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Monday, 30 January 2012

Putting little bits up for the freezer

At present I have no vegetable garden and have been unable to harvest crops from the back yard.  But that doesn't mean it isn't on the agenda or that I cannot do a little bit to help eke out the fresh produce that comes my way.  It means a little bit of work, but then anything worth doing is worth that little bit of extra effort.  So I live in a City; I am lucky in that I buy most of my fresh vegetables from my local greengrocer or from the main market in town.  I do on occasions cherry pick items that I am after from the supermarkets but most of my shopping is for the best part done through the Greengrocer and the Butcher and spotting the best price between the supermarkets for specifics although I tend to use stores like Lidl and Aldi and then if I cannot get what I want there - go store hopping.  I use own store brands where I can and I use a lot of pasta, noodles and rice.

I quite often freeze those vegetables or items that I buy and which we do not get round to using, which helps with meals during the week whilst I am working;  I don'tlike wasting stuff.  Dealing with produce in this way . means I can settle down and do other things like my handicrafts, but still enjoy a hot meal on a work night. This week in the reduced basket at my local shop I have picked up a couple of swedes and have bought them home, and cooked the swede then mashed it and put it into boxes in the freezer.  I have done the same with a combination of swede and carrot.  It will all come in useful along the way; and if I have a little extra money here and there I will put a lot of the root vegetables down as they are a firm favourite in this household; and once the spring and summer veg comes in they will not be as available.  This way on means that I am able to eat out of season vegetables as well as having the choice of the fresh ones.

I bought two haggis last week,one of which we have eaten today but I have frozen the other one up for a meal later on.  I have also put up 3 packets of 4 chipolatas for breakfasts or sarnies.  Plus the fact if I have food put up I know that OH will not starve in the event that I am taken poorly.

I have also bought 3 kgs of Cooking apples which I intend to cook and puree down; again for the freezer.  This will provide a filling for apple pies, or mini apple pies, or apple sauce to serve with roast pork.  There are multiple uses for something so simple. but which if prepared in bulk will save me a lot of time in the long run.  I purchase my freezer pots from the £ shop, and also get my sauce bags/soup bags from there as well.  I aim to get another 3kgs of apples again at the end of this week and put some more apples up. Once I have enough I will move to making some Apple Chutney and then some apple pies and crumbles - well that's the plan anyway.

Apples, Tomatoes and Plums and Pears I use a lot of; I try and purchase at reduced prices and then I will get what I can in the freezers but will also bottle some up for use during the year so that I get the best of both worlds; as even if we do not have the money to go and buy this that and the other; we are still going to eat well whatever the circumstances.  It is only putting little things down but little things soon add up and make a very useful resource.

I am also in the throes of starting to bake on a regular basis again - it probably won't do my waistline an awful lot of good; but hey I love my food.  As a result of that I hope to eventually come up with a baking list for the month of things we like so that we can enjoy the benefits of home baked goods, pies, cakes etc. with me probably having a full baking day once a month or every couple of weeks or so rather than me doing it piecemeal as I am at present. I also thought that making a list of items we like as basics would help me plan for the ingredients required and thus be more cost efficient also.   When time is at a premium you have to make the most of that which is available to you.

Equally I obtained 2 large white tin loaves and a wholemeal loaf reduced to 20pence each which I intend to turn into home made bread sauce.  We are bread sauce officianados in this household as it perks up a simple roast chicken with some home made stuffing a treat.

What do you put up into a freezer or what type of meals do you prepare and freeze.  Would love to hear from you

Pattypan

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Meet the Moggies

  • Merlin (approx 18 months)
  • Squeak (approx 2 years)
  • Poppy (approx 16 years)
  • Tyson (approx 17 years)
  • Tinky (official name Clover approx 18 years)