Recycling

In my last post I was talking about our rubbish bin and reducing what we send to land fill. My one new years resolution is to now reduce what goes in my recycle bin, because basically it’s all still waste isn’t it!

What are you doing to combat the consumerist and wasteful society we live in? I have for a while now  been trying very hard to avoid using/accepting plastic carrier bags when out shopping by taking my own bags or using a box. This is difficult but can be done. Here’s some shopping I did on Thursday.

Being self employed I am able to visit our local market where most things are laid out loose, unfortunately not the celery and the lady put my potatoes in a carrier bag at such a speed that it was too late! Maybe I should have still had the courage to tell her I didn’t want it.

If you are tied to using a supermarket it is still mostly possible to do, but you have to resist putting your loose veg and fruit into the little plastic bags that are on offer. I must confess a huge satisfaction in getting home with little or no plastic acquired on a shopping trip.

I am going to keep you up dated on my progress, even when I fail! 🙂

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Orange Liqueur

I love Cointreau, unfortunately it has got very expensive so I really can’t afford that little treat! I have now found a recipe and have made my own orange liqueur. A very simple recipe that uses a supermarket vodka, orange zest, sugar and water. I worked out it costs half the price of the original.

I saved the oranges for marmalade (or you could juice them)

It only takes a few days to make but you are advised to leave it to mature for a few weeks. (if you can) 🙂

Garden Forage Soup

A good idea for using up bits and pieces and leftovers is soup. If something has gone a bit ugly or shriveled in your fridge, use them in Soup.  I sometimes have a little forage in the garden out of season too because you do occasionally find something to add to your soup out there too!

I had the end of a bag of potatoes, a bit of rubbery broccoli and a sad leek in the fridge. I when outside and gathered some thyme, some baby leaves of spinach that was tucked away and some bitter cress that had taken over one of my herb pots.

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This is what bitter cress looks like close up, it comes up like a weed and it tastes like cress!

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My very sad leek needed some layers peeled off but it was fine.

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Don’t just throw away this end that you cut off….

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…peel and trim a little and you get this, chop it up with the rest!

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I just use half an organic stock cube to help the flavor, these ones are good, they are not too salty.

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All in the pan with some seasoning to cook for twenty or so minutes.

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Whiz up in a blender and serve! Very cheap, yummy and nutritious 🙂

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Peppers

Here’s a long awaited update from the green house.

These are red sweet peppers from bought seed.  I don’t want to speak too soon but I think they are doing alright.

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These are chilli peppers I got free from a magazine. ‘Demon Red’ There were only five seeds and I have three healthy plants from them. By the sound of their name, they are gonna be hot!

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These are ‘Scotch Bonnet’ chillies, from my own saved seed. They are looking good. If you look carefully you can see little buds forming on the top of the plants 🙂

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These are common red chillies, medium heat, from my own saved seed. I dried some of these before and they keep well.

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Can’t wait until they start turning red. I must look after them carefully now so as not to loose the fruit!:-)

Banana Pancakes

Well there’s been a lot happening at Simple Life HQ, so much so it has kept me away from you.

We’ve had some hot weather the last week or so here and though I love bananas I can’t eat them fast enough. When it’s hot you need some recipes using the ones which have become very ripe! I generally google around for ideas and then make something completely different or inspired be what I’ve seen.

So banana pancakes! I just used the basic batter recipe that I use for just about everything 2 oz flour (I like to use gram flour) 2 eggs and as much milk I need to get it to the consistency I want.  (recipe for two people) and then just added half a ripe banana mashed up.

Then I sliced the rest of the banana up and layered them with the pancakes, yogurt and runny honey.

Yum!

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It was delicious.

Using gram flour makes it very light and I use sheep’s yogurt which is very light too and all very good for you 🙂

Preserving furniture

We had a brief few days of sunshine recently so I decided I start painting the garden furniture, as you can see, this is long over due!

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I think the pink works 🙂
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This chair was here when we moved in 11 years ago.Furniture 3
It looks great now!
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I also started painting the shed, I mended the windows and everything (I had to show the close up for that) 🙂
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Now I’ve just got to wait for another spell of good weather!