Some small victories:
1. When we put our trash out Sunday night, I noticed that we had less trash and more recyclables than usual. Since I found the revised recycling guidelines for my town, I have definitely been collecting more stuff to recycle, especially paper of all kinds. It was encouraging to see, and I hope it wasn’t a fluke.
2. Today I used tomatoes from the garden we had last summer to make my gravy. That might not seem like a big deal, but it’s the first time anything from our garden was consumed by any of us.
We had a lot of fun with the garden in terms of design, digging, teaching the kids about plants, oohing and ahhing over the first little sprouts, marveling at what it produced, etc… but not so much with the eating part. The carrots were limp and small. The cucumbers did well and my husband might have ate one or two; we gave away most of them. The pumpkins didn’t turn out. The tomatoes grew like gangbusters, but nobody liked them raw, and they would pile up and go bad before I could get around to doing something with them. Ultimately I skinned, pureed and froze about 48 ounces’ worth.
So today, realizing I was out of canned tomatoes, I turned to the freezer. All this time I had been kind of skeeved out by the thought of using those tomatoes. And when I defrosted them, they smelled so… tomato-y. I don’t know if my tastebuds/nose have just been ruined by processed food, or if it was simply my general dislike of raw tomatoes, but I was almost gagging, and considered throwing them away and borrowing a can from my dad. Isn’t that crazy? I just don’t think of my yard as a wonderful natural setting; it seems less safe to me to grow stuff there than to get it from a factory. I can’t believe I just wrote that. Maybe it’s a New Jersey thing.
But — the gravy was excellent; it tasted about the same as usual. So maybe next summer I will get serious about using the tomatoes. We have a good-sized backyard plus a second, empty lot, so in theory we could grow quite a bit, if we could figure out the right things to grow!
3. Finally, I bought a Brita pitcher from ShopRite. (So, oh yeah, if you read my coupon post: that $163 included a $21 Brita!) I’m hoping that this will help us break our bottled water habit. We have filtered water from our fridge, but we are not good about changing the filter. Then, the other day, my husband rather off-handedly said that if I could see the water line that goes into the fridge, I wouldn’t drink that water. Awesome! Brita it is. Now I need metal water bottles for all of us, for when we are on the go.