Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Shedding To Simplify

sea shells pictures
Simplicity directs you to the practice of finding joy and spirituality in ordinary daily life.
Anne Morrow Lindbergh  said  in Gift From The Sea, "One should lie empty, open, choiceless as the  beach, waiting for the gift from the sea."  She talks about the shedding of tangibles and intangibles, such as pride, vanity, wearing a mask and hypocrisy to name a few. We know about the tangibles: clothes, gadgets, shoes, furniture etc. But one that Anne mentioned  I never thought of, "I shed my Puritan conscience about absolute tidiness and cleanliness. Is it possible that too is a material burden?"

                Shedding is a great technique in the quest for simplicity . No gadgets to go wrong. No need for vanity, just be yourself. Shedding hypocrisy leads to freedom from lies. Shed possessions  so you are not possessed by them. Shed negative people thus decreasing stress. Our tendencies are distraction and dissapation; shed them.  You will gain focus and time to be creative. Shed the distractive, expensive addiction of mindless shopping.  See   "Bored? Don't go shopping" entry from 12-6-11.

                  Shed pounds, bad habits, preoccupation with what others think you should do and be.  I'm sure your creative mind can think of things appropriate for you to shed.  I suggest reading , or rereading,   Gift from the Sea.  Very inspiring!


Monday, February 20, 2012

Order is a Gift You Give Yourself

One of the alternatives to decluttering  is you trip over the clutter, break yor leg and someone else may declutters for you ." Oh, what happened to the old cigar boxs gramps  gave me  ten years ago? "  you ask. The accidental declutterer answers " I got rid of those ugly things."
  " ....Now we are grapping with shortage of resources; while we are living with garbage and clutter of "stuff" that we have to be encouraged to declutter and simplify ." Karen Lee http://www.ecokaren.com/ .
    Our greed our misunderstood notion of well being has turn us into pack rats. Do you know the mammal (Nestoma crietidae)woodrats alias pack rats? They are nest builders but if they find something they want,they will drop the material for the nest they are carrying  and bring the shiny objects back to the nest instead. Thus they are over run  with stuff way beyond what is needed.
    We have become slaves to possesions . Eventually loving our bondage.
     Just like a smoker will say "cigarettes give me much pleasure," as they cough up brown blobs of sputum. This is true of all addictions. Defending the addiction , "shopping rewards  me for hard work," as the credit card debt mounts , the house fills up and you fill up with guilt.  The house looks over stuffed with stuff to the point you are unable to appreciate any of the things. What pleasure? What reward? You are enslaved.  Where is the peace of mind, the beauty, the health, the blessed well being?
    Declutter, break the addiction.  Set yourself free.
One way is get will power.
Two: Start loving yourself . Give yourself the gift of order !
Three: Use your creativity. Yes, you do have it .  Use it. Don't let others or advertising blind  you to your creative gifts. 
Four : Start slow , one step at a time. "Do it your own way" as Carl Jung advocates.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Quickest, easiest Hot Meal Without a Kitchen !

One way  I'm being simple is by using other people's excellent entries. This is from  stonesoup.com . Thanks, Jules

So what is the quickest, easiest way to get a hot meal without a kitchen?

You guessed it! It’s cooking with your kettle. Or whatever source of boiling water you have at your disposal.
When I told my Irishman I’d had this great idea about cooking with our kettle, I got a funny look.
‘You’re what?’
After reassuring him that I wasn’t going to actually put anything in the kettle except for water. And that his Barry’s tea would still taste exactly the same. He looked a little more interested. But not exactly excited.
Now, I’m happy to report that his doubts are all gone. We’ve both grown quite fond of our ‘kettle meals’.
So today I wanted to share with you a few ideas for this super quick and easy method of cooking when you don’t have access to a proper kitchen.

why cook with your kettle?

1. It’s quick.
2. It’s super easy to clean up after. Just your eating container and utensils.
3. It’s delicious.
4. It’s perfect for when you feel like a warm meal, but don’t have access to a proper kitchen.
Situations like:
- work lunches
- in hotels – when you’re sick of eating out and room service
- when you’re flying – just ask for a cup of hot water
- backpacking
- camping

don’t have a kettle?

You don’t actually need a kettle as such. It’s just about having a source of boiling water.
This could be boiling a pot on the stove. One of those continuous hot water thingys you often get in offices. Or even filling a thermos with hot water to take with you. (Wish I’d thought of that the bitter Winter I spent pruning vines in the Barossa Valley)

how does it work?

Too easy really. 3 simple steps.
1. Just pop your food in a heat proof container, preferably with a lid.
2. Cover with boiling water from the kettle or wherever. Pop the lid on (or you could just cover it with foil).
3. Wait a few minutes & your hot meal is ready!

which foods work well in ‘kettle soups’?

Basically anything that doesn’t require much heat to cook it.
I like to use a combination of the following:
1. a mix of fresh veg, chopped finely so they heat up quicker.
2. something more substantial like chickpeas, couscous, canned lentils or noodles, cooked chicken, canned tuna, salami or chorizo.
3. seasonings for the ‘soup’. Soy sauce is a fav. You could also try spices, bullion powder, stock cubes, curry powder, curry pastes, miso, ketchup, tomato paste, pesto.
In case you’re wondering, I’ve tried eggs. They didn’t get enough heat to cook them. Leave it with me though…

looking for more quick cooking ideas?

The Super Quick Cooking class at The Stonesoup Virtual Cookery School could be just the thing for you!
From 18th Feb we’ll be focusing on speedy techniques such as kettle cooking, stir frying and ‘assembling’. As well as looking at time tricks to help make you faster in the kitchen.
chickpea kettle soup
chickpea kettle soup
serves 2
Inspired by the noodle hot pot in Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s River Cottage Veg Everyday.
If you only need one serve, you could halve the recipe. Or make both portions since the second one will keep in the fridge for a few days.
Feel free to use this recipe as a basic guide and explore different vegetables, seasonings and legumes.
1 can chickpeas (400g / 14oz), drained
1/2 red capsicum (bell pepper), finely sliced
2 handfuls sugar snap peas, sliced
2-4 teaspoons ground coriander
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1. Boil the kettle.
2. Divide chickpeas, vegetables, coriander and soy between 2 heatproof containers, preferably with lids.
3. Fill your containers with boiling water. Top with the lids and stand for 2 minutes, or longer if you prefer your veg less crunchy.
4. Taste & adjust seasoning if necessary.
noodle soup – replace the chickpeas with dried rice noodles, fine egg noodles or mung bean (cellophane) noodles.
pasta soup – replace the chickpeas with fresh pasta
different veg – pretty much anything that you’re happy to eat a little crunchy will work – carrots, zucchini (courgettes), baby spinach, broccoli, corn, tomato.. endless possibilities.
curry soup – replace the ground coriander with curry powder.
soy-free – use some vegetable or chicken bullion powder or 1/4 stock cube instead of the soy sauce.
carnivore – add in a few handfuls of finely sliced salami or chorizo or bits of  cooked chicken .

Friday, February 10, 2012

Slow Gardening manifesto