“Two wings lift a person up from earthy concerns: simplicity and purity. Simplicity should be in intention, purity in feelings. Simplicity reaches out after God, purity catches hold and tastes. ~ Thomas A’Kempis

Friday, 26 October 2012

Hierloom Tomatoes

 

I woke this morning, still not feeling fully restored, but we as believers are not to rest on feelings, so I am plowing on regardless :)
I was reading Smith Wigglesworth, and this is what he had to say: 'We may be very ordinary, but God wants to make us extraordinary in the Holy Ghost'..and as I was meditating on that, an old hymn came to me..'there is power, power, wonder working power in the blood, of the lamb..there is power, power, wonder working power in the precious blood of the lamb.
It all reminded me, that this life we walk, is all based on faith..faith in the unseen. Some people, myself included have experienced the supernatural, but many have not, and still their faith is as sure and solid as a rock.
Then Jesus told him, "Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed."
 
 
~~~ oooOooo ~~~



Today I have Hierloom Tomato seedlings, that need to be potted up. Maybe I should have sowed the seeds a lot earlier, so the plants would be bigger by now, as the growing season is shorter here in Central Hawkes Bay. I found this image of the tomato seedlings on line..and whata neat idea..planted in upturned bottles, resting in the bottom of the containers !!! perfect, reuse, recycle!!. I must try this for next year.

The only thing with gardening, is that there is always something to be done, it talkes a lot of stamina, and no resting on your laurels. A seedling neglected for even two days will suffer. Last weekend my husband helped build a new raised bed, where the tomatoes will go this year. Its by the shed and is more sheltered. I may also put a plastic sort of shield on the sides of the bed, just to keep the cool wind off them for now...
okay thats all for now, have a blessed day people :)
 

Thursday, 25 October 2012

Unwell

 
 
Hi,
I have a virus and am in bed today..tummy bug etc...its a bit of a blow, as I had a days work lined up as a reliever at the local daycare and need the money. Never the less I am using my time to catch up on reading (Bible, and my Smith Wigglesworth Devotional book) :)
My daughter Katie has also been unwell (she's grown, and has a toddler.) They've lived with us here for almost a year now, but will move out when she marries her fiance John, at the end of February. I will miss them both, but it begins a beautifull, exciting chapter in their lives, so I am excited for her.
I prayed for God to heal both Katie and I & to restore our strength and vitality. God is always faithfull and true. Just the other morning, I was fretting about something, so I turned to 2 Peter, and just reading verses comforted me. There is truly wonder working power in the word of God, I couldn't count the thousands of times it has soothed and healed me, which is impossible to explain to non-believers.
So here I sit tucked up here in bed, (very thankfull for my laptop), surfing the net and I found a good site, with usefull tips on how to can food. I already know how to do this, but many people don't...so i thought I'd include the link. Also utube has masses of usefull videos on varying methods of canning/growing practically everything. I find this sort of visual learning really helpfull.
 

http://www.simpleorganizedliving.com/2010/09/27/peaches-pears-and-apricots/



Something else on my wish list is a Pressure Cooker. They cost around $700 new here in New Zealand !!! yikes, but no doubt one would last a lifetime, if looked after. I find a lot of recipes for beans preserved by this method on utube (which is regarded as the only safe method for beans, meat etc.)..so I really want one. I have frozen beans in the past, with varying degrees of success, and also have a dehydrator, which I still havn't used, but plan to this year.

Thats all for now. God Bless

Thrift is not an affair of the pocket, but an affair of character.' ~S.W. Straus

Frugal Living


'One of the very nicest things about life is the way we must regularly stop whatever it is we are doing and devote our attention to eating'. ~Luciano Pavarotti and William Wright, Pavarotti, My Own Story

Today was grocery shopping day. My grocery budget has practically halved - this brings out the practical creatice side in me. It takes time to plan out menu's, and to draw up a thorough costed out shopping list. Then at the supermarket, I check the weights against the prices and compare brands to get a good deal. Green-grocers don't always have the best deals on vegetables, as supermarkets can buy in bulk & have very good deals. I don't live close to an organic supplier, but the bulk of our veges in summer are from our own organic vegetable garden anyway.

On countless days I have thanked, no praised the Lord for his provision and my passion/ability for cooking. I come from a line of good home cooks, so enjoyed many happy memories of my mother and nana baking and making jam etc. My nana also made all her own clothes and knitted her jerseys, stitched together rag rugs, boiled up her washing in a copper, and continued to mow her own lawn, right up until her 80's..what a trooper ! She was a fiery little sweety :)
Over the many years while the children were at home, I manged to serve up budget meals that were still delicous and nutricious...and learnt a variety of techniques out of necessity. If I couldn't make it, we didn't get to eat it.
 
 
Many young woman today have no desire to take cooking at school, and sadly a lot of  basic homemaking skills are being lost. I make practiacally everything from scratch - bread, pastry, biscuits, muffins, cakes etc, all our meals, plus grow a garden, berries and have planted a small orchard. This is all done in Suburbia..in our little country town, so a farm, is not always necessary. We don't eat meat at every meal, and sometimes just a few days in the week, instead stretching things out with beans, eggs, fish meals etc.
 I've been reading thru various blogs lately related to people 'prepping' for lean times and alternative lifestyle 'homesteader' sites. One of my favourite ones, for those who are truly finding themselves 'pinching pennies' is the Prudent Homemakers blog.
Here's the link to this lady's wonderful, encouraging and practical blog:

http://theprudenthomemaker.com/

So anyway, back to grocery shopping, this week I decided to check out 'dried milk', as many blogs suggest its cheaper, and I discovered it is. One regular 3 litre (3000 ml) container of milk - the cheapest brand in New Zealand costs around $5.00. The cheapest brand of Powdered milk (Homebrand from Countdown), 1kg worth, will yield 10 litres of milk and costs $9.00. It mixes easily with cold water and of course you just make up what you require. I would make it up 1 litre at a time and store in a glass bottle (re-used Ocean Spray glass juice container). I also read online somewhere, if you whizz it up in a blender, that removes any lumps and makes it creamier.

You can also make yoghurt from powdered milk


Basic Yogurt
3 cups cold water
1 cup hot water
1 c powdered milk
1/2 c plain yogurt (use from your last batch)
Stir the water and powdered milk until dissolved. Add the 1/2 cup of yoghurt. At this stage I pop it into my esi-yo yoghurt maker, which is really just a large plastic, insulated thermos. Instructions come with the kit, but I love it, as it uses no power, just the heat of hot water you fill it with. I wrap the container in a towel and leave overnight on the bench.
The next morning, you will have yoghurt. You can flaour it up with vanilla, if desired and or maple syrup. I just use it plain in a variety of ways.
 
This links below have recipes to make from your powdered milk made yoghurt, like cream cheese.
 
 

http://www.joyofbaking.com/IngredientSubstitution.html - A usefull site with allsorts of ways to substitue in baking/cooking.
Next week I am headed into the city to do a fortnighly shop, at a larger supermarket. They have better deals, and I want to stock up on some more canned goods, and ingredients for making homemade natural cleaning products. Yes saving money, and being frugal has consumed my life.
Bye for now.
 
 

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Green Beans

 
Hi to anyone out there who may stumble upon this blog. After a long time I've decided to post again regularly, even if its just a few lines as a sort of an online diary of home/garden activity. So if you do stop by, please feel free to leave a comment.

~ The Garden ~
 

 
Day 1
Today I built a Bean frame similar to this one in the picture. It was super easy, made with some of the bamboo, which grows freely down the back of the garden.
I started the bulk of the summer gardn plants from seeds this year (to save money) and so far every thing has sprouted. I also saved a few seeds from last years harvest (Pumpkin, Kale - Cavalo Nero & Coriander).


 
The first thing I do in Spring and Summer,when I wake in the morning, is to look out the window at the vegetable garden. Every day I stroll around it, to see whats happening, if anything has sprouted or grown much overnight. Every day is different, little subtle changes, and none more so than after a heavy rain.
This year my husband has a new job, less stressfull, but also less money. So to counteract that, I've planned a large summers vegetable garden and hopefully we'll reap a bountiful harvest to preserve, freeze, bottle and pickle.
 
Another venture I'm hoping to start soon, is making handmade soap. The initial set up costs a little bit, but the quality and fragrance of natural soaps is so beautifull, that its worth it, plus they make lovely gifts.
I'm using the recipe from 'Down to Earth' Blog http://down---to---earth.blogspot.co.nz/2007/07/how-to-make-cold-pressed-soap.html


Thats all for today :)
 

"I used to visit and revisit it a dozen times a day, and stand in deep contemplation over my vegetable progeny with a love that nobody could share or conceive of who had never taken part in the process of creation. It was one of the most bewitching sights in the world to observe a hill of beans thrusting aside the soil, or a rose of early peas just peeping forth sufficiently to trace a line of delicate green."
~Nathaniel Hawthorne, Mosses from and Old Manse