'I think there are a lot of us who have become disconnected from our past. We've been so busy living in the modern world that a lot of the time we've barely noticed the passing of the old ways. Or perhaps we were glad to see them go - glad to lose the things that marked us as from the old country or as a hick or a country person. Those things, we were told, were of no value to the new people we were. And so what our grandmothers and grandfathers knew was lost. How frustrated they must have been to see generations arise who didn't value their thrift and work, and then, how frustrated we all were when we realised we did need to know these things, and the grandparents who could teach us were gone.'
Independence Days by Sharon Astyk pg 209
When I was reading through Independence Days looking for a quote, I found a recipe for Raspberry and White Chocolate Jam. Yes, chocolate in jam! Could there be a better idea?! Has anyone made any recipes for jam with chocolate?
The big question is, do I actually have anything to report?! And the answer is, yes (but not much!)
1. Plant something
I have planted some coriander seeds, that is all. I need to focus on cleaning up from potting area.
2. Harvest something
It is amazing that, even though I have done next to nothing in the garden, it keeps producing!
Potatoes, rhubarb, zucchini and eggs. Also parsley, mint and rosemary.
Sunflowers, apples and crabapples.
Not sure if the peaches will ever ripen - they have been green for ages. Still harvesting some lemons, but there are tons of green ones coming along.
And this is why I never seem to have any sweet corn grow to maturity! The boys eat it raw in the garden!
3. Preserve something
No real preserving this week, although I did make a big batch of roasted rhubarb for the freezer.
4. Minimise waste
This is my kitchen bench at the end of a school day. I don't use any packaging for my three boys' school lunches, so I think that would be a significant saving in plastic.
5. Want not
I collected three pallets from our local garden suppliers. I am hoping to make a potting bench using our old kitchen sink.
6. Cook something new
As a result of sorting through my recipes to make a recipe folder, I tried a few new recipes this week. The clear standout was this pear and custard tart - really simple and everyone loved it.
7. Manage your reserves
I did another freezer inventory last week, so have made notes of what to use with which recipes. These will be added into my weekly meal plans over the next few months.
Canning cupboard is very low, so I definitely need to start preserving.
8. Work on local food systems
I can't think of anything to report on this front. Although a friend at school was giving away free fruit from her car boot this afternoon, as her trees produced so much. I am hoping to get there too, some day!
Paddocks are looking extremely dry - let's hope the autumn rains come early this year.
Our area is facing a record dry season at the moment, so our town has organised an attempt to break the Guiness world record for number of people participating in a rain dance! It will be held sometime in March. You can read about it here.
I pass the above dam every day and can remember when it really was deep water. It is the roadside dam that the fire brigade use to draft water in an emergency, so not good that it has been completely dry for over a year.
Hopefully the rain dance will make a difference!! And I'll be able to smell that gorgeous rain smell very soon!