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Three children *** Two dogs *** Two parents *** Country loving *** Cottage dwelling in the South-West of the UK. That's us!

We've been blogging since January 2010.

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Time to smile

"God has an inordinate fondness for stars and beetles."

- J B S Haldane

I’ve been featured by

Five minute challenge: Passata

first tomato harvest

Many moons ago, I used to teach. It was my first job out of Uni and I really enjoyed it. I taught various courses, which lasted anything from one to five days. There was a lot to cram into each day. Some groups would whizz through it. Others not. In order to cover everything, I soon learnt that even the last five minutes before a break, could not be wasted. I could introduce a whole new topic effectively. Strangely, this often turned out to be the most productive time.

Ok. So how does a photo of tomatoes, fit in with my teaching methods? Good question. I’m glad you asked. It’s the “five minute” part that you’ll need to focus on.

tomato harvest

Autumn is one of my most productive times of the year. Busy time processing the garden produce, engineering changes to my schedule and making plans. A time to buy a new sparkling pencil case and fill it with sharp pencils and clean erasers, while flicking through the crisp new pages of a notebook. Hmm.

Except, I’m not. I seem to have lost my……buzz. Every task just seems too big. Too big even to contemplate. Starting.

I’m wasting time and resources. So. Action required. In an attempt to find my autumn energy, I’m setting myself a series of five minute challenges. Every job feels better if it’s split up into smaller chunks. Right? And I just happen to like five minute moments of attack (see above). Spending no less and no more than five minutes.

Today, I spent five minutes harvesting our outdoor cherry tomatoes. I collected 3.5 lbs. Lots left, but I’m keeping it small and in the 5 minute rule.

passataa production

Later in the morning, I dug out my passata maker. Five minutes later. Hey presto! I had a pint’s worth of liquid tomato. No bits. It only used about half the tomatoes I harvested, but then again, I’m keeping this small and in the 5 minute rule.

passata made

Look at the colour! I don’t make a lot of passata in the normal way, but it’s nice to have some in the middle of winter. Freezing it in ice cube trays, with basil, ensures a taste of summer when the temperature has dropped. When I really need it.

The rest of the tomatoes? Oh, they’ll be processed as pasta sauce. In my next five minute challenge. Completing one task feels like an achievement. I can already feel a boost to my energy level.

I’m interested. How do you break down long jobs? 10 minutes? Until a milestone?

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There have been cases when people lifted my photos and words, and used them without credit to me or asking permission first. Using them for their own commercial gain. I have now added a level of security to deter people from doing this. Apologies to people who do play nicely. If you would like to use any of my photos, please contact me.
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