Sunday, November 10, 2013

From Our Kitchen.

A basket of backyard goodness.
I am in the midst of exam preparation, my first exam is on Monday. I have three all up, and will be so relieved to have earned my holidays when they are over. Uni has gone well, I am sitting on a distinction or high distinction in all of my units, but exams may change that! Nath is on uni holidays now (no exams for his course) and he has maintained a high distinction average for his Masters degree, which has him on track to complete it by doing his thesis.

Amid all this study, though, life has a habit of continuing to tick along, regardless of how much we feel we have in the day to get things done. I have been feeling quite overwhelmed with the need to remain 'on top' of everything, and my days have felt not as slow as I would like them to be. My goal for next academic year is to achieve a bit more balance, and this will quite possibly involve actually saying 'no' to a few more things! I've missed having the time to do some of the things I love to do, like cooking and sewing. To be honest, it's probably not so much a lack of time as a lack of prioritising these things which nourish me (Mezz over at Mezz Makes Stuff wrote a post recently on the difference between indulging and nourishing ourselves - worth a read).

Anyway, the past couple of days, despite the mountains of washing, despite the uni notes to be made and the cleaning to be done, I have snuck in a few moments of kitchen time, and thought I'd share some pics with you.

Salad with greens from our backyard, eggs from our chooks and dressing made from homemade yoghurt and homemade chilli sauce.

Potatoes which, having been blanched in vinegar and sprinkled with salt, are ready for dehydrating to make salt and vinegar crisps.
Finished potato chips. Very tasty!
Homemade yoghurt being strained to make labneh which will be marinated in olive oil with a blend of spices.
Two jars of loquat and lemon jam. I was so excited to find loquats at the markets!
Preserved lemons, which will be ready for winter cooking.
For me, it is the times when we are eating and drinking largely from our own produce, spending evenings preserving, fermenting, making, that I feel most connected to the Earth, each other and our family values.


  1. I found while at Uni having a bit of a break and doing a bit of baking helped clear my head and I was better able to concentrate and get the work done afterwards.
    I've been thinking of purchasing a dehydrator. do you recommend one?

    1. Zara, the top of the list for dehydrators is supposed to be the Excalibur. I have a much cheaper and smaller one which at $40 was a good place to start but using it consistently I can now justify the step up (although it will have to wait for free funds :( ). Fowlers Vacola also make one with all the bits and bobs to go with it (jerky maker, fruit leather sheets etc). Just thought I'd share. :)

    2. Hi Zara,
      so true, everything feels better after a bit of space and time to create!
      My dehydrator was passed to me by my nanna, it's quite a few years old now but it was free and it's a nice big one. I have heard the Excaliburs are awesome (if you can afford them) but I am pretty happy with this one so far! Its an old Harvest Maid. I love it, I can dry fruits that are just getting a bit past prime eating and the flavour is awesome! Also the preservatives in dried fruit are not good for asthmatics (as all three of my kids are) so I love having a healthier alternative. Mine has the sheets for fruit leather etc too. Worth looking second hand though!

  2. I love that you're eating from your gardens already. It just highlights how much cooler our climate is though. Just planted pumpkins and spuds today. :) How is the milking going and is your yoghurt made from your goats milk?
    Loquats are the best hey. I tried them once as about a 12 yo and I think once since but I remember loving the tropical yet subtley flavoured fruit. Did you know the leaves can be used for making an expectorant and the fruits themselves act as a mild sedative! (I can hear you ladling them out to the kids now ;) )
    Best of luck with your exams although I would say that with D's and HD's all along, luck isn't needed and the hard work has already been done. Knock em dead! :)
    Talk to me about those chips too! When you say blanched in vinegar do you mean dipped in boiling vinegar or... I NEED that recipe!!! :D With us now on the gluten free bandwagon and being sugar free and trying to dodge the preserved foods, I do miss junk food sometimes. As an ex junk addict I'd love to have a guilt free binge every now and then and you've just made one of my more recent fave foods (craved SnV chips with a glass of milk and a side of peppermints whilst pregnant with my first - aside from peanut butter on toast it's all I ate) so once those exams and the after parties are all done and dusted, any chance you coud email it to me? Pretty please?

    1. Grrr, just posted here and the computer lost my comment. Short version:
      cut them really fine, peel on. I did about a bag full, filled a very large pot. If they aren't really fine they will end up being too hard.
      Put them in a big pot with a couple of cups of vinegar then cover with water. Cook for 15-20 minutes.
      Lay on dehydrator trays and sprinkle with good quality salt.
      Dry for 12-24 hours. One recipe said 24, my instruction book said 10, I left them in for 15.
      Good luck!!

  3. ohmygollygosh homemade salt n vinigar chips!!

    btw, a reader of our mag in the UK posted on instagram that she is researching companion planting becoz ur article inspired her xx

    1. Oh wow! How lovely! I got the little mag in the post this week and have thoroughly enjoyed reading it, you and Taz did an amazing job!! Thankyou so much for the opportunity to be a part of your first issue! I will def be blogging about it this week :) Congrats, you should be very proud :):)


Feel free to pop in here and let me know you are reading along!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...