Self-Sufficiency

SAVING TIME WITH THE RIGHT EQUIPMENT

Over the years I have heard ‘tree’ change or ‘organic’ lifestyle people mocked technology and the modern world.  I embrace the all bits I like, want and need.  And disregard the rest.
Commonly,  I am asked with a tone of bewilderment, how I find the time to do everything that I do.

Self-sufficiency is about self-reliance i.e. doing most things oneself.    So you have to be organised with systems in place. I believe that right tool for the job makes day to day living more efficient.  To me, as long as we are producing the power (solar/wind) to support our power-consuming equipment we are respsonsible citizens.  We don’t drain the Grid. We contribute to it.

MY BREAD MACHINE saves heaps of time.  Accordingly, I have adjusted my own healthy recipe.
I make Spelt and linseed sandwhich/toasting bread. Onion and caraway bread for soups, eggs, seafood  and open danish sandwiches.  Fruit loaf packed with spices dried fruit  and cirtus peel;  Barley bread because it’s yummy.  French bread for special occasions. Spelt hot cross buns at easter. Sundried tomato and herb bread. A seedy loaf with sunflower, linseed, caraway and sesame seeds.  A few years ago I develop a apple and fruit loaf which we toast and serve with icecream and apple sauce. I also use this bread to make bread and butter pudding.
In all, I simply add the ingredients to the machine, set the controls and walk away.  The beep tells me that the work is done.  But not by me – by the machine.  It helps manage my time and to get more things done in a day.

THE ACTIFRY
Wow…..what can I say.  Three cheers for manafacturer Tefal.  I am so wrapped in this product that I have encouraged at least 9 people to purchase one.  Every day the Actifry works beside me.  Chopped sweet potato into small chunks, add tablespoon olive oil, set for 13 mins. Meanwhile pick and chop some fresh herbs. The mix plain yoghurt with a drizzle of honey and a drop of lemon juice. Serve as a snack or as a dip before meals; or serve with main meal drizzled with yoghurt sauce.
I would hate to live without my Actifry. It has revolutionized my life in the kitchen.  I cook baked potatoes in 20 mins with one tablespoon of oil and potatoes for mashing in 10/12mins.,  with quarter cup of water.    It makes for healthier eating and saves energy.

THE VITAFRUIT
Wow……wow………wow!
Thank you Tefal…..once again. I researched this produce for about six months before tracking it down in London.  I first saw it in an American Self-sufficiency magazine to which I have subscribed for many years. They were heralding its efficiency and energy saving.

So what does it do?  It makes jam, stewes fruit, makes rice pudding, relish, chutney and so on.  Simply add your fruit, pectin if need  and sweetner. Choose the setting. Walk away and do something else for 35 mins. The machine will beap and tell you it is sone.  Hey presto…….the jam is ready to bottle. Fill the vitafruit with water and a little detergent and set the self-cleaning mode. That’s right! The machine cleans itself.  No more checking for setting point of jam or cleaning up a messy pot.

Picture this………freshly picked fruit i.e. peach, nectarine, plum, guava or  passionfruit with a pinch of ground cinnamon and cloves.  Sweetner if needed.  Set the machine to stew,  and go about setting the breakfast table or boil the jug to brew some tea or coffee.  Serve the warm stewed fruit with a dollop of  vanilla yoghurt or cream.  What a breakfast!  Any fruit that is left over you can add to cold custard. Stir to mix. Serve alone or with icecream. 

I couldn’t purchase the machine in Australia.  Tefal Australia told me that australians aren’t known for commitment to home cooking. Therefore there would’nt be a market for the Vitafruit in this country.  So began a search on the internet.  My husband told me that if I bought it from  the UK all we needed was an adaptor for the Australia power system.   From order to delivery took five days.All the way from the Lakes District in the UK.  The rest is history.   I can make soft spread conserves or jellied-like jams.  Not forgetting my adventures with making desserts.

Admittedly the Vitafruit only processes a kilo or 500g at a time which I find convenient.  This equals four to five jars.  It means that I don’t have to process all the fruit at once – which can take up a whole day.   It allows me to vary the recipes. For instance: lemon and ginger jam; lemon and carrot marmalade, lemon and orange marmalade; lemon and fig conserve; lemon and apple chutney;

I wish I had had the Vitafruit forty years ago.  Gone is the arduous task of jam making.  Since its arrival I make the jam that we need for the year,  and then,  stew remaining fruit and freeze it.  Simply wonderful for tarts, instant desserts, flummery, mousse, jelly, icecream, parfait, trifle etc.etc.

For me, having the right tools in the kitchen gives me more time to enjoy other things.

Author: Earthkeepers

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