This has been a busy weekend but very satisfying. I have eaten very healthily, made two lovely recipes with some plums I bought and done a phenomenal amount of de-cluttering and tidying. It has been tiring but all very worthwhile.
First of all the tidying bit. I consider myself to be quite tidy and well organised but my house has seemed rather chaotic recently so my eye was drawn to a comment on a friend’s Facebook page ( thank you Luly and Carmel) about a brilliant book the friend had read this summer. Intrigued I ordered it and thanks to the speed of the Internet it was on my kindle and ready to read within seconds. ‘The Life-Changing Magic Of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art Of Decluttering And Organizing’ by Marie Kondo.
If you want to be tidier and less cluttered then get this book. It is brilliant !! The key points are to tidy by category rather than space. So don’t think, ” I am going to tidy my wardrobe”. Instead think, I am going to tidy my clothes. You then have to empty all your clothes from everywhere they are around the house, on to the floor. So I gathered clothes from 3 wardrobes, a large chest of drawers, the laundry, beside the door and hanging over the banisters and heaped it on my bed. Previouslt, things were neatly hung (I thought) but quite squished
First of all I could not believe how many clothes I even had as I don’t consider myself a “clothes person “. I was beginning to regret what I had started!
Once you have gathered your category, (ie clothes), you go through, item by item, handling each piece and seeing if it “sparks joy”. This is quite a different question to my usual tidying up questions which are more likely to be, does it fit? Might it fit one day? Might I need it one day? So asking instead, does it spark joy, was quite different. You have to discard before you organise which makes sense because it is only after discarding that you know what you have left to organise. While all the wardrobes and drawers were empty, I Cleaned them.
I threw over half my clothes away or donated them to a charity shop!!!! I I went from 3 wardrobes to just 1. I realised I didn’t like lots of my clothes so I got rid of them, including 2 huge bin liners full of brand new clothes which didn’t fit but I hoped would one day. When I get to that size, I will buy clothes then and not grab sales bargains and hope I can wear them one day.
Organising was then a pleasure. One half of the wardrobe for smart clothes and the other half for everything else.
Dresses on the left and then tops as KonMari says it is better to make a shape of an upward pointing arrow than a downward arrow which interestingly is how I had it arranged before. She also recommends colour sorting from dark to light. I also sorted all my accessories such as jewellery, bags and other stuff. No basket or box was left unturned. The hanging things up bit was easy. I then had to get to grips with the folding so everything you keep in a drawer stacks vertically rather than being layered on top of each other. I had to look up some videos to understand properly – there are loads on YouTube. I was glad I persevered because I LOVE it ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️. I am now on a mission to vertically fold everything possible because it makes it so much easier to find things. Check out my super tidy sock drawer. I even finally got round to using the scented drawer liners I have had for years as I was in a use it or lose it mentality.
Night wear. Trousers. So easy to see what is where so no more rummaging through drawers for me.
I tidied my entire room, the bathroom and the linen cupboard except for my trunk. The trunk is full of keepsakes and I wasn’t up to doing that today. I did pull out any clothing though and threw it all away apart from some baby things and this old school shirt of mine. But out when the souvenir t-shirts from inter railing and backpacking trips and from University. All gone. My room feels so much clearer and cleaner, it’s great.
I ate really well this weekend. In fact, looking at the pictures, I ate very lightly and had no alcohol, so I did really well. On Saturday I had a strange lunch as it was a mixture of the things I cooked Harvey and some extra veggies I wanted. I had been so engrossed in KonMari-ing my room I skipped breakfast so this was the first thing I had all day, apart from tea. Baked beans, boiled new potatoes, steamed broccoli and cauliflower. No added fats at all. In the evening I had a mango, plum and banana smoothie with blueberries and coconut. That was it for the day apart from a couple of apples.
I missed breakfast again on Sunday, such was my enthusiasm for tidying. I made a smoothie at about 2 so I had the energy to go to the dump. 3 sweet and simple ingredients.
It was perfect.
I did munch on 2 dates, a plum and a banana while I cooked the 2 plum dishes I am about to share, and my dinner which was a lovely stir fry with tofu and the sweet chilli plum sauce I made. Dinner was half a cup of brown Basmati rice, stir fried onion, broccoli, yellow pepper and mushrooms, plus tofu with almonds and a side of plum sauce.
That plum sauce is really good as it is sweet and salty and with a kick of heat. Yum. So didn’t I do well with my eating? I am very pleased.
So, on to the plums. I turned to Sarah Raven’s ‘Garden Cookbook’ which is a favourite of mine as the recipes are sorted by what is in season in each month of the year. She had lots of plum recipes. I will give you Sarah’s recipe and note where I changed it. I made double quantities but am giving you the recipes as they are in her book. These are Victoria plums.
- 450g ripe plums
- 2-3 garlic cloves
- 2 dried chillies or 1 fresh red chilli
- 3 heaped tbsp soft brown sugar
- 1 tbsp grated fresh ginger
- 4 tbsp soy sauce
- Halve the plums and remove their stones
- Chop the garlic and chilli
- Place all ingredients in a heavy based saucepan and simmer for at least half an hour until rich and thick
- Pour in to warm, sterilised jars and cover. They should keep 3-4 weeks in the fridge and it freezes very well.
The changes I made were to use level tbsp sugar and I added 2 dates. I also poured mine in to the blender so it was very smooth. I enjoyed one portion for supper, popped one jar in the fridge and the other 2 in the freezer.
I also wanted to make something similar to a plum compote to have as a dessert or for breakfast so I made the roast plums which Sarah Raven recommends you have with custard.
- 1kg plums
- Grated zest and juice of 1-2 oranges
- Grated zest of 1 lemon
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 cinnamon stick broken in 2
- A few juniper berries
- 75-100g dark brown sugar
For 2 kg plums I used 3 oranges, no lemon, 3 bay leaves, 1large cinnamon stick, about 10 juniper berries, 100 g Rapadura, whole cane sugar, 1 heaped tbsp molasses and 4 large dates.
- Halve the fruit, remove the stones and place in a large oven proof dish
- Heat the oven to 180
- Add the orange zest, bay leaves, cinnamon, juniper berries and sugar and finally the Orange juice
- Bake in a preheated oven for 15-20 minutes until the plums are tender.
This is fantastic. Really delicious, with strong flavours of orange and juniper. The dates were a genius addition as the texture is lovely. I have set aside a portion for breakfast and put the rest in the freezer so I can share it with my sisters next weekend.
Plumtastic. I have had some good suggestions on Facebook for using my plums so I will have to think about what to do with the remainder. I hope you all had a good weekend.