Sunday, 21 October 2012

Baking, sewing and gardening

Both my knitting and my blog seems to have been somewhat forgotten about lately as I've been baking, gardening and sewing instead.  We've recently found that both of my boys have food intolerances to different foods which cause different reactions in both of them so I've been experimenting with creating dairy free, gluten free, potato free, honey free kai for my boys whilst also reducing and/or eliminating sugar that actually tastes like something you'd like to eat.  It has been a really frustrating time as I've had a lot of failures.  I really don't like to waste food and I also don't have time for failures, especially as the boys only really eat fresh food or food that I have made.  But after my lovely Mother-in-law sent down a copy of The Family Friendly Gluten Free Cookbook by Anna King I have been experiencing some success at last.  Here are the chocolate chip biscuits that were my first success in gluten free baking.
I have two little pets now - a ginger beer bug and a sourdough starter. I started with my ginger beer bug; giving it a little ginger and sugar every day and ensuring that it was kept warm day and night.  Before I go to bed each night I sneak into Felix's bedroom and put him on the shelf so he's warm all night long.  Within 24 hours my little bug started bubbling away as the natural yeasts got to work.  It doesn't smell all that pleasant yet but its not entirely unpleasant either.  I think that its only going to be another week before I can 'put down a brew'.  I'm a little excited about it!
My little sourdough starter is something that I've been interesting in experimenting with for a while but haven't had a lot of luck and then I just got bored with it.  We had been baking our own bread in our friends' breadmaker for a while but after Felix was found to be intolerant to dairy, gluten and bakers yeast we pretty much stopped eating bread.  So I thought that if we're only having bread very infrequently it had might as well be good, homemade, delicious bread.  Well that's the plan anyway!  The proof will be in the pudding as they say.  As with the ginger beer it is just a few simple ingredients (namely water and flour) plus the natural yeasts in the air that are doing all the work. Here it is bubbling away so magnificently!
Our little vegetable garden is doing great. We harvested our first bunch of silverbeet last week to make the delicious Annabel Langbein Saffron and Baby Spinach Risotto.  The risotto was a real hit with the boys and it was absolutely delicious - I'm sure that it was even more so because the silverbeet came from our garden!  I can't wait for our courgettes and peas to mature.

My sewing machine and overlocker have been getting a lot of use lately as I've been sewing trousers for the boys to wear to their Uncle and Aunty's wedding next month and also dresses for my niece and friends' daughters Christmas presents.  The trousers are nearly done - I've left the cuffs incomplete just in case the boys have a growth spurt in the next few weeks.  They look pretty spiffy in their red knitted bow ties, white fitted shirts and charcoal trousers. This gorgeous little dress is the one that I'm making for the girls' Christmas present - I've made three and have three to go. They are really sweet and pretty straightforward to make too.  Love that!


  1. Beautiful Yasmine! I was so delighted to see your face on Jodi's beautiful blog.

    Jo (from mothers group) and I often think of you and wonder how life is over in NZ. SO delighted to see you have 2 boys now! AWESOME!!

    I'll look forward to keeping up to date here on your blog

    xo em (from mothers group)

    1. Great to hear from you Emily! I too often think of you and Jo and wonder if your boys are into similar things to my Gus (i.e. growing up too quickly and creating havoc where ever he goes!) I look forward to following your blog and will comment there. Take care and congratulations! Xo