First of the wonderful spring roses. Mme Alfred Carriere, Handel, Abraham Darby.
What has happened this week on the green and thrifty front?
Well, Rosy went on a school camp for the week, and I spent two days emptying out her highly cluttered and untidy small bedroom (no, really, it's small, about six feet by ten feet, with a big chimney breast in the middle of the wall. Standing room only, and a bed). How is this green and thrifty? Well, every week Rosy tells me that she needs more t-shirts/bobby pins/bun pins/ballet tights/hairbands etc, and who would know because her room is a continuous jumble sale-collection of clothes and half-finished craft projects and tiny treasures and an extreme stationery collection. I weeded out all her too-small clothes, so now she can see what clothes she owns. And yes, she does need a couple of t-shirts, but also now Posy has a whole new wardrobe for two year's time. But actually, under all the debris I found about a hundred hair ribbons and hair bands, and about twenty thousand bobby pins. They are now in a big pot, and I will never need to buy any ever again... also, now a lovely clean, blank canvas to decorate for her Christmas present, goody, goody. Must get on to present making now..
A couple of weeks ago I bought a carton of capsicum seconds for $10. Roasted most of them in the oven, and preserved them, now five jars of lovely marinated pepper strips in the cupboard, and one in the fridge that didn't seal properly. I have never made these before, and I'm so happy. Last year I froze capsicum strips and stored them in zip lock bags, but this year, jars in the cupboard, no plastic!
There were a couple of squishy capsicums left over, so I invented a deliciously yummy piri piri sauce. Actually, I didn't, I used a Jamie Oliver recipe, left out the raw onion, and added the raw capsicum instead.
Pop some chopped chilli, zest and juice of one lemon, two cloves garlic, one tablespoon apple cider or white wine vinegar, a glug of olive oil, a glug of Worcestershire sauce, one teaspoon paprika, and two slightly squishy capsicums in the blender. This is such a lovely sauce with eggs, meat, or on salad. Tastes even better after a couple of days.
I dug out the eco-bokashi bins from under the house. I bought them a couple of years ago when I thought I could save the earth by buying lots of green products. I don't know that I would go out and buy them now, however, now I have them, I will give them a go to 'process' my meat and fat scraps and other food scraps. They don't compost so much as pickle between layers of fermented wheat bran, and then you dig it into the garden. I have two big bags of official bokashi mix in the cupboard. When I have used it up, I am wondering if hops used for home-brewing would work? I will have to hang around some home brewers..
Fran sent me a dozen eggs from her lovely chookies. Her lovely chookies eat all her favourite plants, so really, we are now eating Fran's favourite plants. Sorry about your plants Fran, but those eggs are amazing. We celebrated them by using up the very last of last summer's PYO blueberries in muffins that turned the most wonderful shade of sunshine yellow when we put the eggs in. I left a bag of lemons on the verandah for Steve to take home to Fran. There was a note: STEVE, THESE LEMONS ARE FOR YOU! Steve put down the eggs two feet from the lemons, but 'didn't see them'... Never mind Fran. Next time...
Fran wants me to collect empty wine bottles for her to use for a crafty garden project. While immensely willing to help, not sure if that can be classed as a thrifty project..
This week I turned off all the heating, hopefully for good this season. I know readers anywhere north who are already experiencing bushfires will find it hard to believe, but this is the first week this spring that we have been able to break out the t-shirts (in the middle of the day. Jumpers and ugg boots at night and early morning still. Flannelette sheets still firmly on beds..).
Today I picked up a wonderful collection of books that were on hold for me at the library. I realised I was underutilising the library by going in to hunt for the same favourite authors over and over again. Disappointingly, Agatha Christie hasn't written anything new in a while, and I have a bad track record with just pulling books off the shelves. I have taken to reading blogs with the library catalogue window open, and ordering books that my trusted bloggy friends recommend. Reviews to follow.
In the spirit of Using What I Have I finally cooked some quinoa that has been in the pantry for about two years. I bought it from my favourite wholefoods shop because it was local and organic, and I loved the idea that a little farm in Tasmania was growing an ancient South American grain. But I didn't want to actually EAT it. I kept glaring at it and thinking, I don't want to eat you, you hipster vegan health food you, I'm sure you taste horrid. But I couldn't throw it out, that is WASTE. I am clearly not an early adopter. Think I mentioned that already somewhere.
So today was the day, or yesterday actually, because I soaked some for twenty four hours before I cooked it. I didn't know what I was going to do with it, but then I saw a photo in a magazine of a salad with pear slices and wild rocket (arugula) and walnuts with a blue cheese dressing, and I thought, yes, I will do that and add quinoa. So I made up how much water to add, and how long to cook it, and then I went and read my important emails, then I smelt burning... aaargh, turns out if you soak quinoa you don't have to cook it very long. But I scraped off the top layer which was fine, and look:
Oh, my goodness, most divine lunch ever. No blue cheese, but French dressing just perfect. So now I LOVE quinoa, and will bore everyone silly about it, just like everyone has been doing to me for years.
What else can I use up? Oh, yes, found some packets of prunes. Quinoa porridge with prunes?
In the garden this week: lemons, lettuce, rocket, parsley, oregano, sage, warrigal greens, spinach, a handful of snowpeas, the only we are likely to get from our unenthusiastic snowpea vines. And artichokes, but I haven't eaten any... yet...
Tell me about your green and thrifty projects this week..