Sunday, October 3, 2010

Ever More With The Thriftiness

Mr. Ultimate Cheapskate, Jeff Yeager, has a "Miser Adviser" system where one can lobby for status. Interesting. I'm composing my application and will post it here when I'm done.

Yesterday I got some more plums. They are past it now so here's hoping I get those quince a friend said might be available. I've got plum butter going in the crock pot. It's been cooking down for about 2 days (with the lid off when I'm home) and is down to less than 50% of the original volume so time to jar it up today. I may add some acid in the form of lime or lemon juice to be safe. It tastes amazing. I added no honey, sugar, spice or anything. It is the rendered essence of plums and as thick as wet cement (but prettier). I put the pitted plums, skin and all, in the blender. The flavor of these plums, and the good color, is in the skins.

I've also instituted a new practice recommended in all thrifty how-to books:
The Soup Bucket. This is a container in the freezer that accepts left overs. When full, put it in a pot and call it soup. So far I have 2 kinds of veggie hash, one with quinoa, in there. I'll report on the results when I make the soup. Some folks put each type of left over in a baggie, then put the baggies in a bigger bag. That seems like a lot of plastic to me so screw it. I have a divided tupperware (gotten when I left for COLLEGE in 1984 from one Sandy Bright) that I've put mine in . It holds quite a bit and is a dark color for less stainage.

And I got the best thrifty gift on Friday! I had talked to a local woman about being her CSA test run. At the beginning of the season she refused cash and said it looked like they wouldn't have much of a crop due to staff issues (her husband blew out a knee or something). So, I gave up and put more garden in (i.e. got more buckets from the free bin and planted things like carrots that grew into tomatoes). Friday we're all at a food event here in Plummer and she gives me a box with potatoes, tomoatoes, onions, and chard! Cool. Not a mass quantity which is good, but enough that had I not needed to go to Moscow for a few other errands, I could have skipped the farmers market and saved the trip. The food has all been good so far and I got supplies for BLTs to eat all week (bacon is cooking on the george foreman grill right now).

The plums from a week ago made the following:
37 jars of jam (with honey not sugar)
Plum crisp to serve 70!
And what will be some delicious plum essence.

I think I'll try drying at least some of the plums from this week.

And this may be the thriftiest move of all since I'm not saving any real cash by doing it: I left the canner full of water from canning last week. I didn't want to pour it out when I could just let it sit on the stove, covered, and use it this week. I pay one rate for some enormous amount of water that I never hit so it's not like it's costing ME to waste water, but it costs the planet to pour it down the drain so I kept it. I think I'll put it out on the yard or garden when I'm done canning this week.

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