Thursday, May 3, 2012

make do kitchen

In light of last weeks post, I thought I would share what has been going on in this kitchen of mine this week. Keeping on with the frugal theme to make do and to make the most of everything.

I've started fortnightly shopping.  I obviously didn't organize myself well enough though, as at the end of the first week, I'm running out of white flour, milk and eggs.  I'm trying to stay away from the supermarket as much as possible. But with the huge shortage of local eggs right now, and no local dairies or other suppliers of milk, there is not much choice.

Left to right : Jerusalem artichokes, macadamias, carrots, potatoes, potato skins and zucchini (not seen are carrot tops, tomatoes and squash)

A kind neighbour gave us beautiful fresh carrots, pumpkin, giant squash, potatoes, tomatoes and zucchini. That afternoon I cranked the oven up to almost full and roasted much of that produce, tossed with olive oil and sea salt.  I fried the green carrot tops with olive oil and garlic. I toasted some macadamia nuts. Most ideas I picked up from this book. You then have on hand enough vegetables to make your dinner times far easier. The vegies are already done. You can mix with olive oil, lemon juice, sea salt a little sprinkling of fresh herbs for a salad. This week I have added them to pasta, risotto and sandwiches. They also make the most delicious snack (especially those potato skins). Pies and frittatas are also the cards.

Everything was decanted into recycled glass jars and popped into the fridge. As the book says, that way you can see everything in there.

I haven't been cooking many sweets lately. The cake above was a basic butter cake made from wholemeal spelt and rapadura sugar with a little of last years feijoa jam spooned into the middle. This picture shows me serving mine with cream. Not really necessary, but an affordable little luxury.

Saturday morning breakfast was Jamie Oliver's Breakfast Crumpies (an oven baked cross between crumpets and Yorkshire pudding) from this book. I ate mine with butter, sliced banana, maple syrup and a little cream. The rest of the family were a little less adventurous and preferred butter and jam.

I made ricotta again. I ran out of white vinegar and substituted apple cider, unfortunately it's not the same. But added to other ingredients that are stronger in flavour, it is fine.

Leftover risotto became zuppli (rolled in balls, dipped in flour egg and homemade breadcrumbs then fried).

Leftover soup has been an afternoon snack, rather than sweet baked things.

Eating frugally, to me, has not been about being deprived. It is eating a little more mindfully. It is about eating fresh, whole food. Making things from scratch. Wasting no part of it. In a way, it has been forcing me to be a little more creative in this kitchen.

How have things been in your kitchen?


  1. This is inspiring. Lovely pictures and you inspired me to order An Everlasting Meal.

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  3. I’ve been trying to stay away from the supermarket too, my first try lasted 4 weeks, then we run out of milk.
    There are no local dairies I can buy my milk from, Aldi sells an organic milk that stays good for 6 weeks in the fridge, it's fantastic for making yoghurt or cheeses.
    Buying in bulk, cooking from scratch and a fantastic farmers market to supplement our own garden and a little creativity make it possible to go without any

    I buy my meat from a local butcher, wherever possible I buy it on the bone. We share a T-bone for dinner between the four of us. Then after dinner I put it in a pot with a water and (leftover) veggies and let it cook for a couple of hours. It makes a fantastic soup for next day. Meat on the bone is also fantastic for a stew or curry.

    Just bought a big bag of capsicums on the market, will sure try your method to preserve some. That book looks great!

    Love your blog! Cheers, Marijke

  4. I love the idea of roasting and storing the vegies in the fridge to add to meals Tania...that would save me a lot of time. I have been enjoying leftover roast vegies with some spinach, feta and pinenuts for lunches at the moment and the batch of vegetable soup i made last weekend has been great for snacks so i know what you mean with that idea!
    It is a great way to cook....but you are right in that it does take a bit more thought and planning!!

  5. this is such an inspiring post and how it great it must be to have all that predone food ready to go.

    cheers Kate

  6. i've just gone and saved some glass jars from my recycling bin. what a simple, useful idea- the roasted veggies ready-to-go in the fridge!

  7. I love seeing the world shift its thinking to a more whole way of living, blogs like yours are a big part of that!

    I miss being a stay at home mum (my kids are in school now), I love working, but I would like to change to work at home rather than out. Its so difficult to live the slow life and try and fit it all into what time I have.

    I am looking at ways to cut our costs to hopefully allow me to work from home next year. Buying in bulk, growing our own and making from scratch certainly help save some pennies! Now to work on that horrid electricity bill!!

    Good work Tania :)


  8. honestly tania, even though i'm fairly new to your blog, it inspires me more than any other i read. i try to do this in our house, shop fortnightly, buy the basics, make things from scratch, but you are leaps and bounds ahead of me. i'm going to buy this book for some more ideas and have a bit of a better go at at. thanks again!

  9. Great post Tania and exactly how I live in my kitchen. My goal is to never have to shop at the market ever again, I'm not there yet, but it's coming! :)

  10. Oooh, I'm interested to hear how you use your ricotta? I've just decided that I'm going to make cheese because it seems like a really easy, affordable luxury, but I'm just thinking about what we'll use it with, otherwise it will end up growing stuff in our fridge!

  11. Oh I think you are already creative in your kitchen! And yum, you are making me hungry ;-)
    And your photo proves you can never have too many baking dishes ;))

    Interested to know what you pack your kids for lunches?

  12. Have just headed off to purchase that book! Looks fabulous. We too are avoiding the shops and trying to make meals stretch that little bit further. Potato skins...awesome! Wishing you a lovely rest of your week full of knitting and cups of tea :) x

  13. Wow, sounds like a great book and you're really taking it seriously! I'm going to the supermarket often just to buy things we need. I find it works out cheaper than doing a big shop and I've also done a meal plan....but this looks great and has inspired me even more :) x

  14. Hi Tania!
    Things are up and down for me in the kitchen but at the moment we are particularly inspired. I do hope that some egg and dairy options pop up for you! We go to a bulk buy group that includes local F+V (well, 5 hour radius probably), bulk goods, washing liquids, toilet paper and more. It has made avoiding the supermarket SO much easier. Eggs are from our (tiny, inner city) backyard and at the moment a friend is picking up raw milk for us an hour out of the city. This is my main source of inspiration at the moment - yoghurt, soft cheeses, spreads etc. It's all an experiment!
    Melania x

  15. Hi Tania,
    I have been following your blog for several months now, and you never cease to amaze me!
    Your self-sufficient lifestyle is truly inspiring - from your beautiful knits, sewing projects and cooking creations, you really make the most of each and every day and all resources available to you.
    I have learnt so much from you already, and just wanted to thank you - you've set the benchmark very high, and should be so very proud of the mum and homemaker you are!

  16. so inspiring... love your work x

  17. Hi Tania,
    I looooooooove visiting your blog each day and am very envious of your sewing and knitting abilities :) I loved this post about what foods you have been making etc and I would love to know what your kids take to school in their lunch boxes. I like to cook from scratch and bake bread but my kids feel left out without packaged foods. If you get time I would love to see you do a post on it.

  18. Hi Tania,

    What an inspiring post! I especially love the idea of cooking up the potato skins. I have tried and tried to get my children to eat roast potatoes with the skin on to no avail. Just brilliant. Also I can't wait to get my hands on a copy of An Everlasting Meal. It sounds wonderful. I have been revisiting The River Cottage Family Cookbook a lot lately, it is really simple as well.


  19. Oh I do love the look of that book.
    I have always been frugally minded in the kitchen but I think that comes with cooking from scratch. We've been shopping fortnightly for years now and every now and then try to stretch it to three or four weekly, it's amazing what you can save and just how much you can stretch meals. I have a tendency to always cook extra, that way I am only cooking half the week.


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