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Share Your World Week 16 and a sourdough update

21 Apr 16
Megan
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I was going to share how my first attempt at making sourdough went on Tuesday, but that post ended up so long already I decided to save my update until today. It’s also time for Share Your World!

Sourdough Update

Last week I let you know about the starter that I had made for homemade sourdough. I decided that I didn’t want to wait any longer to see whether I could eat it so on Thursday I began the long process of making my first 2 loaves of sourdough bread.

I followed the process used by the Zero Waste Chef but using flours I had at home (a white bread mix).

On the Thursday night I made my leaven from 200g of flour, 200g water and 35 grams of my starter that had been fed that morning. I covered it with a damp tea towel and a plate and put it in the oven (which I’d warmed up to the lowest temperature and then turned off) overnight.

At the same time I mixed the bread mix (1kg) with 750g of water and left it on the shelf covered with a damp tea towel and a plate.

The next morning (Friday) I combined half the leaven with the flour mix and put the bowl in a sink of warm water with a damp tea towel over it. After leaving it for 20 minutes I mixed in a little more flour mixed with water and seeds (sunflower, pumpkin and linseed). From that point I left it in the sink for around 4 hours turning the mixture every 30 – 45 minutes and topping up or changing the water if it got cold.

The dough after mixing the flour, leaven and seeds together.

The dough after mixing the flour, leaven and seeds together.

After that rising period (it didn’t actually rise very much for me) I tipped it onto a silicon mat on the shelf with lots of extra flour and, after a quick fold to try and get it to stay in a reasonable sized blob in the middle of the mat, left it for around 20 minutes under a damp tea towel. I then used some more flour to shape my loaves. I made one round loaf which went into a towel and flour lined bowl to proof over night and a sandwich loaf which I proofed in the oiled baking pan. Once shaped, the loaves were covered with a damp tea towel and put in the fridge until the next morning (Saturday).

Bread having an overnight proof in the fridge (sandwich loaf on top shelf, round loaf on the bottom shelf)

Bread having an overnight proof in the fridge (sandwich loaf on top shelf, round loaf on the bottom shelf)

The loaves were in the fridge for around 18 hours. I took them out when I put the oven on to preheat to 200C. I have since worked out I didn’t set my temperatures high enough so I’ll be trying hotter next time (250-300C).

Once the oven was preheated I tipped the round loaf into a large corningware dish (I don’t own a dutch oven which is what is recommended) and put both loaves in the oven. I have since worked out I should’ve preheated the corningware dish in the oven.

Ready to go in the oven...

Ready to go in the oven…

I baked the for 30 minutes before turning down the heat (to 180C), turning on the fan, taking off the lid and baking for another 30 minutes. Again I’d keep the heat higher next time.

The finished product was actually slightly undercooked (thus the recommendations above about hotter temperatures, etc) and the round loaf didn’t really rise but they both tasted delicious. The round loaf was gone by the end of Sunday after lunch with Rach Saturday, and we’re half way through the sandwich loaf (the other half was frozen).

The finished products (should've cooked hotter to get a darker crust, more rise in the round loaf, and cooked right through)

The finished products (should’ve cooked hotter to get a darker crust, more rise in the round loaf, and cooked right through)

The obligatory crumb shot of my round loaf. The sandwich loaf rose a lot higher but only had little bubbles throughout it (none of the big bubbles like this).

The obligatory crumb shot of my round loaf. The sandwich loaf rose a lot higher but only had little bubbles throughout it (none of the big bubbles like this).

Over the last week I’ve had sourdough pancakes twice (once during the week and once on Sunday) and had a large serve of the bread on Saturday, and smaller serves Sunday and Monday. So far, I have not had any adverse reactions. I’m hoping this means that I’m ok with the bread as it tasted delicious but I’m still taking it slowly to see how I go and will not just gorge on it.

Share Your World Week 16

If you had to have your vision corrected would you rather: glasses or contacts?  Or what do you use if you need to have your vision corrected?

I wear glasses. My issue is more that the muscles are tired and sore so my glasses do some of the work of pulling my eyes into line so I don’t see double. I feel that I’d most likely react to contacts as I react to almost every other thing I put too close or in my body.

If you had to describe your day as a traffic sign, what would it be?

Yellow! I’ve been able to do more than normal this last week and haven’t had any major crash days (red light days) but it’s been over 3 years since I last had a green light day.

Was school easy or difficult for you? How so?

School was OK. Academically I did well and didn’t struggle too much but I struggled a lot with the social aspects and with feelings of not fitting in.

Would you rather take a 1 or 2 week vaction with an organized tour or take a cruise of your choice?

It depends on where we are going… In general we like to do holidays where we plan things out for ourselves. This allows me to pace things and rest when I need to. Organised tours are usually quite busy and full days of activity but they are useful if you’re going to places where it might not be safe to do things by yourself. I know that when we were considering an African Safari (before I got sick) we were looking at doing an organised tour for safety.

Bonus question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up? 

I’m grateful that I’ve had the energy to do 2 workshops in a row! On Sunday I ran a fun workshop with children to make wearable art out of recycled materials as part of a ShareFest (like a swap meet) at the local Council.

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I then ran a productive workshop with Elected Members of another Council Monday night to progress the development of their Environment Management Plan.  Apart from having a major struggle getting up Monday morning and having to take the first half of the day slowly I didn’t have too much of an increase in symptoms from these two events.

In this next week I’m just looking forward to seeing what happens. I don’t have too much booked in for the week so I’m going to take each day as it comes and see where I go.


Planning an Environmentally Friendly Wedding

25 Nov 13
Megan
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I promised a few of you a post about planning my wedding, so here it is. Please note that this post is very photo heavy.

After E proposed I had 18 months to plan our wedding. We had a few key criteria that were very important to us:

  • The wedding had to have as little impact on the environment as possible
  • We had to keep the wedding under $10,000
  • We wanted to keep the wedding as small as possible (which is difficult with a large family)

So keeping those points in mind I began planning.

I didn’t want the traditional sit down reception and I wanted the wedding to be as intimate and personal as possible.

To do this I enlisted the help of family and friends for different aspects of the wedding.

The wedding car was driven by E’s grandfather, and the cups for coffee and cake were supplied by E’s grandma and mum. His grandma also made the wedding cake and one of my friends and I baked all the cupcakes that were served.

Photo (c) Doug Quine Photography, November 2011

Photo (c) Doug Quine Photography, November 2011

Photo (c) VSL, November 2011

Photo (c) VSL, November 2011

I made my own bouquet with roses from a friends garden.

Photo (c) J. Sanderson, November 2011

Photo (c) J. Sanderson, November 2011

And my step father, Uncle and Aunty played the music during the ceremony.

Family and friends all kicked in to help set up the hall and the ceremony site (E’s grandparents backyard) the night before the wedding.

I know not everyone has the ability to accept help from family and friends but if you can it is a great way to make the wedding more personal.

Considering the criteria I outlined above I decided that as much as possible the items used in our wedding had to be recycled, reused or reusable.

The following items were recycled:

Decorations for the hall were made from scrap paper I made into origami hearts and strung up

Photo (c) J. Sanderson, November 2011

Photo (c) J. Sanderson, November 2011

I made my own veil, using some netting I bought and left over material from the alterations of my wedding dress

Photo (c) Doug Quine Photography, November 2011

Photo (c) Doug Quine Photography, November 2011

Reused items in my wedding included:

My necklace was my great grandma’s, the brooch was E’s grandma’s (see photo above for both).

My wedding dress was an Op Shop find that fit perfectly, the only alterations were changing the sleeves from big bows to simple cuff sleeves.

Photo (c) Doug Quine Photography, November 2011

Photo (c) Doug Quine Photography, November 2011

All the boys suits (apart from their tie, which was their gift from us) were one’s they owned themselves.

Photo (c) Doug Quine Photography, November 2011

Photo (c) Doug Quine Photography, November 2011

As mentioned previously, the wedding car was E’s grandparent’s car,

Photo (c) Doug Quine Photography, November 2011

Photo (c) Doug Quine Photography, November 2011

and the cups, saucers and cake plates (all Royal Vale) were from E’s mum and grandma’s kitchens.

Photo (c) Doug Quine Photography, November 2011

Photo (c) Doug Quine Photography, November 2011

Even my engagement ring was reused (it was my great grandmother’s ring)

Photo (c) Doug Quine Photography, November 2011

Photo (c) Doug Quine Photography, November 2011

The majority of the things I had at my wedding were reusable (including most the things I’ve already listed above):

For example, since the wedding I have already reused my veil as a hair clip by pulling in the veil part to form a puff around the rose. I’ve also reused all the jewellery I had at the wedding.

All the gifts we gave our bridal party and our guests were reusable. As mentioned above the boys got the ties they wore at the wedding, and I know I’ve seen them all wearing them again since then. The girls received a tote bag from Vistaprint with their name, the wedding date and our wedding bird on the front. In the bags were a necklace and the clutch that they held instead of a bouquet.

Photo (c) J Sanderson, November 2011

Photo (c) J Sanderson, November 2011

The gifts for the guests were the glasses that they used at the reception (stemless wine glasses) and for people who helped us out the picnic baskets and blankets from the reception.

Photo (c) VSL, November 2011

Photo (c) VSL, November 2011

Photo (c) Doug Quine Photography, November 2011

Photo (c) Doug Quine Photography, November 2011

I bought the book I used as the reading at the wedding so that I can share the story with our children in the future (or re-read it myself when I wanted to). It’s a beautiful story and I’ll share it in another post.

Overall, our personalised home wedding ceremony and picnic reception made the day memorable; not only for us but for many of our guests as well, some of whom still bring it up today.

Photo (c) J. Sanderson, November 2011

Photo (c) J. Sanderson, November 2011

Have you planned your own wedding, or are you at the moment?

Let me know if there is anything you’d like to hear more about in regards to our wedding and the planning process.