16 August 2016

Around Here




Well that was a long break!  I hadn't intended to pause quite so long between posts but life has been busy trundling along and blogging has very much taken a back seat.

Inspired by this lovely blogger I have been doing some planning.  I usually think ahead to our next project(s) but these past few weeks I have planning much further ahead.  She planted a seed a while ago now when she blogged about planning for a whole year at a time.  When I first read the post I thought it would never work for us, but the thoughts stayed with me and so I found myself sitting down and planning a whole year for Cameron.  At the moment it is mostly just a framework, I have organised the first six weeks and will work on the next six soon, with our Advent project that will take us to Christmas.  I spend quite a bit of time each weekend planning the following week and whilst I will still have to do a little each week I am hoping it will reduce the time I need to spend.  In a way I had already started to do this as the work I am doing with Alice at the moment we started back at Easter and it will take us up to Advent.  I will plan her next year in early 2017.

We have been enjoying lots of lovely books recently.  I read a chapter book to them both every lunchtime, it always needs to be suitable for them both and is often aimed at Alice rather than Cameron, to balance things up for him I also read them a different book each at night.  We are on Swallows and Amazons for Cameron and the Little House in the Big Woods for Alice, these are both my old copies from my childhood, the latter I bought when I was seven the former when I was twelve.  It has been lovely to revisit these old favourites.  I am reading a fascinating History book myself, about the social history of the Home during the different periods of prehistory.  The author is an archaeologist who has been working on this period for many years, I have read other books by him and have enjoyed them.  I am glad I found this on the shelves of my library.

Last Friday I had intended to write a daybook post, the in the kitchen and around the house categories would have made interesting reading on that day.  I had taken delivery of a big food order from a wholesale company part of which was frozen.  We have a large chest freezer in our garage which was in desperate need of some attention, it is not it was full but there was not much space due to the large quantity of ice that had built up inside.  In order to be able to get the vegetables, fruit and butter in there I needed to empty it and scrape out the ice.  Have you ever emptied your freezer and found unexplained objects in there, perhaps it is just me, I think I went through a period of not labelling things thinking I would remember what they were!  The ice came out easily, not really knowing what to do with it I put it in the bath to defrost!  The unexplained objects were put in boxes in the kitchen to defrost along with several very old (2011) bags of fruit, we had a delicious blackberry and apple crumble for tea that night.  Now that the frozen items were dealt with I could check the rest of the order off which resulted in big bags of food on the hall and porch floors.  Cameron slept through all these goings on (he was very tired after a long cycle ride with friends the day before) and when he did he was most bemused by the ice in the bath and the food all over the floor!

We visited a local pick your own recently, it is a place that I have driven past numerous times but have never actually been too I wanted to take a look round to see what it was like.  It was a really wet day and we were the only ones there, but we came home with four kilos of plums and plans to visit again, hopefully to pick apples and pears in a few weeks time.  I have had a go at fermenting some of the plums, not sure how they will turn out but they smell good!  The emptying of the freezer made me realise how many blackcurrants I have in there so I have used a kilo to try my hand at blackcurrant vinegar.  We have tasted this but have never made it before, I will let you know how I get on.  The weather here has been cool and wet for the past three weeks but that has gone now and it has warmed up considerably and everything is drying out.  I have been wanting to pick some comfrey leaves to make into a salve, I already have some plantain leaves soaking in oil to do the same with them, but they need to dry when you pick them.  I think that will be this weeks job as long as the weather holds!

I would like to say a huge thank you for the wonderfully supportive comments on the recent post I wrote about home education.  They were very comforting to read, thank you all so much.

29 comments:

  1. Yes. I've had the same with a freezer. I needed to move it. Ended up borrowing another freezer from a neighbour and left mine to defrost. Some of the forgotten food was ......something else! Lots of blackcurrants too. I've used my blackcurrant crop this year to make blackcurrant coulis and the family love it, so hopefully bags of loose blackcurrants in the freezer is a thing of the past.

    I tend to freeze fruit, convinced that I'll make jam in the winter when its colder and I have more time. Judging by the contents of my freezer now, I've got that wrong!

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    1. I was suprised at how tasty the old fruit was it made a delicious crumble! I didn't actually have to defrost it, although I did turn it off. Our freezer came with this scraper tool that you use to scrape the ice off it worked a treat! If I had had to turn it off I am not sure what I would have done with the contents.......

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  2. I loved the Mrs Pepperpot stories, I remember reading that book to Eleanor when she was little too. I always had a book in my hand when I was a child and most of them had been bought for me, I do wish I'd kept them for my own children but I gave them to my cousin for her daughter.

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    1. There's something rather special about reading your children a book, you yourself read (the physical book I mean). I don't think I have all the books I owned as a child. My mum was a primary school teacher and I am sure she had a rifle through my shelves when I was at uni! It was so generous of you to give them to your cousin but such a shame you couldn't get them back.

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  3. I go through our chest freezer every once in a while, to discover what has been overlooked! I keep a pair of (clean) gardening gloves to wear while I am delving into the depths! It's good when you discover something really tasty that you had forgotten about!

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    1. I should probably do it more often! I must admit I wore my rubber gloves as my hands were getting too cold and yes it is good to discover something tasty in the depths. The crumble was delicious.

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  4. I am envious of your big freezer! My mum used to have one of these in the garage when we were little and it was always filled with raspberries and gooseberries and other goodies :)

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    1. We have had it a while now and I am not sure how we lived without it judging by the contents. We have a small one in the house that is part of the fridge. My parents always had one when we were children too. With all that lovely fruit in your garden you should get one too or perhaps you don't have room? You can get quite small ones now which is what my mum and dad have now they are about the same size as a fridge but are a chest type you can storie masses in them.

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    2. Yes that is what I want a chest style freezer but not too big. We have a small freezer (drawers style) as part of the fridge but it's no good for storing large amounts of fruit as the drawers are all quite shallow really.

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  5. Reading old favourites to the children is great. Richard does this and sometimes it turns into a social history lesson because things were so different when our old favourites were written.
    The joys of defrosting freezers! We have a roll of masking tape that sits on the kitchen counter, to be used to label freezer stuff. I remember my parents chest freezer, it was a scary thing, dark, cold and full of frozen runner beans... I cleared out kitchen cupboards the other day and found plum preserves I had made years and years ago. They were unfortunately not palatable anymore. Hope it stays dry long enough to dry some comfrey leaves. x

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    1. You are right about the social history lesson I find myself stopping often to explain things! The masking tape idea is a good one, and the comfrey leaves are harvested, yeah!

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  6. Oh, I'm all for planning, I find it fun but only if I know there is lots of wiggle room to change my mind. That's the best part of planning letting more possibilities sprout up!!

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    1. That was one of my worries, that it would be too rigid and what would we do if we got behind? I have left seven weeks empty in the hope that that is enough to cope with holidays, time away and anything unexpected, I just hope it is enough! And yes to more possibilities, it's about striking a balance isn't it?

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  7. My daughter is almost 4 years old and we are now reading Charlotte's Web for the first time. It is my copy, from when I was probably 10 years old, and I don't remember the details of the story, so it is interesting for both of us. As it doesn't have many pictures, I wasn't sure how it would hold her attention, but she is begging me to read "just one more part". I also have the Little House on the Prairie books and really enjoyed those - both as a child and adult!

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    1. My two loved Charlotte's Web too although I had mysteriously lost my old copy and had to get a new one which was not quite the same. Like you though I had no recollection of the story what so ever!

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  8. I have been meaning to get the Little House on the Prairie for ages, thank you for reminding me :) Will be interested in hearing how your vinegar turns out.

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    1. They were hands down my favourite books when I was a child, I read them to my oldest child about four years ago and am loving reading them again. I wanted to be Laura! When I found a copy of John Seymour's Self Sufficieny book on my grandparents shelves I was in heaven! I think I live in the wrong era ;)

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  9. I have some of the very same books from childhood in one of the bookcases here. It was always a joy reading from them with my boys. Ah the dreaded defrosting, I recently discovered last years frozen soft fruit. A delightful if unexpected addition to my breakfast smoothie x

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    1. It is a joy isn't it, I hope they last long enough for our children to do the same. Luckily I didn't have to defrost mine, I had a handy de-icing tool, it worked really well hence the ice in the bath!

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  10. What lovely books (favourites all) and I love the idea of a lunchtime chapter!
    I do envy you your chest freezer - we just have a couple of drawers beneath the fridge and it's always a struggle removing things. You made me laugh with your unidentified items - I had to hack a bit off one and microwave it in an attempt to identify it the other day. I'm still unsure what it was - we think it may have been left over sauce for Pad Thai! Happy reading. xx

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  11. Defrosting the freezers is one of my least favourite jobs, and yes we also always seem to have some unidentified objects lurking at the bottom. I recently roped the children into helping and they found great fun in chipping away at the ice blocks and the job was completed in no time :)

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  12. I have a freezer that doesn't need defrosting - it is a godsend, not quite as much room as a chest freezer though. I am running out of space already!

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  13. ooh i like your reading list ;)
    i so need to get us all to the library for some new reading material.
    and with the seasons changing around here its about time i do the same for our freezer too. thanks for the inspiration, i just dont think i will find such lovelies as blackcurrents but rather little packets of frozen flying ants the boys always gather after the rains (for fishing bait!) care to swop freezers?? *sigh* :)

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  14. Hello my friend, it's been a whle since I've come for a visit and I want to apologize. Life got, well, crazy, but we are slowly coming up for air.

    PLanning for a whole year... wow! I applaud you. I'm having trouble sitting down and planning my first week of homeschooling here. Decided to give a go at partial homeschooling this year, see how it goes. My son being home with me most days and my daughter only going to school for a few hours each day gives us a lot of space to play and test the waters.

    Haha! I always find UFOs (unidentified freezer objestc) in my chest freezer. It blows my mind that everything is very different wwhen you put them in but somhow, they all becom the same color after a few months. :-)

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  15. Planning is my favorite thing to do, though I would love to get better at actually sticking to everything I planned!

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  16. Isn't it such a joy to share stories with children and especially those we remember from our own childhoods. My mother sent down all my very old Enid Blyton books when my son was born and I treasure so much the experience of having read them all to him now. Not only did I get to revist the stories myself but I got to share them with him. I hope he'll share them with his own children one day. Meg:)

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  17. Love the jars and books. Happy Tuesday ♥

    summerdaisycottage.blogspot.com

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  18. Love the book pile. Swallows and Amazons is on my reading list, too, as I'm a believer in reading the book before seeing the film (have you seen it?). Love the idea of pick your own. Sadly, there are none round these parts. (Sorry for the late comment but I missed your post as I was on holiday.)

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  19. Blackcurrant vinegar. Sounds lovely. I've never tried it.

    It is nice to see you appear to be well and inspiring as always. As a childminder I've thought of planning yearly and it's something you have reminded me to think about again. I took a break from the blog world to gather my thoughts and reset my priorities. Just catching up with people now :-)

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