October is over...a busy month in terms of living life and getting back into the swing of school after a break that went far too fast! It has also been exam season again for our eldest. Our daughter was away for half the month on a wonderful trip to visit her cousins on the farm.
It was a month in which I used all sorts of odd things that were hiding in the freezer or the pantry cupboard.
Some frozen green beans and frozen basil pesto went into a nourishing chicken soup.
The last of the Indian tomatoes from the freezer as well as some of the butternut and orange chutney were used in a delicious chicken curry.
A can of tuna made tasty fish-cakes using fresh coriander, spring onions, mint and parsley from the garden.
One of the meals that gave me the most satisfaction was the following....
spinach from the garden with broad beans from my neighbour's garden in vegetable quiche,
salad, freshly picked- baby cabbage and spinach, celery and spring onions with a dash of mayonnaise.
Both my boys added to the meal too. It was great to have them in the kitchen....
loud music and laughter as we worked together!
The youngest made a tasty mielie meal bread and the eldest made the most delicious baked lemon dessert using lemons from my mom in law's tree. It had a simple shortbread type base and the lemon topping was baked, giving it the texture of a cheesecake.
Tonight I enjoyed having my daughter back in the kitchen with me. We took full advantage of the fact the oven was on and baked up a storm! Spinach from the garden, onion marmalade and creamy home made feta cheese, a gift from my dear farm sister, made a tasty crust less quiche. We made corn and chili bread, carrot and pecan nut muffins and an orange cake.
I have tried to make sure I send hubby to work with a nourishing lunch instead of the usual peanut butter sandwich. Where possible I have stretched evening meals with extra vegetables so I can freeze a couple of extra portions for a healthier lunch for him.
Lemon curd has been made and enjoyed as usual by the children.
Frozen tomatoes lurking in the freezer made a batch of tomato and chili jam.
On the weekend I discovered some sun dried tomatoes in the cupboard and made a tasty red pesto spread which we have been enjoying with my sister's delicious farm cheeses. I have an abundance of coriander in the garden and made some coriander pesto too. The jar has been devoured rapidly by my eldest! Tomorrow I plan to teach my daughter how to make it.
We continue to recycle paper and glass.
Both hubby and I have slowly been going through things that have accumulated in and around the house and we are aiming to reduce the clutter that seems to gather out of nowhere!
I stumbled across a simple vinegar and citrus cleaner and decided to try my hand at my first batch. It should be ready in a week or so and I am looking forward to trying it out.
My garden is a continual source of pleasure and I am so enjoying this season in the garden. Though I am not harvesting much yet, I love noticing the new growth taking place....
bright yellow flowers on squash and cucumber plants,
tomatoes that I didn't plant springing up everywhere,
first flowers on the granadilla vine,
first fruits forming on the chillies,
compact heads on cabbages,
beans climbing ever higher day by day,
sunflower stems standing tall,
....so much to look forward to!
We are enjoying the first strawberries, as well as lettuce and fresh herbs.
This evening I harvested a perfect onion.... I am not sure where the others disappeared to but even that single beautiful onion brings me pleasure!
I have not been creative this month but my daughter enjoyed a 3D edible art workshop where she created cake pops and figurines.
Much of my reading has centred around South African history during school time with my youngest. I have also been reading snippets from garden and herb books.
My neighbour and I have been sharing seeds and seedlings.
Lifts are shared saving time and petrol and we walk when needed on days we don't have the car.
Hubby and I enjoyed an evening out with friends to a dance earlier this month.
A number of friends birthday's have been celebrated, and most recently hubby's birthday.
We enjoyed his birthday with a double celebratory dinner at home as it was the day our daughter returned from her farm visit too!
It was a pleasant relaxed evening, neighbours joining in, good food and hubby playing all his favourite old CDs!
Thank you Christine for hosting this great link up at Slow Living Essentials.