In the Kitchen....
While the bones were roasting, I mixed up a banana cake with the two very ripe bananas and the last of the regular milk left from our visitors. My husband was happy to help by cleaning out the bowl. :-) I slipped the cake in the oven when the bones came out.
I decided to whip up a batch of raw freezer chocolate. I haven't made this in ages (the girls all used to love it) and the tahini I had last bought for it was sitting in the fridge, well past it's best before date. It had set into something of a solid lump at the bottom of the container, with the oils floating on top. It resisted stirring with a spoon, so I tipped it into the food processor and whizzed it smooth, then made up the chocolate. Delicious!
Then my thoughts turned to dinner. In the freezer I have a couple of boxes of what I call "un-sausages." A while back, I had asked our homekill butcher to make me some sausages without additives - just the lamb meat put through the grinder and stuffed into casings, since I am allergic to so much. He looked doubtful, but complied. Frankly, they're completely tasteless and need a LOT of help! So most of them have just sat there...and I'm determined to use them up.
So, I defrosted a couple of bags of sausages. Then I went out in the garden and picked some nasturtium leaves, rosemary, parsley, oregano, thyme and a couple of small (failed) garlic. I washed everything, stripped leaves off stalks, and peeled the garlic, then whizzed everything in the food processor to chop up. Inhaled deeply as I took the lid off - smelled SO good!
Next I stripped the sausages out of their skins, and put the meat in the processor, and whizzed it until well combined with the herbs (added some salt too).
Then, working with wet hands, I rolled the meat into large walnut-ish sized pieces, and used them to make Curried Sausage Pie - layered with onion, sprinkled with curry and sugar, spread with applesauce, and topped with mashed potato (I had some rather wizzened spuds to use up) and optional grated cheese. As I type this, I can smell it cooking, and it's smells WONDERFUL!
I've run out of energy for adventure in the kitchen, so it's going to be accompanied by simple beans and peas from the freezer, and some homemade rich tomato sauce. I'll post the recipe for that and the pie tomorrow.
Today's Thrifty Tips and Handy Hints:
Toilet roll tubes make great firestarters: Flatten three tubes and fold in half. Stack together, then slide them inside another tube. This saves space, and creates something with the right density (and air pockets) to burn well when starting a fire. I used to use toilet tubes for starting large seeds, but stopped after it seemed the manufacturers have included something in the cardboard that inhibits plant growth - they would germinate ok, then the seedlings would sit dormant and turn yellow.
Eggshells: Eggshells are a great source of calcium, and useful in the garden, worm farm, compost, or fed back to chickens. However, they don't break down well when fresh, due to a natural protective coating. To overcome this, and make them easy to crush, dry in the oven. Spread shells on baking paper on a tray and bake for 10 mins at 100C. I discovered that if you recycle an empty dog biscuit pack, which are made from thick plastic, then this makes it super easy to do the crushing without hurting your hands - simply put the shells in the bag, then roll and squeeze it until they are all crushed. Sprinkle crushed eggshell in the worm farm, put some in a bowl for the chickens, add some to the planting hole before planting tomatoes, or sprinkle it around the garden - a thick layer is supposed to keep slugs and snails away from plants, but mine obviously have tough feet because they laugh at it!