Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Slow Living Month 7: July 2012

It seems July was filled with festivities and good nourishing food.
 The weather has swung between really cold and beautifully warm, almost fooling one into thinking we may have an early spring. 

On  cold days we have been enjoying various soups.
 I tried a tasty but rather spicy Asian Chicken soup with greens from  the garden and Asian noodles. 
Next time I will be sure not too add too much chili.
 I  made a variation of butternut soup with a hint of chili and it was delicious.
 As butternuts are plentiful, we enjoyed  them in wraps with minced beef and Mexican tomatoes. The butternut stretches the mince and we had at least two meals from that pot, as well as lunch for hubby.

As I enjoy trying new recipes, I scribble them down from magazines if I see them in a waiting room. One I tried this month was a cottage pie with sausage instead of minced beef. I cooked up onions, leeks and tomatoes, added sausage pieces and topped it with mashed potatoes. A tasty all in one winner meal.
Another meal I tried was Sweet and Spicy chicken with lemon grass, cardamom, coconut milk, chili and coriander from the garden. 

Hubby treated us one evening by making paella. I had bought the seafood mix a short while back when it was on special. I love it when he takes over in the kitchen from time to time and spoils us with a delicious feast.

My daughter outdid herself with baking cakes for her brother's 17th birthday. 
She made his favourite lemon, coconut and poppy seed cake, an orange cake and a chocolate cake.

I prepared curried green beans - delicious on toast with a slice of cheese! 
We made lemon curd again and again - enjoyed with pancakes or flapjacks and even on ice cream, despite the cold weather!

Bottled Mexican tomatoes with chili and coriander from the garden were prepared and used in a number of dishes.
I tried my hand at bottled beetroot - simply delicious! 
I have 3 bags of beetroot I plan to prepare and bottle tomorrow.

I had been wanting to try out a recipe for orange, butternut and ginger chutney for a while and finally got to make some. It has an interesting flavour, rather like a marmalade with the orange flavour being dominant. I find it a little sweet though and perhaps it will end up being used in cooking, rather than as a condiment. 
Yesterday saw me making another 3kg of onion marmalade which gets eaten on everything by my eldest son!

This evening I had great fun turfing out what seemed like half my Tupperware cupboard....except it was not Tupperware, rather all those old plastic lids from yogurt and ice cream containers that seem to have gathered there. Thankfully they are going to a school re cycling project for my little neighbour.

Oh dear...really need to try something here!

Harvested- last of the broccoli, chillies, grannadillas, herbs, spring onions, spinach, mustard greens, red pepper, peas, first tomatoes and gooseberries.
Growing- lettuce and broccoli seedlings.

I had a little fun being creative this month....

I combined two yarns, plain black and a furry beige, and knitted them together using large needles. It was quick and easy and I have a lovely soft cowl for myself.

Finally finished the "cheese cowl"  (named for all the holes in it) for my daughter . It was rather time consuming as  there was a lot of casting on and off but so worth it in the end as she has enjoyed wearing it

I really enjoyed doing all the flowers for our friend's wedding .
 The table arrangements were simple yet elegant, in beautiful rectangular mirror vases.
 Her bouquet was bound with white ribbon and a black bow with long curling tendrils of ribbon hanging down, to fit the black and white theme. The brides attendants each carried smaller bouquets of white roses, bound with a simple white ribbon.

I was sent home with a number of roses after the wedding and enjoyed creating a simple lavender and rose posy for my aunt on her wedding anniversary. 

The younger children created some cards for our cultural exchange packs and my daughter made some more felt elephants as well as a fun 4th of July 4oth birthday card for our neighbour.

My daughter held a craft workshop where she taught the girls to make felt hearts embellished with beads  and buttons.

Once again, most reading has been school related. 
We are enjoying our current read aloud of the story of a man who grew up in District 6.
My youngest son and I have also been reading stories of the Cape for his history of South Africa. 

We continue to walk to nearby shops and the post office when needed and I  have planned errands for the days I have the car. My neighbour and I share lifts for the children where possible too. 

Memorable moments in July were my neighbour's 40th birthday,
 our son's 17th birthday
 our friend's wedding. 
My daughter treated me to a belated Mother's Day lunch.
 It was wonderful to enjoy some mom and daughter time together. 
Our house has also been like a railway station with the kids friends in and out. It has been a pleasure to open our home to their friends and see them enjoying being here with their friends.

Thank you  Christine, it has been fun to look back on July and link up to Slow Living Month by Month.


  1. The flowers you did for your friends wedding are just beautiful.

    Paella is one of my favorite dishes.

  2. Reading your blog post brought a tears to my eyes. It took me back to the early years when we were newly married and exploring the world of making our own relishes and chutneys, sharing recipes and baking, often in each other's homes. How I wish I could have spent some time enjoying being in your home this past month, sharing birthday cake and chatting over meals on your patio. I am amazed you are still picking peppers. Our froze months ago. Love you so much my precious sister. xxx

  3. Thank you Kathryn Ray, it was such fun!

  4. Yes, Cath, those days were good...memories tucked away to treasure! Miss you more than you know xx

  5. I think I need to get your onion marmalade recipe Wendy as I am not completely happy with mine. I can't believe you still have tomatoes growing in this weather so God is being very good to your garden!

  6. Hi Wendy, will post it soon. It is amazing...I didn't even plant those tomatoes and I am picking every other day!

  7. A lovely post. The flowers were beautiful.

  8. Thanks Gladys, I had great fun doing them. Thanks for stopping by.

  9. I always love reading your Slow Living posts Wends. Those flowers are beautiful - you are so talented :o)

  10. Thanks my friend, hope you and the girls and of course Trev are all well xxx

  11. I'm glad you mentioned your soup. I'm about to plant pak choi for the first time. I need ideas for how to use it.

    The cowl you made for yourself looks so soft and fluffy!

  12. Your flower arrangements are gorgeous, Wendy. And the cheese cowl (great name!) is so cool.

    I love it when my Mr takes over the kitchen tastes so much better when someone else does the cooking. ;)

  13. Thanks Linda and Christine...yes love it when hubby cooks!


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