Sunday, April 26, 2009

Small important projects

In our attempts to live simply, it is the small but important projects which often make a huge difference.

For example, our Myer lemon tree is now covered in fruit. Unlike the Eureka, the Myer has one big crop and then no lemons for much of the year. It is important to store our harvest and that is what I am doing right now, with the help of the extra freezer space in the new fridge.

Freezing the juice in icecube trays will mean that we always have lemon juice on hand for such things as baking and of course, in the winter time, for soothing sore throats. I will also be freezing some lemon zest for recipes too. Lemons are quite expensive to buy in the shops but our Perth climate means that most of us can have lemons on hand when we want them.

This winter plan to add a Eureka to the citrus 'orchard' in the back yard. We have a lime which is, for the first year, looking established and which is greatly valued for it's role in gin and tonics, among other things! We also have a small mandarin which is struggling to be established after we moved it last year, and a slightly bigger ruby grapefruit.

Another crop which is easy to grow in a small area and which adds so much to our diet is the herbs we grow for abundant flavour. I have 5 different basil plants at the moment and intend, this week, to harvest the annual ones for pesto which I will freeze in cubes too. There is something magic about a cube or two in a vegetarian pasta dish, to add shine and flavour to the sauce. At the end of summer I make it with basil and that lasts us until the spring when I make another batch with nasturtium leaves . I found that recipe in Jan Oldham's book ( a favourite of mine).

I have finally finished my Easter bunting! It is a good thing the festival of Easter lasts 50 days! I have worked out how to cut the fabric so that I don't waste too much of it and intend shortly to make some in a gorgeous green spot, green flower and red gingham mix which will double as a party bunting and also as another Chrsitmas decoration.

Finally, this long weekend is the time to complete a project outdoors. We have an outdoor setting which has lasted years and years, but the wooden slats are now breaking and it needs some repairs. The garage has been cleared and the painting has begun. Hopefully by the end of the day I will be able to show off the new look patio setting!

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