Shifting my focus

Self-sufficiency is something we have never aspired to. I like olive oil and lemons and west Wales is certainly not the place where these can be produced. However, I do love being able to eat food that we have grown or collected ourselves. Before Mr Snail departed for his latest week in the big city, we were reflecting on what we had eaten this weekend. The list of food that we were responsible for in our diet was quite pleasing:

  • Homemade chocolate ice cream topped with homemade orange curd

    Homemade chocolate ice cream topped with homemade orange curd

    Eggs – made into waffles (for breakfast this morning), orange curd, ice cream and simply fried for lunch yesterday

  • Blackberries picked from the hedgerows last autumn (frozen)
  • Apples picked from a friend’s tree (bottled)
  • Home-grown redcurrants (frozen)
  • Home-grown parsnips (fresh)
  • Home-grown squash (roasted and then frozen)
  • Whey left over from cheese-making and used in the waffles

Most of the other things we ate this weekend were produced locally or were organic imported items (olive oil, tea, coffee and sugar) and I don’t think anything was bought from a major supermarket chain.

Earlier in the week I started writing a blog post about exploitation and just found it all too depressing. When I told my friend Linda about this, she suggested that the answer is to try to keep our focus local – support local producers and growers, buy from local businesses (especially if they have an ethical outlook). That way you can do lots of good and not find yourself paralysed by how awful some aspects of our modern life are with respect to human rights and the planet. She’s right; by keeping my focus local I can remain positive… and have a delicious diet too!



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  1. Don’t you just love Linda! xx

  2. You will find that lemons can be brown successfully as long as you bring them inside during the winter. Now I must go and water my mystery citrus tree, grown from a pip and given to us. (If grown from pips and not grafted, they can take up to 20 years before they fruit.)

  3. I like your new focus. Especially if it makes you feel better. 🙂

    • I have stopped watching and listening to the news most of the time because it’s just too depressing… I hope by thinking about how I can have a positive impact and acting within my sphere of influence I will make the best use of my energy and resources.

      • I’m with you completely. I don’t watch news either except for tiny bite. I tend to tape it and fast forward through it. If we all do a little, it will add up.

  4. Ann Owen

     /  February 15, 2015

    True about the positive focus, but we could also look upon the current unfoldings news wise as the death throes of the old system, making room for an exciting new paradigm to grow! That icecream looks so good, btw, I really want some now.

  5. I am all for keeping your focus – whatever it is – positive! If it doesn’t make you feel good, as in ‘healthy’, don’t go there!

  6. Yum! We’ll all be round for dessert shortly! The lesson here, I think, is to have the will to change what you can change, and the sense to recognise what you cannot and accept it. We can all make small changes in our choices which will have a slow cumulative effect, but none of us has the power to make widespread global changes. It has to be the water-dripping-on-stone erosive effect. You are already make a positive difference. Don’t be disheartened because mankind is collectively an idiot!

  7. By heavens, you’re a terrible temptress woman. Here am I minding my own beeswax, opening a blog to read and there I am faced with pictures of food again as easy as you please and not a word of warning given. Where’s all the ‘brotherhood of man’ now I ask myself ( not meaning either of the two pop groups of that name), no Dieters of the World Unite here, it’s every man for himself. You forced me to eat half a box of orange matchmakers now.
    Tomorrow’s guilty looks are all your fault. Huh, some friend you are !
    xxx Huge Hugs xxx

  8. That’s it. I’m making lemon curd tomorrow. But hankerings aside, the best focus is local. You can make choices for your own life, participate effectively in local politics, provide an example for those who see you, and improve the lives you can touch. It isn’t that ignoring the greater world is a good idea; but change in the greater world ripples out from people working individually and locally who feel they can make a difference. Sorry. Approaching a sermon here. You do make a difference. And what in blazes are orange matchmakers?

    • You are so right…I must remember the ripples!
      Oh and ‘matchmakers’ are long thin brittle chocolate sticks (mint or orange)… I’m a bit surprised they still exist, I remember them from the 1970s!

  9. British parsnips! I miss them!

  10. I…am…SOOOO…licking…the…screen…right…NOW! No calories in homemade screen chocolate icecream (but there are quite a few fly specks…ech! 😉 )

  11. your friend is wise. I will take it too. Also some of your home made ice-cream. 😀

  12. Hi you, just remember, its not The News, its Some News, the news that the media organisations decide to put on the TV. That does not mean in any way that folks around the world are not helping their neighbours, friends and complete strangers alike. You do right (like what you are good at), by just turning it off for a bit and getting on with living xxx

  13. I agree totally with keeping our focus local and supporting local growers and sellers, if we don’t all we will be left with is the big supermarkets. I get quite outraged by the range of goods and volume they sell these days. Most people I speak to say they are too busy to shop around at the smaller shops, it’s more convenient to get it all in one place. I challenge all those people to really be honest with themselves and consider are they really too busy ? Or have we just forgotton how to make the effort. We can all say we are too busy but if you kept a diary of how you spent your time do you think you could spend an hour less viewing a screen of some sort (tele, computer, game) and spend that hour shopping locally and getting to know the people behind the produce, find out where it comes from etc. This has been my challenge to our family this year, down with the supermarket and up with the butcher , the baker and the candlestick maker! Sorry for the rant.

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