Thursday, September 28, 2006


I've been reading a new (to me) blog over the last week or so - ...slowly she turned - reading through the archives I've just come across a post from January 2006 which is called soup with bacon, taters, cabbage, and corn (among other stuff) and the first line is Mmm, boy! You'll never go back to Campbell's soup again.

This really resonates with me because for years I've used Campbell's chicken soup as a base for making sauce for chicken pie. Mixed with mayonaise (for the fat version) or some yoghurt and/or milk (for the healthier version) I didn't think you could ever beat it. I hadn't made a chicken pie for over a year and a while ago I bought a whole chicken and was determined to use the entire thing. I roasted it but unfortunately I forgot to put some of the meat into the freezer and had left it in the fridge. Having seen a post somewhere from someone who'd made a pie I suddenly remember I hadn't done one for a long time and it seemed like a great idea. My sister, who recently left to travel the world, had given me some food she had in her cupboards. I passed most of it on to my brother but the one thing I kept was a tin of Campbell's chicken soup. Serendipity I thought and proceeded to make up some pastry one evening after work. The pie was good although I don't think I'll use grapes next time (seemed like a good idea at the time, I was experimenting based on a recipe I've recently learned for chicken veronique). But I could really taste the "artificialness" of the soup in it. The next day I had some in work for lunch. After finishing lunch I was asked to do something straightaway so it was an hour or so before I was able to bring my plate into the kitchen to wash. But at that stage I just had to because the smell of the soup/sauce was just too much. It was strange because I'm sure a year ago I would have thought it was lovely. I think I've finally started to get used to what food is supposed to smell like.

Anyway, it was another nail in the coffin as far as I'm concerned for me buying very processed foods.

My brother has also started reading a lot about similar issues recently - for example, we both started reading Fast Food Nation in the last couple of weeks without realising the other was reading it - we've both intended to read it for so long that it was funny to be reading it together. I told him that I'd started a blog but I'd like to keep this a bit anonymous for a while so told him he'd have to just come across it as I don't want to let people I know know that I'm doing this for now. I enjoy the freedom of most people not knowing exactly who I am. It's partly to do with being Irish I suppose. This country is just too small and you can't do anything without someone knowing about it. Or so it feels sometimes!

And then I realised that I'd sent my sister a link to ...slowly she turned (as I think she's got a lot in common with Laurie). And this morning I left a comment there mentioning Ireland. So if my sister reads the comments there's a good chance people I know might be finding me sooner than I had intended. But, oh well, it's not the end of the world I suppose.

Was also reading about Buy Nothing Day on Laurie's blog. I remember this happening (but not really happening) last year. I think I'll make a conscious effort to participate this year and, perhaps more importantly as I don't have enough money to shop much anyway, encourage friends and family to do so as well. I think I may add my own little spin to it such as to aim to not shop on Sundays anymore.

It's so handy to pop down to the supermarket on a Sunday but it's a habit that just a little bit of organisation would take care of. I'm agnostic (although was raised as a Catholic) but I do think it is a good idea to have a day that's just for a time-out for want of a better word. It's a good thing to aim for in my opinion. To make Sunday a day where you stay at home but aren't stressing about cleaning the house or working, only work if it's doing something you love (cooking, pottering in the garden), maybe invite friends over for a relaxing afternoon, maybe go to a friend's house for a relaxing afternoon.

I used to start each Sunday morning by getting up as soon as I woke up (usually about 8), throwing some clothes on and leaving the house within a few minutes of waking up, driving up to a spot in the mountains and walking for an hour or so. This was something my therapist recommended I do and it is good advice for anyone who gets depressed and may have a tendency to simply keep turning over and ending up spending the entire day in bed. Just get out of bed, throw a tracksuit on and leave the house - don't stop for anything more than going to the toilet, not even to have a cup of tea or coffee just stop somewhere en route if you really need caffeine, just get out of the house before you have time to realise what you're doing.

Unfortunately I injured my foot at the beginning of summer and have not been able to do that anymore. I still try to get up as soon as I wake up though and have taken to trying to arrange to be meeting someone, driving my brother to work, having people over for lunch and so on just so that I absolutely have to get up. My foot has greatly improved over the last couple of weeks and I've slowly started walking again. I'm aiming for a 30-40 minute walk three times a week for the next month or so and will see how it goes then. Everybody, please appreciate your feet now. You don't know how important they are until they're not working properly anymore. I will never take mine for granted again. Mind you, you could probably say the same thing for any part of your body!

It'll be nice to get back my Sunday morning strolls in the mountains. It's a very spiritual thing to do and a fantastic start to the day.

Random quote of the day
Something I read once, which Ghandi said and which I really like: "Whatever you do will be insignificant, but it is very important that you do it"

1 comment:

Laurie said...

Hi Moonwaves - wow, I'm quite flattered by this post. One of the things you'll find after writing on this subject for a while is that if you can positively influence one other person, it will seem like the most wonderful thing on earth. That's is how we will change the world, you and I.

Simple living can be addictive for people who tend towards that kind of personality. I've noticed in other discussions that some folks are doing a lot to simplify and green their lives, yet they feel guilty that they are not doing enough. My advice is that if you're feeling overwhelmed (a state that I am quite familiar with) it is a sign that you should slow down and take it one step at a time, maybe with a little more time between steps. Part of the reason for simplifying your life is to bring peace into it.

I just gave up Campbell Cream of Mushroom soup this past year! My mother put it in EVERYTHING, and that's the way I learned to cook. When I started substituting a mushroom white sauce for it, I couldn't believe how much better it tasted. But I have to admit, it's a lot easier to open a can.

As far as being anonymous - I made the mistake early on of letting my sister know about my blog, assuming that it wouldn't go any farther. The next thing I knew she copied me on an email she had sent to everyone in my family and told my mother about it on the phone. She was proud of it. The point is, if you really want to be anonymous, there is no going back once you let the cat out of the bag, so think about it carefully. I love my sister and don't mind her reading it most of the time, but I've had a lot of mixed feelings about it.

Sorry about the ultra-long comment! I'll be checking in from time to time. Thanks for reading my blog.