Christmas gift ideas, rose special is back and let's see if we can get 8000 subscribers
First of all thank you to all of you for your lovely emails with suggestions for poor old Shirl. She's a lot better thanks largely to the raw food diet I think and also some supplements I have her on. I loved all your recipes and ideas and my favourite is giving her a pilchard (the ones in the supermarket freezer for bait) every day. What a brilliant way to get fish oils into her and she just loves her fish dessert after she's had her raw meat sausages.
Also thanks to all the gorgeous mothers who turned up to my local Nature Baby in Grey Lynn last week to hear me talk about Mother's Little Helper and demonstrate how to make natural baby wipes. It was so lovely to see such eager young women keen to hear how they can make their lives a little more chemical-free. And apologies to anyone who turned up to see me at Orewa Paperplus last Wednesday. They thought I was coming at 11 and I was there at 1.30pm. We had a great afternoon session though.
Christmas Gift Idea
While you're reading this I'll be on holiday but I have already started making lists of what I will make for presents this Christmas. In our huge family this is the first year we are doing Secret Santa so that will make things a little easier, and cheaper for our five kids! But I'll still be doing my herbed salt, chilli jam and green peppercorn mustard - recipes below if you haven't saved them from last year. I put these recipes in A Home Companion
and still get rave reports for them from the people I have given them to and the people who have read the book and tried them out. I also found this great article
about 20 things you can make in jars for Christmas gifts. Don't laugh. When you have an obsession for collecting old jars like I have this sort of thing comes in very handy and I have to say they are very creative particularly the photo displays and the chocolate muffin bread.
Give a Goat
I wrote a column in the Herald on Sunday recently about how my neighbours had a goat and how I wanted one. It had a big reaction and you can read it here
. Someone tweeted to say you can train goats like dogs and they cuddle like cats, someone sent me to a cruetly free goat site but the best suggestion was to give a goat for Christmas through www.childfund.org
Goats are a perfect gift to give to families in developing countries, because as hearty livestock, they provide a lasting source of nutrition and income for entire communities – a past goat-gifting programme by ChildFund was shown to lower the local child malnutrition rate from 20% to 0, while also helping boost household income by 65%.The goats ChildFund provide to families come with training in animal husbandry, and access to vet services. Quite interesting that when a pair of goats is sent to a family, it is the woman of the house who cares for them and is taught breeding.
Rose Special is Back
You may remember a while ago I put out a limited edition of rose spray cleaner. I have since kept making it for myself and have recently had lots of emails asking for more as people who bought it have run out. So by popular demand the rose spray cleaner (it doesn't have a proper label so is cheaper than the usual spary cleaner) and the rose laundry powder are back for just $19.99, see top left for details.
Christmas Preserve Recipes
Get cooking now and tuck these away for Christmas gifts.
4 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
1 tablespoon ginger, peeled and chopped
3 fresh chillies, chopped
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon brown mustard seeds
50 ml red wine vinegar
500g tomatoes, chopped fresh or tinned will do
1 tablespoon fish sauce
75g brown sugar or palm sugar
1/2 tablespoon turmeric powder
handful of coriander, chopped
In a food processor or mortar and pestle, grind the garlic, ginger, chillies, cumin, mustard seeds and red wine vinegar to a paste. Transfer to a heavy bottomed saucepan, then add the tomatoes, fish sauce, sugar and turmeric.
Simmer over a low heat for 40 minutes until it resembles a sauce. Fold through the coriander at the last minute and put into jars while hot.
4 heaped tablespoons fresh rosemary
4 heaped tablespoons fresh thyme
2 heaped tablespoons fresh oregano or marjoram
12 peeled garlic cloves
500 grams sea salt
Finely chop the herbs and garlic. Mix with salt in a large bowl and let stand for 24 hours at room temperature to dry out. (the smell in your kitchen is amazing!) Place in an airtight container. Use this salt to season pasta sauces, sprinkle on tomatoes on toast but it is best sprinkled on steak before cooking and patted all over a chicken before roasting with a bit sprinkled inside.
Green Peppercorn Mustard
½ cup yellow mustard seeds
2 tablespoons green peppercorns, rinsed (you can buy big jars of these at Asian supermarkets, bulk bin stores and Indian grocers)
2 cloves garlic, crushed.
½ cup oil
1 cup white wine vinegar (tarragon or rosemary are good too)
1 teaspoon salt.
Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and leave to stand in a cool place for two days. Don’t leave it any longer, as I once did, or it goes off and tastes dreadful! In a blender mix the mustard until you have a coarse paste. You may need to do this in batches. Mix the blended mustard well and spoon into small, clean jars. Melt over some sealing wax, filling right to the top of the jar.
While I'm Away
As I'm writing this newsletter it is scheduled to go out to 7978 wonderful people who form a strong Green Goddess community and I know from the emails you send that you love to share the recipes and information with your friends and that there are an increasing number of international followers. I'm going to challenge you to forward it to a few friends and let's see if we can get it up to 8000 which is a huge number for a community of like minded people. And thank you to all 7978 of you for being such an enthusiastic audience every Thursday!