Saturday, 27 August 2011

Home cooking

Ok Im still using the lemons, after a morning at soccer and home to clean all the hutches, we decided to use up some more of these yummy lemons.
India made a easy lemon slice
Lemon slice
225g morning coffee biscuits
1x 375g tin condensed milk
1 cup of coconut
1/2 cup lemon juice
Place a layer of biscuits in slice tray.
Mix together condensed milk and coconut and lemon juice
Pour mixture on top of biscuits
Add another layer of biscuits on top
Then ice with lemon icing
Refridgerate before serving.

Very easy lemon butter
4 eggs
1 yolk extra
3/4 cup castor sugar
3 large lemons approx 3/4 cup lemon juice
125g butter
Whisk eggs, extra yolk and sugar together in mixing bowl.
Whisk in lemn juice
Add chopped butter
Micro on high 3-5 mins whisk every minute
It is ready when curd comes to boil
Spoon into steralized jars.
Seal keeps in fridge for 2 weeks.

That was a few more lemons consumed and the skins went onto the compost heap.

Also we made a lovely moist orange cake
155g butter
2 teasp grated orange rind
2/3 cup castor sugar
3 eggs
1 and 1/4 cup SR flour
1/4 cup milk
Grease a deep round cake pan line with paper.
Combine all ingredients in large bowl, beat for 3 minutes, place into pan
Bake in moderate oven for about 45 minutes.

I must add my recipe for sausage rolls as I have used this for many years and have had a lot of comments on them , even my father who slings of at my cooking all the time loves them{ he was a chef}.
I dont ever weigh anything so just add ingredients to taste its approximate amounts.
500 g sausage mince
1 onion chopped
few dashes worstershire sauce
few dashes tomatoe sauce
some breadcrumbs
teasp chicken stock
1/2 teasp curry powder
grated carrot
teasp minced garlic.
mix all together place in some puff pastry I buy the sheets must try making my own soon.
bake in moderate oven.
Very flavoursome.

Friday, 26 August 2011

Never enough time in the day

What a busy week, I really have to many things I want to do and going to work isnt one of them but it pays the bills and it was 3 afternoon shifts this week.
The first morning before work I made another batch of soap , cinnamon and orange, olive oil and coconut oil, it smells divine.
My intitial plan was to make soap for myself and my family and to give as gifts, now I have a few people wanting to buy it of me, and my first batch isnt even ready as I cure it for 8 weeks. So I better get cracking and make some more.
Just an interesting note on soap, mass produced soap generally has the natural glycerin removed and so lacks this natural moisturizer which cold processed soap retains.
Many commercial soap bars are composed either partially or totally of synthetic detergents.
Dove a leading complexion bar is reported to be roughly 26% stearic acid and 55% synthetic detergent.

The second day was a quick trip to opp shop as I scored this unit for $60.00 on ebay what a bargain I have been needing one for ages and refuse to buy one new.
The three teacups and sauces I scored in the opp shop for $3.00 the lot.
My son decides to display his captain underpants novels here as well [ oh great] I bought this shelf for his display, next it will be covered in star wars figures.

Today was a busy one with a morning at school with two classrooms of show and tell with guinea pig and her babies. She is my favourite guinea pig,pure white shelty  just adorable especially with little clip in her hair , I think Im the only nut in this house as when I got to school Indi said "take that out".

My Dad gave me some beautiful lemons and I cant see anything go to waste so tonight was roast chicken marinated in lemon and garlic stuffed with a lemon and herb stuffing. Friday nights used to be take away night but I would much prefer home cooked food and kids have no compaints and thats the way I like it.

This weekend will be lemon slice and lemon cake and anything else lemon I conjure up.
I just cant resist bringing flowers inside, especially daffodils they are so bright and cheery, my daphne plant never has flowers left on it in the garden as that is one of my favourites ,reminds me of when I was a kid we had a plant right by our front door and remember walking up the path and you could allways smell it, the bush was huge, mine isnt that big ,I wish it was, Mum was such a keen gardener she had the biggest vege garden and grew the most stunning gladiolis she had every colour, Im just starting gladis Ive had them for 2 years and last year I divided up some bulbs so it will be interesting to see how they come up this year.
So many things to do on my list , vege gardening, soap making Im also thinking of having a go at cheese making and make myself some candles. Kids to entertain, if I didnt have to work Im sure I would homeschool them, if I won tattslotto I surely would. Everything is so material in schools this is a link that I think they should watch in schools and really get the kids to think about where things come from

Really interesting viewing.

Sunday, 21 August 2011

Learning to adapt

After speaking with my father this morning about rising prices and supermarket shopping we came to the conclusion that having not much money has certainly taught us a lot of things.
Once apon a time I worked full time with quite a good salary and I was married so there were two incomes , Dad reminded me that when he used to come shopping with me he thought I was crazy, I never looked at the prices of anything i just bought what I liked, and paid stupid amounts for clothing ,never questioned bills.
Now Im a addicted opp shopper, I will never pay more than $20.00 for an item of clothing usually it has to be under $10.00, and that includes the kids and if I see bargains for my father or somthing I could give as a gift or sell on ebay I buy it.
My groceries would be $80.00 at the most per week. I make all biscuits and cakes and try to refrain from packet mixes.
I dont buy commercial cleaners I use vinegar, tea tree oil, eucalyptus oil and a drop of dish wash liquid. I have just found a recipe for laundry liquid, and am making home made soap and also in the process of working on a shampoo bar.
I work part time and that money is to pay morgage and bills.
We go to library to borrow books its a great resource.
The animals keep themselves in food from the sale of their young, they also provide great compost for my vege garden and keep us in eggs.
I have gone all this winter with out using the dryer ..yay.
Im allways looking of ways to save money as somthing allways crops up and hits me with a big bill, currently my electric hot water service is on its way out, so Im looking into the cheapest way out of that, think I may go solar gas boosted, so need to knuckle down the next couple of weeks and scrimp and save for that. Years ago i could of just gone and bought one but it isnt that easy on one wage. So hence clean out wardrobes and sell of things that are no longer needed.
Everything I buy thats usually how its done, I will be saving for some water tanks also for the garden so the next couple of months will be saving and selling.
I have just changed my energy provider so hopefully will save some dollars there.
I think Im pretty happy not having much money I get quite excited when i find a bargain and think if I had plenty of money I probably wouldnt care so much, so I think not having much teaches us to learn to appreciate things more, Im hoping my kids eventually think the same way.
I know some people at work say to me when Im reading my soap making books or growing vege books. " why bother" I think to myself I enjoy it a lot, Im very satisfyed. I dont need to waste money on cigarettes and alcohol or pokie machines. I probably have more than some people who earn 3 times as much as me all because I choose this lifestyle , I choose to work part time, I could work full time but I want that time with my kids and to do the things I enjoy. Im working on becoming more self sufficent its not the lifestyle that everyone likes , but I like it .
This year it will be 10 years of living on my own and I think Ive kept it together pretty well, its been very slow getting things done.But things are coming along slowly.
Dad said today even if he had money he wouldnt change the way he spends it and neither would I.

Friday, 5 August 2011


After doing a soapmaking workshop a couple of months ago and getting quite excited about making my own soap finally I made some time to give it a go. Im not sure that after working an afternoon shift then coming home at 10pm then starting on this new task was such a good idea.
Anyway my recipe was for
450ml rainwater ( if you dont have this use tap water and leave sit on bench over night)
172 grams caustic soda
1000 grams olive oil
250 grams coconut oil.
Making soap you need to be very organized with ingredients and make sure you have all the safety equipment like rubber gloves, safety glasses and old clothes and some white vinegar on hand just in case you spill caustic soda on your self.
Use only stainless steel pots and spoons. I used a wooden chopstick for stirring caustic soda and mixed it up in a glass jar.
I lined all the bench with newspaper
Make sure you have accurate scales.
I measure out the olive and coconut oil and heated in a stainless steel pot.
Then I measured the water and added the caustic soda to the water, never ever add water to the soda.
Stirring this until caustic soda was dissolved, this becomes quite hot. Make sure there are no kids or pets around.
The oils have to heat to 50 degrees and the lye has to cool to 50 degrees, so make sure you have  a thermometre this is very important.
Once the oils and lye were at the same temperature I added the lye slowly to the pot of oils and stirred until it started to thicken, then I used a stick blender to bring the mixture to trace, which looks a bit like custard, this is the time you can add your essential oils I used peppermint and ylang ylang.
The spooned the mixture into silicon moulds or old cardboard milk cartons.
Leave this mixture 24 hours then remove from moulds and cut . The leave for 6 weeks before using.
Store in linen cupboard or somewhere out of reach.
Clean up was quite easy I used old rags and wiped out everything and sat in an old bucket in laundry for a day and then put in the washing machine.

Im looking forward to making another batch now using another recipe.
Also I have a great recipe for laundry liquid which I will try next.
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