Green and Thrifty

Let's have a green and thrifty Friday again shall we? It's been a while..

This week I:

..picked all the apricots from the tree. Apricot trees tend to have a heavy bearing year followed by a light bearing year. This year was a light bearing year, so I was determined not to waste a single precious golden fruit. Every day I have been climbing up the tree with my basket, testing each apricot for doneness, and tenderly harvesting the ones that were ready. I have been eating perfectly ripe apricots for breakfast all week, and stewing the rest, which are so sweet they don't need any sugar. Life is just perfectly wonderful sometimes:) Plus, climbing trees, what a fun way to relive childhood.

..pulled all the jars out of the sideboard to see if I had enough to make more jam. I think I do:) I have been collecting all the passata jars I have used this year so I now have exactly the amount of jars I need to make a year's worth of passata (that would be forty jars). This weekend I will be soaking the labels off, and next week I will be buying boxes of tomatoes for The Great Passata Party.

..have been watching all the seeds I planted last week popping up in my new vegie garden. Is there anything cuter than dear little baby seedlings? I don't think of myself as having a particularly wide range of talents, but this week I did realise that I have a very useful talent - after many years of planting seeds instead of garden-centre seedlings, not only have I saved enormous amounts of money, but I am also ace at recognising the difference between baby basil and baby weeds. So I have been weeding the baby weeds and not the baby basil, broccoli, capsicums, beans etc. Although you would have to be pretty silly not to recognise a baby bean when you saw it emerging. For a day of extreme entertainment, parking yourself in front of the vegie patch and watching the bean seedlings pop up, and growing upwards by the hour, well, it beats every reality TV show I have ever sat through, for sure.

..have not ventured outside my house except to walk the dog. The only thing we have bought this week is milk. We have had lots of friends visit which is lovely, and the girls have entertained themselves with friends, swimming in the pool, and in cleaning up her room Posy rediscovered loom bands. Remember that brief craze that swept through the primary schools this year? Well, I'm sure there are many, many looms and bands sitting unused in cupboards around the nation as that craze has passed now, but Posy and Rosy have spent days using up those horrid plastic bands, and thankfully, I think I have dissuaded them from buying yet more from ebay, as I am sure this is only a temporary resurgence of interest. When we cleaned up Posy's room, we also discovered I know not how many craft kits that are either half-completed or not even started, so I am hoping that I can keep them both occupied for the rest of the school holidays, Using What We Have.

..ate out of the fridge and pantry and garden. Lots of apricots! In fact, one evening we had stewed apricots and home made custard for dinner, as we had to use up egg yolks left over from pavlova. We have had a few get-your-own dinners this week, which everyone except Rosy enjoys.

'When are we going to have a proper dinner Mum?' she asked yesterday.

I suggested that any time she wanted to make a 'proper dinner' she was very welcome.

'But that's your job,' she objected.

Oh dear, poor Rosy. So misguided. I explained to her, quite gently under the circumstances I thought, that actually, my job isn't 'to make dinner', but is, in common with every other mammal, to bring up my offspring successfully to the point where they can leave the nest and lead independent lives.

'So technically, it IS my job to see that you have all the skills necessary to make a proper dinner,' I finished up, 'and oops, that job is already done. You already CAN make a proper dinner, even if you don't really feel like it. And neither do I feel like it. What are we going to do?'

We both made whatever we felt like eating from what was available.

Tell me about your thrifty green projects this week. And are your children equally as misguided as Rosy as to your role in their upbringing? What life skills are they learning this week?


Anonymous said…
Ha! My kids think my job is to clean up after them like a slave. They've been set straight on that one I can tell you. ;) Allegra is convinced that she can only do things which are fun so you can imagine what toy clean up time is like. :(
As for fruit and custard, we're emptying out last years preserved food ready for this years preserving so we've had custard and fruit a few times as mains this year too. It's still nutritious in my book - dairy and fruit - so it's on the menu a bit longer yet I think.
Tracy said…
When Miss Sunshine finished her final VCE exam I suggested she could cook dinner rather than me. I was on teaching rounds, so working full time, planning at night because no internet access for me at school. I didn't think the suggestion too unreasonable. I wasn't thinking every night. But maybe ever other.

She looked at me with an incredibly puzzled expression and wondered aloud why that should be on her to-do list. I suggested that when mothers don't have ANY down time and adult daughters have ALL the down time, the one with the down time should cook.

It was a begrudging agreement on her part.

This is why we don't allow her to identify herself as a grown-up yet. A grown-up would get it and get on with it. Adults don't necessarily act like grown-up's.
Anonymous said…
Sounds like an action packed, yummy summer.

I think apricots and custard is fine for dinner. All that so fresh fruit! I can smell the summer ripeness from here.

Can't wait to smell the passata! I love tommies.
Judy said…
Lucky you! I love apricots and the little tree I planted is still little more than knee high!

Sorry I haven't commented for a while, but I have been reading posts still. I love how you have got over looking at the big hole left by the Man, and are changing life to suit you. So strong and independent! It really sounds like you are doing the things that make you happy. And you are such a green and thrifty star too :)

Just watch the dog doesn't eat any of the loom bands, as they end up everywhere!
Anonymous said…
I can feel the summer vacation vibes!
CJ said…
Oh I love the idea of a feed yourself meal. I could definitely get on board with that. Loom bands lurking around here too, I daren't show them those cute animals though or they will request more of them. I'm envying you your apricots. I'd so love to grow them but I fear they don't like the climate here quite so much. Plus I don't really have space. CJ xx
Oh the dreaded evil loom bands. How I wish I had been a stronger parent and resisted them before they spread themselves across my house with their unenvironmentally friendly ways...
Anonymous said…
Excellent on both the apricots and the climbing of the tree. Our house in town has an apricot tree that is covered in huge apricots so this must be it's "GO" year. Hopefully someone remembers to harvest them before the blackbirds harvest them all themselves. I repurposed pots to plant out fresh macadamia nut seeds that I was sent by a friend. They have to be 3 months or less "old" or they aren't happy to germinate any more. Here's hoping that we can grow some macadamia nut trees on Serendipity Farm. We used the charcoal from burning off debris to add to our new garden beds in the hope that it is sort of like biochar and thus awesome for the soil. I sat on the couch and read books. I think that qualifies as "saving energy" ;). Great idea about the passata bottles. If the crop of tomatoes that are starting to appear are anything to go by you might find an anonymous box of Serendipity Farm tomatoes and a big bunch of basil on your front doorstep in a month or so. Fingers crossed the season is good :)
Jo said…
Gah! I blame Miss Maudy. Last year she introduced me to The Outlander series. On Friday the library finally coughed up the latest installment, and I have spent the last two days reading all 814 pages. I am a little cross-eyed this morning.

Jessie, those little ones really do need you to be a bit of a slave sometimes, but as all of mine are over the age of 10.. And here's a fun toy-tidying game - sit on the couch with a cup of tea shouting 'Put away 4/6/9 pink/green/rectangular things.' My children actually fell for this, and would come running back out eagerly waiting for the next instruction..
Tracy, some people never do grow up, but I'm sure your daughter will step up to the plate:)
Lucinda, passata party happening soon. I am a little apprehensive!
Judy, I am forging ahead, some days better than others:)
Dar, it is shaping up to be a wonderful summer!
CJ, definitely go for it with the feed-yourself meal. Each child here is capable of cooking eggs many ways, making cheese toasties or a salad. Amazingly it's not that hard!
Sara, I am firmly resisting having any new ones entering the house!
Fran, good luck with the macadamias. Is it warm enough here for them? Your thrifty gardening week sounds magnificent! I too read a book on the couch 'to save energy'. And I would be honoured to be the recipient of a box of serendipitous goodness:)
GretchenJoanna said…
The ripe apricots alone would take me back to childhood - so sweet!! go with my grandma to the farm and buy boxes of truly ready-to-eat apricots in all their lusciousness, and then to eat with abandon. Ah.... I've never had the satisfaction of picking my own sweet apricots, though. I have said that summertime's essence is captured in a ripe peach, but I think an apricot would do.

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