Friday, 5 August 2011

frugal friday..

preserved pears
i bought four kilos of pears this week for $0.80 cents a kilo..i peeled them, cut them into medium dice and poached the dice for 2 minutes in a light sugar syrup with a vanilla bean, a couple of cloves, a small piece of cinnamon stick and an allspice..then i bottled them adding the poaching liquid and processed them in my fowler's preserver..

pear vinegar
inspired by 'old days old ways' recipe for fruit scrap vinegar i kept the pear peelings from the pears i bottled and added 1/4 cup of sugar dissolved in 1200 mls water to the peelings..i'm really looking forward to seeing what happens over the next few days..will i be having a lovely pear, walnut and rocket salad with my own pear vinegar this summer?..if it works i am going to celebrate with the purchase of some roquefort to go with that salad!

crabapple butter
on wednesday i made a little jar of crabapple jelly and i was left with the pulp after draining the liquor and today i was left with some pear poaching i put the pulp through a sieve and added it to the poaching liquid and cooked it down into a crabapple butter..

tofu, vegetable and brown rice soup
this week i made a large pot of stock after roasting some bones and meat trimmings with a few aromatic vegetables..this was all then boiled gently with celery, parsley, a strip of lemon, a fresh chilli and salt and i removed the fat and strained it through muslin and made a simple soup with onion, celery, carrot, more fresh chilli, home bottled tomato puree and half of the the last minute i added batons of organic tofu, that i had bought at half price last week, and celery leaves cut fine..i cooked brown rice separately and added a few spoons to the soup bowl before adding the soup (i do this with pasta and rice)..i then grated myzithra over the soup..

sultana cupcakes
i was left with an egg yolk and half an egg white after making the candied violets earlier this week so today i made half a dozen sultana cupcakes..the bit of missing egg white means they are not quite as perky as usual but i'm eating one as i write this and taste wise they are the same as usual.. 

an accidental tea rescue
i was given a packet of english breakfast tea by a dear friend for christmas and because i don't like to have lots of packets of similar teas on the go i poured the gifted tea into my very large tea canister to join a couple of packets of a similar blend..i didn't notice though that the tea i had added was flavoured with vanilla until the next day when i made a pot of i love vanilla but not vanilla flavoured tea and the vanilla had permeated all the tea in the for quite a while now that large quantity of tea has been languishing in the canister..i can't drink it and i can't throw it out..anyway this morning the only tea i had left was a packet of earl grey tea and the vanilla tea and i'm not a huge fan of earl grey either but i do like a little mixed with a less aromatic tea occasionally..but today if i wanted to have a cup of tea and i didn't want to mission to the shops at 6.30 am i had no i popped a bit of 'earl' in the pot and in a rash moment added an equal quantity of 'vanilla'.. to my great surprise the combination works well..especially with the sultana cupcakes..jane


  1. What a lot is going on in your kitchen at the moment. I could down a big bowl of your soup right now, it looks really good. I am going to have to do something in a few weeks with the pears from my pear tree, last year I wrapped them up and stored them but still ended up wasting some. I dried a few as well and put them in the freezer intending to make something with them - have a horrible feeling they're still there. So I am going to come back when I pick them and study. Only thing is I don't have a fowler's preserver, what does that do? Can I do it some other way? Help!

  2. What a frugal Friday indeed! My husband's always going on about a preserving kit - his mother had one as he was growing up - but we've never invested. Maybe we need to reconsider.. :)

  3. hi joanna..i am really sorry but i don't know whether the same thing can be achieved any other way..but i would have thought that a similar preserving kit would be available in the uk..i've decided to do a separate post about the vacola later today so that will answer your question about what it does..i plan to dry some pears too in my did you dry your pears?

    celia i would recommend a preserving kit especially for i said to joanna i am posting about it later today..