It is great to link up with Christine of Slow Living Essentials again in 2013.
I love being able to reflect back on what we have done on a monthly basis and learn from others who join in too. So here is January's reflection....
Our January garden produced an abundance of marrows which needed to be used creatively so the family wouldn't get bored of seeing them on their plates!
Cheesy marrow muffins were a hit and a variety of quiches with added marrow were devoured. One evening I got away with marrow in a chicken quiche and a side salad with marrow & baby tomatoes from the garden with mango and a spiced up dressing.
My daughter and I made pots of cabbage, tomato, celery and marrow health soup. A healthy alternative to bread at lunch time.
We enjoyed red cabbage, green pepper, chili and celery (all from the garden) combined with carrots and mango....really good compared to the usual coleslaw.
Hubby made home-made pizzas and our daughter made tortillas which we filled with mince and spinach, tomatoes, marrows (again), green pepper and chili from the garden. Low GI muffins were enjoyed and our eldest son made delicious bread with sun-dried tomatoes and fresh herbs.
Meals were doubled by adding extra veg and then frozen or dished into portions to send to work with hubby for a healthy lunch option. My garden produced more green beans than ever and these were blanched and frozen for later use. I tried my hand at pickled chillies...we loved them and they were added to many a meal or sandwich.
A rusty old washing rack that has seen better days was taken apart and used in the garden for squash that needed to climb somewhere.
Hubby spent time repairing our outside table and benches which have taken a beating from the summer sun.
As usual I have tried to reduce the use of the oven to save on electricity and when it is used, I make sure to bake alongside whatever is being cooked for dinner.
A friend and I visited Soil for Life and got a tip from one of their gardeners...
It called for a visit to the beach and the making of seaweed tea for our veg gardens. A far more cost effective option than products sold at the nursery! I had the perfect container, an old bin with a lid. It was filled with water and chopped up seaweed. My garden now gets a weekly dose of seaweed tea.
Eaten from the garden: marrows, beans, red onions, tomatoes, strawberries, chillies, cabbage (red and green), celery, green peppers, spinach, broccoli, beetroot, herbs, first granadillas and gooseberries.
Planted: beets, peas and more beans
My daughter and I enjoyed beading these simple serviette rings for a friend.
Hubby spent much of his leave making beautiful bookshelves from wood he had stored in the garage. My youngest and I tried our hand at paper making using old newspapers. We added mustard seeds to the mix and will "plant" the paper for fun to see if the seeds germinate.
As school started up again, much of my reading has been school related.
The kids and I have been enjoying our exercise group most mornings of the week before school. We either do a 24 workout, circuit or a brisk walk.
Our little nephew/cousin spent a good deal of time with us as his mum needed to return to work and his nanny didn't return after the new year.
My daughter held her monthly craft class and taught the younger girls to make felt elephants. She has also started teaching Sunday School.
Our youngest attended his monthly Chaeli Campaign meeting.
We enjoyed a wonderful day at my dad's home early in the month. My uncle and aunt, cousin and family and my brother and his little family enjoyed a splendid meal together. The children enjoyed the alpacas and huskies and it was great to see the extended family.
We enjoyed getting out into nature...
forest and beach walks....
Our neighbour put on a wonderful celebratory dinner for the neighbourhood, where we celebrated the good in each of lives.
Summer swimming, braais and impromptu games evenings and a few birthdays were celebrated too.
School began half way through the month and routines have been taking a bit of getting used to after the wonderfully long summer holidays.
Thank you Christine for hosting this again in 2013!