Archive for June 6th, 2012

Change the World Wednesday – 6th June

My, how fast the week rolls around.

I don’t have many students at the moment, so with few lessons, the week seems so short.

Last week’s video was certainly food for thought. Some of the ideas that were featured have been rolling around in my mind for a long time, particularly the community idea.

It has long been my thoughts that we need to reduce our social interactions back to community size as a matter of survival as this video showed. Although, I tend to be a little more severe in what I forecast the results if we don’t. Some say that I tend to be an alarmist, a conspiracy theorist, but I think I am being more realistic than those who would look at the world through rose coloured glasses.

Change the World Wednesday, what’s on the menu for today?

This week, join Mrs. Green’s Use It Up challenge by going through your cupboards, freezer, refrigerator, etc. and using what you find rather than buying anything new. The idea, here, is to use what you have on hand, hopefully before it’s gone “bad”, and eliminate waste. Of course … we want to hear all about your efforts.

Or …

If you’ve already tackled this task and there’s no food lurking in the dark corners of your kitchen, we’d like to know how you did it … and more importantly, we’d like to know about any strategies you have for keeping everything in order.

Okay, these ideas have appeared before, but always worth a revisit.

Most of you know that I am an impoverished ESL teacher, as demonstrated by my admission above that I don’t have many students at the moment. I don’t get a salary, I get paid for hours taught; my current three hours per week will not pay the rent, let alone enable me to store things in the cupboards.

Eu miojei (I noodled) Yes the joke has a past tense too

This week through necessity, I raided the kitchen cupboard  and found two packs of miojo (instant noodle soup) that got used. I always have a couple of packs for an emergency like famished kids. You parents know… “Dad, I’m hungry!” we have a joke in my house; Vai miojar! (Go noodle) It doesn’t exist, even in Portuguese; as I joke in English, I do so in Portuguese as well and have turned miojo into a verb – eu miojo, você mioja, nós miojamos, etc (I noodle, you noodle, we noodle, etc). The kids think I am loco (crazy), but even they use the conjugations. One time, knowing the kids were up to no good in the kitchen, my inquiry was answered, “Estamos miojando!” (We are noodling), yes, they were cooking noodles.

Yesterday I was preparing chicken breast. I knew that I had some old stock cubes on the shelf; they had been there a while and had gone all glucky and the paper had browned. Waste not, want not, I put one in a small mortar, added some olive oil to make a paste and smeared it over the meat before cooking.

There are plenty of small tricks that you can use to use up those ‘old’ things in the cupboards.

During the week I was walking along the road and someone had dumped the rails of a wooden bed by the canal, hoping that somebody else would eventually tip them over the edge. I had been looking for wood to re-border my little gardens, the original wood is rotting after three years. Waste not, want not, they are now waiting in the yard.


The machinations in my head perturb me sometimes. Last night, about beer o’clock, I was in the botequim (bar) and Raimundo had stacked four cartons ready for the rubbish. This was enough to set me off, “Now what could I use them for?”

My lifestyle is such that I don’t buy excess, can’t afford it. So there is little that remains unused to lie around in corners and cupboards.

But I am my father’s son. My father was a hoarder “That’ll come in useful one day.” I am much the same, I always look at something with the idea of what it could be used for.

One man’s rubbish, is another man’s treasure.

%d bloggers like this: