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almost two months since we started…

and we are still happy with our zero waste journey.

We have been working (eating) through our cupboard staples in non-recyclable packaging and during this I realized that we store some items that we bought, used once and then never used it again. I think simplifying our culinary adventures would be a good idea in terms of reducing food waste. So now when something is finished I will only replace it with a quick thinking through. For example, there is no need for us to have 3 different types of rice, quinoa, bulgur wheat, couscous and polenta. Most of these foods we eat with stew type of dishes. So it should be fine to have brown rice and couscous, in the cupboard. And when one of these is finished, then buy something else like quinoa. This way it is easier to see what we have and we can also make sure that we don’t bin out-of-date food. The fact that these foods are relatively cheap and readily available in most shops, makes us feel that we can have it all at home. Maybe not that necessary.

Still in the kitchen, I find that making your own food is fun. I don’t mean cooking, I mean making your own butter or ricotta. I still buy butter in the shop in a greaseproof paper packaging, but I had some leftover cream and I did not want to use it in cooking so I tried to make butter and it was fab.

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On the other hand it is difficult to buy cottage cheese without plastic packaging and I do like to use it every now and then. So I googled and found out that it was (again) very easy to make cottage cheese.

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and then I made a cheese cake with the homemade cottage cheese. It was a real treat after the Sunday lunch.

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At the farmers market where I go every second weekend, I can buy cream in a glass jar. This is a great place to buy things that you cannot buy in the supermarket without packaging: rocket, spinach, muesli, cream.

Oh and for Valentine’s day, we agreed not to buy anything for each other so I made some handmade truffles. They were really tasty!!

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You might think that I spend hours in the kitchen, but that is not the case. I choose recipes that are simple and quick and I multitask. When I cook our normal dinner I can make cottage cheese in the meantime. It only take somes thinking ahead.

Little M is weaning at the moment and we are doing a combination of baby led weaning and spoon feeding, I like to give hime pasta when we have pasta. On my pasta making machine I only have two setting: tagliatelle and another one. But these are not the easiest from him to grab. So I figured that something like penne or farfalle would be better. I don’t know how to make penne at home, so stuck with farfalle. They turned out ok. They were tasty, but not the fantastic in shape. I think more practice is needed if I want them at least a little bit more uniform.

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Probably true for most households that the majority of the waste is generated in the kitchen. It is the case in our home. We have used up all our paper towels and disposable cloths, so I was looking to replace them with something reusable. So I made these. They are 100% cotton on one side and terry cloth on the other.

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Moving on to the garden. We decided to grow some more veg other than what we usually do (tomatoes and some herbs)

We created a plan and I bought some raised beds in Aldi and some metal planters from Adverts. One of the girls in the Zero Waste FB group is clearing out her garden, so she will share some of her herbs and  fruit bushes with us. How nice of her! In return I will give her some Hungarian paprika 😉

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And of course as a beginner gardener I needed to gather some knowledge. The library is a great source of gardening, “grow your own” books. The plan is to grow things that we really like and it is difficult to buy without packaging: Lettuce and other salad leaves, herbs and berries. And some other things that we like: rainbow carrots, courgettes…

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I also got a composter from adverts, so we will start putting our compostable materials ( garden and kitchen waste) into that. So hopefully next year we will have our own compost to throw on our veggie patches.

And just a last picture of a shopping I made last week.

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I will be back next week with some more insights how we get on with all our zero waste efforts.

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