Resolution

I spent most of the past weekend thinking up a long list of New Year’s resolutions involving changing just about everything in my life: surroundings, belongings, profession, daily habits, body size and shape, fitness, eating, friends, faith, reading, creating, making, baking, thinking, doing…crazy, ambitious, perfection-based goals.  I could have written pages of must-dos and should-dos and ended up disappointed and discouraged before the first week of 2014 had passed.

Instead, I am going to re-post the first few thoughts from this blog:

September 2012

This is a place where I want to record my attempts to live more creatively, intentionally and attentively.

To live, instead of just going through the motions of wake, work, eat, sleep, repeat.

December 2012

“If you want a golden rule that will fit everybody, this is it: Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.”

William Morris, British artist and designer, 1824-1903

Often quoted, these are still words worth contemplating. As I begin to find a new way to live, this is as good a place to start as any. What if useful and beautiful didn’t just apply to things, but to daily thoughts and behaviour? What if sustainability didn’t just apply to how we conserve or deplete the world’s resources, but to how we conduct ourselves emotionally and physically?

So my 2014 resolution is this: live more simply, mindfully, sustainably.
And, sometimes, blog about it.

cumquat jam

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Here is the result of an interesting afternoon’s (and evening’s) hard work: two cups of cumquat jam (or marmalade).

After cutting the tiny oranges into slivers and painstakingly saving all the slippery little pips and soaking them separately in water overnight, it took all afternoon to end up a very small quantity of beautiful, tangy, orangey goodness. My afternoon’s adventures included:

- buying jars (I only had one)
- forgetting to buy sugar (cobbled together enough from several containers on the baking shelf)
- squeezing lemon juice into a bowl only to drop the juicer and smash the bowl
- sweeping up broken crockery
- braving the gale force winds to go to the supermarket to buy another lemon
- dropping the jam-testing plate as I opened the freezer
- sweeping up broken crockery
- spilling hot, sticky jam everywhere while trying pour jam from a massive new ladle into a very small jar
- washing jam off my arms and face
- waiting an hour to clean up the jammy kitchen because for some reason the tap was spouting rusty water all of a sudden

What I learnt:
2 cups of fruit makes two cups of jam.
Dark green skins turn an ugly shade of brown when you add the sugar, so only use orange cumquats.
That little gourmet jar of conserve you bought at the deli is worth every cent, because making it is such hard work, especially those pesky pips.
Cumquat jam tastes lovely.