applesteamdream


The Sweet Life….
February 11, 2015, 11:36 am
Filed under: sustainable living

We were quite surprised when we moved to Malta to find that due to Malta joining the EU a few years back, The Maltese now have access to a lot of ready made foods including fast foods and ready meals. Unfortunately this seems to be resulting in a loss of skills and enjoyment from creating food stuffs from scratch. No-one bakes bread any more, The Maltese bread is AMAZING, cakes and deserts are bought in more often than made at home.

Consequently we have found people clamouring for our home-made marmalades, chutneys and relishes as well as cakes and desserts.  We are beginning to get a regular free supply of fruit from new friends that just ask for some sample jars of our preserves etc. We have made, so far: Orange marmalade; apple chutney; marrow chutney; tomato relish; caramelised onion marmalade; Nan’s piccalilli ( over a hundred year old family recipe); and chilli jam. Other things that have been popular have been my deserts: Chocolate Pecan GF Brownies; baked lemon cheesecake; Bounty cheesecake; Raspberry Cheesecake on a plain chocolate brownie base; Banoffi pie on a chocolate oat base; and a lemon polenta cake with a sharp lemon syrup drizzle to name but a few.

Most of the recipes will be appearing in an Applesteam Limited cookbook at some point in the future.

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From Pallet to Sink = Renovate + Recycle + Re-use + Re-purpose

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Well…..what a time we’ve been having. Our dream is beginning to really come true. The interior design, build and maintenance business are doing well and customers seem to really love what we are doing and what we stand for. The above sink unit above was made from part of an old telegraph pole, lengths of 3″x3″ timber was used to build a base for the basin to sit on. the back, where the tap is fitted is made from lengths of pallet. The whole thing was sanded, painted with very dark varnish, sanded, stained with browns wood stain, then sanded for a last time and three coats of tinted beeswax polish was applied and rubbed to a mid-sheen finish.

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Another sink unit we made. The top is made from marine ply, sandwiched between a top and bottom layer of pallet wood and edged in 2″x 1″ edging. All sanded and triple waxed to a high level finish. This was fitted into two posts made from 8″ x 8″ Douglas fir, with rubber feet sotted into the base. The storage is provided by a pull out soft-close deep drawer. The drawer has a high gloss finish and is topped with a quartz composite. The tap is a waterfall type set onto the bowl.

 

We have some other items being designed for the bathroom to go with the first sink unit, to be added here soon, alcove shelves and a cabinet made from pallets.

Renovate + Recycle + Re-use + Re-purpose



MEDITERRANEAN MADNESS

mdina

It’s quite a while since we last posted on here and life has taken many different turns since then. We are still in the villa we found when we first moved over, but haven’t developed the garden at all, we just haven’t had time.

Moving to a small island (Malta is only 17 miles by 9) means that you have to become very adaptable, A lot of the ideas we had when we moved over here have changed. The jams, chutneys etc are made rather infrequently at the moment. We lost a lot of the grapefruit crop due to high winds as they were almost ready to harvest.

Our interior design business that we had in the UK is now thriving over here as well as the maintenance part of the business. We have an ever-growing client base and word of mouth is getting us plenty of work.

Now we are starting to move into the furniture up-cycling and re-design part of the business that we always wanted to do. We have several projects on the go, two sink units, one from an old telegraph pole the other from big wooden posts. An old wooden slab used to be the footing for scaffolding is being turned into a designer side table with built in table lamp, (photos to follow).

We have many design ideas coming together, some with re-cycled materials, some from scratch.

We thought we’d share the bed that we made for ourselves first, out of 8″square beams and 3″square posts.:

bed 2

bed 1



WOW…..
February 17, 2013, 8:27 am
Filed under: Applesteam, Fruit, New life, sustainable living | Tags: , , , ,
can't wait to get this made into marmalade...

can’t wait to get this made into marmalade…

We have both been through a lot over the last few years, both of us have lost people really close to us, both family and friends; we have both been manipulated and emotionally battered by those that claimed to be friends, and we have both come through together, still in-tact and very much stronger together for the experiences shared.

Last time we posted on here, plans were still going ahead to move to Ireland to build the straw bail house and new life of our dreams. Well the best thing about dreams is they can change and grow as we grow, The Ireland plan has been put on hold, probably permanently, who knows. The new plan and change is already several months through the planning stage and into the implementation stage.

In two weeks we will have packed our home up in Nottingham for good: we will be on route to our new life in Malta, in the middle of the Mediterranean. Some of the ideas we had for Ireland will be implemented in Malta, living a greener life; home baking; self sufficiency (as much as possible) are all still in the plans. As well as furniture design, furniture renovation and creating art inspired by our surroundings.

Our new home is on a hill top overlooking the Mediterranean sea. We have a lovely walled garden, surrounding our property, overgrown at the moment, but with lots of potential.  Some of the garden has already been cleared ready for re-planting. At the side we have a terraced kitchen garden that needs weeding and planting. Luckily we already have established fruit trees, with grapefruit, tangerines, oranges and lemons. There is a grapevine too which will hopefully bare us fruit, along with what we think might be a cherry tree as well as several olive trees and fresh dill.

We will continue to post updates, recipes, and photos as well as green ideas.

Hope you will remain with us for the journey

Ric & Richard xx



Facebook Page
September 16, 2012, 12:53 am
Filed under: sustainable living

https://www.facebook.com/theshellfoundation



There is a lot …
August 28, 2012, 8:40 am
Filed under: sustainable living

Just a few photos from our trip back home to Ireland, 40 years of growth is going to take a bit of clearing lol.



The Journey
June 15, 2012, 3:27 pm
Filed under: Dad, Life, love, Smile | Tags: , , ,

For Jack Sharples and Michelle Gray

 

Life is a strange old thing, you think you know where you are heading, what you will be and how you will live your life…..then BANG! you realise that life is never as simple as that. As many plans as you make, more forks in the road crop up to steer you a different way. Sometimes objects, people or things take our attention, some for a moment, some for longer, sometimes for a lifetime. Sometimes the road is smooth, sometimes rocky. Every now and then its uphill, seeming to go on for a lot longer than the reality, but with the promise of a time of free-wheeling down the other side to a more relaxed time.

Along the way we may lose people we hold dear, whether they move away, lose touch, fall out with us or something more permanent, leave this physical world behind. Through all the hurt, sorry, recriminations and blame, we are all on the same journey, just following different routes. When we meet someone on the way, that makes us feel the journey is worthwhile, we should hug them close with all our hearts and share what we have found with others.

Always remember to share a smile, a few kind words or a helping hand with others can make all the difference. Who knows what trials of life others are experiencing, when you meet. A smile, like dropping a stone in a pond, can send ripple effects to many, spreading kindness and joy to what can be, at times a dark world.