Posts related to 9. Making Things
This category covers things that we make and tells you how you can make them too.
24 February 2014 - Bolivian Story: Luis Alberto Quispe Ochoa
One day we visited the Museum of Contemporary Art here in La Paz, Bolivia, and became captivated by the works of Luis Alberto Quispe Ochoa (check out his website here). After much deliberation we finally purchased two works that spoke to us. Both were meticulously created with coca leaves and aguayo, which is the traditionally woven textile here. One depicts an indigenous woman’s face while the other is the face of an indigenous man who is wearing a chullo, the traditional knitted woollen hat with flaps to cover the ears. We regularly admire these pieces that now grace our lounge room and so many of our visitors have been motivated to buy his works after being moved by ours. They are striking in the way they depict the culture here through the connection with coca, the facial features so intimately tied to their ancestors and even … Read the rest
21 February 2014 - Bolivian Story: Vanessa Vargas
I met Vanessa when she was heavily pregnant with her baby, Rafaela. She was working at her partner’s restaurant, Red Monkey, as well as producing natural products for her business, Moi. Moi makes handmade cosmetics and personal care products based on natural and organic ingredients, without the use of preservatives, artificial colours or synthetic fragrances, being careful not to degrade our bodies or the environment. Vanessa never stops. I was surprised to see how busy she was whilst heavily pregnant and even since having her little girl it is not uncommon to find her in her workshop making products with her baby strapped to her or sleeping nearby. She’s a strong woman with diverse skills who I have admired greatly for her energy and constant creativity. I’ve been grateful for our time together, discussing all things from motherhood to design to business. She supports those around her with … Read the rest
19 February 2014 - Bolivian Story: Marcelo Teran Mitre
During many days volunteering at Red Monkey I have admired the vibrant colours, shapes, organic patterns and uniqueness of their plates and bowls. I wondered if there might be a chance we could meet the artist behind these functional works of art and last Friday we were blessed with such a meeting in Cochabamba.
Entering Marcelo’s workshop we could feel the creativity, experience and passion that has created this small craft business, MTM Ceramics. For more than 30 years Marcelo has been collecting the clay for his pieces from local rivers to then shape it into plates, bowls, decorative pieces, mugs, bonsai pots and more. He feels he was born for the purpose of playing with mud and as he explained his processes to us we were impressed by the combination of his passion with the satisfaction one gets from fulfilling their purpose in life. Marcelo is humble yet … Read the rest
02 February 2014 - How to make apple cider vinegar
Homemade apple cider vinegar, ACV, is so easy! I just love turning trash into treasure, and this apple cider vinegar recipe is great example of that.
Start your ACV: We simply take our apple scraps (normally after making juice), including the peels and cores and put them in a large glass jar. We then cover the scraps with filtered water and cover the jar with some paper towel secured with a rubber band to keep out bugs and dust. We then put it in a warm, dark place. You want a temperature of 15-27°C. Fermentation occurs more quickly at a warmer temperature. Some people add sugar or honey to kick start the fermentation but we never do and it always works out!
For 3-4 weeks: Normally we push the apple scraps down to try and keep them submerged every couple of days. This stops mould from developing … Read the rest
29 January 2014 - Bolivian Story: Pablo Antelo
One day, whilst volunteering at vegan restaurant, Red Monkey, I met Pablo Antelo. He had been asked to help out in the kitchen for the day since the chef/owner of Red Monkey was a little tied up with welcoming his baby girl into the world. That day I was so surprised and happy to see this young man, laid back but enthusiastic, never idle, taking initiative and working hard. He impressed me. I loved his attitude.
I told him about my friends who were opening a wine bar, called Hallwright’s, which would be showcasing Bolivian produce. I explained that they had asked me to make some products for their platters like dips, gluten free crackers and chutneys – things I usually make at home that they had enjoyed. I asked him if he’d like to help me, eventually making it his business since I would be leaving Bolivia … Read the rest
24 January 2014 - How to make kombucha: The ancient elixir
As we wrote in our post about sourdough bread, we are sour lovers – you can read about making sauerkraut and kefir on this blog, so we thought it was about time for kombucha too. We take this fizzy, acidic and slightly sweet drink to parties and introduce people to it wherever we go… and the thing that constantly surprises me is just how much people love it, often putting down their alcoholic drinks to switch to this probiotic goodness! You can imagine how chuffed that makes me.
The kombucha is made with a SCOBY, which is a Symbiotic Colony of Bacteria and Yeast that acts on sugar and tea to produce not only acetic and lactic acid but also small amounts of a potent detoxifying substance, glucuronic acid. Normally this organic acid is produced by the liver in sufficient quantities to neutralise toxins in the body – whether … Read the rest
21 January 2014 - The sour life: How to make sourdough bread
We are sour lovers – sauerkraut, kefir, kombucha and sourdough bread. It’s not just that they are great for our bodies, providing us with billions of good bacteria and yeasts, but this sort of food is tasty too. Sourdough bread, in particular, is something special. We have friends begging us to bring them a loaf every time we visit and getting up early on a Saturday morning to bake fills my heart and stomach with so much love. The process of kneading, the aromas during baking and the wonder of eating something that rose thanks to invisible organisms in our environment never fails to satisfy me. Bread is the staple of life but these days bread is dead. Sourdough is alive and better for you!
A few times a week we knead out a loaf, deciding what combination of seeds and nuts we’ll include this time. It … Read the rest
16 May 2013 - Tomato free pasta sauce
In case you haven’t seen via facebook, Carly (that’s me) is currently in Perth, Australia, visiting friends, looking after babies and hanging out in their suburban permaculture food forest, Thyme Lords Cottage. My friends are aiming to become as close as possible to self sufficient one day. I am loving spending time with their 2 year old and newborn, as well as seeing what they are growing and cooking!!
The mum in this beautiful little family developed allergies around 15 years ago – to wheat, soy and tomatoes. As you can imagine, this has made cooking a little difficult, buying anything processed is next to impossible and of course, she really misses the flavours, the diversity of food options, and the rich tomato-based sauces, especially spaghetti bolognese! The great thing is that she’s creative and has developed a tasty alternative that we made up this week and I want to … Read the rest
22 April 2013 - Getting high: Lounge room gardening at altitude
Recently we posted this photograph of our lounge room garden on facebook where you can see some of the plants we are growing indoors. In addition to these, we are also growing more tatsoi, mizuna, spinach, rosemary, laurel tree, oregano, thyme, parsley, mint and some cucumber seedlings have started to take off!As I’ve mentioned before, we don’t produce enough to make any huge contribution to our food supply but we enjoy doing what we can experimenting growing and seed saving indoors, at an altitude of 3,200 m (La Paz, Bolivia)! Our lounge room is perfectly situated to make the most of the sun’s movements throughout the day, meaning we have a wonderful little microclimate where we can grow food that has no chance outdoors. Actually, I miss growing outdoors – growing in containers is quite a challenge – trying to create biodiversity and encourage beneficial insects is nearly impossible… Read the rest
03 March 2012 - How to make kefir labneh balls at home
This is just a short post to share a simple idea and another way to eat your kefir… kefir labneh balls.
First, make your kefir cheese like we described in this post.
Then, take teaspoons full of the cheese, roll them in your hand and put them in a jar with olive oil and whatever else you want.
We added rosemary and juniper berries in this lot (*see update below). Et voila! How easy and beautiful do they look? I think it’s also a great gift idea. 🙂
*Update: I did put rosemary and juniper berries in this lot but since doing this one I haven’t done it again… putting herbs in oil can create a perfect environment for botulism.… Read the rest