Wednesday, 14 August 2013

Blogging, a casserole and freecyle

       Hiya ! I'm rubbish at doing this blog regulary aren't I?
 My daughter says " you really need to post everyday to keep people interested and maybe get more followers too" So I gave that some thought. Is that why I started this blog, to have people read it and "collect" followers?  Well no I didn't see it that way. I had been reading blogs for some while on frugality, smallholding and make do and mend and was picking up lots of ideas. But I also knew that as a self-sufficientist smallholder of some years I had some tips of my own to share. That was why I started this blog. NOT to collect followers or see how many people would read my blog...
HOWEVER, I find myself looking at the stats (aren't they fascinating?) to see how many people have visited my blog each day. I love it that they are from all over the world and yet it's as though they are from next door. I Like to see how they found my blog.. another blogger? googling a keyword? .The info is all there and SO interesting. I also get so excited when I get a new follower and I didn't think I would.
 I am surprised at how I feel I actually know someone I can't possibly know! Is that sweet, vegetarian, home schooling crafter really who she says she is? I DO hope so as I admire her. Is that self-suffficient, uber-frugal, bread making every day knitter the paragon she seems? or does she actually sit watching day-time television all day while eating crisps and drinking lager from the can? I'm sure she doesn't
And.........are those husbands really so wonderful?  (hmmm not too sure on this one!)
So yes, I should be more regular with my posts because I DO like it when people take the trouble to read and comment  - and I hope that blog friends may find any hints, tips and recipes useful  and they wont mind my burbling diary-type stuff too!
So back to the burbling diary-type stuff !!
The phone rings " Grandma, can I have your recipe for sausage casserole please?" It's EGD. I ask her when she wants it for and she wants it now, over the phone. Okaaayyy! crikey, have I got an actual recipe? Fortunately she understands the dollop of this, a tin of that and as much of that as you have got, sort of recipe. She has been given a bag full of sausages and has four rashers of bacon in her fridge.She also has carrots, onions, potatoes and tins of tomatoes and baked beans. So all she really wanted was an idea of method. So we had a bit of a chat and she felt confident to have a go. She had bought a small slow cooker herself when she was "bottom-drawing" and I was given a larger one to give to her just before she moved. Well by the time she had finished ( she and the BF went to the shops and bought a few mushrooms and a leek to go in it too) she had filled BOTH cookers! She sent me a picture on facebook of them before cooking and here it is below....                                                                                                                                                        
Several hours later, they had put several servings down in the freezer for easy meals to come home to after work. They bought a generous serving for us to try on sunday when they came for tea..( we had Toad in the hole) and very nice it was too - the casserole that is!
I am always being given jars for my jam and chutney making. Sometimes I get a bit overwhelmed by them ! Last week I found myself wondering if I ought to put some in the recycling bin to make some room. Then I remembered the times I have been desperate for a few jars and so on monday I put them on freecycle. I'm so glad I did. They have been snapped up! One young woman said she hoped to make chutney with her courgette surplus. She told me that she had fetched some fruit bushes from me last year and that she had so enjoyed growing them that this year she has branched into veg! We had a great chat about chutney and cooking and  sewing. Another young man will pick up the remainder tomorrow and says he will bring me a bag of plums in exchange.
I realised that I haven't recorded my egg totals (well SOME people are interested!) So I must do that.

We are going away this weekend for a week to Cornwall with ED,YGD, SiL and his Mother. YD YET AGAIN will be looking after the place. She'll pack up her stuff and Foster Dog and decamp to ours, bless her. ED will have her little laptop thingy (I can't remember what it is called) so I may be able to do a crafty blog during the week.
Today I found out the crabbing bucket and lines for YGD. These were once used by the older grandchildren and are still going strong. You just HAVE to go crabbing off the harbour wall when you are eight years old!
All for now
Back soon


  1. I would think it would be hard to find the time to post daily and stay as busy as you do. :-) I manage to find time (for the most part) simply because I am home more often than not.

    I promise with me, what you see is what you get. I cook (a lot), knit/crochet, homeschool and love to be home. I'm not glamorous or particularly fancy -- just an ordinary like most people I am quite frugal on some things and a little more lax on others...but my general philosophy is that we live the way we do so we can have choices.

    1. I reckon I can tell really if someone is genuine or not and I have absolutely no doubt that you are the genuine, lovely article! I think I sometimes feel. as though I could be better when I read of the paragons
      I am minded though of the "Kleenezee man" who used to call and show us the brushes he used for this and that and special polishing cloths he wouldn't be without. I then found that he lived in the house with the curtains that were in shreds at the v. grimy windows, while the house could only just be seen through the undergrowth and rubbish tee hee!!
      Loving your recipes Shara. Your home made cake mix has given me some ideas

  2. It doesn't matter wheter you blog everyday, I enjoy reading what you write anyway! I remember 'bottom-drawering', you brought back a lovely memory. xx As for jars, thank you for the idea - I will make a post on freecycle today.
    Both Frugal Queen and I are Cornwall-ish, send a message we may be able to meet up for a cuppa....?

    1. Thanks for that
      Just realised, when reading this that I spelt Bottom-drawer wrong and that my version alludes to artists who specialise in nudes!
      The family have just about stitched up my week next week, but we are down on our own in a fortnight while D. is fishing and I would love to see if we can meet up. I will be staying in Callington and D. will be fishing from Looe.

  3. I love reading about your life and family ! Of all the homesteading/frugal/blogs I read yours is the best.
    I remember about "bottom-drawing"; we call it a "hope-chest" in the States.
    I bought two kilos of apricots today for $3 ! Jam making today. I also made six jars of hot pepper jelly yesterday. Great on crackers with cream cheese and really makes use of a glut of hot peppers (I also froze a bag of them for the winter)
    Love your posts, dont feel under pressure to post everyday..........

    1. Thanks ever so much Lizzie, you are very kind.
      I think I prefer "Hope Chest". I can remeber buying all sorts of stuff for mine - like tiny coffee cups with matching napkin rings. I don't know what sort of a life I thought we were going to lead. I got married at nineteen and was saving things for 3 years before that.
      I LOVE apricots, after plums they are my favourite and I like the idea of the hot pepper jelly - di you use apples as your base?

  4. I enjoy your blog whenever you write! I started blogging because I used to write a regular monthly piece for the Suffolk Smallholders Newsletter, but without animals there wasn't so much to write about. And I love writing! I started without thinking about who would read it and then got hooked on seeing comments from folk living a simple sort of lifestyle all over the country. It is good to be in touch with like minded people and there never seems to be people living the way we do close to us!
    When we were short of jam jars I put a blackboard sign out JAM JARS WANTED PLEASE. Every time I opened the door there would be another boxful and I was soon knee deep in the things. Had to put another sign out NO MORE JAM JARS THANK YOU.
    I think we are how we seem to be! We live frugal mostly because we want to be able to manage on what we have and to choose where we spend our money. So that there is some for nice coffee, a book from Amazon, hot chocolate.

    1. I know just waht you mean re. the jam jars. I also asked for the inside of toilet rolls/kitchen rolls to start parsnips off and am still finding the things where people ahve left them for me.. Be careful what you wish for!!
      Yes, while we are frugal we save up for nice things too, as we are not totally on the breadline like some. I worry for them as food and fuel go up in price. We live very well as like you we grow much of what we eat (when I learn how to grow Nescafe Alta Rica Coffee I will be a very happy person!)
      I've often thought of writing in the Derbyhire Smallholders on-line newsletter as they are always looking for articles, but I never have.

  5. I love reading your blog Gill and its not compulsory to write everyday or to comment on everyones posts, we all have busy lives too :-). I have met quite a few bloggers and they have all been so lovely, its weird when you actually meet as you feel you already know them yet here you are meeting them for the very first time!! As for husbands being wonderful... well... I think we are all biased lol.

    I love the look of the Sausage Casseroles, its great to hear about the young ones actually cooking proper food. We had that for tea tonight.

    Freecycle is a brilliant place for acquiring treasure and getting rid of unwanted stuff, jam jars, wine bottles and plant pots are a prime example.

    We try to live a simple life and always saved, this meant my hubby could retire early and we can enjoy your frugal caravanning trips and lovely weekend breaks down in Plymouth where my son lives.

    Looking forward to your future posts
    Karen xx

    1. I certainly feel I know some bloggers even though I have never met them!
      Yes, it is nice to see young people with an interest in proper food.
      I guess our simple life enables us to travel to Cornwall for fishing trips on a regular basis. But like you, we take packed lunches and meals we have made already with us to reduce costs.

  6. Hi.
    I've just found your blog and it looks really interesting. I blog because it's a way of talking about me and my doings without feeling I'm boring everyone - hopefully people don't read if they're not interested.

    Have a wonderful holiday.

    1. Thanks for that Joy. I guess that is why I started, but can't help feeling that it can morph into something else before you know it !!