How to make your own dishwasher powder 

I have been making my own dishwasher powder for over 12 months now and haven’t looked back.
If you google the internet there are hundreds of different recipes for dishwasher powder, below is the recipe I use:

1 cup bicarbonate soda
1 cup washing soda
1/2 cup iodised salt
1/4 cup citric acid (or borax)
20 drops lemon essential oil
Shake it up in a jar.

To use: put 1 Tablespoon in the powder/tablet dispenser

I have not done a costing as I buy the bicarbonate and washing soda in bulk. But to me I feel that it is cheaper and better for the environment with no chemicals.

Before using please check with your dishwashers manufacturer guidelines.



What to do with all that garlic....

I was given a bag of garlic by a good friend and rather than see it go forgotten in the pantry I preserved it for future use.

With a bit of help I peeled the cloves.
To make the skin come off easier I cracked the clove under the knife blade (push down gently until you hear the crack) this makes the skin "separate" from the clove and easier to peel.

The peeled cloves were put in a sterilised jar, tap the jar on the bench to allow the cloves to settle together and make more room on top for more cloves.

I then poured olive oil (from our olive trees) over the cloves to cover the top, gently tap the jar on the bench to release any bubbles and fill until covered allowing a bit of room at the top of the jar before putting the lid or seal on.

Store in the fridge for future use or in case of vampires.



Perons Tree Frog

During the Summer months the Peron's Tree Frog (Litoria peronii) or Maniacal cackling frog (don't you just love that name) comes out of hibernation. 

We found him (for this article I will refer to him as a him) in various places around our garden, mostly close by to water.  

Unfortunately he also liked to crawl into the water reservoir of our old water cooler. 

Who else used to have one of these? Who still uses theirs? We start ours up in Summer when we are sitting outside on the decking and the fans are not keeping up with the heat. 
Some of the frogs were lucky, as they 'cackled' when we turned it on and they were duly rescued.  Some were not so fortunate.

The frogs are found on the Eastern side of Australia, mostly NSW, but stretching into Queensland and down into Victoria.  As you can see by the photos, they vary in colour according to temperature and whether it is day or night.

We haven't built a designated frog habitat, but they seem to appear wherever there is water.  We always keep a dish under the garden taps to catch drips so that the birds and lizards can drink.  



What to do with all the carrots we have harvested?

It was all hands on deck when our daughter walked in with a big armful of carrots.  She was so proud that she had harvested all the carrots in the vegie patch.  

I was suffering with Ross River Virus and my husband was busy harvesting the wheat crop.

Needless to say we found time to prepare all the lovingly harvested carrots for the freezer.

Little Miss was put on carrot topping and washing duty, then Hubby and I diced the carrots into the saucepan.

The carrots were blanched in boiling water for a couple of minutes and then put into freezer bags and straight into the freezer.  

We can now enjoy eating our harvest at our leisure.



Homegrown vegies

Eating something you've grown yourself is definitely rewarding.  

The time spent watering, weeding and nurturing the plant is well worth it when it is dished up on your plate.  You know there are no hidden pesticides or chemicals and I think the food tastes even more delicious knowing that you did it all yourself.

The carrots were a purple heirloom variety from the "Diggers Garden Club". 

I have let the vegie patch get over-run during the Summer months.  But after looking back at this photo I am determined to get out and pull the weeds out and put the seeds in.