How to make your own Bento Picks

How to make your own Bento Picks.

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We’ve Moved

We’ve been thinking about this for a while, but the Husband and we have finally decided to merge our blogs together into an all round super-mega-awesome blog. It will combine my crafty and thrifty posts with his allotment based talk, with a few new sections too. It’s all very exciting and I hope you can ll join us there  http://thriftlane.wordpress.com/

And Now For Something Completely Different

This blog focuses quite heavily on my various craft projects. That is all I write about in fact. There is something else I would like to share with you though, and that is my love of thriftiness in the kitchen. I like to try and make a meal from nothing, or from the cheapest ingredients I can find. Having an allotment definitely helps. We have things like potatoes, onions, courgettes and sweetcorn in abundance, but I also like the challenge of looking around the kitchen and making a meal out of whatever I can find. Above all, I hate food waste. We throw away a ridiculous amount of perfectly edible food in this country. With this in mind, I found myself looking at a rather large bag of eating apples this morning. We had been given them by the in laws and they were beginning to look rather sorry for themselves. But what to do with apples? I have many crumbles in the freezer, we’ve only just had apple muffins, there is apple sauce in the cupboard…

The inspiration came when I least expected it. I had asked for a slow cooker as a wedding present. Not an ideal present for some I grant you, but after a couple of weeks I couldn’t be without it. It make tea times with a toddler an absolute dream. I was searching for such a tea time recipe when I stumbled across a recipe for apple butter. I had never heard of this before but it was described as being an apple spread that could be used on anything, so I gave it a go and it is absolutely delicious, and incredibly easy. If you have a slow cooker, definitely try it, if not, I’m sure it can be made on the hob

Apple butter recipe:

1kg of apples

1 cup of caster sugar

1 tsp of cinnamon

1/4 tsp of salt

Peel, core and chop the apples, put all of the ingredients in to the slow cooker on high for 4-6 hours. Stir every half an hour to avoid burning. Half way through the cooking time use a stick blender to blend the apples til smooth. When it is cooked it should be golden brown and a spreadable consistency. It can then be stored n the fridge for a couple of weeks or frozen. I suggest eating it on toast. It’s really delicious!

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Making something out of nothing

As I have probably mentioned before, I made a lot of bunting for our wedding (I know, that’s the last time I promise). There was tons of scraps from cutting out the triangles, but it seemed such a shame to throw so much away. I had a look on Pinterest for ideas and found a few posts that were about making fabric yardage out of scraps. Being the thrifty type I liked this idea, so I had a root around to see what I had.

The method I used was with bondaweb. I just unrolled some and overlapped the pieces on top of it, pressing with an iron as I went. There may be a better method, but if you can’t find one, try and be careful. Bondaweb is a devil to get off your iron.

After ironing it all I trimmed it to make it neat, and then I used my sewing machine to zig zag stitch around the pieces to secure them. Ta dah.

The idea was that I would make Mr and Mrs cushions for the bed, but I haven’t quite got round to that yet! Another thing to add to the list!

Getting back in the swing of things

Our wedding was beautiful, our honeymoon couldn’t have been more perfect, but now we have to get back into the swing of things. Not that I’m that happy about it, I’d give my left arm to pick up and move to Whitby. But, it’s nice to be home and to get things back to normal.

I was rushed off my feet before the wedding, but I still managed to start half a dozen things. Now I’ve got a lot more free time, so I’ve knuckled down and got some of it done. Within a few days of being back I managed to finish a top for Bobbin, and yesterday I got my crochet skirt finished. It hasn’t lightened my load any, but now I can get started on things for Christmas. Yes, I mentioned the C-word, and it’s fast approaching so I’d best get started!

Getting things done

I had a good look at all my WIPs recently. Then I looked at my stash, and all the projects I wanted to start, and calculated I’d be around 60 before I had worked my way through it if I carried on at this rate. Something had to be done. I had to, gulp, finish some projects.

And I did just that. Turns out that if you don’t start a new project every other day, you can actually get some done!

First done were my socks, which you might recognise from my previous post about WIPs. Impressively, these were on my needles for about 3 years.

Then there was my thrifty shawl, which I started in order to use up my scraps. This was a long time ago and my stash has doubled since then. At least. However, it is finished.

And also, a relatively new addition to the WIPs, a collar that was supposed to take a weekend that I started in June. Done!

Of course now I’m free to start lots more things. Yippee!