Today I am doing something I have wanted to do for a long time: join in with the monthly slow living nine. This was started by Christine on her blog Slow Living Essentials in 2012. It is now kindly hosted by Linda at Greenhaven. I’ve been following along since 2012 but not joining in because, to start with, there was no way I would have been able to offer something for all nine categories. I have loved being inspired by what other participants are doing in their ‘small corners of the world’. Joining in now is a kind of celebration of all the small changes I have been making to my lifestyle and getting to this point where I can now think of something for each, or almost all, of the nine categories. I know some are still pretty ‘thin on the ground’. And I will go on being motivated by the focus of the nine areas, and by what others are doing each month. I really do find the nine categories are compatible with the kind of lifestyle goals I want to set myself. So the Monthly Nine…
I have been enjoying Caffe Strada gluten-free quinoa bread. This month I discovered that it makes delectable french toast, topped with raspberries and blueberries (from the freezer, heated a little) and a dollop of yoghurt. Exactly the kind of meal I’d be likely to order if I went out for brunch. Zucchini fettuccine has also been enjoyed on quite a few nights. To make this you just use a veggie peeler and slice the zucchini into thin strips, then heat a little ghee in a pan, stir the zucchini until it softens, season with pepper and sea salt and serve with any form of pasta sauce. Also this month I discovered my local green grocer selling Kombucha. I have wondered what this tasted like. I love it so think it would be worth investigating making my own.
We really enjoy haloumi cheese in this household. Keeping a 200gm block in the fridge (it can have a super long time in the future use by date) is a great standby to make a substantial meal. A slice grilled adds the wow factor to roasted vegetables, served in an attractive stack with a dollop of plum sauce. But the best, yummiest, quickest meal I make out of haloumi cheese is fritters. The original recipe was for zucchini and haloumi fritters but using just about any green vegetable chopped up works well. I’ve tried parsley and basil (together), spinach, silverbeet and kale.
Zucchini and Haloumi Fritters
300g zucchini (i use about 3 mid sized ones)
200g haloumi cheese
2 T chopped chives
1/4 cup flour (i use buckwheat coz it is gluten free)
coarsely grate the zucchini and the cheese (food processor makes this very quick)
combine all the above ingredients
heat a small amount of ghee or oil in heavy based frying pan
form fritters using heaped spoonfuls of the mixture and cook in batches – about 2 minutes each side or until golden and firm. Drain on crumpled paper towel. Delicious served with tomato relish and/or Greek style yoghurt. Can be eaten hot or cold. Great for breakfast, packed lunch or dinner with salad.
Re-using yoghurt containers as pots. Five am Organic yoghurt comes in a very sturdy plastic pot. This month I have used the pots to propagate a whole lot of Pelagonia cuttings I acquired. Drainage holes were made in the bottom, using a heated skewer. The lid is used underneath the pot as a tray.
In the Australian Womankind magazine (launch issue), I was surprised to read that the good ol’ Snake plant was listed as one of the top 5 houseplants for oxygen, according to NASA scientists, and that it was particularly good to have in the bedroom because it absorbs carbon dioxide and releases oxygen during the night. They are also super hardy and virtually impossible to kill. I bought one, and a few nice pots to put other plants I’ve propagated in the bedroom. The other four on the top 5 list are Aloe plant, English Ivy, Rubber Tree and Peace Lily.
This month I planted lettuce seedlings, tomato and basil seedlings into four large pots. I planted capsicum and tomatoes into raised garden beds. In the herb garden the parsley has been flourishing and since reading on Sarah Wilson’s I Quit Sugar blog that parsley was 8th on the list of the most nutrient dense vegetables, i have been adding it to ‘everything’. The list Sarah refers to is here
October has been the month of making and wearing kimono sleeve jackets. I have made five of them. Is that excessive? No wonder I am wearing them all the time. They are just so versatile for this time of the year – I can wear long sleeved, short sleeved or no sleeved tops under them depending on the weather – and they are just so quick to make. There is a tutorial here. I made one using this method. The others have all been made using Simplicity 1884 which I have made a little longer than the pattern.
For my birthday in September I was given a copy of Healthy Every Day by Pete Evans. I have tried out many of the recipes from the book this month. It has become my go-to recipe book. All recipes are gluten, sugar and diary free and use lots of fresh veggies, nuts and seeds. I liked the book so much that I pre-ordered Family Food which was released and arrived in the last week of the month.
Also this month I have been reading Helen Garner’s This House of Grief. It is such a sad and shocking story but so well written. Helen Garner’s ability to bring to life what must have been many tedious hours in the courtroom, to tell a compelling story without sensationalizing, and to conjure compassion, is amazing.
i belong to an eco-feminist community (Sophia’s Spring) which meets on Sunday mornings at CERES Environment Park and one Sunday during October I took a turn to provide morning tea. It was a great chance to test out a number of recipes from the Healthy Every Day book. I made basil and parsley pesto and seed crackers, as seen in the photo above, which comes from the book as I didnt think to take any photos on the day. The seed crackers are unbelievably easy – basically just seeds and water. And really yummy (IMO). Cashew cheese and beetroot humous were other recipes tried from the book and served with fresh carrot, celery, cucumber and tomato sticks. I also made a gluten free apricot and lavender cake and a totally unhealthy white chocolate rocky road slice.
i thought I was going to say weekends away for this section – but I have just realized that the weekend at Ninety Mile Beach was actually at the end of September and the weekend at Harrietville was the first weekend in November – so in October I enjoyed being at home! I have really enjoyed Spring, the returning of leaves and roses, the warmer weather and day light saving which kind of tricks me into thinking that the days are a bit longer. Winter is my favourite time of the year so I have been a bit surprised by how much I have enjoyed Spring. I have really felt my spirit lift. Also in October I have enjoyed watching the third season of Borgen on SBS. Oh, and I almost forgot. An evening spent in the opulent Regent Theatre listening to Julia Gillard early in October was a delight. The questions from the audience were rich and thoughtful and Julia’s responses to them were generous and insightful. I look forward to reading her book