Wednesday, July 14, 2010

What we are ordering from Digger's This Winter.

This year is hopefully going to a a big/Good year in our garden so here is a list of some of things that we are hoping to grow in our Garden. All available to use in Tasmania from the Diggers Club.

Pumpkin Heirloom Mix.
Pumpkin Anna Swartz
Butter Nut Pumpkin

Pennsylvania Dutch Crook neck

Fat Bastard Asparagus


3 colour Bean Mix
-Blue Lake
- Rattle Snake
-Purple King

Cooks Dried Bean Mix
-Red Kidney
- Cherokee Wax
- Borlotti
- Red Yin Yang
- French Flagolot

Romanesco Broccoli
Waltham Broccoli

Brussels Sprouts Ruby

Carrot Heirloom mix
-Red, white,Purple, and yellow Carrots.

-Honey and Cream, F1
White Corn F1

-Japanese Climbing

Tuscan Kale

Lettuce and Leaf Vegies
- Australian Yellow Leaf
- Mesclum mix
- Crispmint
- Great Lakes
- Edive Natacha

Rock melons
- Ananas
- French Charentais

Water Melon
- Black mountain
- Sweet Siberia
- Golden Midget

Green Feast Peas

Five Colour Mix Beets.
Bloomsdale Spinach
Red Malabar Spinach

Black Krim Tomato
Black Russian Tomato
Riesentraube Tomato

Zucchini Three colour Mix
Zucchini Tromboncino

So this is just the Beginning. We still need to decide on All the Tomato Varieties, Capsicum varieties, Eggplant varieties, and a few other bits and pieces for this years garden that we can't get from Diggers. Which is where Lost seeds comes into it. Can't wait to get started.

Friday, July 9, 2010

What are Treats?

When I was a child if you asked me this question the answer would have been fairly simple, Lollies, Cakes, Ice cream,Take Away, Chocolate...pretty much everything that is sweet and unhealthy. You got treats for being Good, behaving yourself or because someone loved you.

So growing up with this mind set, when I did well on an exam, or Achieved something I would "Treat" myself. When things were not going so great in life and feeling down, I would "Treat" myself, as a pick me up.

Our Ideas of Treats is fashioned in many ways by many people. Advertising, "You deserve....", Parents, "If you behave ...."

Now being a Parent myself my Idea of a "Treat" has changed a lot. When you really think about things and look at them for what they are, is it really rewarding and nice to give someone you love a food that there bodies are going to have to recover from... Very few treat foods that one can buy from the supermarket, are made with Health in mind. Most are full of processed sugars, poisons, chemicals, and things that you wouldn't dream of eating if you really knew what it was.

SO that being said does that mean that I can't treat me family...Of course you can. But wouldn't the best treats be ones that give your family health, that makes them actually feel good after eating it? My mind set has started to change from that of giving food that will cause damage, to one of "Packing in as much nutrition in as I can". For example, Apricot ice cream made with real food, not chemicals. Blueberry Kefir or Yoghurt Cake. Blueberries are full of antioxidants. Yes while the cooking process kills some nutrients, it makes others available. Just a few of the many suggestions out there. Plus food that is made with real food, like butter, and Rapadura or Raw sugar, and don't forget Fruit! A real favourite on our house in fruit salad and yoghurt.

Treat food doesn't have to be boring and when they are made at home and you have put the effort into making them you feel this pleasure and joy of giving something that you know will benefit you family. Plus the added bonus is that you will probably eat less of it than the something you picked up at the store, because it takes long to prepare and your family can appreciate your efforts. :)

So here's my recipe for the Day.

Blueberry Kefir Cake
125g Butter
1 Cup Caster Sugar
2 Cups plain flour - you can use white or wholemeal, we like the wholemeal version Better.
3 Tsp. Baking powder
3/4 Cup of Kefir or yoghurt
1 cup of blueberries, fresh or frozen.

1. Preheat oven to 180c. Grease a round spring form Cake tin.
2. Using an electric mixer, or whisk, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
3. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating to combine.
4. Add half the flour mix (flour and baking powder, and half the kefir, stir to combine.
5. Add the remainder of flour mix and kefir and stir until combined. Be careful not to over work the batter, just until combined.
6. Spread mixture into the prepared pan. Sprinkle with blueberries. Press blueberries in slightly.
7. bake for 50 mins,or until a skewer comes out clean. If the top of the cake seems to be getting too dark, cover with foil.
8. Let cool and sprinkle with Icing Sugar.

Eat and Enjoy! The better the Ingredients the better more nutrients.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Warm Winter Meal

So winter is the time for Hearty, warm casserole meals, so here is one that has lasted us for 4 meals.

Beef and Beans Casserole
3 cans of Tomatoes, or 15 frozen tomatoes.
5 tb Worcestershire sauce, we use organic
One piece of Beef casserole steak, diced
1 can or equivalent of Kidney Beans, Or any beans that you have on hand
3 cloves garlic, crushed or diced
1 onion diced
Mixed vegies, I had carrots, corn, green beans, peas, I also a large Swede, which I diced, you could also add potatoes, or any other vegies that you have available.
Herbs, I used dried Basil, Oregano, parsley, Marjoram.
Salt and Pepper to taste.

A few years ago, I realised that by buying a boxes of tomatoes, was a lot cheaper than buy per kg, and then I also had the thought of freezing them in lots of 5 that would be equal that same 1 Can of crushed, or whole tomatoes, with the added bonus of no preservatives. As we go on with our journey of grow our own, I hope to actually use all our own organic tomatoes for this. Another extra bonus is that they taste great, better than any canned tomato that I have tasted. Plus the saving is heaps. 10kg of Tomatoes cost between $5-10, so on average 1 packet of tomatoes cost around 20cents. You can't buy canned tomatoes that cheap.

So in saying that they first step in the recipe for me was to put my three packs of frozen tomatoes into the slow cooker to defrost.

After they have melted down a little, you can easily pull the skins off if you wish.

The next is very easy, you simple add all of your ingredients to the slow cooker,(add enough water to just cover the ingredients), except the salt and pepper, and let it cook for 5 or more hours. Before serving taste and add your salt and pepper to taste.

Serve with mashed Potato, Rice, Pasta, or simply crusty Bread.

I served mine with Fettuccine Pasta, and Fresh baked bread.

Giving Left Overs New Life
For us there was plenty left over and I added more than we would need so that it could become another meal. So the children and I had some for Lunch the next day, and still plenty left for another meal.

SO I then added another batch of tomatoes, and bit more water, Lentils, chick peas, and more beans, which then turned this casserole into another meal, of mostly beans, which the family enjoyed with rice and a sprinkle of cheese. Could also have served it as buritos, in wraps with cheese, or taco mix, or again mashed potatoes. Really Anything that your family likes.

And again there was still enough for Lunch for the children and myself.

Something I am realising is that when you respect food, and not waste the ingredient that you have one meal can actually do many meals. So what was intended for one meals actually did 4 meals.

Enjoy your winter meals!

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Children Zest for Life!

I have been thinking recently and over the years, how amazing children are! Having five, we have several different stages of development in our house. One thing that I love about watching children grow, is their amazing love for life. Most days I hear at least one child say,"watch me!", "See what I can do now!". They are excited about learning, excited by pushing there bodies to find out what they can do with them. Always trying out new things.

So what happens then when we become adults?

For many of us the thought of running a marathon sounds like a lot of work. Doing the dishes is work, hanging out washing is work. But for children, they think it is fun! They love playing Mummy and Daddy, pretending to do the things that we see as work.

For me as a home educating Mum, I wait to try my best to keep this natural love of learning alive. Help my children continue in that passion of discovery of how things work, why things are so, how far their bodies can go, how fast they can run....etc the list is endless, and hopefully in the process, I will also get somewhat back to that place of simple joy, and exploration.