It turns out this tale started in February when I posted a photo of me and my Beehive Composter.
I received this message from [daughter] Scarlett…
“PLEASE TELL ME THE BEEHIVE IS A PLASTIC FREE VALENTINE PRESENT”.
Well as it happens, it was a gift.
But it wasn’t a Valentine gift.
So there, Scarlett. Cheeky monkey.
Since I started my #threethings #plasticfree life, I have had some plastic fails but I’ve only wilfully bought one food item in plastic… ground almonds.
Ground almonds seem to be my nemesis, supermarkets and shops universally pack them in plastic and the desire to make a gluten-intolerant friend a gluten-free birthday cake seemed to top trump the amount of plastic involved.
So two small bags were bought.
This particular Orange and Almond Cake is so totally and amazingly delicious (thank you Polpo… link to recipe below) that when the two small bags were finished and a dinner party was on the horizon, I tussled with my conscience which went pendulously from a desire to be a Plastic Free Foodie back to wanting to be a Domestic Goddess… Mr Gorgeous (an Orange Almond Cake convert it seems) stepped in as moral barometer that the amount of plastic I’d saved thus far more than made up for two plastic bags of ground almonds.
So two more small bags were bought.
I kept saying that I would research bulk buying in either a zero waste or plastic free online shop … but until ten months ago I was a total on-the-hop, instant shopper and whilst I’ve managed to move to planning ahead, shopping local and independent, carrying so many reusable containers in my bag that I clonk around Holmfirth like the Tin-Man… somehow the move to buying in bulk seemed to be a change in mindset and a #plasticfree hurdle I’d not yet managed to leap (hurdle?) over…
But then QUEL DISASTRE … the Muscovado and brown sugar (universally, it seems, encased in plastic) that I’ve managed to eek out since January came to an end. So there you are… conscience kicked in as that would take it to three items that I would be WILFULY buying in plastic.
Quite a lot of time was spent googling because it’s amazing when you can’t get all the ingredients you need #plasticfree you suddenly become quite adept at combining three recipes to get to the desired end result… but avoiding soft brown sugar and ground almonds was proving impossible ….which was when Mr Gorgeous texted to say he had found an online plastic free food shop and that an order was on it’s way!
A few days later Mr G arrived for dinner, the evening was set… I was wearing a long black dress and red lipstick, there are three courses in the oven, the candles are lit and Paul Weller is singing in the background.
Mr G “Have you opened the parcel yet?”
(not quite the effect I had hoped for…)
I place the the cardboard box on the table and unwrap the contents by candle light and there they are .. four compostable cellulose bags** full of Arboria rice, brown rice, split lentils and chickpeas.
Mr G “Such a romantic gift”.
Me… doesn’t post a photo of latest #plasticfree gift.
But I did text my friend to buddy up for an online bulk purchase of cooking ingredients including ground almonds, Muscovado sugar and all the Christmas cake ingredients that are usually packed in plastic.
Whoop Whoop. Ground almonds are not my NEMESIS. I just sailed over the bulk buying hurdle!!!
And there it is. My compostable romance.
**Cellulose bags will biodgrade in a matter of months if you pop them in your composter or dig a hole and bury them in your garden.
Russell Norman’s book – Polpo: A Venetian Cookbook of Sorts – is such a visual delight that it is totally worth having on your book shelf.. but if not you can find the Orange and Almond Cake recipe here
Links to plastic free bulk online shops here (a quick google and there are lots to choose from):