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Juice bottles: Cut the head off, drill some holes in the base - for some practical flower pots.

Juice bottles: Cut the head off, drill some holes in the base – for some practical flower pots.

 

The shape of these juice bottles is actually ideal for flower pots:

– The diameter of the bottle is about 10cm, a standard size for flower pots.

– The base is raised into a punt and gives the ideal points to drill drainage holes: As they are raised, it ensures there will always be a bit of water in the very bottom.

– The top bit can be used as a greenhouse roof to protect seedlings from weather and mice.

 

How to make flower pots from soft drink bottles:

With a pair of nail scissors, cut the top bit off.

You’ll have to cut round, that’s why it’s easier with nail scissors. Follow a line on the bottle, it’s hard not to cut skew.

Depending on the length of roots the plants will grow you can keep the bottom bit quite tall or cut it down to a standard size.
Because the plastic is see-through, you can leave a wide rim above the ground level which keeps in all the mess.

Drill drain holes in the base of the bottle.

Hold the drill steady, it’s easy to slip on the plastic. Drill about 5 holes around the centre point of the base.

Depending on the water consumption of the plant you can drill large holes so the earth will drain well or small holes to capture water.
If the plant likes wet feet, you can drill the holes higher up.

Drill ventilation holes in the top bit of the bottle.

Hold the drill even steadier, this is a slanted surface. Drill about 5 evenly spread holes in the shoulder of the bottle.

You can use the remaining  bottle tops as mini greenhouse roofs. They fit very tight into the flower pot and won’t easily come off.
Depending on the humidity preferences of the plant, you can drill large holes for good ventilation or small holes for capturing moisture and heat.

 

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Wasser ist kostbar. Wir müssen jeden Tropfen sparen! - Water is precious. We need to save every single drop!

Wasser ist kostbar. Wir müssen jeden Tropfen sparen!

 

Seit Beginn 2016 haben wir nun schon Wasserrestriktionen in Kapstadt, und seitdem wird es schlimmer und schlimmer.

 

Kapstadt ist auf Regenfall angewiesen, um die Dämme aufzufüllen. Der Regen kommt aber schon seit letztem Jahr nicht mehr, zumindest nicht genug.

 

So sind wir nun seit dem 1. Februar 2017 bei Wasserrestriktion 3B angelangt, und Level 4 droht uns ab dem 1. Juni bevorzustehen.

 

Wir haben ja alle die Warnungen gehört: Noch gehen die Kriege um Öl, der nächste Weltkrieg geht um Wasser.

 

Aber in Europa ist das doch immer alles noch sehr weit weg vom tatsächlichen Leben.

 

Hier in Kapstadt ist es bereits Realität:

 

Die Wasserrestriktionen bedeuten, dass Wasserverbrauch über den Mindestwert teuer ist.

 

Reiche können also weiterhin Wasser vergeuden, aber das ist ok in dem Sinne, dass sie die sehr nötige Überholung der Wasserinfrastruktur in Kapstadt finanzieren.

 

Der von Kapstadt empfohlene Mindestwert liegt derzeit bei 100 Litern pro Person pro Tag.

Zum Vergleich: Deutschland ist bei einem Allzeit-Niedrigwert von 122 Litern pro Person pro Tag.

 

Es wäre also auch für den effizienten Deutschen ein wenig unkomfortabel, den täglichen Wasserbrauch auf 100 Liter pro Tag zu reduzieren.

 

Hier in Kapstadt haben uns bereits daran gewöhnt:

 

Wir gießen nur noch mit unserem dreckigen Abwaschwasser.

Frisches Wasser zum Blumengießen? – Luxus!

 

Wir ziehen nicht mehr ab, wenn es sich nur um ein kleines Bedürfnis handelt. Und wenn wir spülen, dann wird der Toilettenkanister mit Grauwasser gefüllt.

Mit Trinkwasser die Toilette spülen? – Absoluter Luxus!

 

Unsere Waschbecken, Duschen und Badewannen stehen voll mit Eimern und Kanistern, um jeden Tropfen zu sammeln.

Das Wasser nur einmal gebraucht einfach so in den Abfluss laufen zu lassen? – Luxus!

 

Vielleicht regnet‘s ja bald mal wieder in Kapstadt und wir können unser Wasser wieder wie üblich ver(sch)wenden.

 

Vielleicht werden wir aber alle doch schneller als gedacht lernen müssen, wie kostbar Wasser wirklich ist.

 

Easy to make: Use big salad leaves instead of bread for a wheat free alternative to sandwiches.

Easy to make: Use big salad leaves instead of bread for a wheat free alternative to sandwiches.

 

Doing the low FODMAP diet, I have to avoid a lot of carbs. It helps with my IBS.

Breadwise this can get tricky, as wheat is out of the question, spelt is questionable, and also rye is not allowed.

A good idea is to bake your own bread. Or, to come up with some creative alternatives:

 

Make a Saladwich!

Simply swap the bread for salad leaves!

 

I love snackwiches, I dig the molten cheese. Mostly I use too much of it, and it melts and messes everywhere.

The salad leaves capture everything perfectly in a practical pocket, and it tastes good!

Usually we’re not used to cooking salad, but it has a lovely flavour when fried. The water in the leaves means it won’t burn, the water simply steams off and leaves the leaves nice and crispy.

So tuck in for a guilt-free and just as satisfying saladwich! 🙂

 

It works! Simply replace bread with salad leaves and you get a yummy healthy low-carb snackwich.

It works! Simply replace bread with salad leaves and you get a yummy healthy low-carb snackwich.

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Even the plate looks like it's smiling when poached eggs are served! :)

Even the plate looks like it’s smiling when poached eggs are served! 🙂

 

Feeding puppy Lola an egg a day means I get lots of opportunities to make poached eggs.

While the egg might not need to look pretty, it’s more practical if it comes out well. Plus, even our dog likes it best when the egg yolk is still runny.

 

Easy way to poach an egg

1) In a small pot, bring water to simmer.

2) Swirl the water around in one direction and place pot back onto heat.

3) When the water slows down enough so the bubbles come up again, plop the egg right in the middle of the pot. The slow swirl should keep the egg tight around the center.

4) Make sure the egg floats. If it looks like the egg is stuck to the bottom of the pot, scrape it free with a spoon.

5) Cover the pot, turn off the heat and let it sit until the water cools down enough for the egg to be at eating temperature.

6) Scoop out the poached egg carefully with a big spoon.

 

Having fun with hard boiled eggs: Check out these egg faces! ;)

Having fun with hard boiled eggs: Check out these egg faces ! 😉

 

I used to be super pedantic about boiling eggs perfectly right and of course, don’t forget to shock the freshly boiled eggs by rinsing them under cold water so they are easy to peel.

Then I learned that many factors have an influence on how easy it is to peel the egg: How you boil them, how you cool them, what you add to the water, how old the eggs are, their pH factor.

With all these variables chances are you still don’t get it right. Researching advice brings up conflicting results, sometimes the exact opposite is recommended.

Plus, most egg peeling hacks require to cool down the eggs before peeling them. I prefer my egg to still be hot.

So I’m focusing on the method of peeling an egg:

 

Easy way to peel an egg

1) Crack the egg open on the round side where the air pocket sits.

2) Roll the egg on a hard surface with the palm of your hand.

3) Start peeling at the blunt end. The air bubble should give you the chance to lift the eggshell membrane.

4) Carefully pull the membrane together with the eggshell in spirals off the egg.

 

Good luck! 🙂

 

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Trying and testing: An easy way to prepare homemade coconut milk.

Trying and testing: An easy way to prepare homemade coconut milk.

 

When I saw the list of ingredients on canned coconut milk I was shocked!

While coconut milk is hailed as superfood, this type of highly processed preservation is not healthy.

 

But coconut milk is a great alternative to lactose milk, so what to do?

 

It’s super easy to make coconut milk yourself

All you need is desiccated coconut, a blender, and a strainer.

1) Soak the desiccated coconut in lukewarm water at a ratio of 1 to 3 for at least 4 hours.

2) Blend the soaked desiccated coconut and water for at least 5 minutes at highest speed.

3) Pour into a strainer to filter out the remaining coconut flakes.

4) Keep in the fridge for freshness, and to separate the coconut cream from the coconut milk.

 

Bonus Tip:

It is generally recommended to strain the coconut milk with a cheesecloth.

Just as well works a coffee plunger: Simply pour the coconut blend into the cafetière and slowly push down the plunger to capture the coconut pulp at the bottom.

If you don’t mind the odd coconut flake, this makes the whole process much easier. 🙂

 

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Happy Easter from Ranzani Design 🙂

 

Easter’s coming up and you might want to boil and paint some eggs for the festivities.

 

Easy way to make hard boiled eggs

1) Place the eggs in a tight fitting pot and cover them with water.

2) Bring the water to boil, so that the bubbles make the eggs wobble.

3) Switch off the heat and let the eggs sit until the water has cooled down to room temperature.

4) Serve in Ranzani Africa Egg Potjies, and add a dash of colour to the kitchen! 🙂

 

 

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