This moment…

This moment
A Friday ritual
One photograph from my week

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Right now. A menu

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I haven’t resorted to meal planning for ages. But this little beauty is inspiring me this week. No set days, simply meal ideas to use the ingredients I have in abundance. Leeks, potatoes, spinach, fresh veg, free organic bones gifted us and incorporating a variety of protein. I’m aiming to make big enough batches and have lunch leftovers each day. (And it be yummy enough to want to revisit) then it’s only two fresh meals a day to contend with and hopefully little waste. Phew. Sometimes it’s an epic mission just procuring some nourishment and other times it comes effortlessly.
I’m blessed to be a mama at home presently with time to put into our meals so I’m refocusing.

With my goal to provide fresh, wholesome, nutritious meals every meal time, it can get overwhelming at times. Then it’s good to remember my friend saying, lovingly cooked eggs on toast is more nutritious than resentfully cooking an elaborate meal.
I used to tease a certain sister about her meal roster, until I was exhausted in the second baby days. I could not think straight about much or cook without burning something while I made the rest or come out with some weird uninspired dishes. The other trap is gastronomic boredom with the same five meals in rotation. I was losing a lot of weight and interest In eating and really needed a shift.
Really hard times that I’m sure some of you can relate to. Whether its a challenge from grief, anxiety, depression, exhaustion, overload, overwork, busy family life or other factors keeping our bodies well nourished can be a hard ask, which is essential to look at for good health and mental health.

I made a list of dishes I could make easily. Plus 10 I wanted to eat that where from friends or books. Plus jesses handful of dishes. Wrote them onto scraps of paper with blank backs for future additions and popped them into a jar. A lucky dip ensued and there pinned on a weekly chart was my meal ideas. I didn’t have to think about what was coming in the kitchen next. Phew!! So easy So clever so smart. Easy to shop once or twice a week. Easy to change or skip meals around. Easy to prepare legumes or grains in advance. I enjoyed tHe liberation of the day without “what the heck am I going to cook tonight ” looming over me all day. It was a step in realizing organization can free up more energy and time for doing other things!
So at this time of transition back to a big house, school rhythms, work rhythms and town life I look to these little tricks which help me keep up with myself and make my days a little more free and enjoyable.
Even if I don’t use it, I feel supported by a fall back plan!
What are some meals you would put In Your jar?
If you are the main cook in your home, what helps you keep inspired about your task?

Wet Felt a play mat/cushion piece/anything rectangle

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This one is dedicated to my dear friend M

who has patiently waited a year for me to complete this request on how to felt a playmat!

you may already have just You Tubed a wet felt tutorial or taken a lesson elsewhere

but dear one, as this unfolded i thought of you and so

enjoy

xx

Lily felted this piece as a backing for a giant granny square cushion for her chair at school.

Tutorial to Wet Felt a Play mat

materials

a pile of roving (fluffy wool)

warm water in a bowl or bottle

detergent/soap

curtain netting

if it’s large a bamboo roll blind to roll the piece in

work in a water safe zone and have a towel on hand to mop up excess waterIMG_0308

 

begin by making three even layers of roving, alternating the direction of each layer.

to do this, grasp lightly a section of roving with your hands about 20cm apart, pull and you will release an even section of wool. too close and the wool fibres will not seperate easily

fluff up and lay these sections working one side to another in rows

once you’ve done the three layers {backing, filling, top layer} pat all over and patch any thin places

then

place your fluffed out decorations on the top layer {Lily put her name}

these decorations can shift during the process so dont begin with anything complex

for a playmat place on appropriate colours for fields, water and maybe a road…

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place your netting over the top and sprinkle with water until all is evenly wet and then squirt with soap

initially you are simply patting lightly to get the water through and the soap to begin penetratingIMG_0314

soon you can gently rub, light hands make beautiful feltwork at this stage,

the aim is to get the wool fibres to begin binding together and all the layers in cohesion, including your decorations

lift off you net carefully and check it’s all laying in place, adjust as neccessary

you can begin more vigorous rubbing, it should be wet all through and bubbly at this point

three keys to good felt

soap, heat, friction
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keep rubbing until you reach pre felt stage, tested by pinching and lifting a small section. if it lifts together it’s pre felt if the fibres lift off or seperate keep on rubbing {see photo below}IMG_0319

at pre felt i like to flip the work and make sure the back is pre felted. at this point no unbound fibres will join in.

to create neat edges, rub your hand in a wave motion along the edge of the piece, gathering in the edges tidilyIMG_0320 IMG_0321

after pre felt you can handle it more vigorously as everything is in place. rub rub away and then if you want to shrink and final felt it in a fun way, squeeze out excess water, thrash the piece around and scrunch it and toss it down on the table. {therapeutic also}IMG_0323 IMG_0327

Lily did’nt care for an even edge as you can see below, but do notice there are no stringy bits hanging off the border.IMG_0329

when the wool has reached a good thickness, sturdiness and strength, you will notice small ridges/wrinkles forming, i usually stop at this point but some like to continue pounding it until this is really formed and the piece will become a bit thicker and smaller. as you feel

stretch it slightly to create flatness and a good shapeIMG_0330Lily’s complete piece ready to lay flat and dry.

you may see glimpses of the production of two other playmats of mine here

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Cedar’s mat ready to beginimg_3808

nearly complete, Cedar is impatient to playimg_0758working on my niece’s playmat with my sister

 

 

Home made Mayonnaise ~ easier than you think

i have attempted mayonnaisse once before, it was a terrible gloppety glop which seperated in the first hour and no-one would eat. boo. condiment disaster.

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and then one day recently, like a home cooking queen, my dear friend Dalee {Owl and Snail blog} casually offers to whip up some mayo to accompany lunch as the rice is not cooked yet. WHAT? squawks I

what can’t this woman do?

whip up mayonnaisse? i thought it was a half hour hand whisking ordeal for secondary results?

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not anymore ladies and gentleman.

mayonnaisse, fresh, lemony, creamy mayo is within your grasp {if you have a power source/sauce and a blender}

no more sad sandwiches gasping for some moisture, no more shop tainted slaw,

read on and then

quick get your apron on and blender out…

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Dalee’s deelicious home made whip it up casually MAYONNAISE

disclaimer~recipe is just a guideline, adjust ingredients as you see fit…

pop into your blender jug

  • 2 good and fresh eggs and another egg yolk
  • juice of half a lemon or more
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon of honey or similar

whizz til smooth then with motor running slOWly pour in oil in a steady drizzle until mixture thickens to your liking… ta da!!

approximately more than 1 cup of good oil but possibly less than 2 {depends on the weather}

Dalee recommended a blend of olive and a lighter oil like sunflower, i agree after tonights recipe trial. i also added a sprig of parsley to dye it an appealing shade of rolling meadows green

then good people, dollop, slather, spread, dip, splat, lick, enjoy!
Keep it in the fridge. I can’t legally recommend an exact UBD but perhaps up to 7 days?? do not leave out of the fridge for extended periods as it contains raw eggs, food poisoning is a concern.

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try with roast potatoes, fish and salad {my dinner above. mm not bad… in another life i am a food shooter for culinary prints}

try it with….

vegie sticks

in coleslaw

in nori rolls

in chicken salad

egg sandwitches

in salad dressings

on frittata

on pancakes…?

IMG_0283well go on, make some soon and tell me what you enjoyed it with {as long as it’s food now}

looks good, tastes great and has raw eggs in it!

and what about Miss Dalee, artist, mama, musician, crafter, pioneer, yurt dwelling, homeschooling, mayonnaise queen. did you go look at her blog? or her skilled husband Jesse, who handcrafts beautiful Shakahachi flutes.
some more moments from my visit

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Lily plays for The Ridge children
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view from community house/kitchen to the sea

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the kitchen of mayonnaise heaven…

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Dalee also makes KimChi {fermented spicy vegetable condiment from Korean origin}

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Lily disappears into the schoolroom within arms length of the bookshelf

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playful artworks by Dalee and children

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The Yurt~temporary home while they build/wait for approval to build from council

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so cosy and light. furnished with many handmade pieces from the hands of mama and papa

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a wedding gift from Jesse’s dad

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circus fun

 

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jesse dalee and eltham

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my cute wee home for the night.

my cute wee home for the night.



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rainbows

peace

and mayonnaise

xx

there is another good mayo recipe and scientific examination of the sauce here

thankyou Ridge friends, you where the last stop on the way to Bellingen. i enjoyed my three fun days of inspiration with different friends and i left you feeling full and motivated and, well, inspired!