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.