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Monday, June 29, 2015

Fritter/Rosti/Patty - The Way To A Baby's Heart

My grandson is now a novice toddler!
When his mum goes to work at the weekend he comes to us for the day and he is really exploring some food delights. He loves picking figs and apples straight from the tree and sampling some of the green leafy things but for breakfast he just loves a patty of frittery goodness that he can self feed and explore the texture of. 

Here are some combinations, they are quick, easy, nutritious and a family pleaser for everyone. 

1. Grated zucchini, corn kernals, cheddar cheese with besan flour, coconut flour,
2. Grated potato (moisture squeezed out), grated cauliflower, spring onion, flour
3. Grated pumpkin, grated apple (squeeze out the juice) mozzarella, falafel mix  

Add an egg or two and enough milk to make a rosti/fritter type batter and fry in either olive oil, butter or dripping as the style suits.
The pieces are easy for him to manage for basic chewing, lots of texture and taste to explore and he gets plenty of fine motor skills practice.
There is no limit to the combinations.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Cheese Making - Living Better With Less

At our Living Better With Less group meet up last Thursday night we had an introduction to cheese making from the incredibly organised and engaging Neville who timed this visit with us to coincide with his formal class teaching of the same this week. Not only did we have a great informative discussion but we also got some student samples to try for inspiration.

Neville explained in a very easy manner, the chemistry involved in cheese making, the properties of milk and the characteristics of altered proteins. We discussed common terms that you commonly hear in the cheese world like, rennet, curds, whey and he stepped us through the two characteristics of soft cheese and hard cheese and their properties.

It's a big subject and we would like to thank Neville for giving us a great snapshot of the basics, the pitfalls, joys and realities of this hobby.
We had lots of books to pour over and we discussed the merits of kits. Though there are a couple of home brew shops in town with basics, most supplies are thoroughly catered for on line.

Afterwards we had some wonderful cheese tastings with a cuppa

Here are the cheeses made by the students.
The golden yellow one is a mozzarella cheese infused with saffron.
The other is a home made curd cheese called Paneer which has had seeded mustard added. 
If you would like to step further into the wonderful world of cheese making I would suggest you start here at 
a blog dedicated to cheese by Gavin Webber. He has podcasts, videos, an e-book and lots of posts.  

Now, some important dates!

Next month we have organised a date for an
olive picking day
on Sunday 26th July.
More details to follow on our Facebook page

Which leads me to our next news
we have a brand new facebook page here so you can follow along woth our activities and events and keep up to date with meet up reminders. Living Better With Less is open to all interested and like minded people and is a non-profit informal group meeting on the last Thursday of each month except December and is totally free however we do donate a gold coin to cover tea/coffee/power etc at the Urban Farming Seed Studio where we made possible by the kind sharing of Bridget and Peter. We meet at 3 Charles St south in Launceston Tas. and hope to see you one day.

Later in October on the 17th
we will join Urban Farming Fiesta in Yorktown Square. We'll have a stall showing examples of our various industries and endeavours and be on hand for some chatting. More details closer to the date and may I also recommend the

Also coming up in November we have been kindly invited to tour Steve Solomon's garden which I am very excited about. Steve is a bit of a growing cold climate vegetable guru here in Tasmania and has written several books. His "Growing Vegetables South of Australia" is particularly popular here. Can't wait for that and guessed it...more details closer to the date. But it will be in November and we will also take the opportunity to have a little end of year break up afternoon tea party too. 
So much to look forward to!
Hope to see you next month.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

One More Stop - Yarn Tour 2015 Part III

After lunch and a bit more shopping Neil drove us to Camp Clayton by the sea where luck would have it, the Handweavers, Spinners and Dyers Guild of Tasmania were holding a weekend retreat.
we walked into a hive of yarn crafting activity but unfortunately we were running out of steam on the photo taking front.

Outside there were several trestles set up with ladies dyeing using various methods with their pots and electric frypans set up and pots of colours. Very exciting, especially for the girls who had bought dye kits back in Deloraine.

There was also a felting workshop where they were hard at it with rollers and bubble wrap and towels, creating bags, jewellery, hats...

Inside lots and lots of spinners. Someone in the group commented on how they all seemed in a state of Zen. We had one man on the bus in our group and he was quite keen to try spinning.

The ladies were so very welcoming and sharing and we could have stayed much longer but if these tourers were going to have an ice cream before home we needed to hit the road again. The guild is very active and has lots of calender events, retreats and workshops in wonderful locations so do check the link above if you are interested. I know the wilderness fibre crafting weekend in February 2016 in Tullah captured the interest of some of our group.

Heading home we stopped at the famous chocolatier house of  D'anvers for some treats. I quite enjoyed my chilli chocolate ice cream.
By now we are on the home straight and everyone's needles are flashing as they try to finish their charity knit blanket squares. It has been decided that they will be sewn into cot blankets to go to the Sunshine Foundation orphanage in Nepal.
I would like to say a big thank you to Heather for organising the charity knit and to Margaret for helping with the delicious morning tea and thanks to Vanessa for taking some photos for me so I could be everywhere at once!
Thank you to Jack's Bus service for providing such a comfortable coach and obliging driver - We love you Neil! and a MASSIVE thank you to Cranberry Crafts and Art Viva for their prizes that they donated too. And finally to the dear ladies of the Guild for their open welcome and inspiring demonstrations.
Hmmm....I wonder what next year will bring?

Monday, June 15, 2015

Onward To Ulverstone - 2015 Tour Part II

Hitting the streets of Ulverstone in search of yarny goodies with my sister-in-law and we needed look no further than.....

The staff were all hands on deck and ready and willing. So helpful and knowledgeable, we only had to show interest in a yarn and they were able to show us a knitted garment in the same. They had advice about needles, patterns and everything in between. 

Everything our hearts desired...
cotton, alpaca, merino, silk, polymides, sock yarns, slubby yarns, Noro, free patterns....

And that's not all!
Quilting, fabrics, embroidery...
All types of crafting supplies!

They also had a basket of lucky dips for $2 that went straight to the Cancer Council.
This added to the fun of the day and the girls really loved the idea and got some great bargains for their gold coin

Reels of cotton, patchwork squares, needles and more....

Cranberry Crafts were incredibly generous and donated six prizes for our lucky draws on the bus.

Have you had enough yarning yet?
Well here's one more...

Thank you Cranberry Crafts.
You guys were amazing!

The girls then shopped and made some discoveries in the gift shops and split up to enjoy lunch in one of the many cafes. My posse of three highly recommend Furners Hotel and their fabulous $10 lunch menu.

Time to board the bus and find out where Neil will take us next....

Yarn Tour 2015 - Part I

All aboard with our driver Neil. The sun is shining, the morning is crisp and everyone is in high spirits.

Everyone boards with a bag containing their charity knit instructions, a ball of yarn, map of our destination and a lucky door ticket. We had lots of prizes along the way.

Our first stop on our tour this year was Deloraine.
We had morning tea beside the swift flowing Meander River before making away across the road to the Alpaca Shop.

The shop is run on a roster basis by the fleece producers and each yarn has provenance attached to it, they know which animal it has come from, by name.

There are many already spun yarns to choose from and they also carry a large range of dyes so you can custom dye your own fibre. If you are a spinner, then you have a large choice of fleece. 

Alpaca is so light compared to sheep fleece but also incredibly warm. The latest venture for the producers is blankets that are being woven for them at the famous Waverley Woollen Mill in Launceston. They also stock alpaca doonas and I think alpaca blankets are ideal for elderly and small children as they are so light. When my grandson sleeps here he has an alpaca doona and he sleeps snug and warm all night, and we have certainly had some freezing nights here lately!

So much to choose from but we are on a tight schedule. I noticed a few of the ladies opting for some dye kits but I chose a beautiful grey alpaca yarn for a vest for my grandson.

Back on the bus and time for some show and tell.
I just loved this scarf/necklace that Kylie made from yarn purchased at The Stash Cupboard on our trip last year. She made five long knitted strips of different widths using a knitting loom and then three small loops fastened in the front like yarn beads. It was a great way to showcase the yarn.
It looks striking on the black but it looked equally handsome on Kylie's fuchsia and purple outfit.
And onwards we travel....

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Packing Prizes for our Tour

We're down to the last couple of sleeps before the Knitting/Crochet Tour of 2015.
This year we are heading towards north west Tasmania from Launceston.
Everyone gets a bag on arrival and instead of a mystery knit this year, we have chosen to do a charity blanket for a shipment to Nepal. so we should end up with a blanket of crocheted and knit squares by the end of the trip.
Art Viva, producer of Tasmanian hand made oak knitting needles has provided a pair of 4mm needles for everyone to try and one lucky person will be taking them home.

Also in the bags are lucky door tickets for the draw of LOTS of prizes including several surprises donated by Cranberry Crafts, and a map of Ulverstone where we'll be spending our lunchtime. 

I've made some knitting stitch markers and packed sets in small organza bags for some of the prize draws. (Thanks Susie for the inspiration) These are easily (I use the term loosely) made from supplies at any craft/beading shop and they are a great gift to keep in mind for your knitting friends.

And a commemorative CD of knitting music.
All music was bought legally and downloaded from various sites, some I had never heard of before, so if you are patient and search, you'd be surprised the music you can find.
This is one of my favourite knitting songs. Enjoy and pretend you're on the bus with us!

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

The Fate of a Suburban Tale...

The furniture is in shrouds and fine dust has settled everywhere.
The rooms echo differently as sound bounces off denuded walls and finds no soft furnishings to burrow into. 

It's time to take stock and assess.
I'm casting a critical eye over possessions that have not seen the light of day and years and cutting some sentimental ties as shelves empty and boxes fill.

The final touches to the fixings....
Isn't it funny how you live with all those little unfinished jobs for years and then,
just as you are about to leave,
get them done for someone else...

Our suburban jubilee is coming to an end.....

Last month I went to a little country town south from here to buy a pair of shoes for winter...
and we bought a house! We weren't shopping for one.

"You don't find houses, they find you"

Do you believe?

So we are moving to a country Georgian cottage.
We are trading our 1/4 acre for 1.7
Over the past five years Suburban Jubilee has been testament to good simple living in the suburbs and that it is entirely possible to live frugally and sustainably and feed your family from a typical 1/4 acre block. We've shared stories, opinions, recipes, gardening tips and maintenance tricks.
Is there any more to add?
As one door closes, another one opens...

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