Saturday, 8 February 2014

Day 8 of Extremely Frugal February - Burnt Biscuits and Leftovers

Cardboard Cooking Skills, Frugal Fried Food and Carbon Flavoured Biscuits

Frugal Fuel for Wilbur, the Pot Belly (Pig) Stove
In my never-ending quest for frugal living and to combat the problem of surplus waste, I have found plain brown cardboard to be excellent for many things - packaging, composting, weed suppressing, feeding to the worms in the Frugaldom wormery or simply for turning into cooker fuel. Once alight, it can boil a kettle of water in no time and caramelise onions within minutes.

What a cold and wet day it has been, today! I've barely wandered further than the kitchen, other than to take another peek through the living room door to admire my frugal sofa, homemade crafty footstool and my latest acquisition - a beautiful antique, carved wooden fireside box, which, as it transpires, originated from the north east of Scotland. It came to me after being salvaged by a little family business known as 'DL and Sons' in Lincolnshire, so it has done a bit of traveling in its time. Who knows what stories it could tell! This wonderful old box has now taken pride of place by the Frugaldom fireplace and holds kindling sticks, firelighters, matches and newspapers. It's meant for coal, but I consider it quite an awesome feature piece within our eco-renovation and want it to last.


Meanwhile, back on the frugal food train... my biscuit baking mostly gets done in the mini-oven, which works pretty well most times. Except today I got distracted on Facebook, forgetting to rescue said biscuits before they acquired that familiar flavour we all know as carbon. Don't get me wrong, they weren't charred black, but they had gone past the stage of 'well done'. No matter, they won't be wasted! Crunchy they may be but with raisins the price they are, wasting any is not an option. Another cup of tea to wash them down, anyone?

I didn't bother to light the coal fire, so dinner got cooked on the stove tonight again. Having taken delivery of my precious wooden treasure last night, I had a lovely big cardboard box to recycle today, so it got made into fire sticks!

Burning these along with a few logs provides ultra fast heat, high temperature and, despite some extra ash, plenty of cooking time when there's a full box to use just for that purpose.

So, what culinary delight did we feast upon this evening?


I don't think this has a proper name but if it does, please let me know. It's another one of those frugal 'bowl food' concoctions that gets thrown together in the cast iron pan. This one tasted kind of southern fried, as I had cooked the diced chicken breast in some fajita-type seasoning and then added in the leftover white and red cabbage plus the rest of last night's swede. It made for a colourful, nutritious meal and tasted lovely into the bargain.

That about wraps up today's frugal living. Other than some hot glue sticks I needed to replace, which are immaterial to the cost of running the household, I have, once again, spent no actual cash.

The kettle has just come to the boil again for making a pot of tea and we have the last slice of apple and sultana pie to eat, then it will be time to relax and pick up my knitting needles for the final stages of the latest fluffy blanket. I have vowed to complete this before doing any more of my rag rug!

NYK, Frugaldom

8 comments:

  1. That looks delicious! Mind you, over here on the North Antrim coast, we would christen it a staghey I.e. a bit of everything! Joanie

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    1. I normally have potatoes, rice or pasta to bulk out meals but this was very filling just with the cabbage and turnip. The fruit pie afterwards may have counteracted any benefits from missing the carbs and fats, though. Staghey - I must try to remember that name and find out if there's a Scottish equivalent. Thanks for letting me know. :)

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  2. I posted the virtual tour of our house today on my blog if you want to take a look?

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    1. Thanks for letting me know, Gill, I haven't managed to spot the link yet, is it inside a post?

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  3. On the over-crunchy biscuits point....I reckon a multitude of sins can be covered by blitzing anything like that up in a liquidiser and then using it as a sort of "crumble" type topping for something like some stewed apple or the like. But then...I'm prone to keeping all sorts of little bits like that...even odd tiny bits of bread (ie where I've not cut a decent slice off my loaf) or, on one occasion, leftover piece of toast have been blitzed and used in this fashion.

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    1. I agree, which is why I have bags of crumbs in my freezer - I have ordinary bread crumbs for things like scotch eggs & potato cakes, spicy bread crumbs for goujons etc. and 'cakey' crumbs for the fruit crumbles. :) The biscuits all got eaten regardless of their slight carbon flavouring.

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  4. Do you just roll up some cardboard packaging for your firesticks?

    I'm doing quite a good line in paper bricks (envelopes stuffed until fat with scrap paper - loads of that at work) and newspaper logs (newspapers scrounged from work and rolled up tight a couple of sheets at a time and pushed through a loo roll middle). They too make for more ash but that has been going on the compost heap. But they are free and that is the bit I like as well as making use of a waste product.

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    1. Yes, just tear the box into manageable pieces and roll it tight, give it a twist and that's them good to go - see photo at top of page, it has some of the cardboard fire sticks (twists) in it.

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