"Self-sufficiency does not mean 'going back' to the acceptance of a lower standard of living. On the contrary, it is the striving for a higher standard of living, for food that is organically grown and good, for the good life in pleasant surroundings... and for the satisfaction that comes from doing difficult and intricate jobs well and successfully." John Seymour ~ Self Sufficiency 2003

Sunday, 12 September 2010

An Eco-friendly meal?

We had friends round for dinner last night, and, as always, I had to figure out what to serve that wouldn't cost the earth in electricity - either in wattage used or in money.

I think I came up with a brilliant solution.

We had a fondue!

So how was it Eco-friendly...

In the afternoon I cleaned the copper fondue set using wood ash for our fireplace - dab a damp cloth into the wood ash, rub on the surface to be cleaned and watch the dirt disappear.  Then all it takes is a rinse under a running tap, and quick dry, and the copper looks amazing!  No dirty hands full of Brasso and no chemicals needed - if only I'd known this years ago...

Garden fresh salad
The salad came, in it's entirety, from my garden - four different types of lettuce, chives, onions, tomatoes - and the bean sprouts grew in my sprouter this week.

I made all the sauces, bar one - the pureed apple to go with the pork.  We don't have an apple tree - yet :-)

We also had tahini (a sesame seed sauce - perfect with the chicken), a chilli sauce (peppers, onions, garlic, chillies, dried apricots and honey - brown the onions and then add the rest of the ingredients and cook together until semi-mushy - to go with the pork chipolata's) a mushroom sauce, bbq sauce (the last two to go with the steak) and guacamole.

I had also made a salsa with red, yellow and orange peppers, apple, onion, courgettes and sweetcorn - mixed together with a dash of lemon juice and olive oil and salt and pepper.

Finally, I made a loaf of fresh Artisan bread.

It was delicious.

Otherwise, all the preparation - mixing, chopping and puree-ing was done by hand.

I am well pleased with the resulting power usage.

I used the oven to bake the bread - for half an hour - and the stove top to heat the oil.

And I was asked for my bread recipe.  I love that - for there is nothing better than sharing knowledge with whoever asks for it.

There is surely no nicer way to spend an evening than with friends, round the dinner table, with everybody cooking their own food, in their own time.  A fondue is such a "gemütlich" (warm, congenial and friendly) way to spend an evening. 


Ann at eightacresofeden said...

Hi Dani,
Thank you for visiting my blog and for sharing that tip on cleaning copper with wood ash.. I have not heard that one before so I am going to give it a go. My copper pans are new and I have not used them yet. I have not dared to remove the protective coating yet! It is the thought of cleaning them and keeping them gleaming that has held me back! I also have a set of stainless steel scanpans and they are wonderful to cook with and clean up is so easy. I used to be too frugal and buy cheap steel pans(or worse non-stick, I now know that is not a wise move) but would end up burning the thin bottoms so badly, rendering them useless. Now I have pans that have a lifetime guarantee and I do hope they live up to expectations! I also use my wok a lot - I do like meals that can be cooked in one pan.
I love copper though and we have copper taps in the bathroom and a couple of antique copper kettles. If there is any ash left in the fire from winter I'm going to try your tip soon. I just love your copper fondue pot - beautiful and practical. Do you keep it on display? Your bread also looks amazing. We had blossom on our two apple trees this spring - I am hopeful for apples this year, it will be our first harvest.

Linda said...

That all sounds delicious and looks beautiful.

Dani said...

Linda - Thank you - and welcome. Thanks for the visit and for taking the time to leave a comment.

It was delicious :)