The little birds...

If you watch little birds you will see they are busy and happy! Using whatever they can find they create the most gorgeous little nest.
I would be the little bird with some glittery thread in her nest!
We can be like this. Happily working away with the things that are available to us to create a beautiful and happy home.
All the while with a little song in our heart.

Banner by Free Pretty Things for You.

Monday, 2 June 2014

How to use a windfall of produce.

The other day I posted about gathering. Even the word makes me happy. This reminds me of my friend Helen. Where she lives there is a lemon tree in a public space and she and others go there to pick lemons. It is such a big help to her and she makes the most of it. Yet I know most people would drive past and not even pay any attention. But to a few that tree is so well loved. Sometimes we don't need to even do that, produce just comes our way anyway. It might be a huge bargain and suddenly you have a crate of tomatoes for $5 or are given a bucket of lemons or something equally wonderful.

This week I had a little windfall which was produce from Chloe's fridge as she was going to be away for a week. Now I have heard of people just throwing produce in the bin and am happy Chloe isn't one of them! Anyway I count this as a windfall. It was a whole head of celery, a capsicum, parsley and bunch of spring onions.

Just now we are pulling out our entire old kitchen. It was a really terrible kitchen and no amount of handyman activity would fix it. Andy is building me a new one. So all this has been bagged up to use when my kitchen is back up and running. It gave me enough celery for my next three chicken soup/stock cook ups, enough parsley for the same plus some for something else, capsicum to go into a beef stew and three little bags of spring onions. I just pop it all into the freezer for easy additions to things. What lovely supplies to have on hand. So many things can be done this way ready to pop in soups. The soup you end up making is like free soup when you do this from left over bits and pieces.

Windfalls and gathering tend to produce great amounts of something all at one time. In summer I had some like 30 kilos of apricots... another time a whole bucket of plums, also lemons, quinces, plums and so on. And many of these you have to work quickly as in two days they can be ruined and wasted. While fresh produce is great and we eat it all as it is there is only so much you can keep up with and beyond that it's give some away or preserve, cook or freeze it so that it is useful and none is lost. 

Usually I make jam and pies from fruit. My easy microwave recipe is in an older post as is my easy cobbler and pies recipe. Also chopped fruit can go into muffins and frozen chopped for smoothies, made into ice cream, slices and so many things. Many of which can be frozen then for later in the year.

Whatever it is if I am stuck I google "Plum recipes" or whatever it is and am amazed at the suggestions.  Having made so much jam I googled "uses for jam" and found so many ideas from glazes, marinades and sponge cake fillings to jam drop biscuits, plum jam glazed pork chops, apricot glazed chicken pieces, jam in bread and butter pudding, jam tarts, melted as a sauce on pancakes and 101 ways to use up too many jars of jam. 

So whatever your windfall there are ways to turn it into a great asset and money saver. Possibly even gifts by giving hampers of homemade produce, a pie, a tart, tied up with a label and given away. Lemons here make their way into easy lemon curd (this was one of my early recipe posts) Tied up with a yellow ribbon a jar of this is like a gift of sunshine. So delicious and useful.

I love a windfall. And I have had very good news on this front. Someone in the family has a new house with a huge fig tree out the back! I feel some gathering coming on. Apparently it is enormous and covered. Given figs in the city get close to $1 each this tree has $1000 worth of figs on it! Figs are just divine and I have so many recipes that use them ready and waiting! How wonderful I am so excited.

These things just leap out at me as ways to use what we have, where we are and make the most of them.

While Chloe is away I am babysitting (budgie sitting?) her budgie Houdini. So it is like Chippy has a friend over to play. Chippy looks like small fry next to Houdini. But they seem to be getting pretty friendly although I don't trust them together yet!

Chippy seems pretty happy anyhow. And boy can they talk. Houdini has a bell which he likes to ring several times a MINUTE.  Lucky they are cute!

We have the extra bonus of rain. It has come in cold and I am really feeling it so out with the warm and snuggly clothes. This suits me I am a lover of cardigans, great longline ones, and scarves. 

I hope your week has started well. xxx


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  2. We have the council green verge collection next week and my neighbour has had her lemon tree pruned..........with lemons still on it. Yesssssssss. I only grabbed 6, but I'm keen to make a batch of lemon curd, so that's on the agenda this week. Oh joy :)

    Those budgies have such beautiful markings. Isn't nature wonderful.......

    1. Isn't it amazing that someone would throw them out! But good for ladies like us Mary! The colour and taste of lemon curd is so beautiful. I am told it freezes well but I have never done that. I have squeezed lemon juice into ice cube trays and frozen them for drinks though. Happy find! xxx

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