Posts Tagged ‘Kassod tree’

Change the World Wednesday – 8th Oct

First of all welcome back Small, so nice to see your avatar popping up all over my blog. Pleased to read about your mom, hope all goes well.

Here’s an update on the kassod tree in the praça, it’s now in full flower.

KJassod tree in full flower

Kassod tree in full flower

Earlier this week I was in town, and I passed by the small stall where I bought my sage plant. They had it, tomilho (thyme), they also had alecrim (rosemary), but it’s been a tight month this month, I only got the thyme. The plants are R$3 each (about $1.20). Now the thyme is in the same can as the sage.

Parsley, sage & thyme

Parsley, sage & thyme

You can see one lot of parsley in the background, these I was lucky enough to find seeds for and planted about a year ago. I use the parsley almost daily in the kitchen.

I hate wasting food. Yesterday’s lunch I used three staleish hamburger buns, pressed down the middle to make a hollow, toasted them off in the oven, then made the hollow deeper. I filled the buns with chopped green tomatoes, and and egg mixture, topped them off with grated cheese and a sprinkle of sesame seeds; popped them back in the oven for 10 minutes.

In the past here I have complained about not being able to buy bulk goods here. I have some good news. I have found a shop that sells cooking ingredients in bulk. The downside is they use plastic bags. As I am a new customer, I haven’t broached the subject of resusing my own bags; but I will.

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Moving right along…

CTWW – Need vs Want

This week, before spending any money, consider whether a purchase is a “need”, a very important “want” which supports a need, or simply a “want” (you might want to start a list). Consider each item carefully based on it’s contribution to your survival. Next, take a look at the want list and avoid spending money on those items. The idea with this challenge is to evaluate our spending habits (raising our awareness on wants versus needs) and reduce spending on unnecessary stuff.

I want all sorts of things, but I rarely get them.

Most of you will know that this year I have struggled a bit, and most of the time I have been strapped for cash, so the need vs want issue has become the norm for me. Actually it always has been, it’s just more poignant at the moment. I live frugally, I always have done, and I generally take the view that I don’t buy things that I don’t need. But then I am a little more Bohemian than most; I am not ashamed to make do when I have to. I don’t need to ‘keep up with the Joneses’; that’s bullshit.

I want a wardrobe (closet), I don’t have one. Not having one won’t kill me. I want a computer desk, I am using upturned drawers to support the side of an old wardrobe. Not having one won’t kill me. I want a TV stand, My current arrangement is parts of this and that with four fruit boxes. Not having one won’t kill me.

Oh, yes, I have wants, but they are not needs.

Small mentioned TV advertising, here we have new cars, big screen TVs and the latest smartphones being thrust down our throats all the time. On me the advertisers are wasting their money. I don’t want a car, I wouldn’t have a big screen or HDTV if you gave it to me, and the idea of a smartphone sends chills up my spine. I have never rushed out and bought something advertised on TV. For me the only advertising on TV that I heed is when & which supermarket has my coffee or milk on special. I watched a supermarket ad last night, the only thing they advertised that I needed was milk, and the brand was crap; there was nothing else that I would contemplate buying – I neither need nor want it nor use it.

The only thing that I want rather than need and buy is my booze. I collect booze, wine, liqueurs, spirits and some beer. Not on a big scale, my collection is modest. I only buy when I have a bit of extra money.

For me that is the little frilly bits in my life.

I am considering a purchase this week. I badly need new bed sheets. Two of the ones I have have started to fray badly, and one will give up the ghost the next time I use it, the other is not far behind. The other day when I was in town I looked at two shops to get an idea of prices, I have another two to check. Then I will make my decision. I don’t just rush out and buy the first thing I see.

The old bed sheets, one will become table napkins for BBQ use and kitchen cloths and one will become curtains for my bedroom.

That’s my offering, at 2:20am it’s time to go beck to bed.

Change the World Wednesday – 1st Oct

A problem tree

Well, the tree problem is still around.

Thanks to a regular reader, who sought the help of her knowledgable father, it’s a Kassod tree. Not an acacia after all; although they are similar, the acacia is more spindly.

Kassods are from Asia, they are used in Thai and Burmese cuisine, and have a use in medicine, although overuse can cause liver failure.

Sad news. My attempt to grow a sprout of my beefsteak plant failed; I changed the water in the jar and two days later it withered. So did the celery base that had sprouted. I will have to try again.

My sushi was more successful. I had a trial run at home, then the next day, the real McCoy.

My sushi platter for lunch at the botequim. Looked more glamorous than I thought.

Now I have top find a regular source of the short grained rice.

I’ve been for my constitutional around the park today, and the kassod tree is in full flower; dark green studded with bright yellow. I came to get the camera for an update photo, but discovered the battery was flat.

Once again, Small is still on her brief hiatus, so we’ll continue. No link to click to today.

Small returns next week, if all goes as planned.

If this is your first visit to my blog, then I suggest you browse through the the weekly CTWW posts that I have written. Simply type CTWW in the grassy area of the top banner.

Those of you more familiar with my accepting each challenge that Small puts up, will know that I am striving little by little to become greener; not always with success, there have been some failures.

But even before CTWW, I was somewhat green.

It wasn’t intentional, it was the way I was brought up. Reusing stuff, not wasting stuff (particularly food), but even when making something I was taught to make the most of all material; that way, if I had extra, the extra piece was bigger and more use at a later date.

My mum was a great housekeeper, a fact she denied often. She always made jams, preserves and ketchup, every year. We never bought this stuff until later years when she had a small business and less time. She baked, she baked a lot, she cooked all our meals. We had TV dinners once, because they had become the tihing, advertised on the telly. Afterwards she declared that we would never have another load of crap (one of the few times I heard my mother use a ‘naughty’ word).

My father was also diligent. We always had a thriving vege garden. His carpentry skills rubbed off on me somewhat, as did his mechanical training.

So I was surrounded by ordinary examples that most people have discarded.

The last time I shot competion in Peru, 2001

The last time I shot competion in Peru, 2001

Now, I make my own pickled onions and preserves, I cook at home, I love cooking, I am a chef. I hate dishes. I make things out of wood, because it’s cheaper than buying. I used to do all the mechanical work on my cars, even to reconditioning the motor. In my sport which was fullbore shooting, I reloaded hundreds of thousands of rounds (bullets) thereby saving the manufacture of new ones. Like my father, I always strived to have things growing.

Of course, I gave up shooting many years ago, similarly I haven’t had a car in twenty years. Besdies today with cars, you need a university degree just to open the hood. It’s all high tech, and computerisation, I would be lost.

So I am a product of the old school. They call today progress, I’m afraid I don’t.

I distrust anything that is packaged or pre-cooked in the supermarket. I have learned that corporations lie through their teeth to sell their products that are being made with ever cheaper ingredients that are health hazards simply to increase their profits.

Sadly, there are some many people in the world who swallow their bullshit hook, line and sinker. People today believe the bullshit assuming that companies don’t/can’t/won’t lie.

Look at the obesity epidemic. They blame the sugar, they blame the salt, they blame the cholesterol, they blame the butter… that list goes on ad infinitum. But they never blame their products, HFCS are to blame. HFCS appears in everything you buy in the supermarket. HFCS is one of the biggest threats to your body.

No, this is NOT progress.

I will not change my ways, I will remain a velho caduco (grumpy old man).

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