Sunday, 18 January 2009

Having seen the forecast for this weekend, hubby and I decided to batten down the hatches and get the wood-burning stove going. Ours has an oven in the top, so I cobbled together a lmb hotpot (more hotpot than lamb - but very tasty) and put it in the little oven. After an hour of burning just little waste sticks found in the garden we had a very yummy meal. Also we did not have to use any electricity to cook it. Simple and cheap!

I have managed today, with hubby, to clear all the logs that we have been given and have been cluttering up the patio. The log store is well and truly stuffed. Half of it is for next winter. They have to be seasoned, I am told. I seem to be learning a great deal. I then spent some time wielding an axe to chop up some kindling. What fun! Actually we have quite a few friends who seems to be chopping down trees and don't want the wood. It's all free. I just spend quite a bit of time collecting it. Still I am developing some impressive muscles.

This is a pair of curtains that I made recently for a client. I just loved the fabric. They look so bright and cheery on a winter' day ( or any day for that matter!). I only wish I had another room in my house so that I could use the fabric.

Sunday, 11 January 2009

It has been a week full of surprises. Having finally set up this blog, I am finding that there is so much I want to tell everyone about simple living. As this week saw freezing temperatures, I decided that pots of warming, homemade soup had to be the answer. As I was waiting for my Riverford box on Thursday ( we have one in the winter when our vegetable supply is a little depleated or as I discovered, the leeks were frozen solid in the ground), I had to be very inventive. Still I had one onion and four slightly dubious looking carrots. Once everything had been peeled and chopped I browned them off in a tablespoon of olive oil. I then added a can of drained butter beans. (Very good for protein. As an alternative you can always use one large potato, peeled and cubed.) To all of this I added 750mls of stock made with a stockcube. Covered the pan and brought to the boil. In fact I used my pressure cooker. Once hissing I let it carry on for 10 minutes. After that I used one of those whizzy, blender things. What a lovely soup. It kept me going at lunchtimes for three days! And was very yummy! Also much cheaper to make than buying one of those boxed soups which do not seem to last very long.
Actually the pressure cooker is also a brilliant item. You use far less power, probably about half in fact and when you cook veggies in them they appear to retain their taste and colour. Happy simple cooking.

Sunday, 4 January 2009

Finally I have got around to start writing a blog. I have been meaning to do this for ages but the start of a New Year has forced me to get writing. After a lovely Christmas spent with daughter + new husband, son ( who managed to write off our car 3 days before Christmas), mother-in-law (who has more energy at eighty than I will ever have) and hubby, who has spent the last 3 weeks with the lurgy, it is now time to put down what makes me tick.
The seed catalogues have arrived, although I still have a many packets left over from last year. First rule of simple living. Do not spend money on things that you already have. The seed packets all have 'use by' dates on them and as far as I have found out, the only ones that do not keep are parsnips. Hopefully as I get this blog going lots of photos will appear of veggies growing in our garden.