Tuesday, 21 December 2010

Frugal Things to do in the Kitchen (while awaiting the birth of new grandchild).

EEK MOMENT! Must keep busy or nerves will get the better of me. Daughter's due to have baby on 24th but she thinks it'll be sooner. With an hour's travel for her to reach the nearest hospital, I'm more nervous now than when I was expecting my own! Why don't they teach you these things in school? Son-in-law off on holiday for a couple of weeks, so there shouldn't be any need for me to worry... I'll go into the kitchen, make or bake something... bread's made, corn's in the big pan on the stove to make more hot mash for the hens, I'm running out of biscuits and mince pies and I need to make some lemon curd. Where should I start?

Frugal tip - any time you see porridge oats or muesli on clearance, stock up... BEST BEFORE dates mean nothing in Frugaldom, the contents of such packs will stay in fine condition for years as long as they're kept sealed and dry. Likewise with tins, pasta, pulses and sugar. In fact, sugar has no 'Best Before'date, it lasts as long as it takes you to use it, sometimes years! Don't be conned by the 'BBE' dates, the food isn't bad beyond them. It's the 'USE BY' dates you should adhere to and eggs are always best consumed within 3 weeks. Sadly, I can't guarantee that shop bought eggs are less than 3 weeks old but having garden hens, ducks and quail means I always have fresh eggs available. (OK, so the quail eggs freeze before I get to them in the mornings but with temps at -14C, I'm amazed the birds don't freeze!)

FRUGAL FRUIT, NUT and SEED BISCUITS
230g rounded tbs self-raising flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
175g muesli
50g sugar
115g melted margarine
1 large egg

Preheat oven to 180C & grease or flour a baking tray
Mix all of the ingredients into a soft dough
Split into walnut sized pieces and roll into balls
Press gently onto the baking tray to rounds
Bake for about 15 to 20 minutes until golden brown
Cool for 10 minutes and then transfer to baking rack.

The above makes enough for approx 24 - 30 biscuits depending on the size you make them.

SODA SCONES / FARLS

While these were baking, I also mixed up 450g soda flour with about 175ml of milk. The dough was lightly mixed then formed into a round, scored into quarters and is now baking so we can have soda farls grilled with cheese as a quick snack - 2 for today, 2 for the freezer.

OK, that's the biscuits baked and the soda bread is still baking - time to mix up some short bread and some shortcrust pastry for more mince pies.

Off to make the shortbread and mincemeat pies now - making the most of all this extra heat in the kitchen. Lemon curd will get made on the stove, as that's the boiled corn and barley ready for the hens' dinner.



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