Archive for the ‘Community’ Category

The Spud has been unearthed!

Dum dum dummmm.

As the blog rules say, when you first start a blog you should pick an audience type and have a subject or topic for your blog – and then stick to it. When I started Unearthing the Spud, I did none of these. I was curious about blogging but didn’t have any direction, I just wanted to start and discover what I wanted to write about as I went along. There was no purpose to it. I didn’t care if not one person read it. I just wrote about things as they popped up – current events, things in my life or my community, my opinions and so on. I really didn’t have any rules for my blog! I even changed my blog layout quite a few times for fun….which is supposedly a big no-no in the blog world.  Oops! That is the beauty about it being your blog – do what you want and people can choose to read it or not.

Over my blogging time, I have found my niche for what I really got a kick out of writing about. I started to want to write more and more about food. As I discovered more about health, I wanted to share what I was learning too.

For this reason, Unearthing the Spud has been morphed into Farmer K’s Kitchen. Here is where I write about what I cook. Go over and check it out, and if you like it – please follow along! I even have a facebook page.

Bush Tucker Breaky

Choco Coco Nut Cookies

Banana & Blueberries Pancakes

My blog is about nutritious recipes that taste awesome, and sometimes you will see health info pop up on there too (like eating bee pollen and charcoal), some of my farm stories, a little bit about my life, and a touch about food origins.

I would like to say thank you to those people out there who have subscribed to Unearthing the Spud and I hope to see you over at Farmer K’s Kitchen soon.

Blessings,

Katrina xo

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Fermenting Stuff To Eat

On the weekend I went to a fermentation workshop to learn the art of making my own Sourdough Bread, Kimchi, Sauerkraut and Fruit Wine.  It was such a great day, and I learnt a lot! The lady who ran our workshop was Elisabeth from Permaculture Real Foods, based on the Sunshine Coast.

To me, the fermentation previously sounded kind of gross as it conjurs up thoughts of food that is off and mouldy and going rancid. After the workshop, I got an insight into the health benefits and non-off-ness of the foods you can ferment. I had it completely wrong!

First we learnt how to make sourdough bread and pikletes. Yum!

Making our sourdough bread

I can’t eat gluten, but tried some of this as there is a high possibility that someone who is gluten-intolerant can eat sourdough as the grain has been broken down during the fermentation process, and therefore easier to digest. Hmmm. This didn’t exactly work for me and about 30 minutes after having a piece I was headachy, lethargic, battling to keep my eye lids open, and then spent the rest of the afternoon and evening crampy and bloated. It took 2 days to calm down. I guess at least I can enjoy making it for others, but not eating it for myself!

Making our morning tea

Fruit wine making came next – you can make wine out of any kind of fruit, although some fruits are not as tasty as others. Our workshop leader said that a good indicator on what flavours you may experience in your wine is to try and imagine what the fruit would taste like without the sugar flavour in it. That is pretty much how it will taste as a wine. Strawberries and mangoes sound awesome, but they are quite bland. Elderberries and lemon = divine!

morning tea

We enjoyed our pikletes with homemade sour cream, cottage cheese and jam for morning tea. We then went on to making sauerkraut which was divine! Lots of Vitamin C in those cabbages and very good for your health.

Making sauerkraut

We also made kimchi which are fermented veggies with loads of punch! Very spicy, hot and yummy!

For lunch we ate all the foods that Elisabeth had either made from scratch or grown in her garden.

Lunch

Looks like a Christmas lunch!

It was delicious! I especially enjoyed the cheeses that she had made previously. Elisabeth runs a cheese making course as well, which may be on my workshop list for next time.

The Best Job on Earth!!

This is the amazing place that I get to work at. Seriously, how lucky am I!

Can you spot me and my hubby? 🙂

Totes Def Faithful!

God is totally, definitely faithful.

Today was a stark reminder for me.

It was a really yucky day and as we drove home from work I was feeling a little helpless.

You know when you are not exactly sure how God is handling a situation, and you have a few suggestions for Him that might help 🙂 All of a sudden He tells you to snap out of it and refocus. All it took for me today was a message on Facebook from a friend who was obedient to God and gave me a word. She was faithful to what He wanted her to say to me, and little did she know, the timing was absolutely perfect to the moment, the message went to my core, the promise relit a fire in me. I spoke something to Him out loud and my answer appeared in seconds. It was a message I needed to hear and one I intend to cling to.

God is totally, definitely faithful.

I am so grateful my friend was faithful too.

Sugar-Free, Starch-Free and a bit Dairy-Free

I have been ‘free’ of all these for over 2 months now and I feel so much better for it! For sweetness I am using Stevia, which is a natural plant sweetener. I will go back to using honey, Agave and Rapadura in a few weeks but for now I am happy without.

During this time, I noticed that one of my favourite blogs ‘Quirky Cooking’, which my friend Laura introduced me to, was creating dairy-free, grain-free and sugar-free recipes in a bid to get rid of the colds and sicknesses her family were experiencing.  Her recipes are always delicious, but one of my favourites was her ‘Grain Free Sultana Spice Bread’. I like to heat it up and put some butter on it (which I make in my Tilly Thermomix – told you I was a bit dairy-free…there are some things a girl can’t live without, mainly milk in my coffee!).

So here is the recipe which is made using a Thermomix, but if you don’t have one you can easily adjust. You can find the original recipe here at Quirky Cooking.

1. Grind up in Thermomix on speed 8 for 10 seconds:  200g raw almonds

2. Add the pecans and chop on speed 5 for 6 seconds: 120g raw pecans (or use hazelnuts for a low salicylate version)
   Remove the ground nuts to a bowl and set aside.

3. Place in the Thermomix bowl the following ingredients, and mix on speed 6 for 10 seconds:
– 60g coconut butter
– 1 apple, quartered (no need to peel)
– 5 large (or 4 very large) free range eggs
– 50g macadamia oil (or grapeseed, or other light oil)
– 1 tbspn lemon juice (or 2 tsp apple cider vinegar)
– 3/4 tsp bicarb soda
– pinch of fine sea salt
– 1 Tblspn ground cinnamon
– 1 tsp ground nutmeg
– 1 tsp ground ginger
– 50g raw honey (optional) – I left this out


4. Scrape down sides and add the ground nuts back in to the mixture, with the sultanas, and mix for a few more seconds on speed 6: 100g sultanas

5. Pour into the lined tin and bake at 160 degrees for an hour or so, until risen and browned; a skewer poked down into the centre of the bread will come out clean when it’s ready.

6. Let the bread cool for 10 minutes before removing carefully from the tin. Pull it up with the paper so you don’t break it. It will firm up as it cools.

Note: If you won’t use it within a day or two, it can be sliced thinly, frozen in loose layers, then when completely frozen, wrapped and kept frozen to use a slice at a time.

The Normanton Bush Races

On 24th September 2011, we managed to be in Normanton at the same time as the annual Stingers Bush Races (third time lucky, right?). The Stingers are the Normanton football team, and it is a massive fundraising day for them.

This humungus event sees everyone frocking up and heading into Normanton from all over the place – other towns & states, the Sunshine Coast :), and surrounding stations.

We didn’t pay too much attention to the actual horse races (which were 200m sprints down the track), as we were too busy socialising…and winning the prettiest hat award! Yes, you read correctly – I won the prettiest hat award. My prize was a $100 voucher, a purple sash that I almost wore pig shooting the next day, and some beautiful flowers. I ended up being happy that hubby bullied me into going up on the platform to be judged.

After the final horse race, most people change into something more comfortable (I’m talking jeans, boots and a shirt here!) and walk over to the arena for barrel racin’ and bull ridin’ events. We drove the 4WD up to the arena fence and watched the action from the comfort of our car, like a true local.

Hubby was asked to be the official photographer for the day, which he enjoyed. He even almost got knocked off his perched position on the fence by a wayward bull. The things he’ll do for the perfect shot. The locals only laughed. His photos will go in the paper and on the official website for the bush races. Here is a glimpse of his work –

Hi-ho, hi-ho, it’s off to work I go!

I’m just sitting here in my classroom while waiting for my next parent teacher interview (which is in 1 1/2hrs). I thought I would eat my dinner and write about one of my loves.

Some days I have to remind myself why I love my job so much. Mainly so I can smile and feel an immense joy in the amazing blessing God has bestowed on me – I work at a beautiful, caring school that is striving for excellence in all students. I work with a bunch of incredibly hard-working, devoted staff. Not many people can say that they work in a place that they are in love with. My class is close to heaven and I get to spend my day exploring the world and discovering new things with them. Not only do I get to teach them, they teach me – I love how we work together as a unit and are passionate about our learning.

My style of teaching is to gradually release responsibility to my students as they gain expertise, teaching a few strategies of great consequences in-depth over time, and giving children the gifts of time, choice, response, community, and structure. I try to explicitly teach concepts and balance that with inquiry, exploration and discovery. If you walked in to my classroom, you could catch us deep discussion with one another or moving about the room trying to achieve a goal we have set together or as individuals. I love my job!

One of my students and I during our class celebration of the 'Gold Rush'.

Working out some tricky Maths stuff in the 'Maths Zone' in our classroom before we go off and work in small groups.

Don’t get me wrong – I have my yucky days like anyone else. Those yucky days rarely are the product of my students or my environment, it is usually lack of sleep, too much to do in a short space of time, or purely just frustration with the direction teaching is headed. Teachers hands are being tied behind our backs more and more as we are required to push, push, push students to meet National standards at the highest end possible. It is so crucial to stay focussed on what education is about and not get caught up in all the politics that education is getting tangled up in – it is to instill a love of learning in your students so they can be the very best that they can possibly be. There is nothing more important than that!