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Life on two acres of arid dirt, on the edge of the Australian outback.

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?



  1. Those rolls look yummy - hmmmm, need my breakfast... :)

  2. Wonderful Tania, yes we are growing veges and cooking from scratch, but not doing as well as you are.

    Hubby made fruit and nut balls today, with the homogenizing nozzle on the slow juicer.
    2 cups almonds soaked 8 hours, rinsed and drained well
    1 cup unsulphered dried fruits -mix of dates, figs, apricots, sultanas, raisins to taste, chopped.

    1/2 cup organic dessicated coconut.

    Put almonds and fruit through machine, form into balls and roll in coconut. Store in freezer and can be eaten straight from freezer. Delicious

    All the best.

  3. Yum, yum, and more yum by the looks of it!
    I'm attempting to reduce my reliance on supermarkets, but it is easy for me to get lazy when I live just 5 minutes from a major shopping centre. :/

    Love the look of your soaps!

    *this is officially my fave blog post read of the week* !

    Get a goat! I'd love to see goaty pics. lol

  4. I love it when I hear about people making food from scratch. It usually is less expensive and tastes SO much better.
    Those rolls look lovely. We make our own bread in a breadmaker machine but don't use a commercial breadmix. We all love it and it makes the best toast.
    I would love to grow more vegetables but unfortunately we get very little sun being surrounded by trees.
    We have been buying Aussie Farmers Direct milk which tastes like real milk. I'm not sure they deliver out your way though. :(
    I look forward to chatting about this subject with you some more when I return from holidays.
    Have a great day and thanks for encouraging others to have a go at making things themselves.
    Anne xx

  5. It does taste so much nicer when you make things from scratch and that feeling of satisfaction when you see what you've made is so good. Your bread looks delicious too. With all of this inspiration I seen lately I made a loaf of bread today and it turned out!! Fairly recently I made my own almond milk, a recipe I got from a workshop on wholefoods I've been doing and it was really easy to do too. Goodluck with all of your baking I bet your kitchen is smelling rather delicious.

  6. The bread rolls look yum! I had a day of flops yesterday. My yeast must have been old cos my bread rolls were like rocks, I think I put plain flour in a cake recipe because that was a disaster and my rice cooked by absorption method was stodgy and yuk!

  7. Tania you have been super busy , and there is nothing better than homemade goodness....


  8. Great post today Tania, you must be feeling quite chuffed with all your achievements......rolls look great.
    My challenge has been to grow all my own salad greens which i have done for the last two months!!
    Joined the 52 week salad challenge
    Also making stock for soups, jam drops and muffins. I always enjoy cooking more when its a bit colder.

  9. Wow, you have been super busy and productive in your home! Those bread rolls look so good. Many of those things are on my list to try someday...may have to be sometime soon. I imagine it is a very good feeling being able to provide/do so much yourself for your family :)

  10. You sure have been one busy lady! Love the looks of everything...I think I will definitely need to try those lemon bars...yummy!

  11. Hi Tania,

    I don't buy any predone foods. I buy bulk supplies online for the staples, wheat, rice, legumes etc.

    I make my own sourdough bread (but I just killed my kitchenaid mixer which I kneaded the dough in, Ill be posting about that soon), I buy Cleopatra milk, which comes from Qld.

    The veggie growing took a plummet this year with all the rain.
    We live in a high rain fall area anyway, so it was pretty wet.

    Ive just redug a couple of the veggie beds with the hope of growing stuff.


  12. Gosh you have been busy. Last weekend we had a rainy day and I also got stuck in and made a few things i had been wanting to try. I made comfrey ointment, pickled ginger and naan to go with our curry. there must be something int he air!

  13. Came here via Rhonda's Down To Earth. Looks like lots of great reading to be done here. Must find time over the weekend to read up all about you and your family in the desert. Wow, such a different life to here in Tasmania.

  14. You're making soap? Wow! Impressive! I'll have to come and see the results when I'm back from my holiday. ;)
    ~S. xo

  15. things are better home made. have you checked out the website Hillbilly Housewife? i havent been on there for ages but they had some great tips/recipes for simple living. i must check in to it again! cheers!

  16. That all looks fantastic, I am doing the same thing at the moment, after my kids ate half a chemical wasteland over Easter.
    Yuk. Back to basic healthy homecooking here too, cept for birthday cake.

  17. Tania, the rolls looked lovely but it is the Lemon Slice recipe which caught ex-RAF hubby's eye...Will try this afternoon!
    'Back to Basics' is very much the thing in the US but funny enough, most of these "green tips' and 'basics' were just the norm for us back across the pond (UK/Flanders) so I just smile and do my thing!
    Baking is a must here as we have no stores on the island and it takes hours to cross with ferry and travel across peninsula to reach market! Good thing I love baking!
    A big hello from the Pacific NW coast!

  18. You are doing well making all those lovely yummy foods and you know exactly what is in them not an additive in sight.
    I think a lot of people agree that there is too much in our food that we don't know about or don't understand why it is there. I try to make a lot of ours too and try to keep meals as basic as possible for that reason.
    I use a homemade powder detergent and I am very happy with the results, it cost a little more than the liquid ones to make but far cheaper than buying it.
    Keep up the good work

  19. Those rolls look delicious Tania!! I haven't made my own bread for a while, I really should start up again! I try to do my own baking as much as I can but must admit I have been a bit slack over the last couple of weeks. Since being on our diet Hubby and I are trying different recipes and home cooking is a must if we want to truly watch our weight!!

    I haven't tried to make my own soap yet, I really should give it a go I think!!


  20. Hi Tania,
    Just love all the things you have been doing! Do you find it harder to source some ingredients when you are on the edge of the outback?That bread looks gorgeous- did you put a glaze on it ?

  21. Ive just stumbled across your blog and even though we are at opposite ends of the well,we are aiming for the same things.
    I made soap at the weekend,its the 2 nd time and this looks like it turned out much better,will have to wait and see.Later on today i will click through your soap making and recipes.
    nice to have found you


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