Wednesday, 4 February 2015

Monthly Link Up for January 2015.....

Joining in with Linda to start off the new year.  I missed December...way too much happening and I didn't get the time (sad face).... but it's a great way to share what has been going on and also good to look back on.

Nourish:  I've spent a bit of time in the kitchen trying to make nourishing but cost effective meals.  I have decided 2015 is the year to try and save money.....I made a lovely cheap and cheerful chicken pie which I posted here.  Used some unhappy bananas and made a de3licious banana and raspberry bread and made a healthy slice using up some dried apricots that had been hanging around in the pantry for ages. 

Prepare:  The zucchinis in the garden have been prolific once I made zucchini relish and loads of zucchini soup which is in the freezer....still having to give lots away though, I didn't have success cutting them up ,then blanching and freezing them last year...they were very soggy and flavourless...don't know if anyone else has any ideas on preserving them.

My zucchini relish with homemade labels and into the pantry...
 Reduce:  Still trying to reduce the amount of plastic we use....I don't want plastic bags at the supermarket even though the shop girls don't appear to want to put meat into anything but plastic and I have to ask them not to use the plastic recent trip to the butcher caused raised eyebrows when I asked them not to use a plastic bag as I had my own bag.  I have no problem with putting wrapped meat into non plastic bags.

I love my hessian shopping bags...I have several that I always use...they last for ages
Green: I have been busy turning the compost and hopefully will have some suitable for the garden beds soon....also the worm wee has been great.  I have also bought the ingredients to make the washing powder from  Here.  Will see how that goes.
Grow:  The garden has been growing well but not as good as last year...maybe it's the crazy weather we are having now....40c one day and the 18c the next...I don't think the poor vegies know what's going on.  The corn grew quite a few ears but they didn't quite develop inside to the about an inch on most of them has no idea why this happened.

The corn is edible but funny looking
Quite a few tomatoes on the plants...but not as many as last year...still enough though

Zucchinis are everywhere.....they grow so fast if you miss one within a couple of days they are like huge gourds

 The pumpkin vines went crazy but quite a few of the baby pumpkins didn't develop... just turned yellow and dropped off...I think they may not have been fertilised even though I did have a bit of a dab at them with the stamen from the female plant.
Pumpkins are also a bit tricky this year....there's quite a few there but a lot didn't fertilise
Create:  I've been pretty busy this month with my elderly parents unwell,  so creativity was a bit out the window...didn't quite finish the block of the month on the quilt I am working on...only two blocks of the month so far and I think I have had this for about 10 months...need to lift my game...

Still not finished this block......only managed the 2 blocks so far

This is an old photo of 1st's finished now....
I have also planted a couple of pots in the greenhouse with Basil...I am planning on using the terracotta pots with Basil plants in them as gifts..... hopefully they will continue to grow and I have created cost effective but lovingly cared for gifts.
Growing basil from seeds in the greenhouse....hopefully they will flourish
 Discover:  I discovered that not all 3 year olds are the same of my Gboy dressed in his Optimus Prime outfit and my nieces daughter Olivia dressed in his Bumblebee transformer outfit...only 7 months difference in their's really the long and the short of it I think.

Pictures really are priceless.... my Gboy is tall but Olivia is also petite.
I also discovered that... yes two of my baby chicks were roosters.....hardly babies anymore they are nearly 13 weeks old....unfortunately I will have to give them away as I don't want to keep roosters...

These two teenagers will be moving out very soon.
 Enhance:  The book for bookclub this month was A World of Other's actually a bit difficult to read as there is not much punctuation in the book and you need to reread it every now and then so that you can follow what's going on.....bookclub should be interesting as always. 

 Enjoy:  It's summer so there is so much to enjoy...we've been to a lovely wedding...a good friends 60th birthday dinner....moved my mother-in-law into her long awaited retirement village unit...and I spent a lovely couple of hours at the local lake with my daughter and Gboy... far more enjoyable to just watch them on the paddle boat... thankfully I wasn't out there paddling !!
My daughter and Gboy are out on one of those paddle boats


  1. Wonderful stuff Suzie...your quilt is going to be beautiful :) Jan x

    1. I hope I manage to get onto the quilt...have a few too many projects on the go I think :-)

  2. I love seeing the beautiful bounty of your summer garden. It's the middle of winter here, so our first delicious zucchini is many months away. :)

    Zucchini relish sounds yummy!

    1. The relish is very tasty. It's a friends recipe and you know its good when people ask for a jar.

  3. Oh, I'm eyeing that nice, big zucchini from your garden and dreaming of homemade zucchini bread with walnuts and pineapple. Yum. Your quilt is looks lovely - and it's a project you'll get to when you have time. Enjoy the process.

    1. I'd love the zucchini bread recipe if you can point me in the right direction. :-)

  4. Ah, watching gardening from the depths of winter is really fun! Love zucchini relish! I have had good luck shredding my zucchini and freezing it that way in the correct amount for 'bread' recipes. On the corn, if you are having odd weather you may want to try pollinating by hand, there are several youtube videos that show easy ways, you just have to be prepared for family members to make wise cracks as you play mother nature! I started doing this 2 years ago and haven't had an ear since that wasn't full! You have my sympathy with elderly parents unwell, it is so hard to deal with all of the feelings that go along with it, Hope all goes well and they are feeling better soon.

  5. Thanks for the tips Kathy, I might try freezing some shredded zucchini and see how it goes. :-)

  6. That quilt is gorgeous! You're very clever. Your garden looks wonderful too.

  7. I haven't managed to find a way of preserving courgette (as we call them) either :(. Have you ever made a chocolate cake with them? It's delicious, I am sure you will find a recipe on the web.

    Your quilt is amazing a work of art, no wonder it is taking you so long!

  8. Will look for a zucchini cake recipe....sounds like a great idea