Wednesday, 25 September 2013
Doing the Monster Mash with Autumn Root Veg
Frugal food is in abundance at this time of year and my fresh egg supplies are, thankfully, still plentiful. Duck eggs, hen eggs, bantam eggs, quail eggs... not to mention the glut of cucumbers I'm still harvesting, plus apples, berries and plums. So much for so little and all there for the picking to help keep the grocery budget to a minimum.
Here in Frugaldom, we seldom sell eggs. It's more a case of giving them away and welcoming all sorts of gifts in return - home baking, greenhouse produce, garden produce, even furniture or DIY items that neighbours no longer require; I'll trade for anything useful!
Today's egg deliveries have been done: I set off with my supplies and came home with carrots, onion and sweet potatoes to add to the potatoes, squash, marrow, beans and lemon drizzle cake from last week's exchanges. I love this way of life, it's just so money savvy in a waste not, want not sort of way. Today's sweet potatoes are absolutely massive!
What does a frugal living person do with their root veg and squash? We do the monster mash!
Big pot of water on the hot plate and then let's start peeling... a few potatoes, a few carrots, a huge sweet potato and then, finally, the last of the squash. I don't salt the water to boil these and there's a very special reason why - chicken stock! My feathered livestock like this over their breakfast.
Once all the vegetables are cooked through, I simply drain off the water into a bucket and it gets kept for using in the garden, the poultry feed or else into the stock pot to make soup. Zero waste.
Brightly coloured monster mash can be made using most types of root vegetables, it's not just the preserve of potatoes, turnips and swede. I season them accordingly with salt and pepper, add a knob of butter or margarine, a splash of milk and then get mashing. Any surplus can be frozen, but I add some powdered milk to that before splitting it up into empty margarine tubs, it seems to help prevent the mash from going watery when it thaws.
This autumn coloured monster mash makes for a very orange dinner and I normally serve mine with vegetable-laden stew. The veggie mash is much more nutritious than simple mashed potatoes.
Not content with my autumnal coloured main meal, there's still the glut of apples to deal with, so crumbles galore! Add a bit of colour (and a few extra vitamins) by including a handful of stewed berries or a tablespoonful of homemade hedgerow jelly, which is what I did here. I do like my food to be colourful!
This crumble was made using wholemeal flour mixed with the sesame and sunflower seed bread flour.
We seem to have a real-life micro community here, based on a few neighbours who can see past the 'frugal living' eccentricities and see the lifestyle for what it really is - a caring and sharing one that doesn't like waste. Not only did I return home with my bag of vegetables, I was also given 2 small bolster cushions that I can recover and a bag of wool oddments. What a superb day's trading it has been in Frugaldom and not a penny spent.
Right, I'm off to finish making my free Velux blind so I can get part 2 of that blog post done. Hopefully, the blind will be completed tonight and hanging in the window by bedtime.