#everybitcountschallenge. Week 10.
The week started with a really busy day! I am working through some lists and so I made my first batch of Christmas cakes today.
Last night I got my fruit soaking and this smells really good! Every time you go into the kitchen you stir the fruit. By morning it is plump and beautiful.
I have used this recipe for many years. It can be made in any size tin or even in Muffin trays for little individual cakes. These can be heated and then I just call it pudding! It keeps a long time in a sealed tin. Usually up to a year. I like to have a cake on hand so I make extras and stash them away. You can find the recipe here.
I decided to make more smaller cakes. When you see the prices of things in the shops it is a massive shock how expensive they are. Last year in a local shop of handmade goods a Christmas cake was $60. It is true ingredients soon add up. I start buying my ingredients months before I need them so I get most of them on special... and later I will wrap my cakes nicely and decorate them. So more but smaller cakes is my tactic. Next week I will make another batch.
Watching the Facebook page of the fruit and veggie shop in town I struck a deal! The hugest heads of Broccoli I have ever seen were $1.99 a kilo. Broccoli has been up to $8 and $9 a kilo so this is a great price for us. It was beautiful and so fresh.
I got ten kilos! After a wash I cut it up and blanched it for 2 minutes. When it was properly cold I bagged it up into meal size portions. We like broccoli a lot and I made generous amounts.
Two minutes is my magic number. When I do it this way it is absolutely as good as fresh. Andy has never realised. ` The ends that were too woody I put through the food processor and grated them and the chickens and ducks got those. Mostly I cut my Broccoli as long as possible so we eat most of the stems. I froze 24 large packages. This reminds me... tomorrow Mum and I are going to town so I had better check the online specials.
Wherever I go I take a small coin purse with loose change for op shops. (Thrift stores.) I also keep a purse full of coins and have a little challenge of turning loose change into something good. When I paid for the Broccoli the lady was keen to get some change so I turned it into the hugest bag of veggies. I just love turning a little into a lot! It can be done!
Using my food processor I made some dried fruit calls. These are a good snack and now I can make them much more easily.
I made scones and froze some and took some to Mum.
I bought a big pack of bacon and divided it into portions and froze them.
So I had cakes, broccoli, scones and bacon. I am not counting the fruit balls as they didn't actually go into storage where as with cakes one of them will be put away. This is my logic anyway!
This will be my last #everybitcountschallenge post for now as I am just really pushed for time at the moment. I will continue to put up as much as I can and keep up with my harvest as it comes in and I will report this all in my Friday posts.
I want to encourage you to diligently work on your pantry and get ahead all you can. We already had severe price rises... now to add to it mass areas of Australia are flooded. Enormous areas of crops are gone. We are told now electricity will go up 50% more net year! Last week they said it was 30% !!
If you are heading into winter then please have all you need and if you are like me in Spring then plant all you can and keep your eyes open for possibilities like fruit that is falling from trees... go and ask! Ask and you shall receive! Prepare ahead and save jars and be ready to preserve whatever comes your way.
Finally... I took a BIG leap which is a little scary but I ordered a freeze drier. I have been thinking about it for a while as they are now available in Australia. There was a long waiting list and the soonest delivery was next April. I saw early in the week that a delivery had arrived and a few were available. So right there and then I ordered one. It is a major purchase. I am going to have to do a house rearrange to set it up. I am going to have to learn a lot! So a new adventure begins. AND you can freeze dry flowers... for cakes and soaps and decor... I wish there were more hours in the day or I wasn't worn out by evening! But really if we keep at things it adds up and every bit does count.xxx