DOWN TO EARTH SIMPLE LIVING FORUMS

DOWN TO EARTH SIMPLE LIVING FORUMS
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4 March 2014

Baking and writing about it


Rain falling on the roof is always a welcome sound here and when you're inside, busy with everyday tasks, it gives a cozy feeling to the day. Mondays are usually busy in my home and yesterday was no different. The weather is cooling at night now and is still cool when I let the chickens out at 6am. I stand and watch the girls running around to get the overnight bugs that haven't managed to fly or jump away before the chance of snapping beaks present themselves.  I stood at the fence and admired the rich soil in our gardens - the product of 16 years of one family's care and devotion, and the pride of one particular gardener. Before coming back inside, I walked around the green house looking at the seedlings and cuttings, making sure they were all well hydrated and healthy. Crumpets and tea for breakfast, then I hurried through the bed making and tidying up so I could do some writing and baking before lunch. During the morning, showers of rain fell on the roof and trickled into our water tanks. Water catchment and storage without lifting a finger.




I'm working on my baking ebook and wanted to do a couple of test bakes for the book. Later in the morning, I made up a new recipe for a small sandwich loaf. Since we changed our main meal to lunch time, we're eating less bread. We now need a smaller loaf for sandwiches and the toast we often have in the evenings with tea. Whatever's leftover I gladly share with the chickens. It's generously soaked in milk and they love it. The bread still needs a slight adjustment before I'll be happy with it. My other baking experiment was vegan biscuits/cookies - oats and coconut, and even if I do say so myself, they're delicious. The recipes will be in the new books.



When the rain stopped, Hanno worked in the garden and mowed the lawn, and then went out to fill the car up with fuel and get a couple of bags of groceries. I took the opportunity to finish off some dishcloths I've knitted for my sister and to examine Johnathan's cardigan. It's at the stage where I have to piece it all together and I'm not looking forward to doing it. But do it I will because Tricia is coming to visit us soon and I want her to take it back to Johnathan when she goes back home again. I'm thankful I lay the cardigan out for the photo above because although I thought it was almost finished, I still have one front to knit!

I'm knitting with the most wonderful bamboo knitting needles at the moment. I bought them when I was in Blackheath last year; when we did the workshops there. I forgot about them for a while but now I use them every chance I get. They're smooth and warm and picking them up to begin work always makes me smile a little. I've grown to believe that the materials I use when making and knitting should be the best quality I can afford. It allows me to thoroughly enjoy the process of hand making clothing and household linens, as well as the end result. I guess it's another interpretation of the journey being as important as the destination. :- )

Kerry stayed with us overnight so he could be up and ready to go back to work early this morning. Hanno will drive him to the transit bus that takes him to the airport. So I made up a bed for him mid-afternoon and put aside a plate of the chicken and vegetables we had for lunch. Now that I'm used to eating and washing up at midday, I prefer to have everything prepared so I don't have to start work again late in the day. It's one of the benefits of having a grown family. We can plan our days suit our needs again.


Yesterday I received the notice the Sunshine Coast libraries are using to promote my talks later in the year. I'll remind you about these again in a few weeks and put it on my side bar but here is the notice if you want to book in for the talks.

I love that we're right at the beginning of autumn and have all those months of cooler weather ahead. I always feel more energised in the cold weather. The heat and humidity sap the will to live right out of me sometimes. But now there is much to look forward to, lots of productive work ahead and a garden out the back that holds so much promise. I hope you've got things to look forward to as well.


28 comments:

  1. Hi Rhonda! Your post on the veggie garden prompted me to order my garden seeds. Here in Ontario, Canada we are still in a deep freeze of -17 at midday. So spring is still a wish although the sunshine says otherwise:) I also saved some dishcloth patterns and hope to add them to my stash. Also, I taught myself to crochet and am using a bamboo crochet hook to make my granny squares. I love the feel of it too. It is so soft and warm.
    Thanks for everything again!:) Janina

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  2. I got sooo relaxed from reading this post, totally peaceful imagining the chicken pen, and the early mornings, easing into the day and taking your time - ah bliss!
    The loaves in the picture above looks stunning, sooo airy and light, and I cannot wait until it's tweaked in such a way that you find it book worthy - and perhaps blog-worthy too? *crosses fingers*
    I have heard that bamboo knitting needles are a lot better to work with, and I can only imagine that it makes it easier to knit when it gives in just a liiiiittle bit every time you cast a mask!
    I hope you have had a wonderful start to your week :) x

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  3. Had a little giggle at your discovering you still had a front to knit, glad I'm not the only one. I knit with bamboo needles too, and feel the same sense of enjoyment and anticipation when I pick them up to do a bit of knitting. Enjoy the rain, it's still drizzling here as well.

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  4. I'm excited to read your baking book Rhonda. I hope you have a lovely autumn ahead. I wish I lived near you so I can drop by the library for the talks. I'm sure it will be an eye-opener for a lot of people.

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  5. Everything looks soooo yummy. We are looking forward to spring here. To start planting the garden again and being able to go outside without coats, boots , hats and mittens.

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  6. Rhonda I cant wait until your new book comes out & try some of your bread recipes as its always looks so soft & fluffy. I have been meaning to ask what pattern have you used for the little cardigan, its looks very simple yet nice, perfect for a little boy. My knitting skills are not the best, but have started knitting the kids winter clothes. Its such a joy seeing them in handmade items so much love goes into the making

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    1. Hi Sarah, the new print book and ebook isn't the baking book. That will be an ebook out later in the year. The first one is out at the end of this month. The pattern for the cardy is from Debbie Bliss's book Baby Knits for Beginners - it's called Jacket with Seed Bands. I have to say the instructions in the book aren't all that easy to follow but the designs are absolutely delightful.

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    2. Thanks Rhonda I knew you had a few books coming out this year & looking forward to reading them all. I will keep an eye out for Debbie Bliss book, I did read on Ravelry I think that her patterns are a bit hard to follow

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  7. Rhonda I'm interested to know with your smaller loaf: have you got a smaller tin? I'm intrigued by the photo.

    Bamboo needles are nice aren't they? I tried rosewood a few years back -- I had to with a name like rosewood -- and they were beautiful except I snapped every pair because I hang on so tight. :/

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    1. Yes Rose, a smaller pan. I think the loaf is around 600 grams (I didn't weigh it) but I used the smallest of my loaf tins. Yikes @ the snapping. I have a couple of pairs of rosewood needles but they're not nearly as smooth as I like them to be. The bamboo sticks are the bee's knees.

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  8. Dear Rhonda I always love reading your posts as one day I intend living in the hinterland of the Sunshine Coast. At the moment I'm an itinerant nurse looking forward to living a more sustainable life. I still have my knitting and needlework with me and relate to you missing a front, I have almost finished a teacosy and have run out of wool so have to do with a similar colour - I'll have to give it to a friend who understand sometimes things aren't perfect haha

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  9. I love reading your posts Rhonda. They are so relaxing and the insight into your daily routine is beautiful. Can't wait to read your ebooks!

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  10. Even though I leave for work at 6.30 I love to have a quick wander around the garden just to check everything has made it through the night safely. Especially now that I have started my little seedlings, I love this time of year too.

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  11. Your post made me take a deep breath in and remember how good things are and to slow down. Aaaaah.
    Thanks Rhonda.
    k

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  12. Rhonda,

    I don't know how a "comment was published" cause I hadn't written one yet!

    Anyhow..

    Love reading about your day. Your breads are so lovely! I do hope you are going to put them in your recipe book! I am dying to try the rolls! Beautiful!

    It is odd to think that you are getting cooler there as we march toward spring (I hope!). We have snow, ice, rain, and sleet today, but I brought in forsythia yesterday to encourage to bloom. That will make me think spring even with the white stuff on the ground!

    Can't wait for the ebooks! Do you have a publication date yet?

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    1. Hi Matty, I don't know what you mean by a "comment was published".

      The first book, a Penguin Classic and ebook will be published on 25 March. I'm not sure about the follow-ups. I'll let you know when I know.

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  13. I too love the bamboo needles and hooks. However, I still have the first needles I knit with 50 years ago, plus ones passed on from a sister, Mother and Grandmother. So I have plastic, metal, bamboo, soft grip, and square needles. I just use what I have in the size I have. maybe someday I will replace them all with bamboo - although maybe not - they all work fine. We are still cold and snowy here, although there are hints of Spring to come:-)

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  14. Hello Rhonda, It is so nice to sleep in the slightly cooler nights now; we only had 4mm of rain yesterday but we were grateful for it. Our neighbours had their hot water system repaired yesterday and instead of draining the water out of it onto their garden, they very kindly put it in one of our little 1000ltr tanks and gave it to us to use for to put on the grass for the sheep's feed. Such a nice thing to do. I'm re-reading your book again at the moment and am enjoying it very much. Hard to believe it has been a year since you were down south doing the workshops.

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    1. What lovely neighbours, Barb. Yes, time goes fast. It's over two years since the book was published!

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  15. That bread looks delicious and I can't wait to read how to make it.

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  16. I am finding that I do not get as much time to comment as I used to ...but it is because I am doing all the things you talk about and living the simple life. Your bread looks lovely , I will be definitely be interested in your E book on baking ...particularly the smaller loaf recipe. I find with teenage children off to various things we do not go through bread as quickly anymore.

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  17. Hi Kim. The comments are down quite s bit. I think people are not as interested as they used to be. I'm still testing the small loaf. I did another one today that was excellent, much better than this one. Now I have the recipe I have to test the proofing, additives, kneading etc. It's a long process.

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  18. Rhonda,
    I'm still here every day, I just don't comment anymore because I don't like having to log into an account in order to comment.
    I'm still here, though!
    Marie Claire

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    1. Thanks Marie Claire. It's good to know. Thanks for taking the time. xx

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  19. Hi Rhonda,
    I am still a daily reader of your blog, but don't always have the time to comment. I for one am very interested and love the ritual of the few blogs I read every morning :D
    Warm regards
    Jan x

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    1. Thanks Jan. I understand what you mean about the ritual. I too have a handful of blogs I read with my cuppa. It's a very relaxed and wonderful part of my day. xx

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  20. Rhonda I just saw this post and booked in for your Living Simply workshop right away! I am looking forward to hearing you speak. How wonderful for you to be recognised in this way by the Sunshine Coast Regional Council and be able to share what you have learnt with us all.

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  21. This is the second year I'll be working in the local libraries. Introduce yourself on the day. I'd like to meet you.

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Thank you for your comment today. I love reading your opinions and thoughts. We have built up a wonderfully diverse community here that I'm very proud to be a part of.

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