Wednesday, 18 September 2013

What do you do when you have been growing your hair to get dreadlocks?

You commit to shaving your head for the charity which is very close to your heart of course!

I'm sorry that it took the death of my friend's brave boy Harvey, the Cureageous Lion to spur me into action http://harveythecourageouslion.blogspot.com.au/

Please, if you can spare a few $$$'s to raise money for childhood cancers, please do so! None of the money will come to me at all but goes straight to this charity.

https://harveyscureageouspride.everydayhero.com/au/hedgewytch


Tuesday, 17 September 2013

Fed up with the wankery!

Rant ahead!

Good wholesome peasant foods; potatoes, beans, lentils, seeds (quinoa and buckwheat). Things that cost minimal amounts at your local ethnic store are now mixed, cooked, baked and served at huge prices at swanky alternative cafes (as if funky blackboards and tiny tables suddenly inflate prices with each swirl of the chalk).

Vegie patties and salad $10.95! Ok ok, so the vegies were roasted in oil, honey and sesame seeds before being chilled, mashed and mixed with lentils and other binders. Tiny plates with a couple of glistening gourmet leaves (have you seen my vegie beds lately? I'm over run with gourmet frilly lettuce) and a few decorative shards of beetroot and carrot.

It would have cost $66.00 for one meal for myself and the Chirpies last Friday! What's sad is that over the road was a Hungry Jacks where I could have fed the whole family for less than $20 :(

I'm sorry but good restaurant quality food does not have to cost this much! I decided on Monday that I was going to get back on track again with prepping a heap of good wholesome foods and having them ready to cook;

*Homemade falafel mix
Dosa mix
Pakora mix
Vegie curries such as potato aloo which can be used to stuff dosa
Salads and their fixings; dried berries and nuts, cooked rice and quinoa
Roasted vegies
Rice flour rolls

The good news as well is that Miss G has been eating heaps in the last few days on this food!

*All of these recipes can be found in Higher taste the Hare Krishna recipe book or River Cottage Veg.  If you're really broke and can't afford either of these, message me and I'll send you the recipe!

Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Homeschooling

I realised this morning that I've not updated here since Feb (apart from yesterday's wee post).  So much has happened in the past few months, all revolving around Homeschooling.

I've always wanted to Home educate my kids, even waaaaaaaaaaaay back in 2004 when there were only two Chirpies I talked about it with my Canberra friends (waves to K, S, K, S and H). What stopped me from pursuing it? Well, I doubted myself. I thought that I would be isolated in the home with the Chirpies, no support and no social life. That I couldn't do it as I had no training. Sound familiar?

Well back in Dec 2012 we started our Australian summer holidays and I again mused wistfully on FB (did I mention that I spend way too much time on FB :/  ) that I wished that I could HS the kids. Several of my friends suggested that I test it out over the summer break and see how I felt at the end (I suspect that they thought that I'd be ready to bundle them up for school again come Feb).

What I did do was enjoy down time with my kids, spent time doing what we've always done, joined up with a couple of HS groups to test the waters and dragged DH to a Home Educators seminar to see what other support was out there for us.  The timing was incredible. There was a slight 'issue' with our youngest about school and DH (after he drilled the Seminar lecturer with soooo many questions) agreed for us to do this.

Well suddenly there I was applying for registration to start HS the THREE Chirpies (and their wee brother) all at once! Cue image of Atlas with the weight of the World on his shoulders! I think that for about 4 weeks I was dreaming curriculums, lesson plans, Charlotte Mason, Unschooling, Natural Learning and Waldorfy stuff!  We had our preliminary meeting with our Moderator (Lovely person who is very supportive and informative), who asked what style we were following and which resources we were accessing. At that point we were leaning very much towards Charlotte Mason due to the elder Chirpies having been in the 'Schooling system' for many years. We wanted to transition them gently to a more relaxed style. The Moderator was really happy with this and said that he'd see us again in two months to see how we were going.

So how has it all gone? Brilliantly! We're really into our stride now (somedays we do have things that fall in a heap) but on the whole we spend our mornings doing our lessons and at 12 we stop. Yep, we stop for lunch and then it's out into the World to discover Nature, be with friends, do activities and be kids!

The kids are THRIVING. They are confident, relaxed and loving H/S. They have music lessons, circus skills,  we socialise so much that I have to demand we have at home days so that I can catch up on stuff! Their latest project is to overhaul a part of the garden so that they can build a fairy village (in a weak moment I showed them a link posted on my FB wall by H)

This has been a blessing for my family. We are enjoying watching how the Chirpies learn, plan and grow. I should have listened to my heart and done this years ago!


Tuesday, 21 May 2013

In a World of so much chaos, loss and sadness


I'm feeling very blessed today;

~ The Chirpies had an awesome self directed day of homeschooling and finished up all their work by 12.
~ Eldest daughter brought home lunch for the family so that sick Mumma didn't have to think about it.
~ Chirpies have planted out a large pot of pea seeds, raked up the leaves from the Mulberry tree, weeded around the Mulberry tree and are after more chores to do in the garden
~I've preserved a years worth of tomato ketchup
~My lemon tree is heaving with golden juice ladened orbs
~The Sun is shining warmly and all of my family are alive and in relative good health (I have a cold but you know what, if that's the least of my worries then I'm one very lucky woman)

How blessed are you today?

Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Huge changes at Wit's End; We're Homeschooling!

After many years of dithering about, wanting to Homeschool, doubting myself, wondering if I could/should do it, DH and I decided to go for it.

We're a Homeschooling Family!

I'll be setting up a side blog about our journey but shall be making it invite only to view/read.  Please feel free to flick me a message and if I know you irl or have known you for years online I'm more than happy to give you access :)

http://thechirpiesatwitsend.blogspot.com.au/2013/02/the-decision-made.html

Thursday, 31 January 2013

Menu plan for February 2013


Breakfast choices
Yoghourt and fruit
Toast with toppings
Boiled eggs, rice, pickled vegies
Oatmeal with honey
Rosti with poached eggs

Lunches

  1. Scrolls
  2. Sandwiches
  3. savory muffins
  4. Quiches
  5. Salads
  6. Cornish pasties
  7. arranchini
  8. Rice paper rolls with fillings
  9. savoury mince tarts (puff pastry)
  10. chicken empandas
  11. homemade sausage rolls
Need to bake 3 cakes per week,
yoghourt,
fruit tubs-
fresh fruit

Llelo and I to have leftovers from the night before's dinners.

Dinners

  1. Vegetarian curries - potato lemon and coriander, dhal, dhosa, lentils with lemon and mint
  2. Steamed fish packets Chinese style with steamed rice
  3. Butter chicken and rice
  4. Chinese style beef pot roast
  5. Portuguese style fresh sardines
  6. Hugh's vegetarian chilli
  7. Fritatta Empty the fridge
  8. Smoked fish, leek and potato soup (HFW pg 82) Changing this to smoked fish, chorizo and potato soup
  9. Nigella's roast chicken (on red peppers with lemon in cavity etc), rice, roast spuds and vegies
  10. Chinese Chicken Rice
  11. Falafels, hoummous, pita breads, tabbhouli made with quinoa
  12. Roast chicken wings with roast spuds, fennel and onions (HFW pg 131
  13. Thai fish curry and rice 
  14. Ham, black eye beans, potato and carrot soup (boil ham bone, add 1 tb worcestershire sauce, 1 tbl apple cider vinegar, 2 teas black pepper)
  15. Quiches
  16. Fish pie, peas and corn
  17. Crab cakes rice  and salad
  18. Beans and tomato soup (HFW 97)
  19. Homemade baked beans and rice
  20. Mackeral, celery, orange salad (HFW 208
  21. Lamb, spinach and chickpeas (HFW 256) Fried polenta chips and salad
  22. leftover chicken rice chicken with noodle soup
  23. Empty the fridge sushi
  24. caldo verde
  25. roast pumpkin, chickpea and quinoa salad
  26. Sweet potato blackbean red pepper stew with cous cous
  27. Sweet and sour prawns, rice, chinese vegies
  28. Butternut pumpkin and chickpea patties http://foodblogandthedog.wordpress.com/2012/03/02/butternut-squash-and-chickpea-cakes-with-salsa-raita-and-red-onion-maramalade/
  29. Spag bol for a treat for Giaan?

*Still in freezer

Ok, So I have to buy the following for this menu:

6 chorizos
2 chickens
1kg mince
2kg's chicken wings
Smoked fish
Dried chickpeas
quinoa
Eggs
Milk
Fruit and veg
Coconut milk
Flours etc.

January's total food expenditure worked out to $180 per week for our family of seven. Not too bad I guess. Will see how it goes for February and if I need to tweak it more to bring it down further.


Sunday, 20 January 2013

One of the many things I miss about Canberra

A couple of days ago I was gifted about 4kg's of grapes from a friend.  The Chirpies ate and ate and ate until the bowl just sat there looking at me, still full but ignored.  Mangoes called, plums called, even apples seemed more appealing that the thought of more grapes.

At times like this I really miss my old mate, Nature witch. I'd pick up the phone and she'd immediately inspire me to do something/anything with those grapes. We never did get together so that I could learn her skills in winemaking :(  Anyway, I grabbed my copy of Preserving the harvest and decided to make some Grape Jelly (I'm guessing it's a clear grape jam by the method used). I had no idea that the boiled up liquid from grapes was a delicious shade of pink! 

Rummaging in the fridge I also came across a kg bag of plums that I picked up from the sad table on Wednesday for 99 cents.  They were sad on Wednesday so are definitely sauce today!  Chinese style plum dipping sauce from here the only changes I've made are subbing five spice for the dried mustard and upping the sugar a bit.

The other thing I miss about Canberra? That if you knew where to look you could eat for free!  Plum trees, apricots, lemons, berries all on verges, hanging over fences of walkways mostly all fallen fruits just there for picking up, making into jams, sauces and juices, After six years in Perth I've not managed to find such a range of free abundance :(

That is unless my readers (is there anyone left?) are willing to enlighten me?