Monday, January 30, 2012

How to garden in this weather?

It seems that extreme weather has become the norm now and having had a week or two of extremely hot dry weather I am sitting here with cold wind whistling about and panicking slightly about not having made preparations for Autumn as it feels so Autumnal...right now.
The courgettes are flowering and tomatoes valiantly trying to ripen (the wisteria growing above them is very vigorous and despite my constant cutting light is limited). I am back to making yoghurt and bread and my own pizzas (whilst this weather stays cool enough for the oven to be on!) as well as nut butters, tahini and blackberry jam (free, foraged from about the neighbourhood) in the beloved Thermomix. I made the vegan cheese mentioned in the last post, I didn't have flavourless coconut oil so I used the normal organic stuff. It set and looked sort of cheesy but I couldn't face it, it made me feel ill to think about eating it, I am not meant to be vegan it seems as I have this reaction to a lot of "subsitute foods"and it looks like our little man is fine with small amounts of cheese so after all that fuss the chickens got it! Oh dear, but they did love it!
I have been lucky enough recive a review copy of Dave Hamilton's book "Grow Your Food for Free, well almost" and I am enjoying it immensely so look forward to a run down on it soon, it is just the sort of book that those interested in the Dull Roar Philosophy would love!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Almost human...

Christmas and New Years is chaos for everyone I know but I feel we manage to make it that bit more chaotic than other people. Not with our outrageous purchases or cooking or familial discord but through having our own business to run full throttle when there are public holidays all over the place, everyone else is relaxing, we can't get any services done and the children have no daycare! Christmas is our busiest time of year and after a very quiet year it came as a shock! Our boys seem to have finally decided to work in with us a bit (and finding that the younger one has been suffering with lactose intolerance has helped his behaviour a bit- not quite as cranky!) on occasion and we do love spending time together but with such a flurry of activity  I forget how to do normal things like think of what to have for dinner, or put a loaf of bread in the bread maker, ditto the yoghurt...(we have been eating out a lot...Pizza anyone?) but I am every so smugly pleased to report that the boys have been asking for my homemade food because it apparently very yummy (or Master five is trying to get something from me...). 
The challenge of late for me has been the boys attending a new day care for the holidays, just for two weeks. The centre is nut free and egg free and combined with Little L's newly found lactose intolerance and Master J's self taught rampant vegetarianism I have been forced to get my thinking cap on for nut free, egg free, dairy free, meat free meals. Lots of internet trawling and I have found some new vegan recipes to try, I have nearly assembled enough ingredients to make this Vegan "cheese" -have a look at this blog, it is incredibly cute! I will report back once made...I have also been hitting the Thermomix hard, dairy free smoothies, banana icecream (just frozen bananas whizzed up to make a creamy substance), homemade soyamilk (very soybeany!) and a concoction I made with seeds, coconut butter, dates, cocoa, rapadura and  quinoa flakes made a rich fudgy stuff without wheat, eggs, dairy, nuts, refined sugar (makes one wonder if it had anything at all in it!).
Soon I will start feeling like a person again and will definitely report back when that happens!