Sunday, 11 August 2013

Austerity August

 
At the end of July Froogs (Frugal Queen) announced that she was having Austerity August (see HERE), well although we are now 11 days into this lovely (up to now) Summery month I had yet to take the challenge and join in.
 
Well here I am .... and it's now Austerity August in our house. 
 
We are using up what we have in store, we really need to empty the big chest freezer ready for the move so we will be using up what's in there, emptying out and eating what's left in the cupboards and making what we can from what we have growing in the Veggie Patch and in the various tubs and pots around the place.
 
We've used up a lot of our stash of non-food items bought and documented on the stand alone page 'I Love Saving Money - 2013' at the top of the Blog, and the cupboard contents have dwindled because of our need to make the £2 Housekeeping Challenge money last as long as possible, so our saviour for Austerity August will be the Veggie Patch, thank goodness for green fingers.
 
 
I've been taking inspiration from one of my favourite books. 
 
 I read this many years ago when the boys were small, I borrowed it repeatedly from the library and read it over and over and it really gave me inspiration for saving money and growing my own food on a somewhat smaller scale.  The weird thing is that re-reading it this week I have discovered that they lived pretty near to where our new place is situated.  And only today a paragraph jumped out at me when they talked about going into Llanrwst for an interview for a job, Llanrwst will be our nearest town for shops, doctors, dentists etc, what a coincidence.
 
Although I am sincerely hoping our new home on the hill doesn't turn into a hovel !!

 
Austerity August has got off to a brilliant start with this lovely crop of potatoes just dug up by Lovely Hubby. 
 
The cost of them .... absolutely nothing!!
 
They are the result of a few potatoes being left in the raised bed last year by accident and have grown wonderfully with only a minimal amount of earthing up and watering.  Food fresh from the garden and totally free what more can you ask.
 
Off to cook some right now, they will simply be lightly boiled and then sprinkled with freshly ground sea salt and black pepper, some chopped herbs and a generous dollop of mayo, and served with some left over tomatoey vegetables and pasta from last night.
 
Tea for free, now that's a good start.  :-)
 
Sue xx


25 comments:

  1. You really cannot beat potatoes straight from the ground, they taste like proper potatoes (that sounds mad but I am sure you know what I mean!). Enjoy xxx

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    1. Oh I know EXACTLY what you mean, there's a sort of 'real potato' taste :-)

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  2. I have that book and have enjoyed it for over 10 yeas:-)

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    1. .... I've enjoyed it for a little bit longer than that, I guess I'm a lot older than you :-)

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  3. Welcome to Austerity August Sue! I've just started too.

    We've been digging up our red desiree potatoes from the plot today. They were delicious roasted with rosemary today.

    Looking forward to catching up with the rest of your posts too.

    Sft x

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    1. Oh, I'll have to do some with Rosemary. It's the simple flavours mingled together than give THE most luxurious meals isn't it.

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  4. Love my home grown spuds as well.
    That book looks rather interesting. Made a note of it so I can get it from my library.

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    1. See the comment below - her other books are well worth a read to, I think you will like them :-)

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  5. So lovely to hear that you love Elizabeth West's book. Have you read her other two, Garden in the Hills, a sequel to Hovel in the Hills, and Kitchen in the Hills.....full of the frugal recipes that she used. i have a much loved and much thumbed copy of the Kitchen book. When I first bought it in the 80's I felt I had encountered a kindred spirit, all these years later i still re-read her books. Love your blog, you have the same spirit as Elizabeth West!! She led a frugal life through necessity but did it with joy and humour. Good wishes for your move. Marianne

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    1. I have her other books too, something I realised earlier today that makes me feel very rich. Years ago when I had absolutely no money to even buy myself a second-hand paperback, the joy of getting them out of the library over and over again kept me sane.

      I am absolutely honoured that you think I have a similar spirit to Elizabeth, you've just made my day - THANK YOU.

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  6. You know I love the books as they are on the top of my blog! About 8 years ago while on holiday we worked out where The Hovel was and took some photos. It's completely different to how it was as they widened and straightened the road so that coaches could get to the viewing point up the hill from the hovel. Also electric had been put on and all their huge Christmas tree plantation had gone. But we knew from her description that we were in the right place and could understand why they were sad to move.

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    1. I would love to visit the actual place, I cannot believe how close we will be to the area they lived in, talk about coincidence. I'm overjoyed!!

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    2. I had read Hovel in the Hill years ago but got it out of the library after seeing it on suffolksmallholder's blog! Loved re-reading it and must get hold of the books that followed it. Hope your new place will not be as damp as theirs was.

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    3. Haha .... gosh I hope not. I remember reading about how they had to divert the water from the hill to flow ROUND their cottage instead of THROUGH it :-)

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  7. I had some volunteer potatoes the other day as well, I was surprised to see how well they had done. I've read Hovel in the Hills a couple of times as well, many years ago, and I always remember it fondly. Thank you for reminding me about it.

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    1. They really do seem to be the best sort don't they. Maybe I'll just scatter potatoes willy nilly in future and then forget all about them and simply keep my fingers crossed for the following year.

      One of my Mum's best ever crops grew in her compost bin last year, she tried to replicate it this year but it didn't work. It just shows if something wants to grow it will with absolutely no help from us, the wonder of nature.

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  8. Yep, I have those books too! What a coincidence you moving to the same area after all those years, there must be something special going on there.
    Your potatoes look wonderful, they are making my mouth water, we haven't any this year but my friend with the allotment is bringing me some of her produce in the morning including some freshly dug potatoes, when we eat them I will think of you eating yours!!
    Good Luck with your Austerity August x

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    1. Oooh lovely, enjoy your gifted potatoes, they are really something to look forward too :-)

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  9. Your potatoes look so yummy. As we are Southern hemisphere we are just coming to the end of our home grown potatoes - about half a bucket full left now. We have the first of next seasons out sprouting up in the light.
    Your bath of peas looks yummy too. I have just planted seed here. There is nothing so good as food you have grown yourself and is only minutes from garden to table. I love it.
    I must have mint with both my peas and potatoes.Yum!

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    1. You've just inspired me to make some Mint Sauce to go with them.

      I think I even have a bit of lamb in the freezer so Lovely Hubby is in for a rather nice tea tonight, I'll go and have a rummage right now.

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  10. just out of curiosity, Llanrwst: how do you pronounce it?

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    1. Butting in.... I'm pleased someone was brave enough to ask, as I was wondering the same thing! :)

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    2. Basically it sounds a bit like 'clanroost'

      To hear it said go here - http://www.forvo.com/word/llanrwst/

      I think we'll be using this site a lot in the next couple of years :-)

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  11. I was born in Llanrwst and lived there until I left for uni in France at 18. My love affair with France means that we (me, OH and 2 little girls) moved there over 20 years ago now and I only get back to Llanrwst once a year to see the family. I've just started reading http://welshhillsagain.blogspot.com.html
    Not a frugal blog but lots about gardening in North Wales. Hope your move to Maenan comes off.

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  12. Homegrown new potatoes taste heavenly. Mine are quite small this time but plenty of them. I will be checking out those books.:}

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