How many times do you read something and wonder why you didn’t know that before? It happens to me all the time. Sadly, when I share these revelations with my family, they all too often shrug their shoulders and tell me that it’s old news or ask why anyone would want to know or care.
Just in case you’re interested, here are six of my recent discoveries.
REPLACING SINGLE USE PLASTIC
Along with almost everyone else, we’re trying to reduce our dependence on single use plastic. Some steps are easy; using fabric shopping bags has become second nature and it was simple to ditch cling film by covering food with a plate, foil (though that’s not perfect in ecological terms) or beeswax wraps. But buying fruit and vegetables is another matter.
At the market, they’ll happily tip everything into your shopping bag but the supermarkets are dire. Nearly all their pre-packed produce is bagged in non-recyclable plastic and if you buy loose, they only provide plastic bags to keep everything together. I don’t put bananas or the like into a bag, but forcing the cashier to round up half a kilo of loose Brussels sprouts from the conveyor belt is a step too far.
Now I’ve discovered that some people put loose produce into mesh bags and, while I’m not sure if I’m dedicated enough to make my own or prepared to go through an explanation at the till each time, it’s worth consideration. If you’d like to make your own, read Celia’s instructions for sewing mesh bags.
DID YOU KNOW?
Did you know that you can make macaroni cheese without all the palaver of making the cheese sauce and boiling the macaroni first? It turns out you can just throw uncooked macaroni into a buttered baking dish, stir in some cheese, pour over the milk and bake.
Organisation is a good thing. Alright, I’ve known that for a long time, but sometimes it takes time to do it. Originally, we planned to hire out The Barley Barn most of the time, so all our things were kept stored away to keep the barn clutter free and ready for hirers.
Over time, as Ruth’s printmaking classes became more popular, we seemed to be forever moving printing paraphernalia back and forth, so we’ve organised the barn to suit the current conditions.
A printmaking studio space has been set up at one end of the barn with areas for storage, preparation, printing and drying. There are with dedicated printing tables so that nobody has to faff around with clamps anymore and the moveable walls can be wheeled into place to hide all the printmaking equipment when the barn’s used for something else. We were so pleased with our new space that we wrote a guide to setting up a home printmaking studio space .
We’re hoping that our more organised space will make life a lot easier.
DID YOU KNOW?
Did you know that pressing hard on your upper lip, just under the nose, can stifle a sneeze? Me neither but apparently, it’s true.
I’ve discovered What3Words, which is an amazing concept. They’ve divided the world into grids 3 metres x 3 metres and given each grid a combination of three words that uniquely identifies it.
Postcodes are generally alright, but they aren’t always accurate enough to pinpoint a location and open fields don’t have a postcode so it’s difficult to direct anyone to them, as we had to do with an ambulance when a rider fell from their horse. With What3Words, we can direct people accurately.
The place in the photo above is known in the family as “The Double Gates”, “The place that Bill calls The Double Gates” or “Where the track crosses from Great Forest to Grove Field” and goodness knows what all the walkers and riders who use the bridleway would call it. But now, we can officially say that it’s the point known as “seaweed.splashes.term”.
I just need to remember not to call it seaweed.splashed.term because that’s in Canada.
I’ve discovered that sourdough rolls are much easier to make than loaves. I’d almost given up with baking sourdough bread because my loaves were either dense and heavy or so full of holes that it was impossible to spread butter onto a slice. Just before Christmas, I tried the sourdough cinnamon rolls recipe from The Clever Carrot and it worked! Following that triumph, I’ve made a few batches of Soft Share and Tear Rolls from her book Artisan Sourdough Made Simple with equal success and I’ve decided that for the time being, I’ll stick to making rolls rather than loaves.
Have you had a recent “Why didn’t I know that?” moment? Do share.