Monday, February 27, 2012

Mango Morning Tea

When my parents' bought their house about just over 10 years ago they inherited a mango tree. At that stage it was pretty much just a stick that had been neglected over many years. The crops are slowly getting more and more fruitful and this summer has seen more than 40 fruit grow on the tree. This is way too many for my parents to eat by themselves so we are lucky enough to be the recipients of the extras.

Last week I had made a new batch of yoghurt and with 4 small sized mangoes sitting on the bench, there was really only one possibility: mango lassi. Topped off with a few sprigs of mint from the garden, my morning tea was complete.

Now I just need to wait for the rest to ripen.

Take care

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Easy Peasy Cheesy Scones

Christmas 2011 went far beyond the 12 days the song boasts about. As we didn't arrive back in Australia until mid January, the exchanging of gifts carried on towards the end of the month.

I was lucky enough to receive a copy of the new Annabel Langbein book, Free Range in the City, from a fabulous friend. This made for wonderful afternoon reading through those scorcher days of 40 degrees. Although it was way too hot to turn the over on, I could dream about the days when the rain would be falling on the back verandah and we would all be inside waiting for the warming offering to come out of the oven.

The days did eventually cool down, but not like my dream. The oven was turned on and the rocket from the farmers market was put to very good use to make Cheesy Rocket Scones for Beginner Bakers.

I followed the recipe fairly closely but used milk instead of cream, and as you can tell, I didn't chop the rocket. I decided on the rustic (lazy) approach of just tossing it into the bowl.

These would make a great morning tea or after school snack.

Take care

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Less is More Festival

If you live in Perth and are looking for something to do this Saturday, head to The Grove in Mosman Park for the Less is More Festival

Illustration by Sarah Long

This event is a celebration of anti-consumerism, designed to inspire you to get more out of life without spending.

It looks to be a wonderful day.

When: February 18, 2012
Time: 10am-4pm
Where: The Grove Community Centre, 1 Leake St, cnr Leake and Stirling Hwy, Peppermint Grove, WA
Cost: Free!
Ages: All ages
What: Skills workshops, Eco Faeries, participatory art, potluck snack table, you name it!

I'll hopefully see some of you there.

Take care

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Plastic Bag Ban

When walking out of the IGA this morning I noticed a huge headline across the front of our state daily newspaper.

This brought a huge smile to my face.

I really hope that more councils follow this lead and get rid of these poisonous, pollution-causing items.

If you haven't watched the great David Attenborough style video, The Majestic Plastic Bag, head over here for a look.

I'm off to send an email to my local council and see if they are planning a similar ban.

Take care

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Simple Summer Skirt

My summer wardrobe is looking a little bare and the idea of going and looking for a new addition sends shivers down my spine. I am a pretty plain dresser. I'm not into flouncy, super-girly dresses and skirts, and searching shops for basic clothes can be quite exhausting.

With a perfectly good sewing machine sitting idle in the back room and a stack of fabric waiting to be taken out of the storage boxes, a homemade skirt was looking like the easiest (and cheapest) option.

There are some great simple skirt patterns out there. It isn't too difficult a task but sometimes I just need a little direction on how to sew a particular seam or how to measure the amount of fabric needed.

Pennycones and Adith's Amma Sews were great inspiration and both got me quite excited about having a skirt ready to wear to morning tea tomorrow.

I decided to go with an elastic waist for a few reasons; my sewing skills are quite basic, I wanted this to be a fairly quick project and I didn't have a pattern. I'm not usually a big fan of elastic waisted skirts as I usually associate it with being about 3 years old. Also, elastic is way too forgiving around the girth.


this is what I did.

I measured around my waist and doubled it. This became the longer side of the rectangle that would make up the skirt. I wanted the length to be a out 60cm so I made the rectangle 65cm wide, allowing for seams at the top and bottom. Cut to length and sew the two shorter end together with the right sides facing. I hemmed the bottom and then attached elastic at the top using a variation of this method. I could have just made a sleeve to slide the elastic through and it would have worked just the same.

All in all, the whole thing took just over half an hour and was very satisfying. I am sure there will be more of these on the way.

Take care

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Back in the Swing of Things

We are back to our old sneaky ways here at the Mouse House. Our local farmers' market was celebrating its 1st birthday so we thought it was a perfect time to leave a little gift for someone.

I haven't done much with Sow, Give, Grow in a while as any sort of growing had been a little difficult over the past few months. Hopefully I am now back in the swing of things with some seeds, planted into paper pots, sitting outside germinating.

As the change of season is less than a month away, I was thinking that another Giving Day might be a good idea. I am sure that many of you are getting your autumn or spring seedling ready for the next few weeks. Perhaps you could put one or two aside to join me at the beginning of March. Head over to Sow, Give, Grow and have a look at the previous Giving Days.

It feels good to be sneaky.

Take care

Thursday, February 2, 2012

The Good Oil

One of my food related memories from childhood is when Mum used to save the fat from a roast dinner and keep it, ready for the following Sunday. (Oh my goodness, those roast potatoes were amazing.)  That was the way it was done in the 70s and earlier. I even remember the metal container with its pink lid that would sit on the bottom shelf of the fridge full on solidified fat. That is how a lot of frying was done. I don't remember a lot of vegetable oils being used. The supermarket shelves were not filled with the variety of oils we see now. There was probably a generic vegetable oil and that was about it.

It is oh-so-different now, and it has me a little perplexed. With the variety of oils I feel as though I need some sort of degree to choose the one best for our health, the wallet and my piece of mind.

Olive oil is great for salads and has great health benefits, but heating it is not so good.

Rice bran oil has a high smoking point, which makes it great for cooking, but the much of the rice bran oil in Australia comes from Thailand, so trying to buy locally is a little tricky.

Canola oil. The whole GM thing has me a little freaked out about this. Maybe I'm just a little paranoid.

Is grapeseed oil a better option? This can be grown in Australia and it is a dual-use crop as the oil in a by-product of the wine making industry. Is it vital that it is organic grapeseed oil as (imported) grapes are part of the Dirty Dozen?

There are some lovely oils like avocado oil, macadamia oil and almond oil which are great for a splash here and there but I would afford to buy these on a regular basis.

This is where I am asking for your help. What oil do you use to cook with? What makes you choose this one?

Take care
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