Diane Greenwood

Thinking about…

30 minute meal time

So this is true Russ and Di style … 

For a while we have been wanting to cook a meal from Jamie Olivers 30 minute meals. You know the ones, the ones that you can do in 30 mins to save you time … well that is if you start at a reasonable time. Russ and I decided to cook the Piri Piri Chicken one Saturday night and well, it only took us half an hour, but we started at 9pm, and then ate it at 9.45pm … which in both our books was pushing it. 

It was amazing and we hope that we can do it again soon.

 

The Piri Piri sauce was so easy and Russ and I both learned how to season and cook the meat beautifully.

These tarts were to die for. The toffee was a bit chewy, but I have since made these just on their own. Easy and quick, and I have not found one person that doesn’t like them :)

World Environment Day

What did you do today? 

Did you even think about the environment? 

Would anyone like to come to see Anima Mundi?

 

Read this and tell me why you shouldn’t see the movie. Inspiring people and can’t wait to see it. 

Green Faith at wineNjesus

wineNjesus = Want to join in? All invited to join on twitter.com and here Follow the #wineNjesus trend

Have a look at what we plan to discuss tonight at wineNjesus – not like all the other topics we discuss this one is close to my heart and I can’t wait to chat. 

To add further to the discussion:

Permaculture is a design system for creating sustainable human environments. It is about designing households and communities that are productive, sustaining and largely self reliant and have minimal impact on the environment.

I enjoy this statement a lot, but feel that maybe the calling is not to “design” the households and communities to produce, sustain and have a minimal impact, but rather be there to empower, encourage and enable. Almost like a call to worship, a call to forgive, a call for prayer … this is a call for the earth. People are feeling the call and we who can help create and design these sustainable futures should deliver the goods so that others can respond to the call as well.

Thoughts?

One a Penny, Two a Penny, Hot Cross Buns

So I had some ingredients in the cupboard and decided to spend the day making hot cross buns for Good Friday. Eve even helped me stir and she especially liked smelling the spices. 

We got the recipe from here.

And this is how we did it.

Eve stirring away

Buns rising

Crossed and ready for the oven

Finished buns! YUM!

Next year I will look at maybe a sourdough recipe with a live yeast and also look into getting some local ingredients, like grain/flour and possible the raisins and current. For the time being this used up what I had in the pantry. 

I also found this online, although it is not the recipe that I used it is a good idea. Maybe I can look into getting the recipes that I like put onto hand towels. 

MOZI tea towl

‘Tis the Season for Beets

So we were given some beets from some friends and I thought I would give a go at pickling them so that next time my beetroots are ready I will know what to do. 

I did a lot of reading as I was not sure whether to do plain beets, spiced beets, hot beets … who new the options. We settled with spiced beets. Here is how it happened. 

3 jars sterilised and hot – size = about 300ml each
6 beets
2 1/2 cups of white vinegar
1 cup of water
splash of ground cinnamon
splash of ground cloves

1. Boil the beets (skin on) for about 25mins. I used the water from here to make up the water for Step 3. 

2. Let them cool for a bit, and skin them. I used an old glove that didn’t have a pair and although it was for my left hand I put it on my right and that saved my hand getting too red. 

3. Add water, vinegar and spices into pot that was used to boil the beets. Bring to boil. 

4. While that is boiling, slice (or dice into cubes if you like!) the beets. and put them into the hot sterilised jars you have prepared earlier. 

5. Once boiled, pour into the jars over the beetroot and poke with a knife to get all the air out between the beets. 

6. Close lid and store in fridge for about 2 weeks before using. 

YUM!Can’t wait to make them with my own next season. 

Peeled Betroots

Peeled beets, glove and hot jars ready to be filled. Note the newspaper on the bench, just to save my pink bench from becoming more pinker!

Sliced beets going into the jar

What Worked for Us

This is a simple list of great things that I have used and have been VERY useful to Eve, Russell and I. Working for us is different for working for anyone and everyone, so this is not a ‘must have list’ or a ‘live without list’. To thier credit, I am not sure I would have been able to live without some of them – like the nappies!

NappiesGreen Nappy Company – We researched for ages and settled with these ones because a) they were locally (Australian) made, b) they did not have inserts like many nappies so we don’t have to handle the dirty nappies too much, c) dry bucket system and d) the cost was reasonable. Tips on these would be to make sure you wash them before you use them to help the absorption activate and the material work. Once they are working they are a great product. I use them with the Eenee flushable liners as well.

Waterproof Nappy Bagdiaperbagwrangler – instead of plastic bags I carry one of these handy bags. It would be great if I had another one, cause washing them every time I use them means some days I do have to use the old plastic bag, in which case I use a biodegradable one! 

Pants off Party Floor Mats - So Russell’s sister Heather gave us a great little mat she made using material and a plastic table cloth she got from spotlight. It is a waterproof solution and means you can just chuck it in the wash – much like a towel, but less bulk for when they are moving around a bit.

Sophie the Giraffe – we have only just taken this out, but already she is in high demand. I am not sure exactly what this thing is made of, but it is amazing! She pops it straight in her mouth and it is light enough that she can eve squeak it which makes her giggle. 

Mumma and Bubba Calm Balm – we were given this and I didn’t use it for a while until Eve was having a few rough nights and I cracked it out. I was amazed. It smells wonderful and is by sure my first option when she is terribly upset, I grab this, give her tummy and back a rub and I even hold it in front of her nose on my hands and she sniffs it and is either distracted enough or absorbed by the smell that she calms right down. Also coming with a great useable box packaging as a toy, their product is organic, natural and free of chemicals. The packaging and posting is all very conscious of the environment. 

Baby WearingMinimonkey – Baby Bjorn – One of the most satisfying and easiest way for me to bond with Eve has been heart to heart. At them moment I don’t go anywhere without this Minimonkey. It is by far the easiest thing to use and Eve just pops in and out and I can get in and out of a shop, a petrol station or even just a quick coffee. And she loves it. We were also lent a Baby Bjorn which has been just beautiful. The times that I have had a screaming baby and I pop her in, give a little jiggle and she generally rocks off to sleep. I shop with it, garden, house work, sometimes even I put her in, if she falls asleep I lay down with her still in it. 

I am sure that there are many more, and I will be posting as I learn and discover way more things about having a baby and being a mum. A good start, cause someone asked me what I sued the most. At the moment these are my top 6! 

Out of the 3 month blur …

 

So, we are still here. We emerge as a family from the 3 month blur of a new baby. In fact I can say that the last 4 weeks has been so great I can’t imagine doing anything else. Earlier I was thinking I couldn’t get back to work sooner, but as I have enjoyed the playing, the smiling, the walking, the gurgling and the homemaking I am starting to fall in love with my ‘new’ mother life.

It has been hard at times, there is no denying it. But I am starting to begin to feel like my head is just stretching out and above the water and I can breathe. 

Russell my darling, this post is probably to you and I and just reminding us that although we now have a beautiful little daughter it is time for us to get back to our worlds of getting on top of housework, church time, together time and into the drift of family times. Our house is amazing and I am so comfortable in here that I can’t imagine having our family anywhere else. 

Cheers to families.

Cheers to baby’s.

Cheers to God and creation … ah beauty. 

The truth ….

So I was sitting in front of some morning news show on Wednesday and they happen to be talking about women having babies. I was particularly interested in what one of the hosts said: “Is it just me or do women today think that women have never had babies before?” He was implying that these days women whinge. I felt quite hurt by his disillusionment and wrote them the following email:

This morning (19th January 2010), in the segment about Miranda Ker and her new baby Flynn, XXXXX made the comment  “Is it just me or do women today think that women have never had babies before?” This comment triggered off what has been a common misconception/disillusionment that I have recently become aware of. The reason children/women/adolescents find ‘common’ issues like childbirth, breastfeeding, contraception etc. hard to confront or deal with is because your generation doesn’t openly talk about them. It is hard when women of your generation say that they were fine, “in my day we did it the hard way!”.

I have recently had my first child and although it has only been 10 weeks I have learnt more then I ever have in my last 29 years. One of the biggest things that I have learnt is that I am not alone. I had a lot of breastfeeding problems, and the more people I spoke with the more people would say, oh yes that happened to me, or I was like that too. It becomes a problem when people are not open about the issues. If women of your generation were open enough and more community oriented then these ‘issues’ would become more a part of life and you would find less stigma attached to them.

On a recent trip to Africa I experienced communities of women sharing babies, home births, breastfeeding in public, openly discussing cloth pads and menstruating to name a few. The common parts of life all should share. The children around would have been absorbing this discussion and watching mothers feed and nurse. I wish that more people would be as open and as sharing so that we could grow up with more at hand life skills, not importance orientated towards money, certificates or degrees. 

It went on … but that says enough for you to understand the general idea. 

The truth is …

  • … that I was not, and am not coping. As I sit here with my baby in her cradle I can say that it has not been easy.
  • … that it is hard and there are changes, and that many people have done this before me. 
  • … everyone has moments and experiences, no matter how together people look. When you talk to them you realise that they too have the same experience, but are really good at hiding it (which is half problem!)
  • … you should ask for help. If you understood that people have done this before it would not be hard to ask someone to take your dog for a walk, or for a dinner, or lunch, or even for a break from visitors. 
  • … you and your baby are individuals and should listen to each other BEFORE any advice or websites. Your instincts have been given to you as a gift and you should not ignore them. 

I am sure that there are many more truths, but these have been in my gut for a while and I needed to get them out. This post is really just a call out to everyone to be honest and truthful to each other and themselves. Honesty and reality is full of worth while experience.

One of the best comforts is to hear that I am not alone. At 3am, when you have a screaming child and you feel like your boobs are broken and you are not sure how to continue, the best thing for me to reflect on is reality and not some perfect ideal that has been advertised or promoted to me. 

 

Weedicides

Currently with trying to get our rental place looking spiff for us to leave and getting the new house for mum and dad under control (1 acre) we have been looking and thinking about ‘natural ways’ to get some weeds under control. It also doesn’t help that we have had record high rains and then beautiful warm days following, so the weeds are flourishing and getting everything they need to be nice and strong. 

pastedGraphic.pdf

So far, the best ingredient I have found is vinegar. Vinegar, vinegar, vinegar. Because of it’s natural acidity it will tend to draw out the moisture of anything it lands on and basically starve the plant of life. Therefore it is not something that should be used everywhere, or all the time. It should be used to gain control and in extreme circumstances – this will also limit the impact you are having to the soil conditions. 

In all the recipes I have found range from the following ingredients:

Vinegar, from 1 tablespoon per 3.5 litres to full strength; 
Salt, from adding none to adding 450gms per 3.5 litres; 
Soap, from none to 20% of the mixture; 
Water, from adding none to having the mix be 99% water; and using cool, lukewarm, warm or hot water; 
Other additions including lemon juice, gin, bourbon, citrus oil.

 

The first mixture I am going to try is:

Vinegar Weed Killer Recipe

• 120 mls Lemon Juice

• 1 litre White or Cider Vinegar

Simply mix the two ingredients together in a spray bottle and you have your organic weed killer formula. Spot spray it directly on the weeds, being careful not to spray desirable plants. For the most effective result the best time to spray in during the heat of the day. 

Over the next couple of months we will be trialling a few of these mixtures – and I think that it depends really on the location, weather, soil conditions, weeds and growth to what may work for you. At least you have some ingredients that may not be too detrimental to the health and well being of the environment and future of the land. 

Keeper of the Home - Weed Killer

Home Made Weed Killer - sometimes a good idea

Small Farm Permaculture  - organic weed killer formula

Vinegar Weed Killer

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