Friday, January 24, 2014

Just bought a soda stream: couldn't bear throwing bottles out anymore

Today I made a move to reduce our ecological footprint a whole lot further.

We love mineral water. We love to drink it cold and plain. The bubbles add to the whole experience that flat tap water doesn't match. I don't drink soft drink. Howard will have a little cola now and again but that's all. But oh wow mineral water, we drink bottles of it.
A couple of months ago I started making ginger beer. I found a great old homespun recipe - I have been meaning to share that whole experience - I will do that I promise.  PET soft drink bottles are perfect. No more exploding glass!  We started keeping our mineral water bottles to re-use. I recommend to everyone that they pile up plastic bottles for a couple of weeks instead of flinging them straight into the recycling bin and closing the lid. The growing pile has been tugging at my heart, the guilt building with the pile. Ok, yes I always recycle them. Yes I re-used some for ginger beer then recycled them. Sometimes I use them in my vegie garden.  Our recycling bin is full of steel tins, glass wine bottles, milk in either cardboard or sometimes plastic and hundreds of plastic mineral water bottles per year.  I can no longer live with the mineral water bottles.

So we bought a soda stream. Financially I think it won't be cheaper. If we only drank Perrier yes it would, we love Perrier by the way, but the homebrand tastes pretty good and is super cheap. We bought a kit with machine, CO2 canister and one litre bottle.  We added a bottle of flavour for Howard and two half litre bottles for Howard to take to work and we are set.
The result: great tasting sparkling water, no salt to worry about and no more throw away bottles.
Cheers to a reduced footprint and guilt free mineral water consumption. 

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Divine cabbage rolls for dinner tongiht

Ok now I have won the cabbage roll war!
Despite my neighbour kindly giving me two of her home grown savoy cabbages I haven't been sold on them. And then I grew one of my own, by accident: I planted a punnet of broccoli and one of cauliflower but big surprise there was a cabbage amongst them. I believe it is a sugar loaf cabbage. Well I couldn't let it go to waste so had to come up with something good!

First I cooked a pumpkin and mushroom risotto. I washed the cabbage and cut the core out. I upended it in a pot of boiling water until soft. One mistake I made the first time I tried cabbage rolls was just using one leaf per roll. I suggest you use two leaves, lay them down top to tail to maximise the area. Spoon risotto into one end of the leaves and roll up. Place open end down into an oiled baking dish.

Top with tasty tomato sauce and grated parmesan.  Bake until bubbling and golden.

Eat and enjoy.  It tasted really good. I think the secret is to use a really tasty filling that you would normally enjoy and a topping with zing!

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Homemade gnocchi for dinner tonight

I made gnocchi from scratch tonight for dinner. It wasn't as hard or scary as I had always thought. The dinner was all homemade and grown.

Bought ingredients:

Homegrown ingredients:
potatoes - Desiree for the gnocchi and a mix of new potatoes just because I dug them up
mint and sage

We liked it!

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

2013: a review of homespunblissblog

As the New Year arrives I have been thinking about what I achieved in 2013 and what I wish for 2014. I have chosen a few highlights of the last year to share with you. Just click on the photos to link through to the original posts. Thanks for following this year. In 2014 I am going to focus more tightly on my goals for this blog which are simple enough: if I can make wins on the sustainability front, so you can you. I hope to remove some mystique and inspire.

I read a great quote today:
New Year "is the first blank page of a 365 page book. Write a good one." 
Happy New Year.
 I'm still enjoying my new potting shed and bench.

 The Robertson open gardens featured many inspiring vegetable gardens and sheds.

 Companion gardening mixes flowers, herbs and vegetables into a colourful and productive garden.

  Soap making is one of my great passions. This year I shared my knowledge with a group on a Saturday morning.

 I love cooking great hearty vegetarian food. This canneloni recipe has been popular.

 New to raising chickens, I sadly lost one of my small flock this year. The trials and tribulations of raising chickens has been a strong theme.

 My garden and other interests suffered last Summer as I studied, but hey I graduated and my garden has recovered. I learnt a lot about my priorities and loves!


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