Archives for the month of: July, 2017

So it happened… people from a proper media company actually came to my 1970s end of terrace to take photos of my house! I think I am still slightly in shock, and not entirely sure that it did happen- and I didn’t dream it. To be fair I only have to turn around and look at my beautifully styled kitchen and ‘Lagom area’ to remind myself I haven’t dreamt the last two days- apparently things like this do happen in small lives like mine.

The children and I have had a lovely couple of days, the team that came were really friendly and made us feel very comfortable and relaxed. I am, and always have been, incredibly camera shy (with hindsight this wasn’t the most sensible thing to agree to do), I think I may have been through aversion therapy today, I will no longer hide from having my photo taken (well let’s see how long that lasts).

As always there were some awkward moments, extracting my son from his hiding place under the bed because he didn’t want his photo taken, or being told when they arrived that it would look good if I had a sewing project to do for the photos- possibly something involving old denim. (Those who know me will be unsurprised that I easily found three old pairs of jeans to cut up). I am now committed to finishing the denim project as I have promised it for my son’s new bedroom.

We had spent the day before tidying the house and depersonalising it all, making things look less unique and zany- the stylist then went round the house finding unusual and colourful things from everywhere, and enlisting the children to find something bright or some artwork.

The dining area became a sewing table for our sewing project.

This area didn’t get changed much, just some colour added.

Well there we are, a very surreal couple of days are over, my modelling career has begun (and ended, hopefully) today. Both children now have a good answer to the interview/icebreaker question “Tell me something interesting/ unique about yourself”. Up to now my answer was, ” I used to drive an ice-cream van”, now we can all say we have been photographed to go in an IKEA catalogue!

 

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So I tasted the sauerkraut, fully expecting to not like it and actually it is pretty good. The first day I was sneaking spoonfuls of the stuff- infact I am just going to eat a bit more now- purely in the interest of describing the taste to you…

It has a crunchy texture and tastes very sour and vinegary. It leaves a not, unpleasant vinegary taste in your mouth. I have no idea why I like it- I have never had vinegar as a taste I liked (although thinking about it now vinegar does remind me of cucumber slices for Christmas tea with cut off edges and vinegar drinking contests in the pub on Christmas morning). The drawback is that it smells horrible- like old socks someone on facebook suggested. I can only keep the jar open for about 30 seconds before someone complains.

I am already planning my next batch, I am adding beetroot to it, mainly to use up this beauty from my garden.

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This is the only edible thing that has grown from seed in my garden despite the huge amount  I planted this year. I have had some raspberries and gooseberries from last years plants but not many;  it has been a disappointing year. Even the brand new packets of pea and bean seeds have only produced two runner bean plants (with no beans yet)- oh well, try again next year.

And here is proof that I am eating the pot of pickled cabbage and haven’t just emptied it in the food waste and made all this up….

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Firstly I have learnt it is possible to spend over £5 on pick and mix sweets at IKEA, especially if you let a 12 year old go there unsupervised (in her defence she did have to choose for her brother as well but still…).

So £5.70 spent on pick and mix at 8 30 pm on Thursday evening- I did also have a prize of a £25 shop in the food section so my kitchen now has a few products that I have looked at but never tried before. There is some lovely elderflower cordial, some instant iced tea drinks, coffee, funny rice/grains, crackers and some cinnamon buns- no meatballs and no lingonberry. £25 does not go a very long way and I should probably have decided what I wanted to buy before I went as deciding at 8 30pm is not a great idea.

Lets start at the beginning of the story instead of confusedly at the end.

The live lagom project has a facebook group where people get together to share their stories of living lagom- and to share links to relevant newspaper articles about how to be more sustainable. They recently ran a competition where you weigh your food waste and check your food spend for a month and then send them the details, the top two people showing a reduction in spend/waste won vouchers for food shops in IKEA and one other person was picked at random- which was me! I won a shop to the value of £25. This took place this Thursday, with me trying to keep track in my head of what I was buying whilst someone wrote it down on a clipboard and my daughter casually put over 500g of pick and mix into 2 small bags.

We were at IKEA because it was also the third and final workshop, called ‘Intent to Ferment’. Whilst the final blog was in a month ago the project was still officially going on until, I suppose, Thursday. The livelagom idea has taken off in a big way with IKEA and the various stores around the country have been running workshops open to the general public, consequently there is a part of the store- (right at the top of the steps when you go in) that is laid out with tables ready for workshopping. It was a bit sad as before we have been escorted to the staff areas -somehow it felt like more of an ending.

Anyway, at this workshop we learnt how to make sauerkraut, which honestly is not something I have ever wondered how to make. It was a interesting, easy and surprisingly relaxing thing to do.  And if you are wondering how to do it I will tell you…

  1. Cut up some cabbage
  2. Grate some vegetables like carrot and courgette
  3. Add some ginger and garlic if you like (apparently not too much)
  4. Weigh it and add 2% of the weight in salt.
  5. Squish it all really hard to get all the juice out. (This was fun)
  6. Put it in a jar with the juice- make sure the juice covers the veg ( I think you can top it up with water if needs be). Put lid on the jar
  7. Leave it for about 5 days- you will have to ‘burp’ it everyday (open the jar and let the gas out) else it will explode.*
  8. Try it after 5 days and if you like the taste put it in the fridge. It should keep forever.

Making it was really enjoyable. The jars provided by IKEA were just the right size for 500g of vegetables and they look lovely.

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You can see some of my free food behind them.

*If you don’t want to smell of pickled cabbage burping it is best done with the pot in a sink, not on a worktop on a Friday lunchtime when you have to go back to school in 5 minutes.

I am however, not entirely sure what it is supposed to taste like, so how will I know if it is ready? I am excitedly waiting to taste it, everyone in the lagommy world seems to love it- apparently it is really good for you as well with lots of health benefits. I am open minded- but also incredibly nervous about tasting it.

After we had done the fermenting we went to the restaurant and had some food and a small chat. It has been interesting meeting the other people doing the project. I wish I had more presence or personality in these kinds of social things- oh well, survived this long without any.

So I hear you saying is this it, is this the end of our insight into your slightly sustainable lifestyle? Well actually not at all- there are so many things I would still like to improve on, one thing this project has taught me is that I shouldn’t try to focus on too many things at once. I feel I have got to grips with the things in my NYR- now to go further I think the next thing is to try and reduce the plastic we buy. My first step to this is to switch to washing powder rather than liquid, watch this space to see how that goes.

The other reason that this is not the end is………………………………………..we might be in the next Lagom catalogue- unbelievable I know. Absolutely unbelievable. They are coming to do two days of taking photos at my house. The thought fills me with fear. I have to send some photos so they can see the space they are working with- I haven’t done this yet as this was T’s bedroom on Friday. Can you tell me what colour carpet she has?

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The fear was obviously catching as this is her bedroom today.

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Yes, she does have a green carpet! She has worked very hard all weekend, cleared out some rubbish, boxed up some things and put almost everything she ever wears to be washed. This is the picture I will send to the IKEA people.

They are coming in a fortnight’s time- wish me luck!

Until then live lagom