Homesteading, News

Pegs!

I had a restless sleep last night with Little Miss HGF has creeping into our bed  and with 4 in the bed it’s a little squishy.
We already co sleep with Little B so I’ve been rethinking our sleeping arrangements. I feel mean leaving LMHGF alone in a big cold room while we all share in the other and she must wonder why she doesn’t get to join us. Sometimes I forget how little they still are so I’ll be weighing up some options for sleeping arrangements.

Today’s chores went by easily I prepped the frozen chook bones to replenish our stock supplies, got the animals done, watered the garden and hung out the washing.
The washing chore got me thinking about pegs. Pegs are something that have driven us crazy as having young children and cloth nappies means we wash a lot.
I’ve gone through cheap pegs, wooden pegs, expensive plastic pegs and I get so frustrated when they inevitably break and litter the ground with bits of plastic and metal. It’s such a waste and I since becoming more aware of my environmental footprint and loving frugally I’ve been investigating other peg options.
I remembered seeing a advertisement in a grassroots magazine ages ago for long living metal pegs. At the time I thought they sounded great but didn’t look into them again until the final piece of plastic crap crumbled to the ground. So I trawled through our magazine collection but could not find the ad. Eventually my Googling of ‘stainless steel pegs’ ‘metal pets’ and  ‘reusable peg’ had a hit and I found the same wire pegs I’d seen in grass roots mag.

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So I ordered them and have been using them a few months now they are made from twisted stainless steel,hold up really well and are super strong. We just got the lowest grade at the cheapest option but I’ll definitely be buying more. I’d like to bring more ‘buy once’ products into our life as the cheaper items die. There’s definitely wisdom in our great grandparents and grandparents generation to save and buy the best quality rather than getting a lot of cheap shite!

  (You can find wire pegs at https://wirepegs.com/)

Homesteading, News

Crochet Crazies

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Well I’m hooked (pardon the pun) since I’ve finished up most of the preserving and gardening chores the weather has kept us indoors mostly. The kids have avoided cabin fever by lots of craft and messy creative play but I’ve had to find something to keep me sane when I can’t get us all outside and I struggle with the anxiety of finding a new home for us in Tasmania.

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I’ve always been a knitter. Not a great knitter but I preferred it to crochet as I couldn’t figure out the patterns or what I was doing. It’s been roughly  10 years since I picked up a hook but now with the help of you tube and google I’ve managed to decipher and learn new stitches with ease and I love it!

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You may remember the mermaid blanket project I mentioned in a previous post that I took on for Little  Miss Hunter Gatherer well many mistakes were made and it is now a family sized blanket not a Mermaid tail blanket. I am thrilled with my achievement but have decided to take on smaller projects until I’m ready to face the tail and try again.

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My Next project after this was soap savers and they are great. They stop the kids  leaving the soap in the tub and can be used to exfoliate. I just used acrylic yarn for my first practice runs but I’d like to make some in cotton and natural fibers later.

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After this I made a plastic bag holder to replace the ugly recycled milk bottle plastic bag holder. It’s much nicer and now I’ve accomplished this pattern I can easily make shopping bags for our market adventures in Tassie.

I’ve even made cup cozies and unearthed some vintage patterns that I didn’t even know I had while packing up my studio!

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My current project is a crochet crown for little miss hunter gatherer and after that will be one for the young lad. I’m really enjoying this distraction from the stress of house hunting. Twice we have thought we found the perfect home, we’ve gone through the applications, been approved and then the owner has changed their mind due to personal reasons. This makes it hard with such a big move as we are left in Limbo. So Please universe if your listening send us our long term homestead rental in Tassie!

Foraging, Homesteading, Preserving, Uncategorized

Plum Cordial

It has been another busy week and we are finding ourselves crumbling into exhausted heaps all over the place. I wish we could tap into the kids energy supplies. They are bouncing around and we find ourselves playing with them over doing our chores as it’s more fun.

We have been social butterflys this week catching up with many friends before they go away. We were gifted yet another two huge boxes of Plums so more and more preserving and experimentation is waiting on the kitchen counter.

We also went foraging and got a huge bunch of Elderberries.

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We will be heading out for more tomorrow afternoon after our interview for community radio. This was a very unexpected request from a customer who bought some vinegar from us at the last market and is talking to different home bakers and cooks in the area. I will be sharing with her the same recipe I will share today for plum cordial.

This cordial truly is the essence of the saying “a season in a bottle”. The plum flavour is divine and the colour is vivid. While making it I thought it would make a wonderful natural dye and if I ever manage to find time to add learning the art of natural dye I will be experimenting with some plums (and Elderberries!).

Please read the entire recipe though particularly if you are like me and go for it then realize half way through you’ve done something wrong and have to back track!

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Plum Cordial

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Ingredients

1kg Plums

3 Litres of water

Sugar

Tartaric acid

Method

Place plums and water in a saucepan and bring to boil. Reduce to simmer for 15 mins

Scoop out plums with a slotted spoon then strain liquid though a sieve or muslin cloth measuring as you go

For Every cup of liquid add 1 C of sugar bring to boil stirring to dissolve the sugar.

Reduce heat and simmer for 2 mins then add tartaric acid

Pour into warm sterilized bottles and seal.

If you like you can cook longer to reduce the liquid and make a thicker syrup suitable for Ice cream. You can also use it to flavour cakes, cookies , icing , fillings or in cocktails. Experiment and have some fun!

Homesteading, Preserving, Uncategorized

Canning Pineapple Cordial and Chicken stock

With all my Market stock prepped and not much to do for a few weeks until it’s fruit picking time I’ve found myself with some free time to get back into some homestead canning. Our deep freeze was bulging with “to dos” so I set to work making Apple cider vinegar, Chicken Stock and Pineapple Cordial.

I loath throwing things away and waste. Years of working in the hospitality industry made me feel disgusted at the amount of food thrown away and wasted, often full meals only picked at before they are thrown away. All of the things I made yesterday were made from “Rubbish” or “Scraps” that I had scrounged away and frozen until I had enough to make something new and nutritious.

The Pineapple cordial I saved the skins and the core I feel good about this as so much seems wasted once you cut to get to the flesh.

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The chicken stock was the carcasses of 4 chickens after each meal we freeze the bones we also save our carrot, onion, celery and other suitable vegetable scraps.

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The Apple Cider vinegar is started from all the apples my toddler starts eating and never finishes plus the cores from apples Dane and I eat.

You’ll be amazed what you can make out of “waste” materials I’ve even made pies from the left overs of making stonefruit cordials but that’s a post for another day.

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Pineapple Cordial 

Ingredients

Skins and core from two pineapples

1litre of water (This can be more or less depending on the size of your pan)

Sugar

2 tsp Tartaric acid

Method

Add pineapple and water to the pan and bring to boil

Turn off and strain liquid

for each cup of liquid add one cup on sugar

Stir to dissolve and bring back to boil

Once boiling for 10 minutes add tartaric acid

Boil for a further 2 minutes then pop into sterilized bottles

Water bath Canned these will keep for a year on a dark shelf or opened and in the fridge drink within a month.

Baking

Rustic Bacon and egg pie

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We have an over supply of eggs and I’ve been hunting the internet and my books for eggspiration and I stumbled upon a recipe for stromboli which I thought would work great adapted to a bacon and egg style pie and oh my it is delicious it’s now in my top 3 egg dishes!! The great thing about this dish is not only can you use whatever filling you have on hand you can also eat the leftovers for breakfast!

The dough recipe I’m including below can also be used for a yummy crunchy crusty bread loaf just bake in a preheated oven at 220C (or 425F) for 30 mins ( time may differ depending on your oven)

Rustic Bread Dough Recipe

1C warm water

1Tbsp Sugar

2tsp Salt

1Tbsp Olive oil

1Tbsp Yeast

2 1/4 C Bread flour

Method

  1. Mix water, sugar and salt in mixing bowl with yeast stirring to dissolve
  2. Beat in flour and olive oil then knead until springy
  3. Cover ( TIP* I re-use and re-wash a disposable shower cap) and leave for one hour in a warm place
  4. Roll Out Dough into one big piece or into 4 (or however many you need) smaller pieces – Now you can either cut out triangles so you have open parts in the dough or leave it as a big pieceIMG_4495
  5. Add your fillings of choice we added Bacon, Kale, Tomato, Scrambled egg, mixed herbs and cheddar cheese                         IMG_4498 IMG_4499 IMG_4500
  6. Fold up the sides and either twist a knot at the top or place the seam underneath
  7. Bake at 200C  for about 20 mins or until golden brown

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I hope you enjoy this scrumptious delight now I am off to enjoy the sun that has finally shown its face and spend some time outside with the kidlets and animals!

Homesteading

Homemade washing Liquid (Borax free!!)

For a few years now I’ve been making my own laundry soap. I decided to start doing this when N was born as we were using Cloth nappies and often commercial brands cause a lot of build up in the nappies and well I like to know what I’m putting next to my families most sensitive areas. I’ve been experimenting with the recipes and originally I was making powder but was finding we went through it very quickly and I had to make a batch every month so I switched to liquid and now I think I’ve finally mastered it enough to share.

I really enjoy making my own products it’s so satisfying to know exactly what ingredients are in the product I’m using.

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Now this recipe costs me about 10c per wash and we use half a cup per full load last time I made it I got 8 litres of liquid and it lasts us about 6 months and that’s doing a 7kg load of washing a day. It’s a big saving and I feel safe in the knowledge we aren’t putting harsh chemicals into the septic or our skin.

Hunter Gathers Homemade Laundry Liquid

1 Bar Grated Laundry Soap (DO NOT cut corners and try to microwave soap bar)   1 Cup Washing Soda                                                                                                                  1/4 C Epsom salts                                                                                                                     1 & 1/2 Litres of water (Plus extra to make up to 10 litres or the size of your big pot)                                                                                                                                                Essential oil (Optional but I use Tea Tree or Lavender)

  1. In a large Sauce pan stir in soap, washing powder and 1 & 1/2 litres water over medium heat until dissolved
  2. Add the extra litres of cold water stir add Epsom salts and a tsp of your chosen oil
  3. Funnel into bottles

That’s it! It’s so easy!!