Watercress Pesto

May 24, 2008 at 2:29 pm (Food)

In the most recent organic veg box, we got a bag of local watercress. The most enticing idea I could find was to make watercress pesto. The result was yummy garlicky goodness. Last night was saute veg with pan fried* polenta and watercress pesto over the top.

For lunch today, we made mini pitta pizzas with watercress pesto over the top.

Tonight… roast veg with, you guessed it, watercress pesto over the top.

Maybe I should go freeze some so we don’t OD

* as opposed to deep fried, for the smarty-pants out there 😉

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Sticky Situation x2

May 24, 2008 at 1:42 pm (Decluttering, DIY)

As we’ve taken up the carpet off the stairs, we found the same problem we experienced in our last house, a sticky glue was used to adhere the carpet underlay to the stairs. Okay, it makes sense from a safety point of view, but it is annoying to get off!

Husband has taken on the task of getting rid of the sticky stuff on the stairs (reports that a combo of sanding and scraping are working) and in the meantime I decided to clear out the bathroom cabinet. Unfortunately my cold wax gel had been on it’s side, and the lid wasn’t quite tight, which means it leaked out all over the bottom drawer. Sticky messes – what fun!

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Stuff Doesn’t Equal Happiness

May 19, 2008 at 7:37 pm (Decluttering, Moving to the US) (, )

Over the years, through countless moves around the US and the UK (and the big trans-Atlantic one nine years ago), I have come to realise that stuff does not equal happiness. During the first six weeks of my life in the UK, I survived with no furniture – just minimal clothing. We bought the kitchenware we needed, from a great little store called Kitchen Reject Shop. Oh, and we slept on an air mattress (ok, that sucked).

Living that way wasn’t comfortable, but it wasn’t horrible either. Fast forward seven years to when we first moved into this house, most of our furniture was in storage. We had a bed, a TV, our computers and a few other basics. No enormous stack of CDs and DVDs, no games console, and no books. Everything was in boxes. I look back and realize that this was a productive time in my life.

Since getting everything out of storage, it’s been all about finding a place for our stuff, and constantly seeing dust covering our stuff due to the building work that’s been happening on and off.

After unpacking all the books, we realised we were lacking bookshelves. For various ethical and ecological reasons, and because we are broke, we chose to get used bookcases off eBay. One is huge, a monster. Now that we are moving away, we have the added element of ridding ourselves of these bookcases. Do we leave them here for future tenants? Do we resell them on eBay?

I read somewhere that everything you own becomes a burden. You have to store it, clean it, maintain it, move it to a new home, insure it, and sometimes, dispose of it. Disposing …. a landfill is the easy option, but it is usually wrong for many reasons. There’s Freecycle, but let’s face it, that can be a pain in the butt filtering through 20+ responses and coordinating collection. Slightly easier is a charity shop, but they don’t take everything. If it’s worth anything, you can try to sell it, but that’s a huge time suck.

It’s just easier not to acquire it in the first place! 🙂

So, as we prepare to move to the US, I am really, really looking forward to clearing out the stuff we don’t need. Since the cost of shipping stuff to the US will be calculated by volume not weight, we have to be very selective about what we bring over. We’ll be sorting our possessions into five categories:

  1. take with us to the US
  2. sell
  3. give away
  4. read/watch then sell/give away
  5. store in the loft

I hope we don’t store very much. It’ll be mostly things like tools… actually I can’t think of anything else I can justify storing in our loft. I love my hand blender but it’s better to sell it then put in a box, leave in the loft and then sort through it again next time we’re clearing out the loft.

Actually all have to swot up on whether it’s worth bringing anything electrical to the US. I really love that hand blender!

I agree with this guy’s thoughts on clutter too.

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