Friday, 9 January 2009


Australian Environmental Choices
A website for finding out about non-toxic paints, carpets, building timbers, clothing, paper and all household things.It is very comprehensive. Everyone has to buy things from time to time and it is good to know where to look for information before you make a big mistake and buy something packed with more chemicals than a packet of Monsanto seed.

My Health Insurance

I see everything that goes into my body as part of my health insurance plan. My mother is 86 and takes no medication and never has. I would rather spend money on the purest food I can find than on pills that could have been avoided. Growing most of our fruit and veg means I can afford to buy the best of whatever else I need, like dairy / feral meat / spices etc. Best means purest and most local, not most even-sized or most even-coloured or most exotic.

On my kitchen bench I have 3 boxes of apricots, picked Thursday from my mother's trees. Today at the market I did not buy strawberries or watermelon or mangoes or other fruit shipped in from northern Australia. This week we will eat apricots, peaches (from a neighbour), dried figs (from last year's crop), blueberries (from the freezer, picked last year) and a couple of bananas (my weekly indulgence, organic, from NSW).

I also only bought a few beans (because they are in season but mine are a bit slow) and some potatoes (which I don't bother growing and don't eat much), as far as vegetables go. In the garden we have tomatoes, cucumbers, lots of salad leaves and herbs, kale, Chinese cabbage, green capsicums (from last year's plants - Tony's Pimento), zuccinis of various shapes and colours....probably some other things.... lots more coming.

I bought some feral goat chops for a BBQ on the weekend as the weather is forecast to be nice. I will make some lentil patties and some vegetable skewers too..... oh I did buy a couple of eggplants too, for the skewers and because I can't wait any longer!

Things that have gone mad, apart from me, in 2008:

Bacon flavoured everything appears to have gone gangbusters, predominantly in the US. Resulting products included such delights as bacon brownies, bacon vodka and bacon and egg ice cream

Tonka beans
Popular among gourmet diners, the seed of the Dipteryx odorata apparently now pops up reguarly on higher end menus – despite being banned in the US because it contains coumarin, a compound that is lethal in large doses. FSANZ say the bean can be toxic when eaten raw but is fine in it's typical current use as an interesting alternative to vanilla.

But the trend for local and/or organic foods is still on the increase despite the economic downturn.


chaiselongue said...

I envy you the apricots, Kate - they're my favourite fruit! But our turn will come in our summer. Your barbecue sounds good too. Is feral goat like the goats we eat in Europe or is it a different species? Like you, I sometimes buy aubergine (egg plant) out of season because I can't wait! Good to hear that people are still buying organic food during the economic crisis - if only everyone would realise that the cheapest and tastiest vegetables are those you grow in your own garden!

Pattie Baker said...

I've never heard of those bacon products, Kate! But perhaps I'm just "out of touch" of what's happpening in those middle aisles in the supermarket (I hardly ever walk down them).

Kate said...

I don't know what type of goats they are but they sure are a pest in the Flinders Rangers and other rural areas. They are very lean and cook beautifully and every one eaten is one less that is destroying the fragile land they inhabit. It was introduced from Europe, like the rabbit and the fox, and just liked it too much here!
Pattie, I doubt you or I would know what lives in those aisles! I sometimes go and look at those things and wonder who are the lunatics who ever called that stuff "food"?

Maya said...

OK, Kate. Like Pattie I'd never heard of any of the bacon items you mentioned. Perhaps a bacon-flavored chip/crisp, but not brownies or ice cream (I'll leave the bacon vodka alone. There's a bar in Portland that serves chocolate martinis - yech). So of course bacon brownies were googled, and we came up with recipes, but I'd never come across them before. Same with bacon-and-egg ice cream (mostly European sites and a youtube video). Probably, like Pattie, I'm out of touch. If so, I sure hope I stay that way!

Rachel said...

Yum. Apricots. My SIL harvested what appears to be a ton of apricots from her MIL's backyard trees. She passed on at least 5kg of beautiful, sweet, non-mealy apricots and then followed it up with eighteen bottles of apricot jam she made over the last week (which is, unbelievably, only one third of her total production!)

I'm just waiting for tomorrow, when it's predicted to be 37, so I can dry some of them, and make fruit leather as a treat/project with my daughter. The rest will be feasted upon fresh.