Experiments!

Sunday was another glorious Summer Day in Wellington. Even when I went out to the market at 10.30am, it was already hot. To my delight, new season apples were being sold. Yum yum yum! And cherries are still on sale. As I filled my little produce bag, someone came up to me and asked where I’d bought them as she hated putting fresh fruit in plastic bags. (Moore Wilsons, New World and Commonsense Organics all sell them)

On the way home, I watched some divers doing a clean up along the waterfront. After seeing a penguin, dolphins, lots of sting rays and even some little sharks, as well as lots of people swimming and jumping in along here in the last 3 weeks, it was so good to see.

divers

dolphins

 

 

 

 

 

 

The heat kept me in for most of the afternoon. I took advantage to try some experiments. The first was fabric conditioner as having to remember to put baking powder into the wash after 17 minutes was a bit restrictive.

I used this recipe #2 because I still had a bottle and a half of hair conditioner that hasn’t been used in a year. A simple recipe that makes 2L of conditioner. I missed a step and put the vinegar in before the hot water so the conditioner was a bit clumpy.

One use on I’m not completely convinced. I think the baking soda is more effective but I’ll try a few more times to see. It’s certainly simpler to just bung it in when loading the machine.

The second experiment is also laundry related. I use my dryer quite a bit because it’s healthier than drying things around the flat, and I’d seen these felted wool balls before Christmas.

img_6989.jpg

They promised to help speed the drying up and soften clothes. I’ve also read a lot of people saying good things about them (though the consumer affairs test reckons they didn’t change anything). At $24 for three, it seemed quite expensive to try. And then I found a tutorial on google, so for the grand total of $7.80 I have 2 balls of wool tied up in a pair of tights that are being washed with every load of washing until they felt.

My last experiment has been ongoing – cling film/gladwrap free bread. Most of the recipes call for the bowl to be wrapped in plastic wrap when proving and resting. A friend uses a large plastic box lunchbox for this but it didn’t seem to work for me. I’ve since found I get the best result by just putting a plate over the bowl, sprayed with some oil for last rise. When I shape the bread, then the plastic box works – particularly since my Mother suggested using the hotpress. I get a much better rise now and it’s a lot easier than my previous option.

img_8752 img_8926 bread

To date, I’ve stuck to the ciabatta recipe they taught me at Crave cooking school bread making class though it is a two day process. I see they now have a Sourdough class , so I might need to go back as sourdough is on the agenda once I get a starter bug going. Anyway, 17 days in, no bring home baked goods bought this year and thus no new paper bags in my stash. This loaf cost about $1 for ingredients (strong flour, yeast, salt and olive oil plus some baking paper) + cost of electricity in oven which I haven’t calculated yet, rather than $5 or $6 to buy. The other big bonus is that it’s made me cook other meals or have salads rather than eat bread every day.  But that’s another post.

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