Saturday, 30 June 2012

Skip Divin' Gal

I live in an area mostly populated by students. Infact 3 major universities in this city put their students here, and once a year there is a massive overhaul of the population.

Basically, if you're a student in this area, the contract for the house you rent will end on the 30th June and the next one will start on the 1st July.  It's sort of a given.

Students being students are second to none in the consumerist race and have an amazing tendancy to either wreck everything they touch so it has to be thrown away, or they have no concept of money and the hard graft it takes to earn it and so throw away perfectly useable things. 

These two facts mean one thing, come the last week in June, the area is littered with rubbish.  Some things vile and disgusting and others are in perfect condition.  So what's a crafty, thrifty girl like myself to do?

Skip dive!

I'd just like to mention now that when I do find something on the pavement being thrown away that I'd like to have, I do always knock on the door of the house and ask permission first.  You don't want to take something that is being moved into a house and not out of one!

So what have I found?

Well, I've not done too badly actually and I've found two items that were on my house's wish list.

In my student house, we've all decided to swap rooms as our contract is for two years.  One of the rooms is much bigger than the others and doesn't have much furniture in it so the new occupant said how much she'd like to get a chair or bean bag or some cushions.  And what did I find while walking down the road?


A lilac coloured bean bag!

I should say that I did look this over thoroughly before asking for it as you never know with things like this if they could be hiding the story of a night out that ended badly or something. But lo-and-behold it was in perfect condition.  All I did when I got home was stick the cover in the washing machine as it was a bit gritty from sitting on the side of the road and ta daaa! Just like new!  One happy housemate!

My second find was a wok.  I've wanted a wok for a while now as there's a few stir frys and things I do in my frying pan and I always accidentally spill them everywhere because the sides aren't high enough.

The wok I found looked a bit rusty and I know from Greg's culinary genius that iron woks need to be oiled after washing to keep the rust off them, so I reconed this one would be fixed up easily enough.  And I was right!

After a quick google, I learnt that the way to recondition a rusty wok...

 Scrub off all the rust with wire wool and wash and dry thoroughly.

Heat it up on the hob until its very hot and brush it with a thin layer of oil to protect it.  

Let it cool and voila! Just like new!

Incidentally, the black around the rim isn't dirt or a non-stick coating, it's the wok's old seasoning. Seasoning is the oiling process which preserves and protects an iron wok.  It starts off clear then as it builds up gives the metal a dark patina.

So if you fancy being thrifty and good for the environment (and cheap on the pocket too) try skipdiving.  But remember the three golden rules:
  1. Ask permission of the person it belongs to before you take it.
  2. Check it over thoroughly, so you get no nasty surprises
  3. Clean it really well when you get it home!

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