Friday, 12 February 2010

Further frugal conundrums

I'd to end up making a second batch of pastry for pie making this afternoon because I had under-estimated the amount of pie filling that I'd end up making! By the time I had the meat, gravy and mixed veg all ready, there was enough for 4 pies, each with a pretty cut out pastry birds on top. We ate one for dinner with chips and it was only then that it dawned on me; I can't freeze the others because I had defrosted the cooked meat to make the pies in the first place! So, Friday night in Frugaldom was pheasant pie night. Funnily enough, Saturday night and Sunday mights may prove to be the same, although I'm hopeful of being able to find good homes for the surplus pies by way of fellow LETS buddies. What a time for the new neighbours to become vegetarians - I hope it was nothing to do with my piemaking?

The fruit loaf making was almost a success - I managed to mix the big batch of ingredients in my winemaking bucket then crammed 4 large loaves into the oven. They took their time in my horrible grill combi 'hot box' but I can confirm that they taste OK. I found this out when transferring them between the tins and the wire racks - I almost dropped one of the loaves when the parchment paper tore! Making a frantic grab for the loaf before it plummeted floorwards gave me a great opportunity to end up with a handful! I reckon about 90% of it got saved and only 20% eaten. You can work out for yourselves how much is cooling on the rack.

Next up were the 2 trays of coconut macaroons and I STILL have half a dozen egg whites left after making them! Popped the trays into the oven, the macaroons cooked quite evenly, turning a faint golden brown before being removed. I carefully lifted one to sample, as one does, only to discover that the dratted parchment paper had baked into the bottom of the cakes! Can you tell that I'm not used to using this stuff? Am I supposed to grease it up first? I thought that the whole point of using it was to stop stuff sticking! It never crossed my mind that the actual paper would stick! I guess we'll be shaving parchment from the bases of the macaroons as I sure as fate won't be ditching them - they taste fine once they've been picked clean of paper shreds and coconut is far too expensive a product to risk wasting.

Onwards and upwards, or perhaps that should be bedwards! Enough cooking for one day, it's the weekend! Dawn awaits me with the cry of the cockerels and the incessant quacking that signifies breakfast time in Ducksville!

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