I like to eat, eat, eat ….

OK, so now I’m a soccer mum – how do I deal with that new part of my life?

1. The first issue is the driving. With two adults and two children we can’t really get a lift to Lithgow with another family. We could potentially hire a bus and go down as a team, but we’d need a pretty big bus with all the parents and I really don’t think that’s likely to happen … I’ll hold onto that thought though.

2. Drinks – stumbling block number two. I thought I was prepared and filled two old glass juice bottles with water. Perfect. Was running late though and didn’t manage the thermos of coffee, so despite my glaring eyes, Ian insisted on buying a takeaway coffee – 1 polystyrene cup (Yuck). Solution – I’m doing my own carbon offsetting. Because it’s better to reuse than recycle, I’ve planted coriander seeds in the coffee cup.


3. Food – stumbling block number three. We were great yesterday afternoon and made gingerbread soccer feet which we took along – a real hit. But now, my confession: I couldn’t resist the smell of chips so I weakened (Ian’s turn to glare at me) and bought hot, hot chips with lashings of salt and tomato sauce. Delicious … but another disposable cup …. and another coriander planting when I got home.

I like the idea of using the cups to plant something because it keeps them out of landfill and keeps me conscious of what it is I’m doing. Next game I’ll get up earlier (not a bad idea because it takes a long time to dry my hair now that I don’t have a drier!). I’ll make a thermos of coffee and have some breakfast so I won’t be so seduced by the smell of the chips.

This is, actually, the way my parents and grandparents used to live … they always thought ahead, planned and went out prepared. In my life however, we’re always rushing, completely unprepared and leaving everything until the last moment … in our personal actions and, as it turns out, in relation to global warming.

The driving problem still hasn’t been solved but, for the moment, I’ll just try harder not to use the car as much during the rest of the week. I’d prefer not to “buy my way out” of the guilt with carbon credits because I actually value the way guilt niggles at me until I address a problem … but that’s also an option that’s always available and seems to be working for a lot of people who simply can’t avoid creating carbon emissions.

There’s a very funny spoof about carbon credits that’s always in my mind, reminding me that the first path of action should always be to reduce emissions if possible. If you can’t, then compensate by buying credits. It’s also a way of staying conscious of what you’re doing. If there’s a price on your actions you’ll always think twice about them.

My political action for the day was to meet with the Golf Club manager who’s keen to replace his remaining lightbulbs and showerheads with the energy saving ones that Green Alliance is providing Blackheath. An example of where carbon credits are benefiting the community – an energy company offsets their carbon emissions by paying for lightbulbs and showerheads and we get them plus $5 each person for the school. We’ll value add by buying a solar panel and then emissions will be even lower.


After being out most of the day it was a real pleasure to come home and cook. I decided to use up some of the frozen redcurrants that were left over from my summer crop. Berries are an excellent fruit to plant in this climate – they grow and produce quickly, have a high vitamin content, can be easily netted to protect fruit from birds, freeze well and are small enough for any garden.

This is my favourite redcurrant recipe:

Redcurrant Tart

For the pastry:

200g plain flour

1 egg

1 pinch salt

75g sugar

finely grated rind of 1/2 lemon

25g ground almonds

80g butter

flour to roll cake out

For the filling:

2 egg yolks

50g sugar

few drops vanilla essence

2 tablespoons cream

125g ground almonds

500-750gms redcurrants (or blueberries)

caster sugar to sprinkle over Best price on propecia at end

Mix all the pastry ingredients until you have a smooth dough. Cover and rest in fridge for 1 hr. Roll out on a floured teatowel to about 1cm thickness. It should be bigger than the 20-24cm ringform tin you’re going to cook it in – enough to have little sides. Grease the tin and line with pastry (create 2cm high “walls” around edge of cake). For the filling, mix eggyolks, sugar, vanilla sugar and cream. Fold in almonds. Spread over cake base. Spread the redcurrants over the filling and then bake the cake on the middle shelf of the oven at 180C for 40 minutes or until sides start to brown. Sprinkle immediately with sugar and add more if desired when the cake has cooled. Serve with cream.