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Archive for September, 2004

Books on sale

September 30th, 2004 at 11:12 am

Went grocery shopping this week and at the one end of the hypermarket (big store that sells more than just food) was a table of new books on sale for R10- a lot of it was junk- but I did find a really nice SF short story collection (Ray Bradbury) for DH.
Which proves that when you see books on sale you should always look- I find that often people donít always know what they are selling- often the SF is on sale as theyíre isnít a very big readership

Experimental Muffins

September 30th, 2004 at 01:22 am

I had several jars of fruit mince (the type to make Xmas mince pies) in the fridge- some from 2 Christmases ago- and I have been wondering what to do with them, other than mince pies
So I made muffins- and they are surprisingly good. I used a choc chip muffin recipe, added a few spices- ginger and cinnamon- about a half jar of fruit mince- Christmas muffins. A nice touch is to dust them with icing sugar when they come out of the oven- as you would with Mince pies.
DH has taken several to work- I often make extra for him to take- he works as a sys admin- there are 12 of them and they all love muffins

Frugal Supper

September 26th, 2004 at 01:03 am

I cooked up a large pot of Dhal( split lentil curry), which we had with brown rice and boiled eggs. I can make a pot of dhal for about R10($2) and it makes at least 7 servings. Thats why I needed my spices:-)
Had strwberries, cream and straberry jelly( i think you call it jello in the states- in SA jelly is the sweet stuff that wobbles and jam is what you put on bread)for dessert
Frugal and very yummy
Also means I have good leftovers for lunch or supper today

Long Weekend

September 24th, 2004 at 03:20 am

Tody is a public holiday in SA- Heritage Day. It's a day when the focus is on celebrating our different and common heritages, and the various cultures and languages in South Africa. Did you know that SA is the country with the most official languages - we have 11. It's also " Proudly South African" week , where the focus is on buying and supporting SA goods and business.
DH has taken Monday off- so we are looking forward to nice quiet long weekend

Organising Spices

September 23rd, 2004 at 06:01 am

I've reorganising my spices.
Why are spices sold in funny little containers, which you can't access with a teaspoon. My local indian spice shop sells them in little plastic bags- great till first use. And spice racks- I have yet to find one that works for consistent use. Looks good for dispaly, not for cooking with every night.
So I have been putting all my spices into old glass jars, with screw on lids. This way I can see how much spice I have left, and can measure out with a teaspoon. The spices stay dry this way.
Iam also labelling them- has anyone ever had to try and identify whether a unidentified spice is chilli powder, meat masala, hot masala- you get the picture.
My DH normally get given this job- "here taste- what do you think this is? "Guess what he's going to be doing when he gets home.





Uses for Fabric Paint

September 20th, 2004 at 12:46 pm

I'm really chuffed with this tip- I sent it to one of our local magazines, and won a prize for the best tip of the month so I thought I would share it with all of you:

I recently spilled bleach on a favourite skirt (purple colour made of patches of velvet and satin).
The stain was small but very noticeable. As it was such a small stain I was reluctant to dye the whole skirt-
when I found fabric paint on sale at my local craft shop for R15 for a large jar. I painted the skirt where the stain was
( took three thin coats) and now it's as good as new.
This might not work on very smooth fabrics, but as the skirt was already textured any texture just fits right in
Favourite skirt saved for R15 or $2.50

Cheap Cleaning Materials

September 18th, 2004 at 04:10 am

Cheap Cleaning Materials
Managed to get quite a bargain on cleaning mateials today- a small supplier near us has a factory shop where if you bring your own container/ bottele they'll fill it up for you
so for R60- about $10- I got 3 litres fabric softener, 2 pounds washing powder, 2 lits dishwashing liquid, 2 lits bleach, 3 lits disinfectant- pine sented, and2 lts all purpose cleaner
Everything is about R3.50 a litre
You can buy in their containers but it's cheaper if you bring your own- also means I can use use up all the juice and soda bottles

Choc mousse

September 16th, 2004 at 11:53 pm

Here is my choc mousse recipe- it's really easy and looks terribly impressive
To serve about 8- 10- you can double or halve this as you need:

500g DARK chocolate
1 tbs butter
1 heaped tbs cocoa
9 eggs- separated
500ml( 2cups) cream
flavouring- I use coffee( 2tsps strong instant in 1 tbs hot water) or you can use 2 tbs of your favourite liquer if u drink

Melt choc , add butter , cocoa, and when slightly cooled, egg yolks, and flavour
Whisk egg whites till stiff - fold in
Whisk cream till stiff- fold in
pour into glass bowl and leave in fridge at least overnight
Decorate with whatever- I use choc curls
and there you have very impressive mousse
Enjoy:-))
TBS= tablespoon= 15 ml
TSP= teaspoon= 5 ml
500g= 1 pound

Shopping at Traffic Lights

September 16th, 2004 at 08:39 am

Don't laugh- Traffic lights are where you can buy anything and get good bargains- any major traffic light( we call them robots) or intersection in Johannsburg.
You can buy anything, and I mean anything- toys, cell chargers and covers, caps, posters, curios, fruit, clothes hangers, refuse bags, bean bags, key rings, bags, cologne and that's some of it
Most of the poople selling have no other source of income, so this is there only livelihood
Must remember to carry some cash with me tommoorw- need some more hangers- at R20 for 20( that's $3)

Leftovers are wonderful

September 16th, 2004 at 12:57 am

It's been wonderful spring weather this week- 24C
Today we finish the last leftovers from the BBQ- it's been wonderful that I haven't had to cook since sunday- guess it makes up for cooking whole of saturday
Choc mousee keeps so well, and tastes better after being in the fridge for a few days, carrotsald lasts- I allways make sure we finish the meat and mayo salads first
Also haven't spent any money this week- ok R5( less than a $) for 1 loaf of bread-but that's it- feels good

Recycling in SA

September 13th, 2004 at 11:13 pm

Today is rubbish day so I thought I would share with you how we recycle.There are very few formal programmes- what happens in most of our city is that unemployed people come around every rubbish day and collect the paper and cardboard, which they then take to the center- in supermarket trolleys- whre they get paid
So to help these people survive and make less mess most people place their paper on top of the bins, as well as old clothes,or food.
Soda cans are also mostly recyled.
So we do recycle, just informally- the informal sector is the fastest growing sector in the SA economy

Not buying any more video tapes

September 13th, 2004 at 06:44 am

Today I decided I am not buying any more blank VHS tapes- I use them to tape programmes or movies that we( DH & I)want to watch, but then of course we don't always get around to watching the movie and we also like to keep the tapes of some of the better movies
However the cupboard under the TV was full, no more space left for new tapes, so I culled some old movies that we had seen but actually didn't really want to see again
I've vowed that I am not buying any more blank tapes( new releases- we'll just have to see) this year- we will jsut have tio use tha ones we have- hoping this will save me money as weel as reducing the clutter

Succesful BBQ- ideas for stretching ice cream

September 12th, 2004 at 10:31 pm

Had a lovely BBQ yesterday afternoon, actually very hot- 25C and it's only spring
Now I have plenty of leftovers I wont have to cook for at least a couple of days
Managed to come up with 2 new ideas this weekend
1- Turned our washing line- it's a circular model which turns- into an umbrella by draping two large pieces of fabric over it- good cheap shade
2- Sorted out my icecream shelf of the freezer- I had about 6 half and quarter full tubs, so I pulled them all out, softened them in the microwave and mixed all the SAME flavours together- took all the choc ones and mixed together, all the berry flavours etc-turned out really well- I landed up with 2 full tubs of ice cream, and four spare tubs to use for storage, freezing etc and best of all I didn't spend money on more icecream which would have been half finished and sat in the freezer for months

Cat food on sale

September 9th, 2004 at 05:44 am

I am a happy camper- just got back from the supermarket- and the cat food I normally buy was Half price- this was an unadvertised special - I was only planning on stocking up next week- but stock up I did...
Was just as well as I've had to but a few extra's for the BBQ on on the weekend- bit this definitely helps
We have an interesting "informal industry" here is SA- called car guards. Unemplyed people, sometimes organsied in a group, will offfer to watch your car while you shop, help you unpack your bags- and you tip them whatever change you feel approporiate- this may sound odd but we have no form of dole or social security here - you get unemployment for about 6 months( 45% of your last salary, assuming of course that you have had a job) and then that is IT...

Another Money saving day

September 8th, 2004 at 01:50 pm

Today was another good money saving day... fish and chips ( french fries) for supper- made from scratch
Alos starting a rag rug, using canvas and old fabric- managed to finish 2 rows while watching TV- wonder how long the whole thing is going to take me- but then again I guess it's better than just vegging in front of TV
No money spent- but it's shopping day tommorow and the list is long- having a BBQ (we call it a braai) this weekend
In case again is wondering Lieweheksie means " Lovable little witch" in Afrikaans( a derivative of Dutch and other langs)- given to me by my MIL 'cause I occasionally do tarot readings

Frugal Day

September 8th, 2004 at 03:03 am

Yesterday was a good frugal day...love it when those happen
DH is of work with the flu, so we both stayed home. Made veggie soup for supper, and baked some treats with puff pastry from the freezer.Spent nothing- allways like days when we can stay home and enjoy ourselves.DH says if we spend so **much for the house we can at least stay home and enjoy it

Suprise in the mail

September 6th, 2004 at 03:31 am

Got a nice suprise in the mail today- I won a competition
Not a big prize- a hamper of mens skin care products. DH will probably use some of them- like the aftershave balm, but I think the moisturisers for men will go into the gift drawer, for the younger more "metrosexual" of our friends
This is the second prize this year- last one was also a toiletry hamper, with baby and adult products
Allways nice to win something

Spring is here

September 6th, 2004 at 01:51 am

Spring has definitely sprung- still a bit chilly from a cold wind, but the blossoms on the fruit trees are out
Looking forward to summer, just not the heat
I burn very easily in the rather harsh African sun, so one of my necessary expenses is heavy duty sunscreen- SPF 60. ROC makes a great product, expensive but means I can be in the sun and not resemble a lobster
If anyone has good tips on how to survive summer, please do post them as those of us doen south can definitely use them

Tax Refund

September 1st, 2004 at 03:29 am

Got my tax refund today- nice extra. Either it will go to replacing the dishwasher or paying for vet's bills- haven't decided yet.
Due to our rather erratic power supplies in winter, often we get power but the voltage is much lower than it should be- some of the more advanced digital appliances have the onboard computers blow- so next dishwasher will be old fashioned model with dials- no computer chips