened butter on top of dough. Mix brown sugar and cinnamon in a seperate bowl and when combined sprinkle over buttered dough. I don’t measure any of these ingredients, just use as much as you like. 

Starting with the longest side just roll it up. Try to keep it nice and tight. Once you have your log use a sharp knife to cut into 12 pieces.

Lay into small greased tray and pop into the oven for 25-30 minutes.

VoilĂ ! Delicious cinnamon scrolls! 

To glaze them simply mix icing sugar with a little milk and dribble onto the scrolls whilst they are still warm.


If you want to make flatbread simply roll smallish amounts of the dough into balls and then flatten out, pop into a dry non-stick frypan on high heat for about 20 seconds each side. Easy peasy.


xx

R



Blood Orange Madeleines

Friday, 14 August 2020



I made Madeleines for the first time a while ago but didn't post at the time. I’ve loved these little French cakes for a long time but never spent the 30 minutes making them (yes that includes the time in the oven!). Madeleines are made using little shell shaped cake tins, I inherited mine from my husband’s much loved grandmother so that makes them even more special. Plus I used an orange from my own tree. You can, of course, use normal oranges if you prefer.

Blood Orange Madeleines

Ingredients
2 eggs
1/3 cup caster sugar
Pinch of salt
Rind from 1 blood orange, finely grated
1/2 cup plain flour
1/2 tspn baking powder
75g unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 tblspn blood orange juice
Icing sugar (optional)

Method
Preheat oven to 180 degrees.
Beat eggs, sugar, salt and orange rind for 4-5 minutes, until pale and thick.
Gently fold in flour and baking powder. Combine juice and butter and gently fold into egg mix until just combined.
Spray Madeleine tray with oil and spoon mixture into each mould until approximately half full.
Bake in oven for 7-8 minutes until golden on the edges and cooked through.
Cool on racks and sprinkle with icing sugar when cooled.

Now go and enjoy one or two with a cup of Early Grey tea, yum!

xx

Imposter Syndrome

Sunday, 9 August 2020

I was listening to an episode of the Futuresteading podcast last week (I think it was the one with Sophie Hansen of Local is Lovely) and the subject of imposter syndrome was raised. Now here were three amazing women, all doing fantastic things in their own fields, discussing how they still feel like imposters, of not being good enough to offer advice or assistance in the fields they clearly know some stuff about. And I realised this is totally me every time I post on Instagram or Facebook or here. 

Who am I to be showing how I do things or what I’ve made? I have no qualifications or authority in anything. In fact I’m almost embarrassed when I share things. I post a lot more on Instagram, where most of my followers don’t know me from a bar of soap, and only occasionally tag the posts to share on Facebook because I worry all my friends may roll their eyes and think ‘Oh, here she goes again’ or ‘What crap is she doing now?’.

Is it simply because I feel I have no authority to be showing these things or is it because most of society doesn’t value these old skills? Knitting feels like an integral part of my life and the online community in this area may be lulling me into thinking that this is normal but when I look around at the people I actually know, almost no one knits or makes soap or grows vegetables and I feel very alone. 

And deep down I know feeling like this is silly. This sharing of skills was how things were always taught. Our great grandmothers and grandfathers didn’t go to special classes to get a piece of paper to say they were able to make bread or repair furniture or grow their own food, they learnt by the sharing of these skills by the people in their lives, their own mothers, fathers, grandparents, aunts and uncles. And what’s more, these skills were essential to everyday life even if they no longer are.

In the last few weeks I have run into several friends who, because our children are no longer the littlies they were, I don’t see as often as I used to. And these friends have all commented, without prompting, how much they love to see what I’m making and what I’m up to and each of these comments has made me stand a little taller. 

What I do may no longer be commonplace but that doesn’t mean these skills are worthless. In fact they do have worth, not just to me but maybe to others too. So I’m determined to conquer this feeling of being an imposter and share more of what I do.

Because chances are, I might actually know what I’m talking about. Or then again, I may have no idea what I'm doing but I'm hoping someone out there has conquered their own imposter syndrome and is sharing their knowledge with us too.

xx

R

Oops

Sunday, 5 July 2020

Hello lovelies!

Can you believe it has been more than a year since I last posted? Life got a bit crazy and the motivation to write just wasn’t there but I’ve been thinking about this little corner of the world for a while so I thought it was time to check in again. I’m always posting stuff on Instagram so if you don’t already follow me over there have a look.

Tha last time I wrote I had just changed from full time to part time at my then newish job but after giving it almost 18 months I decided working in a financial institution just didn’t make my soul happy. I have since returned to my previous employer and I am so incredibly happy with that decision. The biggest catalyst for that decision was no doubt another adventure I embarked on last year and that was doing a Permaculture Design Certificate. It changed me, and my outlook on so many things, in such a profound way it is still making waves in my life more than 6 months after completing it. If you ever have the opportunity to visit the very beautiful Limestone Permaculture Farm please do so! And if you can’t, make sure you check them out on the many places you can find them around the web. What an incredible place!

Obviously I have been spending time in the garden since completing my PDC and this spring promises to be a big one. My work usually slows down from late winter and into spring so that will give me so much time to put some plans into place. Can’t wait!

In the past fortnight, at almost 49 years of age, I have started my first university course by way of the Diploma of Sustainable Living through the University of Tasmania. I hope the old saying of ‘can’t teach an old dog new tricks’ isn’t true! So many of the topics are things that I love so I’m very excited to be studying this course.

I hope you are all well and enjoying everything life is bringing you at the moment. I promise it won’t be long until you hear from me again.

xx
R


Hello again!

Thursday, 16 May 2019

Hello lovelies!

It's been such a long time since I last blogged, the past seven months have been a bit of a whirlwind but I am, at last, back.

The new job is working out fine however it didn't take long before I realised working full time whilst managing this place was not ever going to be easy. I persevered, thinking I would just work full time for a couple of years and then take a step back but several months in I knew two years was never going to happen. I requested going to part time hours, something I was very nervous about as I was still in my probation period, but thankfully they were open to the idea and gave me the option of cutting two days out of my working week and I started on the reduced hours last month.

Oh. My. Goodness.

This was a game changer. I now feel like I can get back on top of what's happening around our little acreage and on top of the issues I have with my ear, something that was impossible working 5 - 5 1/2 days a week. I'm not there yet, my ear is currently annoying the crap out of me and I'm still working to get on top of the garden after an extreme summer (will there ever be one that isn't anymore? I highly doubt it) and not spending a single minute in it over the entire growing season.

In February I squeezed in a weekend Introduction to Permaculture course my lovely little family enrolled me in for my christmas gift and this has changed my entire vision for our little plot. I've mulled it over constantly since then and recently decided to do the full Permaculture Design Certificate (PDC) so have enrolled to do this in spring. Both courses were and will be at the wonderful Limestone Permaculture in the tiny hamlet of Stroud Road, about 1 hour 15 from home. If you haven't heard of it and have any interest in gardening or food production it's worth a look. There's tons of information about it online so a quick google search will have you enthralled.

The long work hours also meant very little knitting was done over the past 6 months, some, but not much, so I've also been able to pick my needles back up which makes my heart so incredibly happy. I even finished one project this morning and will share it as soon as it comes off the blocking mats.

All in all it's been a crazy seven months for me but life is starting to get a little closer to where I want it to be heading. Stay tuned to see more of our adventures, I promise it won't be another 6 months before you hear from me again.

xx