We haven’t gone away- we’ve just moved!

Have you noticed things have been a bit quiet lately?

That’s because we’ve moved to a brand, spanking new website.

You can find all the old stuff, and heaps of great new posts too, over at

WWW.THISWHOLEHOME.COM

There’s lots of new info on canning and homeschooling, and it’s all much easier to find with the new format. There’s a great community building over there too ๐Ÿ™‚

Hope to see you over there soon

Kirstee xx

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Best Banana Cake

I have been making this banana cake for over a decade now and it’s still my favourite way to use up blackened bananas. You know, those ones that are too far gone to be good eating, but not so far past it that they’ve turned into a fruit fly’s sludgey heaven in the bottom of the fruit bowl.
Now there’s always a fight in my house over whether to ice this partocular cake with lemon butter cream (my vote) or to just slice ot warm and eat it buttered (the Mister’s vote). I’ll let you lot argue about that amongst yourselves ๐Ÿ˜‰


You will need a few things besides the squishy ‘nanas…

1 tsp bicarb

1/2 cup milk

125g butter

1/2 cup raw caster sugar

1 tsp vanilla essence

2 large free range eggs (whisk lightly with a fork)

3 large over ripe bananas (mash with a fork)

2 cups self raising flour


1. Preheat oven to 180ยฐC. Grease and flour your cake tin (or line with paper)

2. Dissolve bicarb in the milk. Whisk the eggs in a small bowl. Mash the bananas in a separate small bowl. Set these three bowls aside for now.

3. Cream butter and sugar in a small bowl.Add in vanilla essence then slowly add the eggs, beating all the while.

4. Add in the banana and stir well. Transfer the mixture to a larger bowl.

5. Add in a third of the milk mixture and stir gently. Fold ina third of the flour. Repeat with another third of the milk and another third of the flour. Add in your last thirds. Make sure the mixing and folding is done gently with a metal spoon so that you are incorporating air into your mixture.

6. Pour batter into your tin, smooth over the top and bake for 1 hour.

7. Cool on a wire rack then fight over the correct way to serve the cake. Remember, I am voting for lemon butter cream ๐Ÿ˜›

8. The most important step of all…ENJOY!
I adore this cake. Least of all because it uses up bananas that would otherwise die an unhappy death in the rubbish bin. Waste not, want not ๐Ÿ˜‰
Happy baking,

Kirstee xx
This recipe is adapted from one I found in an old ‘Family Circle’ cookbook 

Homestead Challenge: Level-Toddler

I love reading homestead blogs and looking at all of the lovely pictures of people living such wholesome, meaningful lives. Life. Goals.

Seeing productive gardens that feed families inspires me to get out there and get dirt under my nails!

But in my garden, if you look just a little closer…you will find…

That the toddler fed my favourite hand cultivator to the dog. But it’s totally still usable ๐Ÿ˜‰


Meanwhile in the kitchen, I am getting my homestead groove on and cooking up a storm. It’s often in the kitchen that I feel like I am acing this homesteading gig. 

There is tomato sauce bubbling away on the stove, a couple of batches of biscuits cooling on the bench and I am using the blackened bananas to bake up my favourite banana cake recipe. Waste not want not, right! Only…

I keep tripping over because the toddler who never sleeps has decided this is the perfect time and place to take a nap ๐Ÿ˜€ To be fair, she is probably worn out from helping with the chores. Today she fed the chickens all by herself!

It’s just a shame she dug up my cauliflower seedlings to feed to them. But it’s not like she could feed them the layer mash. She spilt that all over the ground while trying to pour it into the watering can ๐Ÿ˜‚

On a positive note,  I do have half a dozen volunteer tomato plants coming up in the middle of winter thanks to her squishing green tomatoes all over the ground in her last attempt to feed the chooks ๐Ÿ˜‰

But maybe tomorrow will run a little smoother. We finally found her missing elephant. She just can’t sleep without her. It took me two days to find it…

Hiding in the onion drawer of the pantry. And the sad part is, I go into this drawer every.single.day and I didn’t notice her there. 
Because I’m just a little tired.

Because simple living is hard work.

Because life gets busy and we mamas are juggling a lot of plates in the air.
But it’s also fun and worthwhile. These crazy moments make me laugh. And I wouldn’t want life any other way ๐Ÿ’š
I’d love to hear about the challenges you face as a homesteading parent!

Replacing the daily grind with a daily rhythm

The other day I shared my tips for creating a peaceful atmosphere in the home. One idea I kept returning to was the idea of rhythm. Sounds simple enough, right? Just find your rhythm. But what is it and how do you get it?

Put simply, rhythm is the flow of your days, your week and your year. It’s not as rigid as a schedule,  nor as chaotic as flying by the seat of your pants. It’s the steady in and out breath of homelife, held together by purpose and predictability.

Children in particular tend to thrive on knowing what comes next. As an adult I still find I feel calmer if I know both what needs to be done, and that I will have enough time in my day to do it. This is the purpose of rhythm.

Rhythm allows a sense of calm to settle on us and our homes.

Finding rhythm in the home comes naturally for some, but if this is new to you, or even if you just need a hand to tweak your exisiting rhythm, these ideas can get you started.

1. Make a list

Grab a pen and paper and settle yourself down in a quiet, sunny spot where you can think. Start jotting down what you need to do each day. For me this looks like chores, formal lesson time for my son, feeding animals, putting the wee one down for her nap, preparing meals, spending too much time on Instagram… :-p

2. Find the touchstones

Your touchstones are the moments that happen at roughly the same time every day; day in and day out. Waking up, eating meals together, bedtimes. If these are all over the place, making these moments predictable is where you need to start.

Create a bedtime ritual and set a rough time for meals. If there is predictability in these moments, your whole day will run smoother. Build your rhythm around these touchstones.

Build your day around meals and bedtimes. Create rituals for these everyday happenings. These are the touchstones which will hold your daily rhythm together.

3. Breathe in and breathe out

Look at the activities you listed in step one. Split them in to two groups. One group is your outwardly focussed activities, the second for inwardly focused activities. Another way to look at this in the context of running a home could be energetic activities compared to peaceful activities. You want to alternate between these throughout the day.

Follow a breathing in activity with a breathing out activity . You’re not looking to schedule in times, just to create an order for events to occur in. This will give your day flow. Write down your order of events in respect to your touchstone moments.

Alternate breathing in actions with breathing out actions to give your days a sense of flow.

And you’ve done it!

Everyday doesn’t need to look the same. You may find you need to change the middle of each day depending on what you have on. Just try to keep those touchstone moments in place and try to maintain the balance of in and out breath to the day.

Here’s a look at our daily rhythm.

This is our rhythm Monday to Wednesday (days we hold Main Lessons)

Tip!
Creating rituals around activities can help to anchor them in your day and make the mundane a little more special. Perhaps a little verse when you serve lunch, or a particular apron you like to wear to do the housework?

Our weeks and years have a ryhthm of their own too.  I’ll be chatting about those another time ๐Ÿ™‚

Kirstee xx

A recipe for fun: MUD KITCHENS!ย 

There are some beautiful, fancy mud kitchens turning up on Pinterest. Looking at them you could almost be forgiven for thinking a mud kitchen is just too expensive or too much hard work. But out here in the real world, mud kitchens are just good, clean fun. Well, not clean exactly ๐Ÿ˜€

So what do you really need to make a truly awesome mud kitchen? It really only takes THREE things…

1. Mud

Dirt + water = mud. It’s free. It’s fun. I’m sure you have some lying around. If not, pick up a cheap bag of garden soil from Bunnings and dump it in your designated spot. That brings us to number…

2. A place to get muddy

Choose your spot wisely. Near a hose is good. Near the clothesline you hang your white linen on? Not so much. You only need enough room for a kid, the mud and…


3. Junk from the kitchen

Think old pots and pans with scorched bottoms,  rusted patty cake tins, that old broken wooden spoon you didn’t want to just throw away. If you can put mud in it or stir mud with it, it is perfect!


And that’s it. No pinterest required. Have fun!

Planning a Main Lesson Block

The winter break is coming to an end and I am busy planning our next Main Lesson Block.

“What’s that?”, I hear you ask.

Well, every 3-6 weeks we choose a core academic area to focus on and plan our formal lesson time around this theme. It’s an immersive learning technique employed by Waldorf educators the world round. The idea is that a topic is explored in depth using all of the lively arts to bring the topic alive for the child/ren. (Waldorf schools then have 2 more lesson blocks per day, but we do things a little differently in our home environment. Back to the planning…)

Before the winter holidays we enjoyed a block on science,  exploring sunbeams, air and the water cycle. Here’s a snapshot of some of Nikolai’s work on the watercycle.

Wet on wet watercolour painting from our Story of a Water Droplet’s Journey

Chalk drawing of Water Cycle

When we start back next week we’ll be tackling grammar through the medium of Animal Tales and Fables. And believe it or not, Nikolai is excited about this introduction to grammar! I kid you not. That’s the magic of this approach.

So how do we go about planning a Main Lesson Block?

Choose a core learning area

First off you need to decide if you want to tackle maths, language arts, science, geography, history, etc. We did a science block last time so will go with a language arts block this time.

Choose a skill to focus on

In the realm of language arts we could choose to focus on handwriting, phonics, sentence structure…we are going with grammar, and more specifically with parts of speech.

If you were working on a maths block perhaps you would choose working with the four basic processes, times tables, fractions or measurement. Science could be the elements, weather, habitats, etc.

For those of you who would like a little direction on what to choose when, ACARA  (the people in charge of the Australian Curriculum) have approved a Steiner Curriculum Framework which outlines which topics to address each year. 

You could also go direct to the source and read Steiner’s lectures or utilise a resource such as Alan Whitehead’s ‘Spiritual Syllabus’ which lays out the progression of topics for you. Or go ahead and choose your own adventure if you feel so inclined! 


Choose your teacher resources

Where will you as the parent get your information from? Will you draw it from a purchased curriculum or piece it together from other resources?  For our grammar block I will be using Doroth Harrer’s English Manual as my primary resource. 


Choose your stories

New information is brought to the child in the form of a story.  Each 3 day cycle has its own story, often told cumulatively. Simply calculating how many 3 day cycles you have in your block will let you know how many stories you will need to bring to your child. This is a short block for us so I will only need 3 stories. I have decided I would like to use my own version of the grammar fairy story in Dorothy Harrer’s book to introduce our topic, so that makes 4 stories in total. 

This time round I have scoured our local libraries and found a book of Australian animal fables, a pictire book of Russian trickster tales and a few other gems to draw from.

Traditionally in Steiner/Waldorf education, certain types of stories are presented to the child each year to meet them at their stage of development physically, mentally and spiritually. In first grade that is fairy tales, third is creation stories (often Old Testament stories, but it doesn’t have to be), fourth would be Norse myths. We are in the middle of second grade so stories of saints and heroes, animal fables and trickster tales are traditional. As I mentioned above, we will be using animal stories and fables this block.

Next I need to either choose stories or write them myself to convey the information I want to impart to the child. If I want to use someone else’s story, well of course I need to find it. Libraries, google, purchased curriculums; all of these are good places to look for the tales I need. In either case, the stories are usually told and not read. I do, however, like to leave complementary books lying around to be explored or to call upon to support a lesson.


Choose your activities

I mentioned above that learning is brought to life through the application of the lively arts, one of which is the Literary Arts, i.e. the story we are using as a basis for our topical learning. Accompanying activities to strengthen understanding came from the remaining arts; Dramatic Arts, Visual Arts, Movement Arts and Music Arts. 

Will I have my child/ren retell the story, role play it, mold beeswax figures to use as table puppets to reimagine the tale?

Warming beeswax to model pictures we could see in the sky when learning about clouds

Will we write summaries or lists in our books,  draw pictures or make beautiful wet on wet watercolour paintings?

Is there a song or verse we could memorise and perform?

A few activities we will use in our grammar block include writing colour-coded lists of nouns and verbs from our stories into our Main Lesson Books, performing our stories using clapping or stomping to denote nouns and verbs (in essence acting out the grammer using movement), taking a bushwalk to name plants and animals and brainstorming verbs and adjectives to describe what we see. 


Plan out daily lessons

Once I have an idea of what I want to bring the lesson, and an understanding of why and how I will do this, now I can map out what our individual weeks and days will look at. Typically a three day rhythym is used where each day builds on the last with ‘sleeping on it’ an important part of processing the information.

For example:

Day 1- bring the story. Sleep on it ๐Ÿ˜‰

Day 2- review the story (or review then build on it if using a cumulative tale). Follow up with a complementary art/craft activity

Day 3- review the story and write summary or perform a retelling

Begin again with next story.

The key is to ensure you are balancing inward and outward activities, utilising all of the lively arts in your lessons (perhaps some are used in a circle time warm up if they don’t fit your Main Lesson plans?) and address the head, heart and hands. Because that really is the point of holistic education, to educate the WHOLE CHILD, not just impart knowledge we deem important.

Take away message?

1. Know what you want to teach and why

2. Create balance and rhythm in your lessons

3. Teach to the whole child

And that’s it. It seems a lot but gets easier as you go along. Most important of all? Have fun!

A Quiet Revolutionย 

โ€‹”Personal transformation can and does have global effects. As we go, so goes the world, for the world is us. The revolution that will save the world is ultimately a personal one.” ~Marianne Williamson

We live in a world where homesteading, which is really just living much the way our grandparents would have, is a quietly revolutionary act. In a society ruled by corporations, this is one of the few ways we can take back control of our lives and reclaim responsibility for our future and for the future of the Earth.

Growing our own food is a way to say NO THANKS to corporate greed and control. No, I’m not ok with you forcing farmers into unsustainable practices whilst offering (forcing) them ridiculously low prices for their produce. Farming is a profession which should be respected, celebrated and supported. I do not wish to be party to your bullying tactics.

Growing our own food is a way to say NO THANKS to losing touch with seasonal living. Sorry, but I am not ok with eating out of season food that has been trucked in from out of state or worse still, shipped in from overseas. Those unnecessary food miles and the resulting pollution are not ok with me, thanks anyway. I would much rather wait patiently and truly enjoy the first magical strawberry of the season.

Growing our own food is a way to say NO THANKS, I’m not comfortable with large-scale monoculture practices and the subsequent chemical use. I would rather not ingest those pesticides if I can avoid it, and I’d prefer not to be responsible for degradation of our soil. Instead I will work to repair the soil on my small patch and feed my family food that barely needs rinsing.

Keeping animals for food, even if it’s just for eggs, is a way of saying NO THANKS, I am not ok with the factory farming industry and it’s unspeakably horrible treatment of animals (buying direct from one of the many wonderful, ethical farmers in this country can send the same message). I would rather watch my hens forage around my yard and gratefully accept the eggs they gift me in return.

Cooking from scratch is a way to say NO THANKS, I am not ok with accepting the highly processed and packaged foodlike items that are robbing us of our health. I would like to know what is in my food, know that it nourishes my children’s bodies. I can do without all of the unnecessary plastic that pollutes our planet.

NO THANKS, but I don’t want to accept a one size fits all life for myself or for my children’s education. I don’t want my clothes to be made from oil. I don’t want to rely on a factory to provide me with something so simple,  so everyday, as a dishcloth. I don’t want to pay for things I can do myself. I don’t want to live detached from the Earth I came from. 

Like a toddler I want to scream, “I can do it myself!”

Suburban homesteading is a way to take back control. Control of our spending, control of our health. Through growing, cooking and preserving our own food we can accept responsibility for ourselves and for our impact on the Earth. We can thumb our noses at the corporations that try to tell us how to live, from the clothes we wear to the water we drink. 

The problems of the world can seem insurmountable. We can feel lost, powerless and afraid. Or we can take back our power. 

Each person who plants a garden takes back some control and responsibility for themselves. Each person who plants a garden inspires a friend to do the same. Slowly, quietly, the revolution is spreading from one backyard to the next. 

Have you joined the suburban homesteading revolution?

Get started with these ideas for homesteading in the suburbs.

 

How to homeschool SUCCESSFULLY

This winter holidays marks one year of homeschooling for us. We have had so much fun, tried so many new things and I’ve learnt a thing or two as a homeschool mama along the way. 

1. Prioritise your child over your philosophy 
There are some inspired ideas out there in the homeschool world. I was blown away by the number of different home education models there were to choose from. You’ve got Charlotte Mason, Montessori, Steiner/Waldorf, Classical, Unschooling and Natural Learning, Eclectic, Reggio and other Enquiry-Based models, Project-Based Learning, Unit Studies…and seriously, that list is not even complete! And they all sound amazing. 
You can fall in love with a method on paper and discover it just does not work for your kid. Or for you! Maybe you like one aspect and not another. But guess what? You CAN change models.  You can pick and mix like this is the lolly counter at the cinema.


Don’t let yourself become so married to a philosophy that you struggle through when it isn’t making your child happy,  or you dread the thought of delivering another day’s lessons. Change tracks. Even if it’s mid-term and you’ve just had your yearly plan approved by the power’s that be. Take the week off, regroup and come back with something new. 
I also think it’s really important not to let ourselves be talked into a method by its champions. Some bloggers and ‘experts’ have a way of making you think their way is not just the best way, but the only way. It’s very easy to let yourself be sucked in by their…let’s say enthusiasm. 


No one knows you and your child like you do. If you love what you are doing, go with it. If a particular method just doesn’t speak to you, forget about it. If you want to swap and swap back, or take a little of this and a little of that, do it!

2. Don’t underestimate the importance of community

There will probably come a time (or two) when you think, ‘I can’t take another day of this. I want to give up’. I know some truly AH-MAZING women who are rockin’ this homeschool biz like it’s nobody’s business. They inspire me on  daily basis. And even they have admitted to their moments. 
Some days (weeks…dare I say months???) it can all feel too hard and the pull of public school can be pretty powerful. Do NOT underestimate the power of your homeschooling community to see you through.


These parents will get you. They will be there to share war stories, to inspire you, to give you suggestions, to bounce ideas off. They will be your shoulder to cry on and your biggest cheer squad. These wise women will celebrate your triumphs right there alongside you.


I couldn’t imagine how I would have made it through the last year without the friendships I have made within the homeschool community. If you get nothing else accomplished in your homeschool year, make sure you find yourself (and your children) a community to be part of. 
3. Believe in yourself

Believe in yourself but don’t take yourself too seriously. Society wants us all to be pretty much the same. It’s comfortable for everyone that way.Homeschooling is just a little different and doing something different takes guts. You need to believe in what you are doing and in your ability to do it. 
That doesn’t mean you need to be perfect. Perfection doesn’t exist. Everyone makes mistakes,  has a few terrible ideas and their fair share of grumpy days. It makes us human. 
Laugh at yourself. Like yourself. Care for yourself. Your children are watching and learning from you. Teach them that confidence and self-belief come from within. Teach them to try new things, to learn from mistakes, to fall down then get right back up and keep going. Teach them self-respect by respecting yourself. Teach them to fight for what they believe in. 
Not everyone is going to agree with your decision to homeschool, or with the unique way you decide to go about it. That’s ok. So long as you believe in yourself and in the choice you have made for your family. You’ve got this mama!

Changing the feel of your home

“Your home is always so peaceful and calm”.

I laughed when he said it because the kids had been screaming ten minutes before The Mister and His Mate walked in. But when I stopped laughing for a moment and looked around my home, soaking up the feel of it, I realised he was right. Somehow over the last year these four walls had become a haven of calm in a never-endingly busy world (tantrums notwithstanding). How had this happened?

The changes happened so slowly, so organically, that it felt like they happened all on their own. I wondered, was it the renovations? I suppose that helped. There is a lot more natural light now. I certainly don’t miss the carpet. Or that wall we apparently  didn’t need ๐Ÿ˜‰

But it was more than that. Simpler than that. It was a changing of the culture of our home that has brought this feeling of calm, of quiet purpose, of peace. And as luck would have it, they were changes anyone can make regardless of budget or whether you are owning or renting. No renos required.

5 Ways to Create a Peaceful Home

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1. No t.v.

Ok so we have a tv. We even watch it *gasp*. We just don’t watch a lot of it and we very rarely watch it during the day anymore. Actually we rarely watch tv at all on weekdays. Movie night has become something to look forward to.

This is the number one change we have made that completely altered the feel of our home. It’s astonishing how noisy it feels even having it on quietly in the background now. It puts me on edge. We do often have calming music on low instead but it is always something relaxing and unobtrusive.

2. Clean and uncluttered

It’s amazing how much STUFF we can accumulate over the years. Pointless, expensive, takes-up-too-much-space stuff. Trust me- you will feel better and your home will feel calmer if you declutter. One of my favourite things about my home is the feeling of space and airiness. That all comes down to less stuff.

Jumping off the consumer bandwagon isn’t just good for the sense of calm it can bring to your home. It will save you $$$. It will also minimise your carbon footprint because less stuff equals less landfill, and less resources used in manufacturing things we really don’t need.

As for caring for your home, a daily rhythm will help you stay on top of chores without it feeling overwhelming. My home always starts to feel chaotic if I’ve strayed from our rhythm for more than a day.

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Rhonda’s book is a must read

Rhonda Hetzel of ‘Down to Earth’ fame talks about the acceptance of housework as an everyday part of life being a mindset change, and that was a light bulb moment for me. Instead of wasting our energy resenting the time and effort it takes, we can instead incorporate housework into our daily rhythm. We can take pleasure in a job well done and enjoy the resulting peace in our home.

A rhythm to our days, our weeks, the seasons, brings a sense of peace and purposefulness all of its own.

3. Organised homeschool materials

This one has taken a bit of trial and error to find what works for us, and will certainly look different depending on the style of homeschool you subscribe to. For us moving our formal activities into the kitchen, into the heart of our home, has meant that mama gets more done in a day. And that certainly helps.

It has also necessitated a change in the way we organise our materials. A pretty basket is the lynch pin of our system. I’ll chat more about the specifics of our bags and baskets another day, but the important part to note is that having a system keeps us neat and tidy, and most of all, organised. Chaos feels…well, chaotic. Organisation feels calm.

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Our homeschool basket keeps all of our materials on hand and tidy

No matter what materials you use, how many materials you have, or where in the home you ‘school’, make sure there is ‘a place for everything, and everything in its place’. Baskets are invaluable. Remember that ๐Ÿ˜‰

For those who don’t homeschool,  the same principle applies to books and toys. Reduce the volume,  organise what you have and display attractively. You’ll see more use, more respect for belongings, and won’t feel overwhelmed by ‘kid things’ taking over your home.

4. Smells of beeswax, cut flowers and homecooking

Forgetting how delicious a made-from-scratch dinner smells, what is just as important is what our home DOESN’T smell like. It doesn’t smell like harsh cleaning chemicals or synthetic fragrances. We make most of our own cleaning products now. It’s cheaper and the smell isn’t stuck in your nostrils for days.

Our children draw with beeswax crayons, and warm beeswax on the windowsill and in their soft hands to model with (think playdough for big kids, but better). We burn beeswax candles instead of turning on lights in the evening.

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Beeswax candles smell amazing and contain no nasty petrochemicals

Bunches of cut flowers from the Farmer’s Market fill vases on the kitchen bench. Herbs hang to dry in the sunroom windows. Fresh air streams in through gauzy curtains and wide open windows. The home smells fresh and alive.

5. A sense of quiet purpose

Maybe I should have put this one straight after ‘No T.V.’ because this is what has filled the space. Before, there never seemed to be enough time. Time to relax or time for hobbies. Often there didn’t even seem enough time for chores.

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Baking days are a set part of our rhythm

While the chores are still there, there is now a whole lot of time that we didn’t have before. Those hours we spent watching T.V. are now spent playing games, gardening, reading, baking together, preserving food and taking up crafts. The home hums along to the steady ryhthm of these activities. The dishes in the morning, the knitting in the evening.

And that’s the key, I think. The rhythm of the home.

Homesteading and homeschooling together have given us new rhythms and a new raison d’รชtre.

Have you found your rhythm?

Frugal meals: Devilled Sausages

This may come as a shock but I live on a *gasp* budget. Crazy right :-p But if you’re reading my blog I’m guessing you are probably doing the same. And when you think how much money gets spent on food in a week, well it makes perfect sense to cook some budget-friendly meals. Cheap and cheerful! Devilled sausages are a regular favourite here and so easy to make ๐Ÿ™‚

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Devilled sausages are the perfect comfort food

Ingredients:

6-8 sausages of your choice

Splash of olive oil

2 small onions
1 large green apple
2 small tomatoes (you can substitute with half a can of crushed or diced tomatoes)
1 clove garlic crushed

3/4 cup tomato sauce (preferably homemade for extra flavour)
2 tsp tomato paste
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tbsp malt vinegar
1 tbsp brown sugar
1ย clove crushed garlic (yes, another one. You can leave it out if you want. Or you know, add more because garlic is the shizz!)

It may look like a lot of ingredients when you could mix up a Maggi packet and call it a day, but I’d wager most people have these things stashed in their pantry.

Step 1
Preheat your oven to 180ยฐC then fry your sausages in a pan. You can use whichever sausages you prefer or have a go at making your own.

Obviously cheaper sausages have less meat and more fat, etc. in them but sausages NEED fat to hold them together and give them that sausage-y texture. Also…they are cheaper! Because this is meant to be a frugal meal, right ๐Ÿ˜‰

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Save money by buying whichever variety of sausages your butcher has on sale this week

When they are browned all over remove them from the pan, chop into bite sized pieces and transfer to a casserole dish.

Step 2

Slice the apples and onions thinly, and chop the tomatoes into a large-ish dice. Toss them into the pan you used for the sausages, add a splash of oil and the crushed garlic. Sautรฉe for about 15 minutes until soft. When they are done add them to the casserole dish with the sausages.

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Don't wash your pan after cooking the sausages. It saves time and add flavour!

Step 3
Here is where you forget the packet of goodness-knows-what-dried-powder that you find in the supermarket, and instead make a delicious alternative with REAL ingredients. In a bowl mix together the remaining ingredients from the list and pour over the sausage mixture. Give it a good stir and pop it into the oven. Cook for 45 minutes with the lid on.

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Cook on 180ยฐC or 350ยฐF for 45 minutes

While you wait…
Do yourself a favour and make up a BIG bowl of mashed potato. The creamier the better. It is the perfect accompaniment to Devilled Sausages.

Enjoy!

Now I didn’t share a photo of the finished product because let’s face it, no matter how awesome this tastes it is never going to be a particularly pretty dish. Looks aside, my munchkins are GUARANTEED to eat seconds and even thirds when I cook this dish. Any leftovers make the perfect lunch for The Mister to take to work with some buttered bread.

Honestly, the vast majority of us are living on a budget so it makes sense to have a few of these frugal meals up our sleeves.ย 
What is your favourite frugal dinner?