Carrots- blanching

Carrots- blanching

 

This was a relatively easy process and even a beginner like me managed to complete it without much difficulty. There are a few things that you will need, these are basic things that most people have in their home.

****Hint- make sure you have your compost bin ready if you are not making pesto.***

What you will need :

  • Saucepan
  • Access to water
  • Carrots
  • Ice Cubes
  • Colander- this makes it easier to fish out the iced carrots
  • Basin
  • Knife ( no affiliate link the knife I used sorry it was my own and I don’t know where I got it 🙂 )

 

Process 

  1. Peel and prepare the carrots- i just chopped of the leafy green bits and gave a light scrape to the carrot.(there were some that needed to be chopped a bit more as we left our poor carrots in the ground too long-don’t make the same mistake as us. )
  2. Carrots need to be boiled, this is usually for approx 4 mins, bring the water to the boil and then add your carrots to the boiling water for the four minutes- the reason for this is to kill enzymes that cause the carrots to go bad.
  3. Then in a basin have your ice cubes and water ready to reduce the temperature of the carrots- this is to stop the cooking process.
  4. Freezer storage then so you can keep you stock of vegetables on hand for winter months dinners.
Growing Carrots for beginners by a beginner.

Growing Carrots for beginners by a beginner.

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Carrots and other homegrown vegetables from the allotment.

We decided as a family to try and reduce our waste and what better way then to become more self-sufficient and to have more homegrown vegetables on our table for meal times.

We rented the allotment from our local council, then we decided on what homegrown vegetables were the easiest to grow and we came up with a few one of which was the humble carrot, the only vegetable that EVERYONE in our house eats and loves so it was a winner.

I read lots of blog posts, websites, gardening books and looked at so many “how to” YouTube videos when we started on our “grow it yourself” journey. This was to ensure that my venture was a complete success. I wrote down snippets of information from all the pieces that I had read and watched on growing carrots.

The day arrived in which to plant the carrots-quick check before we leave the house,
*watering can*
*seeds*
*children*
*my list of tips and tricks for planting and being successful in carrot growing*

So off we go and Donna forgets the magic formula for growing carrots and we just couldn’t be arsed going home again packing the lads (children) back in the car so we just winged it, just as well as the famous carrot how to paper has never been seen since.

Step 1: Rake the soil- if you have one, fingers work well too.

Step 2: Sprinkle the seeds in drill you make with your finger( because you forgot the trowel if you are like me)

Step 3: Referee the 2 year old and 7 year old fighting over who gets to water (drown) the seeds.

Step 4: Water daily for few weeks and less as the enthusiasm from above children wains.

Step 5 : Wait for them to grow, debate with each about thinning out the seedlings, listen to advice from others at the allotment about thinning them also, decide against this course of action- wait for harvest.

Step 6: Mini harvests for Dinners, playschool show and tell and finally the main harvest.

Step 7: Enjoy harvest and blanch the remaining carrots for dinners in the future.

 

As this was our 1st planting season we learned a lot from our experience, the main thing we learned was that,

*We should have thinned out the seedlings so that the carrots have a chance to grow a little bigger in the drill.
*We should have used a carrot net to keep the carrot fly at bay-a neighbor loaned us this which was really kind.
*We should have done our main harvest a little earlier as the carrots that we harvested had some rot on the smaller carrots and these were wasted- when you grow them yourself this is heartbreaking to do.

We have learned from our mistakes and we will definitely grow carrots next year.

Would love to hear any tips or tricks from any veteran growers out there.

 

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When you are learning about life on a farm at playschool, and you bring your own homegrown produce to school, my little farmer. 

 

Sustainable Living

Sustainable Living

So you are in the hippy clan as my father so eloquently described us!!

Did I take offence? Nope! We are making small changes in our lives to become sustainable. The more we do, the more I see that we can do.

I did start this journey a few times and failed miserably, this was because I became overwhelmed by the vastness of what I had undertaken.  Now we have a very Eco conscious 8 year old watching our every move. I have decided to change my approach, small steps everyday.

The reason I feel that my daughter is so Eco conscious is the excellent school she attends- they teach the children about the planet and how humans are effecting the planet. We also visited the Seal Rescue in Co Wexford, our tour guide explained how the plastic is effecting our oceans and wildlife- for me personally this was an eye opener. Our tour guide was adamant that one person or family making small changes makes a big difference- this really spurred me on to make our changes.

Some of the tiny changes that we have made are as follows :

(Disclaimer I know some of these are awful not to have been always doing – at least we are changing for the better)

  • washing out all our recycling.
  • we ordered a food bin for compost waste
  • bringing our glass to the bottle bank not sneaking it in to the blue bin. (this was all me )
  • collecting our batteries and returning them to Aldi 
  •  making an Eco brick with all our soft plastics, until very recently I was not aware that these were not recyclable.
  • making a shopping list and meal plan in order to stop food waste. We got some great tips that ill be sharing. We also got the pasta measure and the cups measure.
  • planted seeds to grow our own food, there will be another post all about this. i really have found it fascinating ( ill keep you updated on Instagram)

 

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Growing our food has been so satisfying and educational for the children, they watched the little seeds they planted grow and take such pride in bring home our produce.(even if they don’t east it yet)

We have grown a few easy bits and pieces for our 1st attempt.  We grew lettuce, rocket leaves, beetroot, onion, carrot and kale. So far we have been successful and are expecting a good harvest. To even type this about ourselves seems surreal. The benefits of growing our own food has many advantages, teaching the children about where food really comes from.

We will be adding to this list as time goes on, my plan is to get super good at these and then increase.

Before I was an all or nothing kind of person and more often than not it ended up nothing!!!! So I am taking a different approach with this. Small steps for big changes is going to be our motto.

 

The To do list!!!

The To do list!!!

I’m sick and tired of never ending to do list!!! its overwhelming there is so much to be done in any given week. With every week that passes the bloody list lengthens and its soul destroying.

There were numerous lists in this house at one point:

  • Jobs around the house(never ending )
  • Meal Plans for the week ahead
  • Food Diary for slimming world
  • Food Shopping
  • Miscellaneous shopping
  • Appointments/college/work schedules
  • The Bins (not my business himself is the the self designated bin person,  but still )
  • After school activities for the eldest lady

When the the lists above had not been completed it started to get me down, thinking “What the actual F have I been doing all day?” Never mind an innocent question from himself!!!!!!

You have all these lists and some days not 1 tick on any of them!!!!!

Eventually I stopped making lists and then this made me even more anxious because I was forgetting the simplest of things so I need lists and schedules but  i also needed a way to feel like i have accomplished some thing in a day so I designed my own list a

“Mammy’s Mayhem TADA LIST”

This is what I have on mine, but they are so easy to make up to suit your house too. We have become very conscious of the environment in our house as we are trying to produce less waste. So we have laminated a list and use a white board marker and reuse instead of printing 7 each week ( this would be my preference but we need to mind the planet)

The result of this new list? It makes me feel so much better to see what I have done in the day- even if its been undone 100 times.

I know some people will think this is a crazy idea- but it works for me 🙂

Please feel free to get your copy here.

 

 

What helps you keep on top of your day?

 

laminate and dry wipe marker tip

 

Parenting

Parenting

This is such a dangerous area to get a discussion going on as everyone has their own ideas and group that they fit in to, for example there are so many types/styles of parents. I went searching for types of parenting there are many. I have chosen  a link to share with you. The link outlines roughly each parenting style.

Please click here for a list of parenting styles

I know a lot of parents who when asked the question :

What style of parenting do you follow? the reply usually is ________________and that’s the end of it there is no room for change or diversity.

When I began writing my blog ( 6 years ago- but only publishing it now) I wanted to include a piece about me as a mother.What type of mother am I? What parenting style we follow in our house, this would be vital in connecting with “like minded parents”. Well I can tell you here and now- there is no “style”, basically we play it by ear.

While I was reading through the options to trying  and pigeon hole my self and my style of parenting in to 1 area I actually couldn’t. When we transitioned from one child to, two children we had to adapt our parenting style accordingly. Both of us parent differently and believe it or not it really works.

Daddy is: “We are going to Carlow, coats,hats shoes and lets go now”

Mammy is more: Now lads we are going to get in the car and put on our seat belts and then, we need to got to the petrol station to get diesel. Mammy will just run in and pay for the diesel I wont be two mins, Daddy will be in the car with you. Then we have to go over the bridge and up the road to where we visit the cousins, but we aren’t visiting him we are going to Carlow.  Come on now and we get all our bits and pieces before we go.”
(I could go on until we get to Carlow but I’m hoping that I wont bore you to tears with my posts)

So you can see from the dialogue that we are totally different types of people. We generally don’t shout unless its immediate danger or joking. If Daddy shouts its met laughter and merriment, all taken in good fun. Mammy on the other had may leave a shout and its usually met with tears and ” why are you shouting you frightened me” Mammy tends to keep things light hearted to avoid the tears situation.

So I guess this just an overview of how we parent we are “al a carte parents” we just pick the best bits for the situation and use them.

I love to hear what other peoples opinions are, and what dynamics work in your house?

 

I’m Sorry !!!

I’m Sorry !!!

This is an apology to all the people in Slimming World who have been on plan 100% with the the following results :

  • stayed the same
  • up 1/2
  • or down 1/2

My usually cheery response to this is:

“Oh not to worry you will prob see it next week at the scales”  “Don’t give up now and undo all your hard work that’s the worst thing you can do!”

I was completely on plan the past two weeks, food diaries and exercising and what do I have to show for it?

I have lost a 1/2 lb and I’m so disheartened!!! All my hard work for that little reward!!

I am so f**king pi**ed off with Slimming world (like that makes sense) and  all the food I missed out on when I was being good over the 2 weeks, things like takeaways that I made fakeaways for and all the treats I refused and had some speedy fruit and yogurt!

So what does any normal person that’s trying to loose weight do !!!!! Keep trying?? NO!!!!! Eat everything that’s not nailed down in my house. I mean everything even things I don’t really like.

Why would I do that? The reason for this is I am an emotional eater- I eat when I am stressed or upset and I really need to work on this for myself. I feel that I can break the habit as I have done this before when I attended Slimming World- I just need to get it in to my head that this is a new way of eating and its not at diet for a short term result that its a lifestyle change for me. This for me is the head-space I need to be in and it just has to click for me.

In the past when I had a really bad week like this I would allow it to spiral and not attend group for a few weeks and continue to eat out of control until I decided to rejoin and start the journey all over again- but not this time I shall face the scales on Tuesday evening.  Wednesday will bring a new week which I will be prepared for- I will do a meal plan for the week and then it will be back to normal and back on track.

I think I need to remember also that 1/2lb x 52 weeks = 26lbs  that’s 2lbs shy of 2 stone so here’s to all the 1/2lbs Im going to loose in the future.

So stayed tuned and see how I get on. Please feel free to comment with some of your motivation. I’ll need it 🙂

Again I am so sorry for my cheery disposition any time another member looses a little after a lot of effort- its very hard. In saying that lets not give up and keep going and reach our target 1/2lb at a time 🙂

 

 

 

Slimming World Journey part 1 after baby #1

Slimming World Journey part 1 after baby #1

So I’ve rejoined slimming world………this is my 2nd journey let me tell you a little about the first time…

After I had Ella in 2011 I was severely overweight and it was nothing to do with my pregnancy,I was always overweight from an early age it was something that I have struggled with. Always on a diet or a fad, always the fat girl in the group of girls in school. None of the diets or plans worked for me. I was kinda cheating myself saying “ah sure I’m grand”

Then when I saw the 1st family photo……….

SHOCK HORROR F**K!!!!!!

So I joined slimming world !!! It was so easy to loose weight….(really it is you just need to put your mind to it)

3  easy steps

  • Free food
  • Speed food
  • 5-15 syns

It was an easy process for me as I liked all the foods (most of them anyway- struggle with quark) on the plan.

I lost 3 stone and almost reached my target…….

Delighted with life- got pregnant again and kept my weight down during my pregnancy. Our son was born in October and then all hell broke loose slimming world wise.new baby, school runs, lack of sleep and the BIG finale to top it all off Christmas!!!!!!!
” I’ve only had a baby” excuse was bashed around quite a bit 2 1/2 stone in fact.

So I’ve been steadily gaining weight since then- I decided to bite the bullet and rejoin. This is not my 1st rodeo so I know the score!!

I’ve decided to document my weekly journey on my mammy mayhem blog….. hopefully loosing my weight and helping and inspiring others as I do.

 

 

So stay tuned for part 2 after baby #2