Progress

Recently I treated myself to a solo evening meal at Brothl. It was fantastic. If you haven’t been, you must. This place takes unwanted food ‘scraps’ from top restaurants and transforms them into delicious, slow cooked, extremely nutrient dense broths. You choose either beef/chicken/seafood/veg and then can pick from a list of add ins. I had vegetable broth with ‘seasonal vegetables’ and ‘greens and weeds’. The flavour was incredible! And of course the house made bread and butter, a side dish with every broth. Grains freshly ground in house! Freshly churned butter! SPECTACULAR.

In a world obsessed with consumerism and MORE MORE MORE, Brothl is somewhat revolutionary in the simple idea that we should use what we’ve already got. Makes sense, doesn’t it? I wish it wasn’t revolutionary. I wish everyone had a compost bin and a vegetable garden. It feels so right, so natural, so organic.

Not only does Brothl’s philosophy sit well in my mind, it sits extremely well in my tummy. To quote their website;

40-50% of what is considered organic waste in Australia can be and should be consumed as nutrient rich food.

40-50%! It seems ludicrous. It’s so good for you! I once read that the annual food waste in the US alone is enough to satisfy the needs of the 1 billion malnourished people in the world (source). This hurts me. Why, in an abundant society, do people not only make choices which make little sense to their body, but also go on to throw away such a chunk of this food? Are they ignorant? Do they not understand, or do they just not care?

I know I’m not perfect. But I am proud of the fact that I attempt to live consciously. I’m not an activist. I’m just one person, but if I can reduce my negative impact, can’t we all?

I am thankful for my upbringing, for increasing my consciousness of what is or isn’t ‘waste’. I am thankful for my far less than wealthy financial state which ensures I am aware (at times painfully so!) of what it means to use what you’ve got.

When I dined at Brothl, there was a quote on the wall that inspired this whole post.

There is no time in modern agriculture for a farmer to write a poem or compose a song.

At first, I didn’t understand. Why would a farmer want to write a poem or compose a song? Then I realised. Or at least, I made my own interpretation of the quote. The farmers of the world are so driven by our intense consumerism that there is no time for anything else. Consumption is our priority now, and it doesn’t leave much time to stop and smell the roses.

It’s baffling. As a society, we have made so much progress. Why can’t we appreciate this? I feel that if we abuse our progress and our privileges, we will go backwards. But maybe that’s a good thing, if it means the farmer will have time for the important things.

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A wish list

I’m the type of person who hates giving a wish list – when it comes to occasions, I love being surprised with something thoughtful. That’s not to say I don’t have a wish list, though. And herein lies a problem – I love to be surprised, but with things I want. Is it so much to ask that my loved ones figure out what that is without me having to come right out and ask? I promise, I’m not as self centred as I sound. Which is half the reason that I want to share my wish list here, rather than straight out handing it to people. It’s materialistic, but a girl can dream, right?

  • So there’s these wedges by Elk. I lust after them every time I walk past the local Elk stockist, where they calling to me from the window display.

I would gratefully accept pretty much any pair of Elk shoes in fact, or just about any Elk product at all. Even those sandals marked down to $70 (from $135! Gotta spend money to save money!). I would also gratefully accept just about any item from Nancybird.

  • While I’m on the shoes theme, Wittner.
  • Next come the cookbooks. You could say I’m just a little obsessed. Top of the list is My New Roots, my inspiration from day one, the reason I got so into blogs in the first place! It’s on preorder now, but I’m so, very, happy, to wait.
  • A copy of Amy Chaplin’s ‘At Home in the Whole Food Kitchen’ would also go down a treat. The title alone just makes me want to immerse myself in the pages!
  • I’m really keen to get into some Ottolenghi – I feel like ‘Plenty’ and the very recent ‘Plenty More’ would be a wonderful start!
  • Ok, yes, that’s enough recipes to last me a loooong time, but I my list wouldn’t be complete without Green Kitchen Stories. I’ve had a flick though these in the flesh and they are really, really beautiful. One of each, thanks.

To be honest, that’s kind of it. A few pairs of shoes and a few books. Whilst I will always dream of blenders, a far more efficient laptop, or a nice new hair straightener, I don’t really need those things. Not like I need the Elk wedges, anyway.

Oh, and one last thing – for stocking fillers, there’s always Pana.

Focus on the good

My parents had a friend over for dinner tonight. I got home from work just in time for dessert (impeccable timing)(it was chocolate-orange avocado mousse prepared by yours truly and went down a treat and I’m sooo proud!).

This friend is going through some heavy stuff, but she said something so simple that it resonated really strongly with me. She said ‘we just need to focus on the good’. What a perfect way to live. We all have our shitty stuff, and we all have shitty stuff that we can’t change – be it business or personal, day-ruining or life-threatening. But what we can change is our focus.

I guess it’s just another grass is greener, rose coloured glasses, glass half full, look on the bright side kind of thing. But even if it is cliché, kitsch, all the rest of it – it’s essential. Loving life and finding the good is so central to everything. And that’s what I want to do with my life – find the good, and focus on it.

Here is some of the good I am currently focussing on.

I go to uni, and study something I love. I have found something I am ridiculously passionate about.
My parents have taught me to appreciate what I am given, and work for what I’m not.
It’s nearly summer.
I live in a crazy beautiful, amazingly diverse and (mostly!) accepting country.
I have seen so much of the world.
I have so much of the world left to see.
My body is capable, and strong.
My mind is capable and strong, too.

Also, a quote from tumblr:

“And kid, you’ve got to love yourself. you’ve got wake up at four in the morning, brew black coffee, and stare at the birds drowning in the darkness of the dawn. you’ve got to sit next to the man at the train station who’s reading your favourite book and start a conversation. you’ve got to come home after a bad day and burn your skin from a shower. then you’ve got to wash all your sheets until they smell of lemon detergent you bought for four dollars at the local grocery store. you’ve got to stop taking everything so goddam personally. you are not the moon kissing the black sky. you’ve got to compliment someones crooked brows at an art fair and tell them that their eyes remind you of green swimming pools in mid july. you’ve got to stop letting yourself get upset about things that won’t matter in two years. sleep in on saturday mornings and wake yourself up early on sunday. you’ve got to stop worrying about what you’re going to tell her when she finds out. you’ve got to stop over thinking why he stopped caring about you over six months ago. you’ve got to stop asking everyone for their opinions. fuck it. love yourself, kiddo. you’ve got to love yourself.”
I especially love the parts about sitting down next to someone and starting a conversation, and complimenting someone just because you can. And above all, loving yourself.
I want to live authentically.

A start

Today feels like a fresh start. I’ve moved back to my parents’ house for the summer holidays, in the lovely town where I grew up. I’m using unpacking as an opportunity to spring clean. My wardrobe is gaining some level of order, whilst my mind is overflowing with songs and plans and gratitude.

There’s so much to do, so much to look forward to. I feel so free. And so I’m blogging about it. That’s new. But it feels good.

Yesterday I went to the Op Shop and bought a vest, The Horse Whisperer, and More Taste of Life. I’m a sucker for a retro cookbook, especially when I find little notes or ticks next to some of the recipes.

This morning I went for a sunny early morning bike ride and made french toast for breakfast.

This afternoon, in celebration of having a very lovely, spacious, light-filled kitchen all to myself, I made Banana + Peanut Butter Oat Muffins using Luar + Wolffdene‘s recipe. And was so infatuated by the pre-cooking flavour that I almost didn’t put them in the oven. I’m glad I did though, because they are wonderful. I used vanilla almond milk and skipped the vanilla extract, and added salt since my PB was unsalted.

This evening I walked to the park barefoot with Angus, my dog, and we sat in the grass until we both got hungry for dinner.

I’m feeling energised and happy. That’s all I really wanted to say. Sometimes it’s the simple things.