Rubbish

I am extra pleased with how we are managing to keep our non-recycle-able waste to a minimum. This is our rubbish bin waiting for our fortnightly collection πŸ™‚ We are also trying to have what is called a dry bin in the kitchen which means not using a bin bag. It takes thinking about and a little extra effort, but if you put your mind to it, it cuts down on un-neccesary waste.

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Using leftover Roast Pork

I always like to be creative with my leftovers, I usually checkout what I have in the pantry, fridge and garden/greenhouse and start from there. So here’s what I did with the last lot of leftover roast pork I had.


I started off stiring the cumin and coriander in some oil (after I’d crushed them with my pestle and mortar) after a couple of minuted I added chopped onion and chilli cooked until soft.
These are some peppers from my garden, cut into quarters and I added them and cooked for a couples of minutes with some diced sweet potato while cutting up the pork.
I added the pork and some chickpeas

and a few chopped up apricots.
I gave a good stir added half a tin of chopped tomatoes and simmered while I cooked some rice.
I had enough for four servings. First we had a portion with rice.
Then we had out portion like a chunky south with bread and butter.


It was actually delicious!

Tomatoes

Despite the neglect, my tomatoes a doing surprisingly well πŸ™‚ They are showing signs of irregular watering but still taste delicious!Β Β 
The same goes for my peppers and chillies.

I’m planning to roast and preserve the peppers in olive oil


and dry and freeze the chillies πŸ™‚

New Flower Bed

Here’s an idea, why not make a flower bed out of an old table? Well I have! I had a very sad looking garden table, turned it upside down, cut it’s legs off and now I have a quite spacious but manageable flower bed πŸ™‚

That old table now contains, lavender, seedum, geraniums and some tulip bulbs for the spring., I’ve never started a bed from scratch like that before so I’m very pleased πŸ™‚

One of My Favourite Times of Year!

Yes, it’s one of my favourite times of year. I can see everything is brightening up. The particular bird song, new shoots peeping through the soil, blossom coming out, so it’s time to get active in the green house. My fingers get itchy this time of year and I get the impulse to grow things! I’m not one for gardening in the cold so tidying up is being done now as well. πŸ™‚

I’ve had a sort out in my green house and moved a few things round and it’s now set for action.

Today I sowed some tomatoes, cucumbers and small red peppers

I have made a gardening journal from an old book, that I try and keep a record of how things go in my garden as well as hints and tips for me to refer to.

Here’s a sample page. πŸ™‚

New Years Marmalade

It’s the time of the year for marmalade, the Seville oranges have been in the shops and thoughts are directed to making a years supply of marmalade. The reason for this sudden desire to slice 6 pounds of oranges is two fold. It tastes better and it’s cheaper!

For several years now I’ve put the oranges in a food processor to chop them, but this year I decided to slice by hand. Oh my word, I was so surprised how pleasant it was to sit and slice the oranges by hand (with a nice serrated steak knife) in the quiet. A very simple life thing to do, and it was easier to extract the pips too!

marmalade-1 marmalade-2

Once the sliced oranges have soaked over night they are meant to be simmered to reduce the liquid by a third. When I had heated the the water in the pan and added the sugar I realised I hadn’t done that!!!

I managed to rescue it by taking some liquid out, adding more sugar and a bottle of liquid pectin. Here on my pantry shelf are twenty jars of marmalade. I now feel like Moomin Mama and I have a very happy husband!

marmalade-3

It tastes exceptionally good too πŸ™‚

marmalade-4

New Chicken House

To start off the new year of my Simple Life Blog, I’m excited to show you our new chicken house. Considering a chicken house the size we needed would have cost around Β£900 without nesting boxes etc, we decided to be creative and find an alternative solution.

This second hand polytunnel we found was the right size and only cost us Β£80!!!!new-house-1
All that was needed was to secure the sides with chicken wire so they can’t dig their way out.

We have a shut down for chickens here in the UK at the moment because of bird flu, but as soon as that is past we are going to cut out a large window along theΒ the front and fill with chicken wire.

new-house-2So here they are, all secure and safe with lots of room. The nesting boxes you can see in the front corners are made from insulated dog beds which are easy to clean and only cost Β£35 each!

new-house-3The result, happy chickens and happy Debbie! πŸ™‚