Worm farming

The tiger worms moved in to their new home on Tuesday. I got given worms from a guy at work that has been worm farming for 20 years. He was wonderfully keen to make sure I knew what the worms liked to eat. Apparently they enjoy a line of milk powder about once a month*  and they particularly like egg shells.

I’m already quite fond of the worms in an impersonal kind of way. Really looking forward to getting worm juice to put on the garden.

* but be careful not to put it everywhere because it tickles their bellies!!

Lemon tree planted

We planted a lemon tree in our garden. Thomas and I both firmly believe that a home needs a lemon tree :-)

Lemon Meyer: Popular lemon for the home garden, more tolerant that other varieties. Performs well in small garden areas or in pots strategically placed where the sweetly fragrant flowers can be enjoyed. Lemons are medium sized and juicy. Sun – part shade. Frost tolerant. Height 2m x 1. 5m.

Comment from garden centre: Feed three times a year but let it settle first!

Tabouli Recipe

My favourite Tabouli recipe.

1 cups cracked wheat (bulghur)
1 cups very hot water
1/2 cucumber, chopped
1 small tomatoes, chopped
1/2 bunch green onions, (4) sliced
1/4 cup fresh chopped mint
1 cups fresh chopped parsley
1 clove garlic, minced (optional)

Dressing:

1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
3/8 cup extra virgin olive oil
pinch of pepper
2 teaspoons salt, or to taste

Soak the cracked wheat in the hot water until the water is absorbed, about 30 minutes. When it’s ready, drain any excess water, if necessary, and squeeze dry.

Meantime, prepare the vegetables for the salad and mix the dressing ingredients together. Set aside.

Stir the prepared wheat, other salad ingredients, and dressing together in a medium bowl.

Serve chilled or at room temperature. Makes about 4 cups, 6 to 8 servings.

Thanks to http://www.greatpartyrecipes.com/tabouli-recipe.html (their recipe serves 12 to 16 – great for a party)

Cron experiments

I’ve been doing an introduction to Cron for three months now. During the introductory phase the main idea is to stop eating empty calories (low nutrient/high calorie) and start focusing on high nutrient/low calorie food.

I just went to my Drs for a check up.

During those three months I have:

·         Lost 5kgs

·         Bought my blood pressure back into healthy range

My Dr is really awesome. Quite supportive of me taking control of my own health while still wanting to help me monitor things and make sure I’m not doing anything silly. I think she likes the idea of working towards optimal health rather than just fixing illnesses.

I’m about to go slightly more hardcore with Cron so she has ordered me a bunch of blood tests which we can use as a health baseline. We will repeat again in 3 months time to see how I’m going.

For anyone who is interested in Cron these are the tests I’m getting done.

·         Renal – Creatinine

·         Renal – Uric Acid

·         Renal – Electrolytes

·         Lipids – Lipids Fasting

·         Thyroid – T.S.H

·         Glucose – Hb (HbA 1c)

·         Liver/Enzymes – Liver Function

·         Renal – Calcium/Phosphate

·         Full Blood Count

·         Ferritin

I’m looking forward to getting these results back. I did quite a few of them about a year ago when the Dr was trying to find out if my high blood pressure was being caused by another obvious problem. Hopefully the comparison is positive.

I really wish I could be part of this study but since I’m not in the States I’m doing it on my own.

Also, I feel great :-)

Two shakes

Watermelon shake

Take a watermelon. Remove pips. Put in blender with a tray of ice. Blend. 

OMG yum. 

One watermelon normally makes two blenders full. 

watermelon-smoothie
Hint: How to get pips out of watermelons

Use two bowls and a sieve. Scoop out the watermelon flesh into one of the bowls, then use your hands to grab out bits of flesh. The pips will come off easily. Use the sieve to collect the watermelon water at the bottom of the bowl while avoiding the pips. 

Spinach, orange and apple shake

1 cup of fresh spinach leaves
2 oranges
1 apple, peeled
1 cup chilled water
4 cubes of ice

Spinach, apple and orange smoothie

Peel and chop the apple and orange. Put all ingredients in the blender and blend! So fresh and energizing. Spinach love!

This is a sweet green drink with a slightly tart/bitter undertone. Very nice. Beware of the green moustache! 
 
Got spinach?

Kim with green "got spinach?" moustache

Silverbeet Soup

We got silverbeet in our organic veggie box delivery this week. I’m not a fan, I’d much rather have spinach…

However, I made a Silverbeet and Potato soup and it was nom (maybe even nom nom). So if you already like Silverbeet it may even be nom nom nom.

Enjoy. (Thanks to Martha at NZ Lifestyle)

2009-08-29 08:18:28 +1200

Silverbeet Soup

200g silver beet washed & chopped
400g diced potato
1 onion sliced
1 clove garlic sliced
6 cups of chicken stock
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 tablespoons lite sour cream
1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese

Soften onion and garlic in oil in soup pan, add potato, cook until onion is soft. Add stock and silverbeet. Cook gently until potato is cooked. Puree with a food processor or kitchen wand. Add sour cream and parmesan.

Serve with toasted pitta or crusty bread.

Thomas made what is known in our house as Potato croutons to sprinkle on top (crunchy small pieces of potato roasted in the oven).

Russian Fudge


We had a fudge making session. What an awesome idea! The fudge that really stood out was the Russian Fudge made by Michelle and Catherine.

Image by dragonflyblue

Russian Fudge

3 1/2 cups White Sugar
125 g butter
3 tablespoons Golden Syrup
1/2 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon salt
200 g sweetened condensed milk (half a standard tin)
2 teaspoons vanilla essence

Method

Place all the ingredients except the vanilla, into a medium-heavy saucepan. Warm over a gentle heat until the sugar has dissolved. Bring to a gentle boil and cook for about 15 — 20 minutes, until it reaches the soft ball stage (120°C).

Remove from the heat and add the vanilla. Beat (you can use an electric mixer) until the fudge is creamy and thick and has lost its gloss. Pour into a greased 20 cm cake pan. Score the top and break into pieces when cold.

*I’ve had trouble with the edmonds recipe but this one almost never fails. I find the trick to it is to keep the element at the same temperature, or on the same setting (low seems to be best on our gas hob), gently melting the ingredients together, stirring constantly, making sure the sugar dissolves. This makes for smoother, creamier fudge! YUM. It will come to boil on its own, in its own time, no need to turn the element up. Once it boils, try to stir it as little as possible, only to prevent it catching & burning. I put a drop into a glass of cold water to test for the soft ball stage.

Be sure to beat it well until quite thick & it will begin to set around the edges of the pot. Then you know it is ready :)

And never double the recipe!! This equals sure failure :P believe me!

(Recipe and comments from Jenna via Catherine)