Change the World Wednesday – 13th Jun

Last weeks challenge was great, my contribution was minimal, for reasons given in the post.

A common theme I found that ran through some participating posts was veges and fruit in the fridge. Not all veges and fruit should be in the fridge, that’s why they waste.

But first, an idea.

If you find you have surplus veges or that some veges are becoming tired (I loved REWinn’s ‘deflated cucumber‘, how apt) or seem beyond redemption without the aid of the compost heap; make a verdurette. Now there is no recipe for this. A verdurette is merely a blended mixture of aromatic greens with rock salt. Basically it is a vege stock that can be used whenever you need stock, but because it’s salty, you don’t need added salt to the dishes. This also keeps well because the salt is a preservative. You can visit Soup Maker Recipes for more info. Another great write up on verdurette can be found on Kitchen Garden Recipes.

Fruit & Veges

General rule, keep fruit out of the fridge. If you cut fruit, example use a half a lemon, put the unused half in the fridge. Apples and apricots can be refrigerated, but don’t refrigerate avocados, bananas, peaches, nectarines, pears, plums and tomatoes.

Most veges are kept out of the fridge, leafy veges in the fridge (out of plastic) onions, potatoes, pumpkin – out, carrots – in. Once again, cut veges – in.

Check these links Fresh Food Central for some more ideas, and Vegetarian Times for info on ‘gas releasers‘, you’ll see why this is important to consider.

Phew! All that on just one cup of coffee…

Almost a post in its own right.

Oh, the smell of freshly brewed coffee pervading the house, that in a very short time will be responsible for precious moments of transient bliss!

This week’s Change the World Wednesday challenge.

It will be, by necessity brief, I am snivelly and miserable and running on coffee and Coristina-D;

It’s another repeat challenge, but revisiting old themes keeps them to the fore.

This week refuse to use plastic produce bags. Instead, opt for reusable versions such as cotton mesh which are available at many stores, small canvas totes which you may have around … or no bag at all (not all produce needs to be bagged).

Or …If you routinely avoid plastic bags, please commit to a no-plastic week … yep, no plastic … nothing which is plastic, which comes in plastic packaging and, of course, no plastic bags.

Public Enemy No. 1

Plastic Bags

Many of us have little option. For example I shop in a supermarket for convenience. I shop, and get a frete (like a taxi, but not a taxi) home. I pay R$10  ($5) for the privilege. To go to the sacolão (fruit & vege shop) I have to walk there and back, but remember you can’t carry much when one hand is controlling a walking stick. So I am encumbered, and the supermarket, one stop, does me nicely.

But it comes with a price. Plastic bags for everything. Bananas, plastic bag; potatoes, plastic bag; onions, plastic bag; lemons, plastic bag; ad nauseum. I can’t avoid it, shop/produce security is cited. I do, however, get my goods and their plastic bags packed in old cartons rather than use checkout out bags to compound the problem.

I don’t usually have my reusable shopping bag with me, because I stop of at the supermarket on route from work to avoid an extra bus fare. One hand for the walking stick and the other free to grab the handrails in the bus, because once the driver has your money he becomes a closet Formula One driver; and the chances of ending up on the floor are high. So it is impractical to be otherwise loaded, even with a shoulder bag to control as well.

But I do take my egg carton to the local shop for eggs; one bag saved. When I buy one item, I refuse the plastic bag and carry it home in my hand; another bag saved. Actually, one shop has stopped offering them to me; they think I’m crazy, but I have explained my reasons.

Some good news though. São Paulo, a city of 20 million, has just banned plastic bags in ALL retail outlets effective next year and Rio de Janeiro (12 million) is going to follow suit.

Now for a pet peeve…

*Jumps on his tangent and rides off*

You will probably have noticed that when I use the word ‘fruit‘ in this post, I have used the singular. Why? You may well ask. Because the word ‘fruit‘ does NOT HAVE A PLURAL; it is a singular collective noun. If you want a plural, you should use a quantity, pieces of fruit, pounds of fruit. etc.

Yes, I am an English teacher; yes, I am a grammarian; yes, I love my language and love to see it used correctly. BTW, in the main only Americans use ‘fruits’. In English, the plural is used, but only when your are referring colloquially or derogatorily to a group of homosexual males collectively.

Food for thought.

6 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by smallftprints on June 19, 2012 at 2:24 pm

    Thanks so much for the link to verdurette … I’m going to give that a try. The recipe said that it could be stored up to 3 years. wow!

    That is great news that São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro are going to ban plastic bags. Now if we could just get the markets to stop shrink-wrapping fresh veggies. 🙂



    • >SF, yes, I thought of you when I wrote that bit. It is a good keeper. I can understand them needing to shrink-wrap a tray of shredded lettuce, but why the necessity of shrink wrapping a whole cabbage, or a cucumber?

      The info I wrote about ‘in the fridge & out of the fridge’ was mostly from memory having been a chef. That list was by no means comprehensive.




  2. You posed a link to my recipe for verdurette but you tell people there is no recipe !!! This is a preserve and it is important how much salt is used – ratio of 1 part salt to 6 parts veg – and that the vegetables are in prime condition otherwise you risk making a jar of something that will not keep and worse give you food poisoning. I would prefer you use a photo of the verdurette you made rather than take a photo from my blog without permission. Thanks



    • >Laura, when I said there is no recipe, I was referring to the veges used, not the proportion of salt, the veges used are really up to your imagination. I am sorry that you have a problem with the use of your photo, I will remove it immediately and the link to your blog. I have been posting like this for eight years and this is the first time someone has objected.

      Thank you for your visit.




  3. I am not objecting and was not requesting you remove the link – it is a shame you removed the link to the recipe – I was just a heads up in future that it is standard to ask permission to use a photo even one linking to the author. What I was objecting to was the misinformation. You seemed to be suggesting to use up old veg to make verdurette when, as for any preserve it is best to make it with the freshest possible materials.



    • >Laura, it may well be that age is catching up on me. This week I also had a seemingly innocent remark meant as tongue-in-cheek taken the wrong way, as a result I guess read more into your comment than was intended. I may have forgotten to comment that I have used your image, I forget now; I usually do and never before has it been an issue. I removed your image because you suggested it, ‘I would prefer you use a photo of the verdurette you made…’ I have a camera, but being an impoverished teacher, it is cheap, Chinese and held together by a rubberband, it does not take good photos. You will notice that my blog is not copyrighted, I allow any of my images to be used with credit.

      As to the misinformation, you say that only freshest possible may be used, I disagree, as long as the vege concerned is not growing its own fur or close to doing so it may be used, even if some wilting as occurred. As a chef, I have used up many vegetables in a similar manner for pickling, chutneys and preserves with no adverse results. I agree, if the vege is close to fermentation, then obviously it should not be used. BTW, I have seen chefs use stuff that I wouldn’t have considered; in much the same way as I have used stuff that my own mother wouldn’t have. With a further note on the recipe, as a chef, I do not use recipes, proportions yes and I forget that many readers needs teaspoons and tablespoons. This has been alluded to numerous times on my cooking blog.

      I will reinstate the link to your recipe, because your write up is good, I liked it.




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