Kahlia made a banana cake last night, after dinner. I sat on the couch and directed her each step from there. While I was doing that I was reading some the other recipes in my book and realised how much I miss baking (or is it the eating the baking?). The banana cake turned out beautifully and I don't have a photo of it because it was eaten within 5 mins of coming out of the oven.
We have an inspection coming up and I really am not up to giving the house a thorough clean up so I'm going to pay the kids $20 each for their help. Today I need to write up a chart to let them know who does what on which day. I'll be making them earn their money that's for sure, mind you most of the mess is theirs anyway.
I'm already starting to take iron tablets, as I'm feeling so drained at the moment and sometimes even walking from one end of the house to the other makes my heart beat a bit too fast and makes me out of breath, so I'm assuming that it's an iron deficiency like with Rose. I'm only going to take them every second day though because I don't like their other side effects and I don't have the money to go buying a different brand at the moment.
I want to do a major overhaul of our shopping in the next 12 months. I've always agreed with the idea of growing our own food, though in rental houses it's not so easy if there isn't already a garden there, and I recently heard about keeping quail instead of chickens for eggs and meat. Quail are quieter than chickens and in a suburban area with small backyards you want quiet. They also take up less room than chickens so I'm hoping to get permission from the owners of our house to be able to keep quail. I don't know if we will because they were really specific in the lease about no animals whatsoever, but they might be persuaded to change the next contract if we give a good impression this inspection. We've been here for 10 months and our lease is a 12 month contract.
Also, in researching the care of quail, I've come across something called aquaponics, which is basically growing your own fish and using their water to fertilise plants and the plants cleaning the water which goes back to the fish. I've never got into the who hydroponics thing but I can see the benefits of this, which also uses less water than usual methods of gardening. So there's another thing I need to get permission to do. This won't happen for quite a while as we need to save up. On the scale that we'd need to do to feed our family regularly it won't be a cheap thing to set up, but the day after I first found out about it I also found out that Tim's brother has already been researching it and is planning on putting his research into action in a few weeks. We'll be watching him eagerly to see if it's for us.
I also want to buy a whole cow for beef, instead of purchasing our meat fortnightly at the butcher, but that's a long way off. It's about $1000 for ordinary beef or $1500 for organic but we spend nearly $2600 a year on meat anyway. By mine and Tim's calculations we could save ourselves around $200 or more a fortnight growing our own veggies, fish and poultry, but the outlay is a bit beyond our reach at the moment.