Mrs Green gloats over her glut

Filed in Blog by on October 20, 2008 11 Comments
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Chutney glut - for zero food wasteJust humour me while I gloat over my glut. You see at the end of last week, as if I hadn’t been amazing enough already, Mr Green waltzed into the kitchen (well, it was more of a saunter, with a slight sway under the weight) with a box of cooking apples and a box of tomatoes gathered from the garden.

He proudly put down his goodies with a flourish, but I was having none of it. I didn’t see *free food* or ‘*wonderful bounty provided by Mother Nature*. No, all I saw was yet another job to do. Call it tiredness and hunger combined with a few hormones, and you’ll get a picture of the mood I was in.
The following day, Little Miss Green came in with yet another box of apples. <sigh>. And she had a friend round to visit. Her closest friend whom she hadn’t seen for a long time. So after a couple of hours of serious play, the house was a tip. There was food splashed across the table, crumbs on the floor and all manner of erm, creative mess everywhere.

As I was about to throw in the towel on the entire lot and book myself into a retreat somewhere, I thought back to a conversation Mr Green and I were having the other night. We were talking about the state of the world, the credit crunch, our zero waste website and all manner of other lightweight topics, as we are wont to do, when he came out with a profound statement that went along the lines of ‘The trouble with our culture now is that we’re too busy to care.’

Wow. You know how something really has a light bulb moment for you? Well that was it for me.

That sentence has been hanging over me ever since and whenever I would rather do something other than pull up weeds, tidy up the house, cook a meal or prepare 6lbs of tomatoes, those words of wisdom tug at my heart strings and my conscience like no other.

So this weekend I decided to care.

By the end of Sunday I had prepared two small jars of beetroot relish and 7 large jars of red tomato and apple chutney to add to my marrow chutney from the other week. In addition I made Sunday lunch and knocked up some stewed apple and apple crumbles (complete with custard no less). I felt like a true Ma Larkin and I have to say, it felt good to care.

What have you felt too busy to do recently that would show you care?

About the Author ()

I am a long time supporter of the Green and Sustainable lifestyle. After being caught in the Boscastle floods in 2004, our family begun a journey to respect and promote the importance of Earth's fragile ecosystem, that focussed on reducing waste. Inspired by the beauty and resourcefulness of this wonderful planet, I have published numerous magazine articles on green issues and the author of four books.

Comments (11)

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  1. Wow Mrs G – that is absolutely fantastic. You’re an absolute star. Mr G has come up with a real profound statement, which is very reflective of our current ways. I used to spend my time teaching children and adults to make their own jewellery as well as making little pieces for friends and family. Frankly, I’ve become far too busy to be able to do that any more. However, once I’ve broken the back of my current project, I hope to settle back into some old routines. Hope you enjoy the chutney. 😀 x

  2. Sally says:

    This post made me smile. We have been lucky enough in the last week to receive 4lbs raspberries 4lb blackberries, a big bag of apples, a bulb of garlic which i bought home in my hand bag:), some fresh leaf tea as a my friend was not keen and late on saturday when i returned home in the dark the creme d la creme 2 braces of partridge hanging over the back door handle eeeek, i love the idea of fresh produce and these had been shot that afternoon but how the dickens should i get in the house! Thankfully hubby and our 6 year old dealt with preping them yesterday, followed by making fresh pasta and swearing alot (hubby not the 6 year old) I need to finish the jam today, and am continuing to be inspired by the zero food waste theme. I do however know how you feel at times Mrs G and think my hubby by the end of yesterday would agree!

  3. Kris says:

    That’s absolutely brilliant, and well done for acting on your lightbulb moment.

    I quite often have good intentions as I go to sleep, then the next day I slump and decide it’s too much effort. To be honest the computer is a huge factor in this – I’ve just spent about 90 minutes researching digital photo frames and have now almost lost the will to live – let alone sort, tidy, create and clean! The television isn’t as bad – I can watch some then get up and get on with things, but the computer honestly seems to suck the life essence out – perhaps it’s because it’s so easy to lose time and kid yourself that you’re there doing useful things…

    I’m pleased to report that I did have moments of usefulness yesterday though – we ate up some meat from the freezer which went towards a very nice roast dinner (which funnily enough I find quite relaxing to cook – must be the elongated pace!) and I seized upon a charity bag with wide specifications and have de-bric-a-brac and vhs-ed with gusto 😉

  4. maisie says:

    Well done you!!

    You’ll be pleased you took the time to use up the produce whilst it was fresh in the coming months when you don’t have to “buy” relish and chutney as you have it in your “store”.

    I have been given a couple of courgettes and some tomatoes this weekend, which along with the pepper and some onion from the veg box, I will be making some more Ratatouille style sauce for the freezer, which I then use in any pasta sauce and in curries; lots of lovely veggies and the boys don’t know they are there.

  5. Di Hickman says:

    Absolutely a light bulb moment! I had mine 2 days before the zero food waste challenge. I’d bought carrots cheap at 19c lb (thats 9p to you guys), and got 3 bags. I had the plan to use some that week and freeze the rest. Needless to say I didn’t get around to it (kep putting it off). The carrots went bad. I ended up saving about 2 portions worth from the 3 bags 🙁 That was my lightbulb moment. Yeah it was only 3lbs of carrots but others are starving and here I am wasting good food!

  6. Naomi says:

    This canning lark is new to me. I feel I was dragging my feet on even getting started. Everyone has a grandmother that used to can but no one knows how to do it anymore! And why is that? Too easy to drive our oversized cars and go buy stuff at the huge super markets, no thought to times when we might need or want something put by. I am totally terrified to start, but I’ve got all the supplies as of today and am ready to start thinking about my first canning efforts! I love the idea of not throwing away spoiled veggies anymore.

  7. Sally says:

    I will be intrigued to hear how the canning goes Naomi, i didnt even know you can home can.

  8. “Too busy to care”

    I hear you. It’s so true, people are far too busy working too hard, never seeing their families and then it’s way too easy to rely on the big out of town one stop shop for everything. You drive door to door, get it all in one go – It’s very easy and convenient.

    Personally, I think there is a better way.

  9. Mrs Green says:

    Thanks everyone! I keep going to look at my jars of chutney LOL!
    I love how that statement touched some of you as well. It’s not in my head as I go about my day and I ask myself in the morning ‘what can I do to show I care today?’ It’s been amazing.

    Mrs A – I didn’t know you used to make jewellery. That sounds lovely and it would be great to get back into it. Zero waste presents for your friends and perhaps a little sideline for you 😉

    Sally, what a busy week for you – PARTRIDGE! Wow; I hope hubby and your son enjoyed preparing them. What a wonderful ‘real life’ education for your boy 🙂 There must be some serious jars of jam in the Sally household by now….

    Kris; I hear you totally on the computer thing. That robs me of my time too, so this week (as you’ll probably notice from lateness of comments) I’ve been choosing to spend less time on here. I’ve taken a lot of blogs out of my RSS feed, removed myself from mailings and am doing shorter, focused bursts on this machine. The decluttering sounds good; I LOVE doing it when the energy and motivation is on my side.

    Maisie, you are right; I’m feeling good about it already. Today I plan to make more fruit crumbles and do a bit of baking with Little Miss Green. Ratatouille sounds good and a great way to use up courgettes. I usually struggle to know what to do with all the courgettes when they come at once.

    Di, sorry to hear about the carrots. These ‘deals’ in the supermarkets do not always turn out for the best. I tend to only stick to store cupboard items for buying in bulk as I know I tend to waste fresh stuff otherwise.

    Naomi, when you talk about canning, do you mean tin cans or is it what we call bottling – using glass jars? Heat sealing tins sounds terrifying, but really interesting and what a self sufficient skill to have! Do keep us updated with your progress and have fun!

    Sarah, you have hit 21st century living on the head. This is why I love Tracey Smith’s Downshifting week so much. It encourages us to stop and think about our lifestyle and to try and find ways to incorporate more meaningful habits.

  10. This is the core of why I work from home, self employed, home educate, grow some of my own veg, keep 3 hens etc. It’s just a slower pace and suits us really well. When I was employed I was always ill, always tired and always irritable.

    I’m more relaxed now, healthier and we’re all happier.

  11. Mrs Green says:

    Interesting about always being tired and ill when employed Sarah. I’m so pleased you have found a way of life that suits you and your family 🙂

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