Newsletter: May 2020
Life in ISO is far from boring. Many of us have found ourselves busier than ever. With working from home and/or juggling the challenges of home schooling, we're seeking new ways to unwind. This month we share tips on gardening, sourdough, puzzles and pesto. If you're looking for eco friendly Mother's Day gifts, we've got those too. 'Happy Mother's Day' to all who mother.
What to plant now
One positive that's come out of 'embracing the slow' is the rise in home gardening (maybe a bit of food insecurity panic came into play too). Anyhow, in most parts of Australia there's still time to grow, harvest and enjoy some wonderful greens before the cold weather hits.
Add these to your list - lettuce, spinach, silverbeet, rocket, kale, radish and carrots.
Don't have a space for a veggie garden? Leafy greens like lettuce, rocket and baby spinach can be grown in window boxes, small pots, or shallow tubs. You don't have to harvest the whole plant to eat it, just pinch off the outter larger leaves to add to your salad, and let the plant grow.
If your garden centre hasn't fully restocked since the rush, try an online seed company such as The Seed Collection.
Speedy sourdough secret
How strange, half of us woke up one day and decided to bake bread.
Comfort baking has fired up across Australia with social media filled with pics of mouth watering home baked carbs. The star of the craze? - Fancy pants sourdough bread.
If you would like to give sourdough a crack but can't be bothered spending 14 hours making a sourdough 'starter', you can now buy 'the mother'. No judgement here. Bakeries across Australia are adding sourdough starter to their menus, including Sydney's Bourke Street Bakery. Facebook Marketplace is also busy with sellers.
Where to get free puzzles
The daggy old jigsaw puzzle is having a major comeback. Since Covid-19 forced us indoors and our lives online, we've been looking for no-tech ways to relax and pass the time. Even Elton John has become a jigsaw junkie.
While many of us dust off our old battered boxes of puzzles, newly converted enthusiasts may find buying jigsaws a challenge. Demand is so high, many stores are selling out. Behold the birth of Facebook puzzle swap groups!
Members can either swap a puzzle for another or just pick up one for free. To find your local group, Facebook search 'jigsaw puzzle swap' and add your location. If nothing comes up, consider creating a group and promoting it on your local Facebook community page.
Become part of the 'share economy' by swapping puzzles. Not only will they help you keep calm while safe-at-home, you'll also help the planet by reusing resources.
Recipe: Zero waste vegan pesto
Here's a great way to use up left over fresh herbs and nuts.
Pesto is one of the easiest and most versatile sauces to make. It's not only great on pasta, but can be spread on bread, toast, meat, fish, used as a dipping sauce or mixed in with salads.
- Big bunch of fresh basil, parsley or coriander (or combo)
- Handful of pine nuts, cashews or almonds (or combo)
- Couple of cloves of garlic
- Generous squeeze of lemon
- Splash of olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
Mix all ingredients together in a blender (if you like it smooth), or a large morter and pestle (if you like a more crunchy hand-blended style).
The best thing about pesto is you can also easily adapt it to taste. We like ours fairly thick, but you can increase the olive oil for a more liquidy sauce. Italian pesto is often very runny and the oil left to separate once its made. You can reduce or increase the amount of garlic and lemon to taste.
Using up ingredients you already have at home is a great way to avoid food waste. So throw those herbs in, stalks and all!
Photos: Natanya Shearer-Stanton & Hans-Peter Gauster