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Friday, September 29, 2017

Frugal Kitchen Things I've Made Lately

Chicken fat, chicken broth, and deboned chicken, all free.
Though I haven't updated this blog so much lately, that doesn't mean that I haven't been up to my usual frugal self lately.
I'm a little busy and have a lot on my plate lately but I've made a bunch of things lately that save us money and/or help my family keep healthy that I wanted to share with you.

I finally made it back to the market where I stocked up on blocks of jaggery, and boiled three down in one go to make jaggery syrup, the cheapest non refined sweetener I can get my hands on.

While I was at the market I managed to get a huge bag filled with chicken scraps from the butcher, for free. I divided them up into chicken frames and chicken skin, and boiled up the chicken frames to make broth, then boiled down the broth to really concentrate it and freeze it for later use, in addition to picking the meat off the bones and freezing that for later use. I rendered chicken fat from the chicken skin, leaving me with two big jars of chicken fat and a large container of chicken skin cracklings.

Someone who shall not be named bought this syrup for my kids that is used to make a flavored drink (just add water- like juice concentrate, only syrupy instead of frozen concentrate). My kids really want it now and are giving me issues with drinking water, but I'm loathe to give them that, and especially loathe to buy new bottles of chemical filled sugar water, also because of the price and also because of the health reasons.
I decided to make my own alternative concentrate to be used similarly, by boiling up a few fruity tea bags, sweetening it with jaggery syrup and balancing out the flavor with lemon juice, and the kids now are able to make themselves a quick cup of iced tea using my healthier if not cheaper concentrate. (If I wanted to make it cheaper I could have just used white sugar, but I decided if I was making it anyhow, might as well do it healthier even if it ended up being more expensive.)

I made some vegan flax seed based mayonnaise for my family. My husband has gotten into expensive and unhealthy Hellman's garlic dressing (he wants to eat it on everything) and was cool with my attempting to recreate my own version of it at home, which I did easily using my homemade flax seed mayo as the base (with garlic powder, dried cilantro, lemon juice, salt, water, a drop of hot sauce, and a drop of sweetener) and the family has been enjoying that.

I made homemade ketchup a few times.

Gravlax, cured salmon, before being cut up. 
A friend who eats a lot of lox as a protein staple in her house was lamenting to me about the cost of it, and knowing that I know how to make gravlax, that is similar to lox, asked me to make her some (using salmon I got on sale for nearly 1/3 the price of what lox costs per pound) and my payment was a part of the gravlax to keep for myself.

Gravlx cut up and divided

We ran out of gluten free flour, so my eldest son, Lee, ground many pounds of flour for us.


I had a lot of guests recently, and I wanted to have some homemade snacks to offer them, so made a lot of different types of homemade gluten free cakes, including a few banana breads made with overripe reduced rack bananas I had in my freezer, as well as a few gluten free apple cakes using reduced rack apples (recipe to be shared soon).  


I made a huge amount of homemade gluten bread for my guests, as well as gluten free rolls. With the leftover bread (there wasn't much) I made gluten free and gluten french test. 


In the spirit of honestly, I'll also share a flop with you. I bought a lot of dates on an extreme sale and decided to try to make homemade date sugar, which I've read about in other places plenty of times. Unfortunately the verdict is that it tastes burnt, and nearly broke my food processor, in addition to being a huge pain to make. I won't be making that again.


Lastly, I also made a few gallons of my homemade healthy sports drink for my family to drink.

What frugal things have you done lately in your kitchen? Make anything cool from scratch?

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