Archive for March 13th, 2013

Change the World Wednesday – 13th Mar

boxHarking back to last week, where we had to find an alternative use for anything before we finally decided to trash it.

While the idea is impractical now because I am a recycled bachelor, it was different when I had a house full of kids; four to be exact. They were often joined by friends around the neighbourhood.

No playdates here. In Brazil the kids roll up to the gate, “Can X come out to play?” Or you might be feeding the kids breakfast and simply see a strange face next in the line for a cheese toastie; so he/she got a cheese toastie and ran off to scoff their prize on the veranda with our kids.

Trash toys littered our yard

Trash toys littered our yard

On the veranda we had a large cardboard box. This box was the recipient for anything that ‘might be useful’. Things like polystyrene meat trays (washed), old pens, bottle tops, corks, toilet roll centres, skewers, matchboxes, other small containers, broken toys, lost Lego blocks, etc. In fact anything went into that box and not in the rubbish.

A wet day, or simply a boring one, and our backyard was littered with toys made with imagination and stuff from the junk box.

But now, of course, the omnipresence of kids is no more, so it becomes impractical.

I still save the plastic squirt bottles of washing up detergent, wash them out and when I have a few, I fill them with water and give them to the kids in the praça on a hot day. They have a ball. Sometimes, I do the same with the 2lt bottles of soda, punch a hole in the cap, and presto! They’re so much cheaper than these squirt guns, and just as much fun.

Now sadly, I hover momentarily over the trash can with a useful box in my hand, and reflect on how it could have been used; what miraculous idea could transform it into 10 minutes of fun, then throw it away because those days are gone.

Click for the full post

On with this week’s CTWW.

This week develop a strategy which will ensure that you and your family enjoy local produce next winter. Need some suggestions? Plan a garden with preserving in mind. Consider freezing, drying, canning, etc. and start gathering the items/tools you’ll need to accomplish it (don’t forget to check thrift stores, Freecycle, etc. for things like canning jars, dehydrators, and other items you might need). Visit your farmer’s market and learn about the items which they’ll have available and when they will arrive for purchase. If you are a member of a CSA, talk to the farmer about your goals and see how he/she can help. This week is all about planning with the goal of having local produce on your plate next winter.

Well, I don’t do strategies. Strategies are for normal people. I am not normal! It’s boring! Besides, I am too impulsive.

Pickled beetroot

Pickled beetroot

I have a gardenette, it doesn’t produce a lot, but I use it. I do preserve the cayenne peppers in olive oil, you dribble that on your meat and it’ll send racing for the ice-water.

While I don’t grow things like onions or beetroot because my garden has no depth for root things. I do buy them when they are cheap. I pickle both, and often have assorted jars in my fridge; some I even give away to neighbourhood friends when I have surplus.

Sometimes I simply take a jar of pickled onions to the botequim and share along with the beer.

Freecycling, I talked about last week. The saved drinking glasses from requeijão went to my ex’s yesterday. I finally got to deliver the 2nd-hand PC for the kids, and I got a ‘new’ TV. My ex had another, and gave me the old one, an LG 29″, yay for freecycling.

So while I don’t do strategies and farmer’s markets do not abound in Brazil, I do do a bit that qualifies for this week’s CTWW.

As my fridge doesn’t currently have pickled onions or beetroot, this post has given me the incentive to put some up.


%d bloggers like this: