It isn’t just living a minimalist life on a bus that has made me reluctant to part with money for things I could ‘have a go at’ rather it is a trait that I have had my whole life and a trait which many New Zealanders share. We feel that we can do anything and to be honest a lot of the time it is true! Not true just for New Zealanders of course … true that many products out there on the shelves are actually pretty quick and easy to make at home.
They don’t last long in this bus!!
An example of this was the other day when we sampled some supermarket tastings. The person promoting these healthy coconut and date treats was very good at her job, I have to say, and I was all ready to take some home until I asked the price …. $9!! $9 for some balls of date and coconut??!! $9 for what looked like 10 balls maximum??!! Well, yes, I am a little tight with my money but lets face it, that $9 I was going to part with was clearly paying for the packaging and promotion of the aforementioned 2 ingredient treat more than the food itself.
So home I came and ‘gave it a go’. The results are pretty good I have to say and super easy. Themselves have all given the batches I have made over the last few weeks their seal of approval, by consuming them all, and the only pit-fall I can see is that I can’t seem to keep up with demand. 🙂 So here it is for you and I’m sure that many of you out there already have your own similar story and recipe …. so enjoy and experiment.
After many weeks in and around Christchurch we have finally made our way south. This journey marks the first time that we are all travelling in the bus with car happily being towed behind. It was a new experience which also highlighted the things that we still need to do or learn on the bus. We have already become experienced at removing the car and trailer in order to back track after being led past our destination, thanks to our Tom Tom, and trying unsuccessfully to reverse with said trailer and car attached.
Our lunch spot at Mt Peel, South Canterbury
It has been a week of changes that is for sure. Not only the change for the kids and I to be travelling with himself but also the change of not being around family and friends and also giving up on Facebook for the rest of this month (feels very strange not to update our travels daily and yet very refreshing at the same time) along with the weather suddenly changing from a heatwave yesterday to thunder, rain and hail today! I guess that is what happens when you travel south as Autumn approaches.
So with the cold and stormy weather around us a warm afternoon tea treat was in order. This is a basic scone recipe from The Edmond’s Cookbook which I have just halved in order to make it fit into our little bus oven. It still makes the same amount of scones just a smaller version 🙂
Afternoon tea warm from the oven
1.5 Cups Flour (white or brown)
25 gm Cold butter
3 Teaspoons baking powder
1/4 Cup of currents or sultanas (optional)
1/2 Cup and 1/8 Cup rice milk – or cow’s milk … we only use rice milk because we don’t stock the other:)
Preheat oven to 220 C
Mix flour and baking powder in a bowl
Cut the cold butter into small cubes and then ‘rub’ into the flour mix until it looks and feels like fine breadcrumbs. Add fruit now if you are using it.
Make a well in the middle of the flour and butter mix and pour in the milk
Using a knife mix the flour and milk by cutting across it until a dough begins to form.
Using your hands lightly bring the dough into one ball. You may need a little bit milk if it is a little crumbly or a little bit of flour if it is sticky.
On a floured tray flatten the dough into a rectangle shape that is still at least 1.5cm high or higher (tray to top of dough)
Cut into 16 squares and bake for 10 mins or until brown on top
Enjoy warm or cold with butter and jam
Hope this finds you all happy, healthy and enjoying the life you have.
Since being on the bus we have had to change our shopping habits quite a lot. It is not only the fact of discontinuing to purchase all those ‘in case someone pops over’ items such as milk, coffee and sugar, it is also the way we are buying that is changing.
With limited cupboard and fridge space we can no longer stockpile as now we have to restrict our shopping to replacement only items. This is fine by us and while it does require multiple trips to the supermarket is it good knowing exactly what is in our cupboards day to day. I know for some of you reading this you already shop this way … local markets, fresh produce … however for us it is a new experience. We usually do a weekly shop where we get enough to last us the whole week (or close to) and then repeat the process the next week. Even with a co-op shop it is a month’s worth of dry goods at a time that I purchase.
The majority of my food storage space
What I am noticing now as I shop is that maybe what I thought was our choice to shop weekly actually isn’t completely our choice. You see as I head down the supermarket aisles I am noticing more and more that there are incentives laid out to encourage you to buy more. Lately when I have gone to buy broccoli it is often on a ‘2 for $3’ special where as one head of broccoli is $2 and they are not alone. All sorts of canned items and other produce is in for the ‘special offer’ ride.
I feel the urge to buy more, save more … unfortunately I also feel the pressure of our limited space and reminded of just how insane moving things to get other things makes me feel. My new year (bus life) intentions are to find more local places to buy from, more road side stalls and market places. I can already feel that it will take much more effort than I am currently putting into shopping, which is probably why I am still down at the supermarket struggling with my urge to buy less and the temptation of getting more for my dollar, though hopefully slowly and surely I can create a change in our buying habits.
As we venture into the second to last full week in our home before jumping on our bus I am beginning to feel the squeeze. It has been, and continues to be, a juggle in trying to maintain normality for the kids in a house which is gradually being depleted of its belongings, allowing viewing for renting our home out, prioritizing what goes for good, what goes on the bus or gets stored and getting all those little jobs (you know the ones that always get put off) completed in the bus and around the house.
In so many ways it is lovely having less around to clean, tidy or wade through and yet in someways I am feeling a sense of loss at the way life used to be …. with lots of reminders of our life surrounding us at every turn. There are things that we will hold onto and store, then there are of course those things that we are not attached to at all which are easy to let go of …. for the rest of our possessions they need to give evidence as to their usefulness in our upcoming bus-life or worthiness of being stored. Everything is being prioritized at this point in time and put into rank.
We have sold up everything (except for 10 tea-chest sized boxes) and moved twice before this so we didn’t have a house full of clutter by any means. It is amazing though how much sneaks into a home, even when you think you are doing a pretty good job at keeping it out. ‘Have house, will fill’ seems to be human’s subconscious manifesto! Most of our belongings were those that had made the final cut before and thankfully we do have a place to store some of the important things that we know we want to keep but don’t need on the bus. For the rest …… well the next two weeks will tell 🙂
Hope this finds you enjoying the things that matter and letting go of the rest.