Gardening after the virus 1

I’ve been sick. The covid-19 hit hard, but I refuse to let it fill an entire blog post, media is full of covid-19 content, so I’ll just stick to the plan I had with this blog and focus on the frugality – adding a prepper-like shine to it.

I wanted to have loads of flowers, and though I still do, I must admit, that Ive changed my perspective about it a bit. With the world going into a new depression after the virus and the different farm crisises all over the world, I’m worried about the food situation. Two months ago I grew food for fun, now it’s a matter of living and living well in a few months.

I wanted to focus on lettuce and spinach and other fast crops, but now I’ve exchanged seeds and I’m growing more beets, chard, beans of all sorts, more peas than planned, carrots, pumpkins, kale etc. I wanted to have rabbits for eating, but B said NO and didn’t seem interested in discussing the matter.

I’ve built a greenhouse from old plastic bags and twigs, and so far I only need it to stay whole for a month or so, and then the weather should be good enough.

Yup. It is ugly, but the fleece and the plastic (cut from the bottom of an old kids swimming pool) is there to protect from the cold during the night. It works SO well.

That’s it for now. More will come. Right now I need to go dig another bed and take away the grass and roots. It’s hard work, but I love the rewarding feeling I get when I see a new seed sprout and promise me a bit of food in the future.

Covid-19 – what we´re doing.

We have people close to us and in our household with respitory diseases and autoimmune diseases, so no matter how “not alarmed” other people are – we have changed our ways of living. Not much – but enough for other people to notice it and think we´re bonkers. But honestly – if our biggest loss is being called bunkers and being wrong – we are satisfied. We´re actually hoping that this is the case.

  1. we´ve filled the pantry
  2. neither of us shake hands or hug other people
  3. we only buy what is in boxes or bags that can be wiped down with alcohol – so no fresh groceries for us except what we grow
  4. visitors are told to spray hands with alcohol and if we serve them anything, they put their glass in the dishwasher them selves, and we use the intensive program.
  5. only one of us shops. Me. And I have shopping clothes and wear gloves. I only touch what I buy.
  6. we are pretty much self-quaranteening – not totally due to jobs, but we want to be able to track down people we either infect or know who might infected us.
  7. We´ve cancelled meetings where we´ve had to be close to others and unable to stay out of 2 m. and I wipe off handles and sinks etc. when using other toilets than my own…
  8. – and most important – we are open about our worries.

Pink Pasta Puddle

My son is back home, and we’ve been working hard on getting his life straight again and finally I feel like this is going somewhere positive. I’m trying to settle an agreement with his roomie and since our house is a mess after an entire week of everyone being sick, I’m trying to catch up.

Same goes for the fridge. This frugal thing didn’t really catch on when we were sick, meaning we’ve got plenty of stuff that are almost overdue. So… Without knowing in which direction I wanted to go, I created this horrible mess that tastes… A-MA-ZING! It is soft and perfect for comfort food cravings.

I call it…

Pink Pasta Puddle

PINK PASTA PUDDLE

  • 200g macaroni or pasta
  • 2-3 beetroots in small cubes
  • 3 large carrots in medium cubes
  • 1 leek sliced
  • Creme fraiche (I had about 3dl leftover)
  • Salt, pepper, cayenne
  • Extra: can add ham or pepperoni or left over meats to the dish before the creme fraiche.

1. Boil the pasta Al dente in lightly salted water, drain and put it aside.

2. Start with the beets and frie them about ten minutes while dicing the carrots and then adding them

3. Slice the leeks and frie them too. This is where you’d add the meat if you have some.

4. When the beets and carrots are soft but not mushy, turn down the heat and add the creme fraiche and give it a good stir while seasoning.

5. Finally add the pasta/macaroni and heat it up a bit. Not too high heat or the creme fraiche will maybe become a bit grainy.

Enjoy!

Organisation

So… This is the truth; I’m a messy person, and chaos is my middle name. So when I cook… I usually open a new bag of rice or pasta and forget all about it till it falls from my overcrowded kitchen shelves.

B did the laundry today and we finally used up a large bottle of laundry detergent, so I grabbed a knife and cut it up. I know people recycle them using glitter and glue guns, but I don’t have any of those, and… This is a frugal home, right? I also kinda like the white and simple looks of it. Maybe I’ll write “look here for open bags first” on it eventually, but right now I just like how it freed a lot of space.

It’s the white thing on the right.
This holds 2 open bags of open pasta, 1 macaroni, 1 spaghetti 2 bags of rice and one with breadcrumbs.

Winterbreak hell

There is so much I can’t write or say, but I’m so tired I could cry. My son is homeless and in dire need for help, the step kids are home due to winterbreak aaaand we all have caught the flu and are pretty whiney and tough to be around.

I love all my kids to death, but I need sleep or a wall to wall bed with room enough for 4 people a dog and a cat… I mean it. If the kids come into our bed tonight as well, I’ll be enjoying my first night on the couch. I might anyway af B is grunting and talking in his sleep as if he was trying to persuade me into buying the LEGO tree house.

So nope. We are sooo not saving any money this week. Medicine. Gas for transportation for the doctor and helping my kid. Sugary foods and snacks or whatever people have ordered due to their sickness and lack of appetite. Off course as “the mom” I have yet to indulge in my own flu, and are seen as the service provider.

I had an acute case of asking the pharmacy about this:

I stole this meme. I’m sorry I don’t remember where from. But whoever made this… I love you

Luckily the week is over soon, and… I actually DID save some money. Although spending on stupid things….

I lost my key chain pompom a few weeks ago and I have had a hard time finding my keys, so I decided to take up an old trade from when I was in kindergarten and make a new one instead of buying it. I actually made 3…because I was bored.

Compost-pile chapter 1

Compost pile

So – this is the beginning of my first compost pile. I´ve never done one before (surprise – I´ve never had a carden either), so I decided I didn´t want to spend money on materials or anything fancy, if it turns out it´s a waste of time. Let it be said, that my garden is…if not tiny, then small-ish. So if it´s even possible to get a proper use of it, I don´t know. But I did think about it, and when I walked the dog this morning,

I went to the near by park and picked up some branches from the ground, and took them home. I put them in the ground, and then took some of the vines I cut off my grapevine a few weeks ago, and put them in between them as a kind of basket weave. In the bottom I put some twigs to make sure there´ll be some sort of ventilation, and dropped a bouquet of tulips I got from a friend and……yup. That was it.

I like the look of it, and how it actually “fits” the garden and our “style” and doesn´t look posh – but pretty “organic” (because it is).

I can´t wait until the hedge is bigger and we´ll get some privacy. It´s only about a year old and really scrawny…

Welcome to january the 74th

I think we survived January. B’s teeth, the three times car mechanic, insurances and christmas-meldown hit hard… but we had food and shelter and made it through.

This is the last meal I made and even though we’re doing scraps now… it was awesome. I will call it:

Pasta N eggs 74th

  • Boil some pasta
  • Cut leftover veggies (we had kale, onions and parsnips) and fry it in a pan with some salt, paprika and garlic
  • mix a bunch of whole eggs with a good splash of cream and a bit of sifted wheat flour – give it salt and pepper and toss it in a medium/low heat frying pan and let it warm/sit
  • mix pasta with vegetables and fry it a minute or two, before adding a bit cream and topping it with what ever cheese that needs to be eaten.
  • turn on the grill in the oven and give the pasta-veggies a ninut or two.
  • Check the eggs. If it is still a bit liquid on top, give it a minute or two under the grill
  • Serve and enjoy.

Maysakkasagna

Yesterday B and I went dumpsterdiving and we got a huge load of potatoes. Yes, a bit of them were bad and soft, but still…there was a lot and we even gave my son a large bag plus some other stuff to take home.

Earlier today I texted one of B’s colleagues, an around 60year old guy I’ll call Bear on this blog. He lives alone, and I know how it is for most people who lives on their own; cooking is seldomly prioritized. Bear has also helped me (us) during the toughest crisis this december, and hes a friend og B’s mom as well. So…kind of a member of our family you could say. I asked if he’d like a portion of whatever I came up with tomorrow on the job and he did. So there was no way I would NOT cook today.

I came up with a…erhmmm…mix of mousakka (without eggplant) and lasagna (because of the bechamel and no pasta), and we didn’t have any ground beef, so instead I used ground chicken. Oh yeah. And my name is Maya hence the name of this dish.

Here’s my extremely loose recipe. I made enough to feed 9 people of moderate appetite especially if serving bread with it.

Potatoes and shredded cheese and…

Meatish tomato sauce

  • A package of ground chicken (400g)
  • A splash of oil
  • 2 large onions (in Denmark that is aprox. 200f)
  • 4 cans of chopped tomatos (4×400g)
  • spices + salt and pepper
  • 2-4 “icecubes” of frozen cream (I freeze my cream to make it last longer)

1. Brown the meat in a splash of oil

2. Throw in the onions and stir until they’re soft and glasslike.

3. Dump in the cans of tommatos and heat it till it’s boiling.

4. Season it with salt, pepper, and perhaps thyme and oregano. I also added 2 cubes of vegetable stock but you don’t need them.

5. Add the cream -fresh or frozen – mix it in and put aside in a large bowl .

Bechamel sauce

  • 50g salted butter
  • 4 chaotic tablespoons of all purpose wheat flour
  • 1 liter of milk, preferably not a skimmed type. The fat ia good if you, like me, always put a bit too much flour in so you need to add water.
  • salt, pepper and a good dash of nutmeg.

1. Melt the butter in a large pot

2. Add the flour to create a ball of butter and flour

3. Add the milk little by little while making sure you heat it up along the way to avoid lumps.

4. At some point, you’ve probably added all your milk, then add water until it has the required texture. Which is.. not thick nor thin. Not too sticky nor too runny

5. Season it.

ASSEMBLING IT ALL

1. Peel a whooole lot of tomato and slice them in 0,5 slices.

2. First add meatish sauce, then potatoes, then bechamel, then potatoes, then meatish…etc. and keep doing it until you run out of both. Top it off with the bechamel as it makes it easier to save on the….

3. Cheese which you will add after having it in the oven at 200°C for about 40 minutes, and then give it another 25 minutes. Time in the oven is really depending on how thick you sliced the potatoes. But around 1 HR all together.

Enjoy with a salad or bread or whatever you feel like.

Sowing Allium ursinum

Just before Christmas we went to the garden center just for fun, and they had all sorts of seeds on sale, and we got a whole bunch of different stuff including different varieties of Tulips and Daffodils that I planted about 1 week ago. A bit too late, but I wanted to make sure they didn’t come too early as we’ve had almost no frost this winter (yet). I put my garlic in the ground in December as the almanac says, but… I’m a but worried that them already being 15 cm tall will be a problem if winter comes. So I planted a new batch just to be sure – as I use quite a lot of garlic.

But! Along the seeds I got some allium ursinum (in Denmark we call them ramsløg). And they need to get in the ground in january.

So. Here they are. I’m experimenting a bit, because I didn’t find any ressources about what kind if soil they need, so I have one half with just dirt from the garden (since my other alliums are sprouting just fine) and the other half has some bought compost on top. I’m using a plastic egg tray, which was saved. I know people prefer the paper ones, but…the eggs were cheaper in plastic and I want to use the tray later and next year as well, as it’s creating as little greenhouse with its lid on… so that’s my justification right now.

I’m not watering the soil, but spraying it, keeping it a bit moist and not wet, since it’s not going to evaporate from the outside like a paper tray. I read somewhere that they need the cold, so I put it outside a few days before bringing it inside placing it in the window. And now… I’m waiting. Juuust like with everything else that happens in the garden.

Lemon tree growing. Chapter 1. (Day 1-8)

I got my hands on some organic lemons the other day, and decided to try if it would be possible to grow a tree, and possibly have one ready for my parents 40 year wedding day next year. I live in Denmark, so it’s a gamble, due to the weather and the cold season, but either way, I will learn from the experience. It won’t be very likely that it will ever produce any fruits, but I actually think they’re pretty trees and the leaves themselves have a wonderful smell, and I think I can use them for something regardless.

Step 1 and 2

Step 1. Is getting the seeds out. I know people usually cut the lemon in half, but “being frugal” I didn’t want to waste any seeds. Instead of cutting the lemon all the way through, I decided to just cut a bit and using my fingers to separate it and dig out the seeds.

Step 2. Peel off the outer shell. I see most people use paper cloth to hold the seeds (they’re slippery as F), while peeling off the hard shell. I decided to use a kitchen towel instead, because I felt it was easier to rub of the slimy stuff. And I was right. It was SO easy!

Step 3.

Step 3. I put the (8) kernels on some paper towel (ok…toilet paper) and drizzled some water on it before putting it in a plastic bag. Most people use ziplock bags, but I want to reuse my plastic as much as possible, so I just closed it with a locking mechanism I got from IKEA years ago.

Step 4. Remember to date it and write what’s in the bag.

Step 4. Leave it a warm place for at least 1 week. We have a quite cold house, so I put it next to my radiators, but to make sure, that it didn’t burn I wrapped it in a duvet.

Step 5… set your alarm/calendar and wait…just like me. Chapter 2 will come within a few weeks.