About this blog

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Wales, United Kingdom
In autumn 2010, my husband Ian and I both quit our jobs, sold our house and left the flatlands of the east for the mountains of Wales. Our goal is to create a more self-sufficient lifestyle in a place we actually like living. Whilst Ian will continue to earn some money as a freelancer, my part of the project is to reduce how much we spend by growing and making as much of what we need as possible. The purpose of this blog is to keep friends updated with how the grand project is progressing, but all are welcome here. If you're not a friend already, well perhaps you might become one.

Friday, 20 June 2014

The not-so-simple life

People refer to our sort of lifestyle as, The simple life. I can see where they're coming from, but I really can't relate to that description. My focus may be primarily domestic, but things that were quite simple in our old life are considerably more complex now. Take, for example, the pizza I had for dinner this evening.

I was going to put a picture of a pizza in here, but I ate it instead

When I lived a normal sort of a life, the kind that includes working in an office and buying food in shops, the preparation required for pizza was 1) Buying pizza, 2) Heating oven, 3) Taking pizza out of box, putting onto a baking tray and into the oven. These days it's a little more complicated.

I started in the morning, wondering whether my sourdough starter had enough yeast in it to provide for pizza bases. I took some out and mixed it with lots of water and little sugar and flour then left it in a warm place in the hope that the yeast would multiply. At intervals I added a little more flour, stirred, and peered at it anxiously to see whether it was alive or not. At about lunchtime I decided that it probably was, and mixed it up into a bread dough, which I rolled into two balls and left to rise.

At about 4 pm, I shaped the dough into disks and covered, leaving them to rise again. At this point I turned my attention to toppings and went out in search of mushrooms. I found one. To go with this, I decided to have lacto-fermented wild garlic, which I'd gathered, chopped, and put in a jar to ferment some weeks ago.

At some point in the future, I hope to make tomato sauce from tomatoes and onions grown in the garden, which I can then bottle and have on hand for pasta and pizzas. You could say I'm already preparing for future pizzas in growing the plants. In the meantime, I make sauce from tinned tomatoes and bought onions, with herbs from the garden. I did that after getting back with the mushroom.

Having made my bases and sauce, and assembled toppings, I can then get to steps 2 and 3, heating the oven and cooking the pizzas.

Not everything is quite this complicated, but if I make something instead of buying it, that takes additional thought and planning. The range of things I give my attention to may be smaller (though I'm not sure even that's the case), but each thing is more complex, not simpler.

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