Thursday, September 10, 2009

Kim Chee - a first experiment in fermenting.

Femented foods are very healthy for us, and were the original way of preserving food, as well as brine/salt preserving and drying.
Examples of some fermented foods are wine, vinegar, kombucha, tofu, miso, saurkraut, pickles.
Kim chee is the asian version of saurkraut and is really easy to make. I've had a recipe for ages and this week made my first batch. I got this recipe from Kendra Jane, who blogs at A sonoma Garden
She has the most beautiful photos and lots of posts with recipes and ideas.
1 head Napa cabbage, cored and shredded
1 bunch of green onions, chopped
1 cup carrots, grated
1/2 cup daidon radish, grated
1 tablespoon fresh grated ginger
3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1/2 teaspoon dried chili flakes
1 tablespoon sea salt
4 tablespoons whey* (or use additional 1 T salt instead)

Place vegetables, ginger, red chili flakes, salt and whey in a bowl and pound it with a wooden pounder or a meat hammer to release juices. (See picture of my kimchee mid mashing)

Place them in two quart sized glass jars and press down firmly until all the juices come up to the top and cover the vegetables. The top of the vegetables should be at least an inch from the top of the jar. Cover tightly and keep at room temperature for about 3 days at which time you can put it in the fridge or cold storage.

I only made a half quantity, and was very relaxed with the amounts of different vegetables. I don't think it will really matter. It's sitting on my kitchen bench fermenting away, and tomorrow it will be ready to taste and then refrigerate!

Kendra jane explains that you can get whey by draining a quart of yogurt (make sure it contains the good bacteria-we use Pavels) through a clean dishtowel for a few hours. If you do this overnight you’ll end up with more than 4 tablespoons, but it will keep in the fridge for up to 6 months. And you’ll also end up with yogurt cheese as a by product, which is delicious and makes a great alternative to cream cheese

I have also in the past gotten whey from making ricotta cheese which I have posted about here.

I also use the whey in my breadmaking, it adds extra protein which is good for the bread dough and for you!

I'll let you know how it tastes tomorrow! Ps, the onions, garlic and daikon radish were all from my garden!

I 'm famous - sort of

Think you've seen this photo before?
Well, maybe you have, but most recently it's featured on Angela's blog My year without spending. Angela is from that great continent of North America and blogs about her life, and is part of the compact, a committment to live a non-consumer lifestyle. As part of that she has a regular segment called "thrifty threads" and the other week she featured me!!!
Here is an excerpt of what she wrote.
Today's model is Hannah, who blogs at Caminho da Vida.
She's a regular reader and commenter on this blog, and some of you might
recognize her as the commenter "han_ysic." Hannah is from Nowra, a small town
about 2 hours outside Sydney, and the tagline on her blog is "An Aussie girl on the journey of living generously, living simply and living out my faith." She
posts about the things she's grateful for, her outdoor
adventures, and some
really good photographs, among other things. It's
winter in Australia right now, and some of
the snow images
in this recent post about being grateful for snow are
Thanks to Angela for featuring me and for sharing about your journey of living simply!
It was great getting to know you a bit more as you prepared this post.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Spring is in the air

Although the tulips are out and the apricots have blossomed and the mulberries are ripening on the tree,
There is another sign that spring is in the air....

The legs have been waxed!!!!
Photo taken halfway through, that hairy leg does not unfortunately belong to a gorgeous man sitting next to me.

Any thoughts on spring?

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Grateful for stopping and going.

This is Kieran, my friend's baby on his one month birthday.

Isn't the smell of a newborn baby something special?

Grateful for moments to breathe...


just be...

These were taken at Gymea baths in Sth Sydney on my way north, just before having dinner with a family friend. I think one of the best pizzas of my life - Crust on Gymea Bay Rd. Thanks for the pizza Sam.

Dropping into a friends and walking around the garden,

Being given some Rhubarb,

Sharing a cup of tea,

Helping fix a saxaphone... who would have thought.

A last minute call to go with my brother and friends out to Wandandian,
Watching them hurl themselves down a hill on mountain bikes,

Big kisses from his dogs,

Lots of laughs,

Hanging out with Kate, his amazing girlfriend,

The beauty of the bush, the way light streams through the trees.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Grateful for travelling and for coming home

I was away for a couple of days with work recently, travelled to Newcastle for some training. We were blessed with an amazing view from the room where the training was held, right on the main Newcastle beach. I may have gotten distracted at times....

Grateful for the chance to catch up with Carli, a very old friend who is studying in Newcastle. She put me up at her place and we got to know each other all over again as we saw the sights, had great coffee by the beach, cooked dinner, went out on the town....

But always grateful to be home,
exploring new walks and undiscovered beaches,
spending time with friends...

Throwing birthday parties, BBQ's and enjoying eating outdoors as the weather begins to get milder.

And being inspired by the Watoto children's choir

These children are all orphans, some in the most horrific circumstances, but they have been found by Watoto, a group that house orphans with widows, who would otherwise have to turn to begging or worse and create families, villages and communities. I was overwhelmed by the joy of these children, the healing they show and their passion for life and for God. This picture shows just a tiny bit of their energy as they danced and sang (and tried to get us to join them)

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

grateful for the garden

Thankful for chickens digging me up some sweet potatoes! I didn't even guess they would be ready. They were orange, decent sized and delicious.

Thankful for getting an egg from every chicken today - four brown and one blue/green (from speckles the bantam)

Thankful for willing teenage hands who were happy to mow the lawn in return for a free feed.

Thankful for the opportunity to invite said hands to church, and even more so that they came!

Thankful for the rain that fell last night (of course watering the garden will always bring that one on :)

Thankful for the bees and wasps, working hard to pollinate my flowers. Looking forward to apricots!

I could go on for so long, the garden is growing, the birds are laying, the fruit is ripening. I just need more time to get it all done. Last sunday I doubled the size of the no dig garden to surround the small walnut tree, need to do another layer on top before it's ready and then looking at planting a lot of my spring veges like beans and corn there. Can't wait to watch it all grow and then to eat it all.

Don't you love this image - Listening to Nature. It's by Rob Ryan who does the most amazing work with papercuts. Drop by and have a look.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Grateful for snow

I am grateful for legs that can take me places I cannot go in a car or a bus.
Places where only footsteps go.

I am grateful for moments of quiet beauty,
where my breath is almost taken away by God's amazing creation,
where I am reminded of how great He is,
and that He loves me.

I am grateful that I have the resources to go and enjoy this.
That I have a great job that is flexible.
That the sun shone...

I am grateful for moments to have fun, and play and laugh
I am grateful for family and friends to share my life with.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

long time - still here

I am still alive. There's lots going on, but I was reminded that some people do read this, so I will try and keep checking in, at least once a week!

What's going on?

Fostering a (nearly) 17 year old girl.

Camp reunion in Bathurst

Church - running bible study and kid's program at night


Moving furniture, and finally getting study/studio area under control

Permaculture group
New Chickens

I'm sure there's more....

Looking forward to this weekend. Tonight I am driving to Canberra to catch up with a friend, then Saturday is gma's 80th birthday, sunday taking J to the snow for her birthday and then coming back.
I think I'm going to start posting my thankfuls. Reminded by a good friend last night that this helps us get our eyes off the problems we are facing and build our hope and faith.
God Bless

Monday, May 18, 2009

A day at the beach

This past Saturday (prior to the trip to the mountain in my last post) Vani my housemate, SJ my back fence neighbour's housemate and I went out to Huskisson, on the shores of Jervis Bay. Yet again I am reminded that I live in one of the most beautiful corners of the world.
Vani and I at Husky
(all the photos today were taken on my phone - I was surprised at the quality)

Me, Vani and SJ

Looking south towards Vincentia across the rock pools

Looking out into the bay - point perpendicular a faint outline in the background as the sun begins to set behind us.
Toby's Estate coffee from supply, some fish and chips by the water, and a walk along the beach - what more could you ask for of a weekend.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Why I love where I live

Words can't compete with showing you. The shoalhaven from cambewarra mountain.
It's just amazing.
I have had a flatmate for the past few weeks which I'm really enjoying. Sheis in the area on placement and needed a place to stay. Her mum knew someone who knew someone who knew me. Turns out we have a few mutual friends from her uni course, one girl who went to my youth group in Berry - small world.

This weekend we took her to See where she's working. She was suitably impressed and possibly even more so by the devonshire tea by the fire inside at the tea rooms.

Us with my mum who came along too

And with some muffins she baked and I iced for family dinner the other week.
I always wanted to share my house with others, whether through meals, accomodating travelling friends, foster care, or flatmates. I enjoy sharing my house for the social benefit - sharing meals, company over a cup of tea etc as well as the obvious environmental benefit - a house with two people uses a lot less energy than two houses with one person in each.
It does take the right person to share a house, and so I'm glad we are getting on so well, and think I'll even miss the company when she's gone.

Monday, May 4, 2009


Arts in the Valley was on this weekend.
Arrived just in time to see these guys marching and playing.
They're from a sydney school that has a property in Kangaroo Valley and all the boys spend 6 mths of year 9 there with a mix of regular classes and outdoor ed - hiking, kayaking, ropes and mountain biking. Wish I could have gone to a school like that for girls.
There were artworks and performances in lots of venues around the valley but the pick was definately the sculpture exhibition at Wombat Hill. I think the garden outshone the scultures. And my neighbour Dora had a beautiful piece on display there too.

Loved the Autumn colours

And the afternoon colours

As we watched the sun go down over the river.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Anzac Day

They shall not grow old, as we that are left grow old.... we will remember them.
This year I decided to go to the dawn service at Greenwell Point. Karl decided he would join me and in the end there was quite a group of us. It was really special to attend, I had been to the midday events as a girl guide but never the early service.
The boss of the local parachute training school gave an address and I was really impressed with his talk looking at what Anzac day is and is not. The think I liked the most is that Anzac day is not a day when we celebrate our might and strength as a country, where we praise our victories. Anzac day remembers one of our countries greatest defeats, at the shores of Gallipoli on 25th April 1915. This is made more special for me as my great-grandfather was an ANZAC. He was in the ambulance corp and I have a copy of his diary where he makes his first entry on Anzac day, telling of how they ran onto shore dodging bullets and many lives were lost.
Anzac day is a day to remember those who gave it all. Their lives. So that we might live the life we do today.

Sunrise at Greenwell Point following the dawn service.
After the service we went back and had breakfast at my sister's place and afterwards Karl and I spent the day together. He took me to this place where he used to work.

And we drove around Kangaroo Valley and through to Berry visiting some old friends of mine for afternoon tea.

Later we had Michael and Erika, my old flatmates for dinner, and Erika brought Anzac slice. Very fitting.

And it must be said that Michael and I triumphed at the post dinner card game. Who would have thought you could win 500 by calling 6 spades ten times in a row:)

Thursday, April 16, 2009

How great is our God

View of the hills from the Hume Hwy between Gouldburn and Canberra early April.
I was driving to Canberra for a training course, left Nowra at 5:30am so this was soon after the sun came up. I love the gentle pastel colours, in fact I think I want to paint this photo. Maybe that can be my next art project.
It was lovely to catch up with Jill and with the Green family whilst there, although I didn't see family, those guys are family to me too.
And God was faithful when I needed to get from the training home to Jill's place and didn't know the way I was walking out to my car and walked past Jill's flatmate shutting up the shop she works in. I didn't have a clue where she works, so I was able to follow her home.

Steamer's Beach 4/4/09
This beach is in the Booderee National Park, at Jervis Bay, although this is south of the Bay on the ocean side. I went with a friend from church who is now my boyfriend. It's so strange to write that. I know my family who read this will want photos, and I'll see if I can oblige soon. I'm sure you'll all get to meet him in the near future. I can say that I didn't see this coming, but I'm very grateful that God has brought us together. I only pray that we will walk this journey together with wisdom, purity and grow in relationship with God as we grow in friendship with each other.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Easter Hike

Hello there,

Happy Easter!
I spent the holiday on a hike in the Blue Mountains with some friends from the camp I lead on in January. We went for two nights, and although it rained quite a bit, it was nice weather when we were walking and I had a really good time. On the last day we walked through an amazing rainforest beside a creek that had lots of beautiful waterfalls. You can see a couple of photos at the sites below. (Unfortunately I didn't take my camera and my friends haven't gotten photos to me yet.)

One of the special parts was on the Saturday night when we stood around in the drizzling rain and I told the others about how the ancient church celebrated (and some anglican and catholic churches still do) the night before easter sunday with a service of new light. They would gather in the darkness, representing that Jesus, the light of the world was gone, and light a new light, often with a flint. From that they would light the easter candle, which for the next year would represent Christ's life in the church. Then each member takes a candle and lights it from the easter candle and then renews their baptismal vows. We didn't have candles but it was very special to stand and each in our own words rededicate our lives to Christ.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Homemade Ricotta - simply

Cheesemaking has always been on my list of things to do, and yet seemed scary with thermometers, tools, special things to add that you had to buy from victoria.....

When I saw this simple recipe for making ricotta on a blog that I follow (and forgive me because I can't even remember which one) I knew I had no more excuses. It looked too easy to stuff up.

1. Get milk. put it in a clean pot and heat. As soon as it starts to froth (but before it boils) cut off the heat if using gas, or take off the heat if electric.

2. Add one tablespoon of acid (either lemon juice or vinegar) per one litre of milk. Stir.

Within seconds this was what I saw in the pot. The curds (clumps of cheese) and whey (liquid) had separated and it looked a bit like off milk. funny that.
3. Get a strainer and line with cheesecloth, or if you're doing this after a meeting at 10pm at night and only the supermarket is open - a couple of chux type cloths.
This is what mine looked like before I poured the stuff in.
4. use a pot or bowl to collect the liquid that pours off. It's still very good for you. I used some that night to make up some bread and froze the rest for another batch in place of water.

5. Tie up the cloth around a wooden spoon so the mixture drains. Allegedly the more whey that is drained off, the longer it will last.

And this is the end result - Ricotta Cheese! I did it, and it was delicious. I put it in the yummy ricotta pancakes from Stephanie Alexander's kitchen garden book. Went down a treat.

If you've got some milk that's nearing the use by date. You know what to do!

Degas at the Art Gallery

Last weekend I travelled up the Canberra to catch up with some friends and finally visit the Degas art exhibition at the National Gallery. I met one of my oldest friend's Rae and her boy X in the sculpture garden. It's such a great place.

X definately rated this sculpture, which was mirror like with every section creating a different shape.
Rae and her little man smiling, as we had lunch at the cafe at the portrait gallery (we were hoping to be done in the morning, but alas it was not to be, and we hadn't packed lunch!)

I love Rae, she moved into the house next door when we were both toddlers and we have been like sisters ever since. I know I don't need an invitation or a reason to catch up or even to crash at her place. Thanks Rae

My lovely cousins came to the gallery too, Mel and Bec. We had a lot of fun looking at the Degas exhibition, the children all get a treasure hunt book with things to search for in different pictures and there was a lot of information about Degas work and times. Unfortunatly it was the last weekend of the exhibition, so you can't go now, but it definately won me over to the value of paying to see a quality exhibition.

Another one of us at the lake. I really do love visiting Canberra.

And lastly, just my cousins. Thanks for coming girls.