Tag Archives: frugaldane

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.

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.

Tomatosauce – and pizza -ish

I know – this might not be 100% frugal, but I really need to share this basic-recipe with you, because it is sooo good. The idea came along when I had some veggie-leftovers (more specific soft carrots and almost moldy onions) and “accidently” bought way to many canned tomatos, and B just looked at me with “wtf” written across his forehead. The tomatosause is basically this:

  • canned, chopped tomatoes
  • onions diced
  • carrots – shredded
  • any other vegetable that makes sense to eat – cut or shredded
  • herbs like rosemary, thyme, oregano or anything YOU think tastes good

Usually you´d cook it in a big pot, but this one you need to reduce and I find it way easier to do that in a large frying pan, allowing as much steam as possible to leave the dish. If you want to, you can add left -over bacon-grease or bouillon/stock, but remember, that animal products will reduce the durability of the sauce (or any other dish).

In these two jars (500ml each), I had 5 cans (400g each), 10 small carrots, 3 onions and some sellery as well.

I poured into scolded glass and put the lid on immediately, and put it in the fridge. I didn´t know it would “pop” the lid, but I discovered that it did, when I couldn´t open one of them, when I needed it, which means it´s basically air tight.

For the pizzas I used my basic dough with rye, spelt and wheat + an egg or two ( I don´t remember to be honest). I roled out the dough really thin and put the oven om 250C and baked them for about 5-7 minutes, so it wouldn´t get soggy from the sauce. And then the fun began.

Toppings!

This was my topping, and it was amazing – especially due to the sauce and all the flavors I managed to add to it.

  • carrots
  • onions
  • potatos
  • jerusalem artichoke (according to google translate)
  • tomatosauce
  • chickpeas
  • grated cheese
  • diced chicken (200g for 4 pizzas – it was “last day of use” )

Appearantly my car is silver grey.

Having a car comes with many expenses, so be sure you only buy “what you need”. When I bought my car, I was single and living with my son. Now I’m engaged to be married next summer, and besides my son T who is turning 19 this December, and not living at home, I’ve become a stepmom of two, so this blended family of 5 has a car with only four seats. But it’s a cheap car, and it has a pretty good mileage and except some weekends we are 2 adults and no kids, so a 5 seat car is really an unnecessary luxury.

Today we washed it, and we didn’t think it was really that much needed, but it was. I wanted to clean the inside due to the mud the kids smeared all around the inside, and so I could make car seat covers and so on, but then it kind of evolved from “just a quick clean up” to a “what the actual fuck”-experience both on the inside and outside.

Frugal Carwash:

You want to use a very soft brush and get some special auto shampoo.

Wet the car with a hose very lightly.

Put a few drops on the brush and begin the quest. Be sure you clean all the dirt off as little rocks and dirt may develop in to rust.

Take on section at a time so it doesn’t dry up.

Rinse and begin a new section. And remember! Never do this when the sun is shining as you will most definitely need too much water and get ugly streaks.

I have a garden hose with different settings. I used the “mist” for the initial wetting, “jet” for stains, and “cone” for rinsing off the soap. I thought I’d use too much water, but honestly I don’t think I had it running more than 5 minutes altogether on the different settings, and since I didn’t shower yesterday…I don’t feel too bad about it.

Oh yeah… and you want to wash it more often than we do. This was embarrassing. But I promised you honesty. So here it is

Our dog loves the car, so he enjoyed the front seat while I washed the car and B “cleaned” it on the inside.
I’m trying not to cry, because the mud won’t come off. But hey…I have some awesome bedsheets and a tarp, so I will do something with it…I just wish I would have done it sooner.

My top 5 money-saving food apps.

I don´t know how it is in your country, but here in Denmark almost all supermarkets have their own app, where you can find things on sale and so on. There´s also a few apps that manage food waste, apps where people who has gardens and an overflow put up fruits and vegetables. I will list the danish apps below ofcourse, but if you have an app YOU use and would recommend, let me know, and I´ll put it on my links page for other people to find as well – and yes, I´ll sort it by country and maybe even leave a little word/recommendation from you, if you wish.

But – as you know, I´m a dane, so heres a short list of my money-saving apps.

Lidl Plus – I like this because it´s the nearest shop, and because their coupons are actually giving a fair discount on specific products. We don´t have the coupon-system as the states, but in a Danish perspective, it´s pretty good. There´s also a bonus-ticker, but I haven´t spent enough money there to know what it is…or…yes I have, but I forget to scan my phone, and it´s a problem when B is shopping, because the app is personal. I´d like to have two or more persons added to one account.

Mad skal spises is an app, by Salling Group who has the supermarket chains Netto, Bilka and Føtex, but in this app, they invite everyone, shops or consumers to add different products that are maybe on the edge of “too old” and extremely cheap. I downloaded it a few weeks ago, and I´ve used it three times at least. If I need something specific, I go through the list and see if I can get it cheaper. I hope the other local supermarkets will use this soon.

Too good to go is where it´s impossible not to make a good deal. Supermarkets, bakers and restaurants list “bags” with food, that they sell for a lot less than the normal price. It´s important to act quick and look out for the time they list their bags, because sometimes, they´re sold – “just like that”. The other challenge is, that you don´t decide what goes in your bag. If you buy from a baker, you might end up with a lot of cakes and no bread – or the other way around. I bought a bag from a supermarket three days ago, hoping there would be a lot of vegetables, but I´m still baking banana-muffins and tomorrow I´m making plum-chutney. The roses are still pretty though 😛

E-tilbudsavis is amazing when you´ve gone through you fridge and freezer and made a food plan, and you know what you need. It´s an app where every shop or supermarket that usually sends paper-ads to fill your mailbox have digital versions of their “papers”. It´s possible to make shopping lists and share that between people you know, and it even has this little feature where it adds the price, so you know how much you´re spending BEFORE leaving home. That feature saved me a lot of money, to be honest, because I didn´t like the amount at the bottom, so I went through the list a few times and again re-thinking if I really needed stuff, just because it had glitter on it.

Vild mad is for when you are adventurous and wants to know if the plant you see, when you´re hiking, is safe to eat or not – or tasteful too ;-D I´ve used it a bit when walking the dog, especially this autumn with all the rain and moist that make mushrooms grow all over. It breaks down every now and then, and I wish I could use it without internet-connection, but…if you can live with that, it´s a fine thing, and it looks pretty awesome too.

So – that´s the first 5 apps that I use the most. Not every day, but at least once a week. I hope you will share your food-apps and share some tips with the rest of us in the comments.

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