Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Slow Living Month 6 : June 2012

June seems to have come and gone in a flash. I had visions of having more time to knit, make cards and read but it seems that the kitchen has been the main focus. Perhaps it is the cold weather that makes us feel the need for more comfort food.

June seems to have been the month of curries and soups, real winter warmers! 
Soups: chicken soup, lentil and vegetable soup, butternut and orange soup as well as a spicy potato soup. Sometimes the recipes are doubled up to feed us for than one meal.
Curries: traditional mince curry with rooti on more than one occasion as well as chicken curry, the recipes spiced up here and there as I enjoy experimenting with flavours.
I made one of hubbies all time favourites too, Greek Moussaka. And as we have had a great broccoli harvest, I made a delicious broccoli and chicken bake as well as our first broccoli salad of the season.
Breakfast bakes of apple and oats and cinnamon have been the norm, double batches alongside dinner, in the hopes they will last a few days....

My resident baker daughter has had great fun baking with oranges and lemons : orange or lemon , coconut and poppy seed cakes which have her brothers begging for more, as well as a lemon desert. She has had fun making apricot squares and sometimes a batch of spinach and sun dried tomato muffins to go alongside soup at dinner.

I think the craze for curry and all things spicy was due to our recent outing to the Bo Kaap where I stocked up on lentils, leaf masala, cassia, cumin, grated coconut and more when visiting the aromatic Atlas Trading Company in Bo Kaap...we will be back there again!

I have been doubling up on some recipes too specially since one of the local shops had good specials on minced beef. One for the table and one for the freezer. I really should do this more often!
I try to send Hubby to work with a good lunch, so most days I make sure that I have cooked enough to send him off the next day with a healthy leftover lunch. Sometimes perhaps there is enough for two days worth of lunch. I know he prefers this to the normal peanut butter on bread.

As usual, I made the chili jam for my eldest as well as 3kg of onion marmalade. 

We are really enjoying it with many of our meals. Specially good to jazz up a cheese sandwich with some fresh rocket and basil from the garden or on home-made burgers.
I tried my hand at marinated roasted peppers too : a real winner!
My daughter made a delicious batch of sweet and sticky lemon curd. The third jar is almost done so we will need to make more!


As I need to package orders for my little business, I have been reusing boxes, 
cutting them to size for my packaging.

This is one area I really need to investigate, but for now we compost our kitchen waste
 and recycle what we can.

Harvested  and enjoyed broccoli, kale, spinach, mustard greens, herbs, spring onions, peas and chillies.

As it is winter, there is not much that can be planted now. My neighbour gave me some broccoli seedlings and I am hoping they will do well. We also visited a local organic nursery and I bought some lettuce seedlings.

Kids created beautiful cards for Father's Day and my daughter has been creating more felt elephants for our next cultural exchange packs. She had forgotten how to knit so I have spent some time reminding her of how it is done and continued with my own knitting. I hope to post a photo of the completed item at the end of this month!

Much of the reading has been school related once again. The younger two and I have been enjoying reading about Egypt, Arabian Nights for kids and some South African folk tales. 
I have enjoyed the relevant blogs on being a mom, home educator, simple living and gardening as well as inspirational blogs. Now and then I have escaped into my current novel.

Some days we car-less and then we take a walk to the local shop if needed or the post office. Or perhaps just to take my baby nephew for a walk when he is here which is now about three times a week. 
My eldest teaches karate near by and he often uses his longboard to get there and back if the weather allows when we don't have a car. He also uses it to get to his nearby weekly Afrikaans lessons. This all of course saves petrol and gives us a bit of fresh air and exercise. Thankfully our kind neighbour helps out with these short trips if the weather is bad.On the days I do have a car, I plan my trips carefully, combining lifts for children with various errands.
My daughter has babysat in exchange for sewing again this month and she made herself a skirt which she was very pleased with. Lovely to see her enjoying learning something new.
A friend recently invited us along on an outing to forage for mushrooms in a nearby forest. It was a wonderful morning of learning and fun with friends. 

We had an expert teaching us how to identify the various mushrooms and I was just a little sorry I didn't know which were safe to collect. I had envisioned coming home with a basketful for dinner! 
Perhaps next time around.

When looking back, June came with some good things. Most importantly, Hubby started working again after being unemployed for the last 18 months.
 Special times have been enjoyed in June. One that stands out was an outing to the Bo Kaap. It was a wonderful day enjoyed by myself and the kids.
We celebrated Father's Day with a special breakfast and gifts and cards for hubby.

There has been rain, cold weather and warm fires. 
Mild winter sun graces us now and then and we have enjoyed some time outdoors too.

  School has been out since 22nd so we are enjoying a slower pace to our days, 
catching up with friends, relaxing and enjoying doing some of the things we often don't
 have the time to do.

Thanks again Christine for the opportunity to look back on June and link up to Slow Living Month by Month.


  1. Your month sounds fabulous. I think we need to send your daughter up here so that the love for delicious cooking rubs off a little on mine.

  2. Ooh...she would love that!!

  3. I enjoyed reading about your month. A full one. The food happening at your place sounds delicious!

  4. Thanks Linda for stopping by!

  5. Oh, onion marmalade? I don't think I've had that before. Will definitely look that up. It sounds good.

    Congratulations to your Husband!

  6. Yes, delicious on everything Kathryn Ray, we are really enjoying it! Thanks for stopping by.

  7. A very full month, especially in the kitchen. I too make a sort of onion marmalade, I added some to mini chicken pies I made tonight and they added such a lovely sweetness. That spice shop sound terrific!


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