I really need to start keeping track of the recipes I use a bit more closely; there’s quite a few and for some reason I haven’t been able to find my favourite soup recipe lately. Here’s my favourite pizza base recipe for the Thermomix from http://www.forumthermomix.com/index.php?topic=3491.0
Thermomix Thin & Crispy Pizza Bases
(Makes 2, recipe doubled from source)
In the TMX bowl, add 340g water. 37deg for 2 minutes on speed 1.
Add 2 tsp salt, 2 tsp sugar and 20g yeast. Mix on speed 1 for 1 minute.
Add 520g plain flour. Mix speed 5 for 20 sec. When it’s mixed and the right consistency, for 2 minutes then turn out into a large oiled mixing bowl. Cover with plastic wrap or a clean tea towel and leave in a warm spot for at least half an hour.
Maybe it’s the warmer weather, but my little mealworm farm has just kicked up a notch. Some have moved on to the next step in their life cycle, so I’ve separated them while awaiting the next stage in which they lay their eggs. The chickens will be mighty pleased with me in a few months!
Lately, I’ve been a busy bee. Or so it feels, with such short days. Fortunately, the days are becoming ever so slightly longer and last Saturday I could swear I smelt the subtle warmth of Spring in the air.
Since my side fence has been replaced, I have access to my back yard on both sides of the house and an abundance of corrugated iron sheeting that would otherwise have found its way to a recycling yard. “We should sell this on Gumtree”, suggested J, “someone will want it”. That someone is me! Was my response, resulting in an in-depth explanation of the possibilities that arise when one has too much of something like this. He’s resigned to the fact that the giant garden bed he assisted me in building after work recently will be joined by more (as many as I can fit in the yard!) and I’ll also be using some to build raised beds along the new side fence, which will be home to some of the fruit trees that I’ve been collecting lately.
Today, however, it was pretty miserable outside still. I used the day to arrange a little mealworm farm so my chickens can have treats more often, as well as turning an old wheelbarrow tray into a small pond for azolla, which can be used to feed fish and chickens. We’ll see how those two projects pan out over the next few months, since they’re both effectively set up and fairly low maintenance from now.
I took home a giant stack of newspapers on Friday night after work drinks (work drinks at my work happens once a month and it’s in a kitchen in our building so it’s technically still “at work”). On the way out, people asked if we were moving. “No”, I responded, “just gardening, helps to stop the weeds you know!”.
Cue looks of confusion on the sweet faces of the mid-twenties inner suburb dwellers.
We receive boxes of fruit every couple of days, paid for by the company, to ensure they’re providing us with a healthy snack option. Before they arrive, I’ve taken to picking up any softening items from the previous delivery that no one will eat to ensure the delivery people don’t throw it all in the bin and surreptitiously sneaking it back to my desk. I’ll take a container in tomorrow to bring it home and feed it to my chickens. Whatever they don’t eat will go in my compost bin, along with the leftovers of whatever fruits I have at work (and my used teabags).
I noticed yesterday that the dispatch guys have a stack of flattened boxes under a table in their area and I’m planning to ask if I can have some as they’ll come in handy when I build my new raised beds.
The increased level of attention I’m paying to my surroundings is leading me to make these decisions as I simply can’t justify just turfing more and more and more STUFF into the bin, at home or at work. The above are all things I’ve been doing for years at home (and goodness knows I’m still trying to get J in the hang of it) but over the last few months I’ve been realising precisely how wasteful people can be. It wasn’t a concious decision, rather I’ve noticed that my behaviours have changed gradually over time. I think I’m alright with it though, there are far worse things to be known for.
Imagine a tallish woman of nearly thirty flailing wildly for a moment, if you will.
That’s me, by the way. Right now, for the last week and probably at least for the next week I feel like the bottom has dropped out of my working life. My boss of three years is leaving my company and it’s making me sad and more than a little scared. I can’t confide in J about it as he also works for the company and I’m terrible at pretending things aren’t happening so he just thinks my job is being more stressful than normal. Due to my boss leaving, my co-worker asked me to bake something (that’s a thing that happens a fair bit, since I bake madly sometimes and then feed people), so the Donna Hay Ultimate One Bowl Chocolate Cake from http://simonesthermomixessentials.wordpress.com/2011/06/26/donna-hays-ultimate-one-bowl-chocolate-cake-thermomix-style/ is in the oven. Linking didn’t want to work just now…weird.
Sarah and I went for a drive yesterday to pick up her parent’s cage trailer and as her parents live near a racecourse we happened to spy some bagged horse manure, though we were only able to grab one bag as we didn’t realise quite how heavy it would be and both of us were required to hoist it into the boot. On the way back we stopped by a local recycler that normally stocks half wine barrels but NO LUCK. They had one very, very old one that I got at a steep discount and which is going to be a sacrificial pot that I’ll use to determine if termites are attacking. Undeterred, I checked Gumtree and was lucky to find that a man close to where we were had listed some half wine barrels just that morning! We stopped by the local rainwater tank/raised bed retailer and picked up another for my front yard then collected another four wine barrels.
J had moved another 20 wheelbarrow loads of mulch into the back yard and Sarah, J and I loaded up some recyclable bags with mulch for Sarah to take home in the trailer after we removed all of the stuff we bought. I still have an awful lot of mulch out the front, even though J has been very good about moving it (normally taking 5 loads out each night after work).
Anyway, enough rambling, I’m going to cuddle post-surgery Chester (whose wound is healing quite well) and sulk about my boss’s last day tomorrow.
Today I’m at home still (annual leave is a beautiful thing and I don’t go back to work until next Monday) so I’ve been doing all kinds of basic things to pass the time; cooking, gardening and frankly having a bit of a sad.
Tomorrow, I have to take my lovely cat Chester to the vet for surgery, as he has a lump of unknown origin on his side. It started off as a little liquidy feeling bubble an age ago and last Thursday when I was sick on the couch being comforted by his fuzzy warmth, I noticed it had changed very abrubtly. The vet attempted to draw liquid from it when we took him in to get it checked out, but it only clogged every needle she tried. Because he’s 10, we got the preliminary blood tests done and while all of his function results are clear and he’s in good (albeit a bit weighty) health, it worries me. It’s made me consider the possibility of a life without my furry friend, who has been with me through some tough times and never turns down a good cuddle. He’s my couch buddy and in fact, he’s laying across my lap right now. He’s never going to be a normal cat – he can’t even catch a mouse! Crumb caught a mouse today and carried it around for a while before letting it go, Charlie caught sight of it and the mouse was never seen again. Chester watched the others like he always does, making sure they didn’t get in trouble or fight.
Also, I’m starting to think that not having some of the mulch from the tree taken a way was not my finest decision. I’ve moved five wheelbarrow loads into the back yard and someone came and got ten garbage bags full and it hardly looks as though there’s a dent in the pile (which at it’s tallest is 5″8, the same height as I am). Lots of work to go there! At least the backyard is getting some sun now, though I’m sure I’ll regret my decision in the heat of summer.
Here we go – I put the ingredients for the slow cooker refried beans in the cooker this morning and VOILA! Delicious food is mine! I know it’s not pretty, but I have a belief that ugly food tries harder … Continue reading →