ceturtdiena, 2013. gada 14. februāris

Ups and downs and Valentine's treats

I have been recently thinking about ups and downs of my efforts to live green. Particularly about downs, as ups are usually posted around here or so taken for granted as a part of my life.

Down No 1- Composting problem. I was planning last Summer to have the worm compost on my balcony, but since I ended up spending most of the days in Summer at my parents house, it was not neccessary. However, during Fall and Winter I spend most of my days in the city and there is this problem of not being able to compost properly. As for those who complain that they can't recycle paper or plastics, that's just excuses, because there are containers around, you just have to want to recycle. And be intelligent to want it. But in Riga there are no composting facilities. So at the moment, I still freeze parts of our food remains like carrot and pumpkin leftowers from juicing and potatoe peels etc on our balcony. Then I take them to my mom's worm compost as "food". But I have to tell you, it is not very comfortable. And you have to follow the weather that the bags don't defrost before you carry them away. It is really a down for me. I wish we had houses like some innovative places in Denmark that has all the biodegradeable matter going down the shaft to the facility that turns it into the heating energy for the same building. That would be wonderful, right?

Down No 2- I still use our car a lot, especially in winter. I mean, a lot. As little one is getting heavier most of the walks are occuring in quite close area, so for the rest I try to plan running my errands all combined as much as possible. I can't wait for Em to start walking longer distances. And spring to return on streets so we can use the pushchair and bicycle again properly. Sling is great, but during longer walks due to thicker clothing- not very comfy. I agree that I could use more public transport. But sometimes price and comfort of being able to carry all the stuff I'm getting or having already (including Emily) comes first and if I calculate my trips, car sometimes is less. At the moment I put up with this down and I try to use less car, as little as possible actually. While I don't have better options at the hand, I am trying to plan better and better my trips, drive eco friendly and look ahead to have a slow drive.

OK, I think two downs is enough for a day like this. It's time to talk about something positive and maybe tasty? It is the Valentine's in the end!

I love chocolates. I truly love good chocolate in every possible form. But I find "surprising" your loved one with box of chocolates that usually is neither orgainc, nor eco friendly in it's packaging, is a little boring, it doesn's carry any surprises if I tell the truth. Unless they're made by your own two hands and placed in a nice reused box..
So why not surprise your loved ones with some other treats? Something you can make yourself. Something that doesn't come wrapped in paper, but home made and served straight up for a moment of indulgence?

This Valentine's my plan is as follows- put the little love angel to sleep and then enjoy some home made masala chai ice cream and raspberry- coconut milk smoothy with my husband. We don't do gifts on Valentine's day, not only because it's not green, but it's also less intimate and much more commercial then. We plan some quality time together instead, the treats and experiences we can give to each other rather than buy in store.. like a special bath or a massage with some ayurvedic oils at home.. some edible treats is what I have on my part tonight.

Very yummy Masala Chai Ice Cream-
the base is the same as I have posted before - the Custard base (Fatty Milk- Cream- Sugar- Egg Yolk- Vanilla Bean). Depending on the amount you are making and how strong you want the taste, pour couple of spoons of boiling water over couple of spoons of Masala Chai. Even though I am a fan of loose teas, this time I'd suggest to have teabags, it's easier to extract the strong flavors in very little water for ice cream. Leave them to soak and get all the flavor, then squeeze the goodness right into the custard base. Check the taste and add more extrac or base if needed. For more fluffy ice cream, fold in some whipped cream in all that and put it in a tray with a lid that closes well. Off we go to the freezer! Or outside it you have proper minus degrees.. Stir few times in the freezing process. Serve with pomegranate and cinnamon stick. My suggestion though is to prepare the ice cream well in advance next year! 

For a Raspberry- Coconut smoothy 
you'll need a can of coconut milk, two cups of frozen raspberries (preferrably picked in wild during the Summer), honey or agave syrup to taste and some water if you prefer the smoothy to be more runny. You might want to add some banana or other berries like blueberries to all that as well. It's filling, yet light (important if you have any activities planned), and taste is awesome. Blend it all together, serve in a beautiful glass and enjoy the moment! 

Happy and Green Valentine's!

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