Pears ripen on the window sill not the tree!

Did you know this?

I didn’t, until I  saw it on “River cottage” and I feel it’s my duty to share this. I’ve complained myself about pears always being too hard in the shops and taking days to ripen in the fruit bowl, only to suddenly be too ripe. Well this is apparently what happens on the tree, only the pears ripen all course and stringy.

Whereas, I found the ones left on the window sill ripened steadily and were beautifully sweet and juicy. Little miss has been demanding pears lately and this is the best way to keep up with such a healthy demand.

I didn’t take a photo of the first batch I sun ripened, a lovely trio of small yellow pears. So here’s a picture of a couple of packham pears I just received from Aussie Farmer Direct.

Packham Pears on a sill

Packham Pears on a sill

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TOO MUCH RIVER COTTAGE..?!

Well I’m not sure if there is any such thing… but when you find yourself baking bread and ordering elderberry plants on the internet, one really has to ask the question! We already grow all our herbs and now tomatoes, next year we will try more food in our very small space. We also compost everything from coffee grinds to vegetable peelings and have cut our meat consumption in half.

The bread is going ok, my best bakes had the paper stuck to it, I think because it was the cheap stuff? and the loaf I thought was really going to work I forgot to slice the top so it didn’t rise properly, but it was nice none the less, kinda like sour dough… So I’ve bought the River cottage bread book and swapped baking paper for semolina and bought a silicon loaf baking thing. My next loaf is rising now, so fingers crossed.
and I’m really excited about the Elderberry!! Apparently I’ll need to keep it in a pot to stop it getting out of control, but that just means theres a good chance it’ll grow like a weed and I’ll be making Elderflower cordial and maybe even champagne next year!!
And of course I couldn’t resist buying another couple of plants, after all, it was the same postage for up to 3 plants…
Now, where am I going to put the chickens…?!
Re blogged from my old blog

We have moved…

For those who know me and are wondering about the move and for those who have only just met me and wondering why I’m suddenly re-posting…

I have made the move from Google+ to WordPress for my blog.

Enjoy!

Sustainable Living – My thoughts

So tucked away in a corner is my inner greenie, it has a degree (no jokes) and is often quite worried about how the rest of me is taking our world for granted. It wants the world our daughter lives in to have choice and variety and it wants all the animals to be able to go about their daily lives. It turns out hubby has an inner greenie too, especially when backed by a really good Science documentary.
This fits in really well with our desire to be out in our small garden whenever possible and we have always grown herbs. We are now growing a bit of fruit and even my Chia and Elderberry plants. We cannot grow our own meat so we need to buy it all and it is really hard to know where it comes from and how it was treated. So with this – and a few doco’s – in hand we have made a commitment to our world and hopefully our health.

So today I wanted to share with you a few of our tips and ideas for turning traditional meat dishes into more sustainable dishes… did I say vegetarian??

We have 2 ways of doing this, the first is to use half the meat quantity, the second to remove it completely from a couple of the dishes per week. Here are the four ways we do it.

Number 1.
Replacing mince with grated veges, beans and fungi. Now mince is one of those meats I have mixed feelings about. On one hand, you don’t really know whats in it, but on the other, using all the animal is much more sustainable then throwing the less pretty bits away. We grate carrots, zucchini/squashes, celery, and anything else we can find and fry them up with herbs. You can add stock powder at this point to if you need the vege’s to taste meaty.

Dahl with Kumera, broccoli and flatbread, all homemade

Number 2.
Halve the meat. Do you use the amount of meat you use because that’s how it packaged or because that’s how much you needed. Do you really need the whole packet of meat? Can you buy better quality and humanely treated meat from your local butcher and spend the same or less by buying half??
We use extra mushroom in Stroganoff, Grated zucchinia and carrot in bolognese, and just serve up less of the roast and more roast vege’s leaving leftovers.

Number 3.
This brings me quite nicely to using leftovers. We have had the habit of throwing out a lot of food. We’ve stopped this by having many more “Left overs” nights. Either re-doing last nights roast or freezing and pulling out on those nights where we really just don’t feel like cooking.

Number 4.
leave it out!
Do you actually need the meat in that dish?? Do pizzas, risotto, stirfries, pasta dishes or sandwiches really need meat?? I know, they can make them yummier, but quite often I feel these dishes only have meat in them “because we can”. Try it.

Caprese pizza

No I’m not vegetarian, quite frankly I’m too lazy to be willing to label myself as either Vegetarian or Paleo, but both ways have obvious (to me) benefits not just to the eater but the environment. And vegetarianism has added bonus benefits to the wallet. Try it, half your meat consumption for a fortnight and compare your supermarket bill.

Re-posting from my old blog http://vickitucklee.blogspot.com.au/2015/02/sustainable-living-my-thoughts.html