Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Making Mustard Update

Yesterday morning I drained the mustard seeds and added these to all of the other ingredients. The seeds had swollen quite a bit over night so I was glad I had put in enough water.

These were all whizzed, and came together nicely. The texture was rough, more like a seeded mustard, as I couldn't process these any further. I was quite glad as I prefer a rougher texture. 

The initial taste test had me a little worried that I have wasted quite a few ingredients and a bit of time as it was very sweet from the honey. I had read in the book that the flavours calm down a little after a few days, so I popped it into the fridge to see how it might change.

I am sooo glad I did. This mustard is amazing!

The honey calmed right down and the flavour from the seeds is really strong. If you are a fan of wasabi, this is the mustard for you.

This is a keeper. I am looking forward to trying a couple of other recipes from the book.

Take care

Monday, July 23, 2012

Making Mustard

One of the best incentives for me to get housework finished, is finding a Book Depository parcel at the front door. It makes me hurry around finishing everything I had already started. Just before I get the last thing done, the kettle is turned on, a cuppa is put on to brew and I look around for the nicest/quietest spot to open the package. With cuppa in hand and a sunny spot located, the envelope is opened.

Late last week I went through this ritual and was so happy that Homemade Pantry was inside. This is a fabulous book put together by the creator of Eating from the Ground Up. This is one of those books that wins you over before you even open the first page. The cover is gorgeous and felt wonderful in my hands.

In between sips, the pages were turned to tell a new story and share a new recipe.

One that really excited me was mustard. This is something I had never thought to make but couldn't believe how simple the recipe sounded.

At the moment I have half a cup of yellow mustard seeds soaking ready to be made into the condiment tomorrow.

In the morning I will drain these and add them to 1/3 cup red wine vinegar, 2 cloves of crushed garlic, 2 teaspoons salt and 3 tablespoons honey. With 1/4 cup water, this will all be processed together.

I'll let you know how it goes.

Take care.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

My Milk Dilemma

We are working our way through PFJ here in the Mouse House, but I must say that one of my biggest challenges is milk. There are so many options that I actually feel my head spin every time I stand in from of the dairy cabinet at the supermarket.

We were tending to buy either Margaret River Organic milk or Bannister Downs milk before the challenge. I love that both of these are small Western Australian farms that I am able to support. ONe of my dilemmas here is that Margaret River sell their delicious organic milk in 2 L plastic bottles.

I like to buy the Bannister Downs milk as my local supermarket regularly stocks this, and I like the thought behind their packaging. Bannister Downs have recently brought out a pasteurised only milk in glass bottles, and I was thrilled when I came across one of these at the Jude Blereau cooking demo, so after contacting the dairy I found that a local shop was stocking this. I was a little disappointed though to find that it was being sold for $4.69 for 750 mL, a 70c markup according to the dairy. My son could go though that amount of milk in one sitting so financially this isn't really an option. Another Western Australian company, Sunnydale, is selling milk in glass bottles but the same shop is selling these 1 L bottles for $4.99.

Brownes is probably the biggest collector of milk in the state. This company have been around for over 100 years and they sell milk in a variety of sizes and either plastic or cardboard. Harvey Fresh is another collector but they only seem to use plastic bottles.

I try not to buy milk from the eastern states, not because I don't want to support the farmers there, but I don't see why I should be paying transport cost across the country when we have the product here.

The big supermarket brands are not even an option after the milk war.

After years of buying low fat milk thinking that this was a better option, we are now back on to full cream milk.

So here's the dilemma.

  • Do I buy milk from small farms even though their milk is in plastic?
  • Do I buy milk from the big collectors because I can get it in 1 L cardboard cartons?
  • Do I buy organic milk even though it in plastic?
  • Do I buy pasteurised only milk in plastic?
  • Do I buy milk in glass bottles even though it is $5 a litre?
What do you think about when buying milk?

Take care.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Environmental Toothbrush Giveaway Winner

Sorry about the delay in drawing a winner. After drawing a winner the old fashioned way, congratulations to Kristy.

Thanks to all who entered. I wish I could send each one of you a brush. If you are still interested, head over to their site and you might want to buy some for yourself. They offer free postage within Australia.

Thanks again.

Take care.

Kristy, could you please email me at bruisemouse at gmail dot com with your contact details.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Holiday Cleaning

Cleaning is something that doesn't usually excite me. It doesn't matter how far down that to-do list I get, there are always a number of jobs that are ready to replace those that have been crossed-off.

Today I decided to break open the orange and vinegar cleaner that I started a few weeks ago. I have been turning the jar and watching the vinegar change colour so figured I should check out how well it worked.

I thought I would jump into the deep end and start with the shower floor. With a bit of a scrub and a wipe, it seemed to work really well. The best part being that there was no over-powering smell that usually means I need to evacuate the bathroom. There was a hint of orange but not too strong.

I will certainly be making this again.

We are heading off for a few days to catch up with family, so I am spending the day cleaning. I really don't understand why I am happy to live amongst half finished housework on a daily basis but as soon as we go away, and are not actually going to be living in the house, I feel this need to have everything spotless.

I am hoping to be able to get online on Sunday and draw the winner of the Environmental Toothbrush giveaway, otherwise it will be one of the first jobs when I get back (seeing as all of the housework will have been done.)

Take care

P.S. Just realised that it is a year ago today that we headed off on our big adventure and six months to the day since our return. Time is flying.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Time for a Giggle

My kids came across a great online comic that I thought might put a smile on your face. The way these guys play with words is wonderful. Once on the site you can scroll through heaps of their work. I hope you enjoy.

Take care

Don't forget the giveaway.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Sunday Morning Cake

The older I get, the more I feel like Saturday is just an extension of the working week. There always seems to be a flurry of activity and a list of jobs that I never quite seem to find the end of. (I hate ending a sentence with 'of' but it is Sunday, so please excuse me.

I invited my parents over for a morning cuppa so a cake needed to be made. Having a stack of easy cake recipes at hand always makes the job so much easier, with my two favourites being Gooseberry Jam's plain cake and the super easy apple cake.

After a quick trip to the farmers market to stock up on fruit, I decided the apple option was the way to go. Once again I halved the sugar as the fruit is so sweet. I ran out of butter so I made up the difference with one of my market purchases. The fruit that I soaked after last weekend was substituted for the plain sultanas.

The aroma through the house as I pulled it from the oven was gorgeous. The orange juice from the soaked fruit was so sweet.

A slice of warm cake, to accompany a cup of tea on this chilly morning, helped make for a relaxing was to spend time with family.

Don't forget about the giveaway of the Environmental Toothbrushes. I will send these anywhere,  so please say 'hi' and add your name to the list. You still have another week.

Take care

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Plastic Free July with Jude Blereau

Late yesterday morning I jumped on my bike and headed 20 kilometres down the coast to the Plastic Free July event at The Grove. (Gav, if you happen to be reading this, I think you would love this building. It is amazing.)

The Grove Library has recently been beautifully designed. So much thought had gone into every aspect of the building, even the fact that the toilet systems are linked into the gardens. My family and I were involved in some of the planting of the gardens last year with Josh Byrne from Gardening Australia. It was a great day and the gardens are looking amazing now.

Yesterday was the Jude Blereau plastic free cooking event, and as usual, she was full of so much information and great recipes. 

Jude kneading the Barley, Wheat and Rosemary Crackers

I have included here for you a link to the notes from the session from the Earthcarers site. There are some great tips as well as two delicious recipes, both of which we were able to sample at the session. The notes also make mention of some recipes from the Nova website, so here is the link.

I must say I am a bit of a cereal fiend, and on some evenings, cereal for dinner is a possibility, so my ears pricked up at the idea of Homemade Cinnamon and Coconut Toasted Oat Muesli. Jude prepared this alongside a fruit compote. This is now on my 'to do' list (I am just trying to track down some Brown Rice Syrup). I thought I could get a start on the compote so squeezed a few oranges, cut of some dried fruit and threw in a cinnamon stick for good measure.

The plan is to add these to some slices apple tomorrow and cook it up into one big fruity concoction. With a spoonful or two of yoghurt, this should be a fairly substantial breakfast. The muesli will just have to wait.

After the 40 kilometre round trip yesterday I ended up falling asleep in front of a DVD at about 9pm. Although I only managed about 20 minutes of the movie, I still managed to pick the 'bad guy' without seeing the remaining one and a half hours. Woohoo!

I hope you all had a great weekend. What did you do?

Take care
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