Another short and sweet one for you... We're loving the community tips so do keep them coming!
What better way to save money than eat the same vegetable twice? And no... not just eat onions more than once in your life... we literally mean eat the same onion twice!
Like many of us, the lockdown boredom got to Alex and Jo and a few too many hours were spent on youtube… They learnt a few new tricks though, including how to regrow veggies on the windowsill to keep eating again and again. In their experience leeks and spring onions work best. The regrown leek and spring onions went into their homemade green tomato chutney... check back for the recipe!
Here's the video that got them growing...
Alex and Jo experimented with this quite a bit during lockdown. They found the best way for leeks and spring onions was to keep a fairly chunky base back and pop it in water in the windowsill. Watch the roots develop and then when you've got a reasonable size green regrowth remove from the water and pot up in fresh compost, making sure not to cover the whole thing. If you're able to you can eventually transplant them into the garden to keep merrily growing until you're ready to harvest.
Maybe we should start a competition going, who can eat one vegetable the most times? You might start getting deja vu though...
See you next time!
We asked for blackberry recipes and that's what we got! Our community worker happens to enjoy some time in the kitchen so has had great fun with this particular challenge. Keep an eye out for more of her blackberry recipes on the way. Over to you Alex...
Super Simple Fruit Compote
Fruit compotes are a great way to use up leftover fruits. Soft fruits like berries are ideal! Compotes are super simple and easy to adapt the recipe to what you have in the house...
Mix and match flavourings
For this mini-jar I used frozen foraged blackberries, a drop of orange juice, honey and mint from the garden.
1. Add the fruit to a pan over a medium heat. Allow the fruit to soften completely, stirring occasionally. Depending on the water content of the fruit you may like to add a splash of water or juice to help get things going.
2. Your mixture should gradually turn to an almost jam-like consistency, give it a taste and add whichever flavours you fancy! Some berries can be quite sharp so you may want to add something to sweeten it up a little. You won't need much to make a difference. Taste again and play with flavours until you're happy.
3. That's it. Enjoy! Fruit compote can be used as an alternative as jam but will only last for a few days in the fridge as it doesn't have all the preservatives in it. Don't waste any of this yummy concoction, only make what you need!
We had family coming over and wanted a little treat with a cup of tea. However, post lockdown people might be feeling a little wary of their waist lines... So I made wholemeal honey scones as an alternative to cake! This fruit compote is a tasty alternative to sugar filled jam and counts towards your five a day. If you were really pushing the boat you could swap the clotted cream for greek yoghurt but sometimes clotted cream is the right and only answer!
Jo topped the scones... I would have done it the right way and put compote first, OBVIOUSLY!
Check back tomorrow for more!
Tips, tips, community tips!!! These are making us very happy... Got to love it when the community get involved.
We're keeping things short and simple today, with this top tip from Ryan. As many of us do, Ryan's family had 2 cars. Recently they've made the decision get rid of the second car, making the effort to cycle when possible and using the moped when needs must. Great job team, keep up the good work!
We know this can be a big step and that's OK. We've all got to start somewhere, even baby steps are a step in the right direction. We're all human, perfection is practically impossible, just do the best that you can with what's right for you.
Some tips for getting started...
Did you know that 1 in 4 car journeys are less than a mile... A mile can be easily walked in 20 minutes, even at a beginner's pace. It's been recommended that we try to fit 30 minutes of moderate activity into our day - that can include walking. If you cut out a 1 mile car journey and replace it with a walk, the walk there and back again counts as you daily exercise!
Why not try a car share? If you've got a colleague who lives nearby, why not take it into turns to drive and share the commute... Admittedly, you may have to wait until covid regulations ease before giving this one a go.
Plan a bike ride for your family day out! Most of us like some quality time with loved ones at the weekend. Leave the motor behind, pump up your bike tyres and you're away! This could be just a little spin around the local area or off on a day long jolly. Bristol, Bath and surrounding areas have great cycle tracks to explore with more than a few pit stops selling tasty treats along the way.
See you tomorrow!
Watch out Gordon Ramsey... Move over Jamie Oliver... There's a new chef on the scene!
Thank you to Rosie, age 12 - superstar chef and her friend Grace - future camerawoman for their fantastic video on how to make blackberry and apple fool... Using foraged blackberries of course!
Serves 4. Prep time 15 mins, cook time 5 mins.
1 large dessert apple, peeled, cored and chopped
A few drops of vanilla essence
3 - 4 tbsp of clear honey
1 egg white
4 - 5 tbsp thick Greek yoghurt
Mint leaves - optional
Not only is this delicious dessert easy to prepare it is low in calories and packed full of vitamin c!
1. Place the apple, vanilla and honey in a pan and cook gently until just softened. Add the blackberries (keep back a few for decoration) and cook gently until all the fruit is soft.
2. Put a couple of blackberries in the base of each serving dish. Leave the rest until cold. Then gently mash or lightly beat the fruit together without turning it into a puree.
3. Whisk the egg white until standing in peaks and fold this into the fruit mixture along with the yoghurt, but don't fold too much.
4. Divide evenly between the four serving dishes and leave to chill. Serve the blackberry and apple fool decorated with the remaining fruit and mint leaves.
See you tomorrow!
Hooray... Another community tip!!!! These make us very happy.
Today's community tip is actually from Ruth - AAG's secretary. And it's a simple one, one we should really already know and do but somehow, some of us forget.
When it's dark...
And you walk into a room, turn this on...
When you leave...
Turn it off again...
Told you it was simple.
So simple we're going to add a little extra tip in, we'll even tell a story with it.
Our tip is when you pick up a good habit that saves you money and saves the planet... Teach someone else. Because then there are 2 of you saving the planet and feeling a little more financially smug. If both of you then teach another person, that's four people saving the planet and feeling financially smug.
Ruth is a very good lady who always remembers to turn off lights when she leaves the room. That's 1 person turning off their lights. Richard, sometimes forgets... so Ruth reminds him. Sadly, he still forgets.
So Ruth taught Rosie and Ellen to turn off the lights when they leave the room instead. That's 3 people turning off their lights and sometimes they also turn off Richard's lights. Hooray!!! Richard still sometimes forgets...
Ruth came in to the office and talked about ideas for the sustainability blog and said it's a good idea to turn your lights off when you leave the room. Alex wrote it in the sustainability blog! So now that's Abbotswood residents, Alex, Ruth, Ellen and Rosie all turning off their lights when they leave the room.
Well done Ruth, good work! Together we'll save the planet one light switch at a time... And maybe along the way we can all remind Richard...
Lights off for now and see you again tomorrow!
Not that we want to lower the tone in anyway... We have some very serious business to attend to...
Naturally as humans we have to spend a few minutes every day on the loo... A good time to think about the important things in life, right? Well, have you ever thought about how green your toilet habits are? And no, that's not green as in you might need to see a doctor... We mean green as in environmentally friendly.
Think green like Barbara!
We've been asking around for tips and tricks from the community on how to live sustainably. Our lovely friend Barbara has given toilet trips a fair bit of thought and has come up with a way to make them a little better for the planet.
Being the nice, tidy, clean people that we are - we all go about our business, press the flush and give our hands a thoroughly good scrub. All good. Well we learnt today that flushing toilets accounts for almost a third of household water usage. A third!!
Now then, you might like to invest in a low-flush toilet. You know the ones, where you've got 2 different flush presses... One for a quick swirl after spending a penny and a bigger gush for when things may need a little extra help around the U-bend... Fair enough, a worthy investment and will save you water along the way.
Or you could you just not flush it...
The sink to the rescue!
You still have to wash your hands, silly. On top of the third of household water going literally down the pan, you've got extras going down the drain every time you tidy up after yourself.
The tip is simple. When you're finished, don't pull the flush. Instead make sure you've got a washbowl available to prop up in the sink, so the water goes into the bowl and not down the plughole. Give your hands the good scrub they deserve then empty the bowl into the toilet. Hey presto, you've got yourself a home-made flush!
A job well done...
We'll stop with the puns now, that's quite enough toilet humor for one day...
See you tomorrow for day 3!
Our current author is our AAG Committee member Pen Bailey. If you would like to be a guest blogger please do contact us here at AAG