You know those perfect days, weekends of just normal, wonderful life? Well last weekend was one of those. The days flew by far too quickly, but if every day could be like these few days then I’d be a very happy woman. The had marshmallows, nibble platters, friends drop by, lazy mornings in bed with the cat wrapped around my neck, a birthday, s’mores, card games, a beautiful dinner in, beautiful, thoughtful birthday gifts, work done on our veggie garden and so much fun in the dirt. It was just lovely.
Elliot’s lunch box broke, on the second last day of term. We got him a lunch box from Stuck on You in 2017, it had his name printed on it and it was great for occasional care and kinder, and then the first 6 months of school.
But last week the hinges broke. and the top came completely separate from the bottom. The last day of school he went with an elastic band around it.
Jay wanted to fix it, but I wasn’t sure. I told him he had the weekend to fix it, because then I wanted to be able to buy a new one to replace it before school started.
So he drilled out the hinges, and popped a new metal part in and it was all looking great… until the plastic completely shattered in the hinge.
It’s now going to live in the shed to store screws and nuts and bolts.
There’s been a lot of learning moments this year. The biggest one by far has been the movement around Black Lives Matter. It has become very apparent to me that I’m completely uneducated when it comes to our Indigenous Australians. And so, I’m learning, reading, watching and listening to everything I can. I came across a great list today that I thought I would share incase you’re trying to do the same.
I’d love to hear how you going navigating this, feel free to comment, or send me a message on Instagram, or send me an email.
Here’s the post that I loved today and below I’m listing some things I’ve been consuming.
- You Can’t Ask That – Indigenous Australian – ABC iView
- 13th – Netflix
- Growing Up Aboriginal in Australia – book
- Always Was Always Will Be Our Stories – Podcast
I have also borrowed a large number of books from the library but I am yet to read. The Instagram post lists so many great ones.
I’d love to hear your favourite movies, books or podcasts to help with our education.
Over the years we have reduced our single use plastic and waste. We tend not to drink take away coffee and when we do we use our reusable mugs. We use reusable bags when we do our groceries. We buy a local veggie box once a fortnight that has no plastic. We use our soda stream. Don’t buy soft drink. I use a metal razor. And we have wooden toothbrushes. We do these things, we have for some time and to me, these no longer require any thought.
But there is still work to be done.
And it’s a bit terrifying.
The idea of buying our food in bulk, and not in plastic bags; the idea of eliminating foods like chips and seaweed crackers; the idea of exceeding our budget is all a bit overwhelming.
So I headed over to the Plastic Free July website to tentatively dip my feat into the waters.
I found some great information, things that made this whole task not so daunting. On the website it states that you can take a small step or dive in deep.
Now, I’ve decided it’s not too daunting, and we just need to take one more step in the direction of our rubbish reduction.
What step you do think you might be able to take for plastic free July?
When Jay and I met, one of our first conversations was about how much I liked a good discussion. A conversation that you could really get passionate about. I wanted to talk about how the world worked, and politics and why we should save old growth forests. I wanted to learn from every conversation.
Over the years, I feel like life has taken away from these sorts of conversations. Now we debate more about what we should do around the garden or what should go in our next meal plan.
Each night at dinner we have been asking a question, answering on reflex, then analyse why we answered that way, exploring what has informed our opinions, then reread and analyse the question.
Some of the questions we’ve had so far are:
- Do you respect people with views that radically oppose your own?
- Would you rather be feared or appreciated?
- Are you more motivated by money or praise/recognition?
It’s really interesting to have these conversations over dinner, and we always create a thoughtful ‘would you rather’ for Elliot.
What do you think? Is this something you’d be interested in?
During isolation I had the time to film some videos for my brand new sourdough ecourse. I’ve been wanting to release an online sourdough course for some time. I wanted to be able to have a bread baking community with easy to follow videos and a space where people can ask questions and share photos of their beautiful bread with like minded home bakers.
If you’d like to jump in and start baking, I would so appreciate that. See you in the group.
How do we access the course?
The course content is all available through a private Facebook group. You do need to have Facebook to access this course.
I already purchased a sourdough starter from you, what will I get from this course?
This course has step by step videos, new content and recipes added all the time, and a great community feel, where you can ask questions, and share your successes and failures.
How much is it?
It’s $12.50 until July 3rd, then it’ll be going up to $24.99.
What supplies do I need?
To look after your sourdough starter you just need flour and water. Then to mix up your loaves you need flour, water and salt, baking paper and an oven. I like to bake my bread in a pot, but that’s up to you.
How time consuming is it to look after a sourdough starter? And bake sourdough bread?
You need to be around for a couple of days, but hands on time is minimal. I ‘feed’ my starter about lunch time, then mix my bread up that evening, and bake the following morning.
How do I get a sourdough starter?
If you are in Australia I will post you a dried one, there is a video on how to rehydrate it in the course. If you are international there is a video coming on how to make your very own starter from scratch.
Please let me know if you have any more questions and I can’t wait to see you in the group!
I’m writing this post from my dining table, on my phone because the idea of walking to get my computer is exhausting. You see I worked today, and I ran out of spoons.
When I first heard of the spoon theory I dismissed it. Not for me. Firstly, spoons, seriously! Secondly, I’m fine. But the longer I sat with it the more is resonated.
If you’ve never heard of The Spoon Theory, check out this article and the photo below.
For me it’s a little different, I usually plod along until something really hits me hard. Cleaning the house uses a lot of spoons, and thankfully now we have a cleaner, showering after requires more than you would think, walking takes more spoons than riding my bike, and the rare occasion that I go to work can take every spoon I have.
So today, I’m out of spoons.
My mum bought Elliot a beautiful mustard Kip&co bean bag many years ago now. It got filled with polystyrene balls. When we moved to Wollangarra we left the bean bag at Mum and Dads.
When we returned, the bean bag was returned to us, but time and use had made it flat. And I refused to buy new polystyrene balls to fill it, so it sat flat in the spare room.
Until, Mum asked last week about filling it. I said I’d only fill it with an eco-option. So she did some googling and came across foam fill for beanbags. I called out local Clarke Rubber and found that they sell bags of crumbed foam off cuts for this exact purpose. We purchased a bag for $70, and used less than half to top up the bean bag. I think using something that is a waste product is a perfect way to fill your bean bags.
I’ve always loved putting on an outfit that makes me feel great. I feel like clothes can lift up your mood, or support you’re already great feeling.
Not too long ago I was getting dressed and realised that there was nothing I’d wanted to wear. For so long I’d been at Wollangarra, wearing ‘farm’ and ‘outdoor education’ clothes, and once moving back I’d been handed down so many beautiful clothes from my mum and aunty.
But when I went to get dressed that morning, I realised of all the beautiful clothes I’d been given, there were none that felt like me.
So I started a ruthless clean out. Throwing out anything that no longer felt like me.
I created a Pinterest board or outfits that I resonated with, then I went to the op-shops.
I grabbed a few dresses, a coat and a fun jumper. While op shopping, I thought to myself how I couldn’t imagine going to a shop to pick out one of so many items that looked the same. It just doesn’t bring joy to me.
I’ve been following an incredible English activist, Venetia La Manna, who shares a lot of information about fast fashion brands, the conditions in which clothes are made, and how the best clothes to purchase are those that already exist. It’s what I’ve always enjoyed, but now I’m becoming a bit more educated about it.
And by the time I’d emptied things out, and added the news things, I was feeling a bit more myself.
I don’t enjoy eating lunch. Often I’ll eat a late breakfast, then snack on something late afternoon and then just hold out until dinner. So I’m trying to do better and eat lunch.
At the moment I’m loving having a broth, inspired by Jo Whitton from her Life Changing Food cookbook, for lunch.
I get a cup of homemade chicken stock and put it in a saucepan. To that I add a big spoonful of homemade ghee, a handful of shredded cabbage and with a few broccoli florets or a stem of bok choy finely diced, and spoonful of minced chilli. Then I bring that to a simmer and crack in two eggs. Pop the lid on, so that it’s slightly cracked, and set a timer for 3 minutes.
It’s a hearty, warming and delicious lunch. What’s your favourite lunch right now?
I’ve been baking a lot of bread recently to share with friends and family and wanted to have a good way to easily wrap them to hand them out or leave at door steps.
So when I was meditating the other day I had this vision of cloth bags made from flat sheets that we’ve never used.
I found a cloth bag we already had in the size I wanted and used it as a template. It was approximately 45cm x 35cm.
Now my sewing skills are kind of rough but they do the trick for me.
I started by cutting the outside seam off the sheets so that I could use it for the pull cord in the bags.
Then I cut a 90cm strip off the bottom of the sheet. Then I used a piece of cardboard to mark the fabric at 35cm intervals. I cut those out. At the top and bottom of each piece I folded in 2cm, this will be where the cord goes once complete.
I sewed this up using my very old but perfect for me sewing machine.
So I sewed each of the 2cm strips, making sure they folded in towards each other. Then I folded the whole piece of fabric with the seams of each of the 2cm bits in to each other, and sewed up the 45cm length of the side, making sure to not sew over the 2cm loop.
Once the sides are sewn I turn in the right way and thread some of the seam I cut off at the start through the 2cm loop. On my mum’s suggestion I threaded one through one way, then one through the other, having a knot of cord at each end making it easier to close the bag.
I’m very happy with my thrifty bread bags.
Today I baked really bad bread.
It doesn’t happen often, I’ve been baking sourdough for 7 years or so, but it does happen.
I was baking some loaves for a few friends, I had six to bake. I used the dough scraper to scrape the dough onto the bench, shaped it and let it do a short rise while the oven heated up. I bake 3 loaves at once. So they went in for their for 20 minutes, which I have been doing at 260°C.
Once the timer went off I took off their lids, turned the timer back on for a further 30 minutes and proceeded to scrape the second batch of dough onto the bench. It didn’t look right, I knew then that I hadn’t let it rise long enough but I was being impatient. So I let it rise on the bench for about an hour.
THIS. DOESN’T. WORK.
The 30 minute timer drew nearer and I realised that I hadn’t turned the temperature down to 220°C, which is what I should have baked the bread at for the final 30 minutes. I opened the oven to almost black loaves. Perfectly shaped but charcoal.
I continued to let the second batch of dough rise, in the hope that it would amend my previous mistake.
I decided they looked ok and popped them in the oven for their first 20 minutes.
After 20 minutes, I open the oven door to flat pancake loaves.
Turned off the oven and gave the flat loaves to the chickens. There was no bread for anyone this morning.
Mostly my loaves are beautiful, but it happens to the best of us.