About Me

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Wife to one, mum to four and nan to three precious grandies. Living simply is my passion, I enjoy growing food, living healthy and playing with a variety of crafts. I am always up for a bargain and love to op shop for vintage treasures.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Getting back to basics

I am tired of relying on the supermarkets to get the things I need. There are so many additives in the foods we buy nowadays, it is way too scary. 

So it's time to get back to basics.

 From now on I will be attempting to make what I can from scratch. I will try to buy organic products where I can, rely on my garden for veggies and will be introducing some meatless meals to the menu. At the moment I am trying to source some real cow's or goat's milk. If all else fails I could always get a couple of goats.  Shhh don't tell hubby lol!

There has been some making of bread rolls...
This is my first attempt.  I cooked these in my cast iron frying pan in the oven, just removed the wooden handle...Firstly I watched these two bread making tutorials on YouTube.




If you haven't tried your hand at bread making, I would recommend it!



And some yogurt making,


using the easiyo...


The first attempt failed so I bought some Low fat Greek yogurt
in an Easiyo sachet. This is soooo tasty!  I am going to try to make some more using a small amount of this yogurt to see how it goes.


 Some baking of ANZAC biscuits using this recipe, we like ours a bit chewy.  I had run out of golden syrup, so instead used treacle that I had in the pantry...
I think they tasted better with treacle :)


 Here is a different type of lemon slice, I like this one, it tastes similar to cheesecake...


 The recipe (found here) is:

Lemon Slice

90gms butter
1 cup plain flour
1/4 cup caster sugar
1/3 cup fine coconut
Lemon rind

Mix butter into dry ingredients with fingers and press into a baking dish (20cm x 30cm).  Bake till golden (20mins).

395 gm can condensed milk
2 eggs
Juice of 2 lemons

Mix and pour over cooled base.  Bake till set  (30mins).


****

 I experimented with making some soap with this recipe. 

Now I am waiting to see if this works out okay...

This is leading me into trying to make a harder version of soap.


Made another big batch of Laundry Liquid using the  method found here. This saves so much money, well worth a try if you dont already.  



Have you tried any new and simple things lately?

xTania



Saturday, April 21, 2012

Giveaway offer at xo.sorcha.ox

If you are participating in Rhonda's 50% less meat challenge there is a chance to win a vegetarian recipe book from Oxfam. Just go over to xo.sorcha.ox and enter in her giveaway.
This is my eldest daughter's lovely blog :)

xTania

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Our Garden Extension


We have progress :)


Hubby has been busy...


 Putting up fences, pulling down fences, clearing, burning, raking and preparing beds...


A nice big area to get our hands dirty in, 
I cant wait.
 I may even try some Winter crops this year :) 




It has been quite warm here this past week with temperatures around 33C (91.4F).  A cool change is due on Saturday and hopefully some rain with it because I have some native plants I want to plant out.  Next week is looking much cooler...

Hope the weather is pleasant where you are :)

xTania

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Around here...

We are getting some much needed jobs done while this gorgeous weather is around...the nights are cooling right down, so wont be long and the fire will be put to good use.

Our orange tree is loaded with goodness, I have had to trim the bottoms to get it off the ground....


 Second crop of figs...


Mandarin's 


 ....and the grapefruit is doing the best as usual *sigh*
We tend to get so many of these that they go to waste...


We have been cleaning up the overgrown orchard...


Making piles ready to burn...


Looking so much better now...


Pulled out some bushes to make more space as the poor little mulberry tree was finding it hard to compete...


 Tools of the trade...


 Moved some of the collected up concrete and dumped it in nearby landfill...


 Some had to be broken up first, with the jack hammer...

 In the background is our big bonfire collection.  Every year we have a big burn, at the moment just waiting until after the 15th April to do this lot.


Wood that hubby has collected over the years...


His new pile that

needs to be cut smaller soon...


I am hoping to grow some  native plants in this area
to pretty it up a bit.


 Some times the salt-bush all though natural needs a bit more added to it...


We have a vision of natural pathways and lots of natives for this ridge.  I would like to encourage more birds to our block if I can.


With this little secluded spot I would like to add a bench made from sleepers or logs that hubby has collected.  It is out of the wind and looks directly up along the ridge pictured above...nice and restful.


I brought back some cuttings from a relatives beautiful garden while away at the funeral.


I am hoping that they all take off successfully.


Succulents,
easy to grow with very little water...


Hoya...the curly version


Hoya again


I have so many pieces of this to pot up... 


Impatiens enjoying the sunshine...



Hanging pot of petunias...


Lavender has been re-potted...


 Succulents in hanging pot look lovely :) 


I have cleared away a creeper that was taking over my front garden, sorry forgot to add a picture. And have given the chook house a good clean out.  We will need to get some straw today for the nest boxes.  A great tip is to add garlic to the boxes and the fleas will stay away. We have added oil onto the ground in the hope that will send them packing...

I have found muscles that I never knew I had over the last few days :)

Another beautiful day here today so must away and do some more.  The housework can wait as I am not going to waste the lovely sunshine...

xTania

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

In the Garden

The veggie garden is doing really well with this lovely weather we are having...

Nice warm days, with a few showers of rain maybe once a week is doing wonderful things for the plants :)

The nights have cooled right down now and have been quite damp at times...


I have some late flowers on the poor tomato plants.  They didn't yield too many tomatoes this year but I got enough...I think I may over water the plants so need to do some more research on how to grow them successfully.   They died back but have re-shot since recent rain, and I have young plants popping up too...


I dont have problems growing silver beet, it is like a noxious weed but oh so handy for the chooks when there is no green around for them to eat...




Bok choy grows and goes straight to seed and then all little plants appear from the seed.  I dont think that our climate is suitable for them to thrive...


We have some baby Spring onions growing naturally among the pumpkins...
(Why sideways blogger?)



Have planted out some more broccoli
because I had great success with them last year :)



A pumpkin hiding away under it's big leaves...


And another...



I got the pumpkins planted a bit late as I didn't have the space while the Summer crops were growing...


The original Spring onions growing oh so well.
We have been eating quite a bit of these lately in our Asian recipes...


We have planted more beetroot as we have run out of our pickled ones now, they were soooo nice!
Can't wait until these are ready :)


The potatoes have had another lease on life and I accidently found some potatoes the other day while poking around, so have piled some more dirt on top, it will be interesting to see how many we finally get when I remove the tyres...


Planted out some dwarf beans and they are doing well, hopefully we get a nice crop before the frosts hit, they are already flowering so fingers crossed...


 The capsicums are producing abundantly at the moment, and so are the apple cucumbers,
I pick some nearly every day...



I am so enjoying going out to the garden and picking carrots as I need them, so much better than the bought ones...


Progress is happening to the next part of the garden, I think hubby is realising that we can grow much more than he first thought. Just takes a little effort to establish things, but the benefits are so rewarding...I dont spend a great deal of time out in the garden, just watering and pulling a few weeds which can be very therapeutic... 



The herbs are also doing great, I grow these in pots and water with rain water from our storage tanks...

Basil


Oregano



Parsley


Rosemary


Thyme


The Aloe Vera has really gone ahead leaps and bounds.


And I have bought this coriander,  just needs to be potted out in the next few days...


How is your garden growing?

Hope the weather is being nice where you live...



On a sadder note, we have a funeral to go to tomorrow, and will be travelling down in the early hours to be there because it is four hours away from here.  It has been a sad week for our family as we have lost two Uncles within days of each other and both funerals are tomorrow. One at one end of the state and the other at the other end, so we can only go to one. One Uncle was only 66 and died of bowel cancer, the other was 83 and also died of bowel cancer :(

I have been doing a lot of thinking this week about how short life really is and that we all should enjoy it and live it to the fullest.  I will be turning the big 50 later this year and feel my life is now ticking away.  My aim is to keep eating healthy and exercising to keep the old joints working and truly take stock of what is important to me. I can tell you right now that it is not the all stuff that I have been accumulating over the years...Time for a clean out I think!

xTania