Groceries – Day 11: Cream and free garlic

11 Mar
Content of pantry before shopping: 

- Perishable:

   1 blemished (=half a good) blood orange
                 (brought from the True Food Coop)
   2 portions (approx. 260 grams) of liver
   a leftover of cabbage
   2.5 chillies
   3 pots fruit yogurts
   half an apple
   garlic (1 big, 2 small cloves left)

 - Non-perishable:

   Most of 750 grams of salt
   Flour (a bit less than halfway)
   mixed herbs
   lemon thyme
   full bag of oats minus 2 breakfasts
   About 40 grams of lard - running low
Budget available for day 11: £ 1.36
Budget used: £ 0.52
Budget left: £ 0.84
Budget available for day 12: £ 1.84

Day 11, receipt

Budget available on top of tomorrow's budget: 0.36 + 0.48 = 0.84
for a total spendable budget of 1.84

When I dropped by at the supermarket on Saturday night, I realized that there actually wasn’t anything I urgently needed. Well, some kind of fat, obviously – this time I’ve chosen to go for sunflower oil. In the long run it will be cheaper than lard, however, as it costs 1.64 at my local supermarket, it’s quite an investment and I didn’t have that kind of money available. I did however have plans for breakfast – liver pate. Butter was out of reach, so I got the cheapest alternative that would give me a similar flavour: single cream. And that’s all of the groceries for day 11,

Day 11 - grocery

Although a bit of a luxury, the butter fat in there would do nicely, and I’d be able to use the leftover of cream for something else. With pretty much no fat left, however, getting a new source is top priority. There’s enough money for that, but the problem is that I’ll probably be eating the rest of my vegetables and fruit today, and would be left with only 20p to top up- not very realistic, so the fat will have to wait one more day. I’ll have to make do with what I have, which either means resorting to a preparation method that doesn’t require any fat, using the fats in the cream or any leftovers, find fat for less or any combination of the above. I was hoping to be beyond the fat-free stage, have I been over-spending/under-planning?

We’ll just have to see what happens.

One final comment – A friend who had too much garlic was worried it would go off so I was offered a head.

After peeling, it still looks fine to me, so that’s another 30p saved. Great timing too.


6 Responses to “Groceries – Day 11: Cream and free garlic”

  1. Arno Brevoort March 11, 2012 at 8:26 pm #

    Butter is fairly easy to make, but it’s easier to start from double cream. Double cream has a higher fat content of 48%, single cream has a fat content of 18% — you could see double cream as “concentrated cream” and dilute it 1 part cream to 2 part milk if you have a need for single cream. (It will still whip at around 30%)

    Home made butter (makes about 125grams of butter)
    1 tub (225ml) of double cream
    2 good teaspoons of yoghurt
    (optional) salt.
    Mix cream and yoghurt, don’t add salt yet. Blend or mix with a blender or an electric hand mixer. You’re basically whipping the cream beyond the whip-cream stage, and beyond. Keep going… keep going…. eventually the buttermilk splits off from the butterfat and you get “popcorn butter”. Drain the liquid — fresh buttermilk is perfectly drinkable or good for pancake batter.

    You need to sour the cream to help it separate. I’ve used yoghurt or lemon juice. Given your pantry contents, I’d experiment with a small teaspoon of vinegar.

    To preserve the resulting butter, it needs salt. About half a teaspoon or to taste.

    • kleinebre March 11, 2012 at 8:53 pm #

      Partially due to your previous butter making adventures, it crossed my mind to make butter from cream – but I figured that with the low expectable yield, it wasn’t going to be worth it. Your numbers confirm it – 250 grams of single cream (55p) would yield a maximum of 45 grams of butter and a small cup of buttermilk. A 250 grams pack of butter would set me back just over a pound. Granted, I wouldn’t get any buttermilk with that.

      I addressed the immediate need by getting a pack of margarine (already a step up from lard). I’m considering a few extreme penny-pinching days to build up a bit of a budget for such “expensive” items (as if one pound per day isn’t penny pinching enough yet).

      • Arno Brevoort March 12, 2012 at 12:35 am #

        At the normal price for cream it’s not really worth making your own butter, although it does taste nice. Occasionally the 600ml tubs of double cream show up for around a pound, or in the yellow sticker bit, which tips the balance.

        Margarine / baking fat has 75% fat in it (palm oil, canola oil) and water/emulsifiers to hold it together. I’m not *entirely* sure it’s really that much better than lard used in moderation, but the budget limits your choices.

        Another crazy idea would be:
        (just about worth it, at 54p for 250gr, 77% veg oil content)
        … frying your food in mayo 🙂

      • kleinebre March 12, 2012 at 6:20 pm #

        That’s just… So Wrong. I’m proud of your mind set though.

  2. sarah March 11, 2012 at 8:35 pm #

    Looking at the ingredients you’ve got I guess the next dish will be something like sauteed liver with cream and garlic+onion and chilli? Plus… boiled rice or potato mash or even home baked bread, toasted with garlic and lard with some salt+pepper. :). I guess you’ll need oil and milk pretty soon.

  3. Arno Brevoort March 11, 2012 at 8:54 pm #

    Oil alternatives, assuming ASDA online prices
    95p: ASDA own brand Tuna chunks packed in sunflower oil
    About 100ml of oil, with free tuna.
    118p: ASDA Extra Virgin Olive Oil (250ml)

    Or another crazy idea:
    64p: jar of ASDA Smart price peanut butter (340ml, 50% fat / peanut oil)
    Heating peanut butter will split the oil off, and the remainder is protein-rich.
    You have chilli’s, make peanut sauce, add rice, boiled egg, veg = gado-gado.

    None of those are quite as multi usable as neutral sunflower oil though.

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