Sunday, 5 March 2017


On Thursday I decided to do an inventory of by tinned and bottled cupboard, it was jammed packed or so I thought, but by the time I had replaced everything in an orderly manner there was suddenly some space!  On my inventory I had starred items that needed to be purchased.  That lead to on to thinking how many should I have etc. Do I have enough supplies for 3 months, 6 months or even a year?

Then should it be frozen, tinned, home preserved.  I decided to go online and look into a pressure canner, well, that is a no-no at the moment, they don’t exist in NZ.  I found two that would ship to NZ, a presto one that is quite basic about $80 US but wait, shipping was $143, what?  Guess they don’t want to ship here! On principle I will not buy something where the shipping is more than the cost of the product. Other companies didn’t ship outside US.  Top of line an All American Pressure Canner, in total would have cost over $1000!!!!   So I guess I will put that idea on the shelf for the moment.

So it looks like freezing. I have only a fridge freezer and the freezing compartment is quite small.  So maybe buy a small standalone freezer?  I costed them online and I can get a decent one for about $250, maybe even cheaper from the local shops, and there is second hand, a friend who was visiting yesterday said she got one second hand for $95 from the second hand mart in town.  So I will do a tour of the shops next week with my tape measure in hand as the space I have for it is limited.

There is another question I have been pondering for quite a while, whether to go back to being a vegetarian?  I was a vegetarian for about 15 years when I was living in the UK, it started with the mad cow debacle and the listeria scare in chickens they had in the 80”s.  When I returned to NZ, meat gradually started to appear in my diet, NZ is a meat and two veg country, and vegetarian products are slim pickings, that is starting to change especially in the last year or so, I think in line with the sudden rise in cost of meat products.

I have noticed that whenever I have meat, I have real bad indigestion.  Since I have following my menu plan which has only 3 days of non-meat meals, it has become very noticeable.  The days I did not have meat, no indigestion!  This has set me thinking.  I need to test this theory properly.  So I have decided to do the next fortnight menu as vegetarian, if my indigestion stays away, I will go back to a vegetarian life style.  Not totally, I don’t think I can give up bacon or fish and I have noticed that chicken breast is okay.  So maybe I will become a 6 day a week vegetarian and have meat on the seventh day (I have to use up that meat I already have, lol! Anyways for the next fortnight it will be totally vegetarian; also it will be a lot cheaper.  I just suddenly realised that if I become vegetarian the pressure canner is not such an issue.

Over the last week I have been preserving plums, making plum jam and today I will make some plum sauce and I think that will be an end to the plums, I will have a few weeks rest until the apples and blackberries are ready to deal with.

Early morning in my garden

This morning I took these photos. The above is the view from my front door as I let the cats out.  The grass is nice and green because of all the rain we had early in the week.

Around the back where the sun hits with a vengeance I have geraniums growing as they can stand the drought.

The apples are coming along nicely, this one is Fuji my favourite eating apple, and also it keeps so well. 

A bit further along I have let some leeks go to seed and I love their shapes, like something out of science fiction.   

I have let one of my globe artichokes flower and it is interesting to see the process.  They are very stately.

Right back in a far corner I have comfrey growing and have made two lots of liquid fertilizer for the garden.  It pongs, but it so good as it gives the plants all the trace elements as their roots go down a long way.

Finally, a sunshiny smile for those in the Northern hemisphere, the Mexican sunflowers are flowering always a sign that summer will start to wind down.

So now I am off to make my plum sauce and start to plan a vegetarian menu for the next fortnight, I can change my meal tonight which was to be a chicken risotto to a zucchini and pepper risotto, my protein for today can be the scrambled egg on toast for supper and the chocolate mousse for desert at lunch.  Monday’s meal was to be meatless anyway.

That’s it for today,
have a lovely Sunday and great week.


  1. Yikes! That's some pretty high priced shipping, Sharon! I would never have guessed you couldn't buy a pressure canner in NZ. I wonder why that is? You could always dehydrate some of your vegetables. I actually love my dried peppers better than the fresh ones that I can buy in the Winter. Ditto for tomatoes.

    I've noticed that about meat too. It's certainly thriftier not to eat it. Can you raise chickens where you are at? Fresh eggs are always so nice and it takes nothing to raise a few laying hens.

    Hope your plum sauce turns out wonderfully!


    1. I had never heard of pressure canners until I read your blog and no one here seems to have heard of them either, so I guess that's why. I have dehydrator and dehydrate apples and tomatoes, never done peppers. I have been seriously thinking of getting hens and also they provide some powerful fertiliser and are good at clearing vegetable patches at end of seasons. They would certainly earn their keep! I have just finished the plum sauce and the house smells yummy!

  2. Those plums look delicious and your garden looks so pretty with all the fruits and flowers. I hope you are able to get a good second hand freezer. A lot of fruits and vegetables can be dehydrated from what I understand, so that might be something else to look into. Hope you have a lovely week ahead of you. Take care.

  3. Thank you Bless. I will have a look around for a freezer later this week, Have a lovely week yourself.