Tuesday, July 31, 2012

End of No Buy Food Challange

The month of not buying any food is over and I think the husband will be glad for it.  Me, I'm not too fussed and could happily go without buying anything for another couple of months... if I had to and if I allowed some hot chips on outings. 

If we needed to, like if suddenly we had no money and he lost his job, we could still eat pretty good for a long time.   There would be things that we wanted but we wouldn't go hungry at all.

There are a couple of things we have run out of and some things are getting low but we don't have have any shopping trips planned for anytime soon.  There is maybe a dozen things on the shopping list and once they are bought then we'd be right to go for another few months...But we wont! 

We didn't really need anything over the month though cheese would have been nice and SR flour would have been handy.  We ate quite a bit from the freezer but a lot was added back...so there is not much more room than when we started.  The fridge has plenty of food in it still and the big pot of stew that the husband made today hasn't made much of a dent in the vegetables even though he added heaps.   

I just asked husband if he has missed anything over the last month, thinking that he'd say chips and cooldrink.   Hmmm...It seems it was a lot harder for him than me and I was surprised but probably shouldn't be that he has a long list of stuff that he went without because I wanted to do this so I thank him for that.    It looks like it is easier for people who aren't that fussed about eating crap than for the ones that have it every week or whenever they want.   Another good reason I think to learn to like and want homegrown unprocessed food.   There probably wont be much crappy food around when the zombies get here so I think it would be a good idea to see how you would go without buying any food for a bit though I know things are easier when the choice is there and you know it is only for a short time and not forever.

I'm glad we did this and though we did end up buying hot chips a couple of times while we were away I'm still happy with how we went.

Friday, July 27, 2012

No Buy Food...Date Day

You know how I was kinda thinking that buying coffee and cake on our Date Day maybe wouldn't be the right thing to do...well Darling Daughter T made us a cake to take so I wouldn't feel guilty about it.  How lovely was that!   And taking the small camp stove would have made sure that there was no whinging  saying on my part about how the coffee was made.  Best solution all round.

Except that I forgot to take the small pot to heat the water in.  The cake was nice though! 
This isn't the first time that I have forgotten to take this pot and after the last time I put a bag together so I wouldn't forget again.   Yeah, that worked well..  
In this *coffee bag* I had a container with mugs, spoon, tea, coffee, milk.  A pot to heat water.  A snaplock bag with a few sachets of flavoured coffee.  A box of cupasoups.   Some rags A teatowel and cloths.
We took this bag with us way back when when we were down in Nannup and discovered then that the mouses like cupasoups and flavoured coffee too.  And nesting in said rags cloths. 
It was my job to empty, clean, repack this bag so it was all ready for when we next wanted it.  Well, I didn't.   (So there!  You can't tell me what to do)   Hence, no water heating pot for a coffee with our cake.  I did grab the container with the mugs and coffee stuff  and a bottle of water...Probably doesn't count though without the water heating utensil. 

This is it.  Chocolate cake, chocolate icing, chocolate biscuits around the edge.   The only thing it *needed* was some whipped cream but as we try to mostly eat healthy we didn't have any

We are going away this weekend, down to Nannup! so I will endeavour to have this coffee bag clean and fully packed.

And notice there is no mention of the hot chips we bought on this date day.  Now, I'm not saying it was my idea to buy them, after all, I was the one that packed some boiled eggs, fruit, tins of tuna for lunch.  When I got back to the car after a loo stop they were just there.  Must have been the hot chip fairies I think.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Fox Season.

The weather here lately has been more like Spring than Winter and I have seen 3 foxes dead on the side of the road in the last 2 weeks so kept thinking that I better start locking the chooks in their sheds at night...but of course didn't.  I think I was lucky though as the foxes are around...Spring seems to be the time that they come out more, the mothers come in to teach their young how to hunt and people can lose all their flock.  It has happened to us a couple of times and if I don't want it happening again then I need to remember the lockup at night routine.

How do I know that the foxes are here already?  Well remember that foxtrap we borrowed last year?  We have had it set up out the back near the dam and every now and then we put fresh meat in it.  Some of the remains from the roosters were used after the last culling.   I try to remember to go out and check that there is nothing in it but hadn't for a couple of days.  Lucky Hubby was home as he noticed a cow looking at the trap.  

Gotcha!  One less fox to worry about but we will need to be consistent with locking up at night and checking and rebaiting the trap throughout the coming months.

We will bury this somewhere but I wonder if we left this hanging somewhere if it would act as a deterrent to others.  What do you think?  Bury or hang somewhere?  

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Really Really Free Markets.

The Waroona Really Really Free Markets are on again this afternoon and from what I have heard there will be quite a bit going on.  I'll be taking in some lemons and sprouting Chokos and a box or two of unwanted stuff.   I'll be looking for some wool jumpers as I want to try *felting* them.   And I want a few photo frames for an idea that I have.  More books, of course.  They will come in handy for when I start work again and the kids are asleep.

They can be found on Facebook too so if you are interested in this concept (free markets not facebook) go join up.  Help save the world from stuff being dumped.

Free Markets this afternoon from 1 to 3.  Memorial Hall, Waroona.   If you come, come say hello. You can help me wash dishes!

Friday, July 20, 2012

No Buy Food Challenge. I ate cheese...

Yep that's right.  I got cranky about the husband eating cheese then I ate cheese.  But it's OK because the cheese I ate wasn't bought, it was leftovers from his work and if we didn't get it it would have been binned.  So our eating it saves it from the waste pile and because it wasn't bought it's OK.   Yes?   Maybe I'm making up the rules to suit myself as I go along but it's my challenge and that's what we challenge setters get to do.

It's 3 weeks in tomorrow since we started this and despite not buying any food, due to more rooster culling, food from his work, fruit that needed picking and plenty of garden produce, we have more stuff in the fridge and freezer than when we started.  We won't be needing to go to any shops anytime soon that's for sure.

And speaking, or in this case writing, about making up the rules as I go along...Is it cheating if we go out for a date day and buy coffee and cake somewhere?   I kinda think it might be...but maybe not...What do you think?

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

July Garden.

Over the last couple of days I have been outside clearing some of the back tank gardens out.  The choko has died back and that in itself was a big job to remove.  It was all tangled between the wire of the fence and was a bugger to pull down.  I now have piles of the dead stuff around the place and need to decide whether to burn it or throw it in the chook pens.  I will finish that job today.  So many of the chokos that fell off have rooted in the garden and I am deciding whether to leave a couple or pull them all out...Husband will want me to pull them out and I probably will but may *miss* a couple.  I will plant a few more in different areas as I only have them in one other place and want to get a few more plants established.

I dug up the peanuts that were hidden under the lower bits but was very disapointed with them.  I have a small handful and don't know if the slaters ate them or mice or they didn't grow...They looked alright above ground.  Anyway I won't be making the peanut paste that I wanted too and will maybe eat them raw.  I don't think I'll plant them again, but might, depends, I might just shove these ones back in the ground and let them be.

The Asparagus out in the tank gardens was hidden by the choko vine and has now been uncovered and cut back.  I still need to put a layer of mulch over that, again a today job.  The stuff in the drums out the front was cut back and mulched a while back and is starting to shoot.  I could probably get a few spears a day from out there if I wanted to but will just break one or two off now and then when I am out there to munch   on while passing as that is what I do.  I don't think I have brought any inside yet and none has been cooked up.  One drum is only young and the spears are thin so that one will be left alone until next year. 

The Brocolli is heading up nicely and I could eat them now if I needed to.  I will need to keep an eye on them and not let them get passed their prime.  There are flowers on the peas.  I noticed some sweet potatoes poking above the ground when I was out there the other day but have a bag of big ones that were given to us last week that will need to be used up before I go digging ours up.
We are picking oranges and bananas, getting a few strawberries but the slaters are building up out there again and getting to the ripe ones first.  I need to get back onto them.  Heaps of capsicum and chillies still.  Still getting some small tomatoes.  Husband hates these, he says they are too small for anything but he likes tomato on toast so I will keep growing them as they are the only ones I can keep going when it is cold and if it saves having to buy them again I will make sure I have more plants going next year.  I pulled a lot up this year because he didn't want them but I wasn't happy when he then bought some so in my book...Small is better than buying!  If I had a hothouse though...

We culled 5 roosters last week and have another few to do.  The pig is in the freezer, we still have heaps of fish, the chooks have started laying again so plenty of eggs.  Simple fresh food and plenty of it.  We are so lucky to live where we do with sun, water, knowledge to grow stuff.  I know I whinge a bit a lot  but do know that we have it a lot easier than some.

I hope some of you have it easy too and those that don't, I hope things aren't too hard but I do know that for some it is.  Take care.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

No Buy Food, I'm a bit cranky.

Well we are 2 weeks in and I reckon we failed.  Husband ate cheese so I am a tad cranky. 

We (me) had more or less decided that it was alright to buy good specials this month as long as we didn't eat them.  This is the way I shop, there are a few things that I only buy if/when they are on special.  Cheese, marg, baked beans, icecream are some items bought this way.   Last week cheese was a great special, we had none so I bought a block so as to have it come August.  I didn't hide it well enough though and yesterday husband came in late, was hungry and wanted something quick and easy, I wasn't home to make anything...so he made himself a pizza.  With cheese!
Bugger!  Double bugger.  He says it's OK but of course it's not.  It is a fail.
I came home tired and hungry and cooked myself some fish and an egg, quick, easy and sticking with the plan.   I am the winner!   But we failed.

We have *discussed* this and we will still continue but I need to make things easier and have stuff that he likes ready and waiting for him.   Men! there's that saying, "they don't always follow the rules but they go out and collect firewood to keep the place warm and cull the roosters so you don't have to so are worth keeping around"    I need to remind myself that sometimes!

Monday, July 9, 2012

Our Fridge.

As a follow-on from my *House with no fridge* posting I got to thinking about our fridge...
It is one of those big fridge freezer side by side things.  Bought new a few years ago, Husbands choice...

I use it though, sometimes I have so much crammed in there nothing else will fit and I have to move things around and take stuff out to fit that bottle of Coke in.   Because I have it so crammed there is stuff that ends up being pushed to the back and then ends up having to go to the chooks. 

 To the left is the inside freezer  To the rght is the inside of the fridge. This is what it looked like a couple of days ago.  As you can see it is chockers.  Notice all the eggs?  Four dozen went that afternoon but I have collected more since then and there is 6 dozen in there now.

I like to think that with a bit of rethinking I could do without it, if I lived here, alone.  I would eat more eggs and it would encourage me to plant more.  I would just cook what I wanted as I wanted it, eat more salad stuff and buy and eat more dried beans and the like.  So maybe I could if I had to but probably wont choose to any time soon.  

But if I didn't have a fridge where would I put all my reminders and pictures from the grandaughter?
                                                  Where would the magnets that I made go?
                                           And the really cool shopping list holder that I made?

Where would I keep our calender of work days?  (More his than mine.)  And the really great spider magnets that I bought?

Because I am a lazy bit** I like to cook up a lot and keep it in the fridge to save on cooking every day so at the moment a fridge is needed. for my soups and stuff.  And all the veg that other people bring out here.  And the food that husband has brought home from work...pack of sausages, chops, bread, salad stuff...
We need a fridge.

What's in and on your fridge?

Saturday, July 7, 2012

No-Buy. Grow. Eat. July, First Week.

Sunday was the first day of our no-buy food challenge month but with a fridge and freezer full of food eating was as normal.   With a pot of  Rooster and veg soup in the fridge that was breakfast and lunch sorted.   I added  some homemade pasta from the freezer to make it different for tea and there was then enough left for Mondays breakfast.  Add in a couple of Oranges and some melted cheese on flatbread, a few coffees and a hot milo...Done.   Husband rarely eats breakfast or lunch but tends to snack on whatever throughout the day...and into the night.  He made himself a few flatbread pizzas and had a bowl of custard, made with eggs.

Monday.     Breakfast was a bowl of rooster and veg soup and later on an orange.    Made up a big pot of Manky Vegetable Soup.  It used up the old carrots but had chokos, onion, pumpkin, capsicum etc addded.  Added a couple of bags of old veg grown here and frozen some time last year...That's lunch for a few days.   I cooked up a pile of old apples, froze a couple of cups, ate some and made an apple  meringue pie.   I had a bowl of soup before  the fish and squid Husband cooked up for tea.    I *forgot* and gave daughter some coins to get some hot chips to have with the fish even though I had  cut and precooked some potato wedges that afternoon.   After remembering we used the excuse that we didn't have enough room to cook them with the fish as we only had the one pan.  So 2 days in and I failed.  HoHum.  Start again, from now.  The wedges are now in 2 lots in the freezer.

Tuesday.  Hmmmm.  Breakfast was going to be oats but I opened the fridge and there was a plate of leftovers from last night, so fish and chips for breakfast!   Had an orange midmorning and a couple of cups of soup over an hour or so around lunch time.  A few small mandarins during the afternoon, not ours but nice.  Tea was soup and a couple of eggs with some stewed apple later on.
Hasband came home unexpectantly so I had to feed him.  How rude!  He had the rest of the soup and some wedges.

Hmmm, so much for getting the freezers emptied.  Son went out to get a load of wood and we now have a pig hanging in the coolroom.  I have a week to make room for it.That's a lot of eating!

Wednesday.  No soup left so had the rest of the wedges, some apple and 2 small mandarins for breakfast.  Chicken from the freezer for lunch and Liver and veg for tea.   Was going to have fish but need the iron boost.    Orange, banana and oatmix, popcorn for snacks, not all at the same time!

Thursday. Sm bowl of Liver for breakfast with an orange and the same for lunch.   Egg and veg omelet with cheese for tea.  Fruit and oatmix throughout the day. 

Friday.  Old oatmix from the cupboard for breakfast.  It tasted old!  Cooked some veg and added that to the last of the liver, divided it into 2 and had some for lunch and some mid afternoon.   Eggs and cheese for tea.  Orange, banana

Saturday.  Oats for breakfast.  I have taken a bag of fish out of the kitchen freezer for lunch and tea.  I will cook up some vegetable tonight when the fire is going but will have salad with it at lunchtime.

Last Sunday daughter brought out a big bag of vegetables that she had bought but wasn't going to use.  They were all still good enough for us so some were added to the soup, some have been cooked, mooshed and put in the freezer for next weeks soup, some are still in the fridge.  There were a lot of veg in that bag!

The flatbread was bought during June because it was too cheap to not to at 99 cents for a pack of 5 but we can, and quite often do, make our own simple version with flour and water to go with soups and stews.

Week 1, Bought...Hot chips.

A House With No Fridge.

During June I was away for quite a bit of the time housesitting.   I was given the key and instructions a few days before I went down there but I have been to this house before.  It is always clean and tidy.  I get there, fiddle with the key, push the door open and go into the tidiest kitchen I have ever seen.  Every bench was clear, nothing on them at all.  The middle bench did have the flour mill on it but that stays there all the time.  Oh, the sink had some Castile soap on it.  Soap that I helped make so that made me smile.
It was also one of the coldest kitchens I have ever been in.

My first job was going to be cleaning the cat litter boxes so I brought my stuff in, put some food I had brought onto the bench, dumped my bags in the loungeroom, went outside to let the chooks out as they had been locked up for a couple of days, had a walk around the place, just to make sure that it was still there then back inside to find the cats and say hello and tell them that yes, I was getting to their boxes.
Once the boxes were cleaned I made myself a coffee and went out the front to sit and sip while watching for some wildlife.

I finish my coffee and walk in the front door and think "Bugger, that didn't take long"  The lovely tidy house that was was no more.  It looked just like home.  How sad!

I lit the all ready to go loungeroom fire and made up a bed.  Sorted. 

I knew this house had no fridge, no freezer, no TV, no internet, no lounge suite to sit on but I knew that there  would be plenty of books to read so that's what I planned on doing.   Because I find it hard to read when it is dark I did turn a light on even though it made me feel a bit guilty.  Why?   The last electricity bill from this house was under $15 for the quarter, I didn't want to be the one that brought it up to $17.

So it's dark and I'm hungry but there was no going to the 'fridge and just getting something out to eat.  It was prepare and cook from scratch, just enough to eat.  And do the same for each meal.   It was a lot different from home where I like to cook up enough to last a few days then grab some when I wanted it and bung it in the microwave to get hot.  None of that happening here, being in the house with no fridge took planning and a different way of eating.  It wasn't hard though as this is a vegan house with no fridge so there was no meat to go off.  I didn't take any cheese, yoghurt or anything perishable.  I ate dried beans, lentils, vegetable and fruit.  Oh and eggs, I took eggs because they are easy and they don't need a fridge.   And the kitchen was cold! so I could have left a bowl of icecream on the bench and have it still frozen the next day.   Well, OK, the icecream would have melted but it was cold enough to not have to worry about the fruit, veg and eggs coming to any harm.

This house with no fridge has no fridge during Summer either and it does get warm there.  I supose being a vegan household there is not the need for one but I think it would make life a lot easier.  Some things aren't about easy though are they.  Millions of people in the world manage fine without a fridge.  I managed fine, the woman who lives there manages fine. 

Could you live in a house with no fridge?  Would you want to?  Tell me why.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

No Buy Food Rules.

I need to go into town today and while there I need to buy Coke.  Yep, need to!  In thinking about our challenge though I think I should let you all know that we are not perfect and it is more my wanting to do this than the husband.  He agreed I think more to shut me up knowing that he wasn't going to be here much and wouldn't be subjected to some of the queer meals that will be going.  When I say that I am having soup for breakfast he looks at me as if I am strange.

But anyway...his crap stuff can in no way be called food so he is keeping it in.  That will be bottles of coke only though, I wont be buying any snacking types of food for him but he will be buying takeaways while travelling in the truck.  The only thing he expects of me while he is away is to put a bottle of coke in the fridge so it is cold and ready for him when he gets home...so really, it's a no-brainer, he will get the Coke bought and fridged and I won't have any great wifey expectations thrown at me because I didn't.
Win Win.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Oh, Pork!

We're having a *no buy food* month with the hope that we can make some room in the freezer for a cow.   I reckon that's going to take longer than a month and now longer again as the son went out bush last night.

He went out yesterday afternoon, told me he'd be back soon, he was going to get a last load of wood.  It gets dark, he's not back I have no idea what direction he has gone, he is out there alone with a chainsaw and no phone coverage.  What mother wouldn't worry.    I get a call about 7ish.  Just a muffled "I have a pig" then nothing.  I try ringing him but no signal from his end.  Half hour later I get a text saying "be back in an hour"  Hour and a half later he is back, comes to the door to show he's OK then back out in the cold and spends a long time gutting and cleaning this pig and I now have a week to find room for 80 kilo of pork! 

I laughed, where the frig is this thing going to fit!  Once cut up there probably wont be 80kilo of meat but there will be a lot.  Divided up between a few houses we may get it all in but so much for doing the cow. 

Husband wants to buy another chest freezer, I want to empty the one we have...The little pack of fish I have taken out for tea tonight hasn't made much of a dent in the inside freezer though...

And yes, I know there are starving people in the world and this is a problem that many would cherish so don't get me wrong.  I think it is wonderful and we are very lucky but I was looking forward to the fat cow being gone, a slab of steak and some nice sausages.  

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Buying. Growing. Eating. The *why?*

I was talking with some people recently and was bemoaning the fact that my last shopping trip was a bit of a dud with very little that I wanted being available.  During that talk I was asked what sort of food we eat for it to not be on the shelves in the shop so I said I'd make a note and let them know.   This is a start of that note.

As a sometimes believer in the world being in trouble and minimal foodmiles and food from China not being the best and grow your own and processed is bad and fresh is good and free is better blah, blah, blah...and also because I am a bit of a tight bit** and I don't like spending a lot of money on anything and as we have a bit of growing space and I am mostly home...It makes sense to me to grow what we can.

Since my *bright* idea in 2009 to not buy any vegetables throughout 2010, to only eat what we grew,  I have learnt a lot.  I now know that I can grow what we eat, that we are not reliant on any shops to stop us from starving, we can do it ourselves.  It is harder though.  And not always cheaper.  But I think it is better.  For us anyway though it would be great if more people did the same thing.

So in starting off by growing vegetables and planting fruit trees then adding in the sustainable chook flock that I wanted we also have chicken (Rooster) dinners that we don't have to buy from any shop.  Add in the few cows that are out the back...that gives us beef, or cow, to eat.  Add a son that is a hunter and we get pork when we want it.  We are now supplying ourselves with most of what we eat.  The fresh, unprocessed stuff anyway.

There is still (too much in my opinion) stuff that we *need* to buy from a shop.  Usually our local IGA but every few months I do a stockup at Woolworths in Mandurah.

Last week I was over in Mandurah and took the opurtunity to go to Woolies for a basic stockup.   They didn't have Vinegar, SR flour, Powdered Milk,     Well, they did have some brands but not the cheap ones that I buy and when that happens I go without until next time.  Usually I have enough leftover from the last stockup to get me through until the next and if not then it's a quick trip into town to get what we want.  This time, we'll see.    BECAUSE...
Husband has agreed to have a no food buying month.  So throughout July we will not buy any food from any shop.  Which is kinda a bummer as I have very little SR flour left and I can't find the Baking powder to add to plain.  I'm hoping I have enough Vinegar for the Citrus Cleaner.

Throughout July I will post about some of our meals and how I am going with the *No Buy Food*  challenge.

Have you ever done a *no buy* challenge?  How did you go with it?  Would you consider doing one and if so why not now?