Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Eating Seasonally

Those who grow their own food or buy from farmers' markets know about the fabulous tastes and textures of seasonal food. Food that has evolved to feed our bodies the nutrients needed at particular times of the year. The leafy, watery produce of the summer months that provide much needed fluid for hydration, and the dense root vegetables filled with the energy to keep us warm through the winter months.

Parsnips are a winter vegetable I haven't had much to do with in the past, but after looking through Hugh and settling on a creamy parsnip soup for dinner, the results have me wondering why I had overlooked it for so long. A sprinkling of toasted slivered almonds onto this sweet and creamy soup made for a meal that will certainly help keep out the 2 degree temperature.

Now that I am a parsnip convert, I would love to know how other people cook with them. I have had baked parsnip and love it but apart from today's soup, that it about it. Also, I am thinking these would be a great addition to the vege garden next year. Are these easy to grow?

Take care

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Another week flies by

Last week seemed to fly by. The weeks seem to be doing that as we scurry towards December. I keep confusing myself with as I associate colder weather with the middle of the year and then it dawns on me that it is the end of November. The shorter days are also messing with my brain as the sun is setting just before 4pm and by about 7pm we are all thinking that we should be off to bed. I think we will be in for a rude awakening on our January return to Australia.

We made the most of a couple of days last week and boarded a train to Weimar: an amazing place full of so much history.

Goethe and Schiller made it their home.

Goethe's house on the right.

Christmas markets taking shape.

Back in Perth, I had been making my own yoghurt for a while. It is a little time consuming but totally worth it.

I have come across a yoghurt making kit that I am loving. Years ago I had a Easiyo maker and made the packets quite regularly. The things I love about this kit is that the yoghurt is made by heating and cooling milk, and adding some yoghurt to start, as opposed to adding water to a packet mix, as I used to with Easiyo. The warm milk is then poured into a glass jar rather than a plastic container. It uses 1 litre of milk to make enough to fill the jar. Our second batch is sitting in its little esky as I type.

The weekend seemed to revolve around food. Not only snacks of freshly made organic yoghurt with a drizzle of maple syrup and a sprinkling of slithered almonds, but also quite a few recipes from the new cookbook.

Souffle with pasta

I even managed to finish another book that I bought for the train journey. Although the book was written 6 years ago, it was an good read and interesting to see how others go about changing their habits for the betterment of their family's health and the environments. This is one that I think I will need to reread to highlight all the tips and website links listed.

Take care

PS Did anyone manage to get to Josh Byrne's open garden on the weekend? I would love to hear about it.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Josh Byrne's Garden

To those of you in Perth who love a good open garden, you might like to head along to Josh Byrne's open garden this weekend.

Take care

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Some New Hugh

Yesterday I was truly excited to see a Book Depository white envelope waiting for me on top of the letter box. On my trip to the UK a few weeks ago I stumbled across a new Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall book, River Cottage Veg Everyday. I could easily go on and on (and on and on ...) about the wonders of Hugh. While in the bookshop I looked at my hand luggage and realised there was no possible way anything else would squeeze into the backpack.

With a ginger tea in one hand and the envelope in the other, I got myself comfortable on the bed ready to acquaint myself with Hugh's latest offering. Being vegetarian I was particularly excited about this one, and he didn't disappoint.

Each section starts with an introduction that must be read in Hugh's voice. (I'm sure he is speaking directly to me).

There is a wonderful selection of recipes including stews, warm salads, raw salads and bread based meals, and over a third of these are suitable for vegans.

I am planning to have a go at the chard and ricotta tart for dinner one night this week, and I think the carrot, orange and cashew salad could do for a lunch.

Well, off to read a little more and make a shopping list for the next few days.

My only question is, where did his hair go?

Take care

Monday, November 14, 2011

I Want to Eat Like an Orangutan

As Berlin Zoo is the oldest zoo in Germany we thought we should pay it a visit.

it was lovely to see animals that we hadn't seen at the Perth Zoo and spent a few hours wandering around the grounds.

I wont go into detail about this zoo, and zoos in general, but I did find something I thought was interesting to share.

At the end of the orangutan enclosure was a great display showing the huge amounts of nutritious, fresh fruits and vegetables these beautiful animals are fed. These was a great range of colours and an interesting variety of flavours.

Then we turned around to see the human food that was on offer.

These were directly opposite the orangutan display.

I think I would rather be fed like and orangutan.

Take care.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Sustainable Fish and Seafood Seminar - Perth

Just in case you are interested, and live in Perth, Jude Blereau's next seasonal seminar will be based on seafood. I have been to three of her sessions before and found them to be incredibly interesting and informative.

Here is more information about the date, time, speakers and price.

Take care

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Keeping Warm is On My Mind

We're back from a fun-filled trip to the UK to visit family and experience the wonders of Lewes Bonfire Night.

I'm joining in with Rhonda again.

The cold weather is now officially on its way. Single figure daytime temperatures and freezing overnight are what I call chilly.

On a recent trip to Humana, a fabulous second hand clothing store, I was on the lookout for a coat or two. The clothes we brought with us were geared toward summer as we knew that any winter clothes we wore in Australia would not cut it for a Berlin winter.

I managed to find these two coat and couldn't be happier. The green woolen coat was made in Austria, while the burgundy one comes from Italy, and is a blend of wool and cashmere. They are both super warm and cut out quite a bit of the cold wind.

Clothes shopping is generally like a punishment for me. I spend my time searching for plain, uninteresting clothes. No glitter, no loud colours, no bedazzling! Buying second hand feels like a bit more of an enjoyable experience. It is much more fun to look through the racks of one-off clothes, hoping that the item that catches my eye is in my size.

After seeing the prices of some of the new coats, I feel better knowing that I spent a fraction of these amounts on my purchases and the amount I did spend is going to charity. I also love the history behind each piece. These are both beautifully made and I'm sure I will be able to pass them on to my kiddies in the years to come.

Teamed up with my boots, scarf, gloves and beanie, each of these coats are earning their keep in my wardrobe.

Take care (and stay warm)

Saturday, November 5, 2011

A Short Break in Transmission

We're off for a few days to enjoy the fun of an English Bonfire Night.

Hope you all have a great weekend.

Take care

Friday, November 4, 2011

Community is On My Mind

I'm joining in with Rhonda Jean again: her community spirit is inspirational.

I have been on a bit of a reading frenzy over the past few weeks, which has been wonderful. I tend to go through phases where I am a reading machine, and then I may go months without even opening the book that is gathering dust on my bedside table.

Yesterday was another exciting day when a white package arrived in the mail. It is a bit of a lottery at the moment as there are several books on their way to me so I wasn't sure which one this would be.

Kitchen Table Sustainability caught my attention as I had been looking for something on the topic of Sustainability that was Australian as well as being practical, not just full of facts and figures. I am not too far into it but am enjoying what I have read. I love the idea of the kitchen table being the hub of the house where so many important decisions are made. It is a place where experiences are shared at the end of the day.

The main aim of the book (I think so far) is to show communities they have the power to make changes for themselves, and guide and encourage others to do the same.

It got me thinking about the links to blogging. Blogging is my kitchen table. A place to discuss and share knowledge and ideas, find inspiration, and meet amazing, like-minded people. Being away for a few weeks made me realise how much I missed the conversations about food, gardening, recipes, recycling ...

So pull up a chair and I'll put the kettle on.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

The Three Weeks That Were

Nursing a gastro patient and then becoming one myself was not what I had planned for the last few weeks, especially as I had a fabulous visitor who had made the trip half way around the world to come and see us.

Things have been moving along and I am now getting back into the swing of things.

I have managed to read this, this and this.

Started knitting this.

Received this great book as a giveaway from Brenna, and as a result, made this amazing soup.

Had a craving for baked rice pudding.

I'm now thinking about making these to use up the left over egg whites.

I am also continuing on the sourdough adventure after buying a copy of this book. I love that it comes with a DVD so I am able to really see how some of the techniques work. I started 2 days ago but it all seems to be coming along really well.

Sprouts are on the go again as I feel a real need for heaps of vitamins after the recent illness.

The weather is starting to cool and I have already made a trip to Humama, the best second hand clothes shop I have ever seen. Purchases have been made and these seem to be doing the job of keeping out the cold. Photos will be coming in the next day or so.

Take care
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