Sunday, 3 March 2013

February Slow Living

I am hooking up with the chaps over at Slow Living Essentials again for a monthly look back. 


As usual most of our cooking has been from scratch. We have a new family favourite which is slightly faffy to prepare but goes down a treat with the Smalls: Fajitas. I have been making the flat breads out of River Cottage Every Day which are pretty much fool proof and very yummy. Then I put out a selection of bits and pieces - grated cheese, lettuce, finely chopped tomatoes (the Smalls eat those but would not eat salsa), guacamole, refried beans my way and stir fried veg with maybe pork or chicken in and a little paprika. Everyone eats a different subset of what is on offer and most importantly, nobody moans.

I have also cooked my first chow chow, a vine fruit about the size of a large baking potato with spiky skin and a stone in the middle. We have a shortage of potatoes on the island at the moment and they make a good alternative. I am planning a chow chow post in the near future.


No bottling or preserving, we are too busy living in the moment, but I have discovered the joys of frozen bananas. Once peeled it is a great way to keep slightly over ripe bananas until you are ready to make a banana cake or smoothie.


I have been giving away courgettes and beans because we couldn't eat them fast enough. We have our first cucumber waiting to be sampled and the peppers have a wee one coming. Sadly the fruit fly have decimated the tomatoes, and the sweet corn and melons are sulking.


Making stuff out of flax is very green. It is completely natural product and the only processing required is boiling in salt water.


Having lamented the lack of recycling last month, I have since discovered that there is an organisation who will recycle cardboard so I have been zealously storing that up in an attempt to make amends for everything else going to landfill.


The flax making is going from strength to strength to the detriment of my blankets which have been somewhat abandoned. I did get my hook out on Thursday to make daffodils and a leek for some welsh friends to sport on St David's Day.


Having chickened out of scuba diving lessons, I did have a try-dive (otherwise known as a suck-and-see) last week. We put all the kit on with the help of some experienced divers and under the watchful eye of one of the local dive instructors (aged 76!) swam backwards and forwards under the water in the shallow end of the pool. I tried to go down into the deep end but I couldn't get my right ear to pop so had to abandon that. I found the breathing hard work and a bit like using the gas and air when you are in labour, and the kit was heavy and awkward. I am pretty sure scuba diving is not for me but I'd have another try if the opportunity came up and see if I can at least get to the deep end.


I have written about the plans for our little craft group to work towards a fund raising stall. I also made a cushion cover to help make a local young women's refuge a bit more homely.


Soooo much to enjoy, and as you know we have grabbed it all with both hands. We have had meals out, walks, tried snorkeling (the fish, you should see the fish!), swam in the sunshine, shared time and food with friends and generally embraced every opportunity.

Another good month. A few hard days, which is only to be expected, but a good and happy life.

The pictures were all taken in Castle Gardens, a small, but rather lovely public park in Jamestown.



  1. River Cottage is such a treasure trove! I love their Bread book, and am looking longingly at the Preserves one...

    How did you get into the flax? It's not a craft I've seen before.

  2. Flax was grown as a crop here on St Helena and used to make string but with the advent of synthetic alternatives the industry died. It is very invasive and large portions of the island are covered with it. Flax weaving is a traditional maori craft (flax is from NZ)and has been brought to St H because we have so much of the stuff. It will grow happily in the UK and I fully intend to plant some when I get back. I have written more about it here: and here:

  3. Lovely post and I loved reading about your crafty adventures in your previous post too. I completely know what you mean about the courgettes - in our veg growing days, we had them coming out of our ears every year! xCathy