Baking a bit and cooking from scratch is the norm still. I'm loving the winter and a chance to get out the crock pot. Lots of soups and stews on the menu with a chunk of home made bread... Mmmmmm! I have my first sour dough loaf proofing on the bench at the moment - lets see how it goes!
PREPARE: Stockpile and preserve.
White vinegar pickled eggs and some balsamic ones - should be ready in a couple of weeks. I'll let you know what they are like. I've never made nor tasted them before!
I was really pleased with this secondhand find at the markets! The candlestick were green with tarnish and I wasn't sure if they would come up or not. But a bit of google research and a splash of vinegar with a bit of elbow grease - and just look at my $5 purchase!
GROW: plant/harvest. What's growing this month?
Chickens, chicken and more chickens! I promise I will stop buying chickens now... But how hard would it be to resist these ones? The black one is an Aracana cross and should lay olive-y coloured eggs (unless its a boy - she is showing a lot of stroppy behavior and is currently topping the list of "baby chicks most likely to be a rooster...") The grey is a lavender Aracana and will lay the blue eggs (so much fun to find!) and the other two are Speckled Sussexes. They are all about the same age - maybe a fortnights difference in age - so you can see the Sussex's will be very big chooks! They should lay a creamy white egg. because these guys are heritage chooks they will take a lot longer to mature and I wont get eggs out of them for another 3-4 months.
Started making Christmas presents for the new children in the family - I hope their internet skills are not very well developed yet and they don't inadvertently stumble upon their surprise! These are material covered foam washable blocks that I made to the delight of the students who spent the morning watching me sew!
Im a bit of a Michael Pollan fan and his latest book called "Cooked: the natural history of transformation" is having a bit of an impact in the kitchen at the moment! Its the missing link in his books so far. We know where food comes from and we know what we should be eating but he hasn't explored the concept of cooking and what and why we do it. Its divided into four parts with examples; Fire (Whole hog BBQ) Water, (Slow cooking in pots) Air, (Sour dough baking) and Earth (Fermented foods and Brewing) - so, as you can see, I've made pickles and that's his sour dough bread recipe bubbling away in the front and the slow cooker gets an almost daily work out... I'm not sure the husband is going to let me cook a whole hog in the backyard anytime soon - But our yearly Hangi is coming up soon and that's the same principal. I'm going to have to buy a copy of this one I can see!
Lots of celebrations this month - which is nice in the middle of a very wet winter.
This month I wanted to make Monday my car free day. I used to bike around a lot a while ago and then the floods put a stop to it and I never went back to it. I did ok with it this month, just because I knew I was going to report back here! I managed to stay home for two of them, bike to the shops (and end up talking to half a dozen people while I was attempting to leave!) and swapped the Monday for a Tuesday on the other one. Today I am sitting here hoping that the rain will ease and I can bike down the road for the few bits I need for dinner tonight. Or maybe I should look at the bus time table - but I already know that it will cost me $10 in bus fares. Its not cheap or easy to be green some days. Hmmmm... what to do. Cheaper and quicker to use the car but greener to patronise the bus service....
I find these bitsy blog challenges to be really motivating. Cause I know I have to report back here, I tend to stay honest and it stays in my consciousness - or is it because I write it down... Either way its a good way to make some changes for me!