Well, it has been longer than I thought! Time’s flight is accelerating!
First, a Supervisor report:
Look at that guy – back as co-pilot!! He has made an amazing recovery – many, many “angels” out there sending him love (BIG thanks to you all, xx). My little grandson is SO happy to have his mate back! Pete is not 100%, but good enough – at the moment. He will have a repeat MRI in 2 days time, and hopefully that will shed some light on his diagnosis. But for now, I am enjoying every moment of his company.
Life without the dayjob has been crazy-busy!! I enrolled in full time postgrad study – have been flat out reading and keeping on top of assignments. Having my days as largely my own (apart from attending a few lectures each week) continues to be an absolute joy. I feel alive again, and oh so fortunate to have worked for a place that was so dysfunctional it forced me to leave and literally gave me my life back! I hope I am never in that headspace again – of feeling like you are chained to wasting every day in order to pay the mortgage. Redundancy was my latest great good fortune. And I am grateful.
The knitted Bear is done, and so is the Monkey (although I think my grand-daughter has claimed the Monkey – she loves him, but she is only 6 months old, so she hasn’t told us his name yet!). Another rabbit is on the cards before the next stall.
Around here, “perfection” is a myth, so I have labelled them “Imperfect Critters” – like us.
The other changes are to recipes: one sweet, and one soap.
This recipe for salted caramel choc slice has been popular in our house: http://scrumptiousanddelicious.wordpress.com/tag/masterchef-salted-caramel-and-chocolate-slice/ But I use only 2/3 of the caramel ingredients – it’s still super rich.
I found sweetened condensed COCONUT milk on the supermarket shelf! I love coconut milk, so could NOT resist trying it in the slice. The milk in the can was quite solid, and INCREDIBLY sweet (yuk). When cooked, the cow’s milk caramel is firm. This caramel was still liquid, but dark enough to not take more cooking. I tried the fridge. It solidified a little, enough to add the choc top, then back to the fridge overnight. This morning the caramel is still fairly sticky & gooey, and the taste is not too different to the cows milk version. End result – would be OK if you really couldn’t do cow’s milk, but I won’t be trying it again!!
The soap change was more successful. I am still making my own lavender laundry powder from Jan’s (https://thenerdyfarmwife.com/) recipe in her lovely book. I love a fresh lemon scent for washing powder, and have been experimenting with thinly peeling the rind off lemons with a spud peeler, then drying it and grinding in the coffee grinder (originally for a rose and lemon bath fizz recipe from Jan’s book). Winter has been grim and too long. We have been using trees-full of lemons to ward off the misery and bugs. It feels much better to use the peel AND the juice from the lemons (I love lemons).
I found another laundry powder recipe on a Borax tub. So I combined the two – first making a 100% coconut oil laundry soap, fragranced with lemon tea tree oil, which is like sunshine.
My laundry powder is now: 1-2 bars of grated homemade laundry soap (depends how big they are), about 430gm washing soda (sodium carbonate), 1 T powdered dried lemon peel (finely ground in coffee grinder, then finely sieved), 1 cup borax, and about 1 tsp lemon-scented tea tree oil. This all gets pulsed in a food processor until it’s a homogenous powder. I use about 1/4 cup of the powder per machine load, and lavender infused vinegar as a fabric softener. I have yet to experiment with lemon peel and vinegar for the softener.
And now – IT’S SPRINGTIME!! I look forward to some warmth anytime soon. I am grateful for the rains we’ve had this winter, but my bones can’t take the cold.
Time gets away too easy, but I have captured a little thyme in sunflower oil – ready for the next face lotions – and the sun is shining!
Happy days to you,
Sarah & the Supervisor