Decluttering challenge - week 2 + lemon cordial

12 August 2013
I'm continuing the decluttering challenge many of us started last Monday. The declutterers at the forum are posting about what they're doing and what they're moving out. It's quite inspiring. If you want to join in, we're decluttering five items on Monday and one item each week day until the end of the month. If you want to blog about what you're decluttering, leave a link for us in the comments and we'll follow it. Here is last Monday's post about it.

The drawer in its original condition.
After a quick clean and tidy.
This is what is being moved out. It wasn't too bad although there are a couple of things there I don't recognise.

Yesterday, after lunch, I decided to clean out one of the gadget drawers in the kitchen. This is the drawer that sits under my kitchen linens drawer, under the oven. It holds things I use, but not often. So it's the mandolin, tomato press, grater, canning tools, rings, lids and those sorts of things. It didn't take long to remove everything, wipe the drawer out, replace the useful items and separate what I didn't need any more. I'm sure there is a reason I kept one of the steel racks from my old oven but I can't think of it now. Whatever the reason, now it will be used to dry soap or as a rack in the bush house to keep wet pots off the wooden benches.

It feels good to have the drawer clean and tidy, ready for service again.

Yesterday I thought I was going to write most of the day but I ended up in my bush house, repotting ferns and plants in hanging baskets. I take the baskets out of the bushouse in spring and hang them on the front verandah. They give the house a cooler feeling when the temperatures start to climb again. So I repotted some king ferns and a few olds and ends and hung them out the front. We rarely sit out there in winter, favouring the back verandah with the sun streaming in during the colder weather.  I love sitting outside to have morning or afternoon tea. We can sit there together in the fresh air, talking about our plans and hopes, while we enjoy a break.

Also after lunch, I juiced two buckets full of lemons. I harvested two litres/quarts of juice last week, now these two buckets have given two more large bottles for the freezer, as well as a litre/quart to use during the week. That lemon tree of ours has served us well over the almost 16 years we've lived here. It was one of the first things we planted here, it's in the chook run so we never have to fertilise it, and although it gives a huge crop of lemons in winter, it generally has a few lemons on it all through the year. I'm guessing we'll get another two or three good years from the tree before it will start producing less and less lemons. If it keeps on producing prolific crops, I'll happily accept it and have more than enough lemons and cordial to share.


To make lemon cordial, or any fruit cordial, you start by making a sugar syrup. This is just equal quantities of water and sugar - so 1 cup sugar to 1 cup of water. I use 2 kg/4.4lbs sugar to 2 litres/quarts water and make up a quantity of the syrup - boil till the sugar dissolves and allow to cool. It keeps in the fridge for about six months. Then just mix it with the juice as needed.  I use equal amounts of syrup to juice and then dilute the drink right down with water and this is done according to your taste.

The two plastic bottles will go in the freezer, the glass bottle in the fridge for use during the week. Kerry, Sunny and Jamie are coming over for a family lunch tomorrow so I'll probably make a batch of cordial then. The forecast tomorrow is for 28C/82F and it's still winter! 

Hanno went to the market yesterday and bought another Eureka lemon tree.  It will be planted up in the corner of our property, near the bananas. I can't imagine not having a lemon tree now. They're good for so many things. But soon it will be summer, and that's always lemon cordial time here. I'm looking forward to it with an abundance of juice ready to go.

Just a little request here at the end. Now that I've discovered that I can use my smartphone as an internet radio, I've been trying to find a couple of stations to listen to in the kitchen when I'm working there. I don't want music stations, I like talk, but not talk-back. Something similar to the wonderful Radio National in Australia would be ideal. They have all sorts of interesting broadcasts about lifestyle, books, philosophy, parenting, history, food etc. Do you have anything to recommend?