Bringing home the bacon...

I didn’t post yesterday due to an existential crisis.

So, today I’m posting about what I did yesterday – welcome to time travel.

I had planned to head off to the local Farmers’ Market down at Lake Wendouree, and so I did.

I spent about $15 there on this lot.

My treasure from the market.

My treasure from the market.

What? It doesn’t look all that exciting? Really?  Huh.

Let me go through what I’ve got here. In that bag at the front, in the bottom left hand corner, there are Golden Linseeds.

Golden Linseeds or Flaxseeds.

Golden Linseeds or Flaxseed.

I like to add a couple of tablespoonfuls of that to my bread mix. There are already linseeds in the mix that we buy, but I like to boost it. Linseed is full of fibre and Omega 3s. However, unless you grind it, the Omega 3s aren’t available to you and the seeds pass through your body undigested.

So, I use a small electric coffee grinder to break them up a bit and add them through the nut/seed/fruit dispenser in my bread machine.

Next, there are Navy Beans. I buy a lot of these – usually 500g at a time.

Navy Beans

Navy Beans.

They cost around $8 a kilogram. Now with that 500 g, or 1 pound, I can make a batch of baked beans to keep in my freezer for quick and nutritious lunches. That batch will make about 2 litres worth of beans.

The Boy and I are in discussions about maybe buying a pressure canner so I can keep them in my pantry instead…. stay tuned.

Next, we have black lentils.

Black lentils.

Black lentils.

I love to add lentils to mince meat dishes or any slow-cooked dish. My collection of different colours and textures is slowly growing and is so different from the large brown and green lentils that used to be all that was available in Australia. (Yay!)

Next, you’ll see some Red Basmati Rice.

Red Basmati Rice.

Red Basmati Rice.

I hadn’t ever seen this before, so I grabbed 250 g of it. Basmati rice is a little lower on the Glycaemic Index (GI), which makes it much better for keeping my blood sugars stable (and yours too).  I have no idea what it tastes like and I’m looking forward to finding out.

Lastly, there is black barley.

Black barley.

Black barley.

I was really happy with how it turned out in my Barley and Lentil Hotpot and have decided it needs to be a pantry staple in the Budget Bounty household. So there.

I had a few dollars left from the $20 I had been prepared to spend, so I bought some Bok Choy as well.

Then I came home and saw to the meat. The chuck steak was diced, placed in a zip lock bag and frozen as is. I already have a few bags of marinaded diced chuck in the freezer, so I thought I’d leave this lot plain for now.

Diced chuck. (Sorry, Chuck!)

Diced chuck. (Sorry, Chuck!)

The Osso Buco was also frozen as was. It’s there ready for a nice, warming casserole in the future.

Osso Buco

Osso Buco

The sausages were placed into a large ziploc bag – being sure they weren’t touching – and frozen. Once they were frozen through, the bag was shaken down and folded over.

Pork Sausages

Pork Sausages

By freezing the snags like this, I will be able to remove one or two at a time without having to defrost the whole lot. With this style of sausage, I’ll only need a small number to feed the two of us.

Bacon pieces

Bacon pieces

Then, I processed the bacon rashers, cutting off the tails and dicing them and leaving the “eye” part whole. They were frozen in separate bags and small portions.

Although one portion was immediately used to counter the Antarctic vortex currently enveloping most of southern Australia. I added them to a fine luncheon of Loaded Hot Potato Chips. Yum! They really hit the spot!

Bringing home the bacon...

Bringing home the bacon…

Bread was made, as was a batch of Apple and Oat Bars. I dined on leftover risotto and The Boy ate chicken soup.

Tonight he is making Porcupine meatballs in the pressure cooker and using some of the red basmati in it too!

Eat well, everyone.

 

28 June restocking session

Fresh stuff.

Well, I’ve been to the shops and I have food. Which is always a nice outcome for anyone, I think.

I’m rather annoyed, because I’ve just realised that I don’t have a receipt from the greengrocer’s. So I won’t be able to break it all down for you. However, the vegetables cost me $12.50.

Here they are:

Fresh stuff.

Fresh stuff.

There is:

  • a bag of onions,
  • half a bunch of celery,
  • some bok choy,
  • a few Brussels sprouts (The Boy loves them),
  • 3 zucchini,
  • a corn on the cob,
  • an eggplant,
  • half a cabbage,
  • 4 small red capsicum, and
  • a handful of button mushrooms.

Total = $12.50

There’s also a few leaves of Cavolo Nero or Tuscan Kale, given to me by someone at the Community Garden, and a few lemons given to me by a complete stranger at the laundromat. As they do…

In Aldi, I bought:

  • 1 x 3 litre tin Extra Virgin Olive Oil                    $17.99
  • 1 pkt wholemeal tortilla wraps                            $1.99
  • 2 x 500g blocks unsalted butter                           $5.18
  • 500g shredded Mozzarella Cheese                     $4.49
  • 700g shredded Tasty Cheese                                 $5.49
  • 500g frozen stir fry mix                                            $2.19
  • 500g streaky bacon                                                   $5.99
  • 1kg Pork Mince                                                           $9.98
  • 1 kg Plain Flour                                                           $0.75
  • 1 kg SR Flour                                                                $0.75
  • 3 x 1l UHT Full Cream Milk @$0.95                     $2.85
  • 1 kg Jasmine Rice                                                      $2.29
  • 2 x 400g tins diced tomatoes @$0.99               $1.98
  • 2 x 400g tins kidney beans @$0.75                    $1.50
  • 1 x 800g tin apple pie filling                                  $2.99

Total – $66.41

Some of the groceries.

Some of the groceries.

At Woolworths, I bought:

  • 1 x pkt Gow Gee Pastry (Won Ton wrappers) $2.60
  • 1kg Arborio rice                                                           $3.20
  • 500g desiccated coconut                                        $2.99
  • 2 x 250g choc chips 2 for                                          $5.00
  • 1 Dozen free range eggs                                           $6.49

Total -$20.28

Which makes a Grand Total of $99.19.

I have no idea what possessed me to buy the rice and coconut at Woolworths. I can only think it was because I was there for the eggs and remembered I needed more. ‘Mistakes were made,’ as The Boy would say.

Now don’t imagine for a minute that I expect to use all that oil in the next few weeks.

Hot chilli oil.

Hot chilli oil.

That will last us 6 months or more. I decided to restock as I had just finished our last tin of it by refilling our smaller bottle on the counter and making that litre of Chilli oil for my Step-father.

I had decided it was going to be a “stock up” type of shop. I don’t need more flours, but I got them anyway. They are now filling containers in the pantry, along with the chocolate chips (which I only ever buy if there is a ‘twofer’).

The multiple cartons of milk will happily sit in the pantry until I have a visitor who takes milk in their coffee, or I want to cook something that needs it.

The bacon will be divided into 2 rasher parcels and frozen that way. I use it to add a punch of flavour to anything I think might need it.

Cheese.

Cheese.

We buy shredded/grated cheeses as a rule. It prevents grated knuckles, saves washing up and reduces waste. Cheese in this household is considered a condiment or garnish, not a major player.

There are three containers in the refrigerator, two labelled “Pizza” and “Tasty,” and one that obviously holds parmesan cheese and doesn’t need a label. About a cup’s worth of cheese goes into each of these containers and the rest goes in the freezer until the containers are empty. This amount of cheese will last us several months. (Unless I go on a major pizza-making binge.)

The butter will last quite a long time if refrigerated correctly. I like to use butter in my baking and had none at all to hand.

The Gow Gee wrappers are because I want to try making some gyoza for snacks and to freeze for later (snacks). This is the destination of half the pork mince.

The other half of the mince will be used for some meatballs that I will also freeze for a dinner shortcut in the future – although I’m quite tempted to explore other options.

I have a piece of Pork Belly and a Marinated Beef Roast currently in the freezer – along with the rest of last shop’s frozen beef mince and chicken pieces. So, one of those will form a major meal at some stage this fortnight and appear in different guises following that.

The cans of tomatoes and kidney beans are currently being used, along with one package of the frozen beef mince, to make a crockpot full of the most delicious-smelling Chilli con Carne.

Chilli con carne to be

Chilli con carne to be

This is what it looked like when I walked away from it a few hours ago. The kidney beans will be added about 30 mins before serving just to heat them through.

Leftovers may form calzone fillings, quesadilla fillings, pasta sauce or I might turn it into a cobbler. Then again, they might just be frozen until inspiration strikes.

I’ll post the recipe some time later this week.

I’m thinking the next time I go shopping it will be mostly for meat to restock the freezer. There’s only so many times in a row that one can eat beef mince, quite frankly.

But for now…I’m hungry!