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November 1, 2010

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Heiko

We have to survive without central heating as we don't have any. However our winters aren't quite as cold as yours and frost is a rarity. Still in the depth of winter we sit with several extra layers around the fireplace our only source of heating.

Laura

My mother-in-law used to live in Siracusa and didn't have central heating either, but without the benefit of the fireplace! It is amazing you don't even have frost that often - maybe we should move to Italy!

Judith

I was interested to hear about your vegan experiment and that you enjoyed it. I cook vegan when my daughter is here and vegetarian for me the rest of the time and like you, have found it both liberating and challenging. I am very fond of cheese and lazy too-so I tend to use cheese and eggs as my protein source more than I should.But I am going to try your quinoa and lentil stew recipe-it looks good.

Laura

I'm a big fan of eggs too as a quick and easy protein source for brunch/lunch as I'm home during the day. Luckily we loaded up on some spreads and things like the hummous, as otherwise I would've struggled to think what to eat in the day. My only problem though is that a lot of that type of stuff isn't very self-sufficient (imported olives, nuts and dried fruits) and expensive for what it is. Ideally I guess eventually we'd have our own fruit and nut trees and could maybe grow other things like avocados. I hope you like the quinoa and lentil stew. I just threw it together a couple of years ago when we just had some odds and ends of vegetables in the fridge and not much else, and it has become one of our staple dishes. This one was quite different from the one I posted actually, as it used the vegetables we have now in season - carrot, parsnip, beets & their greens, chard and potatoes. Sometimes we throw in a chilli pepper and make it spicy, too, and other times not. So it is always a little bit different every time!

Mary

There is something special about having winter squash, isn't there? Once I realized there was something else besides acorn squash-- I became a huge squash fan.

Laura

Definitely! For some reason it isn't readily available in the supermarket here either, so I even miss acorn squash, and don't even get me started on butternut!

Jan

Butternuts aren't that common here either and so I grew a lot this summer. They store for ages don't they! As for vegan, it would be impossible to persuade my husband to be vegetarian, never mind vegan, although I wouldn't mind trying it. We've just got a woodburner for heating, and so I invested in a full set of thermal underwear before we came here. Worth their weight in gold!

Laura

Hi Jan, I am definitely thinking of investing in a pair of those myself! As for the vegetarianism/veganism, it started with the realization that we had dropped our meat intake considerably already without even missing it. We wouldn't actually give up meat, dairy etc forever, but it is interesting to try it for a set time period like a couple of weeks, then just eat it in lesser amounts after that!

Mike

I loved hearing your thoughts about a healthy diet as they are very similar to our own. Stay warm.:)

Laura

Thanks! You too - it must be getting pretty darn chilly in your part of the world. And if we had all the lovely vegetables you guys grow I don't think we'd want to eat anything else!

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