Tuesday, March 24, 2009

not 'ur grams tissue box

Busy putting my home inorder in ancipation of spring arriving soon.
Last week I came across a stash of plastic canvas bought last Summer @ a nearby street sale, no the street wasn't for sale just a group of neighbors who staged a massive street long tag sale. Now that I have all this free time on my hands I finally got around to converting these to useful food preservation tools.
I scored each plastic canvas for a dime. If your unable to catch a good find don't forget that some of the major chain craft stores offer coupons. Pick a canvas with a small patterned mesh since you'll want these screens to dehydrate items such as herbs & diced celery.
Directions : Take the 1 mesh screen that comes with your dehydrator and use it as a pattern to trace and cut more screen using plastic canvas. Instead of using a marker to trace the circle I pined a screen using clothes pins as my guide. If your screen less from the get go then you'll have to trace a pattern using one of the dehydrator trays. Trim to fit.

I've been trying to work up a barter deal for ingredients to make gourmet brown mustard. Thought I would kick off this year's canning season early using a recipe from Ball Complete Book of Home Preservering page 274, Oktoberfest Beer Mustard. I can already taste this on a white hot !
I found a bottle of beer in the cellar but am still short on brown mustard seed.

UPC update: Third straight month that I've been wrong.
This month the main reasons have & will be due to pork. Last week my bbgf (barter buddy/girlfriend) was shopping @ the local mega market & came across a loss leader sale on pork. The catch was that the pork was packaged in "family packs" of 10 pounds each having a varied assortment of chops & bone in roasts. Long story short after calling me and getting no answer she made an executive decision & bought me a "family pack" too. There was added stress since these were the last two on the shelf coupled with the fact that $ is tight I am on sabbatical after all.
$26 over budget for pork @ $1.38 per pound.
In the next few days I'll be spending $108.50 for half of a half pig that will be butchered this coming week. Same bbgf was cut in on this deal unexpectedly when someone else backed out.
If our math is good should work out to $1.40 per pound (really need to generate more savings to offset this expense).
These two deals got me to thinking about creating opportunities to take advantage of food opps.
Here's what I have come up with - giving a gift card to that one person who thinks & shops as I do (that being my bbgf) so when they're in the right place @ the right time they can snag me a deal too without a cash flow issue.
I'll ask her if she wants me to hold a gift card for her in the same way.

~~ pelenaka ~~

P.S. 3/26/09 My share of the pork came to $128 after all was said & done with the cost of the pig, butchering, & wrapping. So far there's 25 pounds of pork neatly tucked in my freezer.
Along with 17 pounds 5 oz. of pig fat. Anyone besides me see a post on rendering lard in my future?
Everything from Polish & Italian sauage, Chops, Loin Roast, Shoulder steak, & Spare Ribs.
Works out to $5.12 per pound as of right now.
Not sure if the lard was figured into my cost share.
Baccon and hams as being smoked so it will be interesting to see what my share will be of those and the over all final tally.
This pork along with the last purchase that my bbgf scored should with planning last a year other than needing an occassional slab of baccon now & then.