Saturday, June 26, 2010

Recycle This

ultimate mattress recycle

a new bed came into our house so that left us with an extra mattress.
i listed it on freecycle & someone said they wanted it but didnt turn up to collect.

so i got this idea into my head to see how much of it i could use.

take 1 single bed mattress & a pile of old Jeans
help/hindrance from my Sally girl & 1 teen boy

i cut off the top & bottom fabric

removed the top & bottom foam

cut the recycled cotton matting from the springs & cut it in half on both sides

removed the side foam
then all that was left were the springs

cut up a stack of old jeans & sewing together to cover the recycled cotton matting, making 4 mats for Sally.
the denim is easy to vacuum & wash.

Sally Girl trying out her new mats

there were 4 lots of foam under the fabric, 3 of these i used to top up my old couch

the 4th i will use to make a cushion for a bench
1 of the side foams was used to hold the cover on my couch by tucking it down the back

the springs will go into the garden as a trellis for my spring peas

all that is left is 3 side foams & the top & bottom fabric, haven't decided on those bits yet will update when i do

Friday, June 18, 2010

a Day in Town

Last Sunday 'A' & i ventured into Town
[for those of you who dont know where Town is well that would be Sydney, Circular Quay to be our destination]
we dont go into Town very often we just arnt Town people with our Rail,Bus,Ferry tickets in hand we caught the Train into Central & changed for one to the Quay.

it was about 9 am when we stepped onto the platform. a short walk from the Quay found us at The Rocks where the market was setting up.
we had a lovely wonder around & then popped into the Lowenbrau's for a hearty breakfast mm cant recommend the breakfast.

then we were off to our intended destination, we had come to see an exhibition at the Museum of Sydney. for those of you who dont know the museum was built on top of the First Government House. $10 entry fee & a bright orange sticker stuck to my cardy, up the stairs we wandered.
the exhibition we had come to see was

'Skint' Making Do in the Great Depression

The New York stock market crash called BLACK TUESDAY, 29 October 1929 was the beginning of the Great Depression. 'A' & i spent a good 2 hours in there reading about how people lived/survived what they did for fun, stories that made me nearly cry, listening to radio broad casts from Don Bradman & Phar Laps melbourne cup win.

it is a very inspiring exhibition, made me even more thankful for all we have.

we live a life a luxury they lived a life of necessity

80 years ago people survived with no homes, no work, little or no food & in doing so created the 'Make Do' principle that they would pass onto other generations.
now more so than at any other time since the end of the great depression, the 'Make Do' principles are coming around again. we are becoming more about family/friends, reusing, recycling, keeping chickens, growing our fruits & vegetables, bartering & sharing knowledge.
we could all learn a lot from the people who found a way to live.

for anyone wanting to go to the exhibition it is open until the 25 July

or you can go here for some film footage

while in the museum we also saw another exhibition called 'Up The Cross' a photographic exhibition by Rennie Ellis & Wes Stacey 1970-1971

after leaving the museum we headed back to the Quay & caught the ferry over to Manly.
for me Manly wasnt the attraction it was all about the Ferry. for those of you who dont know, i lov traveling on ferries
[trains come in a close second]

as a kid a spent a lot of time in the wheel house of pretty much every Sydney Ferry as well as some of the floating restaurants.
the rock & sway of a vessel on the water is awesome.

we had some fish & chips for lunch & the ferry back to the Quay
[we did go over to the beach & i have to say i have been to hundreds of beaches & Manly wouldnt even come close to being a must visit a second time.]

for anyone who hasnt been on a Manly Ferry, they never have to turn around there is a wheel house at each end, so the skipper & engineer just walk to the other end.

Friday, June 04, 2010

Seasons & Soup

Seasons & Soup

Autumn has come & gone i spent some of my bits of time admiring all the autumn leaves, even bringing some inside but alas as the house is so warm from the fire they only lasted a few hours before they crumpled & died.
a stem of crumpled leaves in a glass jar still sits on my table mmm
from Autumn we now meander on into Winter the lovely cold season of woolly hats, coats & scarves, hot hearty meals, fresh home made bread.
most of the beautiful colour has been stripped from the trees leaving behind the bones.

as sit here looking out my window on a cold rainy day i see piles of leaves ready to go in the compost bay, a few determined leaves clinging to their branches on the maple tree, their beautiful colours warm my heart.
out of all the trees in my yard, my favorite has to be the giant blood plum trees standing guard with their winter arms swaying in the breeze, green lycan clinging to the bark.
these trees are beautiful in all seasons, the end of winter is marked with the first buds showing themselves as they spring forth with new leaves & spring finds them covered with blossom & buzzing bees, a hammock between the two gives me somewhere to relax, read & think.
summer the flowers turn to beautiful dark purple fruit that is sweet & juicy.
as the weather starts to cool again the last purple leaves fall, the hammock is stored away & winter is here again.

on this cold winters day i think a recipe is in order
pumpkins are ripe & bringing visions of a thick orange soup with a crusty sourdough loaf
whether you grow your own or pick some up at the green grocer they are super cheap,
this is a very easy soup to make it just takes a bit of time [you can spread it over a few days as i sometimes do when time is limited]

Pumpkin Soup

this recipe is not exact as im not big on measuring
choose the type of pumpkin you like best
for me i like either butternut or jap

this recipe will make about 4lt of soup [ i make a lot more so i can freeze individual portions for lunches or quick dinners]

3 medium butternuts or 1 medium jap [ about 31/2 to 4 kg ]
chopped into about 2 inch chunks

1 large full head of garlic [ russian is best as it has large cloves ]
1 tab oil

1 large onion finely chopped

1/2 tea nutmeg

1 tea cumin

course salt & cracked black pepper to
vegetable stock powder No Salt Add [depending on how thick you like your soup]
extra oil

oven 190 Celsius

place chopped pumpkin & whole unpeeled garlic cloves into oven pans,
drizzle with the extra oil toss to coat
bake for 20 mis or so until garlic is soft, remove the garlic [dont over cook]
bake the pumpkin until its soft & has some black caramel bits [adds to the flavour]

place all pumpkin into a large mixing bowl squeeze the garlic from the skin into the pumpkin
heat the oil in a large pot over a medium heat
cook the onion until it is translucent & soft
add the nutmeg, cumin, salt & pepper cook for 1 min stirring the whole time.

make up your stock using boiling water 2 or 3lt at a time
you can use a food processor but as i dont have one i use my blender

place a small amount of pumpkin plus the onion mix into the blender with some stock
blend until smooth & pour/scrape into your big pot
continue until all the pumpkin is blended

your soup will be thick so add water to thin it down to your desired consistency, heating it on a low to medium heat
[we like ours thick so it sticks to the bread]

serve with a crusty bread

freezes well/defrost in the fridge