Sunday, November 30, 2008

More Food Saving

On payday Pat found some cheap economy 1 kilo packets bacon for $4.99. These packets are usually the end cut offs and such.

Having a food saver machine at home, I bought a packet as its a cheap way of getting diced bacon. Not much good for bacon & eggs as a lot is cut thick and in chunks.

I'm not looking at using a lot of diced bacon at this time of the year, unless I make fried rice or a spud salad. But the 1 kilo pkt was just too good to leave behind. I've seen diced bacon priced at $9.99 in shops. Why pay for the privilege of having it diced for you.

After dicing the bacon, I made small pouch bags and sealed the meat inside. Suggested time frame for pork in the freezer is 6 months. By using my food saver kit, 2 to 3 years in the freezer. So there is no rush for me to use up the bacon in the next 6 months.

Not everyone has a food saver, but still looking and buying bacon this way and dicing at home, will still save you $$$$$.

Until next time....hoo roo

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Friday, November 28, 2008

Apricot Jam

Last weekend when James was visiting, he told us about his fruit trees (plum, apricot & quince) in his backyard, James had been living there for about a week and Con his dog is keeping the birds away from the trees.

The other day I was lucky enough to score just over 7 lbs of apricots off his tree. Today I have turned it into jam.

One thing I like to do is when given bulk food that is made into a jam or sauce, is give that kind person back a jar of the end product. Even though James said not to bother, I'll pop a jar of jam in his fridge as a thank you.

This weekend we are taking around our old fridge for him, so I'll see if I can collect some more apricots as well.

Apricots in the sink having a rinse. Not many bird beak marks on them, Con keeps the birds out of the backyard. I know these aren't a "Moorpark" apricot as that is what we had in our backyard before it died.

Lovely new thick spoon for stirring the fruit. One year I actually snapped my jamming spoon in half. Pain in the bum when that happened. At this stage I had the sugar warming away in the oven.

After the sugar was added, I let it boil (stirring all the time) making sure it doesn't catch or burn.

While this goes on, Pat helps by washing all the jars & lids in water so hot, I can't put my hands in it. Removes any labels and glue. Then into the oven to dry and sterilize them.

All that needs now is to cool down and make & stick labels on them. That big jar is for Debbie, she keeps me in sheep poo through out the year. Red lid jar is for my niece Jo and the little green lidded jar is for James. One of the front jars is for Amy & Benny and the rest if for me & Pat.

Now I'm going to tell you my recipe as people say my jam is sooooooooooooooooo lovely.

This is between you and me okay? No sharing this around with family

7 lbs apricots
5.5 lbs sugar warmed
1 cup water

Cut your fruit up and add to heavy pan with the water. Bring to boil slowly and simmer for 20 mins.

While that is going on...warm your sugar up in the oven. (Figured this is done, so when added to the fruit it doesn't cool the mixture down)

Pop a plate in the fridge and get it chilled. Then later on your ready to see if the jam is setting or not, and if ready for popping in jars.

Add the sugar gradually and boil till the jam sets on that plate in the fridge.

I use jars with metal lids. As the jam cools, it tightens the lid and becomes air tight and the jam will last for years. Debbie's jar has a clear preserve cover on it, as I couldn't find the lid.

Okay so you have your apricots be they yours, neighbours, families or bought cheap at the markets....... what are you waiting for ...get some jars and make yourself some beautiful jam.

Until next time....hoo roo

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Saturday, November 22, 2008

Grubs Up

My dinner tonight, just finished and was it yummy. There was 7 food items harvested from my vegie patch today.

In the green vegies there was asparagus & broccoli.

Steamed potatoes were harvested this morning, variety is "Nicola". The taste is a clean, crisp full flavour.

In the mushroom sauce I made from scratch (no packet food here) with spring onion from my garden.

In the butter, was my own fresh garlic and chives. The garlic is fresh and when using my garlic press, I could hear the crunch as it was pushed through the press.

You know if I had more land, the steak could have come from my own cow too.........

All that playing out in the garden is paying off and has been for weeks now. Soon I'll be harvesting tomatoes, eggplants, climbing beans plus even more.

I know what has gone into the soil to feed the plants. I'm on a first name basis with what I ate tonight and the best part is...... its organic and freshest as it can be. Unless I move my kitchen out next to my vegie patch.

Have you checked out my main blog? If not have a look as there is a lot happening.

Until next time....hoo roo

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