A Perfect Loaf

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I thought the sourdough loaf that GMan managed to produce 3 months ago was good and you can see it here.  He has continued to work on fine-tuning the method and I think his most recent effort is pretty well perfect.

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It must be about time he tried making that gluten-free starter for me.  🙂

Unexpected

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Two weeks ago I published my last blog post.  The content emphasised the ordinariness of my day.  I had made breakfast and a new batch of gluten-free muesli.  My day continued in a similar vein as I did some housework and then spent time in the garden.

I came in to the kitchen just before 5pm so that I could begin preparing dinner and the phone rang.  My younger daughter had just found out that her partner had died suddenly and unexpectedly.  To say that her world had been turned upside-down would be an understatement.

At times like this everything else becomes totally irrelevant.  30 minutes later I had showered and packed a bag.  GMan had booked a flight for me and we headed to the airport.  I flew interstate to be with my girl at what was undoubtedly the most difficult time of her life.

She has received an enormous amount of love, support and strength from family, friends and work colleagues.

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On Monday we farewelled ‘the tall guy’ who was on the threshhold of the rest of his life and my daughter has lost her life-partner.  He was much loved and an inspiration to many.

Rest in peace.

I cannot end this post without a reference to the health condition which contributed to his death.  This link explains a little about Marfan Syndrome.  The incidence is apparently about 1 in 5,000 which is more common than I realised.

Thought for the Day

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This post really has nothing to do with the essence of the blog but is a trend I have noticed more and more.  Any of you who are reading this are clearly comfortable navigating your way around the internet and probably interact with a variety other people online so I am seeking your thoughts.

I am a member of several online forums and at least a couple of them have members who number well in excess of 20,000.  As you can imagine they are quite a diverse bunch in terms of location, education, income and interests.  However, since we are all members of a particular group and have at least one common interest or goal, you would expect that people would be supportive and kind.

It appears that nothing could be further from the truth.  Moderators are constantly reminding people of the rules and the expectation that people who post are treated with respect and kindness.  The other thing that I find sad is the bitterness and anger in so many posts.  It seems that all the joy has been sucked from them.

Whether it is online or in real-life, perhaps we could all try a little harder to be a little kinder and supportive in our interactions.  A more positive outlook will also go a long way to improving your own mental well-being.

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Glass is Good

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I have tried, as much as possible, to reduce our use of single-use plastic.  I know that there is always more that I can do so it is a work in progress, or as some would like to say, a journey.

As with any journey, it is also easier if you are connected with like-minded travellers so I am a member of a couple of different Facebook groups whose members have similar goals.  Some people are keen to remove all plastic, however, I am not about to throw away all of the plastic containers I have (to landfill) so that I can replace them with glass.  On the other hand, I am happy to look for glass when I need some more.

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After much research, I recently purchased 2 dozen Ball preserving jars.  You can read all about them in this post.  I have used some when I made jam recently but am also looking at other ways of using them.

I am aware that some people regularly freeze food in glass but that is not something that I have really done much so I decided that some research was in order as I know several people have had problems with glass jars breaking in the freezer.  This is not a saving of resources or money so I want to avoid that happening.  It turns out that for a glass jar to be suitable for freezer use it must have straight sides – that is no shoulder where it slopes in to the neck of the jar.  The preserving jars which I chose meet this criteria and are also deemed as suitable for freezer use on the panel on the box.

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Naturally, you also need to use commonsense and not put hot jars into the freezer and leave suitable headspace for the food to expand when frozen.  I also choose to chill them first in the refrigerator before transferring to the freezer as well as keeping the lids loose until they were completely frozen.  This strategy seems to have been successful.

Here are some jars of frozen mango puree and refried beans which I was about to transfer to the small freezer downstairs.  I tend to keep this freezer for storage and items which I use on a day-to-day basis in the freezer section of the refrigerator in the kitchen.

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The other purpose for which glass can be used is when taking your own containers to be filled at the shop.  This afternoon I took one of the smaller jars to the deli counter at the supermarket and bought olives.  There was no problem with the staff weighing the container prior to filling to to assess the tare weight and the price sticker was attached to the bottom of the jar.

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Plastic containers certainly have their place and I will continue to use them rather than discard simply for the sake of discarding them, however, it is an interesting exercise to test the boundaries as to how and where glass jars can be used.

 

Anyone Home?

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I have posted before about our new screen and gate at the end of the verandah to create a new front entrance.  This was installed about 6 months ago and all that was missing was a doorbell.

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That was remedied at Christmas when GMan received  a bell to mount beside the front entry.

Today we hung it up.

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We definitely will not have any problems hearing when someone is at the entrance.  As an aside, the cat is terrified of the sound!  Poor Mr Kitty.  😦

Add Some Straps

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Here is a quick post about a small sewing project I did recently.

Miss O had this strapless dress which was not really practical as it kept creeping down and she spent the entire day hitching it up.

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The addition of some simple black straps made it much more wearable.  This is the true colour of the dress, too.

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I used some wide elastic from my stash to put inside the straps and they now sit nicely on her shoulders.

Like a Duck

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I have been feeling a bit like a duck lately – all calm on the surface and paddling furiously beneath the surface!

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Work is busy and I have deadlines and targets to meet before Christmas.  I am hopeful of achieving them but I can only do what is humanly possible.

On the home front it is about the mundane things – washing, ironing, preparing meals as well as keeping the house in reasonable order.

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A menu plan written on the weekend is a must to keep me on track during the week.  Tonight was Mexican quinoa and while that was cooking I steamed a chicken breast fillet in preparation for tomorrow night.  In the morning I will take a tub of sweet and sour sauce and some rice from the freezer.  Tomorrow evening will be a simple matter of shredding the chicken, adding to the sauce and heating along with the rice.  Dinner will be ready in no time.

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Last night I did some ironing and tonight the folded clothes were put away.  A little bit each night helps to keep on top of the ordinary tasks and leaves me time for extra jobs on the weekend.

On Sunday we cleaned up the vegetable gardens and planted some new seedlings.  I hope to have some photos of the progress in a couple of days.  We also picked several kilos of cherry tomatoes which are washed, packed and frozen for later use.