How do you get through winter without shopping at the supermarket? This week our columnist Lydia Harvey talks about how her and her family are getting through these wintry months.
It's the middle of winter and it is freezing!
The icy-cold mornings and the non-stop rain that we've had all season is the challenge I was the most uncertain about at the beginning of the year.
During the winter months our garden's growth has been minimal and the egg laying is close to non-existent.
I knew existing through the winter months without going to the supermarket would solely depend on our preparation leading up to winter.
Are we managing to stay supermarket free through these cold months I hear you asking?
The answer to that is yes, and this has been, thankfully, due to all the effort we put in over the summer as well as the support of our friends.
We're finally making our way through the reserves we stored away in the summer such as pasta, rice, flour and sugar.
This has become the base of most of our winter menu. We've bottled any excess that was left to rot and we made relishes, chutneys and jams and are now using them during these cold days.
But we still have a lot of fresh food available; the citrus trees are bending under their fruit, we have rhubarb and endless supplies of winter garden greens.
Weekly, we take a trip to the local butcher (who lets us use our own packaging) to get the kids a little meat for hearty midweek meals.
Not going and dropping into the supermarket to pick up that cheeky fast meal or that staple we've needed has been down to the fantastic backing of our community.
They've often contributed to our cupboards out of the goodness of their hearts, as a thank you to us or exchanging our excess produce for some of theirs over the year.
We couldn't have gone through winter without the support of our community.
From Lydia's garden: Rustic Sausage Rolls
500 grams of sausage meat
2 tablespoons of tomato paste
Handful of fine chopped silverbeet
1 grated carrot
1 clove of crushed garlic
1/2 jar of your favourite kind of relish (we use tomato or onion)
1/2 cup of breadcrumbs
1/2 cup of grated cheese (optional)
Combine mixture well in the large bowl and sit for an hour on the bench covered before draining the liquid.
Roll out puff pastry onto an oven tray dusted with flour.
Place mixture along the centre of the pastry, the width of the baking tray.
Roll the pastry up around the filling before brushing the top with egg and sunflower and pumpkin seeds.
Cut into even sizes pieces (makes about 10 large or 12 smaller ones)
Bake in a preheated oven at 180 degreea for approximately 20 minutes.
Leave to cool on an oven tray before serving with your favourite relish and garden salad.