Tuesday, 2 June 2015

Monthly Nine - May

Well here we are again and we are looking back and focusing on the 9 areas of simple living that Christine started back in 2012.  Linda our wonderful host has been really busy so pop over and check out what she has been up to and join in and share what has been going on in your world over the past month.

Here is what we have been up to over the month of May.

Nourish -Make and bake as much as possible from scratch. Ditch over packaged, over processed convenience foods and opt for 'real' food instead.
May saw a lot of action in the kitchen.  I made another batch of pasta with our eggs and this time I got hubby to help with the cutting stage.  He is not really a fan of doing the cooking but he is always happy to help with the filling the bottles and putting the lids on stage of preserving, folding the wontons and separating the pasta strands so they do not clump together.  On the night we made the pasta we enjoyed sauceless pasta which is so tasty and easy to make (I will post the recipe soon).

There have also been lots of beef dishes over the month as we work through all of the beef we have.

And since it is pumpkin season I am trying to find new ways to make use of them.

In May I made my first batch of Camembert Cheese.  It all seems to have gone well except for the fact that the mold rind seems to have separated from the cheese inside.

You can see the rind peeling away from the edge.
The cheeses are now all wrapped up and ripening in the fridge.  We are looking forward to taste testing them soon.  If anyone has thoughts about why the rind might peel away please let me know.

Prepare - Stockpile and preserve. Freeze extra meals or excess garden/market produce. Bottle/can, dehydrate or pickle foods to enjoy when they are not in season.
I have done one more batch of dehydrated capsicums, made two jars of pickled jalepenos and since it is lemon season I have made a jar of preserved lemons.

I have packed away lots of left overs to be reheated for quick and easy meals.

Reduce - Cut down on household waste by re-using, re-purposing and repairing.

I replaced the freezer seal at the end of the month and the bags to the Op Shops have slowed but I am sure we will find more things to send along.

Green Start (or continue!) using homemade cleaners, body products and basic herbal remedies. The options are endless, the savings huge and the health benefits enormous.
Not much to report in this area.

Grow plant/harvest. What's growing this month? What's being eaten from the garden?

There are spring onions, mini capsicum, as well as lettuce and silverbeet too. There are a couple of eggplants on the bush that is now more than 2 years old and a few coming on on the other plant. The egg production has slowed which is normal at this time of year but I am looking forward to when it picks up again.
We have heaps of herbs going and I have both thyme and sage going well and ready to use as a cold remedy should one hit. 

Create - To fill a need or feed the soul. Create for ourselves or for others.
There was no creating in April which is a bit sad but that is what happens when you are busy.

Discover Feed the mind by reading texts relevant to current interests.
I have been reading lots off fiction over the past month and I also put in an order from my local library to borrow books from the state library.  The books all arrived at the end of the month so now I have lots to read in the month of June.

Enhance Community
We have recently had some friends return to our area after living away and it is wonderful to be able to see them again on a regular basis.
I have found myself pulling away from some community activities lately as I know that we will be moving away in the future.  I have decided that I need to dedicate my time to building relationships in my future community and so have been getting in contact with community groups and our future neighbours in New Zealand instead.

Enjoy - Life! Embrace moments with friends and family. Marking the seasons, celebrations and new arrivals are all cause for enjoyment.
Hubby and I recently took our bikes and Jessie to Brisbane and cycled from New Farm Park along the Riverwalk and over the Goodwill bridge to South Bank where we had lunch and a rest.
The Riverwalk was damaged during the 2011 floods and has only recently been rebuilt.  It is such an amazing access route for pedestrians and it runs for many kilometers through the city.  We had amazing weather on the day we were there and Jessie who loves to run was really well behaved but was getting pretty tired towards the end of the ride back.  I think we covered about 
20 kms in total but since it is all flat it was not too much effort.

Picnic lunch at South Bank

This is me taking photos while I was riding.  The contents of my basket consisted of
Camera bag, dog bowl, cotton shopping bag plastic doggy bags and underneath is my wallet and phone.

What have you been up to?


  1. Hi Fiona, I always enjoy your monthly catchup, well sort of, as it reminds me how slack I have become in some areas! I recently saw an interesting pumpkin, ginger and fennel soup recipe if you're interested. Congratulations on the Camembert, it looks really good. Like you, I'm putting op shop bags aside each week, we still have a lot of stuff packed in boxes from our move, but I sort every box I get out now. Very satisfying!

    1. Hi Barb It is so strange having no farm projects on the go (since we have the farm on the market) so I have more free time than I have had in ages. But that is soon to change as we plan for the big move. There is just so much to think about.

  2. Hello Fiona! Wow you have been busy! I had to check out the preserved lemon link, may have to try that one. Will be looking forward to seeing the sauceless pasta as well, sounds yummy. I am so impressed with your riding your bikes! I have to admit, my behind is more comfortable with a tractor seat than a bicycle seat in a size wise manner!! ;) Always enjoy reading your posts. Hope you have a great June!

    1. Kathy you should give the preserved lemons a go they are so cheap and easy to make and add plenty of lemony punch to food. Sauce-less pasta will be up on my blog in the next week.

  3. I hope the cheese works out. I have a friend who makes cheese, so far a camembert and a blue cheese, both were lovely, it's a wonderful skill to have.

    1. Cheryl I am sure it will be tasty no matter what and I have kept good notes so I can compare next time I make it.

  4. Thanks for the reminder Fiona's! The kids and I used to enjoy making pasta and i haven't made it for ages. We get dried spelt pasta through our bulk food group. I'm going to make pasta this week.

    Your Camembert looks amazing. There's a fb cheese making group you could join for some good advice. From memory, it's called something like 'curds and whey down under' Let me know if you have trouble finding it and I'll see if I can direct you.


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