Frugal living

This post was inspired by a comment I made on twitter about frugality.

The other name I was seriously considering for this blog was “your grandma was right”. Our grandparents lived incredibly frugally – meals were centered on fresh, seasonal, local produce; meat was a once or twice a week special thing; nothing went to waste. We have been spoiled by the ready availability of supermarkets and groceries that are frequently open 24/7.

The incident that inspired this comment was a ham. I got a ham at a good price from a local store, simmered it for 4 hours in water and produced an incredibly tasty, literally fall-off-the-bone ham. But I also had a stock pot full of tasty juices… so I stripped the meat off the bones, tossed in a little white vinegar, tossed the bones back in, and simmered the lot for a couple of hours. I then pressure canned the bone stock (which caused its own comedy later!) and now have 5 quarts of incredibly tasty ham stock to make soups, stews, or red beans and rice with.

We are now looking at taking out a subscription to our local CSA, and I am looking up recipes for vegetable stocks made from the bits you would otherwise throw away from the vegetables.

True frugality isn’t necessarily buying the cheapest thing possible. It’s about making sure that anything you throw away is truly no longer food. We are lucky to be living in a time where options are opening up again, where canning is cheap and readily available, and where information is so readily spread by people who live next door to you – on the internet, the whole world is your neighbour ๐Ÿ™‚


7 responses to “Frugal living”

  1. Just make sure that whatever you want to make veggie stock out of it viable. In the past, I was all set to make stock out of the celery-style tops of parsnip roots, but after I googled them, I found out that they can cause people to break out in hives. Which, in retrospect, I’m glad I discovered before I canned them.

  2. I read stuff obsessively when it comes to food, but this is a fine point – I was mainly thinking about carrot tops, peelings, that kind of thing, but parsnips *do* appear on our table regularly – I’ll ditch the tops and just use the peels to make stock.

    Thanks, neighbour ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. Would you share your recipe for Red Beans and Rice for the crockpot? Sounds wonderful!

  4. I just put some red beans in the crock pot this morning, so I will write up the recipe tonight. Thanks for the reminder ๐Ÿ™‚

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