Kombucha

Recently a friend gave me a scoby (Symbiotic Colony Of Bacteria and Yeast) and instructions to make my first batch of Kombucha tea… and today it gave birth in my kitchen cabinet. Kombucha

Although having done the research and followed strict instruction, I could hardly believe that the slimy disc, given tea and sugar would split off and duplicate in the quite and dark of a kitchen cabinet, making ready to ferment the next batch of gut enriching effervescent tea!

Although I have discovered the joy of fermentation through sourdough, being able to actually witness the living organism of kombucha grow before my very eyes has brought back a certain childhood wonder that is much too rare in adulthood.

It is yet another week until I can sample the fruits of Kombucha, and so it is just the beginning of a new journey of discovery and relationship. What an incredible connection, to watch you food grow before your very eyes, to feed it and allow it to feed you! What we have lost through the processing and commercialization of our food. What we can gain by finding the time and patience to reconnect with it again.

 

Eco-Hemp Tea Towel Range

IMG_20150116_204419The Lilliane Wilde range of Eco Hemp Tea Towels are now available at Gumboots – The Farmgate in the Village (Yarragon). Gumboots offers a range of Gippsland produce and products in the one stop as you pass through Yarragon.

The Lilliane Wilde range include 100% Hemp and 50/50 Hemp Cotton Tea Towels. Hemp is a naturally anti-bacterial fabric. You will find that these tea towels improve with age and will last a life time. You may wish to wash your tea towel before use. You will find that with washing and ironing the fabric will soften. It is a highly absorbent fibre and an extremely eco friendly crop to grow due to the speed at which Hemp grows and the lack of pesticides needed due to its speedy growth rate.

Discover more gorgeous local produce available next time you pass through Yarragon at the Gumboots website.

De-mystifying the Traditional Christmas Pudding

Christmas does not happen in our house without Christmas Pudding. When my grandmother moved into a home and I inherited the pudding bowls I knew that this came with an unspoken invitation to take up the tradition of cooking the pudding. After several phone conversation with my Nanna, Mum and many You Tube clips later, I have come to the conclusion that its not that mysterious you just need to know a few of these tips:

Tip Number 1:

DSC_3831If you are doing this for the first time, buy enough unbleached calico to easily cover your pud and allow for tying. I tested this with a big ball of wool in my pudding bowl before cutting the fabric. You then need to boil the fabric to both steralize and soften it. I did this in separate water to that which I would later boil the pud in (if you are re-using the fabric the following year you can use the same water!)

 

DSC_3821Tip number 2:

Soak your fruit overnight in orange juice and brandy. Warm it up until all the fruit softens, mixing frequently and then let it cool over night in the pot.

 

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Tip number 3: Once your mixture is ready you will need to have the fabric prepared. To do this, after boiling in water, wearing rubber gloves, squeeze out the water and place it on a clean bench. Rub a generous amount of flour in the fabric (I kept the DSC_3841 gloves on to do this which seemed to help) … then with the flour side up, place the fabric in your pudding bowl. Leave the corners and edges free of flour. This provides a seal and prevents water getting in and your pudding getting soggy. I found a fair bit of butter in the water after boiling the puddings, but apparently this is normal (so says mum).

 

Last Tip:

When hanging to dry, separate the corners to assist them in completely drying out (otherwise risk mould). To prevent the string from snapping, double it up before tying. The best time to cook your puds is the last weekend of November!

As they say, the proof will be in the pudding, fingers crossed for Christmas day!

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Still Life Set up Sunday

Had a lovely lazy Sunday down at the local bowls club followed by some still life set up time – working with the themes of object, weight and the experience of time and memory. Why do some objects gather soo much value while others we are happy to leave by the side? These kitchen scales were used by my sister, cousin and myself to bake scones at Nana’s. I often see similar sets of scales in op shops – and somehow think – although identical – they’re not the same as mine!IMG_20141114_184307 IMG_20141116_202944

Slow Textiles – another slogan for the Hipster Dictionary?

I heard a saying this week while listening to a talk by Tim Cope; If you have to rush, rush slowly.

It has resonated with me.

When I read the phrase ‘Slow Textiles’ recently on social media, my initial reaction was a quick turning of the eyes skyward – another slogan to be added to the Hipster Dictionary. Images of fermenting linen danced across my mind. Putting my inner cynic to the side, I let the words linger a little longer.

In so many ways life is on a fast track like never before. We crave convenience to such an extent that we have become not only willing, but eager consumers. Searching out the latest, shiniest, what is trending, being hit, shared, liked, pinned.

Slow, from a conditioned point of view, is tainted with negative interpretation; behind the eight ball, not up to speed, yesterday’s news. And yet there is such value in the ability to pause, breath a moment longer, make space for another way, an alternative thought, or if you are brave enough to relinquish the control of inner dialogue, allow just for a moment, no thought at all.

To rush slowly, evoked in me that inner balance. Cope described it as the midway point between passion and patience, between the need to have ambition, to feel propelled forward, to have a goal and yet to be gentle, to tread lightly as you move forward and find the way that honours yourself and others simultaneously.

This creative process, between action and inaction, can take you into the places that are alive and beyond your imagination. It happens when you are living in cooperation with something that is greater than thOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAe small version of yourself. It takes an inner bravery that is very quite, very still. It doesn’t have slogans or a tag and is far too often missing from our lives today.

To rush slowly. What a lovely combination of words to cross my path this week.