Sunday, 1 September 2013

Simple September Kicks Off




Simple September kicked off nice and early this morning with me heading up the road to do one last Car Boot Sale, selling off all those little bits and pieces found around the house since the last time we did one, yes you're right I did say that was supposed to be 'the final one', but I had got into a sorting frenzy and carried on :-)
 
Something I decided to take from the store cupboard and sell at the last minute was some homemade jams and marmalades.  We simply haven't been eating anywhere near the number of jars I had made last year and supplies were remaining static.  Rather than move with them all I decided to liquidate my assets and put the money to good use funding my shopping for Simple September.
 
I chose 20 jars and made a few of them little mop caps out of a couple of tea towel halves that were in the drawer, so they looked a little more rustic and appealing.  My little ploy worked and the jars of jam and a large basket of packs of our own free range eggs were the first things to fly off the stall this morning.
 

 
The egg money of course goes through our company and is used to buy all food, bedding and sundries needed for the chickens but the £20 for the jars of jam was all mine.  So the budget for Simple September is £20 cash and just over £23 in Nectar points.  I hope this will be enough to see us through the month, all we should need to buy is milk, fresh fruit and some veggies (most of them will be homegrown) for our juices.  Everything else hopefully will be coming from the freezers and the store cupboard.
 
We'll see how well we do.
 
 
I'm keeping myself accountable as I find this is the best way to make me think about what I buy.

 
The back of the receipt shows the remaining Nectar points available for use, this number should go up during the month as we have a lot of travelling to do and the majority of our points come from fuel purchases.
 
I got home with a completely empty boot, just the paste table and my empty baskets on the back seat of the car (and the shopping of course), and what should I find when I came into the kitchen ....

 
... a great big bowl of freshly picked blackberries!!
 
Lovely Hubby had been up the drive with the dogs and had a good picking session, he says there are about as many again but not quite ripe enough for picking yet.  Am I tempted to turn them into more Jam .....

 
.... noooooo,  I think these and any more we get will be mixed with some of the lovely Bramley Apples on our tree and turned into some crumbles for our desserts over the month.  You can't beat a good homemade, homegrown pudding on these cooler evenings, with cream on a warm day or custard on a cooler one, they are full of flavour and healthy(ish)  too.
 
Frozen just as they are and the apple slices too these blackberries can be turned into a crumble at the drop of a hat especially now that I have a great big tub of our 25p a pack Oaty Crumble Mix stashed in the freezer too. 
(It's still available from Approved Foods if you want some for yourself, click on the link at the top of the sidebar.)
 
So Simple September has got off to a really good start, what are you up to this September?
 
Sue xx
 

24 comments:

  1. Love homemade jam that looks yummy!

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    1. It is nice, but don't worry we still have lots of lovely jars for our own use, this really was surplus to requirements and a brilliant way to get £20 back into my purse to be used on other things this month.

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  2. Your preserves look gorgeous Sue!

    How lovely of LH to have picked them for you :)

    Happy simple September sweet lady.

    Rw

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    1. Thank you, they did look pretty with their 'hats' on didn't they.

      He's a sweetie and he loves to find ways to help with the foodstuffs, although he can't grow things (not a green finger on his body) and is a let's say very 'non-instinctive cook' :-)

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  3. Good idea to use the tea towels - makes the jam look very pretty!

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    1. Last minute brainwave!!

      The green one I cut out non-stained bits, it had been washed and washed but was really grotty in places with food stains, and the posh Cath Kidston one had been used to make a blind trim for our last place, so had a huge strip and a square missing from it and was not really usable for anything else.

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  4. Hi Sue,

    That is such a clever plan with the jam! I would have bought it too for that price! I saw some pretty jam for sale on a doorstep in Mousehole. Blackberry jam for £3.99. I thought that was a bit steep for foraged fruit-what do you think?

    I am sure you can survive on the £20 and £23 nectar points+ freezer & stores. Pam is also doing a similar challenge. You are both so inspirational.

    I do smile at you returning home with an empty boot. I have NEVER seen that at a car boot sale. I bet the other stalls were green with envy.

    I walked past the blackberries today. We always pick them but then give them away because we don't like them. I'm glad I did because I was able to find 2 bags of windfalls instead, and about 9 plums which I'm not sure about-soft but not entirely pink-I'll pass them on to my parents to see (and a bag of apples). We've had these apples before and we think they are brambleys-which is amazing, as they are not a cheap apple to buy are they?

    We picked up some crumble mix too from A.F. but it was the Jane Asher type. More expensive probably. My logic-it's cheaper to make crumbles with-as we won't need to keep buying butter.

    As well as foraging today-we got damsons too from up our lane-we've continued with our batch cooking today. Made the salmon fishcakes for the month. And Mr Sft used up some apple sauce and reduced price just roll pastry in the fridge for a type of strudel. It doesn't look pretty but it will probably taste delicious. Will have it after our stuffed mushrooms (also reduced price) covered in the gifted grated cheese from YHostel and breadcrumbs etc..with reduced priced salad...

    Sft x

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    1. £3.99 for foraged jam, even if homemade is definitely a bit steep.

      We had a lovely lady at the Farmers Market that used to sell tons of homemade jams made with fruits the villagers let her pick from their gardens and she charged £2.79 a jar, which we though was very reasonable. As it was a business she had to use new jars and lids and had labels printed AND still made enough profit to be happy.

      You could always swap some of your foraged fruit for your neighbours eggs and thus get free eggs for a couple of weeks (if she doesn't pick her own of course).

      Alternatively you could make some preserves from your apples, plums and blackberries and give them as presents, they really do keep for years so you can make a big batch and copy my 'mop cap' idea to make them look pretty enough for presents.

      I'll give you some more ideas for foraged fruit on a blog post very soon :-)

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  5. I picked a large blackberry while walking Dillon. It was delicious - must get back with a bag & pick more.
    Your jam jars look great with pretty mob hats !

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    1. Just the one!!

      That was very restrained of you, definitely get back and gather in some more :-)

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  6. Great to sell your own jam - I bet it's delicious.

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    1. It is very tasty, I do have varying results with my setting but however firm or runny it always tastes good!!

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  7. I am passing on the jam and chutney making this year, my shelves are groaning from the last 2 years making. I did not get a good harvest last year but had pulp and stained juice stashed in the freezer from 2011 so used all that.

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    1. This is exactly why I decided to sell some off, we have enough in the store cupboard to last us at least two years, plenty of time then to use the fruits for other things this year and then to establish new ones next year.

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  8. We have been blackberrying today and have a huge tub so tomorrow I will add apples from our tree and make jars of jelly, I'm not good with seeds so it will be sieved or jelly bagged. I think a pound a jar is really cheap but better to sell it on than keep it in store. Good luck with your Simple September. X

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    1. I do like Jellies sometimes, and I think I will make a lot more in future, rather than always making Jams, and it's quite fascinating watching that slow drip, drip, drip and fighting the urge to squeeze the bag :-)

      It was cheap, but I just wanted it to sell and be enjoyed, I worked out it cost me about 20p a jar to make, so I was in profit. (The jars were all recycled ones.)

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  9. I'm so looking forward to reading all of the posts coming up in Simple September. I just brought some cooking apples home from my parents garden, so I shall be baking crumble soon too! Best wishes :)

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    1. I hope I can give you some ideas for using up your fruits and food during Simple September.

      I've even just thought that a crumble is a good breakfast really, fruit with a cereal style top and a dollop of homemade yogurt, it really could be classed a posh breakfast.

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  10. Hello, those blackberries look delicious! Wish we had some round here. We have been in the mountains this past weekend picking berries; wild blueberries and "tyttebær" just can't remember right now what they are called in english. I make them into jam and this is enjoyed with savoury dishes. Some peolpe even eat it on bread but l think the jam is a bit bitter for that. Frustratingly high food prices here in Norway and it is great using some of natures free resources. Pam x

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    1. They look gorgeous and no doubt are full of vitamin C, exactly what we should be storing away for Winter :-)

      The best translation (and looking at the berries on Google) says they are called Lingonberry in English or otherwise known as Mountain Cranberries.

      http://www.flickr.com/photos/sih/2749526139/ A brilliant picture here of them.

      It's always nice to be able to forage for what we need and to help keep our shopping bills that little bit lower, and extra lovely to be able to do it on a weekend trip to the mountains :-)

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  11. I'm very impressed with your car boot sale profits. How satisfying to have enough money to live off of for the month. And what a great husband you have! Hope you have a good week.

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    1. Thank you.

      The final figures were -

      £20 - Jam
      £12 - Eggs
      £127 - everything else

      A grand total of £159, I was really surprised as these were all things I had sorted AFTER I thought I had finished decluttering.

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  12. Mmmm...crumble! Proper autumn food, that!

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  13. "it's quite fascinating watching that slow drip, drip, drip and fighting the urge to squeeze the bag :-)"

    OMGosh...do you watch me?

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