Thursday, April 26, 2012

Thursday thrift......

This week's Thursday thrift is about seed saving. In our garden we have chosen to plant heritage varieties of vegetables for a number of reasons:

*Heritage varieties were developed by home gardeners so they tend to crop over a longer period-perfect for harvesting as required!

* Supermarket varieties have been developed for ease of harvesting (cropping all at once) and transport-often at the expense of taste

* Heritage varieties provide viable seed for future crops-modern F1 hybrid varieties do not set viable seed-or if they do it will not be true to the plant harvested.

I'm a member of the Diggers Club and a couple of years ago I spent $40 odd dollars on seeds to start our garden with. This year I will spend $4 which will be for sweetcorn-all the other seeds sown will be from those harvested last season, dried and stored in labelled envelopes for the next season. All it takes is letting one of each vegetable variety you want to save from ripen and/or go to seed.

I'd love to hear from anyone who has other thrifty ideas for their gardens!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Planning and production.....

Yesterday was a day which started out badly. Awake at 4am with an excruiating headache, I finally fell asleep again at 6 only for the alarm to go off at 6-30.....feeling as if I had the world's biggest hangover did not bode well for a productive day! However, by the time the day was done I felt quite smug at how much I managed to achieve....

As I had to work from lunchtime onwards the morning was set aside for grocery shopping and food preparation and production. I bought a full chicken for $6-50 and 4 pieces of osso bucco for $8 at the supermarket, planning for those protein packed items to feed us for the rest of the week!

Above: Leftovers to become potpies

Out came my two trusty slowcookers and into one went the osso bucco, two sliced onions, a couple of chopped carrots and some diced celery. A tin of chopped tomatoes, crushed garlic and oregano completed the concoction, which I then left to do it's thing for 8 hours. This provided dinner for His Lordship and I, with the leftovers due to be topped with pastry and baked as potpies for tonight's meal.

The chicken went whole into the other slowcooker; along with a halved onion ( skin left on) some garlic, peppercorns, bay leaf, a chopped, unpeeled carrot and a couple of roughly diced sticks of celery-complete with leaves. A couple of litres of water poured over the top and 8 hours later I had just over 2 litres of chicken stock, two poached chicken breasts, shredded chicken meat and chicken bones for  chicken and vegetable soup.

Above: Stock, breast meat, bones & shredded chicken

$14-50 has bought enough meat to provide us with at least 6 meals for the two of us, plus I have lovely rich chicken stock for risotto or soup.

By planning to utilise the one morning for food production I have freed up much of the rest of the week-which means that I can use that time for other important gardening!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Thursday Thrift..........

I've been contemplating what today's topic should be; I've thought long and hard about which article/resource/activity would be suitable for a post about thrift and finally an idea arose when I was looking through my kitchen window at the autumn roses.

People. Friends, family, neighbours, workmates. These are some of the most valuable resources you can ever access. Your grandparents will have ideas and habits which may very  well save you some dollars! Mind you, they may also have some habits which will cause you to shake your head in way will I EVER let a teabag dry out and reuse it-I like my tea STRONG! ;)

Do you have neighbours who are handy at woodwork? Are they good gardeners? You may be able to get friendly and organise an exchange of plant cuttings or home maintenance for something you are good at....baking, preserving, even walking the dog or feeding their animals in return!

Your local library will probably have free internet access. Your local council should have a list of local markets. By spending a small amount of time fostering these contacts you should find yourself reaping the rewards. What other ideas do you have?

Wednesday, April 18, 2012


I'm taking a moment today to is 20 years ago since His Lordship and I were married; which means that we have spent more than half our lives together. We have learned much along the way-how to cope with whatever life throws our way...good, bad or indifferent. We have learned to appreciate the time we spend together-alone, without family or friends. We have always had busy lives and at times have been on opposite sides of the world. One anniversary we were on opposite sides of Australia!

Through it all, we have managed and muddled our way along and somehow, perhaps against the odds, managed to still love and more importantly LIKE each other! :) These days I can truly say " My husband, my friend. "

We have other reason to celebrate this week-our 4th grandchild and grandson made his way into the World. Elijah Philip is the first child of our elder daughter and her husband- al 9lb 12oz of him!

We are truly blessed.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Sufficiently slow..

The morning sun is shining through the kitchen window and the jars of green tomato pickle are cooling on the bench. There are scones freshly baked, washing drying in the breeze and we have enjoyed bacon and eggs for breakfast-eaten outside alfresco.....there may be better starts to a Sunday; but I doubt it!

Yesterday was spent mainly in the garden- His Lordship mowing whilst I pulled out the tomatoes and harvested pumpkins. The tomatoes yielded enough ripe fruit to make 4 jars of pasta sauce and 3 kilo of green-which has provided us with 6 jars of spicy green tomato pickle.

I was musing yesterday and what constitutes "sufficient"..or "enough". I had read an article which was discussing some millionaires and whether or not they were satisfied with their accumulated goods. I was saddened to read that the vast majority of those interviewed for the article never felt satisfaction-they were always feeling as if they had to buy something..a boat,car,house, jet.........something,anything.

I'll settle for breakfast in the sun thanks!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Thursday Thrift..........

I've been MIA lately due to a heavily pregnant daughter-but I'm baaaaaack! :)

This week's Thursday Thrift topic is tortillas. Yep, basic, easy to eat and use tortillas! These little beauties can be made yourself or bought at a reasonable price from the supermarket-whichever floats your boat!

I used tortillas this week for a Barely Burritos meal...I used leftover slowcooked lamb curry from the night before. I placed the curry in the middle of tortillas, folded and rolled them before placing seam side down in a greased pan and sprinkling with cheese. Baked in a moderately hot oven for 20 or so minutes until crisp, they hit the spot perfectly!

I've also used a sandwich press at times to make quesadillas with tortillas-another thrifty and satisfying meal! Tortillas also make great "crisps"-cut up, sprinkled with seasoning of choice and baked until crisp in the alone or use with your favourite dip....yummmmmm.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Locovore lifestyle?

I've never consciously been a locovore-I enjoy meals at restaurants and other eateries too much to be a true locovore! However this morning I realised that when at home we tend to live a locovore lifestyle-limited perhaps, but steadily increasing.

You see, our breakfast this morning consisted of homemade sourdough bread, spread with yoghurt cheese, topped with tomatoes and thinly sliced roast lamb drizzled with homemade tomato sauce.

 Every ingredient in that breakfast was cooked or grown in our street! Admittedly the flour for the sourdough  and the milk for the yoghurt come from a supermarket, but the bread was baked in my kitchen;as was the yoghurt which was fermented then drained into the labnah . The tomatoes, onions and garlic for the sauce were grown in our garden; whereas the leftover roast lamb was from our neighbour two houses down-we bought one of the lambs they reared in their backyard over the summer. Next year we will be rearing a couple ourselves.

Having enjoyed this feast left me feeling satisfied for the rest of the morning- I had a few busy hours at work to get through. The satisfaction was in both my body and soul-because once again I realised how easy it is to provide for need to be dragged in by the vast corporations demanding that you spend,spend,spend!

Sometimes I am disheartened by the number of people frantically working, sharing little time with their families and neglecting themselves....and then a moment will occur that leaves me smiling and full of hope for the future! This mornings breakfast was one such time and another was the message I received this morning from a friend who is collecting some chickens tomorrow for her backyard!

Those chickens will bring a lot of pleasure to my friend and her family-plus they will provide the lovely homegrown eggs they will enjoy!

Monday, April 9, 2012

Routine ramblings....

Wow, long time no post! One of our daughters has been contracting in early labour for over 2 weeks now-with no progression! This has meant we have spent a bit of time at her place ( 4 hrs drive each way..) for moral support. At this oint in time she will be having a C section later this week if there is no progression. Mum & baby have been monitoring well, although mm is a tad tired!

Easter saw us welcoming visitors and we had a relaxing few days together-complete with a visit from Easter Bunny for our grandsons who were here.

At times like these our normal routines get thrown out of whack-and it can be far too easy to slip into the convenience of consumerism.....and I will admit to a couple of takeaway meals recently! :)

However, I am pleased that I'm still managing to continue with some of my self sufficient principles. Currently one of my slowcookers is filling the kitchen with the tantilising scent of pasta sauce-using up the last of the season's tomatoes. I have pumpkin seeds drying on the kitchen bench and some tomato seeds soaking in water to be drained & saved for next season.

Also on the kitchen bench is a jar of lemon peels & white vinegar-infusing the next batch of citrus cleaner. I get a sense of satisfaction now when our son & his family ensure that citrus peels go into the jar!

We have also bought a whole lamb from one of our neighbours-slaughtered and dressed for $100-much cheaper /kilo than buying from the supermarket or butcher!
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...