Honey!

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I never thought I would find a way to eat honey without throwing away excessive amounts of packaging, but there exists a way. Ed’s Bees in Glasgow re-uses the jars! You can bring them back from where you bought them (I buy mine from Locavore).

It’s amazing to think that the parks I walk through ans the gardens I walk by are the pollenating grounds for Ed’s bees, and that the honey is produced so locally.

 

Setback

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I am ill. My head feels like a balloon and I sound like an 80 year old chain smoker. After a meeting this morning, I decided to buy a juice-tox, because I haven’t been taking care of myself as well I should. I was in panic “I need to get home” mode and thought it wasn’t worth the guilt. I guzzled my juice and was left with this.

Once more, this post is exposing my constant battle with preparedness.

Past self’s decisions #2

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While “past self’s decisions” was about stocking up on food and trying to recognise that habit, this post is also about the danger of “2 for 1” deals.

I have worn Elizabeth Arden’s Green Tea Lotus perfume for about 8 years now. The last time I re-stocked – a couple of years ago – I found myself buying two bottles for the price of one. I didn’t know at the time that

a) I would eventually want to change perfumes (but it’s okay – I still like it)

b) I would be transitioning into a zero-waste lifestyle.

Again, I have to deal with the consequences of my past self’s actions. I have to find out whether the packaging is recyclable, and if so, where.

I also have to start thinking about future plans, once this bottle runs out: should I simply not wear perfume? Fabricate my own? Buy from local perfume makers who could re-fill my bottle (do these shops even exist??)?

And lo and behold, there go another seven hours of internet trawling.

 

Past self’s decisions

I have this insane habit of ferociously stocking up on food. It’s like I am terrified of running out of food at a critical moment, or of running out of money and being unable to eat. I don’t know where this comes from. My friends make fun of me and of my piles of food under my bed.

So this is why it is only now that I am finishing a few packets of food that I had bought about 6 months ago (seriously).

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Do you ever feel frustrated about your past self’s decisions? There are big things you can be angry about, like that partner you should have separated from earlier or that letter you really shouldn’t have sent… And then there are the small things, like a comment you made a few months ago that lacked empathy, or buying a £13 cheese when you really need a hairdryer so you don’t go out into the cold with wet hair…

And then there’s a slightly ridiculous habit of having vast amounts of food stashed in ever corner in case disaster strikes.

Needless to say, I will now buy ground almonds from the bulk bins!

Maybe I’ll just have glass jars full of food under my bed from now on… Old habits die hard…

Galette des rois – or when homesickness for another home produces trash

I don’t celebrate any religious festivities – however since a few years I make a galette des rois on the 6th of January (recipe below). Because it is the most scrumptious thing on this planet and I will take any excuse to make a cake, especially in grim and grey Glasgow.

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It’s a French puff pastry-frangipane delight, light enough to eat bucketloads of and tasty enough to make even the meanest kid smile. Normally, bakers add a porcelain figurine somewhere in the frangipane for a lucky eater to find (Peau d’Âne style). Typically, the youngest child scrambles under the table and dictates who gets which piece of galette, so that there can be no peeking. When someone finds the figurine during eating, they become “king” and don a golden crown.

This is the first year when I consciously took stock of how much trash this tradition produces in my household. As you can see in the picture above, the puff pastry came with its own baking sheet. It also came in a plastic wrapper and cardboard box.

This time of year has probably been the hardest so far on my quest to reduce my trash production – and not even because of presents, which we don’t really do in my family. Simply because of all the foodstuffs that I chose to bring back from France or Switzerland (heaps of chocolates) and that sustain me for the time I am away in my other home. A friend often comes back from Italy with 2 litres of olive oil. Another French friend brought lots of raclette cheese back and had a raclette party a few years ago. All of us who have left home to find another home use food as a reminder of what’s left behind, and what we carry with us everyday.

So how can I produce less trash, whilst still fulfilling this need of mine?

Galette des rois recipe (via)

  • 1 rectangular puff pastry
  • 100 g ground almonds
  • 75g caster sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 50g butter at room temperature
  • a few drops of almond extract (optional)
  • 1 egg yolk

Heat oven at 210 C.

Cut the puff pastry in half. Put one half aside, and lay the other one on an oven dish. Prick the latter with a fork.

Mix the almonds, sugar, egg and butter (and almond extract) to form a paste. Spread the paste evenly on the pastry. Cover with the other half, and seal the edges well (I see a fork).

Dilute the egg yolk in a bit of water and spread on the surface and edges of the galette. Using a knife, lightly trace decorations on the top of the galette. Prick the top a few times, to let the air escape.

Cook in the oven for 30 minutes (start to monitor from 25 minutes onwards, don’t hesitate to leave it in for 40 minutes if it needs it).