If you can’t find it, make it! (Well, maybe.)

I spent a lot of today out and about at a library, the antique store, at a thrift shop, etc. I looked at cookbooks in a bookstore, nothing of interest. All newer, less calories, high-gloss photos books…grilling…be a happy vegetarian. Blah. I have all that sort of thing I want. There was one book on budget family meals, but I have loads of those too. What I want is the book I’m writing. And why am I writing it? Because I can’t find it — that’s why brother!

What do I want? A shopping guide, a cooking guide, a money-saving guide

1) Information by month, seasonal foods, not just produce: Meats, canned goods, dairy. Also non-food sale calendar.

2)Information by fresh food item, what’s in a bushel? what’s in a wholesale lot? How to save $, how to cook most economically.

3)Comparison info, for example, if chicken thighs are $1 a lb and whole breast, with skin & bones, is $2 a lb and turkey breast with bone & skin is $2.50 a lb, which is the better deal if you 1)intend to use bone/skin to make broth? or 2)if you intend to only use the meat and discard everything else?

4)Very long term storage foods, when they’re likely on sale (see #1) what to do with them if you don’t want to cook (many of these are grains, rice, wheat, etc).

5)Leftover flow. What do you do with potato water (make bread/doughnuts, soup) or whey from making mozzarella (make ricotta, I think…it may be make ricotta then make mozzarella?) or pasta water or flour dregs or…

Dibs & dabs. I love left over cookbooks, but frequently they talk about the 1/2 a chicken you have left. I don’t need help with that! I need help when I have 1 drumstick, 2 small potatoes, and an onion! Do  I make onion gravy, use the bone to help flavor it, pull the cooked meat off the bone, chop it and serve it with gravy over the potatoes, or is there something better I can do? make potato soup with chicken bits? How do I know? (I think this is unanswerable, as it depends on the skills of the cook, the season, the size of their family, and how much food they actually have.)

6)Where do I go to find any/all of these? Over the years I have found many, many sources for some of them, but that means many websites, books, people, etc. Not very convenient!

I spent part of tonight working on the badge thing so I won’t inflict the tallies on people any more! The photoshop we’ve got won’t do it. Maybe open office draw will, it certainly looks at least feasible with that. I played with it until I started to get snarly. DH had to help me initially, I certainly wouldn’t have accomplished a darn thing without him.

I got rid of 3 more things than I bought today, which gives me 8711, and 85.5% for today. (Yes, I did a paper chase, which is included.)

J

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2 responses to “If you can’t find it, make it! (Well, maybe.)

  1. that is an awesome idea for a book!

  2. Why thanks! My idea for the book initially was a notebook for fresh foods, with a page for each item. That’s mostly done. One of the things I made sure to include was alternate names for foods.

    Because I use old cookbooks, I kept running into this. What’s salterus? sparrowgrass? etc. Can I buy them? (salterus, no it was a type of leavening, use baking soda; sparrowgrass = asparagus, yes!) I wanted a reference. I have several produce manuals, guides, encyclopedias, but that’s not very handy. I want ONE PLACE to look, not several. If I’m making canned corn, What’s in a bushel? What’s the yield I can expect from a bushel for cut corn? Creamed corn? When is corn’s peak season? What are heirloom varieties? What are the types I can buy seed for otherwise? What’s the difference?

    i could go on and on.

    The buying guide is in process, it’s a much longer and more complicated project than the reference book. The reason it doesn’t exist I’ve discovered is that the information is NOT easy to find. If you can find it or figure it out, presenting it in an easy to use/read format is another whole set of seemingly unsolvable problems.

    Good thing I’m not daunted by hard, long projects!

    Thanks Heidi for the comment. Glad you like the idea!

    J

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