Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Wordless Wednesday - Aren't they beautiful?


Aren't they beautiful?

My oldest niece and her two girls at the wedding of my second oldest niece! We had lots of fun didn't we girls?

Joining in with Project Alicia for Wordless Wednesday once again. Lots of beautiful images over there if you are in the mood to browse!.

Sunday, 24 February 2013

Treating scaly leg mite in chickens!

If you have chickens, sooner or later they are likely to get scaly mites on their legs. I didn't pay much attention when my chickens first got it and by the time it had registered that there was something wrong, its quite painful for the chookies and quite hard for the owners to get rid of them.

I know that one of the main causes of the mite for me is sugar cane mulch. Either the mites are on the cane when it arrives (which I suspect) or there is something in the sugar cane that brings the mites out from their hiding places. Once I switched from sugar cane as litter on the ground for them to scratch in and also in the coop and bedding boxes, I got rid of my mite problems almost over night.

Two of my chookies have got a slight case and I thought I should get onto it before it gets to the stage where its got to be very painful, like in the picture below.

Picture from Backyard chickens.com
This is a reasonably advanced case and as you can see the scales have lifted from the leg as the mites burrow under and make their nest there. I managed to get onto mine before they got that bad this time.

Here's what I did...


First, one must catch ones chickens.... I usually wait till dusk when they have gone to bed and just pluck them off their perch in the twilight and deal with them then. I find that as soon as I get the paraphernalia out, the chookies all get suspicious and don't want to be caught!


I use either tea tree oil and simply pain it on straight with an old paint brush.



Or I use a vapor rub - yes, as in for chest colds or petroleum jelly. The idea is to smother the mites with an oil or the jelly. Mites are an insect and breath through their spiricals on their side so the oil or jelly will smother them. I just smooth it over the infected area with my finger (with  someone else holding the chook still!)

The tee tree oil will also help disinfect any open bites or wounds but it must sting a bit (I know it does when I use it) as my chookies protest a fair bit for a few seconds. Make sure you have a decent hold on the chook when you apply the tea tree oil! Any oil that is thick enough to stay on the chookies leg and isnt poisonus, is going to do the trick. I find that if I do my chookies at night, they simply settle back down, rather indignatly mind you, to the perch and go back to sleep and ignore it. If I do them during the day, I throw a bit of grain out as soon as I have painted on the oil and they are so afraid of missing out that they rush off to join in the melee and forget to check their legs and see what I did. If they have nothing to distract them I find that they have a bit of a peck and a fuss at their legs - and are very unimpressed with me for quite some time!

I found some good information about scaly mite here on backyard chickens.com and here on the Greening of Gavin.

The scales on their legs should lie nice and flat like snake skin. The scales seem to be made of the same sort of stuff as my toe nails and so when they aren't healthy they become white and raised and matt rather than flat, smooth and glossy. A bit like snake skin for those who have been close enough to know what that's like! Its so much easier to treat at this stage than when it is more advanced.

Score card:
Green-ness: 5/5 for using natural products!
Frugal-ness: 5/5 for finding another use for tea tree oil!
Time cost: 20 minute to coax the chookie close enough to grab her, one minute of struggle, 10 seconds to paint each leg and the rest of the day to be ignored by your chicken...
Skill level: Hunters stealth and cunning. Kindergarten painting. Skin of a rhinoceros.
Fun-ness: Not so much fun to discover a bug making itself at home on the legs of your chookies...

Friday, 22 February 2013

Using eucalyptus oil to remove stickers and labels...

I have a lovely little side table that was made by my Father-in-law a few years ago that sits beside the couch. It's great for snuggling up with a book on a rainy day (plenty of them at the moment) and being able to reach the cup of tea no matter which end of the couch you want to settle in on.


The students also find it great to balance their laptops (or are they i-somethings these days?) while they share their Australian adventures with their friends and families back home. Basically its a great little table. It turns out that its was also the perfect size, two Christmas's ago, to land a remote controlled helicopter on. So good, in fact, that it got a brown box tape "H" stuck to it. After Christmas was gone and the helicopter has fallen from favor, I bought my wee table back to the couch and took the "H" off, denoting its use as a coffee table instead of a helipad for the time being and lived with the "H" in sticky stuff for the next 18 months.


Surprisingly, I didn't think the "H" went with my decor (despite that being domestic chaos in brown and green currently!) and so I decided that the time was right to remove the "H" for once and for all.

Here's what I did...

I got the Eucalyptus oil out and an old cloth and simply rubbed it off!


Eucalyptus oil is harder to spell than to use! I just used an old face washer and some elbow grease and rubbed the oil into the left over sticky tape mark.


Where it is stickier than the rest I put on a bit extra and then let it soak in for a while


And Voila! No sign of the helipad!

Eucalyptus Oil is amazing stuff. It gets the "sticky" of most things. I have used it to get the price tags off many things, including books. But be careful about the amount you use. It is an oil and will stain things like cardboard just like olive oil or butter would under the same circumstances. Test it on an inconspicuous part of plastic toys first as well - I have found it "melts" some plastics too!!!!

I soak jars that I am using for bottling or jamming in the sink in water and detergent and then scrape the labels off with a stiff brush. What simply wont come off with water, detergent and a decent scrub usually comes off with eucalyptus oil though.

I also believe its not the best thing for the non-koala population to ingest so if you are using it around eating utensils, plates or your sink, make sure you give it a good wash with some detergent to break down the oil and wash it away. I do this with my jars before I sterilise them.  It wouldn't taste so good either, I'd imagine!

What have you used Eucalyptus oil for?

Score card: 
Green-ness: 5/5 for using a natural product to reuse or maintain an item
Frugal-ness: 5/5 for finding another use for an already very useful product.
Time cost: No more than 1 minute for this task.
Skill level: Basic mother cleaning skills!
Fun-ness: Great fun to restore a bit of dignity to this useful piece of furniture!

Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Wordless Wednesday - Some days just require a hot chocolate...


A hot chocolate made at home is some how messier than one you get from the shops...

Linking up with Wordless Wednesday at Project Alicia - come and have a look at other wonderful images!

Friday, 15 February 2013

Fixing a wicker washing basket!

Under the funny shaped cabinet in the bathroom we have a wicker basket with a cloth lining to collect all the dirty clothes before they get washed. It took me a while to find one that was the right height and width to fit under there and so when it started falling apart, I didn't want to have to go through the performance of visiting every place in Queensland again, in order to get a new one. One morning while I was getting the washing out of the machine, I spotted a bunch of wire that the husband had bought home from some job and was sitting in the laundry (I don't know why he thought that was a good place for it to be...) and it triggered a though - what if I were to wire the basket back together? And thus the bionic basket was born!

Here's what I did...

Basically, I used the thickest wires to rebuild the basket where the wicker was missing from the handles which is where most of the damage was from pulling out the heavy basket was. I then used the smaller ones to tie and strengthen it all together. Its not rocket science, (or even very pretty) I just needed the two items to be in my sight at the same to make the connection!


The thicker wires have been used to replace the wicker


The thinner wires have been used to tie it all together and to join it all back into the basket to keep the strength up by winding it through parts of the basket that were still whole and strong. I twisted the smaller wires to make them stronger and thicker as well.


Like I said - not pretty... But it seems to be working well.


Once it is covered with the liner, it looks ok.


I decided to add a bit of strengthening to the handle on the other side just to be on the safe side since it was starting to look a bit frayed and ragged - and I was still in the mood and had the time and the wire.


I have a couple of plastic washing baskets that I use to hang the washing out on the line that have handles broken or outright missing. I'm sure I can "fix" them the same way. I'm reluctant to throw them out as the rest of the basket is just fine. It annoys me when useful things break in one place that makes them hard to use, so I am happy to have stumbled on a way to save myself a few $ and not send something to landfill for a while longer.

Score card: 
Green-ness: 5/5 Very green to fix an item rather than throw out and replace!
 Frugal-ness: 5/5 to fix it with other materials that otherwise would have been thrown out!
 Time cost: About 20 minutes.
 Skill level: Therapy level basket weaving...
 Fun-ness: Quite therapeutic one could say...

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Wordless Wednesday - One for you and one for me.



One for you and one for me...
Will you be my Valentine?

Linked into Wordless Wednesday at Project Alicia - come and have a look at other wonderful images!

Slowing down the Slow Living Essentials way - January 2013


I have been following Christine at Slow Living Essentials for a while and last year she started a monthly round up to record on our blog, how we have "slowed down" under nine categories - I have been doing this for the last year and really got a lot out of it. This is my January reflection on Slowing Down - the Slow Living Essentials way! (Sorry its a bit late - Massive Blogger problems due to uninstalling "Google Chrome" because I wasn't enjoying using it but it turns out that I cant get Blogger to run properly with out it - Google and Microsoft are fighting it out to see who will rule the world methinks!)

NOURISH: Make and bake as much as possible from scratch. Ditch over packaged, over processed convenience foods and opt for 'real' food instead.
I have been back at the library getting out various cookbooks again. Since we have a house full of students again, I have to cook proper meals and am having fun exploring Jamie Oliver books (a recent discovery for me) and also Heidi Swanson's cookbook. Heidi is a foodie blogger I have followed for a long time but this is the first time I have seen her book. So offerings this month have been a lot of one pot help yourself affairs courtesy of Heidi and Jamie.

PREPARE: Stockpile and preserve.
We went for a wander out to a friends property to check on our dogs grave and on the way back stopped at some road side stalls and I managed to pick up a huge box of "cooking tomato's" for $5. So I made some more sauce, pureed some into a tomato concentrate and simply chopped and froze the rest. It was a lovely day with a tasty end!


REDUCE: Cut down on household waste by re-using, re-purposing and repairing.
I repaired my dirty clothes basket this month! Not the most elegant solution but it used up waste that would've ended up in landfill and kept the basket going for another round.
 I didnt want to try to find another basket - that one is just the right size and shape for the awkward size hole at the end of the bathroom bench. I'd be hard pressed to find another the right size and shape It has an cloth insert and when thats in, you cant see the repairs at all - so I'm a happy little Vegemite!



GREEN: up our lives. Start (or continue!) using homemade products.
I have been playing with "no poo-ing" my hair for about 8 or 9 months now and last week I came up with a variation on Christine's rosemary hair rinse. I popped in a bit of vinegar to neutralise the alkaline in the baking soda I isuse to wash it and then added a few drops of eucalyptus oil and a dash of tea tree oil. It smell great and makes my hair all soft and shiny and bouncy, just like a Pantene ad but without the chemicals!

GROW: plant/harvest. What's growing this month?
The week we were away celebrating my husbands big birthday was one of the hottest we have had here in Sunny Queensland for a while (hence the tropical cyclone that followed) so EVERYTHING except my chilli bushes died. The chillies were touch and go for a while there and there is a chance my rhubarb will come back - but everything else curled up its toes and turned to dust. I have just replanted a bunch of seedlings... Lets see what happens next. I was doing so well there for a while...

CREATE: to fill a need or feed the soul. Create for ourselves or for others.
I have been attending a quilting class at a local sewing machine shop and its been lots of fun. I have made a successful small quilt for a great nephew that I am very pleased with (and would appreciate his grandmother not looking to closely at any of it with her vastly superior sewing abilities!)
I'm also back crafting with the neighbour - it so good for the soul to sit and companionably make things together!

DISCOVER: Feed the mind by reading texts relevant to current interests.
I have been reading "Waistland" by Deirdre Barrett. Its an interesting look at what we eat and why and what we can do about it. Its quite a fun read too as she has a wicked sense of humour that I really enjoyed. She fits in with philosophy's like Micheal Pollan (In Defence of Food) and Gary Taubes (Why we get fat and what you can do about it) so if you got a lot out of these two, have a look at Waistland and see what you think.

ENHANCE: community: The rewards for your time are often returned tenfold.
Does supporting a local handmade fair count??? Hope so! - it was a great day to chat, see and be amazed at what people can make with their own two hands!
I also volunteered at the LifeLine Bookfest again where we managed to break our target of $1.1 million dollars in second hand book sales!!! *dances with joy*


ENJOY: Life! Embrace moments with family and friends!
Had a number of wonderful outings and meals with our three students this month! I did an Australian taste tester menu for our latest students starting with pineapple and macadamia nuts and moving onto Vegemite on toast. This was followed by fresh prawns (including a how to peel them lesson) and then moving onto the kangaroo steak and crocodile bake! We finish up with a cup of Australian grown tea, a tim-tam and a lammington. Great fun for all involved and some great pictures for their facebook pages!

IMPROVE: Change or create a habit, work on an aspect of mind, body and soul that needs a wee tweak.
Last month I wanted to get back into getting some exercise and it was hard to do. I'm not so good in my middle age of motivating myself - hence the basketball games. Its much easier to do a group activity for me as I don't want to let people down. So basketball is finally starting back up this week and I found an aquarobics class just down the road in the local school pool! So that takes care of two of my three activities - now I have to find one more to get my three times a week...

So I think for this month, I will stay with the exercise one as I'd like to get into a routine before I move onto the next tweak!

I love cruising over to other blogs and catching up on whats been happening for others and enjoying reading about every ones exploits, thoughts and ideas. I do always leave comments but have noticed that sometimes they don't come up on the comments page or I can't get past some of the 'security' devices ("type in these letters" thingys). So, even if you can't see my comment - know that I have been visiting!

Thanks for the opportunity to share again Christine!!! Have a great month everyone! - Kara xx

Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Scotch eggs made with quail eggs!

For the Husbands birthday, he requested a few "delicacies" from the Motherland. I got left with the task of delegating the outsourcing of these bits and pieces to the various friend and relatives with the skills to cook or procure these exotic dishes. Somehow, I ended up with the scotch eggs. Now, although we have slightly more than the council approved number of chickens and certainly no shortage of eggs, I thought that for a nibble platter, even half a scotch egg would be a fairly big morsel - and then I found some quail eggs at the markets and thought; "Now, that would defiantly be the way to go!"

Here's what I did...


I admired them for a long time - I think they are sooooo pretty with all their colours and different markings. So different from plain chicken eggs!

And so small!

I knew that the cooking times would be very different from the usual chookie egg and I found this great blog where all the hard work has been done and she has done the experiments to get the perfect cooking times for  quail eggs! I chose a slightly underdone time so that once the eggs were cooked again in the meat, they wouldn't be overcooked.

Cooked and uncooked quail eggs. Fiddly to peel - don't do this under time pressure but oh so worth it for these cute perfect little eggs!

And to my delight and amazement, the insides of the shells are blue!

Once wrapped in the sausage meat and rolled in breadcrumbs ad baked, they made the right size scotch egg for what I was after, just a taste not a meal - Quail eggs might also make a good size scotch egg for the kids lunch box if you wanted to!

I was so sure I had a picture of the finished scotch eggs as I was so pleased with them but I can't find them anywhere... Sorry! But take my word for it that they are really cute and will be a real talking point at any gathering! I am now wondering what my council regulation are with regards to quail flocks and how many eggs you would get out of such a tiny creature on a weekly basis... *googles quails in Australia*

Score card:
Green-ness: Hmmm... 4/5 for supporting a local grower?
Frugal-ness: 3/5 - no where near as cheap as organic chook eggs that have had classical music played to them and kept in a handmade organic hemp basket...
Time cost: Much quicker to cook than chook eggs - don't turn your back on them or they'll be over done!
Skill level: Umm.. Boiling water and watching the clock skill level!
Fun -ness: So so so cute and really worth the effort to track some down to have a play with!

Sunday, 10 February 2013

Last night's leftover lunch ideas!

After Christmas, I had a number of left over bits and bobs that I turned into dips and muffins to use up when I couldn't convince the family to have another plate of leftovers for breakfast, lunch
and dinner. I sort of opened the flood gates for ideas of what you can do with leftovers to make a new meal - that doesn't look like you are trying to get the family to eat leftovers.. again.

Here's some of my idea's...



Mixed Dip Lunch!
Lots and lots of small amounts of things can be turned into dips and eaten with toasted mountain bread slices. Cheap, quick and easy - and everyone seems to like it.

In this picture there is an olive tapnade made by putting olives from various jars into a blender with some nuts and whizzing up until they are smoothish.

A feta dip made in the blender, again with feta, fresh or roasted garlic and a splash of milk to make it creamy.

And a beetroot dip made with leftover veges from last nights roast mixed up with a bit yogurt (or sour cream) mashed up with a few Moroccan spices such as cumin, coriander and paprika.

Since I did this to use up our Christmas leftovers, it has become a bit of a regular Sunday afternoon ritual to whizz up some leftover bits and bobs and turn them into a dip for a snack (or lunch if there is enough) along with cracker biscuits, corn chips, fresh bread or toasted burrito/wrap/mountain bread cut into slices or triangles and popped into an oven for a few minutes to toast up. Yummmm!

Another and tasty way of using up leftovers is to make muffins. And the answer to "can you make carrot corn and mashed potato muffins?" is, Yes! I have a basic muffin recipe that I use and then add a cup of flavourings to it and adjust the liquid component to get it to the right consistency for cooking.

Basic muffin recipe:

2 cups of plain flour
3 teaspoons of baking powder
1/4 cup of sugar (yes, even in savoury muffins)

Sift into a bowl and add approx 1 cup of your leftovers. ( or dried/fresh fruit, cheese and grated zucchini, cooked pumpkin and feta, tomato and ham - you get the idea!)
Then add
1 egg
1/3 cup of oil

and up to 1 cup of milk to get a very thick, just combined batter - not a runny one, it should be lumpy and divide mixture into muffin tins. I often pop a  small bit of cheese on the top just cause its yum! Cook for about 20 mins or until risen and golden on the top. Leave in muffin tins for 5 minutes to cool and shrink before taking them out. Cut in half and top with butter or maybe sour cream and enjoy!

Fritters ae another great thing to do with leftover! Same sort of idea as above - just add your diced up leftovers to the batter mixture - cook and enjoy! Its a great way of making those leftovers extend to the whole family and really good for kids lunches. I sometimes make these fitters with a packet of 2 minute noodles (cooked ones) in them as well to give an interesting texture to them - but I never use that flavor sachet (what is in those tiny silver packets anyway!?)

You could also do a bit of a bubble and squeak thing and then roll it up in a pancake. Fry up the diced up leftovers and then roll into a pancake, maybe sprinkle a bit of cheese on the top and grill too if you are in the mood, and Voila! Lunch!

And the one I have just made for the first time was the Impossible Pie! My neighbour makes them all the time when I pop over for lunch - both sweet and savoury ones, but for some reason I thought they were too much trouble even though they tasted so good. I had a day off work yesterday and so I decided that I would give it a go. I had some leftover pork from dinner the night before along with mashed potato, orangy carrots and a couple of beans. It was easy and even though I thought I had made enough for the Husband to take some to work the next day - the whole lot was eaten! Give it a go - its was really good and really easy. I'm not sure anyone realised that it was the same meal as the night before in a different configuration!

Impossible Pie Recipe;

Mix 1 1/3 cups of flour into a bowl with 1 1/2 cups of milk. Bat in 3 eggs 2 table spoons of melted butter and a cup of grated cheese. This is your basic batter - although there are many variations on this on the net. Find one that suits your cooking style. Grease the pie dish with butter and then pour in the batter. Sprinkle your leftover meat and veges (yes, including mashed potato) into the batter and maybe top with a bit more grated cheese and/or breadcrumbs,again,depending on preference. Cook in an oven until golden and set at about 230 degrees.

I don't understand the process behind this pie but it does form a type of crust and you can cut it just like a pie or quiche! Its kinda funky and a great way to make those leftovers extend to the whole family to finish them up!

If you have any other great idea's for using up left overs - let me know - I'm keen to get the most out of each meal and stop throwing perfectly good food to the chooks - or into the compost if its been in the fridge for too long. Although, I don't think the chickens are!

Score card:
Green-ness: 5/5 for not wasting food!
Frugal-ness: 5/5 for getting one meal to extend and morph into another at no cost!
Time cost: As long as the meal would normally take - no extra time required!
Skill level: I reckon you could teach the kids to start making weekend lunches this way!
Fun-ness: Great fun to put another meal on the table and not have those leftovers lurking guiltily in the back of the fridge for weeks on end!

Friday, 8 February 2013

Putting Christmas decorations away....

Ok. So its February, and I have just got around to putting Christmas well and truly to rest for the year. I mean last year. Considering that Hot Cross Buns have hit the supermarket shelves already (Isn't Easter in April?) I'm thinking that maybe I should leave it up and just do the Christmas thing 24/7/365. It looks like the way the advertisers want us to go...

Anyway. Since I had plenty of time and room to sort out my Christmas stuff, I decided to do it properly.

Here's what I did...

All the decorations that could be put back into its original packaging was put back into its packaging!. I discovered that rubber bands work well as a way to hold the packages shut rather than the sticky tape that they came with.
I had a bit of a cull at this stage too. I donated to charity all the decorations that I didn't like, don't want to use again or are not "my colours". It means that I'm not storing something I don't like and wont use and they are going to a home that appreciates the Christmas colour combinations that involve a hot pink or electric blue!

For the loose bauble things, I divided them into their colours and popped them into an old supermarket bag. This means that they are already sorted for next year. A long time ago I decided that I wasn't going to have a trillion Christmas colours. I decided on Purple (I know, who would have thought!) and green with either gold or silver as an accent. Having the four colours gives me a fair bit of decorating flexibility. I can do one or two main colours with an accent colour each year and get a totally different look each time. It also means that in January when all the Christmas decorations are an nth of the normal price, I know what will go with my colours and what wont without having to guess.

For us, Christmas fits into three containers - all the big things like the wreath, Santa sacks, Candles, last years cards (that we will post again) the nativity scene, and other larger things go in the box. I sprinkle a small amount of boric acid in the bottom to deter/kill any cockroaches and bug who think that they may want to take up residence and once its all in there I seal it with some masking tape to make it difficult for them to get in in the first place.

All the "loose" tree decorations go into one of those zip up plastic bags that a doona/duvet/coverlet comes in. Failing that, have a look for one of those $2 "candy stripe" bags that come from the cheap shops. Again hard for the critters to get into but light enough to move around easily.

The tree that we got for $5 at the car boot sale up the road (when we gave up on real trees to plant as we ran out of room in the garden to plant them out each year) Goes back into its original box and taped up nice and tight.

The whole lot goes in the back of a "hard to get at place" as I wont be needing to get at it for quite some time.

The cards all go into a box with all my Christmas card writing bits and bobs, including the strings that they sit on. We resend last years cards out each year which is heaps of fun and starting to catch on with our friends and relatives. Its heaps of fun! I keep them with the decorations, as we usually put up our tree and decorations during the first weekend of December - there are my cards - along with the envelopes of the people who changed address during the year ready to be updated and sent out!

I'm defiantly a bit slow off the mark this year with an immensely busy start to 2013 but when Christmas rolls around again, I'll be just that touch more organised for it!

Score card:
Green-ness: 5/5 for not needing to buy new things for each Christmas. Maintenance is a good green thing to do.
Frugal-ness: 5/5 for not spending any money and only storing what you need and use!
Time cost: A bit longer than just bunging it all in a corner or cupboard. Maybe about 2 hours all up to remove and store Christmas completely from start to finish - including sweeping and mopping the floors afterwards!
Skill level: Basic Mother Skills; sorting tidying and putting away....*sigh*
Fun -ness: Not as much fun as say, poking your eye with a stick, but maybe more satisfying!

Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Begining of year freezer de-ice, defrost and clean out!

I was so sure I had some tomato puree in the freezer last week and do you think I could find it??? No. Enough ice in there to start the next ice age but it seemed there was no tomato puree, not in the first five layers of ice at any rate.

I decided that I needed to give the freezer a bit of a spring clean (although its high summer here at the moment). Now, cleaning the freezer out has always been a bit of a chore. It takes for ever, the food melts long before I have got all the ice out and I often wreck the thing I have using to bash all the ice out of the freezer with. We aren't discussing the dings and dents that I have managed to put into the sides of the freezer either, by the way...

I decided there must be an easier way than wrestling with huge chunks of ice that don't want to be evicted from the freezer and so I googled "cleaning your freezer". It turns out there are MUCH easier ways to do this than a morning of ice bashing..

Here's what I did...

First - turn off the freezer/fridge! I have never done that before and of all the things that I did - I reckon that made the most difference to getting the ice out. Grab some old towels and place them at the base of the fridge/freezer to catch all that water when the ice starts to melt.


First take everything out of the freezer. A good tip is to pop it into an esky or chilly-bin (translated for my New Zealand reader! Hi Mom!) so that it doesn't defrost. Don't wash or knock the ice off, it will help keep things cold while you get on with de-icing.

With the freezer turned off - boil the jug and place the hot water into a heatproof bowl and carefully place it in the freezer compartment. Close the door and leave it to warm up the inside of the freezer for about 10 minutes and it will soften the ice of the sides of the freezer. 

Now another new tip for me was to use a wooden spoon to scrap and poke at the ice! It doesn't leave gouges in the side of the freezer like the metal fish slice thingo does. Poking a hole in the wrong place in your freezer is going to cost you a new freezer if you aren't careful!


Silicon fish slice thingos work much better too!

And in the space of 15 minutes, the freezer is ice free, clean and empty! Give it a wipe and make sure its dry so that your don't have ice forming the second you turn the freezer back on.

I left the "snow" to melt in the sink - I have a friend who said its fun to give the the dog to place with. In the summers its cooling and they like to lick and snuffle through the ice to get at the pea's and bits that have escaped their packets and are embedded in the ice. I haven't tried it - let me know what your dog thinks if your do!

While I had all the bits out, I made a list of things that had been in there for a long time and really needed to be used. Then I came up with some meals idea's for each of the ingredients ( I had a lot of frozen spinach in there that needed several meals to reduce it by half. All green offerings are viewed with suspicion by the family at the moment. I think they have spinach fatigue!) And yes, there is a Lobster lurking in there that the neighbour bought back from Perth - freshly caught by her son in law... about 6 months ago. I don't think he will be very wonderful now. Maybe a mornay...

And then I turned the freezer back on and popped it all back in - sorted into categories; meat here, veges there and fruits and desserts over there... Until I put new things in there that is! Now I have room to be able to store more things and I'm able to find what I know is in there.

For more in depth freezer de-icing, have a look here and have a look at this one for some great defrosting tips too! for defrosting tips with lots of pictures - check here!

Happy Defrosting!

Score card:
Green-ness: 5/5 for making my meal times more efficient, for not wasting food, and for cutting my power bill down a fair bit!
Frugal-ness:  5/5 for finding ingredients I didn't know I had at no extra cost!
Time cost: Probably about 1/2 an hour from who to go.
Skill level: Bit of googling, bit of jug boiling and a bit of ice bashing!
Fun -ness: Great fun to play with all that ice!Well for us Queenlanders that never see snow, it is!
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