What is this teetering tower of loveliness? It’s breakfast, which a super organised me prepared last night: a lovely mix of granola, oats and almond milk with a sprinkling of flax seeds that the husband got in a marathon pack. Overnight oats obviate the need for cooking, which is a bonus, especially since I also made a steaming pot of chickpea curry which got a good hour on the hob last night. (As part of my eco-conscious month I’m trying to be more aware of my use of fossil fuels).

Prior to eating the curry this evening, I’m going to add a tin of coconut milk to give it a nice, unctuous finish, and throw in a packet of spinach, which will both enhance its appearance and boost its iron content significantly. A handful of coriander will also give it a fresh flavour, unless, like my mother you HATE coriander which she feels the need to tell us every time this herb is mentioned. EVERY time. ‘Herb of the devil’ she calls it. There are two tins of chickpeas in there plus a couple of oversized organic carrots, so there’s at least 6 portions. My children will probably look at it as though I’m trying to feed them cyanide, so for them I’ll chop up some tomatoes and cucumbers and feed them cheese toasties. This means that I can fill a tub for my friends down the road and they too can share the goodness of a vegan dinner. I’d have them round but we’ve just been on a trip together and they may well be ‘over-Helened’ by now, which is a condition that only a period of abstinence and a few stiff drinks can alleviate.

 

So why vegan for the first day of ‘Do One Thing?’ It’s because it’s World Vegan Day of course, and so it ties in nicely, especially since Do One Thing is all about being a bit ecologically aware and trying new ways to make us reduce our carbon footprint. Recent environmental studies showed that unless we address our current way of going, we have about 11 years before the planet suffers irreparable damage. Cheery, isn’t it? However, there are a few lifestyle changes we can make as individuals which have an immediate impact. The production of cattle is hugely damaging to the environment, so a couple of meat free days a week would make a dramatic difference, should large numbers of people make this one small change.

 

With this in mind, make a stew or a soup or fry up some tofu. Plan a vegan feast with friends or plan to attend one of the superb supper clubs run by that most dynamic of duos at The Edible Flower. Down at Al Gelato on the Ormeau Road, he’s doing a few vegan recipes and his stuff, as we all know, is fabulous. I’m prepared to admit it,  the thought of being a full-time, committed vegan makes me baulk just a little, but a few vegan tweeks to my life here and there? That I can do.

 

Remember, if you’re making something delightful, take a pic and fire it up on Instagram, using the hashtag: #Do1thingnovember, and #sourweeblog too.

 

 

So what’s this Do1Thing lark about? I’ve tried to keep it simple. It’s doing one thing every day for the month of November, because, altogether now: ‘November can be shit’ . A chap I know says that every year his mum shakes her head as November rolls round. ‘Powerful lot of wakes,’ she says darkly, as only an Irish mammy can.

Every morning, should you wish to check in, I’ll be posting something that I’m up to, and with a suggestion how you can take it a step further, should you wish. I do believe that bringing people together for a common goal makes change happen. Look at Harper’s Yard for example. A few people came along to chow down cake, one rainy morning in, you’ve guessed it, November, a couple of years ago. Since then several of these marvellous events have taken place, raising thousands for charity, and a community has grown around it. Happily, they are having another of their brilliant events on the 1st December, so I’ll be there, munching buns and hopefully feeling positive after a month of making small changes.

Here’s a heads up of a few things I’m planning, should it inspire you to organise something similar.

  1. I’m asking members of our running club to have a root through all their sports gear and see if they have items that they are finished with or simply don’t wear any more, and I want to collect these for a charity which distributes these to refugees and asylum seekers so they can practise their sport of choice.
  2. I have signed up to a fundraiser called ‘The Big Broth’ and a few mums are coming to mine for a lunch of soup and sandwiches, for which they will make a donation to the charity Centre-point. This sounds like a lovely initiative, and is also a great way to use up leftover pumpkin. (So may sad, unwanted and massacred pumpkins around Halloween.)
  3. At our parkrun I will be organising a coffee morning so runners can enjoy a bun after their exercise, and make a contribution to a good cause.
  4. Towards the end of the month I’m delighted to be having a few friends round mine for a ‘swap-shop’. I LOVE a swap-shop.  Invitees arrive with a bag of loot of which they want rid, we see if there are any takers, and if not, despatch the items to a charity shop. Oh, and obviously we drink wine, and snack upon crisps and dips. I am excited about all of the above.

That’s it. Expect updates and if you are in any way adept with social media, get hash tagging with #do1thingnovember.

 

And thank you, for checking out the page.