DOWN TO EARTH SIMPLE LIVING FORUMS

DOWN TO EARTH SIMPLE LIVING FORUMS
I have a forum attached to my blog where people from all over the world meet to discuss simple life. There are over 8000 forum members now so we have an enormous amount of good information about growing food, cooking from scratch, family, simple living, routines, budgeting, baking and much more. Please click on the image above to go there. Newcomers will have to register. It's free, friendly and we're waiting for you.

19 October 2009

A weekend roundup

We had a peaceful weekend, didn't do much but potter around the house, I worked on the forum quite a bit, tweaking and reading the manual, while Hanno did some gardening and tidying up outside. There are always tasks waiting to be done in a simplified home and here it's no different.



Hanno pulled out the last of the winter kale and planted up dwarf bean seedlings in their place. They're nicely protected with straw mulch and will soon be joined by corn seedlings that are not quite ready to plant yet. A storm during the week gave us a bit of water in the tanks so some of that stored water was used on the garden, but we still need good rain to soak deep into the soil and fill the tanks. This is often the driest time of the year for us, late Autumn, but when the monsoon arrives and the rains start in November, everyone breathes a sigh of relief that we have water again. Of course, with climate change, we can't rely now on those once dependable patterns. So, for now, we're hoping that rain will fall and the storms won't cause too much damage this year.



Spring time always makes the chooks broody and at the moment we have five hens eager to become mothers. There are four on the nests and Lucy, our Old English Game hen, has taken it upon herself to separate from the flock and make her own nest. She has been missing for a few days but Hanno found her yesterday, with a nest of five eggs. She's in trouble though, she's been eating the next door neighbour's lettuces so she'd better watch herself.



Back inside the house, I made bread - yeasted rolls one day and sour dough the other. I keep persisting with sour dough because I want to make bread without yeast but every time I make it, it disappoints. I have tried several recipes so I guess I just don't have the knack or taste for it, so for now, I'm sticking with my yeast bread. I made heavy grain rolls on the weekend but I flitter between grain flour to rye to unbleached organic white. We like the variety and they usually turn out very well.



While I was in the kitchen I also made yoghurt, ricotta, quark (more on them later in the week) and muesli. This is a new muesli recipe that I just made up of things I like to eat. I just mixed together some oats, moist coconut, dried apricots and cranberries, lecithin granules and LSA mix, which is a mixture of crushed linseeds, sunflower seeds and flaked almonds. It's delicious. I think next time I make it, I'll leave the oats out of the mix so I can soak them overnight and add them just before breakfast. If you soak your muesli, how do you do it?



Over the weekend I also worked on two aprons, did some stitching, knitting and started making a tea cosy for a Christmas gift. I still haven't made room for, or used, the overlocker/serger given to me recently. I'll have to get to it soon because I will need it for a couple of projects I'm working on now. And what would the weekend be without phone calls to my family. I spoke with my sister Tricia and Shane, Sarndra and Kerry on the phone and Jens came over to help Hanno move tree branches and garden waste to the dump.



I would like to do a crochet-along over at the forum and need an experienced crocheter to help me. The project is a milk jug cover that I have the pattern for, so if you have the time and would like to help, please let me know.



Another week starts today and I am looking forward to it. There are so many things to do each day, it's a pleasure to get up early and get stuck into it. I have a work meeting tonight and work Tuesday and Wednesday. As we get closer to our move, it gets busier there, it will soon be time to organise the move and pack up again. I am really enjoying the forum and getting to know the members, and working on my gifts for Christmas. Each day is full of satisfying work that fills my soul and makes me sleep well at night. I hope you had a restful weekend and that the week ahead will be a good one for all of us.


21 comments:

  1. Thany you for the beautiful post Rhonda. Also a work day but I love reading your blog first up. It just is a great way to start the day.
    Many blessings
    Lors

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  2. Thanks Rhonda, a beautiful picture of your weekend!

    Good luck with getting your centre ready for moving, and for your Christmas gifts!

    I'm guessing this won't be a restful week ahead for me, this is my final week of PhD! Finally! Still SO much to do before I print it all out next Monday, so housework, baking, sewing, and pretty much everything else other than writing, sleeping, and eating is out :)

    But I shall remember to take a bit of care of myself, and shall very much look forward to settling into a lovely daily routine again and making a start on those Christmas presents!

    Best wishes,

    Jenni

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  3. Rhonda I am wondering what kind of flour you are using for your sourdough? I bought Andrew Whitley's book 'Bread Matters' at the beginning of this year and it has helped me enormously. I am very very happy with the sourdough bread which I make now and the keeping qualities of it are also excellent (as well as the taste). Even my six year old has stopped asking for shop bread instead - finally!! I think one thing which makes all the difference is the quality of flour for your starter culture. Here in the South Island of NZ I have a source of affordable organic flour which is freshly milled when I place an order (usually 20kg at a time) and it is since I've had that (which is mixed with supermarket white flour later in the bread making process at the moment) that I've been having such good sourdough results. Whitley's book is one of the most valuable on my recipe shelf.

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  4. Thank you, Lors.

    Good luck with this final week, Jenni. Will it be published?

    Sandra, I use organic unbleached white or wholemeal for sourdough. Bought in 5kg lots from my bulk food shop. More than anything I don't like the consistency of sourdough. I keep trying to make one that I'll like so I've used a lot of different recipes.

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  5. Hi Rhonda, who is that good looking woman who has put her photo on your blog? :-O I am relieved to hear that I am not alone in constantly failing with sourdough. We are moving slowly but surely. Have a happy week.

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  6. What kind of items are you making for holiday gifts? I am hoping to make more gifts this year and would like some ideas.

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  7. Just saw the Oct 7th post which answers the comment from just a few minutes ago. But always looking for great ideas. I find many here. Thanks.

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  8. My goodness your coop looks so clean!!!
    Mine is a mess...no matter how often I clean it.
    How often do you clean yours?
    Do you throw hay/staw about, to help with easier clean up?
    Donna in New Mexico

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  9. Rhonda,

    What pattern are you using for the cosy? I love those and they are fun to knit.

    As to the sourdough breads: is it the taste? I think I saw you write that you didn't like the texture? I make a french bread that is a sourdough, but it's not very sour and I like that. I don't let the started get too sour to make this.

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  10. forgot my name: Christine re the starter useage and a french bread

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  11. Sound like you been busy as a bee. Today hubby and our youngest son went and got load of firewood.
    I made Chili and canned 11 pints of applesauce.

    Coffee is on.

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  12. Rhonda are you going to use the tea cup pattern for your milk jug cover? I have found two more patterns for covers that look fairly easy. One is beaded and the other has tassles. I can send them to you if you wish. My email is abbyk underscore 49 at hotmail dotcom

    Have just returned home from my daughter's in Brisbane. (She lost her husband five weeks ago). While I was down there I went to the Biome store in Adelaide Street. What a wonderful shop and what great staff. I spent nearly an hour in there (and quite a few dollars)I now have my long awaited stainless steel water bottle.
    OH will get one for Christmas too!

    Just thought that I would give some feedback about them as you recommend them.

    Cheers! Karen (near Bundaberg)

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  13. Really like your new glasses - very stylish!!!!
    Have a great day.

    Liane :)

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  14. Unfortunately after 2 weeks of the flu running through everyone in the house, it finally caught up with me on Friday night! I've been laid up since! Am finally feeling better but I didn't accomplish ONE thing this weekend. So dissapointing! Good luck with the center's move. What a wonderful service it provides to your community!

    Kristina

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  15. Hi Rhonda~ Love, love *love* your new glasses! Just beautiful, you are.
    We always soak our muesli just before eating for about half an hour; mixing with the yoghurt and whatever fruit we are using that day. M-m-m-m-m.
    All the best to you.
    ~Carolyne

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  16. I had a busy weekend also. Got the last of the perennials in the ground that I bought on sale. Cleaned most of my flower beds and got them ready for winter. Still have a few in the back to work on. Today I am planting my garlic and onions so they can do their thing over winter. Also, laundry, floors and baking a loaf of bread are on my list for today. Tonight I will sit and knit on a Christmas sweater for one of my granddaughters. We had a nice warm weekend in Colorado and today is supposed to be the same, but then we have a cold front coming in that will bring rain and possibly snow. This time of the year you never know what the weather is going to be like, but our saying here is, "If you don't like it, wait a few minutes and it will change." It usually holds true.

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  17. Beautiful post- so glad you had a pleasant weekend. I too have no success with sourdough, but I think my DH is quite glad about that. For some reason he cannot stand to eat it. Sounds like your getting all the Christmas gifts done! I find I cherish homemade gifts so much more than bought- it's not only a gift, it's an heirloom to treasure, a piece of history. Whenever I look at those special gifts I'm always reminded of the love, time, and care that went into them. Hope you have a wonderful week!
    Jerusha

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  18. Rhonda,

    You put me to shame, with all of the things you did this weekend!!

    Have a great week,

    Melanie

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  19. Looks like a wonderful weekend, and such a great post

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  20. Looks like a great muesli mix. We normally buy it premixed because we love the nuts in there and nuts(except peanuts) are not very cheap here. I guess I could just make another variety and save the ones we buy for special occasions. Thanks for triggering that idea.

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  21. Here is my recipe for Muesli

    http://thebarberbunch.blogspot.com/2008/07/how-to-make-muesli.html

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