Friday, January 13, 2017

here at home

I love this time of year. The lazy, slow days of January, where one day runs into another. After all the hype that is Christmas, it is so good to be just enjoying the everyday things at a slower pace.

I have been pottering about spending a bit of time in the garden, nurturing my plants so they grow well and keep us in vegetables for the summer.  I am picking tomatoes, cucumbers, eggplants, zucchinis, capsicum, kale, celery, silver beet and the occasional strawberry. The weather has been pleasant most days apart from the occasional hot day, like yesterday. Today the cool change has arrived and the thirsty soil is soaking up gentle rain.

And then there are the other things like making and baking. For the first time this week I made ratatouille using a recipe from Forks over Knives cookbook.  The eggplant, zucchini and tomatoes were picked from the vegetable garden, and it tasted really good. 

On the bench there are two batches of sourdough brewing, this time around the starter is doing better. I was given a dried starter from a friend and also trying a method for making my own starter. 

I have continued to prepare my own yoghurt. I mix together a fresh batch twice a week and serve it for breakfast with stewed fruit and some homemade muesli. I also use it occasionally in baking, it is a good replacement for buttermilk in recipes.

For such a long time I have wanted to make soap and this finally happened yesterday afternoon.  I used the same method as seen on Annabel's blog.  It was fun to do and I do not know why I hadn't tried it sooner. Next I will try this method. 





This willy wag tail nest did not survive the last storm. Tree down, eggs lost.


Growing.






 I received this cart from my family for Christmas. It will be ever so useful.


Three more drying racks. Thank you hubby.


Teenage chicks. Aren't these just the funniest looking creatures?


Freshly laid eggs.



Grandbabies.  Ever had trouble taking a photo of a teenager? I do.


No trouble for this little darling.


Pretties.










Dailies. 










Remembering. A rose for Rose who lost her battle with breast cancer this week.


Ratatouille.


Making muesli. A bit of this and that.


Bliss balls.



Sourdough bubbles.




Flat bread to be enjoyed with meals.


Yoghurt.


Soap.





Beauty at days end.


How have you filled your days? 

Do you slow down this time of the year?

Hoping this day has been kind to you.

33 comments:

  1. Such a beautiful post, filled with so much making and doing! I love seeing what others are doing in their homes and yours is always very industrious! Wish I didn't have to work, I could do so many other things! Sigh...!

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  2. Hello Joolz,

    I have to admit I like to read posts about what others are doing at home too.

    I think you do a great job with what you manage to achieve especially since you work! I only work a few hours a week and still don't fit as much in as you do.

    Most of what I do is simple everyday life things. I made the decision to blog about our life more, that way I can see how lucky I am to stay at home. Hopefully there will be more posts about simple living and home life this year.

    xTania

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  3. My garden is laying fallow right now. It's too hot and humid along with too many fruit fly for anything to be successful in the vege garden. The mangoes didn't do well this year and what did ripen were taken by the fruit bats. This is the first year we've had to buy mangoes if we wanted to eat them. People do sell theirs locally so at least they are nice juicy ripe ones. No mango jam this year. Oh no!
    We do look like having a nice crop of rosellas. Will still have to wait a couple of months for these to ripen up enough to harvest.
    I am looking forward to a cool change coming through and some rain would be wonderful. This is meant to be happening over the weekend. Yes please.

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    1. Dear Jane,

      The weather is very unseasonable this year. We are having quite a few cool days with the odd hot day. The humidity this year has been awful. I lost a lot of apricots I was drying because of it!

      Sorry to hear the mangoes didn't do well. Hopefully you do manage to get some rosella's at least. You can never get too excited about the impending harvest because anything can happen, whether it be the weather or something else.

      We had a nice lot of rain today, everything has brightened up once again. But then it is 43C again on Tuesday, so I will enjoy the cool while it lasts.

      Have a lovely weekend,
      xTania

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    2. Hi Jane, I empathise with your gardening woes. I pulled everything out of the veggie patch just before Christmas, we had already started getting hot and humid, and I couldn't keep enough water up to my plants, and the fungal diseases were ruining many plants. Given the really hot days we've had since, I'm glad I did, because I know I would never have kept it all alive. Typically we get enough rain here over summer to help things along, but it's very dry (for us) here too. I'm envious of all the beautiful home grown summer produce I'm seeing all over everyones blogs!

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    3. Hi Cheryl,

      This year has been the first in ten years that I have actually picked good produce. Other years I struggle to get a garden growing. I am not sure if it is the wicking barrels or the good year of rain we have had. Probably both. In this area we don't suffer from many bugs and things and there is no fruit fly in South Australia. It appears that the hotter weather may be over your way this year and we have had the cooler. Having said that we have a week of hot weather coming this week, so that will test the garden.

      It must be frustrating for you, as living simply usually means growing your own.

      Wising you a lovely weekend,
      xTania

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    4. Hi, Cheryl. Some Summers it's just too hot/dry for anything much to grow without a significant input of time, water, sweat etc. I think it's wise to think about whether what you have to invest will be reflected in the return from the garden. Meg:)

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  4. Great photos Tania, and glimpses into the things you enjoy in life. Yes I do love January and the school hols and a slower pace, where one day blurs into another. Have had a few months off work and loving it. Never bored, just lovin life.

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  5. Did make soap years ago even tough was scared of using lye. Sent away for more moulds and am trying the melt n pour method when they arrive. Was motivated by The Bluebirds are Nesting Blog. Last batch lasted for ages.

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    1. Oh another one inspired by Annabel! Great work Robyne, you need to start a blog so I can see how your soap turns out :)

      xTania

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  6. Good Afternoon, Tania -
    Living on a farm, our days are generally busy, even during these quiet winter days. This is the time of year I do my deep cleaning,crafting, and indoor carpentry projects as our spring, summer and autumn are, quite frankly, too busy. Outside farm work and the youngin's rodeo schedules don't allow much time for anything else.
    So glad to hear you are enjoying your quiet summer days. Thanks for always sharing your lovely photos.
    Blessings,
    Mrs.B

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    Replies
    1. Dear Mrs. B.

      I have never experienced your winters. It is hard to imagine being inside most of the time. Our winters are mild compared to yours. We get cold dreery days but are usually still able to spend time outside. I am talking about where we live, other parts of Australia do get cold and experience snow.

      Thank you for your lovely comment, I love hearing from you.

      xTania

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  7. Your garden is doing well thru all the heat and it would be loving the rain, we have fruit fly which makes it harder to grow a lot.
    Cause I work there is no taking it slower in January though on these hot days I do not do a lot as it is too humid.
    Your soap turned out wonderful and will be great to use or gift. I used to make all our soap when I wasn't working but have got slack but I plan on making goats milk soap soon as that is one I haven't made and is great on your skin..
    Debbie

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    Replies
    1. Dear Debbie,

      I have been pestering my daughter for goats milk, but so far no show. She breed goats but mostly boar (meat) ones. I don't know that she would have time for milking as she has a baby on the hip at the moment.

      Having worked full time before I understand what you are saying. It is extremely hard to fit in simple living when you work.

      It is strange how the hot weather is affecting you this year. It is usually me that struggles to grow things. The climate has been very strange this year.

      Hope you have a lovely weekend,

      xTania

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  8. What a beautiful, inspiring, homely, lovely post.
    I too made Annabels/Cath's soap this week, and it is curing on the bench as I write this.

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    1. Dear Cheryl,

      Wow that is great that you made soap too. Do you know how long it will take to cure? I am thinking a couple of weeks at least. I am itching to make more now :)

      xTania

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    2. I think she said a minimum of 1 week, but it hardens more the longer you leave it to cure.

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  9. Hi Tania, It's lovely that you are enjoying your January days. I think your lovely photos reflect that contentment. The produce from your garden looks delicious and I think your special cart is fantastic. YOur photo with the tub of washcloths has prompted me to remember that I need to make some washcloths for us here. I've been so busy making them for gifts that I've forgotten we need some new ones! Meg:)

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    1. Dear Meg,

      Thank you Meg. Haha I need to make some fresh dishcloths too, these are looking a bit tired.

      The do make lovely gifts. I have bought some more cotton from Bendigo Mills for this purpose.

      Enjoy your weekend,

      xTania

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  10. You have been very busy! I love all your pictures. You have the eye of an artist!

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    1. Thank you Debbie. I have been trying to take better photos using my camera instead of the phone. It certainly makes a difference to the quality :)

      xTania

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  11. Such a beautiful post... again! Tania, your photos are wonderful. The simple everyday things made special with your images. Your soap looks great! Wait until you start using it, you won't ever go back to bought soap. That flatbread looks so good, I don't suppose you would share the recipe? I'm having trouble getting my yoghurt to set lately, using raw milk as I've always done, but not setting, so am trying a different method and will see the results in the morning.

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    1. Hi Sally,

      Thank you for your wonderful words.

      I am already addicted to soap making. I cant wait to make more!

      No problem sharing the recipe. It is here: https://www.hobbshousebakery.co.uk/blogs/recipes/140060935-sourdough-flatbread-recipe

      It is one of Jamie's recipes and rather good! It is made from sourdough starter though, not sure if you realised that.

      Wishing you a lovely Sunday.

      xTania

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    2. Sourdough.. Even better!! I'm mixing up some sourdough loaves tonight, ready for baking in the morning, so I'll have a look at that recipe and perhaps make one of the loaves into flat breads. Thanks for sharing, I appreciate it. Fingers crossed they turn out as good as yours. :)

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  12. Everything is so lovely Tania.

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  13. Beautiful post Tania. A joy to read! The sourdough looks very healthy! I am glad you got on well with the soap! It looks beautiful and now you are in the world of soap making!
    Your veggies look great. The sight of handmade dish cloths is beautiful. Such lovely pictures. I am babysitting and the baby is asleep... and I sat down to drink a cup of tea to read your post. Lovely! xxx

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    1. Dear Annabel,

      Thank your for your kind words.

      I have ventured further with my sourdough. I made rolls and a loaf yesterday, and I just had a roll with my lunch with homemade jam...YUM!

      It has been too hot for more soaping, so that will have to wait for the cooler weather, still hot here today. I know you are enjoying a nice cool change :)

      Hope your day is wonderful, and enjoy that baby,

      xTania

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  14. Hi Tania, I love reading your blog on simple living it's so inspiring. The Australian outback is unique and beautiful and you make the most out of living there. It's so true Nothing is impossible with God. I live in Brisbane with my husband and 3 children. We hope someday to have our own piece of paradise ideally somewhere in the country with lots of land. It's so refreshing to see you live simply yet not go without anything. You truly are blessed and appreciate everything God has given you. Love from Lana.

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  15. Thank you for your sweet words Sophia. You have made me feel even more blessed with what I have and what I am able to achieve.

    I hope that one day you and your family will get your dream place with some land. Do all you can to make it happen!

    God Bless,

    xTania

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I love reading your comments! Through them, I have learnt that there are some truly lovely people out there. Thank you :)