In terms of spending nothing, this week has been a bit of a write-off due to a series of unforeseen circumstances (more on that below). I still spent very little at the store, but did end up with some takeway meals. Sigh. Ah well, chalk it up to one of those weeks and get back on track!
In the Kitchen....
I made Duck and & Bacon casserole one night for dinner, served on Cauli Rice, with fresh sweetcorn. Yum! The trick to getting duck very tender is to precook it then slow cook it - in this case browning in a frying pan, then slowly casseroling at 150C. It's fall-apart tender and delicious! This stew is AIP (auto immune protocol) so very low allergenic. Easy too :-)
I made up another batch of Curdito. I really like this sauerkraut variation! It's also a great way of preserving a lot of cabbage in a small space. Below are two pics - the first of the raw vegetables cut up. As you can see, they fill most of a very large bowl (11 litre). After being salted and left to sit for a while, it shrinks considerably. Then by the time I've put into the jars and pounded down, what was nearly 10 litres of cabbage and other veges takes up less than 2 1/3 litres of jar space.
I made a Spiced Apple Cake with Crunchy Topping for my daughter's birthday dinner. This is one of her favourites - she took over making it years ago and so I haven't done one in a long, long time. Simple to make and very yummy. It's a "normal" cake in that it contains gluten, dairy, eggs and sugar, so not for everyone.
I made a simple centrepiece by filling a glass bowl half full of water and floating some carpet roses, dahlias and a poppy in it. The girls loved it :-). I acquired this bowl for Christmas decorating, putting a large candle in the middle (in it's own glass vase) and surrounding it with tinsel, bows, small Christmas decorations and candy canes. I'm now planning to slowly collect some sea shells etc to fill it for another look. It's basically fish bowl-sized.
I've almost run out of dishwashing liquid, so I began experimenting with home made versions. This one is super simple - a little grated sunlight soap, a little borax, water, and (optional) essential oils. It doesn't foam like a normal dishsoap (which is purely cosmetic anyway) but does a perfectly good job of getting the dishes clean. It also costs next to nothing! I'll probably trial a few others over the coming weeks, just to see which I like best.
In the Garden.....
The pepino in my greenhouse has really taken off. This was originally grown from seed sent to me by a friend in Auckland, saved from her plants. It took me 2 years to get a harvest of the plant I grew. Then in the second year it grew manky towards the end, so I took cuttings off it and had them in water in my kitchen for some time before I finally potted them up and put them in the greenhouse once the worst of winter was past. This is one of them. It's now flowering (there are already two fruit on it low down from before I potted it up into this pot and fed it properly). Lots more to come, hopefully! Pepino is ripe when it's slightly soft, like a ripe plum. Mine are purple skinned. Inside they have soft yellow flesh reminiscent of melon in flavour - mild and sweet. It's a nightshade, so needs similar conditions to it's relatives - tomatoes, potatoes, chilli, eggplant, etc.
On Wednesday we took an unplanned look at a property for sale. I cooked dinner (duck) that night. The next day we ended up in negotiations to buy said property, and in the midst of it all I completely forgot to get meat out for dinner. It was also Valentine's Day, so we made the decision to get some takeaways and relax with a movie that evening.
On Friday, I had chicken out to cook for dinner. The afternoon was spent talking to the bank about finance and then on the phone with an insurance company. The latter dragged on and on, to the point where I ran out of time to cook dinner and make it to a meeting in Palmy that night. So I grabbed some Burger King on the way to my meeting in the 10 minutes I had to spare. Sigh. The chicken made a nice meal the next night though, with lots of fresh veges.
Sunday we ended up having to stay in town longer than expected to help our daughter acquire a washing machine....Subway for lunch before I came home to cook the birthday dinner for our other daughter.
Well, some of these I could have avoided with some preplanning, but I'm choosing to count my blessings that I did have these options, even if they are less than desirable.
As for actual groceries:
I had my husband pick up a loaf each of gluten free and regular bread while I was injured, to make lunches simpler, and some almond milk since I couldn't make more ($15.33).
A bottle of milk ($3.43)
I picked up some potatoes for the birthday dinner, since I was running too late to dig some, and got some kumara on a really good special ($3.99/kg) while I was there ($12.90)
Total spending this week: $116.46. Yup, fast food is expensive!
This week's budget +$50.00
This week's spend: - $116.46
Thrifty Tips and Handy Hints...
Deodorise with Baking Soda: Place a bowl containing baking soda into a smelly cupboard, fridge or bin, close and leave overnight - it will absorb odours and freshen the offending area. Don't throw the baking soda out - use it to clean a drain or similar that needs it. :-)