Treadle machines and Jerusalem artichoke soup

November 11, 2007 at 7:07 pm Leave a comment

Wow, I thought I was eating the seasons last year, living off roasted carrots and parsnips for six months, but it’s amazing how much more variety there is, even at this time of the year, than I was aware of!

We’ve started getting a veg box, which is local, or as local as is feasible when you live in the suburban sprawl that is the south east! (It’s also organic, but I’m more fussed about the local.) £10 a week for an enormous box of veg. And, honestly, the changes you make to your diet when you have to! I’ve been saying for ages that we need to eat more veg-based meals and less meat, and do more creative things in winter than roasted carrots and parsnips. Somehow, it’s difficult to get out of old habits, even with the best of intentions. I never did buy any Jerusalem artichokes, and I never did get to grips with kale. I didn’t like the idea of veg boxes and spent a lot of time trying vainly to find a local supplier with a shop (we did find one, but he closes in the winter!), because I like being able to poke my potatoes and fondle my onions before I decide to buy them. However, now we’ve got one, I’ve been given a kick up the bottom and have finally done all the things I knew I should do and never got round to. Chard minestrone, yummy veggie stir fry, and just now a soupy-stewy-thingy made with half a cabbage and leftovers from yesterday’s supper (the citrus liquid from the casserole – b*ggers ate all the duck! – and some carrots). Tomorrow – Jerusalem artichoke soup!

In other news, my sewing machine works!! We finally got wireless to function properly, and I can now use the computer all over the house, instead of only on top of the sewing machine by the phone socket, so I finally got round to putting the belt on and when you pedal it, the little wheel on top goes round and moves the little needle up and down!!! Wheeeee!!!!

I did have a little trouble keeping up the momentum, though, and intend to stick to making lines on paper till I get the hang of it. I was put in mind of these guidelines, from treadleon.net

1. Place sewing machine on floor… it is best if back of machine is to the wall and front towards open space.
2. Place chair in front of machine.
3. Sit in chair and place feet on treadle (right one slightly ahead of left one)
4. Start hand wheel by turning with hand
5. Wiggle feet
6. Observe what happens… if it doesn’t look right, wiggle feet differently.
7. Curse, rethread needle where thread broke, start hand wheel in opposite direction and try again
8. Try it with one foot
9. Get a kid to work the pedal while you sew :o)

Lastly, rather than cursing the fact that none of my friends are interested in being green and that I’m therefore conducting most of my social life through the internet, I’ve decided to embrace the fact instead! Please find, on the links bit down the side, for your delectation, lots of blogs which I’ve been reading for a while which are variously interesting, amusing, thought-provoking and often all three!

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Entry filed under: blogs, food, local food, seasons, sewing machine, veg box.

’22 Hyde Parks!’ Christmas cakes

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The Heritage Crafts Network

Rob Hopkins, Transition Handbook

“Environmentalists have often been guilty of presenting people with a mental image of the world’s least desirable holiday destination – some seedy bed and breakfast near Torquay, with nylon sheets, cold tea and soggy toast – and expecting them to get excited about the prospect of NOT going there. The logic and the psychology are all wrong.”

Barbara Kingsolver, Animal, Vegetable, Miracle

"Food is that rare moral arena in which the ethical choice is generally the one more likely to make you groan with pleasure."

Carlo Petrini

"A gastronome who is not also an environmentalist is an idiot. An environmentalist who is not also a gastronome is, well, sad."

Sharon Astyk

"I am, of course, firmly opposed to consumerism and corporatism in all its forms, and I believe that we are deeply confused about material needs and wants. Now let me explain how books and yarn are totally different than the material things that other people want ;-)…."

Raj Patel, at Slow Food Nation

"Biofuels, which is the preposterous policy that we should grow food not to eat it but to set it on fire."

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