Wednesday, March 25, 2015

A Happy Day in my Kitchen !!

So today (well last week now) was a total 'me in the kitchen day' ........yeah I love those days.
These are days when I feel that I am really fulfilling a part of my vocation, the part where I  am providing nourishing and wholesome food and health care for my family.

So I am just sharing one of these days with you now just for the fun of it.!!!!
First off I Strained the Yogurt I had made the night before in the Crock Pot  to make Greek Yogurt
After it is strained I have Liquid Whey to make Lemonade and 2kg of Full Fat Greek yogurt
 I Soaked Buttermilk Pancakes  ready for dinner that night. A very healthy treat for the weekend :) - no photo
That evening I Cooked Buttermilk Pancakes.
Skimmed cream off milk that had been left for 24 hours so the cream rose to the top
 Made Lemon/Lime Water Kefir  (Stage 2) from Stage 1 (which is below) that had been started the day before

Re-made the Water Keifr for Stage 1 to keep the cycle going
Mixed up Artisan Bread and made  E milk Kefir from the skimmed milk (see above)
Made up the loaves of Sourdough Fruit Bread from the day before soaking and rising
Then I re mixed the sour dough starter

Soaked the almonds (activated) and then  slow drying of almonds
Made a sourdough Spice Cake from the remains of the sourdough starter
Soaked then strained  wheat
Made an elderberry Tincture ready for the cold and flu season
Made up Chai Tea mix (started this but didn't finish)
Made this Sultana and Apple Shortcake - this is a huge favourite
Made up and used my own hair nourishing oil
Made some more of my Gentle Deodorant

Vellvin was also in the kitchen for a while and made -
THM brownies (FP)
Chocolate Pudding THM (FP) with
Frozen Strawberries in the food processor
Overnight Jar Oats THM (E) - no picture
Chocolate Sauce THM (FP) - no picture
Berry Breakfast Cake THM  (E) - no picture
All of these are tried and true recipes we use often.
And so the day comes to and.........we are left with the kitchen looking like this after a lot of washing up during the day but still lots of clean up to do.

Blessings to you and your homes,
 

Saturday, March 21, 2015

St Patrick Day 2015

One of the biggest celebrations during Lent is of course St Patrick and as usual we covered those three main aspects of a celebration in our home for this favourite feast day-
1. Food
2. Decorating and
3. Colouring and word searches while reading books about the particular feast day. 
At breakfast time instead of our usual 'table time' activities we read about the life of St Patrick from various sources including the book Tales of Irish Saints, 
After jobs were done we reconvened at the kitchen table to read our various picture books, even though I could not find one of our favourites Jamie O'Rourke  and the Big Potato, we did read our books that are tradition on this day.
Our favourites are St Patrick's Day in the Morning and the sense of tradition and family in The St Patrick's Day Shillelagh is very heart wrenching (well for me anyway)
We set up our St Patrick display on the buffet and hutch and even found a small snake for St Patrick this year :)
Our food consisted of Corned beef and Cabbage, mashed potatoes, carrots, beans and peas.
Soaked Irish Soda Bread and for sweets this year we made a Leprechaun Hill Chocolate Cake with a couple of cute little Leprechaun's and their treasure outside it.
Vellvin had been working on a Sprouted Wheat Chocolate Peppermint Oreo but we ran our of time for that little goodie and had them the next day instead.
Lunch had been our Shamrock breads with cucumber and 'prickles' (Trahaearn's word for pickle) placed in shamrock shapes on top of buttered bread (a big no no for us really)

Moran and Myffwyn had to run out to Girl's Brigade and Stephen and the older ones had plans to go out to (which didn't quite work out) so we didn't actually sit down to eat together for this celebration.
This was something that was quite new for us where we were not all together for a special celebration and it lost a little something in the process.

Any way a belated St Patrick's Day to you all!


Blessings to you and your homes,

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Soaked Irish Soda Bread


We have used this recipe with much success over the last few years. It is equally as delicious as the non soaked recipe I have used since well....forever.
It is generally reserved for St Patrick and St Brigid Feast Days but is a special occasion food for us as well
 Ingredients-
5 1/2 cups spelt or Kumut flour ( the Kumut  is more like a wholemeal flour compared to the white spelt we usually use)
2 cups  buttermilk
Port
1 cup dried currants and soak in Port
1 tsp bicarb soda
1 tsp Celtic sea salt 

Method:
Put five and one-half cups spelt or Kumut flour in a bowl, then stir two cups fresh buttermilk into the flour. Combine the flour and buttermilk well until the two are thoroughly mixed together to form a soft, shaggy dough.
Cover well and tightly, allowing the dough to sit at room temperature overnight or up to eighteen hours – a process referred to as “soaking.”

In a separate bowl or small container, pour out 2 cups dried currants then pour enough port over the currants and or sultanas to cover them. If you do not have whiskey on hand, or do not wish to use it, cover the currants with filtered water brought to room temperature.
Allow the currants and or sultanas to soak in the port for the same amount of time you allow the flour to soak in buttermilk – overnight to eighteen hours.

The next day, after the dough and currants have sufficiently soaked overnight or up to eighteen hours, strain the currants from the whiskey reserving the whiskey for another use as you see fit. Preheat your oven to 200 degrees Celsius 

While the oven preheats, turn the dough out onto a floured surface and gently knead  the whiskey-soaked currants, one teaspoon baking soda and one teaspoon celtic sea salt into the dough. Flour your hands, as needed, and shape the dough into a nice, full and round ball.

Cut a deep cross into the top of the dough. When ready place in and bake for twenty-five to thirty minutes.
After the soda bread has baked for 30 mins reduce the heat  150  and continue to bake for another fifteen to twenty minutes.

Remove the bread from the oven and allow it to cool thoroughly before serving.

Or if like us you like it hot and smothered with butter just eat it now.

Blessings to you and your homes,
 
Linked to Wise Woman Link up
Linked to The Art of Homemaking Mondays

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Using Spiral Notebooks for our Home Learning

As I was planning for this year's lessons I read about the success of using Spiral Notebooks to write out the day's lessons for each child.
Sarah writes about it in depth on her blog and I was really interested to read her points of view.

One of the points that struck me was this quote  a question with an answer that I thought of myself :)
 “Why should I write it out when I could just print out a checklist?”

Because something about the act of writing it out by hand triggers the brain to engage. When I’m writing my 13-year-old’s assignments out, I can tell that I’m giving her too much work when it’s taking me a while to write or the paper is filling up. It’s so easy to just pop in one more assignment on a spreadsheet on your computer. It’s harder to make the space when you’re writing it out by hand.

Also, writing it out means I’m constantly in touch with where each child is in each of his or her subjects. Instead of just giving an assignment that says “do the next math assignment,” it says “do lesson 14.”

The question was something I wondered  about and the answer does seem to make sense.

So for the start of the year instead of printing out that great tick of sheet I had finally worked out perfectly I bought each of the children a spiral notebook and started writing out each day's work, either the night before- my preference or as we started our morning routine.

So how is this going for us? What are the pros and cons?

And to answer both those-
It is going, not great but...... alright. 
I like the idea in theory.
I like the fact that I can tailor it to each day's needs like adding in the feast days activities or the impromptu outing we are having.
Or even to add or usually subtract what I want to achieve as against what we can achieve (after a late sleep in or sick children, or even a broken arm - more on that adventure soon)
I like being able to use it as a check off list as well, the tick off is evidence of what has been achieved.

The disadvantage is if life goes awry on me-
Like having to go away to take older children to college or said broken arm etc.
If I have not written it out then it is not there for the children to use if I am not available for some reason as stated.
There have been times I have had a problem and not been able to fill the books out and so we get behind . So the positives of using it as a record then means I need to fill in old pages in arrears- this is of course my own choice and not how Sarah uses her own copies.

Recommendations-
For now I will continue to use as I think the advantages out way the disadvantages. However like anything in our own home learning this could change if I feel it is not working well for us.

For each home is unique and what works for one family will not work for another or we take bits and pieces and adapt them to our own unique needs.

I highly recommend you read the blog post and at least see if it works for you.

Blessings to you and your homes,
 
Linked to Wise Woman Link Up
Linked to The Art of Home Making Mondays

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Autumn Seasons Table

It's Autumn again and so that means we are enjoying the cooler weather and in our hearts preparing for all the loveliness of the Autumn season and then the comfort of Winter.
Naturally this means the changing of the seasons table and associated other areas.
I love changing to Autumn as it is the most colourful of all the seasons and brings a warmth to the house with all those rich colours.
Again and again it seems that having the children means they love to take an active interest in the changing of the table.
Maybe this year I will get a chance to make more items for this display........maybe!!
This is one of my favourite places at the moment
I made these Autumn Leave ladies years ago and keep wanting to add to their ranks.
And of course we are learning this poem but changing the  September to March.

So welcome Autumn and we look forward to enjoying this season.
Blessings to you and your homes,
 

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