Another little batch of mending done this week. I find it very satisfying repairing things and making them wearable again. I definitely have to be in the mood to do it, so there is always a few things to do when I do get inspired.
My husband wears jeans 99% of the time, always has done, so he does end up wearing through in places. When he gets home from work today he will have four pairs of jeans all repaired and ready to wear 🙂
I’ve also repaired some of my knickers, as all that has happened is that the elastic was coming undone. So the use of a stretchy stitch on my sewing machine and they are ready to wear again. Totally chuffed with myself that I just didn’t buy new ones!
We attached a piece of paper to our fridge in Jan 2021 to write down things we can do to reduce our footprint on the planet. We listed a few things and did a few things like re using bags and recycling what we could, but in busy lives, illness and other steps we have to climb, things tended to stay on hold even though intentions were good. I’m very happy about the steps we have taken at the beginning of 2022 and are sharing these things to encourage, not to make anyone to feel guilty or brag about what we are doing.
I’ve been especially conscious of plastic and how difficult it is to avoid and how much goes into recycling and how much energy that takes. So maybe reducing how much plastic I put in the recycle bin is better. Can we even trust that our plastic is even being recycled sometimes?
No.1 Try to bake my own bread
No.2 We now have milk delivered.
No.3 Bamboo toothbrushes (we had started to do this before but I thought I would share)
No. 4 Make reusable face wipes out of old cloths ( instead of non organic cotton wool)
N0.5 I have actually found seed for garden birds that not only has plastic free packaging but is grown in this country.
I am so pleased with these changes and plan to keep a look out to what else I can incorporate in my everyday life.
I’ve decided to give baking gluten free bread another try. I have been Wheat intolerant for many years, from when I was quite young I think, only to get worse as I got older. I was advised that I might have a wheat intolerance almost 20 years ago and so I omitted it from my diet and gradually it started to feel like I was a different person. I have other intolerances but wheat is the main one.
I am conscious that most things we buy are wrapped in plastic, with Some GF bread in very heavy plastic, I presume to give it a long life. I’ve been thinking for a while that if I made my own it could reduce my plastic use. I know it’s very difficult to get a good texture with making GF bread but I’m going to give it a try.
This is today’s bake, made with white rice flour with some seeds. To my surprise it doesn’t taste of rice, it is very spongy, a bit like a fine crumpet. I tried a bit while it was warm and it was ok, but I’ll see how it toasts and if it makes a nice sandwich.
My compost needed work as it had gone awry! It was overtaken with vegetation, especially nettles. I forgot to take a photo before me and my wonderful garden helper started our work, but all three compost bins were looking like the one on the far side of this photo.
I think I will be able to fill our brown bin several times with the foliage we cleared away, although I do like to keep as much as possible within our garden. I may well find a place in a dark corner to put it, so that any creatures can snuggle into for the winter.
We topped off the heap that was being put to bed to do it’s thing, with leaves raked from our paths
and then covered it and secured it with pieces of paving.
The compost below is ready to be used to mulch in the polytunnel and some saved to sow seeds in the spring. Then as you can see it is next to be filled with our yummy waste for the worms etc. to make into compost for us.
Below is the heap that is next to be used. I just want to show you this because on the top is wool carpet which I used to help to suppress the nettles that has started to compost down. I will now put that in with the new compost I’m making with our other organic waste, ready to make the next lot of compost.
My compost bins are now a thing of beauty ready for over wintering.
I really like making my own mincemeat if I get a chance, actually, I like homemade anything if I get a chance. I found a new recipe online.
I chopped all the fruit and added it to a large pan with the butter and sugar.
Put heat under the pan until the sugar and butter have melted. I actually put mine in a food processer to chop it smaller as I thought my first lot of chopping was too big.
Then add the considerable amount of alcohol! Mix well.
Then I put it in my sterilised jars and sealed them up. (it did taste good when I licked the spoon afterwards 😉
I replaced the cranberries will other fruits because you shouldn’t give them to people who take warfarin and a family member of mine does. This recipe contains nuts so you can replace them with other fruit. You can replace the alcohol with juice if you wish. To sterilise Jars, wash thoroughly in hot soapy water, then rinse and put them on a baking tray in a low oven while making up the mincemeat mixture. I always sterilise one more jar than I think I need, just in case. I’m sure you can replace the butter with sunflower spread to make it vegan.
I’ve found this an odd semi-Covid year, I’ve also had shingles and it’s taken a long time to get my energy back. I’ve been inspired recently to get doing things again and I have some projects I’ve done that I want to show you. But first on today’s menu, pickled beetroot. I bought a 1kg bag of beetroot from a local shop that had been reduced to 50p and that’s motivation enough to make me think ‘pickled beetroot’ and today I made some.
I found a recipe in an old recipe book.
I made my spiced vinegar with 1 litre of distilled malt vinegar, 1 cinnamon stick, 1tsp black peppercorns, 1/2 tsp whole cloves, 1 tsp yellow mustard seeds, 1 tsp whole all spice 3 bay leaves and 3 tbsp caster sugar. I am going to bottle up the excess vinegar to use for something else along with the leftover spices.
He are my finished jars all ready for Christmas (or sooner) 🙂 I have re-used mayo jars and sterilised them in the oven.
There is a place a short drive from our house that has fresh organic produce for sale, and local where possible. I try and buy from there as much as possible, meat as well as veggies, they often have nice ripe avocados. Who doesn’t ever want to try and grow something just for the hell of it, put a pit, stone or seed in some soil and see what happens, I did this with my organic avocado pit and check this out!
The leaves are huge and I love it and am very excited. It’s just been on my kitchen window sill. I’m going to pot it on soon and maybe look at how to look after it and see if it one day might bear fruit. I have a polytunnel to keep it in so who knows?! 🙂
My garden is flourishing, mostly things I haven’t planted, but it’s full of life!
Look at these beans, they are ones that seeded themselves last year and they are magnificent! There are so many bean pods on them. They are one of our favourite vegetables so we are very happy, not quite ready to eat yet though.
These are beans I sowed in the spring, they are doing very well too, so we will have a succession of them through the summer. As you can see we have a few corn poppies around as well.
The green house is looking good, here are aubergines, hot chillies and some sweet red peppers just coming through.
I also have more chillies, and a few tomatoes still to be planted up.
Even though I wasn’t able to tend to my garden as much as I would have liked, it is doing well and I have lots to be greatful for 🙂
As you may know, I always like to get the sowing of broad beans in early. The earlier I sow, the more I can grow and you do need a lot of plants to get a decent portion of beans. The seeds in the paper cup are left over from last year and have been sitting around in the damp, but I’m giving them a chance, you never know. The others I’ve chosen for quantity and they were bought in the autumn when I sowed my first lot straight into the garden.
I have sowed twelve of each and I’m looking forward to the first signs of growth, probably three weeks.
The ones I sowed in November are somewhere near that polytunnel that’s in need of repair (wind damage!). The water has receded now but who can say whether the broad beans will still germinate. I love the anticipation 🙂
Well we’ve lived in this house with a very large walnut tree in the garden for fifteen years and I’ve never pickled walnuts before. I remember Grandma and Grandad having them at Christmas but being only little I never tried them to see what they tasted like.
So here goes!
Pick them in July. First they need to be tested with a fork to make sure the shell hasn’t started forming. Then put them in a brine for two weeks, changing the brine every three days.
Then lay them out on a tray to dry, they will then turn completely black.
The white dust on them is the dried salt so I rinsed it off before pickling them.
This is the vinegar and spices to be brought to the boil in a pan.
Put the walnuts in sterilised jars and fill up with warm vinegar. I shared the spices between the jars as well