Now, where was I?
When I went Vegan three-and-a-half-years ago, it was like another big piece in the puzzle of life fell into place. Life is a puzzle, or has always been to me; and some pieces are big, others small. Some pieces don't seem to fit; others do fit, but only if you take some away. Which gives you a kind of meta-puzzle. A life is like that. It doesn't make sense, at least to the person living it; and only then when it's over, by which time it doesn't matter. Ho hum.
Yesterday I had the feeling of another puzzle piece falling into place. It wasn't a big piece, like my vegan epiphany. Just a little piece, and made of just one word. That word was "Womble". Or "womble". You can write it with or without a capital "w", because it's both a noun and a verb if you want it to be, which I do - and let's be honest, I think you do too.
This is a jar of Pickled spinach. Originally, it was a jar of pickled cucumbers, but I ate all of the cucumbers. This was on Tuesday, when I tried living for a day without using any electricity, which meant no cooking. Which meant I ate a whole jar of pickled cucumbers for my tea. Then I was left with a jar half full (I'm optimistic) of pickle juice. Unsure what to do with it, I consulted the Frugal Minimalists Facebook group for suggestions. The most popular was "drink it". I didn't much like the sound of that, though apparently it's something people do.
The second most popular suggestions was re-using it to pickle things in. Now I used to be quite into pickling things, particularly pickled eggs back in my pre-vegan days but of course that's no longer an option and it's not an interest I've pursued much since. (Pickled fish was another favourite).
While browsing the Vegan Womble pages (here and here) it dawned on me. Pickling. Microgreens. Self-sufficiency and zero waste. Indoor gardening. Being vegan. All these things go together. I grabbed several handfuls of spinach that I'd bought from the Co-op the night before that would otherwise have probably been binned, past their "sell by date" though visibly they were perfectly fine, and stuffed them into the jar. I added a few spring onions, some cloves, topped up with vinegar, gave the jar a stir, and so it was, my never-ending jar of pickle was born.
I don't own a fridge, a subject about which I will have more to say at some point. (There's an excellent blog that takes fridge-less-ness as its jumping off point but it's not very active any more, so it might be my turn to step up). I mention it here because that's another piece of the puzzle too. Pickling is a time-tested method of preserving food. It's low-tech, while transhumanist guru Ray Kurzweil recommends eating pickled vegetables too, so it's also high-tech. It's frugal, low waste, simple and healthy. It's perfect.
So now my mind's off all over the place on how I might start pickling my home grown greens. That's it. That's all I wanted to say. I'll let the Wombles play us out.
Remember You're a Womble (Part One)
A Brief Rant on the Nature of Things
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