Monday, July 22, 2013

Fermentation Frenzy

Ever since I read Michael Pollan's article, Some of My Best Friends are Germs, a few months ago I had been wanting to try fermenting some veggies but was actually a little scared by it because I thought that I could make my family really sick if I did something wrong (which is also why I don't make jam).

Then about two weeks ago I read another article in Nurture Magazine by Dr. Sarah Lantz about the amazing health benefits of fermentation and decided that I really needed to give it a try. And I am SO glad that I did. I am now addicted to home fermented veggies and won't ever buy store bought pickles again.

To begin with I pickled some jalapenos just to see if I was doing it correctly and they turned out great so I then tried cucumbers, green beans - which are by far my favorite - cabbage and even carrots. I love them all but the green beans are fantastic. We ate an entire jar in just one day.

So, I highly recommend trying to ferment some things at home. It really is incredibly easy and the end product is nourishing and so tasty.

My pickled veggies. So yum!

The process I used was a combination of many things I read online. 

Firstly, I made a brine of good Australian sea salt, water and white vinegar -you can leave the vinegar out, I just really love vinegar. 

Next I added spices to my jars, a few slices of green chili in some, fresh chopped garlic, red pepper flakes, dill, pepper corns. Really anything you think you might enjoy. 

Then I packed my veggies into the jars and poured my brine over the top (I waited to pour in the brine until all of the salt had dissolved). In some of the jars I added a piece of cabbage to hold the veggies down in the brine but I don't think that it's really necessary. Then I put on the lids. I reused jars that I've been collecting along with the lids and it worked great. 

Lastly, I sat them in a warm place for about 4 days and then gave them a try. We loved how they tasted so we put them in the fridge and started to eat them. Yum! 

Seriously, it's really easy. I hope you all give home fermentation a try!

We've made an entire wall in our house C's Gallery Wall and she loves to look at her paintings. (There are many more since this picture)

Making more art for her Gallery Wall with homemade finger-paint.

C and her cousins

We found this hat and C really likes looking at herself with it on. 

We were in NSW this past weekend visiting C's cousin for his birthday so I will hopefully be adding a lot of new photos soon. Fingers crossed.

Hope you're all well! 


Monday, July 8, 2013

Homebirthing in Australia

Brett and I have decided on a homebirth for baby number 2. In deciding about the birth of this baby, we did a lot of research and found out, disappointingly, that there really aren't many birthing options for women in Brisbane. There aren't any stand-alone birth centers like where C was born. There is only 1 hospital affiliated birthing center BUT you must live within the catchment area of that particular hospital to even be CONSIDERED to birth there. Originally we were going to hire a private midwife (one not associated with the hospital) so she could be our voice and make sure interventions were kept to a minimum and that certain things, like delayed cutting of the umbilical cord, were carried out by hospital staff. I was never really okay with this option because, even with C, I wanted a homebirth but because we weren't living in our own home it just wasn't the right time for a homebirth.

The reason we initially considered having a hospital birth is because homebirth is an expensive option here.  Medicare doesn't cover the birth at home (because OBs have recently pulled support for out-of-hospital births- which is why the only birthing center in Brisbane has been shut down) and only covers minimal costs otherwise. BUT after much discussion and many sleepless nights we finally decided that the cost was, of course, well worth it. So, we found a midwife who does home/water births and here we are.

I've been doing a lot, lot, LOT of research and lots of planning and cannot wait for the birth. I've been to one Homebirth QLD support meeting- not sure if it's my cup of tea but- it was incredibly nice to be around like minded women. The birth is still fairly far off (about 15 weeks!) and we still have much to do but we're getting really excited.

We were completely shocked by the small amount of options pregnant women have for birthing in QLD. I seriously hope in the future things get better, there is a lot of support for homebirthing in QLD and it's only growing.

On another note, our small family is doing well. C seems to be through that horrible sleep regression but has now decided that she will throw a fit at the drop of a hat -like screaming, throwing herself on the ground fits. Really, it's a good thing I suppose, at least the new baby isn't here yet and we can learn how to cope with this new phase of parenting.

C is talking like crazy and can communicate with us extremely well. She is loving daycare and the two days a week that she's at daycare are a wonderful break for me.

All in all, we're doing very well. I'm going to try to keep up with the blog more often but I'm getting extremely tired again so we'll see how I do.


She LOVES the slide, climbing up the slide that is...

Swinging with Daddy

She loves pushing her little pram around but she likes being pushed in it more. 

Maybe she'll be a geologist when she grows up. She loves collecting rocks from outside and putting them in her little bucket.