This is a blog of the 31 things we will be doing in the month of January 2010 as part of our sustainable communities group. This post explains it all.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Cooking and freakouts

Our friend Lisa Dempster of Unwakeable blog fame alerted us to a blog for green renters!

The gardening in pots section particularly struck a chord with John's brother Dave. We are all booked in now to go and do a backyard blitz with Dave and his wife Candice on their rental property next week!

Our friend Jules sent us an interview with a guy called Lester Brown. I had not heard of him before but he seems to be completely onto it in terms of both terrifyingly calling it like it is (we have two years to prevent runaway climate change) and presenting the ways by which we could do so, as well as examples of when societies have rapidly risen to the challenge in the past. The talk is called no less than Mobilizing to Save Civilization.

You might need some of these to help read it.

(unless a hungry zebra eats them first.)

The harsh realities he initially details are hard to hear, but by the end of the piece he's actually pretty inspiring and encouraging, and he has a plan. You can download his book for free by following this link. The book, Plan B 3.0: Mobilizing to Save Civilization., is a practical guide that details the means by which we can get the world back down to the level of C02 in time to avoid mass devastation. It uses science as a starting point rather than politics, he explains. How very novel!

We have minimal cash this week, but are eating like royalty.
This morning I woke up early and launched into a cooking frenzy, inspired by the fact that we had all the necessary ingredients for proper nutrition but no money to buy ready-made things from the supermarket (aside from a loaf of bread and three cans of tomatoes.) To this I added the purchase of a dozen eggs and a bag of onions and for under 20 bucks we were set for the time between now and payday. I'm not one of those cooking gals from way back, by the way, but my recently ended veganism and now eating from the garden and on the cheap have caused me to get creative and become an entirely modest culinary goddess. (Afterwards, John did all the heatwave dishes, which meant the entire kitchen's worth).

Actually, I did have a helper.

Today we ate:
Poached eggs on toast, with garden herbs

Baked beans from scratch, with rainbow chard and beetroot stalks

Beetroot and zucchini salad

And the piece de resistance:
Poppyseed cupcakes with chocolate filling and caramelized cumquats and almonds on top!

Sadly most of the eating took place in a raging nark/freakout on my part, because I had been listening to the aforementioned Lester Brown piece while cooking and now felt impotent in the face of the 2012 deadline to help turn climate change around.

I went back (working from home) to uni this week. I'm so excited about my Masters topic and the stories and essays I'm going to write, the research to places I wouldn't normally visit, although I'd like to.

A quick overview is that I'll be writing a collection of pieces that model an eco/permaculture style approach to the Australian landscape. My exegesis argues that there is a gap in current Anglo-Oz literature where positive relationship with landscape fails to occur - instead it's all characterised as a place of harshness, hauntedness and melancholy, usually set in colonial days.

I suggest that this is because it's easier to for Anglo writers to confront the shame and guilt about the current inequality and mistreatment of indigenous people via arm's length historical narratives, whereas to engage in an unashamed, unhaunted way in the present requires you to acknowledge that injustice is a current reality for indigenous people and should be discussed in the present tense as well as the past. (Still working on that 20 words or less blurb).

I have a Room of My Own, the study, and the other day I put up pictures and made it all nice, but now I'm confused. If we only have two years left to try to turn climate change around, wouldn't it be a good idea for me to defer uni and work full-time on climate change activism? If it was clear I continued to need a break, of course I wouldn't begrudge myself one, but right now I feel pretty good.

The study.

Or am I freaking out? A little. I suspect there's a way to do a bit of both things, and that maybe, in fact, that's what I'm doing right now.

If anyone has any thoughts on coordinating this sort of juggling act I'd love to hear from you!

Meanwhile, beetroot for courage.

Fresh veggies = love in simplest form.

1 comment:

  1. Hey Cass and John, onyas for all your doing. I've had a copy of Lester Brown's Plan 3.0 on my shelf for a couple of months, but haven't yet worked up the courage to open it - I've dipped into some of his stuff on food and he certainly offers a insights that most others don't approach. Your ponderings about literary relationships with landscape sound fascinating, and I look forward to hearing more - another book I've got hanging around is Mark Treddinick's "The Blue Plateau", which looks to be quite promising in terms of reflecting on relationship with place, based on his life in the Blue Mountains.
    Great looking food too!