Monday, 31 December 2007

Happy Birthday & New Year

Every New Year's eve is my husband's birthday, so he gets a day full of his favourite things plus fireworks at the end!My present to him was his favourite.. cinnamon rolls! After they're cooked I take them out and turn them upside down so the gooey cinnamon caramel is on top.

I finally got the knack of plaiting onions to hang them up to dry. They blush when drying out - which jogged my memory.. they're French shallots! The name "potato onions" had me baffled for a while there.

In the end we had picked approx 6kilos of carrots and 3kilos of shallots. We still have a few more to pick from another patch in the garden.

I've been trying to figure out the recipe for these savoury nibbles made by Duchy Originals they're my favourite. I think I have the taste right, but I end up with a yummy biscuit instead of a crumbly crunchy "nibble". Any ideas would be greatly appreciated!!

Apparently it took them 18months to perfect the recipe, so I don't think I've got much hope of getting it right anytime soon.

Thursday, 20 December 2007

Gift giving time

Home made gifts are the best. They prove that you've really thought about your loved ones and invested (and sacrificed) time for them - which is what we've done this year.

The little lad made paintings for his Gramps, Farmor and Aunty in the UK. Some were laminated with Christmas paper and made into fridge magnets.

My rels locally had little hampers made up of dried herbs, home made gingerbread, gourmet items (that were reduced to clear through the year - with a long shelf life to go!), tapenade that I'd made at the Christmas crafts RS activity, and home made dukkah.

I hope you all had a great time too.

Wednesday, 12 December 2007

Today's Pickings & Picklings (well.. a preserve anyway)

A friend of mine gave me a really good idea. She said to grate up the zucchinis and freeze in 2cup lots so they're easy to get out and make zucchini cake.
I think I have my work cut out for me, I've still got the two I picked the other day!

Returning from a quick trip to Tassie, my friend sent me home with a back pack full of her home grown red currants. There was just over 2kilos and so what else could I do but make red currant jelly :o)

There's a delusion with jam making that alot of people have. Pectin is very rarely if at all needed. This recipe for "Superlative Red Currant Jelly" is from Eliza Acton's Modern Cookery for Private Families (1840).

Just place the washed fruit – stalks and all – in a preserving pan, bring slowly to the boil and stir, pressing the redcurrants to break down the fruit and release the juice. As soon as the fruit is cooked (about 10 minutes), add the sugar, stir until absolutely dissolved, then bring the mixture up to a rapid boil, and boil for 8 minutes.

Meanwhile, place a large nylon sieve over a bowl and line it with a double layer of gauze. Then, when the 8 minutes are up, tip the whole lot into the sieve and let it drip through. If you don't mind not having a completely clear jelly, you can press to extract as much as possible. Then pour the jelly into the jars, which have been washed, dried and heated in a moderate oven for 5 minutes

It set beautifully and tastes sensational! Eliza got this one right, it is in fact superlative red currant jelly.

It made 1 kilo of jelly. Can't wait to blob it on the turkey on Christmas day! Then on the left overs.. and the left overs...

Monday, 10 December 2007

80 Acres - Goat's Milk Soap

Natasha and Aaron (and family) have 80 acres of land up in Tropical North Queensland. I find their ethos refreshing and encouraging as making money is not a priority. They live to be self reliant (as we should be), have a happy home, with happy well education children.

I LOVE their website which demystifies the soap making process, reveals the deliciously simple and honest ingredients, all of which are AUSTRALIAN MADE/ produced.

We use our own goat’s milk. We don’t use powder, or source our milk from anywhere else. We milk our own goats, who are happy and content. Whilst there isn’t anything wrong with sourcing the milk from elsewhere, after all, there’s no rule saying to make goat’s milk soap you have to have goats! We consider this is beneficial for the customer as you can be reassured that the milk comes from a humane method.
We love our goats; they all have names and are milked by hand and spoilt rotten. We have enough goats that we don’t need our animals to be breeding machines to produce milk and we ensure all the babies stay with their mums until mum has had enough. We let them feed as much as needed and then we milk no more than we need with what’s left over. We do not support ANY method of factory farming whatsoever.

Goat's milk soap is amazing and I really don't think it should be classed as "soap" as the mental associations of dry skin or harsh cleansing is incorrect when it comes to hand made soap. It hasn't been messed with, nothing is taken away (like glycerine in regular soap production).

The ingredients in this soap are:

Goats Milk, Coconut Oil, Palm Oil, Sunflower Oil.

No artificial colours or preservatives added.
(You can have fragrance and colour too - check the website)

Sunday, 9 December 2007

December Garden

While we've got a break from the co-op I thought I'd update you on my garden.

I've grown some cocozelle zucchini's which are similar to the old fashioned marrow. They are a variety that you can grow up to 2kgs without them becoming bitter. They're delish stuffed and baked or used for zucchini cake (or choc zuc cake)

I also have bunching onions called potato onions (no idea why), a strawberry patch (that little bucketful is just from this morning) and beetroots.

Here are some purple runner beans, snow peas, medium-ish carrots, strawberries and lemons.

I haven't really spent all that much time in the garden this year but I seem to have a bumper crop.

Anyway, off to stick in some more cucumbers.

Friday, 9 November 2007

LAUNCH of LDS Women's Co-op WEST

Hi Everyone, (please note the important conditions below)

From next year (Feb/March) we'll be getting deliveries in the Hills district which will mean a more localised co-operative for those of you in Baulkham Hills, Kellyville 1st, Kellyville 2nd and Winston Hills wards.

LDS Women's Co-op WEST will be run by Kelly Peihopa and Sharon Innis
, who will take all dry goods orders and help arrange combined or local packing days after each order as needed. All other orders i.e. Honey, water tubs etc will still be done through myself.

It's exciting that we've had this much growth in the co-op in just six months and I look forward to opening up other areas for direct orders in the near future.
We have a great relationship with our suppliers who are all Australian small businesses and they are very happy to extend their service to meet our growing needs.

Greenwich Stake

Dural - Leanne Hulme
Normanhurst - Suzi Perryman
Baulkham Hills - Kelly Peihopa
Kellyville 1 - Sharon Innis
Kellyville 2 - Jodie Munroe
Winston Hills - Esme Bell

Parramatta Stake

Blacktown - Sarah Birks
General/ Church offices - Denise Saikaly

Newcastle Stake
Ourimbah - Lauren Turner

*Important conditions*
1. These are unregistered co-ops, by ordering through us you are agreeing not to sell on any of the goods attained through the LDS Women's Co-op West or LDS Women's Co-op North.
2. Our main aim is to help YOU help yourselves so please be prompt with payment as chasing you up costs us valuable time and money.
3. Trading is encouraged. Some Co-op members have initiated a "Trade for Service" scheme. This is left to your discretion.
4. This is not a church calling, assignment or a church endorsed initiative.
5. There is no stock available on hand, orders are only to be confirmed when payment has been made FIRST.
6. We do not have a float or spare funds to purchase goods in advance. Nor do we have space for long term storage.
7. Reps are not to lift, deliver or store your items for you. Please ensure you bring the necessary muscle with you on your prompt pick up.

Trade for service is a great idea, a bunch of herbs from your garden, a scoop of something you’ve ordered, or even just offering to pick up items for others in your ward/area – all makes such a difference and makes us all feel so appreciated. :o)


Friday, 2 November 2007

WATER TUB - pick up

Hi All,
The water tubs will be arriving this coming week so be sure to set aside some time on Friday or Saturday to come and collect. ( I don't fancy moving around and trying to house 55 water tubs!!)

Look forward to see you all!

Saturday, 20 October 2007

Making Liquid Hand Soap

Making Liquid Hand Soap

This is the first class in our "Green Cleaning" program. Luckily Green Cleaning is also "Super cheap cleaning".

Liquid hand soap 500ml refill = $4.20
Homemade liquid hand soap 500ml = 30c

It's sooo easy to make and only takes a few minutes
to produce hand soap refills that last months!

Since some of you missed the class, here's how to make it:
1 bar of soap - grated
12 cups of boiling water
3 tablespoons of glycerine

Stick the soap into the hot water and stir until dissolved. Then add the glycerine, stir and use a funnel to pour into the bottles. Leave overnight to cool. Refill your hand pump as needed.

Sunday, 14 October 2007

Goat's Milk Soap

I just bought some goat's milk soap from ebay. It's made by a lady on 80 acres with her own goats.
It's simple, lovely, soft, free of all nasties and fragrances and I love it!
These are the ingredients; goats milk, palm oil, sunflower oil and coconut oil - that's it.
Exceptionally good for eczema, dry skin or any sort of dermatitis.

I've already grated one bar down and made 3 litres of liquid hand soap (took 10mins), I put a teaspoon of dried and crushed lemon myrtle leaves from my neighbours tree so I hope it turns out nice.

Update: I've been using this for about a month now and haven't needed to use hand cream at all. I use it to wash my hands, in the shower and sometimes my hair. it's pretty amazing stuff.

Tuesday, 2 October 2007


SUMMER is very fast approaching and we need to make the most of whatever rain falls, even grey water for the garden.

Plastic (food grade) water barrels available.

220 litre $25 each

no minimum, order is open, payment date tba

Here's a pic to show you the size of the tubs

Saturday, 22 September 2007

Chook chatting

Ginny and Michael's lovely back yard with HUGE fenced vegie patch and chickens in the corner.
Here Michael and Ginny are clipping the birds wings so they don't fly away.

The laying box (accessible from the outside). The golf balls are to trick them into thinking there are already eggs in the nest - so they keep laying.
They get 1 egg from each chicken per day.

Feeding scraps to the chickens....

.... and feeding children to the dog

Benefits of having chickens:

· Fresh and tasty eggs

· Dispose of your food scraps

· Turn your food scraps into garden fertiliser

· Pest control around the garden – they just love curl grubs, snails, slugs and spiders.

· Love grass clippings from the lawn mower

· They weed, turn over and fertilise garden beds

· They are just incredibly useful and friendly pets!

Monday, 17 September 2007

Spring Hill Beef - New BBQ Hamper

Hi All,
Simon at Spring Hill Beef has now changed the hamper to suite our summer BBQ needs.

There has been a wonderful response from those of you who have ordered and tried the meat which is GREAT! I think it's really important to support people like Simon and his family, they're really doing important work to bring us ethically and environmentally sound food - not to mention it tastes flippin' FANTASTIC!! :o)

Now that winter has finished Spring Hill is introducing the Summer BBQ BONANZA Beef Hamper. Same high quality of "Grass Fed / Stress Free" beef BUT now in a more BBQ friendly format :

500g of Stiry Fry Beef

5 Minute Steaks

6 xBBQ steaks ( great for the kids )

2 xRump steaks

2 xBlade steaks

2 xScotch/Eye Fillet steaks

2 xT-Bone/Sirloin steaks

1 x1.5kg Roast ( which can be substituted for 6 BBQ steaks or 8 Minute steaks )

3kg Gourmet GLUTEN FREE Thick Beef sausages

2kg Gourmet GLUTEN FREE Lean Italian sausages

4kg Topside Mince

#please note Diced beef / OssoBucco can be substituted instead of the Minute steaks.

Cost is around $200

Please place your orders
by contacting Simon on 0248864479 /

Tuesday, 11 September 2007

Co-op Reps in your area

Preferred payment is direct to an ANZ bank or internet transfer.
If you can only pay cash your ward co-op rep can deposit it for you.
These are the represented wards:

Greenwich Stake
Dural - Leanne Hulme
Normanhurst - Suzi Perryman
Baulkham Hills - Kelly Peihopa
Kellyville 1 - Sharon Innis
Kellyville 2 - Jodie Munroe
Winston Hills - Esme Bell

Parramatta Stake
Blacktown - Sarah Birks
General - Denise Saikaly (unofficial church offices)

Monday, 27 August 2007

Almond Recipes

With all this Almond activity I thought I should supply a couple of recipes to help you get through those wonderfully Australian and pesticide free gems!
Leilani's Almond Milk
1 cup almonds (soaked overnight and rinsed well)
4 cups water
2 dates
Blend up until smooth and strain through a nut bag (or strong fine mesh material)

Catherine Nel tell me she likes the fibre in it, so she doesn't strain it. Both ways are deliciously light and creamy.

Almond Bread
serves 12

3 egg whites
3/4 caster sugar
1 cup plain flour
1 cup almonds (not blanched)

Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees.
Spray a bar tin, 8cm x 24cm.
Beat egg whites until peaks form.
Slowly add sugar, beating well in between each addition.
Continue to beat until hard peaks form then fold in flour and almonds.

Pop mixture into tin and cook for 30 mins, it should resemble a cake.
Cool for 15 mins in the tin. Wrap in foil and refrigerate for 2 hours.
Unwrap and cut into fine 2mm slices with an electric knife or a sharp knife.

Spray a large tray and place the slices onto tray and bake at 100 degrees until bread is golden and crisp.


Thursday, 23 August 2007

Spring Hill Beef

Here are some pics of the Beef hamper that came from Simon Philp's farm in the Southern Highlands.

Delivered to my door in a freezer back and packed with ice.

I must say the T-bone steaks were the biggest and tastiest I'd had and the sausages actually taste real!

Even when I've defrosted some mince for frying, the texture is ... well, "fluffy". It smelled liked tasty steak!

It's made me realise that I don't think I've ever eaten really fresh meat before.
Even from my freezer after a few weeks it tastes so FRESH in comparison to the packets of supermarket meat that has been gassed, coloured and adulterated from the word go.
Even my local butcher (to which I'm very loyal) doesn't have meat that tastes the same.

VERDICT: Grass Fed and Stress free is definitely an amazing taste! Well worth it - thumbs up!

If you'd like some flyers/info let me know and I'll give you some. Feel free to order direct using "the co-op" name or through me is fine too.

Sunday, 12 August 2007

How Delicious! How Exciting! easy :o)

I found a very pathetic looking broccli at the end of the garden that survived. Lucas will have that for his dinner since it's pretty tiny and won't get any bigger.

Now is the best time to get seed raising mix and trays and get planting. EDEN SEEDS have a fantastic range of quality seeds and some really fun varieties.

Here we have Purple Dragon Carrots, Jefferson Cucumber and Chocolate Capsicum.Aren't they great! I've had much better success growing purple carrots than the regular ones and I always get a really big crop of cucumbers - they're so easy to grow! Even in pots.

Carrots go direct in the ground in between rows of onions or shallots (don't fertilise carrots, just use plain old soil). No fuss with these guys, just thin them out when they are about 6 weeks-ish so the strong ones have room.

Cucumbers and Caps need a handful of lime added to the soil (as well as a bit of manure), they like pretty neutral soil. Bunch up lucerne around these to keep the moisture in.

Lettuce are easy in seed trays (as the seeds are so tiny and might get washed away). Though I've been known to just chuck them on the garden and had marvelous results with this Mesclun Mix.

JUST HAVE A GO! Have lots of fun, and get some really strange varieties so the kids (and adults) stay interested.

Purple runner beans are still my favourite :o) I'll be doing them again this year.. oh! and peas, love peas.

Saturday, 28 July 2007

Dry goods order Sept

Feel free to send in orders for our next bulk buy in about six weeks time.

The favourites for the last order were; basmati rice, unbleached flour, red kidney beans, almonds, green and red lentils, chickpeas, cocoa. Just to give you some idea.

Packing days will follow, let me know if you want me to help kick start packing in your own area. It's quite a fun activity when everyone is scooping, filling and sealing in a production line. Get the kids involved :o)

New Supplier - Spring Hill Beef

As we are all in the process of getting our 3 month's supply of food in our cupboards (as well as our foil pouched emergency 12month supply), I thought I could help you all out by sourcing wholesale meat.

Chosen because of the Care, Quality, Knowledge and TASTE

SPRING HILL BEEF is ice-packed in an esky and delivered down to Sydney twice a month. Each hamper will cost between $150 and $200 and will contain approx. 15kg of meat, in the form of:

• 2 X Blade steak
• 2 X Chuck steak ideal for Curries or Stews
• 2-4 X Rump steak
• 1 X Spare Ribs
• 2 X T-Bones steak
• 2 X BBQ steak
• 2 X Scotch fillet steak/Eye-Fillet or New-York sirloin steak
• Mince in 1/2kg bags approx. 2kgs
• Thick Beef Sausages in 1kg bags approx. 3kgs
• Honey-soy sausages 1kg
• Rissoles 1kg
• 1 X Silver Side OR a Top Roast which may also be cut into Beef-strips for Stirfry etc and made into Minute-Steaks

As there are only a small number of steers on the property, there is only a certain amount of hampers that can be delivered each month. Therefore we have a policy of first in first served.

Every serve contains:
• Up to 60% more Omega 3 than grain fed beef
• 3 times as much Vitamin E than grain fed beef
• Twice as much beta-carotene (Vitamin A) than grain fed beef

Wednesday, 11 July 2007

New Supplier - Eden Organics products

Eden Organics have agreed to supply us at wholesale prices. These are the BEST products I have come accross. NO sulfates, NO phosphates, NO parabens, NO mineral oil!

The ingredients are so natural and simple you could make them youself. Too time consuming for me and I'm sure for alot of you!
So anyway, check them out, I have used the DEO and the MOISTURISERS and they are extremely good! Usually with natural Deo's you have a stinky day.. but not this stuff (it has bi-carb in it :o)

I have added them to the links on the side bar.

Monday, 25 June 2007



By requesting to be on the distribution list and/or purchasing goods through the Co-op Stop network (including those by other names that are in association), you agree to the following:1. You will not on sell at a profit, any of the goods purchased/attained through us.
2. Prompt payment. Orders are secured by payment. Be aware that each branch of the Co-op will charge delivery/pick up/bank fees etc which will be added to your order. Costs will vary between branches.
3. Be respectful, polite and be ready to assist when necessary. 
4. You are required to pick up your goods from the delivery point within 2 days of arrival (or arrange for someone to pick it up for you). If you are unable to pick up your goods within the specified time CONTACT your co-op manager/admin. If no contact has been made and goods are not picked up within one week, the goods with be given away/used with no refund.
5. Managers/admins/other co-op volunteers are not to lift, store or be expected to deliver your items. Please ensure you bring someone to help you with heavy lifting on pick up if necessary.
6. We are not responsible for any lost, stolen or damaged goods, nor are we able to reimburse/credit you for this.
7. The Co-op Stops (and affiliated co-ops with these conditions noted on their blog/website with permission from Suzi Perryman), with regard to your participation in the said Co-ops/bulk purchase schemes, any individual, group, organization, business, spectator or other does hereby release and forever discharge the said Co-ops/bps and it's managers/admins, founder, volunteers and family members of these, jointly and severally from any and all actions, causes of actions, claims and demands for, upon or by reason of any damage, loss or injury to self or property of, which hereafter may be sustained by participating as a member of the Co-op Stops and associated groups.
8. Privacy rules apply. If, in the event that you receive an email which discloses email addresses and details of other co-op members, you are NOT to use this for your own private or business purposes. Do not "reply all", do not send "Fwd" emails and do not under any circumstances sell or give the distribution list to a third party.

Non-compliance to these conditions will dissolve your membership from the Co-op Stops and associated groups.
We hold the right to update or make changes to these conditions without notice. (Though you probably will get an email notifying you).

Please refer any questions regarding these conditions to Suzi Perryman at

Monday, 23 April 2007

Vege Patch - Autumn

Knowing a few things about growing herbs and the odd vegie will come in very useful soon when the water runs out for the farmers and the prices go "bananas" - lets hope prices don't get that ridiculous.

Winter feels well on the way, but there are still quite a lot of things to plant before winter kicks in. Here's my little boy Lucas with some eggplants we just picked. They are still producing well and are lovely and sweet (He only fell in the vegie patch once, and managed to pull off and chew a few marigolds).

So around about this time of year I stick carrots, leeks, onions, spinach, rocket, lettuce and broad beans in. Carrots are put in between each onion family row. Last season I grew yellow, white, purple and orange carrots, this time it's only the orange whoppers.

I've already got my seed trays chockablock full of month old seedlings that are begging to be planted out. I always do more than I plan to actually plant, as some get nibbled away and others might not take. Then I can easily fill in any gaps with the back up seedlings. I usually find the ones attacked at seedling stage often grow back stronger - that's if I grew them from seed. Shop seedlings have a one in 8 success rate in my garden (that may have something to do with their cushy beginnings in a protected environment) so sewing from seed is the cheaper and better option for me.

Here is a pic from 2005 when I tried type of purple runner bean for the first time. Just this small patch of beans gave us a huge amount of beans that we couldn't eat fast enough. They produced so well we were eating them every night and giving them away to neighbours.
The next year I planted twice the amount, but I ended up eating most of them raw off the bush, they are so sweet (plus they go green when you cook them so I figured there was more nutrients eating them raw). I also sliced them in thin strips and mixed them with ranch dressing and chopped cashews - delish!

Money Saving Tip: Buy spring onions with the roots still on, then just trim the roots slightly so they're still quite long but the dry bits are taken off and cut the tops off (just before the forky part). Plant in a pot and they'll regrow every time you chop the tops off to use in a salad or something. I bought a bunch a year ago and they're still going. They grow a new bulb every year off the main stem.

Saturday, 14 April 2007


Since there was so much interest for honey when we did our last order, I've decided to do another one in the next month or so for those who missed out.
There are different options now due to the feedback I received.
(this is a pic of us weighing out someone's honey)

This time it comes in 30kilo plastic tubs (one year's storage for two adults)
Single 1 kilo jars, minimum order 10 jars

Honey comb (just for a treat) at $6 for approx 400g (a rectangular takeaway container size)

(honeycomb we got from the last order, I didn't get a chance to take a photo of the rectangular size as I sectioned it up for my family)CONTACT ME FOR UPDATED PRICES

Payment transfers accepted from 28th - 31st May
Cash accepted up until Monday 4th June

FYI - Honey source/process

Now, I'm probably the only person who thinks this is interesting, BUT I've got to tell you just how great this honey is..

SOURCE - Our friendly Apiary Inspector, (after I asked for organic honey) made sure that all of the honey sourced was from mountain regions and pure bush honey only. As alot of the mainstream honey is produced near canola fields and the like (that are sprayed with pesticides etc etc).
So if you're wondering why we all got yellow box, that's why - because it's a bush honey.

PROCESS - The honey is from all over NSW, but is processed in one place up past Winsor. Apparently this is the only place that has the machines that will separate the honey cold.
In mainstream honey production the machines that process the honey are heated (being the first in the heating process to keep the honey runny).

OUR honey, is COLD PRESSED meaning that no goodness has been lost in a heat treatment. The machines are also only ever washed with water so as to prevent any chemical residue contaminating the honey. In the cold weather the honey should candy within a month.


We'll definately be ordering more in the future. Now I know we can get honey comb, I'll be getting that too! my free sample was devi-i-i-i-i-i-i-ine! (rub rub rub)

PLEASE email me or leave a comment if you are interested in the next honey order.

Monday, 9 April 2007

Recipe - Swelled Wheat

This is the basic method of cooking wheat that requires minimum effort (my favourite way!).

Here it is straight out of the flask with hot milk and sugar for my breakfast. Perfect in winter when I can't be bothered standing over the stove cooking oat porridge.

This is a one litre flask, I usually add about 1/2 a cup to this as it gives me 2 servings, or two bowls' worth of wheat for brekky. You can add more, though I added a cup full once and it all got stuck down the bottom - so if you do that, just give the flask a turn every now and then when the lid's on.

Next you add boiling hot water from the kettle, make sure you fill the water right up to the maximum water line.
Close and tighten the lid on the flask and leave overnight.

It doesn't matter if you leave it for 6 or 7 hours, or over two days the result will still be the same.

When you're ready to open the flask, drain the wheat out of the flask. You'll need to swish it with water a couple of times to get all the wheat out. Then it's ready to use. No further cooking required, but if you want to add to a dish at this stage you can. Cooking it again won't hurt at all.

Cracked wheat porridge - If you have a grinder, or store cracked wheat, then you can "swell" the wheat when it's cracked. Just follow the directions above, and when you drain the flask it will come out in a thicker and fluffier. Drain the water off in the same way, and add milk and sugar.
NOTE you may want to use boiling milk instead of water. I personally think this way is revolting, but each to their own ;o)

OTHER USES of swelled wheat - It can also me added to other dishes i.e. meatloaf, cookies, stews, tabouleh etc. Whatever you want really, just experiment. It adds a really nice malty chewiness to cookies when it's mushed up and as a breakfast/porridge it really keeps hunger at bay until lunch. I ate this almost everymorning when I was pregnant - YUM!