Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Plastics and pea burgers

We've had some right funny weather here today. First it's sunny, then it gets all windy, then big black clouds come over and chuck a load of snow at us, then the sun comes out. Temperature wise, it's flippin freezing cold. Not a good day for going out. So what did I do? I thought you might be interested to see how I organise this cupboard.
I have a big wall cupboard in the kitchen which houses all my plastic containers and bottles, it could do with a sort out and a tidy up. These bottles are different sizes, I keep them because they are useful for making up diluted fruit juice drinks to take with me when I go out for the day, or several days. The bigger bottles I fill with tap water if I take a trip in the car.  I wash the bottles out when I get back home, and if any of them are looking a bit grotty I chuck them in the recycling bin. The old bottles get thrown and new ones are bought to replace them. Most of these have come from the cash and carry, or the reduced section of the supermarket. I never pay full price for a bottled drink. The smaller bottles will fit nicely in a shoulder bag, along with a sandwich and a banana. A handy lunch for the day.
In this pile are an assortment of small pots and tubs. Some are used for freezing portions of soups or stews, others can be used for storing any small objects in them. You never know when you might need a small plastic container, so it's a good idea to keep some handy. I haven't yet found a use for the small white Coffee Mate shakers. They could be used to store any dried food and herbs. Some of these could be used to propagate seeds, especially the yogurt pots, and the milk bottle. Just cut the top off the bottle and make drainage holes in the bottom.
I like to keep a few microwavable dishes, for heating up portions of my home made soup or stew. There's no need to buy any of these from a kitchenware shop, just buy a few ready meals and keep the trays they come in. They can be used over again, and replaced and recycled when they are worn out.
These are storage boxes which I have bought from shops. I bought them long before I started my frugal journey, some of them must be more than twenty years old. I won't be buying any more, these will last me. Sometimes I make up a salad in a box and take it with me when I go out for the day. They are also useful for storing portions of food in the refrigerator.
I keep a selection of smaller containers. Some of these are handy for packed lunches if I want to take some tinned fruit with me. I can put some into a tub with a tight fitting lid. I use them for camping and hostelling. Coffee, sugar, and dried milk containers.
The small ones store nicely in this big plastic box.
All sorted and tidy.
So, what happened to the peas. They soaked in a bowl for 24 hours. Then I followed the instructions on the packet and rinsed them, boiled them for ten minutes, and simmered for 40 minutes. Then they were done. I added about half of them to the vegetable curry I made yesterday. Then put several spoonfulls into a mixing bowl. They were a bit sloppy so I added three slices of crumbled granary bread and some grated cheese. I chopped an onion and fried it in a small pan with some garlic, a crumbled veg stock cube, and some dried mixed herbs. When the onion was cooked I added it to the peas. It would have been better if I added an egg, but I didn't have any left.  
 
Next I made three small burgers. They were falling apart a bit because the mix wasn't stiff enough, I don't have any flour so I opened a cheap packet of stuffing mix and used this to coat them, and firm them up. I cooked them in the pan with a drop of oil, and flipped them over to cook the other side. Here they are, my pea burgers. They were very nice, but the stuffing had such a strong sage and onion taste. Perfectly acceptable but maybe I won't use the stuffing mix next time.
I'm going to freeze the rest of the peas in portions. There's a heck of a lot of peas in one 45p bag of split green peas. I shall probably buy them again, as they are a perfect filler for soups and stews, and maybe more experimental burgers.
Toodle pip.

23 comments:

  1. I do like the look of those burgers!

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  2. Split green peas are a great addition to soups and stews and they add some protein also.
    I am trying to rid myself of plastic but it is not that easy. I do get concerned about the amount of it in the landfills and oceans.
    What every did we do before plastic. I supposed we did have freezers then. Trying to use glass jars instead.

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  3. I like the look of the burgers as well. I have been busy clearing out my cupboards too.

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  4. Hello Ilona from House fairy
    Oh Ilona, did you not throw any thing out?
    I like to tidy and declutter. Do you really need all those bottles?

    Today, wile I was waiting for the dog in the groom room, having a tidy up - I went to Asda.
    Well, for a change there were many food items with yellow stickers. I went a little mad and put £26 of reduced food in my trolley. Peaches, plumbs, parsnips, mixed stew pack, cabbage, leeks. Pack swede and carrot.
    x4 lots of fish, 3 veggie pizza, stewing steak and a small pork joint. x6 mini beef pies.
    1x loaf @ 40p.
    Que'd at the check out and said to the lady "I have mostly reduced items today".(Hinting to look so I did not pay full price).
    Did I get the LOOK! just said "we all have to look after the pennies these days".

    Husband was pleased as he found me at the till and paid the bill.
    Some of my bargains have gone in the freezer, ate some for tea. Tomorrow will put the slow cooker on to batch cook and then freeze.

    Proud of our dog too! I joined the shop loyalty scheme and had been sent vouchers. 10% off first use and £5 off with £25 spend. So his wash and brush up was reduced from £41 to £31.90.

    Decluttered this morning - gave next door lots of dvd's. You can only watch the same old ones so many times. I said we did not want them BACK! just pass on what you do not want or charity shop.

    Good night.

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    1. Hi House Fairy. I did throw a few things out, but I probably have more bottles than I need. I like to keep a variety, different sizes to fit into different bags. Also I can throw them away while I am out, knowing I have got more at home.

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  5. Clever use of the peas! I bet you are right about missing the egg to hold it together a bit more.

    Funny about the stuffing, because just yesterday I made a clean-out-the-fridge quiche, with all sorts of bits and pieces in it. I had about 2 tablespoons of cornbread stuffing leftover from an earlier dinner, so I chucked that into the quiche and didn't add any other spices. My gosh, the entire quiche tastes like Thanksgiving Day. A little cranberry sauce on the side might be a good idea!

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  6. I used some stuffing mix to bind 'frugal queens' faggot recipe last week. It was perfect with the pork and liver. I once made Delia's chickpea burgers and the kids still harp on how awful they were ! I love all types of legumes but getting anyone else to eat them is a real challenge.

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  7. I have just been raiding our recycling container pulling out everything that could be used to propogate seeds. I have a margarine tub, some milk bottles and some toilet roll tubes. I am also saving an empty bottle to make a drip irrigation system for my plants (eg http://www.practicalgardening.blackdovenest.com/2011/06/drip-irrigation-using-soda-pop-plastic.html). Now I just need somewhere to keep it all!

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    1. Good recycling Bry. I have an assortment of containers in my garage as used last year. Need to sort through them.

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  8. Ilona, your pea burgers look delicious. I make salmon burgers sometimes and what I do is use an egg in the mix like you said you should have and then I coat the burgers with bread crumbs and roll them into a meatball shape first. Then I place a large spoon on top and gently press down on the top and it forms a burger but so gently as to not break them. After that, I put them in the fridge for an hour or so before cooking them. This firms them up and they seem not to fall apart while cooking. Of course, I never used peas in the burgers so I don't know if those hints will help you with your burgers. The first time I made them, I didn't chill them and they fell apart. Next time you make them, give it a try and let me know if it worked.

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    1. Ah, chill in the fridge, I was too impatient to do that. Not to worry, I have more of the mix in a bowl in the fridge right now. Will make some for lunch. Must buy some more eggs also.

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  9. Im not sure if the pea burgers would act the same, but I put my bean burgers in the fridge to firm up for an hour or so and they handle much better. Much less falling apart.
    Hope the weather gets better for you...we are looking at a pretty good sized snow storm coming friday for us here in the US northeast at least it was sunny today!

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  10. I always save my Coffee-Mate shakers too. They hold both liquid and dry ingredients well. It just seems like a big waste to use them once.
    I always get hungry when I look at your food pics. (Yum!)

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    1. Hi Cat. I normally buy Coffee Mate in big tubs, but these little dinky ones were cheap. They are too cute to throw away.

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  11. I was just thinking what a good idea it was to use stuffing mix instead of breadcrumbs, when you went and said the taste was too strong. Maybe a mix of a third stuffing mix to two thirds breadcrumbs would be worth a try for me.....I love stuffing mix, and as a psecatarian I tend to just have an extra stuffing ball instead of the meat if I do a roast dinner :-)

    I don't like plastic AT ALL, and am trying to phase it out of the kitchen but sometimes those plastic stroage tubs are simply too handy and they ARE great for the freezer I admit.

    I never cook with plastic though, either in the oven or microwave, the smell it gives off tells me it can't possibly be healthy.

    Sue xx

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    1. I only microwave the plastic trays which are made for ready meals, I don't use any other plasic for cooking. I have never noticed a smell coming off them.

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  12. Nice idea for burgers! You could use a few slices of soft bread instead of the stuffing mix next time. Bread is a good binder.

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  13. I love the look of those burgers, I must make some of those, yum yum! x

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  14. that looks really good, may have to try them........

    Gill

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  15. They look lovely do the pea burgers. They reminded me of Peas Pakora which I am sure you would like as your like curries. Cartons I never think of saving them mainly for storage space but you have set me thinking perhaps I will have to change my ways lol.

    Sue R

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  16. I have an abundance of glass containers, as our recycling doesn't pick these up. I can not bring myself to just throw them out, so I freeze milk, broth, etc. in the spaghetti sauce and pickle jars. Thankfully none have ever broken. I save all my old parmesean cheese shaker type containers and keep baking soda in them. I have one under each sink for handy cleaning of sinks and toilets. Thank you for all your lovely tips. My husband and I and our three cats live as frugaly as possible...and seem to be getting better with each passing day :) Janet

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  17. You've inspired me today I have cleaned out all the unwanted junk and post out of my kitchen wall cupboard and sorted the post that i stuff in there. Now I can actually see what I've got going to do a cupboard a day and get a bit organized. yay me!. Can I ask, Your homemade burgers can you cook them in the oven or would they dry out do you think?. trying to loose weight :-) x

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  18. Sorry If I've done this twice but I signed in and lost it( i think) Thanks for the inspiration to clean out my cupboards today. I have sorted out my wall cupboard and de-junked and sorted the post that I just shove in there. Quick question, if you have time. Your burgers, do you think they would be ok cooked in the oven or do you think they would dry out? trying to avoid oil trying to loose weight :-) x

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