Archive for July 7, 2008

Independence days challenge – 7th July 2008

I’ve changed my goals with regard to the Independence Days challenge, because I was making it too easy for myself with only two a week (and generally did more anyway). I’m aiming to do one thing from each category every week instead.

Planted: I didn’t plant them, but I have received into my care a lemon tree and a bay tree.

Harvested: First peas!!! They were yummy!! And rocket and lettuce. We also went to the PYO and got about 5kg of fruit! Some hunter-gatherer instinct kicked in, and since we could see ripe berries, we just had to pick them.

Preserved: I rescued the rhubarb and ginger jam from its rather solid state and turned it back into something resembling jam through the judicious addition of a bit of water and recooking it. Haven’t tried any yet, but it looks more jam-like. I also made 5 jars of raspberry jam and have 1kg of strawberries in sugar, ready to be made into jam when I can brave the rain and make it to the shops to get more sugar. Also drying some lavender. Nik resourcefully used the scum from the jam to make raspberry champage. I remain to be convinced.

Prepped: Not a lot, unless you count stocking up on muesli – Waitrose have yummy posh muesli for about £1.30 a pack and we now have 5 boxes of it on top of our fridge. It’s been a bad knitting week. Everything needed unpicking.

Cooked: Had Scientist Boyfriend’s family over for dinner, all in varying states of sunburn,* stress and distress thanks to (variously) an impending house move and two weeks sleeping in a tent. We fed them: a Jamie Oliver recipe for chicken with new potatoes and cherry tomatoes, this salad with rocket and peas from the garden and foccacia. I was terribly worried about the foccacia as it didn’t rise, but it sorted itself out in the oven. Also a white chocolate and raspberry cheesecake concoction, made by combining these two recipes. and

Managed reserves: Nothing in particular.

Worked on local food systems: Aside from the PYO, we’ve done rather badly on this. The butcher was closed so we had to get a chicken from Waitrose and I stupidly forgot the chocolate and we had to go to T*sco for that (which I came out of utterly depressed about the future of the human race, on which more in another post 😉 ). Also, the lady who ran the gardening course and who we get eggs from is moving abroad and the cookware shop run by the slightly intimidating American is closing. I wonder what we’ll get instead.

We’ve also bought a garden table so we can eat outdoors. I think we’ve cursed summer. If it rains every day between now and September, you are perfectly within your rights to blame us.

* I don’t know what category this comes under, but the looks on Scientist Boyfriend’s family’s faces when I produced a leaf from my aloe vera plant for L.’s sunburn were priceless.


July 7, 2008 at 10:18 am 2 comments

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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."