Friday, 5 January 2018

Taking advantage of The Reduced Section Continued

Following on from my earlier post and having has some further thoughts, I had thought that one of the things that I really also wanted to get to grips with this year is my dehydrator. Although I used this last year I did not make as much of it as I possibly could.  It was an expensive piece of equipment that I had waited years for and should be an integral part of the home it can do so many things.  That is what attracted me to it in the first place that it would fit in with cooking (raising dough, making yogurt, composting, craft products like salt dough, pot pourri.....  I want to be able to use this a lot more than I have and one of my answers to this is to check out the bargain rack at your local shop. It makes perfect sense make something that potentially is not near off the tip at a smarter price and so it does not end up in landfill and stock said produce away and ready for use in the pantry.

As I have previously mentioned, in the past I have found cream and turned it into butter. (I have since located another 12 pots of cream to turn into butter).  The buttermilk left over from the butter making session will be used to make some buttermilk scones which I intend to serve with home made strawberry or raspberry jam with whipped cream.  Yum.  The buttermilk can be stored in the fridge for a couple of days if you are unable to use it straight away.

I know that is not dehydrating, but it is making use of something which has been reduced and producing something for my family pantry at a significant reduction which all helps keep the pennies in the bank account.  You have to take advantage where you can and in this instance it is also going to give a few extra treats.  

At this point in time though, I am particularly interested in berry fruits such as Raspberries, Strawberries and Blueberries with a view to drying them and using them in home made muesli , granola or other home made breakfast cereal.  I am also interested in using the dried fruit as flavourings for home made buttercream for cupcakes.  The flavourings if bought cost an absolute arm and a leg for a miniscule amount all it will take to turn it into flavouring powder is a blitz in the food processor and then being stored in an air tight container.  I bought some oxygen thingies from the States last year which I think will be ideal for using with something like this.

Mixed fruit at this time of the year in any event is expensive.  However if you look in the frozen section (well certainly at my local Co-Op) they do in their freezer section a large punnet of mixed berries for £2.  I am looking into whether I could dry these in the dehydrator from frozen.  I believe I could as you can dehydrate frozen mixed vegetables in this manner.  The frozen fruit might be a cheaper option for everyone all round during the winter months to make sure you get some vitamin c into your diet and some different puddings.  You can also use these in smoothies, pancakes even make a little midwinter jam if you wished.  Anyway I digress as usual.   We have this morning had a leaflet delivery from Farm Foods who have a range of frozen fruits on sale and the offer is £5 for 3 bags.  I may have to go and have a nosy at this as I  use a lot of fruit especially on things like pancakes and on smoothies and of course for breakfast.

I know I have already mentioned the mixed veggie bags for freezing the veggies in my earlier post but on thinking further on this I think they will turn into veggie powder to make veggie soup or to thicken up gravies i.e. for your roast and give extra flavour and vitamins but also stews and slow cooker meals.  So there is when you get into it an awful lot potentially to do with canning and with dehydrating and making the most of anything that comes your way.

I am looking at soups for OH for when he goes fishing again (the dehydrated version as they will be simple and easy for him to take with him) as well as the canned version which is one of the reasons why I wanted a canner in the first place.

One of my things at the moment is that I feel really restricted on what I can "can" (excuse the pun it was not intended  - a happy accident) and cannot do as much as I want to do as I really do not have much storage space for processed food, whether preserved by Canning or by Dehydrating.   I see all sorts of options and possibilities of potentially what to do.  However on a practical basis at the moment it is just not going to happen.  I will be able to play but not do the amount that I really would like to do.  I have access to relatively cheap vegetables and fruit from the veg shop at the present and even though I work full time at the moment it is important to me to be able to feed everyone properly. That's another reason for me wishing for the dream house even more. I think if I had my own veg garden the dehydrator would come into play even more because the outer leaves can be used and made use of whereas most people chuck these.  If you chuck them you should put them into a compost bin.  However a lot of the time I turn them into veggie stock and freeze in ice cube trays.  Waste not want not

Wherever it is and whatever state it is in I know for a fact that the dream house it will need  reorganising and a customised pantry and I may well have to have that built as a lot of houses today do not have pantries.  I am not really after a new place but an old place that I can add to as I like traditional features.  Anyway I digress.  

I am no different to anyone else at the end of the day and if I see something and I think it is a bargain then I will buy it and use it either for preserving, freezing, dehydrating or making wine.  The veggies will also make soup and a stock powder and so there is always something that can be done it is just a lot of the time finding a use and making it work for you as a family.

I also particularly like blueberries as they do not need much processing just washing and bunging in the freezer a lot of the time and then adding to muffin mixes straight from the freezer or in blueberry pancakes.  Yummy.  Blueberries are also very good for your auto immune system.  They have something called "free radicals" which in effect deal with the nasty antibodies that in certain medical conditions like arthritis cause all sorts of havoc.  As I have said they are good in muffins, pancakes, stewed as a sauce and added to plain yogurt, yogurt and blueberry ice cream, dried and used in cakes and cookies.  As they have always been one of the pricier fruits I have whenever I see them on offer invested in a few punnets and then just frozen them to get out of the freezers.

So more food for thought on the Reduced section.

As an after thought we have a gentleman who frequents my local Co-Op.  He only ever buys reduced stuff.  At first I thought he was on a low income but no that is not the case.  He is just very tight with his money.  I bumped into him before Christmas in M & S doing exactly the same thing.  So I think that the phrase "look after the pennies and the pounds will look after themselves" is extremely apt.  He has been doing this for years and it so obviously works.  By the way he is not on a low income - he is a builder!

Catch you soon.



No comments:

Post a Comment

Thank you for popping by. I love to receive comments and to make new friends so please say Hi. Pattypan

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)