It’s January 3rd! You know what that means – busy season is finally over and done with, winter has kicked into full gear, and I’m back to having some free time with freezing cold weather keeping me locked up indoors and… blogging. It’s been quite the hiatus. I’ve tried to post a few things here and there over the past couple of months, but it wasn’t very successful. I had a week off over the holiday season which was spent mostly with some family, and the rest of my evenings in the past week or so have been spent obsessing over the Tiny House Movement.
If you haven’t heard of this already – you should google it. Better yet: You Tube it. I’ve become really inspired by the idea of living in a super small space with limited belongings, just the basics, and find the eco-friendly, reclaimed materials, off-grid-capable tiny houses of particular awesomeness. There are some truly exciting designs out there. The movement has gained some traction as a response to the past few years of recession in North America, and a lot of people both young and old, with kids’n’pets and without – are taking the leap to simpler, more practical and affordable living. Recycled materials, composting toilets, solar and gas powered household equipment, and some even on wheels… transportable. There’s clearly a lot to learn before making the decision to live tiny, but the sheer amount of information available on the subject right now is a recipe for late night You Tube marathoning! One of the most well known promoters of living with less Kirsten Dirksen, has tons of video footage of tiny and alternative living spaces, everything from the Texan dessert to converted sheds in rural Spain, you can check out her videos here. I’m a big fan of her two documentaries We the Tiny House People, A Spaghetti Western on Lean Urbanism, and Summer of (Family) Love: Tiny Home VW-Road Trip. In order to get the most raw understanding of what our needs really are and where real happiness comes from, Kirsten embarks on multiple road trips with her family of five (three little kids!) across America, in a Westfalia camper van and a pup-tent at most. What she aims to share with her viewers is a different perspective on our relationship to nature, material belongings, true needs, and each other.
Other like-minds spreading the word and inspiration:
Honeycomb Sponge Toffee: yields 1 small household baking sheet
110 g honey or corn syrup
1 TB water
210 g granulated sugar
2 tsp baking soda
-Place the honey or corn syrup, water, and sugar in a medium sauce pot and turn to medium high heat. Stir the ingredients to dissolve together, and then allow them to cook over low heat, bubbling away at a slow soap- looking simmer.
-Measure your baking soda and sift to remove little lumps.
-Allow your sugar mixture to simmer for a couple of minutes, and if using white corn syrup: cook until the mixture begins to show caramel color around the edges. If you’re using honey or golden corn syrup: cook until you get a medium caramel color like this, or a smidge darker:
-Remove the caramel from the heat, sprinkle the baking soda over it, and stir with a spatula carefully.
-The honeycomb will froth and foam so stir slowly so you don’t splash any on your skin. Be sure to drag the spatula across the bottom of the pot. You’ll see that as you stir the honeycomb will change color rapidly and become more caramelized. Stir until you get a uniform color, just a few seconds, and pour out immediately onto a baking tray lined with parchment paper or a silicone mat.
-Allow to cool 15-20 mins and then smash and enjoy! Tastes best when dipped in chocolate.