In the Kitchen....
I had a bunch of cucumbers I picked from the greenhouse, so I made a batch of our old favourite pickled cucumbers (a recipe also handy for excess zucchini), as well as batch of naturally fermented ones using a different recipe. The ones I made last week were just too salty and not as nice as I would have liked (apologies to anyone who made them and didn't like them - I should have waited to taste them before posting the recipe, as I normally would have!). This new recipe has been tested and tasted and is really nice!
I'm having to remember to use smaller jars than in the past for most preserves, as we don't get through them like we used to!
In (and from) the Garden....
I picked up more fallen unripe apples, and set about cooking them up for more jelly and applesauce. I cooked up the yucky bits too, separately, to feed the chickens.
Unfortunately, just as the pot full of good stuff was finished cooking, the glass lid just completely crazed. No chunks of glass fell in, but I could feel tiny flakes of glass on the inside when I ran my finger over it, so rather than risk the possibility of any glass in the apples, I will triple-strain through muslin and a very fine sieve the liquids off them and make into jelly after careful examination, but discard the apple pulp, sadly. Ah well.
Picked the first cabbage, 3 small cauliflower heads, and first head of broccoli from under the mesh, 8 weeks after planting. Considering these plants normally take about 5 months to form heads, that's downright incredible! The cabbage weighs 2.5kg and will be made into sauerkraut. Homegrown cabbage is so full of moisture that its dead easy to make into kraut and requires very little effort to get the fluids flowing, unlike store-bought cabbage which is usually very dry by comparison. I've made some of the cauliflower into cauli rice, and will use the rest in a ferment. We ate the broccoli - YUM! This cauli looks a bit purple because I didn't notice it had hearted up, and it got a bit sunburned. But still tastes just as good.
I have a box full of rat-tailed radish seed pods I need to shell. Rat-tailed radishes are grown for the pod, rather than the root. The long pods are very hot tasting but delicious when young and tender, and can be added to stir fries and other dishes. I was given some imported seed some time ago, to grow for more seed to share.
Spuds in buckets looking good. Meanwhile, a small bed of potatoes is dying off and will be ready to dig soon. In the buckets I have planted a wide variety of potatoes saved from last year's crops, mainly to perpetuate my seed stock of those varieties. They include Agria, Ilam Hardy, Urenika, Purple Heart, and a couple of others.
I'm really pleased with my shallot harvest this year (below) I have never had them so big! These are bunching shallots - one plants a small shallot from last season, and it turns into a small bunch of 5-8 or so little ones (usually). In a year where garlic and onions were big failures, getting good shallots is extra nice! These ones were growing in my raised strawberry beds, which may have something to do with it.
Week 3 Spending...
On Friday we had a date night, and I bought the first junk food/treat items of the past three weeks - a bottle of coke and a small bag of M&M's each. These came to the ridiculous total of $15 (I wasn't paying attention at the time). I wasn't going to count them in these figures, as they're not part of our normal grocery budget, but then I decided I would, after the fact, for the simple reason that they have to be paid for from somewhere, and usually such things would end up coming out of the housekeeping one way or another. Note to self: make a more conscious decision ahead of time in the future and don't get ripped off!
We were in town today much longer than expected, and I hadn't taken any water with us - it was very hot, so we bought 2x $1 bottles of water from the Warehouse.
So total spend for the week: $63.39
Kitty total brought forward: $69.91
This weeks allowance: +$50.00
This week's spend: -$63.39
When I DO go to the supermarket, I've now gotten into the habit of taking my reusuable bags with me. That 5c/bag credit New World is giving on reusable bags really helped me get around to finally making it a habit. Now I do what I meant to do all along - keep a selection of bags tucked inside another one right by the door, and some extras in the car. I've been using reusable bags for my main shopping for a long time (as I generally shop at Pak'n Save), but it's remembering them for those shorter or impromptu visits locally that has been more of an issue up until now.
Side note - my supply of plastic grocery bags, which I reuse at home to package veges in the frige or to line bins is now running extremely low. Will have to get used to other ways of doing things! It's important though - those grocery bags are a major environmental hazard and do need to go. It's just hard to change our collective habits - though harder in our heads than in reality.
I have so many ideas and so little time - to do them, or to talk about them. I really want to write posts on menu planning, the $21 Challenge, the best books for savings ideas and motivation, and lots, lots more recipes, articles about growing various foods etc. I have a lot more pickling and preserving I need to do, and lots of jobs I need to get done in the garden. Ah well, each day is new, and one can only do what one can do. I'm not into messing with humanity, but if I were, a few clones of myself would be very tempting about now!
I've also noticed that a lot of those things that I've been posting about as handy hints and thrifty tips are things I do without thinking about it. I have to notice myself doing them, write myself a note right then, or I forget when it comes time to writing the post. Like now. I know I've noticed several share-worthy things this week, but right now I can't think of a single one! Next time!
I hope you all have a wonderful, thrifty week!