Some of the ways I saved, furthered my pantry and got ahead were:
I made up my annual Coconut Ice. It is delicious but I think the main reason I do it is small amounts are a big gift as it is very rich and it looks so pretty wrapped up.
I added pink ribbon and dried rosebuds. This tray went into town to ladies I know who work in an office. The reaction I got was so nice. Then I went on to wrap about another ten pieces and they have been gifts given out this week and some next week. It really is a very economical gift. My friend Nerilie sent me a text that she saw smaller blocks of Coconut Ice for $15 each!
My craft project has been to crochet wool lambs jumpers for the orphan newborn lambs in winter.
I am working on a boys blue one now.
I am also working on crochet bottle holders so I can hang a warm bottle of milk on the gate and save my arms standing there holding them. Once the lambs have learned to drink well they are good little drinkers. This is one of my planned "easier ways" as I know I am needing to think of some short cuts. In fact "easier ways" is going to be a subject on Bluebirds for 2020.
This week I was given a lot of free food. I had sliced ham and roast meat, roast potatoes, bread rolls, small Christmas puddings, custard in containers and the biggest one by far, a bucket of farm honey.
I stayed up late that night to make the most of this. I plated up the roast meats and roast potatoes into meals for two and froze them. When I heat them I will just add whatever other veggies I have on hand. The ham I stood and made up ham and cheese rolls and froze a heap of those. Other items I worked into the weeks menu plan.
Now the honey! I will begin to pour it into jars to store. This bucket is so heavy it was hard to lift onto the counter! I love honey and this gives me something that will last forever in my pantry. I use a lot in my cooking and consider honey a very medicinal thing too.
I have decided to learn canning. Nope I have never canned. I have always made relish, sauce, chutney, jams and pickles. But none of these things need canning. (not in Australia anyway) Last year we had so much fruit. Freezer space is better reserved for meat as when I am offered meat I want to be able to take it! So the answer is dehydrating the fruit or canning. I will dehydrate some. But it is time to be canning.
Friends are helping me and I am studying! When I costed it out I found a basic kit is very inexpensive. That is arriving today! The more expensive part is the jars and lids. Good jars can be reused but you need new lids. So I put word out I am looking for canning jars and I began to watch FB Buy Swap and Sell... and I asked in the op shop.
Well this produced quick results!! My friend Wendy told her parents and they offered me canning jars stored in their shed. (happy dancing...) Online I saw about a hundred bigger Fowler jars for 50c each. I got them! Well, I am picking them up late this afternoon. And in the op shop I asked... and the lady let me go out into the back work room and go through boxes and boxes of jars and bags of lids. She also knew about canning. She taught me how to tell if a lid is new and lots of other things. I found several boxes of good jars and new lids to match. AND I found lids for beautiful Agee jars I had at home all year that never had lids. They are the most beautiful jars for pantry use. The lids are no longer available. And there they were in one of these bags! It was just my day!
I will show all these jars next post.
With all this looking at FB Buy Swap and Sell I found two other things I have been really wanting. I got a little table for Harper and Scarlett in solid wood for $10. And a small cabinet for a space I have for $15. I am thrilled. I am saving painting these up for a hot day project. On really hot days I like having things to do inside. I set up a paint sheet on the floor and paint while in air conditioning!
Mum and I had our day trip to see the girls. It was a lovely day. I did some weeding while I was there and came home with a huge basketful of thistles for the chooks and ducks. They went crazy over them!
The deck is all stained and put back together. I love it. We are eating out there again now. We have a beautiful view and at the moment Cockatoos everywhere to watch. We also watch the antics of the calves, lambs and Eddie the goat. Believe me there re plenty of those. The three I weaned last week cannot be separated. They are a gang. One is a calf, one is a lamb and one is a goat. Doesn't matter they are inseparable. At first Eddie escaped continually. When finally I beat him the calf and lamb escaped and came to sit next to Eddie. I have no idea how they did it but when I woke up and looked out there they were!
The Christmas tree is up. I have kept things very simple. The tree has nothing but fairy lights and little birds. The decorations are deer antlers, pinecones and gum nuts. That is it. I love it.
I planted a whole extra pumpkin patch! We have the room so on top of a pile of sheep manure I dug a hole and planted pumpkins. Then in another spot I planted zucchini and Rockmelons. I am so excited to have all these going!
I made up some Gluten Free Scones.
I went to see Mum and she gave me some bits and pieces out of the garden to transplant to mine. I need to get them all planted out today. I also collected pretty bell shaped gum nuts. While doing this a tiny Grey Fantail was sitting on her nest right next to me!
Inside were three little eggs...
These are one of my favourite birds. They are tiny! Also very tame. I will go back in a week and take another peek!
I cut Andy's hair.
I had lemons getting dangerously old so I stood and juiced them. They were so juicy. I froze these.
My niece came over to dinner. She knows of Fig and Mulberry trees I didn't know about. She said when they are ripe she will let me know! She now has Guinea Fowl. We are doing a deal so I will helpfully be able to hatch some under a broody bantam.
I took Coconut Ice to my neighbour out the back. She also has fruit trees and said I am welcome to pick Mulberries and I am not sure yet what the other trees even are!
See! This is why I need to get canning!
Wendy gave me Lillie bulbs and I now have my first flowers!
It really was a week of opportunity. If there is something you wish for or need put the word out! A little networking is amazing!
I heard a funny story. When Allie gave me the baby goat later on I did some baking for her as a thank you. Well word got out I gave her Lasagne for a goat. Now I have heard there are two local guys that heard about this (love the grapevine!) and asked Luke what could they do for me that I would make them Lasagna! Hahaha! I said to Luke "Plenty!" If my Lasagne is so famous and those boys want some jobs send them over!!
I really hope you had a good week too with some opportunities that came your way.
How did you save, get ahead or build up your pantry?
Have a wonderful weekend. I hope your Christmas plans are going well. I feel good as I am on top of mine now. This is because I started really early!
Later today Chloe and I are going to small Country Christmas Market. Last year it was wonderful and so much fun! And we are picking up my big lot of canning jars. I am looking forward to it so much! xxx