Thursday, August 1, 2013

Slow Living in July

July has been cruel to this dry and thirsty land, not a drop of rain fell on the parched fields. Mind you, the temperatures were milder than usual, and the clear days were balmy, just right for our winter holidays. 
Join me as I meander back, remembering some highlights of living slow along with other like minded bloggers at Slow Living Essentials

My brother-in-law kindly sent us a venison roast. In true Elastic Mom style, I managed to stretch the one cut of meat into 36 generous meal portions, entertaining visitors along the way. Meat bulked out with vegetables, grains and pulses always goes a long way. 
Here’s how I did it:
Meal 1: Roast venison served with gravy, mashed potato, butternut and steamed summer peas with peach and pecan crumble for dessert (served 6)
Meal 2: Individual venison pies, slow cooked venison meat with cherry liqueur, onions, mushrooms and prunes wrapped in puff pastry, served with salad and my mum’s awesome apricot cake and whipped cream for dessert (served 8)
Meal 3: Mountain-top picnic of leftover venison pies, carrot sticks, avocado slices, fruit, leftover cheese and crackers, and a friend’s marmite scone bake (served 9)
Meal 4: Venison, vegetable and barley soup that used up the leftover gravy and a heap of veggies from the freezer as well as the last of the meat (served 6)
Meal 5: The rest of the venison, vegetable and barley soup with the last few pies 
(served 4)
Meal 6: Venison stock made from the bones and used in another soup with sweetcorn and leeks (served 4)

My sweet cow Rosie finally calved, four months after the vet’s predicted due date. When the cows milk comes in, it’s more than the calf needs, so I froze a whole lot of her colostrum as a milk bank for sick or orphaned calves and lambs in the future.
Isn’t he a cutie. His mom is Rose and his Dad is Bramble so we named him Thorn. 

Besides that, there’s not much happening in the way of preparing, rather I am enjoying using up the wonderful stores of frozen veggies and preserves from summer. Winter time is a wonderful time for planning and resting from the hard work during harvest time. 

My cleverly creative hubby turned ill fitting denim jeans into shorts and worn out jeans into a handbag for our daughter. 

We also made newspaper seed pots in preparation for spring.

My husband told me off yet again for using commercial antiperspirants, you know, the unhealthy blocked glands, the aluminium thing etc, So I decided to explore my options and my bathroom cupboard. I found a foot deodorizing powder from Sh’zen  with all natural ingredients that I have started using as an underarm deodorant. It has a lovely fragrance and works well in winter, but I am not sure if it will be effective in summer. 

I am so excited. I found a whole lot of berry plants in our meagre local nursery. I bought the lot. So now we have blackberries, youngberries, red and black currants planted along the fence. 
Our tunnel is still ticking over with the winter salad greens and plenty of leeks.  We are also digging in the green manure and lots of compost in preparation for the spring seedlings that are just starting to germinate indoors.
Oh, and my chicory experiment from last month's Slow Living post didn't work. The leaves grew out paler, but not white and crisp as I had hoped. 

My daughter and I sewed this sweet denim skirt.

I also sewed another two shwe-shwe cushions for the guest cottage.

My designer husband is always creating something beautiful. Here are a few more of his beauties.

Lion Brand Yarns has heaps of free online knitting and crochet patterns. This is not a new discovery for me, however some of their patterns (read potential projects) have caught my eye recently.

We are part of a small farm church community that meets on Sunday mornings. We hosted the get togethers for a few weeks in a row this month. I so treasure the fellowship of like-minded people, it was special having them in our home for a change.

We had a short but lovely holiday on our cousins’ game farm in the Karoo earlier in the month. 

The icy weather didn’t keep us from enjoying reconnecting with precious people, game drives, riverside picnics, bracing starlit outdoor showers, excellent fireside meals, motorbike rides, and our son even bravely swam across the freezing winter river in response to a challenge. 

We also hosted more visitors to the farm - 
Grant’s cousin and his wife who have become dear friends over the past year.

 and Nana, Grant's mum,  and her Australian friend. 

I love the change in routine that visitors bring to our lives - walks, horse rides, hearty meals, scrabble games and time together. Special family times were had all round. Seeing my son riding off onto the distance with his Nana was the cherry on the top for me.


  1. long for some farm time with you Cath.

  2. Drive up for Christmas on the farm?

  3. Your husbands wood work is beautiful. He sounds like a very creative and talented man. You certainly did get a lot of meals out of your venison, and they all sound so delicious. I think I will try making newspaper seed pots next year, the kids will enjoy helping me.
    I've been using a deodorant mix of 1/4 cup bicarbonate, 1/4 cup arrowroot, 6-8 tbsp coconut oil, 1-2 drops of essential oil. I found it over at
    I've used it summer and winter alike and it works just fine (and it's very cheap to make).

  4. Thanks Emma, I'll definitely give your recipe a try, and yes, I am blessed with an extremely talented husband.