18 October 2015

The Week that Was

Sweet juicy oranges - these ones we are eating, they are so juicy and sweet straight from the tree
We spent some money this week.- my darling surprised me with a new freezer. He used money he's been stashing away to buy it so it didn't impact our budget or our savings at all. He's such a romantic, he knows exactly what makes me happy.

Spent a morning sorting the big freezer and transferring the veggie packs and fruit packs to the new, smaller freezer. Updated the inventory and have a shopping list of what is needed. Now to wait until Tasman has a really good sale so I can stock up. Legs of lamb are between 50 cents and $1.50 more than they were last spring, and regular mince has gone up $3/kilo! We have enough homemade pasta sauce left to last until the end of the year! How was that for (not) planning last summer :)

Otherwise not much money spent - top up on fruit and veg, some milk and $1.50 at the op shop. I didn't even need petrol this week, still have 3/4 tank.

I worked in the vegetable garden, weeding, watering, feeding with worm tea.

Picked oranges and mandarins from the fruit trees for the fruit bowl.

These mandarins are so sweet and juicy - and this little tree just keeps on producing them, I haven't bought mandarins in months
Washed the car (it really, really needed it) using a bucket, a sponge, the banister brush and the hose to rinse off. Now it's clean and shiny again.

Baked some Cranberry Hootycreeks and some M&M cookies to take to friends who lost their mother to cancer this week.

Bought a very nice scone tray cover and a pretty doyley from the op shop for $1.50. I've taken a pattern off the scone tray cover to make some using fabric from my stash.
I haven't washed or ironed it yet, I have taken a pattern though. Vintage linens should only be handwashed and line dried, and never ironed until they are ready to be used.
Collected water from the showers and the kitchen sink. Poured some in the washing machine and used the rest to water the pot plants.

Dried the washing on the line - no excuse really, it has been so hot this week.

Kept the windows, blinds and curtains closed on the hot days. Opened the house up overnight to let it cool down.

Cooked all our meals from scratch using ingredients in the pantry, fridge and freezer.

Did some baking for the freezer and have started the Christmas cakes - the fruit is soaking in orange juice as we speak. I'll be making two tomorrow - one for us, one for my brother. Then I'll make another two smaller cakes for Mum and my Aunty and Uncle. After that I'll make another two, again for us and my brother - they freeze beautifully and I slice them, triple wrap them and freeze them for easy morning teas or treats (we all love fruit cake).

Next week I'll do the puddings - four all up, one for Christmas Day, one for New Year's Day, one for my brother and one to cut into single serves and freeze for next year. All the fruit has come from either Aldi or Hindustan Imports and the other ingredients are either Aldi or Coles Savings brands. Using these cheaper ingredients makes them very affordable, especially as gifts. Our gift budget is $15 per person for extended family and friends, and these cakes and puddings come in at between $9 - $12 depending on the ingredients.

Came down with either a very heavy cold or a dose of the flu on Friday and went hunting for simple remedies. Then Wayne came down with it yesterday and Hannah woke up with it this morning. Thank goodness for the frozen lemon juice, two cubes in a mug, a spoonful of Manuka honey and top up with just off the boil water makes a soothing drink for sore throats. Paracetamol for the aches and a drop of eucalyptus on a hanky for the stuffy head and we're all on the mend.

And lastly, a good stash of freezer meals made dinner easy for anyone who felt like eating on Friday and Saturday nights. I love those freezer meals, especially when the last think I want to do is get tea :)

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  1. I hope you are all feeling better! Now I know a new freezer is as good a therapy as any! That was a lovely surprise!
    We had a good week. Saturday was a day of getting all kinds of jobs done around the house that needed doing. I love days like that. I washed all my windows too and felt very virtuous about that especially as it followed cleaning the fridge top to bottom the day before! Well, simple things make me happy!
    It has really impacted me thinking that people pay a lot of money to do all kinds of stuff that we can do oursleves. Money saved with some DIY is not just saved but can be redirected into further money savings ie buying chickens! Anyway it all adds up and bit by bit we get things done!
    I hope you are all on the mend.with love, Annabel.xxx

    1. We're on the mend thank you Annabel. I love days when I can look back and see what has been accomplished - sometimes we homemakers can go all day and really not "see" what we've done. And sparkly windows always make me smile, they make a home look happy and loved I think. I agree that we often work long hours to earn more money to pay people to do the things we could do ourselves but don't because we're too busy working even longer hours to pay them! Talk about a hampster on a wheel :)

  2. I'm sorry to hear yourself, Wayne and Hannah haven't been well. Hope you feel better soon xoxo A couple of weeks ago there was a medical show on tv talking about homemade remedies versus medicines. For coughs they proved that lemon and honey works whereas the cough syrup may not.

    I'm so happy to hear you got the freezer you've been dreaming of. Where did you end up puting it ? Darren had a good laugh over Wayne's romantic gesture. He said " For a true Cheapskate, anything that's going to save them money will make them happy ". We completely understand xoxo

    1. Yes, old fashioned remedies are often just as good, if not better than anything you can buy. Lemon juice and honey worked very well. I had everyone having a teaspoon of Manuka honey every couple of hours - you should have seen the faces they pulled, it's not the nicest of honeys but it sure kills bugs well.

      The freezer is only little and at the moment it's in the middle of the kitchen floor, I have the trestle up with the sewing machine set up (I'm on a sewing roll and don't want to pack it up or it will be months before I get back to it). We're not sure where it will go permanently just yet. It may stay just under the kitchen bench or perhaps around the corner in the familyroom. Tha alternative is emptying the dresser (big job) and moving it down and popping it in the corner near the big window. Or our wardrobe (only joking, there's no power point :) ).

      Wayne knows exactly what makes me happy, he always has. I like flowers and chocolates but I love my new freezer :)

      Now for Tasman to have a decent sale!

    2. Yes I'm desperate for Tasman to have a sale. We have no mince, only one roast beef and one silverside left and two meals of sausages. Chicken has been a feature on our menu plan.

    3. I know what you mean - I've gone from 1001 Ways to Cook Mince to 1001 Ways to Cook Chicken. It's been the only thing on a half decent sale for months so we have plenty of it but a little red meat would be good. Silverside was $8.49/kg on Sunday at Tasman Mt Waverley - that's $3/kg more than I paid last time I bought it. I was wondering if perhaps the effects of the drought and shortage of beef cattle has finally caught up with Tasman.

  3. Isnt he a lovely Husband Cath to know exactly what makes you happy xo

  4. What a gorgeous hubby you have Cath. So glad to hear you got your new freezer. Wonder how long it will take you to fill it ;)

    I find manuka honey great. It is expensive but it does the job. I usually would have it every morning with my porridge, but this year I stopped taking it because I was getting organic honey from a friend. Guess what? I got sick! So what ever (natural antibiotic) is in the manuka honey, it is really good stuff! Next Winter I will be having it again with my porridge :)

    Today I bought some more reduced mushrooms and put them in the outside dryer. I also dug through my freezer and found more end bits of bread, so now I have more breadcrumbs drying.

    I still haven't got to make any cards. I have had disruptions that have prevented me working on them. I have ordered some stamps/pad so I can add lovely happy birthdays etc. They will arrive in the next day or two.


    1. It's full! It holds 45 packages of meat/chicken for my family, 20 packages of MOO pasta sauce and 12 pizza bases :)

      I'm a huge fan of manuka honey for all sorts of things. I put it on cuts and scratches, use it for sore throats, put it in lemon tea to help build resistance to bugs. But I do buy the NZ honey (manuka is native to NZ and the Aust. manuka is slightly different apparently - hence Australian manuka is a lot cheaper) and I always buy at least the 25+ strength. I know a lot of people who buy it from the supermarket but it's only 8 - 10 strength, not strong enough to really work it's magic.

      I saw your solar dehydrator on your blog - it looks so good. The mushrooms are so handy. I just toss a few into a soup or stew or pasta sauce and let them simmer away. I've soaked them and added them to omelettes and fried rice too. So handy to just have a a jar in the pantry :)

      Hope you get some time to make your cards, I'd love to see them when they're done :)

    2. Hahaha that didn't take long at all Cath!

      I am going to start sorting to defrost my freezers while the weather is cooler, I really need to make some room for the summer fruit crop that's coming :)



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