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  • FIRST POST
    • SimpleLiving
    • By SimpleLiving 30th Nov 17, 11:27 AM
    • 36Posts
    • 1,079Thanks
    SimpleLiving
    A Simpler Life 2018
    • #1
    • 30th Nov 17, 11:27 AM
    A Simpler Life 2018 30th Nov 17 at 11:27 AM
    Every year at about this time, I get a yearning for a more simple way of life. A life that doesn't involve being bombarded with endless ads for x% off or buy a new sofa/kitchen/table/bed/car or your Christmas holiday will become a fate worse than death It really does get to me. I hate consumerism in general. It annoys me intensely that we waste so many resources making cheap non-essential rubbish that will end up in landfill a few months later. I think I must be some kind of grumpy, odd ball though as despite all the headlines about the economy and stagnant pay rises, the shops always seem to be rammed.
    Anyhow, I am planning to step back from it all in 2018:
    - no spending on unnecessary stuff. For example, I have enough clothes to last for years in one wardrobe and one chest of drawers. Books will come from the library. No fripperies!!
    - replace essential items where possible with good quality items preferably second hand, or british made or local where applicable
    - increase cooking from scratch. I buy too many things like biscuits etc that are far nicer and healthier homemade
    - make full use of garden and allotment for fruit, veg, preserves and wine.
    - forage for fruit, fungi, wood ....
    - spend more time outside, gardening, walking, enjoying nature to improve mental and physical well being
    - spend more time with my mum who is 76 and beginning to need me more
    - avoid pressure to conform!
    Anyone got any further ideas in how I could simplify life?
Page 28
    • Save Dosh
    • By Save Dosh 5th Jan 18, 10:40 AM
    • 1,147 Posts
    • 13,889 Thanks
    Save Dosh
    I have been doing well with my minimizing. Am rushing out but just wanted to post this for anyone interested - it's not just environmenental - who wants to be filling their kids with noxious chemicals. It's 1 of 4 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Km-CYcf2ags&list=PLiQmjwY1e5icKM_1j9VMX7u5y5fgpvNOj

    Going to check out this shop, which is not far from me. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WcAKMdX850c
    Last edited by Save Dosh; 05-01-2018 at 11:10 AM.
    GC January £13.20/80, Alcohol 0/£20, Bulk Buy £39.04 (left)
    Save 12k in 2017 # = £500/£5,000
    Clothes, Wardrobe, Bric a Brac, Books, Drawers, Bags, Shoes, Bedding, Toiletries, Kitchen, Paper n Pantry
    • LameWolf
    • By LameWolf 5th Jan 18, 12:59 PM
    • 10,113 Posts
    • 109,585 Thanks
    LameWolf
    indeed. I wash them at 60C, and have always been taught to iron them, which I don’t, because I am the only one using them.
    Originally posted by Siebrie
    The ironing is to kill off any germs that linger, the idea being that the high temperature of the iron will despatch anything lingering in hems etc.
    Originally posted by MrsLurcherwalker
    We iron ours (actually Mr LW usually does it ) because they fit in the drawer better ironed. If there's a stack awaiting ironing though, and one of us wants a clean hanky, we'll take an unironed one.

    Re scented washing powder/liquid - we've always used P£rsil Non-Bio powder; it doesn't start my eczema off, and it doesn't make Mr LW's clothes smell "girly" (his word).

    Re soap: someone mentioned 1mperial Leather - Mr LW uses that, but when I ran out of my own soap and used his, it made my skin itch horribly. It never used to do that, so I guess they've changed the formulation somehow.
    I actually need to source some soap I can use; I always used to get it at the stall at the Farmers Market, but the people have retired and moved away from the area. My stash is nearly gone (I stocked up when they said they were going to retire) so I need to find something that won't irritate my skin.
    LameWolf
    If your dog thinks you're the best, don't seek a second opinion.
    • Wednesday2000
    • By Wednesday2000 5th Jan 18, 1:31 PM
    • 1,478 Posts
    • 9,495 Thanks
    Wednesday2000
    I've changed from doing my monthly budget on my laptop to a notebook and pen instead. It's much easier.
    2018: Simplify your life
    Books Read 3/60
    • Spider In The Bath
    • By Spider In The Bath 5th Jan 18, 2:19 PM
    • 1,053 Posts
    • 3,710 Thanks
    Spider In The Bath
    Have you thought of making laundry gloop? I havenít but lots of people swear by it
    Originally posted by maryb
    Thanks - I might have too. I have found another non scented make that I can buy online so I will try that first.
    • CRANKY40
    • By CRANKY40 5th Jan 18, 3:07 PM
    • 2,697 Posts
    • 28,571 Thanks
    CRANKY40
    The ironing is to kill off any germs that linger, the idea being that the high temperature of the iron will despatch anything lingering in hems etc.
    Originally posted by MrsLurcherwalker
    The exact same reason why I always iron tea towels....
    • RicardaRacoon
    • By RicardaRacoon 6th Jan 18, 9:09 AM
    • 210 Posts
    • 4,328 Thanks
    RicardaRacoon
    Morning everyone

    It looked sunny when I first got up an hour ago, but now it starts to get foggy... Hope it will cheer up in the afternoon for a walk.

    After my kettle gave up the ghost some weeks ago my toaster decided yesterday night that toasting the fuse was much more fun than toasting bread... I already wanted to order a new one but decided to look for a second hand first. Found one a few miles from where I life and basically on my way home from work, so I wrote to the seller if I might have it. It is about 1/4 of the price of the new one I wanted. So while a new one might last 10 years I could as well buy 3 or 4 second hand ones in this time and use them until they die. No loss for me but a small gain for the environment.
    I wonder if I should also start looking for a new hairdryer, with the current rate my electronics blowing up this might be the next thing I need to replace...

    I've found a good set of actions to take if you want to buy something new.
    1. Use what you have
    2. Borrow
    3. Exchange
    4. Buy second hand
    5. Make it yourself
    6. Buy it, if possible make sure it is sustainable/fair trade/organic

    Decluttered and tidied my spice drawer while my porridge was cooking and binned some spice I will never use... Will take the christmas tree down later - and out of the window it will go, quite literally - and put all the Christmas bits down to the basement, so that my spare room / office isn't a mess of storage boxes anymore.

    Will go over to my sister later on to watch a movie and pass the time till her two new cats will arrive.They are currently in a foster family who said that they prefered to check on the new owner and would bring her the cats so that they see where they end up. Two of her cats died recently so she decided to look for two siblings to keep her remaining cat company. He likes to cuddle with other cats, but isn't too interessted in playing and fighting, so the two youngsters can do all that by themself and he can join in if he fancies.

    Have a lovely Saturday everyone!
    Resolution for 2018"Live better on less" - Less stuff, less waste, less silly spends but more make do and mend and more fun
    • Katieowl
    • By Katieowl 6th Jan 18, 9:15 AM
    • 119 Posts
    • 1,362 Thanks
    Katieowl


    Will go over to my sister later on to watch a movie and pass the time till her two new cats will arrive.They are currently in a foster family who said that they prefered to check on the new owner and would bring her the cats so that they see where they end up. Two of her cats died recently so she decided to look for two siblings to keep her remaining cat company. He likes to cuddle with other cats, but isn't too interessted in playing and fighting, so the two youngsters can do all that by themself and he can join in if he fancies.

    Have a lovely Saturday everyone!
    Originally posted by RicardaRacoon
    Second hand pets too! the best kind
    • fuddle
    • By fuddle 6th Jan 18, 5:31 PM
    • 6,032 Posts
    • 91,482 Thanks
    fuddle

    We’ve gone back to basics on food. I suffered from a particularly nasty anxiety bout at the end of October that upset my IBS and gave me a hideous reflux issue. So I’m avoiding gluten (I have a mild intolerance that has increased 10 fold) and dairy and we’ve gone to a meat and potatoes with veg diet, no spice, no sauces, nothing that will set my IBS off. I can cope with pulses but rice is out, Can’t afford gluten free pasta so will go without.
    Originally posted by Pooky
    Ditto pooky. My GP told me that there was a chance that I could be aspirating stomach acid into my lungs because of acid reflux. I was put on stomach acid inhibitors but on learning about autoimmunity, leaky gut and poor immunity issues I decided to alter my diet. I knew already that wheat and barley gave me indigestion but chose to still eat a high refined carb diet. Another health scare made me act, get if tge stomach tablets and change my diet.I went on a restrictive elimination diet for 6 weeks and found cows milk also gave me indigestion. I won't ever test grains because I cheated before Christmas and found the stomach pain and bloating the answer I needed to know never to go there again. Aside from the cows milk I haven't had any indigestion. That in itself is reason to continue my wheat, barley and rye boycott. I can manage goats milk pooky. I don't know if that helps. Unfortunately that doesn't help the shopping budget though.

    So I too am adjusting.

    My sourdough starter didn't work. My GF flour had potato starch in it. The starter separated with the watery layer turning grey. It's gone. I have bought xanthum gum, which I am not very happy about being a simpldon and I have a batch proving as I type although its still using the potato starch flour so I don't hold out much hope.

    I will continue to find a way to have a daily loaf that I can eat and the rest of the family will want to eat too but am I 'eck paying through the nose for it. I can do without and will if I can't find a reliable, good recipe.
    Last edited by fuddle; 06-01-2018 at 5:34 PM.
    • Katieowl
    • By Katieowl 6th Jan 18, 8:05 PM
    • 119 Posts
    • 1,362 Thanks
    Katieowl
    FUDDLE do try the Dan Leppard loaf....my variation of it makes the best GF toast ever, I just made it more nutritious as I knew my customers would prefer a browner, healther looking bread. I took all the dairy out, I just make it with water...
    https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2009/may/23/baking-white-bread

    PS I'd give up on sharing though. No need for everyone to eat it! Cheaper for them to have their own bread.
    Last edited by Katieowl; 06-01-2018 at 8:07 PM.
    • moneyistooshorttomention
    • By moneyistooshorttomention 6th Jan 18, 9:19 PM
    • 14,590 Posts
    • 40,005 Thanks
    moneyistooshorttomention

    I will continue to find a way to have a daily loaf that I can eat and the rest of the family will want to eat too but am I 'eck paying through the nose for it. I can do without and will if I can't find a reliable, good recipe.
    Originally posted by fuddle
    You may be as well to start experimenting with making different flatbreads for yourself.

    I'm planning to have another go (after a couple a while back) - when a friend of mine gave me the recipe for chickpea flour pancakes he makes for his wife (who can't eat various things). Duly tried and they worked fine and I think I'd just need to think in terms of adding more flavouring to them and/or having something with them. On my long list of things to experiment with that I'm gradually working my way through. I gather chickpea flour isnt cheap (though may not be as dear as some specialist ones) - but...I don't bother buying specialist flours like chickpea flour or rice flour for instance anyway. If I want a bit of them - then I just whack some dried chickpeas or a bit of brown rice into my liquidiser and blitz for only a few seconds worth really and I have my flour.

    I don't know how well standard liquidisers cope with blitzing things like that - but I'd spent years longing for a Vitamix (after finding out all about built-in obsolescence with cheaper ones) and finally treated myself to one. They cost!! and they're blimmin' noisy too (though I believe later models are being made quieter). But, as half my definition of cooking these days boils down to a list of ingredients, followed by the one word "blitz", then I shove the stuff in there and dive out of the way because of the noise it makes and bingo.

    EDIT; Quick looksee at Amazon later - and yep. £371.21 for the Vitamix I've got....and, ye gods, I've spotted the quiet newer version on there. Whew!!!! Its about £2,000! Mygawd - and I have the feeling I won't be swopping my "jet taking off" one then....
    Last edited by moneyistooshorttomention; 06-01-2018 at 9:25 PM.
    New Year's Resolution already made -

    Don't get mad....get firm ...
    • fuddle
    • By fuddle 6th Jan 18, 10:17 PM
    • 6,032 Posts
    • 91,482 Thanks
    fuddle
    You posted at the right time money. I had just been reading about growing chickpeas in UK soil. Imagine if I could grow my own specifically for making bread. That thought is sending the self sufficient induced endorphins into overdrive.

    We'll see. I know gram flour is made from chickpeas but I think it's a certain variety. I'm not sure. I could use it for onion bhaji too. I imagine I'd send my traditional allotment neighbours into orbit with what I do with my harvest. Ha, listen to me. I'm likely only going to be able to grow rice if the rains don't stop!
    • fuddle
    • By fuddle 6th Jan 18, 10:19 PM
    • 6,032 Posts
    • 91,482 Thanks
    fuddle
    FUDDLE do try the Dan Leppard loaf....my variation of it makes the best GF toast ever, I just made it more nutritious as I knew my customers would prefer a browner, healther looking bread. I took all the dairy out, I just make it with water...
    https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2009/may/23/baking-white-bread

    PS I'd give up on sharing though. No need for everyone to eat it! Cheaper for them to have their own bread.
    Originally posted by Katieowl
    I've book marked it Katieowl. I will try it, definately. Thank you.

    My loaf turned out well. I can't comment on the taste as I've lost my ability to taste due to sinus trouble but the texture was perfect. My tummy isn't happy though so I'm wondering what the heck xantham gum is.
    • carolbee
    • By carolbee 6th Jan 18, 10:41 PM
    • 973 Posts
    • 6,472 Thanks
    carolbee
    You posted at the right time money. I had just been reading about growing chickpeas in UK soil. Imagine if I could grow my own specifically for making bread. That thought is sending the self sufficient induced endorphins into overdrive.

    We'll see. I know gram flour is made from chickpeas but I think it's a certain variety. I'm not sure. I could use it for onion bhaji too. I imagine I'd send my traditional allotment neighbours into orbit with what I do with my harvest. Ha, listen to me. I'm likely only going to be able to grow rice if the rains don't stop!
    Originally posted by fuddle
    We tried chick peas on our south east England allotment this year, not very productive but tasty. Canít check as away from home and list of seeds etc, for an extended trip. Good luck!
    Carolbee
    • moneyistooshorttomention
    • By moneyistooshorttomention 6th Jan 18, 10:41 PM
    • 14,590 Posts
    • 40,005 Thanks
    moneyistooshorttomention
    Quick google about xanthum gum and yes it can "stimulate" the stomach by the sound of it - and...no....I don't fancy trying it personally....it doesnt sound very "natural" to me.

    I'd not heard anything about it being a specific variety of chickpeas - I just use standard (in my case organic - because all of my food is organic if its available). I buy these from the health food store.
    New Year's Resolution already made -

    Don't get mad....get firm ...
    • Mrs Salad Dodger
    • By Mrs Salad Dodger 7th Jan 18, 5:18 AM
    • 162 Posts
    • 1,994 Thanks
    Mrs Salad Dodger
    We're a two person household too but I'll use the freezer and if the recipe is for four portions I'll freeze two of them and in the fullness of time have a whole weeks worth of meals in there and have a 'gratis' week of food money to invest in 'futures' for the larder.
    Originally posted by MrsLurcherwalker
    Hi MrsLW,

    As I am currently trying to empty freezer we have the same meal two or three nights in a row. But once freezer is decluttered & defrosted I will start freezing portions again.

    I love the idea of a Ďgratisí week of food money. Thanks for this wonderful tip.

    Mrs SD
    • dND
    • By dND 7th Jan 18, 8:15 AM
    • 425 Posts
    • 6,010 Thanks
    dND
    You posted at the right time money. I had just been reading about growing chickpeas in UK soil. Imagine if I could grow my own specifically for making bread.
    Originally posted by fuddle
    To be honest Fuddle I wouldn't bother with the chickpeas. I gave them a go a couple of years ago here in SW France. While they grew well, they only produce small pods with 1-2 chickpeas in each - like soya. Fun to do once but not really viable to produce your annual harvest on a small scale.

    However they are a legume, so if you wanted to give your allotment a boost for a year then cover cropping an area with them should give you enough for meal or two.

    I grew soya (5ha worth) for a couple of years while I was actively farming here. The following sunflower crop was grown without the usual addition of fertiliser and no irrigation and I got one of the best yields per ha around here. So good that subsequently most of the local farmers are now growing soya as part of their crop cycle (As I got people in to do the planting of seeds because I didn't have the specialised equipment, I think I was used as the experimental site )

    • pipkin71
    • By pipkin71 7th Jan 18, 8:25 AM
    • 18,989 Posts
    • 85,080 Thanks
    pipkin71
    Have you tried courgetti? I vastly prefer it to all GF pasta and it's low carb!
    Originally posted by Katieowl
    I would agree with the courgetti. I also prefer it to the g/f pasta and it's cheaper. I have also spiralised carrots which are nice in stir fry. Might be difficult to do using a hand spiraliser, though as carrots are firmer than courgettes. Butternut squash is another one to try, although I bought that rather than made my own.
    There is something delicious about writing the first words of a story. You never quite know where they'll take you - Beatrix Potter
    • pipkin71
    • By pipkin71 7th Jan 18, 8:33 AM
    • 18,989 Posts
    • 85,080 Thanks
    pipkin71
    Ditto pooky. My GP told me that there was a chance that I could be aspirating stomach acid into my lungs because of acid reflux. I was put on stomach acid inhibitors but on learning about autoimmunity, leaky gut and poor immunity issues I decided to alter my diet. I knew already that wheat and barley gave me indigestion but chose to still eat a high refined carb diet. Another health scare made me act, get if tge stomach tablets and change my diet.I went on a restrictive elimination diet for 6 weeks and found cows milk also gave me indigestion. I won't ever test grains because I cheated before Christmas and found the stomach pain and bloating the answer I needed to know never to go there again. Aside from the cows milk I haven't had any indigestion. That in itself is reason to continue my wheat, barley and rye boycott. I can manage goats milk pooky. I don't know if that helps. Unfortunately that doesn't help the shopping budget though.

    So I too am adjusting.
    Originally posted by fuddle
    I have also had to adjust my diet as I have bile salt malabsorption, and have terrible acid reflux. It certainly becomes a challenge with regards the cost of groceries, trying to find substitutes.
    There is something delicious about writing the first words of a story. You never quite know where they'll take you - Beatrix Potter
    • MrsLurcherwalker
    • By MrsLurcherwalker 7th Jan 18, 8:50 AM
    • 11,143 Posts
    • 155,273 Thanks
    MrsLurcherwalker
    I'm not sure we're warm enough to grow chick peas, I have a feeling that they need much warmer temperatures than we have in the UK even at the height of summer. I know we tried to grow Okra and Coriander one year and even in the polytunnel which gets quite warm! we had very little success.

    There is a recipe for a thick chick pea pancake called SOCCA which can be eaten hot or cold and my brother makes it and loves it (never made it myself) which is easily made in a frying pan on the hob then finished in the oven so you need an oven proof pan to make it in.

    Socca (this recipe makes 2 x pancakes so use half the batter for each one)

    100g chick pea flour (besan/gram flour)
    pinch of salt
    3 tablespoons olive oil (but any will do, use what you have in the cupboard)
    240 ml (8 fl oz ) water

    Whisk everything together in a jug to combine and let it rest at room temperature for a couple of hours. Heat some vegetable oil in the frying pan and pour in half the batter, as soon as bubbles start to form pop it into a 200deg C pre heated oven for about 4 minutes until the underneath is browned then flip it over and pop it back into the oven for another 4 minutes to cook the other side. The pancake should be brown and crisp in the outside but slightly custardy in the middle. Slip it out of the pan and on to some kitchen paper and serve while it's warm cut in wedges or put on toppings to make it into a sort of pizza with ingredients that don't upset your tum.

    My brother likes it cold too, you'd have to try and see if you prefer warm or cold. Hope that's some use.
    Last edited by MrsLurcherwalker; 07-01-2018 at 8:57 AM.
    Go forward with the vision even if no one else can see it!

    No amount of regretting can change the past, and no amount of worrying can change the future!
    • Katieowl
    • By Katieowl 7th Jan 18, 9:16 AM
    • 119 Posts
    • 1,362 Thanks
    Katieowl
    I've book marked it Katieowl. I will try it, definately. Thank you.

    My loaf turned out well. I can't comment on the taste as I've lost my ability to taste due to sinus trouble but the texture was perfect. My tummy isn't happy though so I'm wondering what the heck xantham gum is.
    Originally posted by fuddle
    .

    That's a pity,I know some people do react to it, but I'd triple check it out because it makes ALL the difference to GF baking! It's basically the substance that forms when vegetables rot, you know they go stringy? But obvs it's manufacturered they don't have a mouldy veg factory somewhere

    Gram flour is cheap as chips, I really don't think it would be worth the effort to grow your own! For a tasty gram pancake Google besan chilla.

    My go to at home for starchy these days is usually GF pancakes. Just doves or Aldi plain gf with sometimes a bit of buckwheat flour, egg and milk. I fill them with cheese or butter them with jam or marmalade and I've even been known to make a coconut one to go curry.
    Last edited by Katieowl; 07-01-2018 at 9:21 AM.
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