The last weeks have been big learning weeks for me. Gradually I have eliminated quite a few things from my shopping lists. Some of them are surprisingly big savings! Also one thing seems to lead to another i.e. making my own yoghurt has given me lots to play with and so I made my own Tatziki Dip which is something else new. Another thing I no longer will buy!
Before we get started I am going back to an old Laine's Letter. This is just an excerpt but it is full of motivation to increase your cooking skills to help beat rising prices and get ahead. It starts with a reader question...
2~ Can you tell us how you are handling the food prices going up? I don't seem to be doing so well in this area. I know you've written about it many times, but I need a pep talk so much.
Yes, I have watched the food prices go up as well in my area. And the gas is higher than this time last year, as well as our electrical and water bills. So I am doing my best to readjust my budget accordingly and continue to save as much as I can. I pray for God's help all the time!
My best advice to give you is to learn how to cook as much as you can from scratch. I am still amazed at how much I save from a continuing learning and growing in this area. I learn from cooking shows, magazines, friends and family, the ladies on this list, and cookbooks from the library. I am constantly trying new recipes to increase my knowledge.
It is so wonderful to know how to make pasta from scratch, as well as egg noodles, muffins, doughnuts, french fries, tortillas, bread, or numerous other things. They really require so few simple ingredients, so it is much cheaper to make them than buy them. Plus it is so much tastier as well. We have so many recipes on our website for you to try. And learning to cook with leftovers is so important, too. So often I look as forward to the leftovers as I do the main meal, because I know what I'll be cooking with them next.
It is also good to buy seasonally when things are on sale. For example, I just bought all my canned pumpkin for the year while it was on sale at Thanksgiving. I did the same with cranberries and froze them for the year as well. I do the same thing during the summer on certain fruits and vegetables. I also used coupons for cream cheese and stocked up on that this past week, as well as many baking goods. With cheese rising in price, it is nice to know how to make it; so I want to increase my knowledge in this area for the future.
And that is really the key, increasing our knowledge in cooking, baking, canning, freezing, growing, and drying food. The more we learn, the more we can save. It is also so important to be ahead of our families in this area. That is why I love to do my cooking in the morning, because then there are good things for them to eat all day. And I know what is coming out of the oven, so there is a plan for dinner when they ask me. Then we don't need to eat out or munch on junk food, which are both costsly and not good for our health.
"She is like the merchant ships, she brings her food from afar, she also rises while it is yet night and provides food for her household and a portion for her maidservants." Proverbs 31:15
"The wise woman builds her house, but the foolish pulls it down with her hands." Proverbs 14:1
I think it is a continual learning and growing in our homes. I am constantly asking the LORD to teach and train me!
With those words to get us going now over to Vicky and her pasta demo. Some of you will already be wonderful at this! But I have always thought it was to fiddly for me surely!? Now I am determined to learn. So I hope this also helps others like me!
Vicky says in this tutorial her pasta isn't thin enough but her husband was hurrying her along and she was taking photos as well! But to get it thin! She also said it costs her about 40c to make a small batch of pasta.
She also says that she allows one cup of flour and one egg per person. But to start off with a small batch to get the hang of it!
Here we go...
Start by sifting 1 cup of All Purpose flour onto the counter in a mountain shape and then make a well into the flour.
You want 1 whole egg and 1 yolk in the well, but hang onto the second egg white in case your dough is a little dry then you can add it in. And add a dash of salt.
Using a fork scramble the egg the well and when all scrambled going in circles start pulling the flour into the egg just like you're still scrambling the egg.
When you have mixed enough of the flour in to start forming a dough using your hands, start needing the dough. If it is sticky add flour a little at a time until it isn't sticky and knead until it is firm yet pliable.
A good way I tell is I wash my hands because they will be messy and then give it another knead or two and if it isn't sticking to my hands I call it good. If it is still sticky add a little more flour and knead some more.
After you have it all kneaded wrap it in plastic wrap and leave it to rest for 30 minutes.
Divide your dough into workable pieces and sprinkle the counter with flour and start rolling it thin.
Once your dough is rolled thin you can start cutting it. A pizza cutter works really good.
Drop into salted boiling water. They will cook in 1-3 minutes depending on you like them so be ready to take them out not long after you drop them in the boiling water and voila fresh pasta!
Vicky says that you can make soup noodles, buttered noodles, fettuccine with spaghetti sauce, chicken and noodles or whatever you like! And that thinner again is Linguini noodles.
She served her noodles here with butter and parsley.
Thank you so much Vicky! You make it look possible! haha! So I promise to get going!
Next week we are studying menu planning with Laine! She recently got me started on menu planning and it is not what I thought. My idea of menu planning was a list of my meals for the week. Well, that is the beginning but there is so much more! It is new to Laine too and you will see how this can save you so much money and also build up your emergency meals. Laine who stretches a dollar unlike anyone else I know still has managed to halve her grocery shop with her new menu planning. I find this amazing since she is so frugal already! But this is the power of menu planning.
Then we have a Ravioli tutorial from Rachel! I have so much lined up that I need more Mondays!
Do you make your own pasta? What would you really love to learn how to make but have never quite taken the plunge? I am thinking there will be other tutorials that we can have as we have some great skills between is all!
Have a really productive week! Be diligent and watchful! xxx