Green Your Life

Talking about amazing eco-friendly products and access to my online Wikaniko shop.


Leave a comment

Morning Head Shower!

img_1458-1Many years ago when I was a student at Stirling University, some of us would love to abandon studies and go up Dumyiat Hill behind the University in drizzly cold weather – it was a most excellent way to clear the brain-overload fog that hit around exam time.  We called it going for a Head-Shower!

img_1450-2I don’t live near any mountains any more, but I still find that being outside in the fresh air is a great way to clear my head and just be.

So I love my morning dog walks (well most mornings – yesterday when the dog managed to pull the lead out of my frozen fingers and run off after something a lot faster than her and get herself lost from us for over an hour was a lot less fun).

Even when it is still dark out, we have had some amazing sights – the full moon over the cold and frosty fields, slowly setting as the sky pinks with the dawning sun in the opposite direction.  The slow change of light from pitch black to deep grey and then a hint of orangy pink tinging the sky.  Even a cloudy drizzly morning has its moments as my face revels in the moist air.  Sometimes the owls hooting madly – getting in their final calls before daylight arrives.  One morning they were so loud and frequent, they almost sounded like the gibbons I used to hear when living in Thailand!

img_1452Early light is stunning and we see roe deer most days.  A buzzard lives in the fields and I often see it perching on fences looking for food or digging grubs or worms from recent mole-casts.  Some mornings I hear the rattatat-tat of the woodpecker and the other day had to giggle when 6 squirrels were running across the path and over fences less than 15m from my dog who was straining at her leash.  But even she was bemused when 2 of the squirrels ran towards her to within 3m before turning away and going off into the woods!  Squirrel brains are on nookie at this time of year, though they would be wise to be aware of danger too or else they will not live to be parents!

It was divinely frosty this morning and I just had to take some photos to share with you.

img_1456I live no more than 25 miles from London, within the greenbelt and the roar of traffic never ends (though squint your ears and perhaps it is the roar of water over a waterfall!).  It is one of the most densely populated areas in the UK, house prices are ridiculous and yet, because it is greenbelt, there are swathes of woodland, farmland, heathland and wild places tucked in between villages and urban conurbations.

Increasingly, I realise, taking time for yourself is not selfish.  It is necessary.  You need to recharge, to replenish, to freshen your mind, to clear your thoughts, to just be.

I wish you YOUR time, in places that you feel at peace and at one with yourself.

 

Advertisements


Leave a comment

Make Your Own Butter

My Womens Institute recently had a talk on how to make cheese!  Got to admit, we have had better talks, but it got me thinking about what an amazing product milk really is!

OK, I know that many people are anti-milk, but I grew up in East Africa – home to the Maasai people.  Traditionally the Maasai herded cattle on the plains of East Africa and their main diet is milk.   The Maasai are incredibly fit and appear to survive well on a primarily milk-based diet.

So, I think milk is good so long as you have the gut proteins to digest it.  There are of course people who do not have these proteins and for them, milk can be a problem.

All that aside.

What can you do with milk….

  • Drink it down
  • Get Cream (just leave it to sit for a while (so long as it has not been homogenised)
  • Make butter
  • Make ice-cream
  • Make cheese

Are there any more?

Anyway, I recently found this article through Wikaniko on how to make butter and I thought I would share it with you!

I also plan to do this with my kids soon….  Will let you know what happens.

Natural Himalayan Salt

Natural Himalayan Salt

How to Make Butter…

This recipe makes about 500gm butter and 1/2 litre buttermilk

  • 1.2 litres (2 pints) room temperature, unpasteurised or pasteurised organic double cream (the better the cream – the better the butter)
  • Teaspoon Pink Himalayan salt (optional) – unsalted butter will go off in 2-3 days, salted will last 2-3 weeks

Pour the double cream into a cold, sterile mixing bowl. If you’re using raw cream and want a more traditional taste, leave it to ripen in a cool place, for 1-2 days. Homogenized cream will still whip, but not as well.

Whisk the cream at a medium speed in a food mixer until it is thick. First it will be softly whipped, then stiffly whipped.

Continue until the whipped cream separates into butterfat globules (you will see it, so be patient)

Move the mixture into a cold clean sieve and drain well.

The butter remains in the sieve while the buttermilk drains into the bowl.

You can put the buttermilk to one side to make soda bread or it is nice cold as a drink.

Put the butter back into a clean bowl and beat with the whisk for a further 30 seconds to 1 minute to expel more buttermilk. Remove and sieve as before.

Fill the bowl containing the butter with very cold water (an idea is to chill a bottle of water in the fridge right at the start!)

Fresh home-made butter on fresh home-made bread!  Yummy

Fresh home-made butter on fresh home-made bread! Yummy

 

With clean hands knead the butter to force out as much buttermilk as possible. (This is called washing and needs to be cold otherwise the mixture will liquify)

Drain the water, cover and wash twice more, until the water is totally clear.

Separate the butter in 2 and spread thinly onto greaseproof paper. Sprinkle the salt evenly across each. Shape into Pats or Rolls, wrap in the greaseproof paper or place in a butter dish and sit back to bask in your glory!


Leave a comment

Eco-torials Challenge

washing-up-liquid1I have recently been challenged to create a series of short video Eco-torials to help people understand why I choose eco products.

When chatting at a network meeting with some fellow business women, one of them said she was interested in the idea of more eco friendly products but she didn’t know why she should change.  So could I do something about that please and she thought short videos would be great!

I am starting with Washing-up Liquid, deodorant and sanitary products….  will post them here for you to view (please don’t laugh, it is not my forte at all!).

But what would you like to know about?

Please message me with what products you would like to know more about and why.

Thanks

Philippa x