Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Slow Living Essentials - September

Linking up with Christine for Slow Living Essentials - September
"Join me as I reflect over the past month and various achievements I have made along the way as I strive to lead a more conscious, slower life.  As always, you are very welcome to join in - just leave a link to your own blog post at the bottom of this page and enjoy sharing your reflections with like minded people. Have a great October out there, everyone!"

Trying to make as many of the after school snacks as I can.   I like muffins, they are so quick and easy, and it's so simple to vary the flavors.
The temperatures have dropped here so I'm enjoying cooking up big pots of stews and soups.  My old and faithful pot has taken retirement as her one remaining handle looks set to break at any time she's full of hot liquid and I've treated myself to a lovely new cast-iron one, in red!
Moroccan Couscous
There has also been some serious jamming going on around here - red & black currant, apricot & vanilla and rhubarb & ginger...

... and of the savory kind - mint & almond pesto

I've made the decision to take apart my 'shalom'!  I think I've only ever worn it twice since making it as it's just not comfortable.  I payed quite a bit for the Noro yarn so it seems a waste to have it sitting in the closet. I'm planning on making this with it.
so long shalom!!  you just don't fit right!
Found a great borax free washing powder recipe over on My Healthy Green Family and have been using it for the past month without complaint.  Previously I had make laundry detergent with borax which I had to buy online.  The postage was the same price as the borax, making the whole enterprise more expensive than organic store bought detergent. I have also been soaking lemons rinds in white vinegar for 3 weeks then cutting the infused mix half and half with pure white vinegar and a few drops of eucalyptus essential oil, as an all purpose cleaner.
For the first time since we built the house ten years ago, a tree just beside the chicken coop, produced fruit.
The hens (which we got this spring) often scratch and peck (and I guess poo) around the base of it, could there be a link?  I was a bit wary as to wether the fruits were edible at first but the kids told me not to worry they'd been eating them for days!!!
Our other plum trees produced delicious fruit also
Making good progress on Tino's Fire Truck Sweater, using for the first time, the Intarsia technique for the color work.

In my last Slow Living Essentials post I extolled the virtues of my new toy - Kindle, but it has also revealed a 'dark' side of myself which i didn't think existed - Impulse Buying!!! Normally I procrastinate for weeks before actually purchasing something and nine times out of ten I talk myself out of wanting it altogether.  But this instant download thing, got me hook line and sinker.  I now have 17 books on my Kindle, bought in the space of three months!
Maybe this should come under {Prepare} but wood stacking seems so much more than just preparing for the winter.  I took my camera for a stroll around the village last week just to take pictures of wood piles!! I love the care and attention that people put into staking their wood, it's feels like some kind of last, ultimate reverence to this precious gift before burning it.

The little people went back to school at the beginning of the month so I've been enjoying some slightly more challenging hikes with Richard.  We did quite a few easy hikes with the boys this summer, and we were glad to see they enjoyed the activity as much as we do.  This is something we plan on doing a lot more of together in the future.
Col du Brevent

Plan de l'Aiguille
Looking forward to reading what you've been up to in September.


  1. Emma you have portrayed your life in such a beautiful way. I think you are right to reuse the Noro yarn if you are not happy with the sweater. The new vest is going to look so good in that yarn.
    Hugs to you,

  2. mint & almond pesto....sounds good!

  3. What a lovely blog to visit. I loved your picture of the wood stacked so neatly, it puts our wood heap on the farm to shame! Loved that the kids had been eating the fruit for days before you had tried it !!

  4. I'm sad to hear about the Shalom Sweater... it's so pretty, but if you don't like it, you should reuse the yarn.

    Chicken manure is excellent fertilizer.

    I love your little truck.

  5. The truck sweater is going to be so cute - and though I like the shalom sweater, I completely understand ripping it out if it never gets worn (Ive done it myself).

  6. I love this idea it is wonderful to see what you have been up to. The mint and almond pesto sounds delicious do you have a recipe to share? Hope your new knit is better than the shalom!

    1. Hi, the recipe is from River Cottage Veg Everyday (Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall) and I can't recommend it enough:
      50g blanched almonds lightly toasted (I use whole almonds with skin on), 50 leaves mint (I also add a big handful of spinach or swiss chard leaves - which ever I happen to have in the garden) 1 clove garlic, chopped, finely grated zest of 1 lemon plus a squeeze, 1/2 tsp of dijon mustard, pinch of sugar (spoon of honey works fine), 75ml approx rapeseed or olive oil, s & p. Blitz almonds,mint, garlic and lemon. Add sugar and mustard and with the motor running add oil. I freeze it like this then add parmesan or hard goats cheese before eating.
      Bon Appétit!

  7. Continue to be madly in love with your blog - adore the wood stack photos, that's something I'd do :) and love the story of the fruiting tree - I had that happen to a stump that one year finally awoke, grew branches, and is now my favorite lilac tree :)

  8. Beautiful pictures! I love the fire truck sweater, and the jams! Summer is approaching here so I'm eagerly awaiting many 'jamming' days ahead!

  9. Oh Emma, your beautiful blog makes me want to fly over to France and come to visit. I grew up hiking in the Cape mountains with my dad. You live in such a beautiful place. Your preserves also look scrumptious.

  10. How I enjoy these peeks into your life! The jam is beautiful as are the muffins. I do love muffins! The stacked wood piles are great. The photo of the wood in the building puts me to shame as I complain about moving our 2 cords from the driveway to the back of the house each fall.

    Gorgeous scenery shots of your part of the world!

  11. Okay, you've made me hungry and want to do stuff :-) What incredible hikes! The scenery is absolutely breathtaking. And I love your thoughts (and photos) around the wood stacking. I'm going to go and reconsider our wood stack, and see if it is being treated with the reverence it deserves.

  12. Hiya! I've stumbled over here via Slow Living Essentials. Your cakes and jams look wonderful! Your pesto may have inspired me... Could you please repost the link to the borax-free laundry powder? It doesn't seem to be working for me...

    Nickie :)

    1. Hi Nickie
      Thanks for visiting

  13. I love those cast iron pots -- ours are red, too. I just have to watch what I cook in the biggest one or I can barely lift the thing! That one is mostly Hubby's toy.

    About the Kindle -- have you found Amazon's lists of free titles? They're updated hourly and you can get a lot of great reads without spending a dime. (Not that it stops me from buying books, but I do try to be good.)