Friday, June 1, 2012

Slow Living Month 5: May 2012

May has been jam packed and as Christine said in her post, 
I too feel like I have been chasing my tail! 

Exams for our eldest son dominated the month alongside a fair amount of busyness. 
I feel the need for more slowing down!

Some of what we have enjoyed in the month of May-

* Butternut soup with lentils and apples to lower the GI and a hint of curry, shared with old family friends and then made again:
 some to enjoy and some to freeze for one of those busy days.
* Sausage stew, a family favourite from my childhood, loaded with fresh veg and some frozen marrow from the farm, in a sticky tomato and herb sauce.
*Spicy chicken curry slow cooked at lunch time and ready for dinner.
* Cooler mornings call for something warm at breakfast- 
I have been putting a breakfast bake in the oven at night alongside dinner:
apple & oats with cinnamon, enjoyed warmed up at breakfast time.
* Tried out some new muffin recipes: carrot and ginger & then savoury muffins with spinach, feta and sun dried tomato...delicious!

My daughter baked up a storm one Monday morning when there was no bread in the house..

*Challah- a plaited yeast bread with finely chopped spinach from the garden, mixed herbs and sun dried tomato.
*Apricot muffins - a double batch for those in between times when snacks are needed.
*Crunchies- plain for us and a batch of choc chip for the neighbour
and then she treated the boys to pancakes for lunch.

* An orange cake baked for her Opa's 75th birthday.
* Dinner kindly made by her on one of the days of crazy revision with my son - a delicious vegetarian North African spicy butternut and chickpea tagine with fresh peppers from the garden.
* She has been making pots of home made hot chocolate with vanilla and cinnamon and sometimes a dash of chili for me!

Not much done in this department...
* More of that tomato and sweet chili jam for my is the recipe I use and adapt here and there if I don't have everything on hand:
about 500g tomatoes (red, green , frozen or fresh...whatever I have)
4 cloves of garlic
2 or more teaspoons freshly grated ginger
4 or more red or green chillies
30ml fish sauce
300g of sugar (though I usually use a bit less)
100ml red wine vinegar (I use what ever I have or a mix of what I have on hand)
1 or more onions diced (more is good)
3 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar ( if I have it)
I let it simmer in the pot until it has reduced and thickened well, then bottle it. 
It doesn't last long as he eats it with everything!
 Really good on a cheese sandwich.

*I have planted peas and beetroot seedlings and then there are tomatoes shooting up everywhere that I didn't plant!
*I have harvested green peppers, spring onions, mustard greens, spinach, kale, basil, coriander, rocket, first peas and believe it or not a few more beans!

I have had little time to be still and be creative besides starting a new scarf for my daughter but she has had fun being creative...
* Her monthly Krafty Kow workshop was yesterday, scrap-booking with the girls. Each girl received a pack with pretty embellishments & templates she had made up for them. I loved the tags she re-purposed from old paint swatches.

*Below is a fun card she was "commissioned" to make for a 13th birthday and a pretty rose and ribbon bookmark she created from fabric scraps as a gift for a friend.

* She made this blue beaded handbag charm/ key ring to add to 
the bookmark to complete the  gift.

Most of what has been read by me this month has been to help my son prepare for his exams. I think I could have written too and passed the geography and English papers!
 The younger two kids and I have been enjoying numerous books on Ancient Egypt as they decided they wanted to re visit that. 
And then of course there are the blogs I follow on home educating, mothering, gardening, green living and home making.

* My daughter volunteered her time manning a table at the Teddy Bear Fair.
*She has been babysitting in exchange for sewing lessons.
* Our little nephew had a sleepover so his mum and dad could enjoy a night out and a late lie in. He has also been coming more often to us during the day 
as his mum is working mornings.
* Shared lifts to exams and other outings have been a blessing.
* We joined up with Free Rice, a free fun place to learn and earn grains of rice to feed others. Thousands are earning grains of rice daily, while having a great time learning! 

* My family really spoiled me on Mother's Day with a lovely breakfast in bed, handmade cards and gifts and flowers picked from the garden.....

I love the fabric painted tray cloth with bright red poppies that my daughter made for me!

*There were many birthdays celebrated with family & friends this month and one of my dearest friends celebrated her 40th with a most enjoyable breakfast.
*It seems it was the month for numerous school outings too,
 creating enjoyable moments of fun learning times together.
*More weekends spent at home instead of galavanting all over the place.
* We enjoyed keeping warm next to a cosy wood fire on chilly nights too.

Thank you Christine for the opportunity to share again by linking up at
Slow Living Essentials.


  1. Wow, all that work in the kitchen... it sounds like you all ate very well. :-)

  2. Hi Wendy, lovely to see you again! Gosh, your breakfast bakes sound delicious and SO practical!! It's always a rush here in the mornings - more so since we've been cooking porridge for breaky.

    And how wonderful to have a daughter who bakes (so well, too!). What a feast. The birthday card and handbag charm are also really sweet.

    Your Mother's Day celebrations tell in the picture just how special you are to your family. Have a great month! :)

  3. You and your family have had a busy month! You have achieved so much even while helping with your son's exams. I enjoyed seeing your daughter's creative goodies. What are crunchies? Are they biscuits/cookies?

  4. Thanks ladies for stopping by. Have visited each of you too and left some comments too :)

  5. What a creative family! I hope the exams go well. They can be so stressful. I plied my daughter with lavender oil before her exams to calm her, and basil to keep her mind alert during them.

  6. Thanks Linda for stopping by.

  7. Sounds like a great month Wendy! I've also got some tomato seedlings popping up from the last crop. I've been pulling them out, but do you think they might actually grow? Could be a head start on next season?

  8. Thanks for visiting, and yes I think those tomatoes will grow :)

  9. Wow, lots going on at your place. Now I don't have a daughter old enough to bake on her own (mine are just three and one), but I'd love them to do it when they're older so I can sit back and enjoy the rewards. That's what I need to tell myself every time I cook with the three year old, it can certainly get a little frustrating... but fun all the same. Hope your son does well in his exams.

  10. The New Good Life, yes baking with little ones can certainly be messy :) Hoping that his results are good too, thank you!


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