We live in such a throw-away world. We don’t even know how, for we haven’t been taught, to live any other way. The best is always new, right? My Mother had a hard time with this whole line of thinking. First of all she grew up on the tail end of the depression with her own Mom and Dad living right smack dab in the middle of it. Needless to say her parents were intensely frugal but in order to survive they, as well as much of our nation, HAD to learn to be frugal. My Mother, though, was growing up in a world where people were attaining more and more stuff, little by little. To her old was just scrounging and making do, it was all outdated, ugly and almost equated with dirty. New was shiny, perfect and clean. Well here I am, not quite coming full circle. I feel as though I have the best of both worlds. I still like new but the old holds a magic for me. Reusing items and finding different ways to recycle them and make them usable is very fulfilling. I find that so many of the old ways, such as gardening and herbalism, hunting, crafting, etc. are becoming lost. Sometimes we don’t even realize what we throw away anymore. It makes perfect sense actually, no one has time for that old stuff anymore. It’s takes too much hard work, takes too much time and who really cares anyway.
Take a lemon or an orange for instance - sounds strange already, huh? Eating an orange, spitting out the seeds and throwing away the peelings is the norm. Not at my house!!! Do you know what I can do with orange peelings!!! or lemon peelings? Why, I can take orange peeling and use the zest, that’s the very outer portions (not the white pith) in many, many recipes, or I can take the peelings and thinly slice them up, dehydrate them and use them in mulling spices or potpourris. I sometimes will carefully cut a lemon or an orange and use it for juice and then tear away the inner membrane and use the shell as a cup. Sounds odd, I know, but take them and put them in the freezer on a flat pan (you may have to slice a little sliver off on the bottom in order to make them sit level) and when they are frozen put them in a plastic bag. This summer, or whenever you desire, make some lemon basil sorbet, or blackberry cinnamon basil ice cream or lemon verbena pudding or cut up some fruit with assorted mint and put them in your frozen shells. Decorate with violets and roses, spearmint or geranium flowers and set them before your guests. Put them on a big glass dish and surround them with fresh cut herbs for a buffet-type appetizer or dessert. Oh! old is pretty awesome then!!
This is the perfect time to take something old and bring it back to new!! It’s a small start and something anyone can do. See - already you’re learning about the "old ways"!! Waste Not - Want Not!!