How much did your dinner cost tonight?
Ours was about 4 euro (£3.20) for the three of us. And we are on holiday in this wonderful resort (pictures to follow tomorrow or the day after but watch this space). Eat for less by being a frugal artist works anywhere, any time.
We had spaghetti with fried pork and tomato sauce.
And we walked to the nearest little touristy town and found a SPAR where the prices are less than half of what they are in our little shop here. So we got in food that will be enough for three days – we’ve decided we’ll go to restaurants every fourth day.
Wen paid 46 euro for the food we bought; for comparison, last night our bill in the Pizzeria was 57 euro.
Not bad. Also, Portugal doesn’t seem to be expensive at the moment; an espresso is cheaper that it is on the Bulgarian sea coast.
Had to tell you, friend, we are doing well with our spending.
What is foraging?
When coming back from the SPAR we saw some people picking figs from a tree on the street. This put me in mind to tell you about our experience with foraging.
And I’ll be using ‘foraging’ in the broad sense of the word as using resources that are communal or as good as being communal. Strictly speaking, ‘foraging’ is defined as ‘searching for wild food resources’.
Foraging, as in the narrow definition, is what my Finish friend does when she scored the nearby hill for wild berries and mushrooms.
We don’t do that.
There are wild berries in the UK but we never get around to go and pick them. Mushrooms are such a dangerous thing and require so much knowledge that we don’t do this either (and I did eat a poisonous mushroom when little so know first-hand that having your stomach pumped out is no fun).
Our form of ‘foraging’ is contained to picking apples. Yep, after dealing with ten years of rotten apples on our drive we finally picked them and made something delicious.
You see, our neighbours have an apple tree: cooking apples. Some of its branches are over our drive and the neighbours are not interested in the apples on these.
Last Sunday we picked the apples and made apple sauce; this is delicious with roast pork, ham and other kinds of meat (I actually like it with chicken as well).
How to make apple sauce?
Good apple sauce is made from cooking apples. These are the green ones that you can try to eat raw but I won’t recommend it – far too sour and hard.
Making apple sauce is easy and fast. These are the steps to follow:
- Peel the apples;
- Chop them in pieces;
- Place in a large pot (so that the apples are about an inch thick layer at the bottom; you can have the layer thicker but it will take longer to do);
- Sprinkle with sugar (1 tsp to every 200g of apples)
- Pour a bit of water (2 tbsp to every 200g of apples)
- Bring to the boil;
- Lower the heat and simmer until the apples have dissolved.
The most time consuming part of this is peeling the apples and you can use this trick if you wish:
You can put more sugar of you wish but keeping some of the tang of the cooking apples is the beauty of this sauce.
When the sauce has cooled down you can freeze it.
We use freezer bags (see the picture at the top of the post) but plastic boxes should be okay.
We did this last year as well and it was great to have ready, organic and homemade apple sauce in the freezer.
I know that apple sauce is not really expensive. I have also worked in a canning factory for a summer when I was in my teens and I know what happens in such places.
So, given choice between the apple sauce we make and apple sauce in a jar from the shop, guess what I’ll choose?