Stir it up, then reuse it (Day 126)…

July 4, 2007


This might just be the simplest, most ridiculously easy change yet — so get ready to roll your eyes, flick your wrist and say “Oh puh-lease, come on!”

Well, here goes nothing: As of today, whenever I use a fork or spoon to stir something, I’m going to use that same piece of cutlery to eat whatever I just stirred. So, if I’ve got a pot of rice that I’ve just fluffed up with a fork, that same fork will used to eat it five minutes later. If I’ve just made a bunch of tabbouleh and mixed it around with a spoon, that same spoon will be used… well, you get the idea.

Knives won’t come into play, really, because as my mother has always warned me, “Stir with a knife, stir up strife!” And who wants strife?

(Although, if I’m slicing or dicing in the preparation stage I’ll of course use that knife to eat, too… unless it was a chef’s knife, or a cleaver, or one of those serrated bread knives, in which case that might be a little awkward)

Some of you may wonder why I wasn’t doing this anyway, and to be honest I often would. But there are times when the utensil gets a little gunked up, then sits on the counter for 20 minutes, and when I’ve got a nice fresh plate I sometimes want nice fresh cutlery to go with it.

But not anymore — I hereby promise, no matter how gunky, I’ll take one for the team, tough it out and reuse that fork, damnit!

Photo courtesy of photo-steve on Flickr

Don’t let me eat take-out (Day 87)…

May 26, 2007

That was supposed to be a Marie Antoinette pun. Well, not a pun, exactly, but you know, “Let them eat cake” — oh, forget it, I can never come up with decent headlines. Anyway, moving on: I thought I’d continue with yesterday’s fast-food theme.

After eliminating all delivered food from my menu — in some part because of the packaging in which it always arrives but mostly because of the fuel involved in getting it to my front door — I’ve decided to go the extra step and ban take-out food altogether, unless I’m able to bring my own reusable containers or wrapping to store it.

So, basically, the only way I can now eat fast food is if it’s vegetarian, if I walk or bicycle to get it, and if I plan ahead and bring all my own plates and cutlery. The one other exception will be if I’m out all day unexpectedly for work and haven’t been able to make my own lunch, in which case I’ll try to find something I can eat in-hand — and if it’s something messy like a falafel, I might need to allow myself a single piece of wax paper (I shouldn’t need to use any napkins, though, because I’ll have my hankie — which I’ll only use if it’s relatively clean, of course).

Phew! I think it’ll be easier to just make my own damn pizza. Oh wait, I can’t use my oven. Crap.

No steaks on a plane (Day 80)…

May 19, 2007

Recently, I confessed to booking a somewhat elaborate summer vacation that requires a fair amount of air travel (which I’ve at least offset with TerraPass). On the plus side, I made sure to take one big chunk of time off work, so for the most part the flights will be short-haul; on the down side, due to scheduling conflicts, it also means taking a lot of connecting flights (and by “a lot” I mean … um… *cough* nine).

As I’ve already committed to eating meat sparingly — and, when I do, it has to be free-range, organic and/or grass-fed — this means I’d have to pick apart all my in-flight meals, being careful not to get genetically modified pork residue on the peas.

But the reality is, whether or not I eat the meat on my plate (or rather plastic tray), it doesn’t make a difference by that point; the demand for it is created as soon as I book my ticket.

Fortunately, this greenie plans ahead. I requested that all my in-flight meals be vegetarian or nothing at all. Most airlines these days are very accommodating — besides having veg options, they usually offer kosher, low-cholesterol, gluten-free and even bland/ulcer meals.

Unfortunately, I can’t request that they leave out the plastic cutlery set or make sure that both the coffee and any chocolate in the dessert is fair-trade. But if the cutlery comes separately, I’ll pass it back (then again, if I can’t get my portable chopsticks past security, this could be a problem).

A plastic fork in the road (Day 29)…

March 29, 2007


Since I’ve already abolished styrofoam here on Planet Thistle, I might as well get rid of its evil twin — plastic cutlery — while I’m at it. The more I pay attention to the litter along the side of the road, the more I notice that there’s almost always plastic forks, knives, spoons and plates amongst it.

Unfortunately, while there are multiple alternatives to styrofoam, such as biodegradable corn-based containers like the NaturoPack, there haven’t been many innovations on the disposable cutlery front (except maybe this one from Hong Kong or this weird orange-peel-and-carbon-dioxide one).

Personally, I don’t get take-out that often. But I understand that most people want their regular Friday night pizza-and-a-movie, or in the case of my parents for the past 10 years, Saturday night Thai food. And then there are those days when you’re sick and all you want is a hot miso soup from the sushi place next-door and you sure as heck aren’t going to make it yourself or sit in the restaurant sipping it alone.

So here’s my solution: Carry chopsticks at all times. Yes, it sounds silly, but they don’t take up much room in a purse (or murse), they’re not as sharp as a knife and fork, and when it comes to the spoon — well, pretty much anything you can ladle with a spoon you can sip directly from the bowl. In fact, you can even get little portable chopsticks like these, so if you’re out at some posh soirée and all you’re carrying is a dainty sequined clutch, you could still cram ’em in there for when you stop by Harvey’s at 3 a.m. with Bellini breath and a mad poutine craving. You know you will.

Sure, greasy fries slathered in gravy and cheese curds may not be the easiest food to consume with chopsticks, but with practice it’s totally doable. And I figure, if I’m really struggling, I’ll just use my hands — besides, what else are opposable thumbs good for?

Photo courtesy of drp on Flickr