Thursday, April 29, 2010

Is it wrong to be in love with a pair of jeans?.....

In an earlier post where I shamelessly proselytised about the merits of secondhand clothes shopping (who, me??) , I confessed to being dubious about finding good secondhand jeans. Well, I stand corrected! I visited one of my favourite local opshops a few weeks ago, and was surprised to find they were having a 50% off sale. It was almost embarassing, everything was so ridiculously cheap. Anyway, along with a heap of other great stuff, I stumbled across the jeans of my dreams - for the princely sum of $4. They fit like a dream, are evidently hardly worn (if ever at all), and have the unusual distinguising feature of being embellished with little white paintings of birds and other doodlings. Sounds wierd, I know - and the BH reckons they just look paint splattered (thanks, hon) - but I'm in love. These jeans were made for me. A quick internet search just revealed they're actually from some fancy surfwear company which I'm way too uncool to have ever heard of, and wouldn't have come cheap to the original owner. Score, huh?

On a totally different note, heres the latest development in my gripping garlic saga. I couldn't order any snazzy heirloom varieties bulbs to grow online afterall due to some pesky quarantine issue. I was a bit bummed about this, but then figured it shouldn't make any difference if I just planted some garlic sold for eating in an organic food shop (ie minus potentially growth retarding sprays etc). So the bulbs have been sown, and even lovingly administered sheep and poo and blood and bone, as my sources instructed. Five have now far, so good.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

A garlic gathering expedition gone sour

One of the triumphs of my so far rather dramatic and varied motherhood experience is that The Booba loves garlic. I mean he LOVES garlic. The other day when we went out for some Indian food I found myself fighting him for my seriously potent garlic naan bread. This is convenient as its a staple ingredient around here. So we go through a fair bit of it. I didn't really used to think too much about where the garlic we bought was coming from until I got into this local eating lark and started reading labels - did you realise that most of the garlic in the local supermarket is imported from China? And - scarier - that all imported garlic is routinely sprayed with methyl bromide? This is a nasty little number that has the temerity not only to be toxic to the ozone layer but also to the human body - trust me, Google it if you feel like a bit a fright. This is definately not something that you want anywhere near you, let alone in your food.

So for these reasons I usually buy Australian grown garlic, even though its about a gazillion times more expensive than its cousins from far flung shores. The other day I was thrown into a bit of a panic when I found the household garlic holding receptacle empty. So I trundled The Booba in his chariot down to the local supermarket where I was a little taken aback to find I had the choice of Chinese or Spanish garlic and nothing Australian grown. I took the ill advised step of asking the vegetable shelf stockist man about it, only to be treated to a long winded rant which started off with some fairly reasonable commiseration but ended with some borderline racist and kind of bonkers comments about Chinese market gardeners that had me backing away and nodding with a nervous smile on my face. But he could offer me some useful insight into the Australian garlic situation - the reason why there is a paucity of it and why its so crazily expensive is that apparently its so labour intensive to grow that not many around here can be bothered. So I'm going to be bothered. I'm ordering my own garlic heads from the Diggers Club tonight with the intention of trying to grow my own in pots. I'll keep you posted.

The prodigal return of a very mediocre gardener

I have recently been subjected to the torture that is prolonged lack of internet access - ah, the trials of modern living, what hard lives we do live in this country! Anyway, I wrote this on the 6th of April...

My garden has been even more neglected lately than my blog – if that was possible. Seriously, if my garden – or blog - was a child, I would have lost custody loooong ago. In my defence, I've had other things on my mind. Not wanting to divulge too much personal information here – I'm an old fashioned girl at heart – lets just say that February and March were not good months. Hey, lets be frank - they were really, really shit. And when I'm going through a hard time, my creative juices just dry up. I guess its an energy conservation thing. Anyway, so realising I didn't have much time left to get my spring 'crop' in (ha ha) I've just turned my attention to my garden for the first time since January, and what a sorry sight it was. A chaos of dead tomato plants and lettuces seriously gone to seed, and, as always, a really vibrant and healthy crop of weeds (I've mastered the art of growing those!). I've cleared the summer garden graveyard and sown lots of seeds – dwarf snow pea (a hit last year), Warrigal greens, radish, carrots and a couple of exciting newies – BLACK Tuscan kale, PURPLE cauliflower. Yes, I got suckered in by heirlooms in exciting colours this season! I tell myself its to trick The Booba into consuming more vegetables, but really its for my own entertainment ( I want to see what purple cauliflower cheese will look like!). Being a self confessed crap gardener, I'll be easily pleased by the results because going on past experience my expectations are loooow. Fingers crossed.

And how is the pledge not to buy new things coming along? Well......something else I've really come to realise from coming through this difficult period, is that shopping is COMFORTING! Its weird, I can't quite figure out why that should be, but its definitely so. The Booba has had some new toys and some other bits and pieces that make life easier. Some glossy magazines have been purchased but then donated for the enjoyment of others, so I figure that way it doesn't count. I've indulged in some new knickers and pyjamas – but hey, I needed them, and who wants to wear preworn ones, so I forgive myself that. All in all I don't think I've done too badly. Still no new clothes, and I continue to do very well on the secondhand front there. We needed more coathangers and I managed to pick up a whole swag for pretty much nothing from my favourite opshop. However my all time favourite opshop find for the last couple of months would have to be a set of dessert dishes – which we needed (very bad for the waistline eating icecream out of noodle bowls!). The BH is a bit dubious but I think they're sweet in a retro shabby chic kind of a way. I'd love to post a pretty picture but our long suffering camera is on the blink - again.