Sunday, March 30, 2008

On the recession, blackberries, andginger beer bugs

On the recession: This quote from Laura Ingalls wilders "A Long Winter" will do:

"if only I had some grease I could fix some kind of a light" Ma considered. "We didnt lack for light when I was alittle girl, before this new fangled kerosene was ever heard of".

"Thats so" said Pa. "These times are too progressive. Everything has changed too fast. Railroads and telegraph and kerosene and coal stoves - they're good things to have but the trouble is, folks get to depend on 'em".

Last year we all went for blackberry hunts around the known wild blackberry spots of Hawkes bay. We had so much fun but the thing was I ended up with hepas of berries and I didnt want tomake jam with it. Eventually some got used in a blackberry crumble and blackberry fool recipe. (Yum!) but still I had so many containers left. Then from the Simple savings website I found this recipe for blueberry muffins. It is delicious but once I ran out of blueberries I used raspberries froim my mums garden. Then they too went. so then I supplimented backberries. Just as deliuos! And frugal too. No butter, I water down my milk a bit and black berries are free.

So here it is:

2 cups self raising flour

2 tsp custard powder

1 cup sugar

3/4 cup of blackberries

2 eggs

3/4 cup of milk(I water down my milk, its all gottne too dear!)

3/4 oil

Sift flor, custard powder and sugar. Add blackberries.

In separate bowl, mix milk, eggs and oil. Add wet to dry mix and dont over mix. Spoon into 12 muffin tin (this makes big sized muffins) and cook at 190 for 20 ,imutes.

Dust with icing sugar.

Also I havegreat ginger beer recipe off the blog worls but unfortunately the author has cancelled her blog. So as this has been requested Ill repeat it here:

4 tsp white sugar

2 cups cold water

2 tsp ground ginger

Juice two lemons

1 tsp lemon pulp

8 sultanas

Mix together in a jar with a lid. (use preserving jars)

Feed every other day with 1 tsp sugar and 1 tsp of ginger. Do this for 6 days and make up on the seventh day.

To make up dissolve 2.5- 3 cups of sugar in three cups of boiling water. Add juice of three lemons, strained liquid from the plant and 3.5 litres of cold water. Bottle and cap using after at least a week or when bottle is tight. We found that ten days gave us a fizzy yummy drink. Cheers

Friday, March 14, 2008

A day in the life of me

I apolgise for photos being all over the place. I CANNOT get blogger to work for me and the help line is not going so please just bear with me.

Yeast has fizzed and flour has been added. Just need to leave it for a while.
Tea of Mac Cheese ready for later and look at those peaches to preserve!
Brush, brush, dental nurse next week. (Shes lovely.)
Night Georgia/ How long will the hat stay on? (Half the night actually)
Ready for school. Strike a pose Georgia.
Alex in the front seat of the huntermobile today.
Happy to be going to school A day of adventure awaits.
Yeast and water are bubbling away ready for stage two (see above)

Break time Quilting (Of course)

6.30: Wakey Wakey

Feed dog and cats, Sam(labrador) Denzie, Sarah and Meekhoef(black, tabbie and tortie)
Look at pile of laundry fold some and give up
Put away soap from two weeks ago to age nicely in cupboard
Make beds (this is Alexandras bed)

Rhonda at down to earth has written a day in the life of me and I thought it would be fun to join in. So here is my day on Friday with some photos to get you in the mood. Join in if you like and let me know about your days.

So this is (loosely) what happened on Friday in my life.
6.30 Alarm wakes me with radio 2zB Gorgeous hubby is up dressed in his uniform (-sigh-) and I make a cup of coffee and some toast and go back to bed to eat and drink under the covers of what is a chilly morning and listen to Paul Holmes and lots of news .
7.oo: Rouse children, open their windows and curtains and turn tv on to entice them to get up (it works!) They have Nutrigrain for breakfast.
From now on I do a few standard things: make lunches for girls, pack up bags with their other supplies, make their beds (mine is taken over by the girls) and ermpty the dishwasher. This morning I also put away in the cupboard my new soap from two weeks ago to "cure" for another six weeks, polish my kitchen sink as per Flylady instructions and feed the dog.
I also manage to fold some laundry before giving up.

8.00 Girls are dressed, hair brushed (not without rebellion from Alex) Yes there is a reason Alex hair looks a bit tubledried in photos!! Out the door, time to see pet Praying Mantis "Brownie" Discover Brownie is in process of being eaten by Ants. It is too late to save him alas only Brownies legs remain. Oh well memore mori (we all must die)

In the truck (Daddys deer huntin truck the car doesnt seem to be behaving itself) and off to School. The girls go to a small(ish) 125 pupil school deep in the orcharding country where myself and my father went. Big hugs and big kisses and lots of love later and they are off to find their friends, have fun and learn.

back home for me. First job back home is to make bread. This recipe I love, it makes two average size loaves and tasted divine. First I mix two cups of warm water with two teaspoons of yeast and two teaspoons of sugar. Then I leave that for ten minutes to fizz up. What esle is their to do in ten minutes but make my bed and have another coffee!!

Return and add three cups of flour two teaspoons of salt. Mix togehter and put in warm place with plate over top. Plenty of sun coming in now and so lots of heat by the window.

Next I walk the dog (actually in this case I let him out the gate onto the park we border and he walks himself! ) I can hear him making his way up the park as the neighbouring dogs ring out in successive angry, aggressive friendly yelps/ howls/ barks. Clothes out on line from wash last night and pick up dog poop (Yuk I HATE this job) back inside and clean up last of laundry (towels) and put in wash.

Finish folding laundry. Call madly and loudly for at least 15 minutes beore dog is spotted miles away as a yellow blur on other side of park. Resign myself to actually doing some exercise and retrieving him.

A bit of vacuuming, clean the toilet and read the post. Avoid opening the bank balances today. (need to be in a more upbeat, shell be right kind of mind, not a OMG how will we survive on this much money one)

Lunch is at 1.00 to watch Dr Phil and then over a coffee (Still watching) take out my frugal quilting project (grandmas garden out of all my scraps). Learn a lot about teenagers...

2.00 Oprah comes on and i listen to her while down stairs finishing second round of bread. I add enough flour and two tablespoonspoons oil to mix and bring on a doughy texture then knead for ten minutes. Divide it and put in two loaf tins using butter paper as linig (great recycling idea from Grannies era)

Then I place on window ledge capturing last of that sun to rise again. Tea is simple tonight- macaroni Cheese with breadcrumb and olive oil topping .

I also wash out some large jars becasue later on this evening I will be preserving peaches I bought on way home from School.

2.40: Pick up Children . It takes ten minutes to find them, another ten to convince them to peel off their friends and come home. This afternoon is free for us. Tuesdays they both have swimming lessons, Wednesday Alexandra has baller, Friday georgia has singing lessons, and Sunday Georgia has a rehearsla for the latest musical she is in.
Children demand food on arrival home so I give them some organic apples picked off friends garden, biscuits and bottles of water. They play outside with dog, play with their cats and watch Sponge Bob.
I cook bread in oven for half an hour at 180C Unfortunately i should have cooked it for perhaps ten more minutes I realise when we eat it later.
Open bags and clean out lunches. Sam gets remains. he looks forward to this each Schoo day end.
Gorgeous Hubby arrives home and gets out of uniform -(sigh-) and we enjoy a cup o f tea together and tak about each others days.
Tea is at 5.30. While I wash up , fill dishwasher and clean up aferwards Flylady style, gorgeous hubby goes through homework with girls. Alex has a book to read and Georgia has poem, alliteration , spelling and tables.
Then I preserve my peaches. Its been a bad season and the fruit has been hit by frosts and there isnt much around. This is reflected in poor fruit I was forced to buy. Out of 8.00$ worth I only get two and half bottles. Thank goodness I got early Queens preserved a few weekd back.
Bed is at 8.00. Girls brush teeth, georgia reads herself a book and I read Witch Witch to Alex and Goodnight Moon (My old book- you cannot buy this classic in NZ it seems shame)
Lights out at 8.30 or in Alex case lights dimmed.
back upstairs to read book (I havent read anything for ages. This book is called Sophies World and is about some sort of mystery and philosopy.Its GREAT!
Another tea with gorgeous hubby before we shower (Using homemade soaps) and bed. I read some more, check my favourite blogs and go to sleep about 11.00.
Sweet dreams!!

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Making it Monday

Such plans I had last night as I lay my head down on the pillow. You see I have joined Flylady. At last. And worked out how to access a different e mail to read my (many) messages. Oh I was going to declutter and clean, get the rubbish out, wash clothes, hang out drying , fold and put away clothes. It seemed like a good plan. But then I felt ill waking up. And so did Georgia.:( So that was that. Instead of any cleaning. I managed to finish the last of the nighties for the girls. And I made them matching "prairie" hats. I feel so... Caroline Ingels..
Then I went to the blogs and found this And Oh my(as Georgia says all the time) Many hours later I had so many ideas going around in my head that I went dizzy. And still the beds werent made...
I covet this apron: is it not the most gorgeous thing youve ever seen?
And can not get the idea of wearing it around the house as I do my work out of my head.
In the meantime though I do feel inordinately proud of these nighties. The Simplicity pattern didnt seem that simple. Oh well. The first project was a bit rough(sorry Georgia) but the second was work more to be proud of. This ALWAYS happens with my sewing, novice that I am.
To all you in the northern hemisphere i feel the sun coming your way. Well it is definately cooler here now. But I love each and every season. I love to be hot in summer, cold in winter. Still I feel some sadness as the days row subtly darker earlier and the pool becomes used less and less. So although I love each day, each season each moment and celebrate it I have to admit to needing some reasons to look forward to the cooler weather.
The flies: they are everywhere, on the ceilings all I can think of is endless flypoop cleaning excusions arriving me way. The land on me just when I am trying to concentrate on something. I love to be the eco warrior and guilt strains me as I spray the flyspray with gay abandon.
The humidity: Sticky sleepless nights, lethargic days, living for the blessed hope of an evening breeze.
Dry, dry garden: The lush spring growth and promise of a green bountiful garden soon falls pry to heat in summer and soon the garden just looks sad.
I do love to see the changing colours of Autumn but the months since Christmas just seem to have flown by...

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Sewing and savings

I was over at Rhondas blog. and she has just written the most wonderful blog on saving and simple living and all the things I so desparately am trying to do and would like to say but she said it so much better than I could so just go there for her post. She invited comments on peoples savings and I wrote and told her I have taken on sewing for the children. It IS cheaper despite what people say about the Warehouse etc etc. I do have the time (I make the time) and I enjoy it. So here is what i have sewn today and the pattern i copied it from. Im no great sewer but picking a easy pattern is the answer here. As a steward of the home and loving being a housewife I consider sewing a artform as well as a practicality that I must do.
The next task I will be attempting is some warm nighties for the girls. They also want nightcaps AKA Little house on the Priairie to go with them...
Just to show you how much the top above cost:
Material (on sale) 6.00 for 2 metres(about 1 metre left over..)
Cotton: 1.99 (Used only a little)
Interfacing: Free down the bottom of my materials box.(but cheap to buy)
Lace: 2.49 (about half left over again for another project)
I also made this pattern for abut the same cost for georgia and the pattern I bought a while ago on sale for $5.00 so that has paid for itself.
The nightie pattern was a whopping 14.00!!! So Ill have to have agood go at making everything on it to pay for itself. On the plus side it has pjs and summer pjs on it as well.