Parsnip and Potato Soup with Feta


1 tbsp olive oil
½ brown onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
3 medium parsnips (about 450 g), peeled and cut into 2 cm cubes
2 medium desiree potatoes (about 360 g), peeled and cut into 2 cm cubes
4 c chicken stock
½ c thin cream
Salt and freshly ground pepper
100 g feta, crumbled
2 tbsp chives, finely chopped

Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat.  Add onion and garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until onion softens (about 3 minutes).  Add the parsnip and potato and stir to combine.  Add the stock and bring to a boil; reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, covered, for 15 minutes or until parsnip and potato are tender.  Remove from heat and set aside to cool.

Ladle part of the mixture into a blender and puree until smooth; transfer to a clean saucepan and repeat until all the soup is blended.  Place over low heat and stir until hot; stir in the cream and season with salt and pepper.  To serve, sprinkle with feta and season with pepper.

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Banana Chocolate Soft-Serve Ice Cream


1 frozen banana, diced
2-3 tbsp coconut milk
2-3 tbsp cocoa powder
1 tbsp mini chocolate chips (optional)

Place all ingredients into a small food processor and mix until the bananas are fluffy.

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Soil-less Potting Medium


From sciencefriday.com:

1 part coconut coir
1 part screened compost
1 part vermiculite or coarse builder’s sand
1 tsp lime or dolomite lime per gallon
½ c worm castings per gallon, or balanced fertiliser per recommended rates

Break up the fibres of the coconut coir and soak until hydrated.  Remove from water and mix soaked coir with vermiculite.  For seed-starting planting mixes, pass the compost through a ¼ inch screen; for transplants and established plants, use a ½ inch screen.  Add the remaining ingredients and mix thoroughly.  Prior to planting, wet the mixture until it feels like a damp, wrung-out sponge.

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Soil-based Potting Medium


From sciencefriday.com:

1 part compost or leaf mould (use only mature compost, passed through ½ inch screen)
1 part garden topsoil (light, loamy topsoil, sterilised)
1 part coarse builder’s sand
1 tsp lime or dolomite lime per gallon
½ c worm castings per gallon (or use balanced fertiliser per recommended rates, usually about 3 tbsp per gallon)

Mix ingredients thoroughly.  Wet the mixture before using, until it has the damp feel of a wrung-out sponge.

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Liquid Laundry Detergent


2 litres water
1/2 c. borax
1/2 c. washing soda
1 c. white vinegar
10 drops essential oil (lavender and/or eucalyptus are good)
1/4 c. castile soap

Boil the water, add the borax and soda; remove from heat and stir to dissolve.  Pour the dissolved mixture into a large bowl and add the remaining ingredients; stir to mix well.  Cool and pour into containers.

This detergent will form a gel; shake well prior to each use.

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Jessie’s Lash Elixir


According to Jessie, this is great for eyelashes and eyebrows.

1/4 c. castor oil
1/8 c. Vitamin E oil
1/8 c. aloe vera oil

Combine ingredients and put into roller bottles; roll onto eyelashes and eyebrows.

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Sweet Potato, Apple and Pancetta Hash


6 oz pancetta or regular bacon, diced
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 large apple, cut into 1″ cubes
1 tsp cinnamon
1-2 tbsp coconut oil
1 large sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1″ cubes
1 tbsp fresh sage, minced (or 1 tsp dried)

In a medium cast iron skillet, cook pancetta 3-5 minutes or until crispy and fat has rendered.  Remove pancetta with slotted spoon, leaving fat in pan.  Add onion, apples, and cinnamon; cook until soft, about 7 minutes.  Remove from pan and add to reserved pancetta; set aside.

If pan is dry, add 1-2 tbsp fat and allow to melt.  Add sweet potatoes and cook undisturbed for 2 minutes.  Stir, allow to cook another 2 minutes undisturbed.  Continue cooking potatoes, stirring as needed to brown all sides, until soft – about 10 minutes total. Add reserved pancetta, onion, and apples back to pan.  Add sage and stir to combine throughout.

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