Peruvian Peppers

"How could we live without new books?" I asked the cute guy.

"The library."

"What about heat."

"Sweaters and socks."

"But it would be cold." I shivered for emphasis.

He just looked at me.

This is how we've spent the last couple of days; playing the how could we live without - fill in the blank game. It's Melinda's fault at Elements In Time. Last Friday she wrote about a group that is reducing ALL of their consumption of resources by 90%. I hate that.

Letting go of bananas and eating seasonally is an easy gig in this little valley of west marin but now, now I'm thinking about each light I turn on, if the computer is unplugged before I go to bed, how many times I flush, if we could make it through the winter without turning on the heater. I didn't expect this save the planet impulse to leave the kitchen but I'm realizing it's got arms. Lots of arms. And they are pointing their fingers at places I don't want to look.

In the kitchen though, there is nothing but thumbs up. Well, except for the kabocha squash, five of them that already began turning bad. I cut off their soft bottoms, baked them and we ate them skin and all. They were ridiculous with nothing but butter and sea salt. I want more.

And there was the Friday night pizza dough that didn't raise. It could have been the new organic yeast but likely I used water that was too hot to start it with. Our local pizza was more like a local big crouton with tomatoes, caramelized onions, peppers and cheese.

Then tonight I pan roasted pumpkin seeds with a new Peruvian pepper called rocoto, from the pepper man with the Hawaiian shirts and three hours later we are still coughing. Those things are weapons. We added six of the pumpkin seeds each to our salad that was made with nearly everything from one of our last Canvas Ranch farm bags; lettuce, tomatoes, carrots, goat cheese, sauteed onions and leeks and wheezed our way through dinner, yelping each time we got a speck of pepper.

We decided a couple of those peppers could help keep us warm all winter, no problem.


El said...

K: I agree you can't just keep this in the kitchen. And at first yes it does seem Sissyphean: Good Dog, how can we live on a 90% reduction? Well, don't! But be conscious of what it is you do use: believe me, this becomes very easy to do. Then tackle reductions as the need arises.

We're not doing it, as our waste stream and consumption is already way below the national average...but yeah, living with less finally does seem like living with more. (But remember, we've been at this a long time...) And certainly it is more than okay to splurge once in a while!

Olivia said...

Katrina, your writing just makes my heart sing and talk about LOL...I just want to hug you and the cute guy. You always take me on such a wonderful journey that I'm certain to be late for work...I just hate leaving the new paths to go the OR...but I must. Have a great day.
Love, Olivia

Emily said...

I have been thinking of this also. It's hard, I think, with kids...but I'm trying to teach them. Lily's all about those lunch packs you can buy-lunchables. I never get them for her...but I decided to explain to her why. Besides being full of preservatives and not tasting good, they use a TON of packaging. We talked about it and then remedied the situation. We got some ham sliced to the correct thickness, cheese, and millions of crackers from Costco (in one large box, instead of several) and use our handy tupperware from IKEA (yes, Katrina, I broke down, I now have containers)--and walla, we have our very own lunchable with next to no packaging and tasting oh so much better. These are the little things I can do. 90% reduction? Maybe next year.

kale for sale said...

El -- It's like a new board game with unfamiliar rules and we are learning the strategies, competing against ourselves, finding new moves that work, occassionally getting lucky and some days tossing down the dice for a while. I'll call the game Reduction is Happening.

It's good to hear from you.

Olivia -- I hope you turned out the lights before you ran out the door! xox

Emily (aka the Constant Hostess), You are such a good Mom! Ham at the correct thickness. It's the most important thing at 8 yrs. old. You know though, she's going to be teaching her friends about plastic packaging now. You're going to have an enviromentalist on your hands.

Melinda said...

Katrina, somehow I missed this post! Glad to see I've infected you ;). Some things are more difficult than others for sure. But overall, I really like it. It feels really good to be taking steps to reduce our impact and help this beautiful planet of ours.

We started with food, like you, and then it sort of seemed natural to continue taking positive steps.

If you're really thinking about it, or about doing part of it, you can always sign up to be a part of the yahoo group. It's a great group of people all at various levels of consumption....

You could add slippers to the list, too, btw... and better yet, body heat!

kale for sale said...

Melinda - Keep it up! I'm digging out my slippers and staying updated with you for good ideas. We aren't ready for 90% reduction but are definately cutting back making changes. Thank you.