The Shift to Thrift.

The Thrift of the Reading of the Recipe.

When I am asked to share a recipe my answer is always a bit of a hit and miss affair. The inquirer usually gets an answer which is much more than they bargained for I am sure. You see the problem is I do not cook by recipes, much just lives in my head but mostly I cook by heart and add a bit of science and art. So while I rarely actually follow recipes, I spend a lot of time reading recipes. Recipes are everywhere and I recommend you make one of your interests reading them for a number of reasons.

Did I mention I liked reading cook books?

Through reading recipes you will learn the principles of how to cook and it is the principles that matter; through reading recipes you will learn:

  • the terms of baking and cooking and what they mean
  • the various ways and methods to approach food preparation
  • how to cook from scratch and so avoid a lot of packaged foods
  • the best way to prepare different cuts of meat
  • how to use different textures and flavours
  • how to marry flavour partners
  • the different methods of approaching baking and when to use them
  • what the finished product should look like
  • an understanding of amounts, proportions, textures and tastes
  • the amount of time a dish will take to prepare
  • an idea of the cost of the dish
  • this is not a conclusive list, I am sure you can add many others
The cook book cupboard.

With practice you can master a lot of basic skills and then work out how to tweak recipes, stretch and bulk up recipes for more servings and substitute ingredients, for something that is already in the pantry or something that needs using.

Remember in this blog we are discussing ways to stretch our budget, our creativity and our resources; we are not on MasterChef!

I include a few tips for flavour, nutrition, and economy;

#1 Do not pour or wash your flavour down the sink. This applies to vegetable water or the pan meat, bacon etc has been cooked in. Learn to make gravy from scratch using vegetable water, pan drippings and a little plain flour.

#2 Pop the chicken carcass, some fresh herbs from the garden, any old veges from the bottom of the fridge in a pot, bring to boil and simmer for about 40 mins. Let cool and strain off for stock for soups, casseroles, gravy. Freeze this for later use. Putting this stock in the bottom of the roasting pan when roasting chicken or turkey keeps the meat moist and makes a super tasty gravy.

#3 Make vegetables the star of the meal and reduce the amount of meat consumed. Go vegetarian if that appeals but if not, reduce the serving size and the regularity of meat consumption. Many tasty meals can be made simply with vegetables. Every meal does not need to include meat and there is that suggestion to have one day a week vego to help our environment.

Cooking with fresh herbs, explained - UCHealth Today
Image :UC Health: Cooking with fresh herbs
  • #4 Grow fresh herbs and use these to enliven taste. Become familiar with flavour partners, rosemary with lamb and potatoes, mint for mint sauce to go with roast lamb and mint with green peas, pork and sage, tomatoes and basil, coriander in Thai curries, oregano with Italian dishes, chilli with Mexican food, whole nutmeg grated over roast pumpkin, cumin with sweet potato, parsley or chives with everything, garlic and olive oil. Experiment! Have fun!
  • # 5 And finally, eating is a very emotional matter. My daughter tells me, “There is something really special about what you do with food.” I don’t know what it is, like everything else in my life our food is not expensive nor extravagant but it is made with love. So I conclude that the best food is not the most expensive food; it is the food made with love and served in joy and peace. To paraphrase Proverbs Chap 15 V 17 Better is a dinner of vegetables where there is love than a fatted calf with strife.

The Shift to Thrift.

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The Thrift of a Glass Jar.

Nowadays I have a well stocked pantry and every time I open it I thank God for this blessing, however this has not always been the case. In another life I and my four flatmates- the now adult offspring- lived in a very small rented duplex that had one cupboard in which was stored the linen, the crockery and serving dishes, some kitchen appliances and there was one shelf set aside for groceries. One evening I had a group of ladies over for supper and one asked where did I keep my food. I replied my food was stored over at the supermarket which was within walking distance.

The stock in the pantry was basic and along with a well stocked fridge and fruit and vegetables we were fine. In fact it can be a problem to have too much food in the pantry and fridge as this leads to items being shoved to the back, forgotten, going off and needing to be discarded. In the shift to thrift it is this wastage which needs to be avoided.

Perhaps you know people who have three half opened packets of the same thing, the pantry is a bit of a shamozzle and really, who knows what is in there? Perhaps this is you?

The Thrift of the Glass Jar.

Over the years I have collected large glass jars with secure lids. Suitable jars which will serve this purpose are Moccona coffee jars of different sizes, I also like the Robert Timms coffee jars but there are many other jars of all different sizes and shapes which come from the supermarket filled with all types of products. Glass has many advantages; it is hygienic as glass can be washed in very hot water; it is air tight and water resistant so food keeps well; it is transparent so it can be seen at a glance how much of a product is left without opening canisters and tins. Other people can see what is available and it’s just great to look into the pantry and see everything lined up. Because everything is visible it is less likely that items will be forgotten or purchased again before needed.

It’s the camera that is crooked, not the bench! But you gotta love my Robert Timms Coffee Jars!

If through sight it is not obvious which product is in the glass jar, after emptying the product into the jar, cut out the information from the packaging and slide this into the jar. Some products which are easy to confuse are icing sugar and cornflour or plain flour and SR flour. I am reminded of the night I was having guests for dinner and had decided on making crepes with savoury and sweet fillings. I was trying to thicken the savoury tuna mix with what I thought was cornflour and it just would not get any thicker so I added more and finally decided to taste the mixture only to find that it was very sweet and that instead of cornflour, I had been using icing sugar- not a mistake I have made again and I was very cross with myself as that was waste.

Glass is better than plastic for the environment because plastic is non degradable and every piece of plastic ever manufactured is still in the environment somewhere? Google The Great Pacific Garbage Patch; you will be horrified!

Every now and again I have a pantry clean out and make a slice with the products which are getting close to the end. So last Sunday afternoon, I cleaned the pantry and this is the slice which was made from the almost finished jars.

Pantry Slice

A slice made with odds and ends from the pantry clean out.
  • Ingredients:
  • wholemeal SR flour
  • sugar
  • coconut
  • chopped dried apricots
  • raisins
  • a few weet bix crumbled
  • chopped almonds
  • In a saucepan I melted together
  • butter
  • apricot jam
  • tahini
  • coconut oil
  • bring to boil add a 1/2 teaspoon bicarb of soda as you would if making ANZAC biscuits
  • pour this mixture over dry ingredients mix well; adjust mixture to the desired consistency
  • press into pan and bake in mod oven

In the next post we will talk about how to adapt recipes and some thrifty kitchen hacks.

The Shift to Thrift.

The 4 Week Meal Plan.

My mother’s employment, occupation, profession and calling was to be a wife, mother and keeper of the home. Very early in their marriage my parents decided that my father would do the outside work on the farm and my mother would manage the home. For both of them it was an herculean task. Money was tight, there were few mod cons and there was lots of work to be done. Life was not flash nor was it exciting but these generations had something, in fact many things, we do not have today. One thing they had was a routine and certain tasks occurred weekly on certain days. For instance there was a day to change sheets and have a monster washing day, days to clean and mop floors, days to bake etc.

Creamed, Canned And Frozen: How The Great Depression Revamped U.S. ...
Image :npr org.

In our home Saturday was a big washing day, baking days were Tuesday and Friday; on these days biscuits such as munchies, a type of biscuit made with rolled oats, ginger nuts or jam drops, slices such as raspberry slice, chocolate slice or fruit slab, cakes such as patty cakes, fruit cakes, pumpkin fruit cakes and scones, usually pumpkin, would be made. All these were baked in a wood fuelled oven. On Fridays special cakes were made and put away for Sunday night supper which we shared together after coming home from church. There were even days when you knew there would be a roast or silverside or casserole and with these meals there would be a plum pudding and custard with the roast, a steamed pudding with syrup and custard with the silverside and with the casserole a slab of butter cake with stewed fruit and custard. There were other desserts such as bread and butter pudding, baked rice and lemon sago. I could rattle on for ages but my point is there was a routine and a rhythm to life and in this routine there was stability.

About three decades ago when my life was turned upside down and stability stripped away (sounds a bit like now for many people) I followed the example of my mother and with my children devised the four week meal plan for both stability and economy.

  • Firstly I had the children write down some of their favourite meals and then worked that into some sort of table. The meals were supported with lots of vegetables and salads, plus pantry staples. But as you can see I could buy 2 kg of mince and divide that into 4X 500gm lots and Monday night tea for 4 weeks was covered. The roasts were used in lunches and dinner the next night. Bacon went into Thursday meals so again buy in one lot and divide and freeze. Friday nights required canned tuna and some frozen fish fingers and so on.

MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFridaySaturday
Week 1Spag Bolz
Roast ChickenFried Rice with veges chicken and baconBacon & Egg QuicheTuna, Corn Cheese CasseroleMac Cheese
Week 2Meat Loaf
Roast LambStir Fry veges with Lamb stripsZucchini SliceFish cakesNachos
Week 3Lasagna
Roast BeefShepherd’s PieLoaded PotatoesTuna BakeHot Dogs
Week 4Rissoles
Roast PorkSweet and Sour Pork with RiceBLTsFish Fingers.Pizza
The menu plan was posted in the kitchen, we all knew what we were eating and when and the meal plan informed and simplified my shopping.
Sundays were a bit of a free for all. On Sunday night we made pancakes with loads of fillings and toppings.
DessertsWe also rotated desserts and each week baked goods
Week 1Custard and fruit for dessert and Jam drops / raspberry slice for baking
Week 2Ice cream for dessert and Chocolate slice for baking
Week 3Bread and butter pudding and ANZAC biscuits for baking
Week 4Yoghurts and Banana cake for baking.

After the four week cycle the menu plan could be rejigged; some dropped and other favourites added, silver side, corn and silver side fritters, chile con carne, Mum’s McDonalds, sausages with mash. This menu plan is for your family so it can be whatever you want it to be, the important thing is that is does simplify and economise life and provide some stability.

Homemade Pumpkin Scones recipe – All recipes Australia NZ
Image : All recipes Australia

Just as a side note my mother passed away 45 years ago this June but the older I get, the more I appreciate what she taught me in both word and deed. I enclose her pumpkin scone recipe.

Mum’s Pumpkin Scones.

  • 3 cups SR flour sifted
  • 1 cup cooked mashed pumpkin
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tabs sugar
  • 1 tab butter
  • pinch of salt
  • a little milk
  • Beat sugar and butter together, add egg and remaining ingredients, mix and knead together gently and pat out, cut out with scone cutter or a glass. Place scones touching together on tray, brush with milk and bake in quick oven.
  • Remember my mother cooked in a wood oven. Set yours around 200 C.

.

The Shift to Thrift.

Way leads onto Way

Thrift at the Supermarket.

As the old saying goes, There is more than one way to skin a cat, not that one would want to skin a cat, but still just as there is more than one way to approach any situation and achieve a successful result, there is more than one way to be a thrifty grocery shopper. For me the absolute bottom line for thrift at the supermarket is to stop throwing away and wasting the food you buy. On average Australian households waste well over $1000.00 a year throwing out good food and as the 2019 statistics indicate, we are getting worse, not better!

Image: thenewdaily.com

These statistics are frightening and while to waste this amount of food is criminal, these statistics do not take into account the the time, money, water, energy and production costs of getting the food to the supermarket. So when we waste…

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The Shift to Thrift.

Thrift at the Supermarket.

As the old saying goes, There is more than one way to skin a cat, not that one would want to skin a cat, but still just as there is more than one way to approach any situation and achieve a successful result, there is more than one way to be a thrifty grocery shopper. For me the absolute bottom line for thrift at the supermarket is to stop throwing away and wasting the food you buy. On average Australian households waste well over $1000.00 a year throwing out good food and as the 2019 statistics indicate, we are getting worse, not better!

Image: thenewdaily.com

These statistics are frightening and while to waste this amount of food is criminal, these statistics do not take into account the the time, money, water, energy and production costs of getting the food to the supermarket. So when we waste food, we are not only wasting our money, we are wasting the resources of farmers and others as well as the resources of the natural environment which have been needed every step of the way to bring food to our shelves. Some forethought and planning will go a long way toward eliminating food wastage. The suggestions which I present are strategies I routinely use or have used with success. I found when money was really scarce I needed to shop regularly, however, one can also save money through buying in bulk and certainly for some items this is a very good idea.

Image:the new daily.com

Many researchers advise not to shop on an empty tummy, this triggers an emotional response to hunger and results in purchasing more than is needed, so having topped up before hitting the supermarket; here are twelve tips for thrift at the supermarket:

#1 Before the next shop use the fresh fruit and vegetables already in the fridge. Use fruit by making a fruit salad, fruit crumble, smoothie or stew and freeze for later use. Make a salad with the salad ingredients and make vegetable soups, casseroles, curries, stir fries or fried rice with vegetables. Resist buying more fresh fruit and vegetables and tossing the old.

#2 Check what is already in the pantry, fridge and freezer as there is no point in buying more when there is already sufficient.

#3. Create a menu plan for the week and purchase what is needed to eat well for the week; not the next six months. It is not necessary to have everything all of the time – be selective and enjoy a variety of food.

#4. Shop with your list, have a budget and keep a tally of money spent as the trolley is loaded. I usually do this in my head, rounding dollars up or down to keep a fairly close tally although, if it a really tight shop, take a calculator.

Piles Of Fruits And Vegetables For Sale In Valparaiso, Chile Stock ...
Image:123RF.com

#5. Fresh is Best – buy fruit and vegetables when in season and at their peak in flavour and freshness and when the best value for money. It does not have to be perfect to be wholesome. Buy Australian and buy local. The current trend to buy produce that has been grown/ produced within a one hundred kilometre radius is a great way to reduce the carbon footprint. But the principle is clear, the closer to you the food was produced the less impact there was on the environment to get it to you.

Top Benefits of Buying Locally Grown Food | Arrowquip
Image: Arrowquip.

#6. Implement an Eat the fruit and drink the water policy. Fruit juice is loaded with sugar and does not have the fibre of whole fruit. Do your family a favour and train their taste buds to love fruit, vegetables and plain wholesome food. Not only will this save money at the supermarket; benefits will flow on to reduced dental and medical expenses. Leave the fizzy drinks behind too!

#7. Look for specials and reduced items. If the product can be consumed before the due date or frozen right away – it is a bargain. Be selective- it is not a bargain if the food doesn’t get consumed by the due date or if even at the reduced price the product is still expensive. When money was really tight we joked that if it wasn’t on special or reduced it did not find its way into my trolley! Nevertheless we still ate and had sufficient to share with others.

#8. Consider portion control. It is easy to over shop and then to overeat because the food is in the pantry.

Maps Maponyane on | How much sugar, Breakfast cereal, Sugar
Image: Pintrest Research: Grethe Koan

#9. Buy food which is nutrient dense. In most cases this will be simple food. Basic vegetables and fruits, products such as Weetbix, rolled oats, beans and other types of pulses, lentils, wholemeal breads, pasta, cheeses and some meats. You get the picture. Consider the healthy eating pyramid and leave the sugary breakfast cereals, chips, chocolates, lollies, sweet biscuits, ice-creams, soft drinks on the shelves. These are sometimes foods. Allow for a weekly treat but avoid filling the trolley with rubbish food.

#10. Look for value for money everywhere and endeavour to also support the local butcher, baker and greengrocer. Support smaller independent businesses and buy Australian for the benefit of us all.

#11. Keep an eye on the register as your shopping is going through the checkout. Mistakes do happen so check your docket before leaving the store. The last 2 times I have shopped, I have been overcharged, once the bacon was put through the register twice and the next time my Aussie grown oranges were put through as lemons at over twice the price of oranges. In both cases I did not check the docket until I was home and in both cases just wore the mistakes but in another life, I simply could not have afforded those extra dollars.

#12. So in a nutshell, plan what you want to eat, buy what you need at the best possible price, shop for healthy and nutrition dense foods, now take the groceries home, enjoy happy, healthy eating and be mindful to be thankful but not wasteful.

These tips will contribute to your financial security, improved health and well being, reduced medical and dental costs, they support primary producers and local business plus they are environmentally friendly and reduce pollution. Whoever thought grocery shopping could be such a win/win.

Next post we will look at the thrift of the four week meal plan.

The Shift to Thrift.

The Thrift of a Plan.

My way leads onto way life has taught me that very frequently life doesn’t comply with my plans. Whenever we make plans we need to leave room for the flexible factor; the plan B. To quote John Lennon, Life is what happens while you are busy making other plans and this is true.

But I have been a teacher for too long and as I often told students, planning was a very important process in gaining pleasing examination results. I would share Benjamin Franklin’s quote, If you fail to plan , you are planning to fail. And really it is just the same out of school; there needs to be some kind of planning for success even in the most unsuccessful of times.

Quotes about Central Planning (36 quotes)

We might not be able to plan for every contingency but there are some things we can plan for. For example, we know the electricity bill, the telephone bill, payments we have committed to and the car registration are coming! So we plan to have the finances there to cover them. We do that before making discretionary purchases. Too many people have it the other way round, preferring to spend on non essential items, such as recreation and entertainment and then find themselves struggling to find the money for necessary expenses.

Living on a shoestring - Idioms by The Free Dictionary
Image : Idiomsthefreedictionary.com

So the shift to thrift means that you put the big blocks in first, you honour your responsibilities; and if that is difficult, you cut the cloth to fit! For example, you don’t pay for electricity you don’t use; turn the lights off, use less hot water, only wash when there is a full load, in winter put on some extra clothing and watch tele under a blanket before putting on the heating. There are ways to reduce the cost of living and most of them do not hurt nearly as much as living beyond our means does.

Many thrifty ways start with planning and there is no better place to begin than with the grocery budget. Even when money is plentiful it is a good idea to keep a lid on the grocery bill, however when money is tight, it is essential. For many years I was a single parent of four-now wonderful adults- but we lived on a shoestring and often my prayer was, “Lord, just let me keep these children fed”. When large bills or unexpected expenses arrived the only area of manipulation was the grocery bill which had to be reduced in order to pay other bills. I became very good at stretching money and found that much less could be spent yet, everyone ate healthily and well for the week.

The next bog will discuss Thrift at the Supermarket.

The Shift to Thrift.

Image result for Thrifty quotes
Image: Pintrest.com

So today we are going to define what I mean by thrift. The word can be a little confusing to some as there are two similar words with opposite meanings. The Oxford dictionary defines thrift as a noun meaning: the quality of using money and other resources carefully and not wastefully. For example, “the values of thrift and self-reliance”. But there is also the word spendthrift a noun which refers to: a person who spends money in an extravagant, irresponsible way. For example, “Putt was a spendthrift and a heavy gambler”. We are discussing the former definition in which we want to be resourceful, careful and not wasteful.

When I speak of thrift by no means do I suggest that thrift means being stingy, tight or mean – quite to the contrary- thrift means to manage the resources at hand wisely, carefully and confidently allowing sufficiency for ourselves and the opportunity of gracious hospitality and generous sharing with others.

We have become very used to having everything all of the time. However, right now we are in a time when our world is being redefined. Some people will actually prosper as we go through this time of global shift because they can supply essentials which are in high demand, still others will truly suffer, they will lose loved ones, employment, small businesses; for most of us though it is a time to rethink, to settle ourselves down, to rein in expenses, to walk lightly on the globe, to take stock of how wasteful we have become, to be reminded what is important, to be content with less but paradoxically blessed more and learn again how to look out for one another.

Image result for funny quotes about being thrifty
Image : Funny Money quotes.

In 2012 I wrote; I believe the season of wilful waste is over, our global economy, our environment, our employers, our families and relationships can no longer stand under the pressure of the rampant consumerism which has increasingly gained momentum since the end of the second World War. I think it would be true to say that most people under the age of fifty know very little about thrift. Those around thirty have even less of an idea, however, in the face of employment uncertainty and the rising costs of living, it would be a good time to return to some of the tried and true ways of thrift.

Image result for funny quotes about being thrifty
Image:blogbling.com

And now we have a global pandemic which is knocking the world sideways and changing the very essence of what we think living is. There is no need to panic, when the storm has been weathered, there will be a silver lining. However, with the present uncertainty and a predicted tight economy, it is time to make that shift to habits of thrift and when money becomes more available, the thrifty habits formed open the way for real progress. Please do not see Thrift as a burden; rather it is a freedom.

In the next post we will discuss the thrift of a plan.

The Shift to Thrift.

Image : positiveheartbeat.com

The inspiration for this series of blogs comes from the encouragement of my dear friend of over 4 decades who on several occasions has asked me to write about the way I endeavour to walk lightly on the globe. Thank you, David, for your encouragement and your friendship. And from my son who first encouraged me to write a blog and has always encouraged me to write. Thank you, Rick, for your love and your belief in me.

The content of this blog is not some new thought but was written back in 2012, when by the encouragement of my son I wrote an ebook titled A Shift to Thrift. I enclose the preface below; just replace the word book for blog.

© 30/4/2012 Estelle Deshon

Preface

The ideas contained in this book are not for everyone. You may be working in a wonderful job which pays handsome rewards and how to pay the bills and move forward in life is not a worrisome burden with which you are familiar. That is wonderful!

This book is written for those who have experienced a change in circumstances which has not been solicited and for which no preparation has been made and at times, for which no preparation could have been made even if one knew what was about to befall. It is for those whose circumstances are moderate but who know that through resourceful management the everyday events of life can be negotiated and a purposeful future secured.

This book is for those times when one has more time than money and more expenses than the means to meet those expenses. This book is for times when change has been thrust upon one and the only way to respond is with a change in attitude and behaviour toward the available resources and finances.

I love how the Apostle Paul expresses life when he says he has had times in his life when he has been prosperous and times in his life when he has been poor, humbled and in need but that in all things he has learnt how to be content. Phil 4:11 I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. Phil 4:12 I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. ( NIV Bible)

Should you take the challenge to implement even a few of the following ideas, you may be surprised what a difference a few small changes will make but, more importantly, being proactive, learning new skills and moving forward to a more positive and rewarding place will boost your confidence and give you purpose.

Image result for images of being thrifty
Image:quotehd.com

As I reread that preface, I realise it was written for a time such as this. Right now! Today! Our world as we know it is being reshaped! I do not claim to know a lot, in fact, I confess that I don’t know much at all but together we possess a great knowledge and if we can share it and learn from each other we just might all be a bit richer.

So I hope you will read and engage in this blog. Your comments and ideas are welcome as many of us now shift into thrift mode. That’s enough for today, next blog we will define what the word Thrifty means. Enjoy your day; stay safe and healthy.

Pearls of Wisdom.

Image result for image of pearls
Image : thepearlsource.com

This is my final Pearls of Wisdom post and today it is all about chickens.

#11: The Chickens Come Home To Roost.

Image result for images of your chickens will come home to roost
Image : Englishclub.com

The idea of chickens coming home to roost goes as far back as Geoffrey Chaucer, born 1342/43- died October 25, 1400 (www.britannica.com/biography/Geoffrey-Chaucer) who in his work, The Parson’s Tale, 1390, writes that curses are like “a bird that returns again to his own nest”. By the early 19th Century the saying had morphed into chickens coming home to roost.(www.worldwidewords.org) and by the time I heard if from my mother it went something like; Be sure your chickens will come home to roost.

In this proverb the word Chickens is used as a metaphor for the attitudes, values and beliefs which inform our actions and the coming home to roost part means that the consequences of our actions come back to roost or sit right along side of us. It is a companion for the proverb which says; Be sure your sins will find you out; a warning to be a decent and honest human being. Often the consequences of actions done in secret come home to roost, sit right beside us, in a very public way. Just watch the news on any given night to get the drift of how that works!

Image result for Image don't count your chickens before they hatch
Image : Pintrest

#12: Don’t Count Your Chickens Before They Hatch.

Don’t count your chickens before they hatch is a reminder that NOTHING is a done deal until it has actually happened. We can have the anticipation of any number of events and very often life pans out much as we have planned but Nothing is a certainty until it has become a reality. There is not a single thing that suggests the world should conform to our plans! Understanding this and moving ahead in faith but leaving room for that little bit of apprehension and consideration for a possible plan B will safeguard one from disappointment.

Image result for images of mini dresses from the 60s
Image : London Evening Standard
Mary Quant the designer of the 1960s mini and models.

#13: And the last one; You look like a chicken with your tail pulled.

This was one of my mother’s sayings and to tell the truth I have no idea where it came from; it may have been an original of hers. Anyway, it amuses my husband every time I use it. I was a teenager in the 60s; all legs and very little skirt, so my mother would say, You’re not going out in that. You look like a chicken with your tail pulled! The best interpretation I can come up with is that this saying has to do with balance and proportion. A chicken does not have a tail, so if its tail has been pulled the chicken would look out of balance and proportion just as I am sure we did in the mini -mini-mini skirts of the 60s. Anyway, you can put your own spin on it but it is a cool saying and if anyone has an interpretation, I would be pleased to hear it.

Pearls of Wisdom

#10: You can’t make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear.

Image: Home Pearls
Image result for image of a sow's ear
Image: sobritish.eu

Well, this is another old proverb which has been around since the mid 1500s. Its original meaning is to juxtapose silk, something considered to be refined and superior, with a sow’s ear; the ear of a pig, which was considered unclean, definitely unrefined and inferior, therefore the silk purse was the most desirable. The proverb claims that it is impossible to turn something ugly and inferior into something of beauty and value. This comparison was not only for articles but extended to people, with an understanding that people were superior or inferior and that position could not be altered.

Image: worthpoint. Pig skin purse.

It may be true that you cannot make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear, but you can make a lovely, soft, pig skin purse; dye it a lively colour and jazz it up with some snazzy decoration and you have a purse that makes a statement, a purse that is practical and a purse which will most likely outlast the silk job.

Image result for image of a silk purse
Image : ebay. Silk purse

As you can see from the images above both the pigskin purse and the silk purse are beautiful. The moral of the story is this: whatever you have to work with, make the most of that. Most of us have limitations on our lives, but generally it is not our limitations that hold us back as much as our inability to find our strengths and build those into something of value. We are not all the same and beauty comes in many and varied forms. Our magic and our blessing is in our differences.

Image result for images of maryanne williamsons quote it is not our darkness etc
Quote from Marianne Williamson’s book, A Return to Love.

So, go on; make your purse; make it from the materials you have available and make it beautiful!