Sunday, March 11, 2012

Reaping What We're Sowing

Last night I attended a lovely Autumn Circle with some beautiful women.  We talked about what autumn means and how it is traditionally the time of most abundance and the period of harvesting, pickling, bottling and feasting.  Nom nom.

Yes, that is a love heart in the watermelon.  I was thrilled to see it when I cut out a big chunk for the children because watermelon does bring out the warm fuzzies in most of us, doesn't it?

We've been doing our part over here in our corner of the world.  In an effort to bring down the extravagant costs of our eating choices, we've been making a lot of our own goods that previously have been purchased with packaging, car trips and no more passion than a flourescent light can elicit (god how I loathe shopping centres and those lights!).

The bread making has been Jimbo's little corner of the kitchen.  I bought him this book for Christmas and he has taken to it with gusto in the last couple of weeks.  That loaf just above is a wholemeal loaf and was so freaking delicious - even with half the honey called for in the recipe it was still sweet.  I had to snap that photo quick smart because the whole loaf was gone within a few hours of it being cut.  I think Ted may have licked the container clean if given the opportunity.

During the big rain of last week Ted and I invited Zoe and Arki up to share the indoors experience.  Knowing there was a big bowl of dough int eh fridge but having no idea on what to do with it, I followed the instructions in the book very loosely and ended up baking a delicious loaf of bread.  Apparently the longer you leave it and the more you mix in the remnants with the new dough, the closer you move towards sourdough.   This loaf did taste like it was moving towards the sourdough end of the spectrum and what a shame, Zoe left before it was ready and our little household had to battle through eating it on our own.

  Now I realise this photo may not elicit the same sigh of love and satisfaction that it does for me, but ohmygoodnessyumyumyum. Harriet made these pickled onions about a month ago now.  We ate the other jar right smack bang on the day they were 'ripe' to eat, but these have been a couple of weeks longer.  The extra pickling time has treated them well and they are seriously delicious.  Pickled onion lovers may not be the most loved members of our society but we are a group that live in flagrant disregard for the opinions of others...obviously.

I've been dabbling in the making/growing of water kefir.  Invited into this little world by my lovely friend Lou, we took the precious little globs of culture and fermented our first drink to perfection.  It was downed with gusto by Harriet and myself, whilst the other two chose not to engage in the fermenting revolution that's sweeping...well...not quite the world but definitely our group of friends.  I made a second stage flavouring with dried mango chunks which tasted yum-yummy-yum-yum.

And in the world of reaping what you sow, let's all take the time to consider the perilous world of the self-created fairy.  It's a hazardous journey, filled with potential pitfalls of flowing trains getting caught underfoot, accoutrement taking up precious hand availability and having to respond to the constant refrain of "wow, what amazing shoes". 

Yes, they are small heels.  I bought them at an op shop and every child who can fit into them has been besotted with them.  No, I don't want to know who is making these child-sized shoes because the answer will scare me and quite frankly, the world scares me enough as it is.

Hope you're enjoying your autumn harvest.


Mr Shell said...

Well it seems we are both experiencing success with Lou's kefir grains!!! I'm now fermenting the dried fruit in with the grains from the start - instead of making it in two stages - the fruit flavour is so much richer (I've set aside one jar of plain kefir grains just in case it all goes belly up). Our grains are considered VERY precious as I don't expect Lou on the plane anytime soon bringing me more. I'll cry if anything goes wrong with them!!!!
How hard are pickled onions to make??? I love pickled onions but have stopped buying supermarket versions cause they are so full of nasty additives!
Making stuff from scratch is so empowering don't you think?....and I don't even like cooking.

Zoe said...

Oh...and it smelt so delicious too! Sad face to children getting tired and cranky making for hasty retreats!

(smelled/smelt? - that one tricked me for a bit!!)

By the way...not only did she chat, play, make tea and bake bread whilst we were there...there were muffins too, with yummy chewy currants on top that Arki LOVED! This girl is on fire :)

Jimbo said...

Making pickled onions is very, very easy: I used this recipe

Mr Shell said...

Thanks....I'll give it a go this weekend!

jay said...

there are very few things that warm my heart more than d.i.y, especially with regards to food. what fun you have been having, will definitely have to try those onions. in our home it has been passata, granola and wakame gomasio.beautiful photos, as usual. and that one of ted, hilariously beautiful and so preciously earnest in his attire, sweet thing.