tiistai 18. syyskuuta 2012

Saving energy

Resolution; at least one lapfull of wood into the house each day and also into the wood burning stove. We have an excellent stove that stores heat and would help greatly in cutting the electricity bill. If we remember to use it. Now it is getting a bit colder day by day, so adding wood is definitely going to cut down the costs. We have such luck that we can get fire wood in exchange of a bit of sweat.

Also another resolution; to dig up the cord for our car. When the temperature hits +5C and lower, the use of pre-warming (in the lack of a better word) the engine cuts down the petrol usage and also keeps the engine in better condition.

Let's see if I keep these better after I have said these out loud.

The photo; migrating swans

keskiviikko 12. syyskuuta 2012

Flu - darn it!

Soon I will need candles since it is autumn time here in Finland. Today was really warm, but greyish. I think it is time to start sprouting again. Right now it is a wonderful time of harvesting and everything is really good and fresh, but pretty soon the real seasonal stuff will be things like potatoes, cabbage and different root vegetables. Tomatoes, cucumber and lettuce will all be produced in the green houses with lots of energy.

Sprouting I generally make ours with just a glass jar and a thin cloth.

Right now I have a major flu. I have been fighting it with home made berry juice and lots of warm rooibus tea. Annoying. I have been pottering about the house for two days but obviously it is not fun since all I can do is sleep and read a bit. If I was feeling well, I would totally enjoy the possibility to hang about with my woollen socks on.

lauantai 8. syyskuuta 2012


This photo is about looking from our backyard. DH took it. This little forest is heavy with wild blueberries this year. Everyone in Finland has a right to pick wild berries and mushrooms from the forests and every year we (all) feel bad because so much is left in the woods.

I have picked probably 3 desilitres worth of those this year, I am useless when it comes to picking berries. DH has been picking wild chanterelles and drying them. I picked nettles and dried those. I use them in cooking and baking. Drying wild veggies and mushrooms makes perfect sense to me; they will fit in small spaces and are easy to use.

So many things speak for utilizing the forest. Free exercise, free food, fresh air. If only I could get my lazy bones out. I am happy to say that both my mother and mother in law are way better with this, I hope I will one day follow their example.

tiistai 4. syyskuuta 2012

Food that feeds your soul

My dear husband took our other daughter to bird watching and fruit foraging whilst the other was at her circus club. They had looked up beforehand where in Helsinki there are fruit trees available for anyone. They found plums, apples and pears. Impressive, I think. They only took enough for everyone in our family to eat one or two so others will get their fruit as well, which I consider responsible. We also have our own apple trees but so far the only harvest has been this year - two apples. But I can see more ripening on the trees!

So, now we have a mission. We gather the cores and keep the seeds for next year to plant. Hopefully we will finally end up with tiny trees we can then take to different areas. Tending a garden in city - even a small one has grown more and more popular recently. My hubby feels that when the energy crisis will be on, the crofter spirit will raise. Simply because food can not be brought from far then.

Cooking with happy thoughts

I started cooking by asking the boys what they would like to eat from the following; carrots, cabbage, turnip, beet roots, potatoes, onion, broccoli. "What would you like? we are having falafel and which veggies or roots would you like me to cook?" We had plenty of choice because the organic goodies had arrived through our joint purchase with friends.

Boys answered: "Pasta." without hesitation. I explained it was not a choice. "So, which veggies did you say, mom, we were not listening?" Obviously, I knew they were just messing with me but still listed the ingredients again. And the answer was "Pasta.". I gave up, cooked som rice, broccoli and carrots. I had misread the falafel recipe and had put in way too much water, so had to mix some "peacrush" with it. It is a Finnish ingredient that is made by milling the dried peas. Lettuce for the salad was home grown and tomatoes from the organic farmer as well.

To follow, I made pancake in the oven. Instead of milk I used whey left over and frozen from cheese making this summer. I mixed some sliced apples into the mixture. Whey is supposed to be a good source for protein as are the chickpeas and peas I used for the falafel. My other son does not eat meat nor fish so I try to make sure he gets enough protein. Too bad no one actually likes most of my soy experiments.

Cost for the wallet and the Earth

When the meal was ready, I calculated the cost. I was really happy to note that all had cost me just about 12 € and we are a family of six. This included rice and falafel mix from the shop plus ice cream. The falafel was marked down and the rice bought in bulk but still, I consider it a good value meal with about half of stuff being organic. This makes me double happy - saving money plus eating climate friendly and organic. It was vegetarian with the expection of just milk and some organic eggs. Rice is a minus, but I defend myself by saying that I am not allowed to eat barley (a really good substitute, Finnish grown) and I will save a lot of cooking time today when I can make a stir fry from rice and veggies.

Of course there will be days when I shall consider oven ready French Fries a proper veggie meal - especially if we have ketchup to go with it. But still, gradually these good for the soul and for the planet -meals will hopefully grow to be the majority of our eating.