Diaries from a lardeedaar #2

Mike and I have decided to throw a party. It’s our wedding anniversary, and a house-warming is well overdue.

We love spending time with our friends and seeing what happens when we bring people together. We’ve got lots of new friends in Malvern, so it should be interesting!

I’m also rather excited about ‘greening’ the whole experience, as part of our quest for a truly sustainable lifestyle.

In recent years, we’ve got into the habit of sending most of our invitations out by email, so we use very little paper or transport. That’s the first step sorted out!

As we haven’t got room for everyone to sit down for a meal, we need to serve finger food or fork food. We’ve got a small fridge, so it would be hard to prepare lots of finger food and keep it fresh, and we don’t want to buy pre-prepared food with lots of packaging. As an alternative, we’ve decided to make a stew followed by apple crumble.

From a sustainability perspective, rabbit is great, so last weekend we tried out a recipe. Our verdict: the meat has a strong and unusual flavour that we quite like, but we’re not sure all of our guests would. So we’ve decided to use chicken from our local organic butcher instead. Our vegetarian option will be the same stew, but made with chick peas instead of meat.

The crumble is really low impact because our neighbours have generously let us pick some of their cooking apples.

We haven’t quite got enough crockery and cutlery, so we’ll need to see what we can borrow from friends or buy from our local second hand shops.

We also need to think about drinks. As well as cooking apples, our neighbours have offered us some eating apples that we’ll juice for a lovely non-alcoholic drink. For beer lovers, Mike’s planning to talk to one of the local breweries. Beer miles will be really low, and we’ll be supporting a local business and local farmers. And for wine drinkers, we’ll have to choose between a locally-produced wine or something from further away that’s fairtrade.

So, that’s the food and drink sorted out. What about entertainment? We’re very lucky to have a great music scene in Malvern, and Mike’s already been talking to one of our local professional singers (and a budding new friend) about what he could do for us. Does that count as supporting our local cultural scene? We’d like to think so!

We won’t do much in terms of decoration, but I’ve been itching for an excuse to make some banners ever since I saw some I liked at a conference a little while ago. If I have time, I’ll make a couple from an old scarf and bamboo poles. If I get it right, they’ll look beautiful and put people in the party mood as they approach the house.

The excitement is mounting, but there’s still a lot to do, so I must dash. I’ll let you know how it goes later.

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