Friday, May 4, 2012

Simple Living

Our journey to living more simply will be ongoing and never-ending I think. I am constantly re-evaluating the things we are doing, the how, the why, the what, when and where. I received this book by Rhonda Hetzel a few weeks ago, and I really do love it.

Although it's really quite a simple book and I didn't really learn anything 'new' from it, it is so beautifully presented, and such a gentle guide and, hmmmm, kind of a tap on the shoulder saying "hey, remember this stuff, you know works, keep trying!"

The biggest thing I have taken from the book is the message for Mums who choose to stay home and not return to work outside of the home.The message, the way I perceive it, is this (in a nutshell): your work in the home is important, incredibly important.

 Although our governments and society in general are constantly trying to have us believe that contributing financially is more important than contributing to society through the work that is being done in our homes, raising our children.............this is not necessarily true.

 Every day we head out in to the world, perhaps to school, to work, to catch up or care for family and friends, or any one of a million other reasons, whatever it is.

Whatever happens each day, it may be fabulous, it may be awful, it might just be the end of the day we head for home. It should be a haven.

This is where we are raising our children and nurturing our relationships, taking stock of how we choose to live, taking care of ourselves.

In my ever so humble opinion there is too much pressure on women with children to be organising alternative care for their children so that they can return to work. Makes so very little sense to me. In my wildest dreams never did I plan on having children so I could pass them on to someone else to raise while I worked.

I truly do not feel that my government, society, my community in general, give those mothers who stay at home to raise children any support or encouragement to do what they do. Sad, really, how driven by the dollar our world really is.

Holy-going-off-track, clearly all of this is very much on my mind at the  moment............this was to be a post about bread and bircher muesli, believe it or not. Doesn't take much to get me off track sometimes.

 I simply believe that when Mums do choose to stay at home and raise their children, the world benefits from this, it's good, and there should be encouragement and support (I'm not referring to financial support when I refer to support for SAHM's, simply the kind of support where SAHM's will no longer be made to feel like they are lazy leeches of society) for those who choose to live this way.

I am getting off my soap box now, to talk bread. Promise.

I started making bread a month or so ago, I'm still trying to nut it all out.
Started out using a free standing mixer to knead the dough and baking in the oven. I quite like doing it this way but it means that we  always have our fresh bread in the afternoon, and not in the morning when we really want it.

This is one of my oven baked loaves, so yummy on the day of baking........the next day, and subsequent days....not so much. My bread is still coming out a little 'doughy', so maybe it's just because of that.

This also, obviously, an oven job, is a Spinach and Fetta pull apart. I wasn't a huge fan, it was a little too 'spinachy' for me. Surprizingly though, the kids liked it. After they got over their initial 'That looks yuck' thoughts that is.

We were given a bread making machine by one of my sisters and have used it a couple of times and will use it again. The big plus for me with the bread machine is the fact that you can have fresh bread (and the beautiful fresh bread aroma) ready to go when you get out of bed in the morning. Just sitting there on the kitchen bench waiting for you! That's gold.
The big negative is that the bread machine is a decent sized appliance and if you have an itty bitty kitchen like me.........where in the world are you going to keep that sucker? Also I really do like doing it the way I was, but there's no way we'll ever get to wake up to fresh bread in the morning with me doing it that way.
Haven't decided for or against either way yet. Going to give it a bit more time.

In other kitchen adventures, my little boy who really is just not that interested in food that's good for him, decided he wanted to try bircher muesli. We have a selection of reading material in our loo, for those who like to sit and ponder. Clary is one of these people. He often sits in there singing his little heart out, loudly. You just know when Clary is sitting on the toilet.
One day he called me to his office in the toilet to show me a recipe in a magazine he'd found in there. I didn't think too much of it, but he later brought it to my attention again. It was for bircher muesli and he was keen. I hadn't had bircher before because although I thought it sound kind of nice, I also thought it sounded kind of cold and gloopy. Which it is. But yummy! Perfect for summer (it's Autumn here so probably won't make it again for a while), and perfect just to have as a snack, as well as for breakfast.

 We took our oats and added grated pear and apple, a bit of a mix of chopped up dried fruit (apricot, raisins and cranberries, I think), chopped nuts (almonds and walnuts, that's what we had on hand) some apple juice, yogurt and honey, I think that's about it. Mixed all that up and popped it into the fridge overnight.

Clary did the grating and a bit of chopping too. It looked gloopy like this when we were done.

The next morning we stirred in some milk and a little bit of extra honey and enjoyed it. Yum.


Anonymous said...

Right on! Sal

casso said...

Great post on all counts. Totally agree re: SAHMs obviously, since it's what I do. But I don't ask for any money from teh government because I am privileged enough to have a DH who can (barely, skin of our teeth) afford for me to stay home. That time is rapidly coming to an end and I need to seek out greater money earning ideas, but the option to stay at home should be available to all who choose it.

James makes all of our bread - I highly recommend an awesome book called 'how to make artisan bread in 5 minutes a day' or something like that. anyway, we have fresh bread dough constantly on the go and it is delicious. And bircher is a big favourite here too, although we use orange juice because we often have a lot of surplus oranges. Don't forget pepitas! They are great sprinkled on top in the morning. Nom nom.

chaton de luxe said...

Great post, I love your photos. Just wanted to say we add grated carrots to muesli, it's yum!