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 The Frugal Housewife

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Mina
Dipping a Toe in the Water
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Number of posts : 60
Location : Boston, MA, USA
Registration date : 2008-03-07

PostSubject: The Frugal Housewife   Wed Jan 14, 2009 11:21 am

Last fall I made a plum pudding and served it for Thanksgiving this year. It was fabulous! A year of aging and soaking in rum made for an incredible texture and flavor. So, I decided to do it again.

Although one is supposed to use suet, ordinary beef fat works just as well, but it needs to be really clean -- no meat particles at all or the pudding won't keep. Trim off the pink bits and keep the white. I went to my butcher (yes, I have the luxury of a real butcher near by) for some fat. When I got home I saw the whole packet was pinkish. I wasn't going to simply be able to trim it (nor was I going to complain since he gave it to me for free).

The Joy of Cooking (the good edition) to the rescue! Following their very simple instructions I rendered the lot and ended up with a container of clean white fat that hardened very nicely in the fridge.

It was much easier and less messy than I'd been led to believe, although time consuming. I'm considering rendering some pork fat to get lard for pie crusts. The lard available in the supermarket has been hydrogenated!

What do you do in the kitchen for the sake of frugality (or in my case, necessity) that most modern folks wouldn't bother with?
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lindydiva
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Number of posts : 875
Location : Not New York
Registration date : 2008-01-02

PostSubject: Re: The Frugal Housewife   Wed Jan 14, 2009 3:03 pm

I wait for sales to buy my meat. For example, last week I bought a pork roast.

1st: roast pork w/sauerkraut
2nd: pork quesadillas
3rd: casserole (mixed the meat w/saukraut, topped with mashed potatoes)
4th: leftovers from the casserole
5th: BBQ pork sandwiches.

There's still enough to stretch for one more meal. It was a two pound roast.

I don't throw out leftovers, I recycle 'em. I freeze gravy & stock in cubes. The rest of our Thanksgiving stuffing is in the freezer; I'll be using it to make savory bread pudding this week.

I save heels of bread for crumbs, and mend my linens.

The carcass from the Thanksgiving turkey is frozen, and I will use it to make brown turkey stock in the next few weeks...which I'll then freeze in small containers.

Leftover mashed potatoes usually end up as potato pancakes, but they can be piped on a cookie sheet, frozen, and then re-heated in the oven. Leftover vegetables go into pot pie or soup or stock.

I scrub the floor with a bit of dishwashing liquid and ammonia and vinegar, with a vinegar and water rinse, rather than buying detergent for that.

If I need clarified butter I "make" it rather than buying it. I save left over yolks and whites. They go into baked goods or get used as facial masks.

Make a game out saving money...much more fun that way, and you get the plus of feeling clever (if it works, that is!).
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SusieQT
I Really should be Working
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Number of posts : 339
Location : The Great Swamp
Registration date : 2008-01-11

PostSubject: Re: The Frugal Housewife   Wed Jan 14, 2009 3:08 pm

Hmmm, good question. (I'm happy to note that having a good butcher nearby is not a problem for us either- my husband is one!)

I try to grow as much produce in our garden as possible. Even now we have lettuce growing in the cold frame. But I'm not optimisitic that it will survive this cold snap- it's getting down to 4 degrees tonight!

I also can vegetables or freeze what we can't use immediately. This past fall I put up about 10 quarts of spaghetti sauce and about 8 pints of sweet peppers. Add that to a dozen quarts of pickles, about a gallon of frozen strawberries, and equal amounts of green beans and peaches, and we're saving some serious $$$. But canning is hot and hard work; it's not particularly fun until you can open your cupboard door in the middle of winter and see all your cheery jars lined up and think of the money you're saving!
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Mina
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PostSubject: Re: The Frugal Housewife   Wed Jan 14, 2009 3:19 pm

Thank goodness for the freezer! One can keep things like heels of bread and chicken backs until you have enough to do something useful with them.

I also love my dehydrator. I dry fruit in it all summer. We have a sour cherry tree and some nearby friends replaced their front lawn with strawberries (and beg people to take them away all June), so I have a nice stock of those in the cabinet.
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SusieQT
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PostSubject: Re: The Frugal Housewife   Wed Jan 14, 2009 3:31 pm

I have a dehydrator also! I love it too- I dried cranberries (not so great- Craisins are better), tomatoes (OK), grapes and apples (wonderful). I've never tried strawberries; will have to do that this spring.
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lindydiva
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PostSubject: Re: The Frugal Housewife   Wed Jan 14, 2009 3:36 pm

We're hoping to put in some kind of garden this year...unfortunately, we still need to rip up asphalt to do it.

My husband wants to build frames and do square foot gardening. We're hoping to plant green beans, some lettuces, cucumbers, maybe tomatoes.

And I would really like to have a sour cherry tree and redcurrants.

If we're able to have the garden I think I'll make dilly beans and can tomatoes. I don't care for most plain canned vegetables, but I'll probably can salsa, too.
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Mina
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PostSubject: Re: The Frugal Housewife   Wed Jan 14, 2009 3:44 pm

I *adore* our sour cherry tree. Last summer it was incredibly abundant. I'm hoping it hit maturity or something and not that it was a fluke of the weather. I've still got a gallon of cherries in the freezer next to the cherry vareniki (frozen), as well as the dried cherries, and vissino (Greek sour cherries in syrup) in the pantry.

We put in a sweet cherry tree this year, but it's been hit with so much snow and ice this winter that I'm worried. We also planted Concord grapes. I can't wait for their sweet aroma on the summer breeze...

I've not had good luck with vegetables in my tiny garden patch, but I do okay with herbs. I've got a good stock of pesto in the freezer.
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Lost Soul
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PostSubject: Re: The Frugal Housewife   Fri Jan 16, 2009 5:37 pm

I go around after Miss Roulette and dispose of her well-intentioned leftovers as we both know they will only end up being mould factories.

Our fridge has little enough space without being clogged up with tupperware containers half-filled with unidentified festering objects.
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lindydiva
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PostSubject: Re: The Frugal Housewife   Fri Jan 16, 2009 5:52 pm

Get a vintage fridge, if you can find one.

Actually, I mean it...I cannot believe how well things keep in the monitor top. I have never had one, no matter how "high tech" that worked so well.

Citrus fruits keeping for 6 weeks? Sure! Even fresh spinach stays crisp and fresh for a full week.

We waste very little nowadays. The refrigerator we had at the apartment...forget it! Three days, tops, for vegetables. Fruit didn't last much longer.
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Lost Soul
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PostSubject: Re: The Frugal Housewife   Fri Jan 16, 2009 5:57 pm

If we had a kitchen bigger than a shoebox I would take your advice. I might evn splurge on a modern 'Smeg' if I had the money.
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lindydiva
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PostSubject: Re: The Frugal Housewife   Mon Jan 19, 2009 9:54 am

My refrigerator is much smaller than a modern (it's 1933), but 50s and 60s models are larger, for the most part.

If you could find one from the 30s (for a low price) you'd be all set. Twisted Evil
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