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