Tag Archive | Recipe for parsnip crisps

Using Up Stored Crops & A Bargain

I wanted to start this week by showing you a bargain that I managed to spot last week.

Our front room has been a bit of a mess since the builders finished our new kitchen in December 2013.  The builders moved our fireplace from the old sitting room to the front of our house and the builders also had to knock a hole through the wall, for our supporting ‘steel’ to rest on (as they knocked our chimney breast down to make more room in our new kitchen).

So we have been saving like mad to complete our front room, as we need the electrics sorting in there and the walls replastering too.  As you can see in the photograph below, we also need a new carpet (the carpet was already old when we moved into our house twelve years ago):

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Our settee and arm chair has also seen better days now and the removeable covers have torn in various places where the material had worn thin over the years too.  The settee also caused lots of daft arguements in our house, as three people are always squashed on the settee whilst the fourth person had the comfy arm chair, so we really needed a ‘three piece’ suite instead:

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So as you can imagine, our front room is going to be an expensive room to sort out.

My Bargain:

I nipped into town last week and had a quick look in a few charity shops as I was looking for a vase.  Unfortunately I couldn’t find a vase, but when I popped into the British Heart Foundation charity shop I found an absolutely lovely three piece suite for £165!  It was in really good condition and the price even included a matching pouffe.

Mr Thrift came back to the shop later that day (with me) to see the suite and we decided there and then to have it.  We paid £20 extra to have it delivered and it is now in our front room:

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The cream cushions are from our old settee, but it will save me having to buy any new ones for the moment.

We really don’t mind having a second hand suite when it is in such good condition and to be honest it was exactly what I would have chosen if I had brought a brand new suite.

So we are very pleased with our bargain, as this has saved us approximately £1500 and our local council has picked up our old settee and taken it away for free.

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Mothers day.

I had a lovely mothers day this year and my daughters gave me some lovely presents.  My youngest daughter made me laugh though, as she made me a book mark to replicate the one she made for me when she was eight years old.  I have always treasured this bookmark, like it is the crown jewels (which has always made my daughters laugh) and Mr Thrift even laminated it so it didn’t rip…..but now I have a new one (though I will still treasure the old one).

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This week I decided I wanted to make our kitchen a little bit more ‘homely’, so I ordered a ‘Home Sweet Home’ wall sticker from ebay for £11.49.

It was quite easy to put up, except I used masking tape to make sure it was straight before I stuck it onto the wall.  Unfortunately when I removed the masking tape a bit of the paint came off the wall too, so I also had to ‘touch up’ the paintwork afterwards.

I think the wall sticker looks really lovely and it does make the kitchen look a bit more homely too:

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My Seeds So Far:

This week I have been pricking out my seedlings and I have now moved them into my heated greenhouse, as there are too many for my kitchen.

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I now have the following things growing :

Greenhouse tomatoes, greenhouse cucumbers, lettuce, onion sets, white and red cabbages, corianda, mixed salad leaves and a tray of lobelia.

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I also have a couple of sweet peppers that have just poked their heads through the compost.

My garlic and broad beans are now ready to be hardened off, so I have moved them into my cold mini greenhouse:

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My onion sets have started to grow now too and I will also move these into my cold mini greenhouse in a few days:

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Cooking At Home This Week:

This week I have been busy trying to use up some of my stored fruit and vegetables.

I have made a blackberry cordial with frozen fruit from my freezer:

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 I have made tomato and basil soup with the tomatoes I put in my freezer last summer (incidentally, I froze the tomatoes whole without cooking them, as I knew I would be using them for soup):

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I visited my mum on Mothering Sunday and I thought it would be nice to take some strawberry muffins to share with my mum and sisters.  I used frozen strawberries from my freezer.

The muffins turned out very tasty, but I have just realised I haven’t put the recipe on my ‘recipe index’ , so for now I’ll just show you a photograph of them and I will post the recipe on my blog another time:

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I also made some parsnip crisps with one of my few remaining parsnips that I dug up recently from my allotment, before I gave my plots up:

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And I decided it was time to do something with the pumpkin that I had been storing in my bedroom over winter (very romantic I know).

I chopped it up and froze most of it on trays (so it doesn’t stick together when I bag it up):

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I did however keep some of the pumpkin back and I made a nice pumpkin and orange cake to share with two of my old friends who came to lunch today:

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So it’s been another busy week in the ‘Thrift’ household.

I will leave you with a photograph of my flowers.  I never did get a vase when I went charity shopping, so I used half of an old lemonade bottle instead to put my flowers into…..I don’t think it looks too bad after all.

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Thank you for reading my blog today, I will be back next Friday as usual.

I hope you have a good weekend.

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Weed Suppressant Paths And Parsnip Crisps

When I had my first allotment in 2005, I decided to have four rotational areas which I separated with Michaelmus Daisys and I must say they look beautiful in September each year when they flower.

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At first, I would walk all over the soil to plant things and dig it all over each winter.  This was easy to do with one plot but when I took on more plots four years ago, I had to re-look at how I did things.

I decided that in between each row of Michaelmus Daisys I would have four ‘fixed’ beds separated by paths, so I didn’t need to walk on the soil.  The only exception was my potato bed, where I would remove the paths each year and dig the whole area over.

I used weed suppressant that I cut to size for my paths and held it down with small tent pegs.  However, the wind had other ideas so I had to resort to holding it down with bricks instead.

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The bricks were not ideal as the slugs love hiding underneath them and I have often fallen over the bricks when I am not looking at my feet.  Also, the wind still blows the weed suppressant about, as you can see in the photograph below, but the worse thing is the weed suppressant frays like mad where I cut it and I have strands of it everywhere, which gets tangled up in my trowel, fork and even around my legs sometimes.

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  On the plus side however, the paths have been great as I didn’t need to walk on the soil, which meant I could weed when the ground was really wet (as I could just reach into the bed) and all I’ve needed to do each year is lightly fork the soil over if I wanted to and it doesn’t get compressed.

So I decided I needed to do something different.

I thought long and hard and considered the usual options of slabs (which would be far too expensive), wood chip paths (again expensive for the wood to edge the paths) and just plain soil paths (I tried this before and I spent ages weeding them).  In the end I decided to have another go at weed suppressant paths, but this time I was determined to do them properly with no edges to fray.

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I brought the weed suppressant from our allotment shop as it is only £2 per meter (with a width of four meters wide), so this is really good value, though it is a low grade weed suppressant that does need to be doubled.

I cut it into strips that were large enough to be doubled over and I left a couple of inches extra to sew the hems.

I found the weed suppressant would not pass through my sewing machine as it keep catching underneath, so after a whole morning of trying every way possible, I unfortunately had to edge the top and bottom of it with duct tape before I could manage to machine sew it.

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I sewed the sides together and then turned the weed suppressant inside out

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I then ironed the path flat (I was supprised I could iron it without it melting, but it was fine)

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I then sewed the ends up

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And then I used some Eyelets to stop it from fraying when I pinned it down onto the ground.  I also used a bit of duct tape before putting each eyelet on, to give the weed suppressant a bit more strength.

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I spaced the eyelets just wide enough to fit the double pins that I had bought, to hold the weed suppressant down.

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I’m hoping these pins will be better than the small tent pegs I used originally… but I will let you know when it is next windy.

I laid the paths at my allotment and I am really pleased with them.  I think the paths look much better without the bricks and fraying:

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If the new pins hold the paths down, then I will try and do the rest of the weed suppressant paths around my allotment over the next year or so.

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Parsnip Crisps:

I’ve not written a recipe on my blog for ages, so I thought today I would.

I like to use everything I grow in as many different ways that I can.  At the moment I still have parsnips at my allotment and it won’t be long before I need the space for something else.

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Parsnips are lovely roasted and I especially like them in a spicy parsnip soup or a nice parsnip cake.

You can also use parsnips to make ‘parsnip crisps’, which is something a little bit different and they taste wonderful when they are served warm.

  This is how I make them:

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Parsnip Crisps

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800g parsnips

6 teaspoons olive oil

Salt to taste

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Preheat your oven to Gas 3 / 160C /325F

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Wash, peel and slice your parsnips finely (I used my food processor for quickness, as it has a slicing attachment)

Rub the olive oil all over the parsnips

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Lay the parsnip slices on greased baking sheets

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And bake in the oven for 25 minutes, turning half way through the cooking time

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While thay are still hot, sprinkle with salt and then enjoy!

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Thank you for reading my blog today.

I will be back on Monday at my usual time.