seekingserenity's Profile

Display Name: seekingserenity
Member Since: 1/24/09

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@Emma - we always ask. Hence the "theft" in quotes...


5 Tips for Gardening on the Cheap
2/10/14 09:16 AM

I come from a strong heritage of "plant theft" :-) I don't know anyone in my family who would not snip off a piece of a plant they like to grow back home.

We have "traditional family" plants too - my grandfather has moved his father's roses from home to home over about 80 years. I grabbed a seedling off one of his white mulberries on the family farm, planted it at a previous home, and have been back to break off bits to re-plant elsewhere. I also "freed" some of my old neglected iris bulbs, arum lilies and geraniums from the current unenthusiastic occupant of that location, which will be moving with me to a new home in a few months. My aunt is a prominent botanist who collects and grows samples of just about anything and everything she studies - she donated a few bearded irises she rescued from next to the road when a stranger threw them out to build a pool. And my neighbours and I regularly swap Chinese Garlic Chives and granadilla bushes for gooseberry seedlings, rosemary sprouts and bits of thyme (one of which we've named Justin Thyme...). I've been known to rescue grape vines from old farm fields being torn up for office complexes, and succulents from rubbish heaps.

Where there's a bit of soil, we'll plant it!!!


5 Tips for Gardening on the Cheap
2/4/14 02:49 PM

Busy making our staple of cheese & onion pies. Basic shortcrust pastry, cut into rounds that fit in muffin pans to form little pastry cups, filled with this:

Grate an onion, throw into a pot with a few tablespoons sunflower oil and a few heaped tablespoons all-purpose flour - enough to form a bit of a paste. Mix in around 2 cups of milk, start heating and stirring until you basically get a thick oniony white sauce. Throw in a few handfuls of grated cheese, a beaten egg (stir or it will scramble!) to help thicken it, a teaspoon of salt, a teaspoon of white wine vinegar, and if you're in a country that has it, a sprinkle of Aromat. If you're making more, just increase the volumes to get enough filling - if you're making less, decrease them.

Spoon that into the pastry rounds, sprinkle with more cheese, bake at 180C until pastry is cooked through.

Serve hot out the oven (mine are going ready-made into the fridge ahead of baking tomorrow), or pre-bake and serve cold if you're having a hot southern-hemisphere Xmas like we are in South Africa...


Ideas for Festive Vegetarian Appetizers for Christmas Day? Good Questions
12/24/13 08:25 AM

I presume this recipe is for the "canned" Peppadews? Am going to try them with the fresh ones growing in my (South African) garden in copious amounts... and hope for the best! They won't have the sweet/sour flavour, but holding thumbs they'll come out OK.


Easy Entertaining Recipe: Grilled Peppadews with Smoked Mozzarella Recipes from The Kitchn
6/20/13 05:42 AM

I'm tempted to say a decent aircon that does air refresh should be added to the mix... ever walked into a post-LAN / all-weekend-gaming-marathon room? Ripe.


How To Complete The Perfect Gaming & Arcade Room For Non-Stop Action
3/8/13 10:31 AM

Drain a batch of it in cheesecloth - hang it over the tap/faucet of your kitchen sink overnight. It will get a whole lot firmer. Add a bit of salt and you have your own version of cottage cheese!

A favourite recipe with this is to combine it with cornflakes, egg, herbed salt and Marmite - bake in a loaf pan for cottage cheese loaf. Let me know if you want the exact recipe we've used since I was little. It's generous enough to allow for quite a few modifications to taste.


Ideas for Eating Yogurt for Dinner? Good Questions
1/28/13 11:27 AM

I'd go with a floor to ceiling chandelier, like one of these:
https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-4wvRD-5PDVQ/TXEYIlKydCI/AAAAAAAAFJI/cMRHejuslk4/MIT+chapel+Saarinen1.jpg

http://blog.arcadianlighting.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/Crystal.jpg

http://image.made-in-china.com/2f0j00WCQaAjoGrebm/Modern-Chandeliers-MD7059-.jpg

http://i00.i.aliimg.com/photo/v0/320278262/contemporary_crystal_chandeliers.jpg

They'd both light up the corner and give amazing visual interest


How To Decorate Stair Nook? Good Questions
3/28/12 03:54 PM

I was barbecuing chicken the day after New Year and had a bit of champagne left over, so I chucked it in to the marinade. Turned out great!


Can I Make Anything with Leftover Champagne?
Good Questions

1/15/12 06:23 AM

Cooking as little as possible this weekend - it's a boiling hot summer in Cape Town. We're down to cold pasta salads, ice-cream and as many other cool things as we can lay our hands on. As much as I'd like to bake and cook and go crazy - just no :-)


What's Cooking This Weekend?
Weekend of January 7-8, 2012

1/7/12 08:40 AM

I guess this replaces the "stick it in the hot car outside, with the windows closed" method...? :-)


A Home Bread Proofer: The Brød & Taylor Folding Proofer
Product Review

11/30/11 03:32 PM

I only ever add one teaspoon of salt to pasta water - and so far it's never been too un-salty. On the contrary, it helps to make up for any over-salted sauce.. :-)


The Case Of The Over Salted Pool Noodle Pasta
11/30/11 03:31 PM

I would love to do this - but I own and run two small businesses, and the labour-intenstive urban farming simply doesn't fit into the number of hours I have available. As it is, I barely have an hour each evening to rush through the shops and feed the family, before diving into the day's admin after a full day's labour to bring in the cents.

I've had a look at the preview pages of her book - I'm not sure if she works outside her home or not, but personally cannot find enough hours in the day to grind my own grain, bake bread, etc. I'm doing what I can with 4 square feet of rented back yard, herbs and veggies, and a few minutes here and there to at least water them.

Urban farming is to be aspired to, and many of us will buy the book, dream the dream, and in a small way get started. But for the majority of us it's never fully realized - we're not stay at home moms, we don't have as much space in our back-to-back little apartments and the neighbours would certainly not appreciate a goat occupying the 1 square foot under the laundry line.


New Book: The Urban Farm Handbook
11/3/11 05:28 AM

We've recently moved into a home that has a mist system installed above the patio - a network of "irrigation" pipes with misting nozzles, and a turn-to-activate lever right within reach of the seating. Although we're currently freezing through a southern hemisphere winter, I'm looking forward to using that come summer :-) The one or two hot days we had have shown how handy that particular "water feature" is going to be - especially when the built-in BBQ is fired up on the other end of the space...


5 Tips for Comfortable Outdoor Eating in Extreme Heat
8/11/11 06:17 AM

I've just stuck all our old plastic Coke bottles (large and small) as well as a few Sprite ones into my potplants - with the current summer heat in the southern hemisphere, it's going to save me a lot of hassle trying to keep the things alive :-)


Creative Reuse: Glass Bottle Watering Globes
3/7/11 04:23 AM

I'm about to move to a new home where there's no landline. With two businesses (one being an ISP) to run from home and on the road, we've converted all our fixed landlines at the old location into an internet-based PABX rackmount system - routed through to our IP, cell and smartphones to reach us anywhere we can pick up wireless service on our own network. We've put it into practice ahead of the move already to test - works fantastically, even though in this country we don't get more than a 4MB internet connection.


Would You Say Goodbye To Your Land Line?
2/11/11 10:25 AM

My annual fruitcake is anything but dry and yukky. Recipe here: http://serenitydawn.blogspot.com/2010/12/christmas-baking-fruitcake.html

Keeps moist and delicious for months - though we happen to have scoffed the entire thing between two of us within a week.. :-)


Not Just a Doorstop: How to Eat (and Enjoy!) Fruitcake
1/6/11 01:56 AM

I've stuck mine in a chicken marinade in the past - works beautifully.


What Can I Do With Leftover Champagne?
Good Questions

1/3/11 10:38 AM

Our Christmas near Cape Town, South Africa, is along similar veins. This year we've got a whole chicken and a couple of good-size crayfish with garlic butter on the Weber, a pile of salads for sides, with Christmas cake, fruit mince pies and ice-cream for afters.

However, perhaps I should dash down to the nearby harbour and pick up a freshly-caught snoek to try with this recipe for New Year's...


A Real (Summer) Holiday
Holiday Guest Post from Jules Clancy of stonesoup

12/22/10 01:58 AM

This stuff has its disadvantages... I've seen it used in construction - lived next door to a building site where two of these houses were going up. The exterior walls were plastered on completion - the plaster fell off in large cracked chunks within a few months as it doesn't adhere to the foam very well. We tested a piece of the foam with a match - only to discover it burnt with a horrible black choking smoke - I'd hate to see what happens when there's a stove or electrical fire near one of the walls. I'm also not convinced that the foam doesn't release toxins over time with the help of heat from the sun and any heating inside.

Personally, I wouldn't want to build with it at all. I simply don't trust its safety or durability.


Building With Insulated Concrete Forms
Green Architect

10/24/10 06:34 AM

Lesotho, Southern Africa - our group spent a few weeks rennovating a small mission school in the middle of nowhere. The local ladies who fed us served up huge loaves of fresh bread at each meal.. without salt. At first it was really weird to eat, but after those few weeks we couldn't believe how salty the "normal" bread was once back in South Africa and home. I suspect our modern palates are so used to salt in everything that we almost can't live without it.


What's the Deal with Tuscan Bread?
9/19/10 10:34 AM