Green and Thrifty
Back to green and thrifty again, an approach to life that is becoming more mainstream as prices of everything go up everywhere. This week the neighbours went on holiday, and I am bringing in their mail and taking care of the canary. Just before they left they brought me the contents of their vegie bin:
Notice I have been gifted a lettuce which probably cost more than their plane tickets:) And there's more:
This is so lovely as it covers a lot of my vegie needs this week. I have sweet potatoes, potatoes and carrots on hand and many greens in the garden, so I decided I was all set, but then I found some very cheap pumpkin at the shops, so I bought that to add to my winter vegie soup this week. So far I have made a salad with the lettuce, the capsicum, mushrooms and a tomato, and eaten one of the oranges for a snack. It was so sweet. Oranges are at their peak right now in winter time. I have more citrus for snacking on as I have discovered that one of my lemon trees is a lemonade, and it produces small sweet lemony fruit that you eat like an orange. Now there's a win. This was a tiny sad stick of a tree that I rescued from a thicket of weeds when I moved into this house six years ago, and now it is thriving in a half a wine barrel on my front path and producing delicious fruit (it took three years to discover that they weren't lemons, mind you).
Meanwhile, my potted Meyer lemon has ripened its first fruit, which makes me very happy. Meyer lemons are so juicy.
For once I actually planted out the winter garden, though could have done it a month earlier and I would have had much bigger greens now. But I am taking it as a win. Small spinach is better than no spinach, am I right?
I also have kale, rocket and parsley, as well as some baby lettuces. Plenty of greens to make up a salad, even if there isn't a lot of lettuce available. Remember you can eat the leaves of your broad bean plants.
And the leaves of your pea plants..
And also remember to take a close look at that carpet of weeds in your pea patch, as it is probably edible too.
This is chickweed, stellaria media. Look it up and see if you can find it in your garden. It is very common, and incredibly nutritious. Snip the leaves off the stems and nom it down.
In non-garden thrifty news I have finished all four patches on my polka dot shirt and can now wear it again. Next project is a patch for a hole in my pyjama pants. This is why it is tricky to get through the entire mending basket - I keep needing to patch up new holes. I think I am going to have to step up my game and mend multiple items per week. Eek!
It is deep winter here, so I have winterised the beds (the beds we sleep in, not the garden beds) by adding layers, both under the bottom sheet and on top as well. Double quilt weather! I have covered the couch with blankets for extra warmth, and it is now 'dry the clothes on airers in the lounge room' month, as the rain is somewhat persistent. It does make the lounge room more difficult to walk through, but I also argue that it makes it look cosy and lived in, and also the cat thinks it is his very own blanket fort.
Today I walked to the shops for groceries instead of driving (no excuse, it is only five blocks) and tomorrow when I am out in the car for other reasons I will stock up on a bunch of half price specials I couldn't fit in my shopping bag today. I imagine that like most everyone else all over the world we are all shopping the half price deals right now.
And lastly this week I have been trialling steel cut oats for my porridge instead of rolled oats. I read they are even better for our health, as they are the whole grain, slightly chopped. So I gave it a go. I have discovered they are more filling. I need half a cup of dry rolled oats for breakfast, but only a third of a cup of steel cut oats. They take more liquid - the oats to liquid ratio is 1:3 for steel cut versus 1:2 for rolled oats. They take longer to cook, which is not a big issue for me as I cook them on the wood stove, and they take longer to soak. I soak them a minimum of two hours, and could well soak them overnight, if I remembered, which I never do. Verdict? I like them! Chewy. I do like some chewy in my porridge, which is why I always slather it with chopped nuts and seeds. It is a yes from me, and I think I'll keep going with them for now.