Friday, 10 October 2014

Grass clippings for dinner, anyone?

Every day my kitchen looks more like it belongs to some kind of health nut. There is alfalfa sprouting in the cupboard with the mugs (it has to be in the dark and there's no room anywhere else) There is sour cream culturing on the windowsill, purple sauerkraut and fermented pear chutney in the fridge and as of this evening there is a bucket of shredded silverbeet on the bench. (Actually it's balancing on the tray of newspaper wrapped free range eggs)
I was at the markets today and the silverbeet looked so glossy and crinkly I just had to get some. The few bunches I picked through all seemed to have, er, insect poo but I wasn't deterred and settled on a less toilet-y looking bunch. Once I started washing it all I found the culprit: a reasonably sized and very alive snail! blech. 
The shredded leaves have been salted to start drawing the juices out and tomorrow I will massage them and pack them into a fermenting jar. At this stage it smells like cut grass. Not entirely appetising, I might need to add some cabbage to soften it or maybe it will mellow overnight.

Away from the kitchen I have been developing a slow burning affair with sites where people give away their excess stuff: freecycle and it's upmarket sister, Tushare. It's an interesting world where a bunch of old rice bags are more in demand than a sofa. 

I have saved about a dozen of these bags because they are solid and even have a zip. I knew they had to be useful for something so when I heard about Tushare I offered the bags. They languished for a while but last night a lady from my own suburb joined the site and thought they would be perfect for her scout troop. She messaged about picking them up early this morning and I said I would put them outside. I wasn't in any kind of hurry because things usually sit out there for days but after a coffee and a shower I decided to get on with it and when I opened the door the lady was standing on the road counting houses in confusion! She was delighted to take them, stains, stray rice grains and all! Life seems utterly surreal at times.

“One sometimes gets the impression that the mere words ‘Socialism’ and ‘Communism’ draw towards them with magnetic force every fruit-juice drinker, nudist, sandal-wearer, sex-maniac, Quaker, ‘Nature Cure’ quack, pacifist, and feminist in England.” 
― George OrwellThe Road to Wigan Pier


  1. As I write this, my daughter in law Manjiree is busy performing the Indian equivalent of spring cleaning preparatory to the coming Diwali season. When I say junk something she balks. When she wants to junk something I balk and my son and heir is having a ball observing the ping pong battle.

  2. Sounds to me like you are just trying to stay ahead of the game players.

  3. We are kindreds with kindred concoctions atop our counters and within our cupboards. My family LOVES, loves, loves my fermented ketchup (which I made from fresh tomatoes). Check out The Healthy Home Economist, Sarah Pope (find her on Bing), for the recipe. :D

    [Enjoying your blog as I sip on a coconut cafe au lait at a cafe in town. Life is good! Gary's here to pick me up~~bye for now!]

  4. Ramana,
    Is anything actually being junked?
    I get mired in indecision and keep a lot of things that could/should go :)

  5. Mark,
    I spend my life trying to figure out if I am so far in front I've lapped them or if I actually am trailing!

  6. Debbie,
    I keep meaning to do ketchup! but the recipes I've seen seem overly complicated.

    Coconut cafe au lait? I must join you!

  7. We're both far too busy to advertise our excess stuff and then wait for someone to come and collect it. We recycle everything the council collects, we take stuff to the local charity shops, but other than that we just junk things. Not a shining example of environmental rectitude I'm afraid.

  8. nick,
    it doesnt take long to advertise it, about as long as making a cup of tea and i dont wait for it to be collected, just tell them to pick it up off the porch.

    i dont like giving stuff to charity shops because i know they often become burdened by the expense of disposal when nobody buys it.

    i guess it would be physically easier to chuck it in the bin but i really enjoy knowing it can be appreciated. i gave away two kids books this week and the local cub scouts were apparently very excited to add to their library.


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