Monthly Archives: January 2011

Recycling & Reusing; Kitting out a home

Even before we found our house I’ve been making plans for it and working out how we can kit it out in as greenly, which happily happens to be the cheapest, a way as possible. There wasn’t really very much we needed as we already have things like a bed, wardrobe, draws, desk, etc but there have been a few things we’ve needed and I have made sure all of them, apart from the washing machine, have come secondhand.

The things in our house all have history, and right from when we started moving stuff in it has had a welcoming ‘lived in’ feel to the place.

From the wonder that is Freecycle we have received a sofa-bed, flat screen TV, book cases and shelving, pots and pans, a tailors dummie (not really for the house but I now have plenty of room to use it!) and a greenhouse for the garden.

And from family and friends we have received countless kitcheny things, a drop leaf table and chairs, lamps, coffee and side tables and lots of help with the move itself. There are still some things left to move and find before we are completely finished moving but we are in and have everything that we need day-to-day.

A trip to the sea

Sand turtles - 23rd January 2011

I have been away over the weekend playing in the sand, cooking outdoors and staying up far too late with my works annual residential trip.

It was a lovely weekend but now I am back to reality and gearing up for the big moving push this weekend

And would you like squash with that?

I noticed that one of my Boston squash had started to get little patches of mould on it and so was time to think up ways of using it all up before what I consider to be last years biggest, in all senses of the word, success of last year went to waste.

I don’t think I properly recorded  how big the last one we eat was but this one weighted 8.7kg once cut up, to fit on the kitchen scales, and all the seeds removed.

Some of it was made into roast squash which is one of our favourites and Boston squash seem to have an ideal taste for it, not too sweet and a little nutty. Similar to Butternut squash I would say but much easier to grow going by last years results. Some more was made into ‘Cheesey Squash Wraps’ and some more made into ‘Creamy Squash Soup’ and even more made into ‘Creamy Squash and Garlic Soup’.

The Cheesey Squash wraps were based on some spicey cheese wraps that I have made a few times lately and have gone down a storm, these however got mixed reactions but I thought they were delicious and so did Rhys so shall be made again I am sure. I made them by mixing the leftover roast squash with some that had been softened up and mashed, as there wasn’t enough roast squash left to go round, with some grated mature cheddar and some mozzarella cheese and put into tortilla wraps and served with salad including carrot, apple, beetroot, cherry tomatoes and leaves with a homemade raspberry, honey and mustard dressing.

The Creamy Squash Soup was made by softening onions with black paper and mixed herbs then adding the chopped up squash and allowing it all to ‘mush up’ together, then add water, vegetable stock, marmite and soy sauce all to taste. The first time I made this soup I also added cream but this made it far too creamy for most of us so I left it out this time. To make the Squash and Garlic Soup I added two bulbs of chopped up garlic to the softened onion and cooking for a few minutes before adding the squash and I did add a pot of cream to this one at the end as the garlic completely changes the taste.

No photos of any of it as I was too busy eating it all but hopefully this year I will get good at taking photos of the food I make.

Onwards, slowly

This week has been grey… Grey and busy; busy at work, busy at home, busy moving. There is just an endless list and I am not feeling very organised, or completely well.

I have a new home for the Jelly Beanies, well hopefully I have. They were meant to go on Saturday, and a few times since but for busy-life reasons they are still here. At home everyone’s sheds are in need of cleaning out, plus a shed we use as a sort of ‘over-spill’ housing which naughty doesn’t get cleaned out as it is normally used in a rush but we want to bring the cows home so it has to be done before they move in.

All the cleaning out does mean that the allotment is getting a generous manuring, and I almost have a plan for them now. Part of my plan includes not sowing or planting anything excluding garlic until March 1st, when I told Rhys this he asked how I was going to survived. Until then I am getting organised, I need to finished manuring and covering those beds that are still left, add some boarders to those on plot one, buy some pens that don’t come off of the plant labels (done last night) and finally, and really finally after all the other bits are done, buy the very few packets of seeds I need for this year and seed potatoes. I think I am also going to treat myself and the new house to some large terracotta pots for growing salad and tomatoes on the patio

Spring is on its way…

One of our lambs - March 2010

One of our lambs - March 2010

Today me and mother saw our first lambs of the year. There were three all sat in a heap in the sun whilst two ewes grazed near by.

We still have at least another month before lambing starts but it will be here all too soon

Washing Machine

Our new washing machine was delivered today.

It is the only item we have both agreed we need a new one of instead of trying to find it second-hand from somewhere or someone. We have had many second-hand washing machines before but they never last long as we are so hard on them and being without clean work clothes or ones that end up smelling of things such as male goat just isn’t something we can let happen.

So a new one we have, but I have tried to find the best energy rated one that we could afford, AAB rated, and instead of using laundry powder we are going to be using homemade laundry ‘gloop’, which is something mother found a while ago and has been tried and tested.

Laundry gloop is very easy to make and a bucket lasts ages, even in a full of outdoor, muddy people.

Hand Off Our Forest – Protest Rally

Today there was a rally held in support of the Hands Off Our Forest campaign; over 3000 people joined in a short march through woods, listened to speeches and music, signed petitions and wrote personalised letter in support of the campaign and finished the afternoon off with a fire sculpture by a local artist.

The start of the march - 3rd January 2011

The start of the march - 3rd January 2011

And goes on as far as the eye can see... right back around to the field that the march will finish on - 3rd January 2011

And goes on as far as the eye can see... right back around to the field that the march will finish on - 3rd January 2011

Listening to speeches - 3rd January 2011

Listening to speeches - 3rd January 2011

Still listening even with snow falling all around - 3rd January 2011

Still listening even with snow falling all around - 3rd January 2011

The fire sculpture to finish the afternoon off - 3rd January 2011

The fire sculpture to finish the afternoon off - 3rd January 2011

It was a happy and positive event, a chance to say hello and catch up with people I wouldn’t normally see and the prefect way to highlight and bring attention to the issue and campaign.

A Day in the Month – January 2011

Simple Woman Daybook

Simple Woman Daybook

I spotted The Simple Womans Daybook over on Our Front Plot  in the run up to Christmas and thought it was lovely idea for a regular blog post, the idea of it was to give thanks to the simple things in life in the run up the festive period.

I did think about joining  in when I first saw it but forgot as soon as I left the computer so I have decided to add my own tweak to the idea and instead of posting once a week in December I am going to post on the first day of each month meaning that the simple things I am thankful for will change with the days and pasting seasons throughout the year too. I am going to call it ‘A Day in the Month’ as I don’t want to steal someone elses hard thought up name and this will be similar but different; let me know if you have taken part in The Simple Woman’s Daybook or would like to join me with this as I would love to read what others have written. 


Outside… It is dark and wet

I am thinking or plotting… What needs to be done tomorrow before going back to work next week after being off; washing, more packing and outside animal and garden jobs

From the kitchen… We have just eaten omelette with chips and coleslaw, all homemade, for dinner

I am wearing… Animal clothes, my fleecy grey Millennium Volunteers jumper (which I got for completing 100 hours of volunteer work years ago), black leggings and odd socks

I am thankfully for… All the pans I collected this evening from a local freecycler and the kitcheny things, lamp and table that a friend gave us this morning. Among other things

I am creating… A mess, and hopefully some mittens

I am going… Nowhere, I’m home for the evening now

I am reading… Grow your own magazine and You are your childs first teacher by Rahima Baldwin

I am hoping… That the rain holds off on Monday, there is a big protest rally about the possible local wood land sell off  here

I am hearing… The cats playing and Rhys watching the Christmas Dr. Who on Iplayer

Here is a picture I want to sharing and why… This is a photo I took at the allotments on Christmas day, it is of my neighbouring plot and I love the way crisp, deep snow covering everything looks and the shadow that the chair and garden fork are throwing

Sunny snow - 25th December 2010

Sunny snow - 25th December 2010