"Self-sufficiency does not mean 'going back' to the acceptance of a lower standard of living. On the contrary, it is the striving for a higher standard of living, for food that is organically grown and good, for the good life in pleasant surroundings... and for the satisfaction that comes from doing difficult and intricate jobs well and successfully." John Seymour ~ Self Sufficiency 2003

Sunday, 18 October 2015

Mostly homemade

Now that the weather is warmer stodgy, starchy meals are on the back burner.

I find that summer meals are so much easier than winter ones.  Don't get me wrong, I love cooking in the Rosie (and wish I could light it every day of the year), but, when it's too hot to light the Rosie, and not sunny enough to use the solar oven, then meals are (old caravan) stove top only.  And that normally takes a far amount of thought and preparation.

But, basically, if one has a loaf of homemade bread - your options are endless.

I have been googling 3 ingredient meals - the days here are so hectic, that I barely have time to think about what to cook, never mind actually prepare it.

Last week I made a salad that we hadn't had in years.  What made me think of it, I have no idea.

What was it I hear someone ask?
My version of Caesar salad - 
lettuce, snipped chives, anchovy fillets,
 blue cheese crumbles, avo slices,
 1/4 hard boiled eggs and finally...
Caesar salad :)

For those who have never had one it is a salad which consists of lettuce, anchovies and thinly shaved cheese.  But, I made a twist to the recipe because I didn't have any parmesan to shave.

I rinsed, and shook dry homegrown lettuce leaves and garlic chives.  The leaves were broken into more-or-less bite / mouth sized pieces and the chives were snipped small-ish.

Add to that a couple of Tweedle Dee's eggs (before she got broody) which were hardboiled, peeled and cut into quarters.

Then, in place of shaved cheese, I had a chunk of Creamy Blue in the fridge (good for late night snacking on biscuits whilst watching TV :) )  So that got crumbled onto the leaves together with a sliced avo and 12 X anchovy fillets.  Finally, I made fried croutons out of a couple of slices of homemade bread.
... croutons were added before the salad was 
 sloshed  with the homemade dressing ... :)
The dressing was made using :

1 X tablespoon of the oil from the anchovies
4 X tablespoons of olive oil
1/3 - 1/2 teaspoon of prepared (English) mustard
1 X teaspoon of Worcestershire Sauce
2 X overflowing tablespoons of freshly squeezed, homegrown lemon juice and
2 X tablespoons of plain yoghurt
scattering of dried garlic flakes
salt & pepper (to taste)

They were all whisked together and poured over the salad.

Surprisingly filling, definitely yummy - to the point that RMan even wiped the last of the croutons by dipping them in the leftover dressing - he calls that "knubbering" (snacking on something yummy).

Nothing nicer that completely empty plates, and no a single leftover in the fridge :)

And, apart from the creamy blue, the anchovies and the avo - all the other ingredients were home grown / provided :)

Then, on Saturday, Tweedle Dee's eggs to the rescue again.
Creamed spinach filled omelette
Omelettes filled with creamed spinach, grated cheese and tinned tuna for RMan, and leftover homegrown creamed spinach and grated cheese for me.

Served with a couple of slices of homemade bread.

Not 100% self-sufficient, but good enough for me :)


  1. We are on exactly opposite food schedules, Dani :) Just yesterday I was thinking it may again be time to have a pot of soup, stew, or chili simmering At All Times, and planning frequent baking to take a bit of the chill off the kitchen. It's nearly noon and 36F here today.

    1. Quinn - LOL - I remember that we'll. One needs the extra stooge and starch to help keep warm. Summer - the opposite problem.

      Wow - 36oF at noon. Oh, wish I was there...

  2. Replies
    1. Vicki - Pot of soup or chilli...? ;)

    2. Dani, pot of soup and homemade bread tomorrow, chili on the weekend. :) I am not a fan of winter, but love the cold weather cooking and baking.

    3. Vicki - Yeah - also love cooking in winter - that's probably why summer salads are necessary - too blooming warm to eat hot food, nevermind heat up the kitchen... ;)

  3. Yep, same here, first cool snap today, and I was in the mood for a stew and 2nd Man has some cooking now and he baked two loaves of white bread. Yum!!

    Though we'll probably be warm again next week, ha, and so your salad looks delish!

    1. 1st Man - The winter cooking bug is setting in in the US of A I see... ;)

  4. Summer is also great in the respect of far less laundry, yay. T-shirts and jeans and since the cats are naked most of the time, it's just their bedding, which means my bedding. Better things to get on with.

    1. possumqueensa - Couldn't agree with you more. S'funny though, wherever my washing line is, I always end up with the sun shining in my eyes whilst hanging it up... Go figure!?

  5. I have the exact same problem. Was thinking of rerouting the washing line North to South and use the existing one for beans, but I'm sure that sun will follow wherever I go.

    1. Possumqueensa - I've currently got RMan making me an east to west line - specifically for winter. My normal rotating line is in the shade of the house during the mid-winter months, so this new one will be excellent in helping me to get the washing properly dry. Plus, it's going to have another function too... (once it's finished I'm gong to do a blog posting)

  6. And why is the washing line located in the sunniest part of the garden where the veggies are supposed to go? Oh wait ...

  7. unless you only want cold meals a rice cooker is good. holds the rice at the proper temp and can be left on. if you like rice for breakfast plug it in before bed and leave it.

    you know how to make pilaf toppings.
    onion, pine nuts and raisin sauteed in butter
    dried apricots added to rice cooker and sauteed thin shaved almonds sauteed in butter, [oil of your choice].
    some julienned store bought ham warmed a bit or an egg fried and julienned.
    and there is always rice for breakfast with sugar or jam and cream or butter.

    i love the rice cooker and have cooked quinoa in it although the teeny quinoa grains fly up and stick to the inner cover, they don't hurt anything.

    rice cookers available at any chinese market.

    we've had ours almost 30 years and never any trouble.

    1. Deborah - The rice cooker sounds very useful. What wattage is it rated?

  8. YouTube is a lovely step by step recipe book. Check out how easy it is to make Ricotta cheese, and Chinese steamed port dumplings. Delish.

    1. Brat - I've made ricotta, and yes, it is very easy. Chinese port dumplings - now that sounds interesting... :)


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