Eco-Friendly Musings…..

Good Morning!!!!!!

Or afternoon/evening, depending on where in the world you are and at what stage in your day you are popping in to visit Raymond and me!  Isn’t that sunflower just soooooooo happy and bright?  When I go to my Mum’s flower shop, I try to photograph the flowers and every now and then one comes out just beautifully!  I find flowers hard to take decent pictures of, it’s like their essence is just too pure to really be captured in it’s fullness.  I love the way flowers are so delicate, they bloom and have a “life” of only a couple of days in which their colour is so magnificent and their petals just so soft and perfect….. There are flowers everywhere right now and I’m like a peeping Tom around my neighbourhood, checking out the gardens, even taking pictures of particularly beautiful blooms!

Is everyone sick of pumpkins after Halloween?  I’ve never seen so many beautifully carved pumpkins as I have on all the blogs this year!  I was astonished to hear how many of these pumpkins are then thrown away and never used for food, and have read some great posts by some people who are unafraid to share their viewpoint on such matters……. 

I get deeply upset by waste, especially when it comes to food.  For the last few years we (society) have been crying out about the recession, the lack of money and the food shortages, however each week, piles and piles of fruit and vegetables are rotting in every supermarket in the country while too many children are being raised on white bread, coke and processed food.  I’m a sensitive soul and find things like this deeply distressing, and have worked to create a life where I am not bombarded with fear based propoganda (no TV, no radio news…. no yahoo xtra news anymore!) and try to live an ethical and simple lifestyle where my impact on the planet and others is reduced.  Steps like being a strict vegetarian, recycling, op-shopping, eating fresh produce and not supporting companies which make processed food, walking into town instead of catching the bus…. these little things we do all adds up over time.  I’m not perfect, far from it, but I think a big part of living a more eco-friendly life is awareness of your impact, as once you see what impact you are having, can we really as individuals close our eyes to these realisations?

I’m a bit more quiet about my lifestyle now, in the past I have become quite unpopular because of my staunch environmentalism!  I worked in a cafe a few years ago as a barista and was shocked to discover that my bosses (a married couple) did not recycle the two litre milk bottles they used when making coffee….. I’m talking 7 or 8 huge black rubbish bags per WEEK went into a landfill….. I had to amend this and for almost a year would drive these bottles to the recycling plant out of town in my own time because I couldn’t, just couldn’t be responsible for that kind of waste…. so this did not make me a popular person!  I still feel a bit funny when I think about this, that little reminder that some people don’t care at all about the environment.

I’ve learned since, a pearl of wisdom, that I can’t force people to have the same care about things as me and must let them travel their journey at their own speed and just do what I can do in my own life to make a difference and set an example.

Wow…. how about that rant!  I’d better put some pictures in before you all fall asleep!!!!!

OK, so what I was getting to, was pumpkins… I touched on pumpkins then got side-tracked by milk bottles….. Pumpkins on blogs and ways to use up pumpkins!!!  I love pumpkins, they’re a staple food in my house because they’re so versatile!  I used to frequently roast big chunks for KB for her lunch until she noticed that her hands were turning an unusual shade of orange, so while I’m still putting it in lots of dishes, I’m holding back a bit now!

Sue at the Quince Tree has a great post on many different things to do with the humble pumpkin which you can find here! and when I saw her recipe for roasted pumpkin seeds I was in!  Seeds are the only bit of the pumpkin I don’t use as we eat the skin too, so last night when I cracked open a new pumpkin I had a go!  The instructions look simple…. wash and dry the pumpkin seeds……

Have you ever tried to wash pumpkin seeds?  It’s like trying to wash slime off slippery goldfish!  They’re popping out of my hands into the sink, onto the floor, one in Raymond’s bowl!  Finally after about four tries I get them relatively clean!

Next, add the oil and spices (check her reicpe for this!  I’m only showing the process of following her recipe here, not replicating it!)…. Sue seems to have the domestic goddess business sorted, so I use smoked paprika just like she did and a bit of garlic salt too.  Oh how I wished for her special oil at this point…..

Then bang these babies in the oven!  I put them in with a cake, as in the interests of simplicity I never use the oven to cook just one thing, if I’m heating it, it’s going to be nearly full with other stuff too.  About 10 minutes later Raymond was roused from his bed by strange popping noises… he found this popping quite disconcerting and kept on going into the kitchen to see what was happening. 

The seeds were popping, which is fine until I get them out of the oven and they’re still popping and hitting my bare arms like little hot bullets!!!!  I get them in and out and in and out, so as you can imagine my poor cake gives up and refuses to rise!  I’m laughing at this point because it’s all just such a disaster laughing is much better than getting frustrated…..

Finally I think they’re cooked….. THINK they are….

And do you know what?  They taste GREAT!  They’re crunchy and chewy and nutty and flavourey…. the best bit is, you HAVE to be restrained with them because they’re so chewy that your jaw gets tired after a couple of handfuls so you can’t eat them all at once!

So thanks Sue!  Such a great idea which I will do with each pumpkin from now on… I’m thinking cajun flavouring next time and I’m going to take them into work today to let my workmates have a taste and an “exclaim” over another way to use a pumpkin!

I’ve been frequenting the library more lately, as winter comes to an end the knitting and crochet books are back on the shelves, and I found this beautiful book the other day….

It’s a gorgeous book and when KB was having a read she noticed these….

So off she went into the spare room, and hunted out her balls of hemp which she bought ages ago from Trade Aid, which fits perfectly with the Knitting Green ideal.  She wondered if I could make her a loofa mitt and as I’m up for knitting pretty much anything in the round, I was all for it!

This book had a few great patterns,  but I just knitted a tube and did about 8 random yo, k2tog along the last two rows to make drawstring holes then crocheted it together at the bottom…..

And so her soap bag was created!  Hemp is a tough one to knit, it’s very hard and not so bendy, but great fun for a change!  KB loved it so much she wanted to hang it on the wall… then she wanted to use it that night but I wouldn’t let her until I had taken it’s photo!  So we don’t yet know how it is in terms of looferage, I’m wondering if it’s going to take off about 10 layers of skin it’s so scratchy!  I’ll let you know next time!

The other thing I am dying to make from this book is this….

Cool huh?  I’ll have to hit the op shops for some vintage sheets….. soon!  Although…. I’m thinking this might be something I have to crochet because my knitting skills may not be up to this, we’ll see!

OK then, this must be the longest post I have ever done, so I’ll leave you now to carry on with your day!  Blessings to all of you, and I hope you enjoyed your visit today!

Lots and lots of love and happy thoughts coming your way, from Alice and Raymond XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

P.S.  Raymond was quite pleased to hear that Higgins, Penny‘s furbaby was frightened by his Dracumond costume and his big fangs….. Don’t tell Higgins, and don’t tell Raymond I told you this, but apart from his two big fangs, he only has three other teeth, yes, 5 teeth in total…. XXX

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About Crochet with Raymond

I'm a crochet obsessed, reiki master, crystal healing, yoga junkie, counselling student, in a happy long term relationship... and Raymond's mum!
This entry was posted in Crystals, DPNs!, Eco-Friendly Musings, Fooooooooood!, Knitting!, Other Ramdom Stuff, Raymond Appreciation. Bookmark the permalink.

24 Responses to Eco-Friendly Musings…..

  1. Birgit says:

    Wow that was a long one… but so true we do waste loads of food.. and landfills yes overflowing and cashiers still look at me funny or all of us that hand the reuse bags to bag groceries in. Since I grew up in germany thats second nature to me. Always had my own bags with me and plastic bags if I buy more than I thought get reused …….
    Lovely sunflower for sure.They brighten up any day. Even cool and wet ones…
    You take care and enjoy those pumkin seeds.. My kids used to love them just baked with salt and sometimes grated parmesan on them…
    Hugs from South Texas.. Birgit

  2. Siobhan says:

    Hi Alice. I really enjoyed your post today! I’m glad you shared some of your thoughts about things which mean a lot to you. We are all different but some people are not very happy about that and make it difficult when opinions are expressed. This means sometimes people feel they can not put their views and ideas out there – especially if they are in a minority. I think it’s really important that people feel they can – especially on a blog. After all, it’s your blog! It’s our thoughts that make us unique and it’s a shame that often we feel we can’t share them. I happen to agree with everything you say here but even if I didn’t, I would still be interested to read your views – it’s good to get to know people and like what we know. I’m not good with everything myself – recycling is pretty poor around here, but I do try. I do care what I eat though ; I wonder if you can eat butternut squash seeds in the same way as pumpkin ones? I was too lazy to carry a pumpkin home! (I walk quite a way with my shopping). You soap bag looks the part definitely – it could easily be one of the pictures in that book. Raymond is looking particularly majestic today.

  3. Sue says:

    They popped?! Mine didn’t pop I promise. I’m wondering if different varieties of pumpkin seeds behave in different ways. Mine weren’t that slippery either, or chewy. Oh my goodness, I’m a bit alarmed now, at the thought of people following instructions and it all going wrong! But , you enjoyed them, so something went right :o)

    Sue xx

  4. Gabrielle says:

    I know what you mean about waste – I feel the same way! Recently, a Coco’s food market closed down at Keperra – Brisbanites will know where this is. For 2 weeks now, food – fruit, veges, bread, dairy has been left to sit and rot while the company underwent liquidation – God knows why they couldn’t have donated it! Instead it was just left to rot – it makes me so mad!

  5. Brilliant post Alice! What can I say except that I agree with you totally about the recycling and what are people afraid of??? That it may take one minute longer to deal with the waste products???

    Pumpkin seeds are also good as a worm preventative….not sure if Raymond will be able to eat them tho with no teeth?? Maybe crushed into his food!

    LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the hemp scrubber….beautiful colours too! I like making storage containers and I have made a few bags using recycled material from dresses for the base and then string for the rest of the bag….its fun to play around with the shapes!

    PS I have found another kitty! She is one year old and just getting desexed when she comes out of season and she is a Scottish Fold like Hamish! Tortieshell colour, very pretty….I will send you a photo when I can download it xx

  6. Marla says:

    Alice,

    We used to always roast Pumpkin seeds but no fancy stuff… just put them in a collander (it won’t hurt if a bit of pumpkin stays attached), wash them or spray them good if you have a sprayer, spread out on a cookie sheet, sprinkle with a bit of salt if you wish then about 350 degrees F (not sure what that is celcius) for about 10 min or so. It goes faster than popcorn!

  7. Jodie W says:

    There’s definitely a lot of wastage in this world – especially when it comes to food! I think if we all do as much as we can (even if that’s only a little bit) then we can make a massive difference.

    When we were living in our house we had a lovely little worm farm that loved all of our leftover food and scraps. Now that we’re living in an apartment we don’t have room for our little wormies (our friends are now worm-sitting) but we have the Bokashi system in our kitchen and it is wonderful!

    P.S The pumpkin seeds look delicious – I’m going to have to try that!

  8. Joyce says:

    Hullo Alice, oh what a lovely post. You know, sometimes I read your blog and I get little shivers. I so love reading sweet honest goodness from blogs, and I do totally agree with you re waste. It’s horrid and makes me feel sick. Recycling is another nasty and I am horrified that at the coffee shop you had such negative reaction to recycling milk bottles! Gosh that is scary. I do know that I get laughed at because of how I live and you know what, it doesn’t bother me anymore. (There is a Mum at the school who when she found out I op-shopped, she will go out of her way to avoid me when she sees me now. Our little ones are in the same class together at school) I am doing it for my children. I want them to be aware of the beautiful place they live in and show respect and care enough to ask questions and want to learn more. I still do alot that isn’t good, but am working towards being a better person.
    I love pumpkin seeds, and they just get my mouth watering. So delish.
    In regards to your little soap pocket, well darn, I so wish I had seen that book. Look what I made way back in January with hemp also. I love them, I have a bit left over to make some more. I think this may have been before we met. http://joyceliveshere.blogspot.com/2010/01/its-in-bag.html oh gosh I dont know if this post is going to shop up, not sure how to attach it. But anyways, I made hemp pockets for my soap scraps and I love them on my skin. Basically a long rectangle and folded over at the end to enclose the soap.
    Thank you again for your lovely sweet honest post. This is one of the reasons I love your blog so much. It’s such a wonderful feeling to know that we can post our hearts onto our blogs and learn so much from each other. It’s a lovely place to live with you in it Alice. Bless.

  9. Minniemack says:

    Looferage–love that word! I hear about people knitting with vintage sheets ( I had that book out of the library) but my vintage aka old sheets are all polyestery–maybe in NZ this is not the case.

    Don’t get me started on the environment, waste. etc. Many people here have multiple pumpkins, and then they trash them the day after Halloween. I don’t know about cooking them–I’m afraid they might be grown for decorative purposes, because in pumpkin pie season the stores will have what they call pie pumpkins. People here also decorate with corn stalks and bales of hay, and yep–that goes into the trash too. Sorry to rant :-)

  10. Louise says:

    Excellent post! Not a rant at all, but simply words of encouragement :-). Love the idea of a hemp scrubber, might have to give one of these a try. Do you think it could be crocheted? My knitting skills haven’t mastered knitting the round.
    Raymond looks lovely, regardless of his lack of teeth :-)
    Have a great day!

  11. wendy says:

    Hi Alice , Love that sunflower, they always make me feel happy with there gorgeous
    brightness. And what a neat picture of raymond at the end of your educational
    and entertaining blog. Way too much food is wasted and I try to use pumpkin
    seeds whenever I have pumpkin, partner hates pumpkin lol. And they are great with chilli and garlic, yum. We do recycle whenever we are away and are amazed at the varying places that do not at all. Such a small step with a huge impact in the end.
    Keep up this wonderful blog. always love coming here
    wendy xo

  12. Melissa says:

    We used to look forward to pumkin seeds every Halloween. Mom would hollow out the pumkin, we’d carve it,set it out for Halloween. While we were trick or treating, Mom would stay home to give out candy and “cook” the pumkin seeds. The next day, the pumkin would go in the oven and Mom would work her magic and make pumkin pies….yum….I love how you think about the environment. We are slowly getting there. Because of where we live, I have to drive to work. I’m driving a Prius now, so that’s one step in the right direction…

  13. Stephanie says:

    Hemp scrubber please!! I need one of those for my new bar of natural soap ( you can also win one on my blog giveaway) the two really do hand in hand… haha pun intended!!

    xo Steph

  14. Karen says:

    Hi hun!
    I LOVE your piccie of the sunflower…..over here it is very cold, blustery, grey and gloomy and your pic was just what a girl needed to brighten her day!
    I’m so with you on the eco ideas. I get so cross when I see people not caring for our planet but like you too, I’ve learnt that people are very lazy and do not wish to hear my little ramblings. It breaks my heart sometimes when I see the environment stamped on….

    Have a lovely day my lovely!
    Karen x

  15. sandiart says:

    Oh how I agree with you Alice, and what makes me feel so passionate about is the price of fresh produce, sometimes it is out of some peoples budget, BUT instead of shops putting the price down to a more affordable price they would rather chuck it out when it doesn’t sell. So many going without and starving or eating shit food because it is cheaper. I have some around me that think I am crazy spending the money I do on food, but I would rather go without in other areas than so without good fruit and vegies, if you haven’t got your health, then what have you got? (Mind you some people are too lazy, or not educated regarding buying and cooking fresh produce)
    However in saying that we do have people going around and getting all this food out of the bins at the back of supermarkets etc and feeding the homeless etc. I become very vocal about this too, and the fact that we all have the god given right to a roof over our heads, wholesome food in our bellies, medical and schooling. I think women would be so much more productive in parliment than the idiots that are there now. Also we have created a ‘throw away’ society, so all we can do is lead by example to get that energy/vibration out there for change and perhaps the ‘100 monkey’ syndrome will start to happen………so endeth my surmon!!
    Hemp, ah yes I have three balls of organic hemp waiting to be knitted/crocheted into scrubbers for the body and the dishes for my stall that I am going to have.
    I commend you Alice for speaking up, by doing so you realise you have a lot of like minded people around you.
    Hugs Sandi xx

  16. Dorien says:

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts about environment and waste with us. I really feel the same and I also have experienced the fact that this kind of thinking doesn’t make you a popular person. Somehow some people seem to think that eco-friendly means boring and uncomfortable, but nothing is less true.
    groetjes, Dorien

  17. Penelope says:

    Hey Alice
    As with all your other follower’s I am defnitely on your side regarding the environment and doing all the little things that we as individuals can. I am a firm believer that we can make a difference and that it all adds up in the end. You keep going girl … and don’t let anyone’s opinions drag you down!
    I hate waste too and it kills me living in such a throw away society, its mind boggling how some people wouldn’t be seen dead in a charity shop … their loss as far as I am concerned. I think it’s so important to teach our children about materialism and learning to value and respect their environment.
    I love roasting my pumpkin seeds, I normally just add a little sea salt and mixed crushed pepper, occassionally a little cumin too and they are delish on salads and even in sandwiches…..yummy x (when I lived in SA I used to dry them out in the sunshine)
    I also feel the need to utilise the oven heat as much as possible and am glad I’m not alone with this :0)
    Thank you for all your beautiful honesty, your blog is your journal really and if you can’t be open and honest in your journal then when can you ?
    Last but not least, that hemp scrub looks DIVINE what stunning colours and I think your “photo shoots” need to be published in a book of their own xox
    You inspire me Alice and thank you for all your kind and caring comments and happy colours that I need at the moment, Penelope xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

  18. I really enjoyed reading your post today. Great post!

  19. greedy nan says:

    Great post! I’m with you 100% on the recycling and less waste. So important – not just for us but for our future generations.

  20. Terrie says:

    I do agree with you on the we’re so quick to waste point. I’m far from perfect in the eco department but I do try and do my bit. I think it gives you a sense of well being knowing that your little steps all add up into doing something good for the environment. So I carry on doing my little steps. I’ve got to admitt I did chuck my pumpkins though! The kids had gone mad with markers all over them. Although we did keep the seeds – I thought we’d try planting them – call it an experiement in aid of free pumpkins next year!

  21. Oh, I can’t wait to hear how the soap bag ends up working. I’ve crocheted with nylon craft yarn to make scrubbies, but it comes in such little skeins (only 10 yds/9m), I have to be very careful about the size of what I’m using it for. Where do you get your hemp from, and are you able to get a good variety of colors?

  22. Planet Penny says:

    That was a really interesting and thought provoking post. If it changes the mind of just one ‘non-believer’ it will be a good thing. I just wish someone would get hold of some of these manufacturers and force them to rethink packaging; it would make a huge difference to what goes into landfill. Here in the UK every council has a different selection of things you can and can’t recycle, it’s a nightmare.
    Carry on the good work! Penny (and Higgins!) xxx

  23. 'me' says:

    thanks for the recepy. I normally buy them at the marocan grossery because they eat them all the time, but now i can make them for myself with the seeds of my own pumpkins!
    And I agree with you : food is not for fun and twrow away afterwards and it is important to take your own responability for the enviroment

  24. Steph says:

    Hi Alice, I’ve been a follower for ages and I just love your blog – so inspirational! I thought you may be interested in a yarn giveaway I am doing:

    http://anyshadeofgreen.blogspot.com/2010/11/giveaway.html

    Feel free to enter if you’re interested 8)

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