Stocking Up

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I have spent today in the kitchen but most of it was not preparing meals.  It was about making and bottling jam and sauce.

There were 6kg of cherry tomatoes squirreled away in the freezer ready to make sauce and today was the day.

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The recipe for the sauce is here.

Next up was the 10kg bag of onions I bought yesterday.  I set 2kg aside for a friend and then sliced and diced another 7kg and have packed and frozen them.  I decided to turn the last kilogram into onion jam and the taste test indicates that it has been successful.  The recipe I used had carraway seeds in it so I bought some this morning when were shopping.  I have never bought carraway seeds before but if it looks as though I will be making onion jam in the future I will definitely get some more.

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Finally, I made some plum jam which is GMan’s favourite.  It turned out better than the batch I overcooked last year which was closer to toffee than jam!

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The recipe is very simple.

1.5 kg plums
1.25kg sugar
Juice of 1 lemon
1 cup water

Place in saucepan, boil until setting point is reached.  The stones can be removed with a slotted spoon during cooking.

Tip:  Count the plums before you start so that you know how many stones you are trying to remove.

I also made another batch of spreadable butter.  Here is the recipe.

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The only problem with cooking all day is that I did not get the ironing done!  However, we do have ironed clothes to wear to work tomorrow.

 

 

Flashback Friday

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I found this post today to send the link to someone who was interested.  I really think it deserves to be one of the top posts of all time on my blog.

What do you spread on your sandwiches?  Butter, margarine, something else or nothing at all?

I used to buy margarine without giving it a great deal of thought, however, about 18 years ago I changed to spreadable butter that I make myself.  My reasons are several:

  • Eliminate non-recyclable waste (margarine containers)
  • Health benefits (margarine is simply a chemical cocktail)
  • Easier to spread than pure butter
  • Know exactly what the ingredients are

2012-07-15 01This is the recipe.

SPREADABLE BUTTER

500g butter
250ml oil
150ml water
3 tablespoons skim milk powder

2012-07-15 02Allow the butter to soften but not melt.  Beat butter using a mixer or food processor.  Combine the other ingredients in a jug and stir well to dissolve the milk powder.  Gradually add the mixture to the butter while continuing to beat.  Beat for another 1 – 2 minutes until white and creamy.  Spoon into containers and refrigerate.  This made almost 1500ml so it is really quite economical.  Actual costings would depend on the type of oil that you use.

2012-07-15 03I generally keep one container in the refrigerator and freeze the rest because we do not use a lot of butter and it will go mouldy/rancid if stored for long periods in the refrigerator.  I use Pyrex glass containers as they can be put in the freezer and I am constantly trying to minimise the amount of plastic that I use for storing food.

2012-07-15 04This mixture can be used instead of butter in cooking and baking.  The only exception I make is pastry as I prefer to use ‘real’ butter for that.

The type of oil you use is entirely up to you.  I choose to use locally grown and produced organic olive oil which I buy in bulk at the Co-op in Maleny.  Olive oil does have a distinctive flavour so you may prefer something more bland such as rice-bran oil.  I do not consider canola oil as an option as most of the commercial crop is genetically-modified and I prefer not to use foods that contain GM products.

This is not a totally zero-waste exercise but it is certainly better than all of the margarine containers that you would otherwise use.  I take my glass bottle to be refilled with oil.  The butter wrapper is used to grease baking trays or line cake tins and then goes into the compost.  I buy skim milk powder from Aldi in a 1 kg non-recyclable bag, however, I have recently discovered that I can buy this in bulk from Simply Good so will be doing that in the future.

Plastic Free July – Update & A Refresher

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Today I am reviving an older post  that should help in our quest for Plastic Free July and also in the future.

Do you buy pure butter in a compostable, paper wrapper?  Or are you like the majority of the population and buy margarine or some type of spread in a plastic container?  Want to stop getting those plastic containers?  Here is your answer.

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I have been reasonably successful in sticking to plastic-free options so far this month.  My list of items containing single-use has been updated with a couple more items.  You can find it here.

Last night we ate out, at our local pizza restaurant.  There was no plastic involved as they use proper crockery and cutlery, however, the soft drink always is served with a straw (plastic).  I thought of this before I went so when we ordered our drinks I specifically asked for no straw.  I should really have taken it a step further and explained why I chose not to have a straw.

I was discussing this with The Duke and said that for Plastic Free July to have any real value, I needed to push the boundaries and not just do plastic free things that are part of my normal routine.

Have you done anything different this month?

Edible & Spreadable

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What do you spread on your sandwiches?  Butter, margarine, something else or nothing at all?

I used to buy margarine without giving it a great deal of thought, however, about 18 years ago I changed to spreadable butter that I make myself.  My reasons are several:

  • Eliminate non-recyclable waste (margarine containers)
  • Health benefits (margarine is simply a chemical cocktail)
  • Easier to spread than pure butter
  • Know exactly what the ingredients are

2012-07-15 01This is the recipe.

SPREADABLE BUTTER

500g butter
250ml oil
150ml water
3 tablespoons skim milk powder

2012-07-15 02Allow the butter to soften but not melt.  Beat butter using a mixer or food processor.  Combine the other ingredients in a jug and stir well to dissolve the milk powder.  Gradually add the mixture to the butter while continuing to beat.  Beat for another 1 – 2 minutes until white and creamy.  Spoon into containers and refrigerate.  This made almost 1500ml so it is really quite economical.  Actual costings would depend on the type of oil that you use.

2012-07-15 03I generally keep one container in the refrigerator and freeze the rest because we do not use a lot of butter and it will go mouldy/rancid if stored for long periods in the refrigerator.  I use Pyrex glass containers as they can be put in the freezer and I am constantly trying to minimise the amount of plastic that I use for storing food.

2012-07-15 04This mixture can be used instead of butter in cooking and baking.  The only exception I make is pastry as I prefer to use ‘real’ butter for that.

The type of oil you use is entirely up to you.  I choose to use locally grown and produced organic olive oil which I buy in bulk at the Co-op in Maleny.  Olive oil does have a distinctive flavour so you may prefer something more bland such as rice-bran oil.  I do not consider canola oil as an option as most of the commercial crop is genetically-modified and I prefer not to use foods that contain GM products.

This is not a totally zero-waste exercise but it is certainly better than all of the margarine containers that you would otherwise use.  I take my glass bottle to be refilled with oil.  The butter wrapper is used to grease baking trays or line cake tins and then goes into the compost.  I buy skim milk powder from Aldi in a 1 kg non-recyclable bag, however, I have recently discovered that I can buy this in bulk from Simply Good so will be doing that in the future.