This one I call 'Decorating With Weeds'. The ivy and the rosemary are both plotting to overtake the driveway. When I stand on the front steps I can feel them looking at me. In a considering kind of way... so I rip them up by the roots and decorate the house with them. No plant plots at me and gets away with it.
In the green and thrifty category this week, wait for it, I .... sewed on a button. I know, I work so hard at being an eco warrior. BUT, sewing on this button, a job that I have been putting off for weeks now, increased Rosy's stock of school shirts from two to three, which means no more emergency late night washes and tumble dries when she runs out of school uniform. A win for make do and mend, and also for the button jar, which nearly always comes through. Whenever I have to throw out an unsalvageable piece of clothing, I always cut off the buttons. And then generally Posy uses them for 'craft'. But sometimes there is a suitable one left over.
On the cooking front, I have been experimenting with sugar-free baking. Today, at Posy's request, I made blueberry scones, using the last of the frozen PYO blueberries from last summer. Scones traditionally contain no sugar, but then you eat them with jam and cream. In ours, the blueberries contained enough of a hint of sweetness, so we ate them hot with butter. Posy, her friend, her friend's sister, her friend's mum, Rosy, The Girl and myself all declared them a winner. Unfortunately we have now run out of blueberries until January, but a vote was taken to try date scones next week.
On advice from lovely commenters Judy and Miss Maudy from the last post, I made some granola without sugar. I used this recipe of The Girl's, which has always been successful and highly sweet. I left out the golden syrup and brown sugar, and increased the coconut oil to 3Tbs, and guess what? It is fantastic. It doesn't clump together without the sugar, and instead of a sweet hit, it is buttery/salty/nutty/datey (that would be from the dates I suppose). You know, without that knockout blast of sweet that is in so many daily foods, I think I am beginning to actually TASTE a lot of subtle notes in foods that I didn't really notice before..
My green and thrifty triumph in the kitchen this week has been to ban all processed cereals from the breakfast cupboard. The children ate the last of the rice bubbles and cornflakes and then I declared I wasn't buying any more. Firstly because they are highly processed, and not nutritious, second because they are so tasteless the children always add honey to them anyway, third, because they are ridiculously expensive for what is essentially a nutritional filler. Now the cereal containers are all filled with porridge oats, rice and lentils. I also moved the jars of ingredients for granola into the breakfast cupboard so it looks like there is actually something to eat in there. Incidentally Posy wept and raged for two days at this further instance of her mother's inhumanity and general evilness, but I ignored her.
Posy's new favourite breakfast, when she actually consents to eat something, is an egg pancake - an egg whisked up with cream, poured into a frying pan that is sizzling with a knob of butter, and left to set for a minute, then flipped. It is essentially scrambled eggs that haven't been scrambled. In fact, that is how it came to be a 'thing' in our house. Mummy set out to scramble an egg and got slightly distracted. 'Oops, sorry darling, your scrambled eggs... aren't. Oooh, look, Mummy made you a lovely egg pancake.'
In other news, the sun has been shining all week, and I have dried all the washing outside, including three sets of sheets and all the towels. Freezing sunshine. Takes two days on the line to dry, and comes in smelling of cold AND sunshine. Not sure how that is possible, and quite likely I am imagining it, but it makes me happy not to have a houseful of draped laundry. And saved three loads of tumble drying, because I still haven't worked out how to dry sheets inside when it is raining.
I made arrangements to car pool hockey practice with another family. So I will only have to freeze half to death at practice once a fortnight now. Unfortunately there is still some child-engendered expectation that I be present at all the games. Sigh.
Oh, and I know you'll love this one. Today, for the first time ever, I walked to the gym. Yes, outrageous I know. Took me six minutes. I cringe every time I drive to the gym. It is so wrong on every level. In my defence, my gym buddy and I usually arrive at the gym at six in the morning, when it is dark, and have to be home post-haste afterwards to get the children out of bed for school. However, gym hour has now been officially moved to the middle of the day, and so now I can add 14 minutes a day of brisk walking to all that weightlifting (yes, I know that maths doesn't add up, well spotted, but walking home it is all up hill. And I am a bit tired..)
Then, oh the shame, this is my could-do-better confession. While I was on a roll with timing things, I timed my shower. Twenty minutes of lovely, lovely hot water. I realise this is BAD. VERY BAD. Not only will I deplete the world of its limited hot water resources, but I will get very wrinkly. Or wrinklier, as Posy would no doubt point out. Being as I never venture into actual sunshine, I have to conclude that all current wrinkles stem from my hot water habit. But hot water is so lovely, and cures most ills of the mind, body and soul. And there are no children arguing near me in the shower. In fact, the only drawback to showers that I can think of, apart from the skin damage of course, is that you can't read under one. But you can declaim poetry loudly. Should you want to. Still, all very bad, and must do better. So next week I ought to be able to report an improvement. Maybe 19 minutes? Updates to follow.
Over to you, my lovelies. Tell me about the highs and lows of your thrifty green week.