February 14

How To Save Money With Jam Jars

Deli Lust And How It Tempts Me From The Path Of Thrift

cupboard-lady-Image-Graphics-Fairy2I love delicatessens – the gleaming jars of artisan preserves, the baskets of freshly baked, crusty artisan bread, the charcuterie and cheeses lovingly crafted by artisan cheese makers. I want a larder filled with deli produce. The thought of all the lovely lunches I could make – friends and family gathered round a table loaded with cold cuts and tracklements, warmly engaged in witty conversation as they pick olives, pate, smoked goats cheese or whatever else they fancy off a big, beautiful, oiled wooden board.  The board is artisanal too, by the way. In this fantasy I think even my friends and family might be artisanal, to be honest.

retro-mom-worry-images-Graphics-Fairy004The reality is that I almost never shop in delis because, you know – not thrifty.  And I harbour a suspicion that “artisan” just means hand made.  And I have hands!  I can make my own!

The DIY Deli – A Thrifty Solution?

make the bread,buy the butterActually, I have yet to create a salami, and have not tried cheese making. Moreover I have read (repeatedly, with great pleasure) Bake The Bread And Buy The Butter, so I know without having to find out the hard way, that some produce is better produced commercially. (Although Jennifer Reese actually gives DIY cheese the thumbs-up for thrifty home-production.) Also, I have found that Aldi and Lidl can rival a deli for meats and continental cheese, at significantly lower prices. I am not entirely ruling out having a go at producing some of my own deli food though.  I already hot smoke my own salmon and make a decent gravadlax – maybe a salami is not entirely beyond me.

bread: the river cottage handbookBread I can definitely do myself. (It’s actually pretty easy – try The River Cottage Bread Book for inspiration and guidance.  Dan Stevens is the kindly vicar of bread-baking.) And anyone with a big pot can make a fabulous ham.  (Long simmer over a low heat with a carrot, an onion, a couple sticks of celery and a single star anise. The stock makes a mean ham and butterbean soup too.)

Pam-Corbins-mulled-pears-001And those gleaming jars of (artisan) preserves?  I reckon I could manage some of them.  Maybe a simple dipping oil made with August’s herb glut in the garden, or a raspberry vinegar to make divine salad dressings. Perhaps wonkywonderful.com’s lovely honey and herb mustard to serve with home-cooked ham. Or some of Pam-The-Jam Corbin’s mulled pears to serve with home-made pate. (Pate, by the way, is only about 5% kitchen wizardry and 95% food processor whizardry so I reckon I could manage that too.) And perhaps some of larderloves.com’s fruit cheese to serve with actual cheese. And chutney. And pickles. And a sweet chilli jelly. I could have my deli fare without paying deli prices for it. All I need is vinegar, sugar, oil and some empty jars.

 

Deli Preserves At Aldi Prices

three jars of mulled apple jellySo, this year, I want to add to my own little in-house deli by filling a cupboard with home-made preserves – just a few jars of each, a different one each month.  That way I will always have something lovely to serve alongside Lidl salami and home-cooked ham. Plus, if we are going to eat at someone else’s table, I can take a little jar of something as a thank-you.  I might even package it up with an actual artisan cheese…

HandNoticeVintage-GraphicsFairyClick here to download this week’s Thrifty Habits Planner.

 

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Posted February 14, 2015 by tartanmum in category "Cook, Eat, Save, Repeat", "Preserve Something

1 COMMENTS :

  1. By Jo on

    Great article, I’m definitley going to follow in footsteps and give it a try. Got loads of baking apples, so going to do some chutnies and apple sauce for starters.

    Reply

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