Saturday, December 29, 2012

Grow Our Own, Make Our Own

One of the wonderful things about having a veggie garden is being able to grow ingredients needed for making our own products.
We are not able to grow everything we like but sometimes we get blessed from our friends who have had extra (hope to do the same for them).
Our first cucumber for the season. Have more growing :)

2 boxes of Broccoli thanks to dear friends.

Got right on to preparing them for the freezer.

Our basil growing in the garden. Have over 20 plants now around the garden. So using to make our own basil pesto. Will freeze some for the winter months.

We used the pesto here with risoni. And had a side dish of our courgettes with onion. Was a yummy quick dinner.

Started up a ginger beer plant to fill our cupboard's with the refreshing drink. And a good use for our lemons.

The ginger beer in bottles. making our own means we can control what goes into our drinks (less sugar, and real ingredients not chemicals)

And look what dear friends have blessed us with more. Plums and tomatoes. Our tomatoes aren't ready yet, so these were very welcomed for our salads. Plums will be cooked up and preserved for the coming winter months.
Waste Not Want Not - Be Thankful For What You Have

Friday, December 28, 2012

Starting the $100 Food Shop Challenge Again

Time to get back to our $100 Food shop. With our garden providing alot of fresh food and finding a great new shop called Reduced to Clear (sells cheap groceries), this shouldn't be to hard.
Just a reminder this $100 is just for food, not for non food items like toothpaste, toilet paper etc. And is per week (so $5200 for the year).
With menu planning, sticking to the shopping list and shopping once a week we hopefully should stick to the budget. Will shop with cash (and our homemade envelope system will help with that).
Also we are making our own products that we would normally buy like ginger beer, basil pesto, tomato pasta sauce etc that will help to keep costs down.
Finally the recipes, not having flashy expensive dinners. Not always having meat. Also times when we are using up leftovers.

Look forward to seeing what we can achieve this new year :)

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Christmas was Great

Christmas Lunch with family, simple with alot of love. We used compostable plates, bowls and cups (so not to fill rubbish bin, and less dishes to wash)

Our $35 Christmas Ham. We have already had 3 meals from and still going.

Veggies and flowers from our garden. Saw the same bunch of flowers in a florist for $10. I love sunflowers lots, and happy I don't have to buy them. We have to keep an eye on our courgettes now as some are becoming marrows.

Had to share our 3 different types of courgettes. Having them today for dinner, in a quiche and pasta sauce. Love the colours. That middle courgette is a heirloom variety, and our first year trying it.
We also have our 1st cucumber growing, will have to pick soon for salads. Have to prepare our stage 6 garden for planting more veggies.

Today will start to pack up our Christmas boxes, and get them ready for next year. Went to the Warehouse shop today to buy some Christmas items for 60% off. This helps with the Christmas budget alot. But also helps to have less trips to shops in the busy time of year. Being able to buy 8 rolls of wrapping paper for $1.60, and gift tags for .80c is a great saving.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas 2012

Looking forward to today. Having Pancakes for breakfast with my beautiful family (thanks to our dear chickens eggs). Then after time with our dear pets, they need care and attention too. We are going to have a lunch with more family :). The ham is ready, just need to make potato salad. With what other family is bringing it will be a yummy special time. The weather might not be the best. But time with family and friends make the day so special.
I will be able to share photos from our new camera soon. It was brought with Christmas present cash and gift card. Our other camera died on us, thank you camera for 8 years of memories :)
But before I can add photos I have to work out how to get them off the camera and on to the computer.

Hope you all have a blessed Christmas.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Christmas Is Coming

And it's going to be a very simple, old fashion Christmas for us.
With one thing after another happening in the past few weeks, have left us with very little to spend this Christmas.
But no worries, we will make it into a trip back in time to a simpler meaningful Christmas.
Reading this article helped make this choice for this year.
How has Christmas in New Zealand changed in 150 years?
So for us it means family time, picnic lunch (might be inside picnic, depends on the weather)
And presents will be either homemade or low cost. Talking with DH we decide that this year for us and the kids we are going to put our names in a hat and choose one. That is the person we are getting a gift for. Hopefully teaching the kids about the gift of giving.
The kids have been helping me with the Christmas cards, and soon will help with the Christmas baking.
And you know what it's making me excited about Christmas.

Looking forward to making popcorn and watching "It's a Wonderful Life!"with my family :)

Friday, December 7, 2012

Mary Mary How Does Your Garden Grow

Wow even with the bad weather we have been having, the garden has taken off. And has been helpful keeping our fruit and veggie budget down. Nearly every dinner has something from our garden now.
Section One has Butternut Squash, Black King Eggplant, Peach Melba Nasturtium, Sunflower x2, Cucumber x2, Black Krim Tomato, Green Basil, Lettuce, Blue Borage, Purple Beauty Capsicum, Green Courgette, Yellow Scallopini, Sun Gold Tomato, Marigold.

Section Two has Ivory Eggplant, Yellow Capsicum, Dwarf Sunflower, Cucumber, Yellow Courgette, Lettuce, Rocket, Butternut Squash, Swiss Chard, Red Chicory, Carrots, Beetroot, Roma Tomato, Green Basil, Celery.

Section Three has Lettuce, Orange Capsicum, Swiss Chard, Sunflower, Cucumber, Red and Green Spring Onions, San Marzano Tomato, Green Basil, Red Capsicum, Butterbeans, Black Velvet Nasturtium, Marigold, Spinach, Tomato from neighbour.

Section Four has Lettuce, Banana Capsicum, Rock Melon, Marigold, Tomatoes from neighbour x2, Green Basil, Purple Broccoli, Orange Long Capsicum, Squire Kale, Greenfeast Peas, Green Scallopini, White Cloud Capsicum.

Section Five has Tomatoes from our neighbour x2, Purple Basil, Carrots, Crystal Apple Cucumber, Dill, Celery, Red Acre Cabbage. Still have more to plant before this section finished.
Section Six has our chickens still at work on it. But in a couple of weeks it will be ready to plant more veggies.

I also did a list of our fruit plants that we have ( I look forward to get back to preserving for winter)
  • Brown Turkey Fig
  • Grapefruit
  • Peach
  • Crab Apple
  • Red Guava
  • Yellow Guava
  • Thornless Jewel Berries
  • Tangelo
  • Blueberries
  • Olives
  • Mandarins
  • Splendor Apple
  • 2x Fejoias
  • Ted's Red Tamarillo
  • Lemon
  • Passionfruit
  • Thornless Blackberries
  • Strawberries
Then we also have herbs in pots, like rosemary, thyme, mint, lemon balm etc

We might not be self-sufficient, but we are eating healthier :)

Saturday, December 1, 2012

We Have Our Christmas Tree Up

This year we are blessed with my parents Christmas Tree. We didn't make it as big as it can be, as we have little space. But it perfect in a pot with sand.
DS7 and DD11 decorated the tree. I'm so proud of them.
DS7 set up the Nativity Set under the tree.
Loving the children's excitement over Christmas season. And thankful that we can do it cheaply. Next the children are going to help me with the cards, maybe we can do a little family newsletter?