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Today turned out to be a kitchen day in Frugaldom. The kitchen hasn't been renovated yet, so fancy cooking and baking days are slightly restricted, to say the least. Garden produce, however, still needs to be prepared and stored. There's been plety of blanching and freezing done, so the freezer is full of vegetables and berries. But then I ended up with all those blackcurrants and hadn't a space left for all of them. Cue an ingenious idea... and some multitasking that resulted in my burning the fishcakes!
First of all, the hens have been laying quite well recently and son has been using extra egg whites in his scrambled eggs - he's into bodybuilding, so likes his protein. This means, there were two dozen spare egg yolks needing used up as soon as possible and, as most of you will already know, that means lemon curd making.
I normally make small batches of 4 egg yolks at a time but today was different - I had to use the big stock pot to batch cook 24 yolks' worth at the one time. That took a great deal of whisking to keep it all from boiling! At the same time, I was trying to bake some oat and muesli biscuits, while wondering what to do with the last couple of tablespoons of blackcurrants that hadn't fitted into my ice cream tub when freezing them last night. Have you guessed yet?
Correct! I added them into the cookie dough! :)
It looked rather strange as it all mixed together and I'd to add some extra flour in order to soak up the juices. Perhaps I shouldn't have microwaved the berries for a few minutes, as this was what caused all that extra juice.
Anyhow, I kept whisking the lemon curd while donning my disposable latex gloves to knead the cookie dough. The mixture makes 24 biscuits, so two trays were greased when I was measuring out the margarine (remember it's frugal cooking here). The oven was already warmed for sterilising the jars, so no problems there.
Once kneaded, rolled and shaped, my berry, oat and muesli cookies looked VERY novel and interesting! Who needs artificial colouring and flavouring when you can get this from 2 tablespoonfuls of fresh, garden grown blackcurrants? I could hardly wait to see how they turned out and, diet or no diet, I had to taste them to see what they were like.
Before I could bake them, I had to get the jars out the oven and pour the lemon curd. There was a huge quantity of it! I normally use small jars but had to use the 500ml size to fit all of this into them. I got 4 clip top jars, one 400ml curry jar and a Nutella jar filled, and there was still enough left as a sample pot! I'll probably share this with a couple of neighbours who have been kind enough to share their surpluses with us of late.
15 minutes later, the timer rang to say 'cookies are ready', though if truth be told, it would have been better ringing to say cookies are 'purpley'!
Here's how they turned out - almost as purple as when they went into the oven! All I need now is to write 'eBid' on them in white icing and they could become big merchandising hits in the online auctions! :)
(For anyone interested in buying hatching eggs, I'll be listing them in my eBid store once it's back up and running. I'll be offering eggs from the Silkies, Pekins and quail. I don't think I'd be allowed to offer the cookies for sale.)
I passed round a sample of my novelty biscuits and got some very strange looks, indeed. Having tasted these, I can assure you that they are delicious, despite their colour, and have a very distictive flavour, almost a cross between an oat biscuit and a blueberry muffin. Brain was already wondering if I could achieve similar results using raspberries for a pink version and blueberries for their blue counterparts. Would rosehips or strawberries turn them red, I wonder?
If anyone is interested in trying these, the recipes can be found in the 'Frugal Food' section of the Frugaldom Forums and please feel free to post your own results and/or variations.