A Plague of Frugality

Usually, I am the arch-nemesis of Martha Stewart. I spurn all recipes that take more than fifteen minutes to prepare. I always buy ingredients that come ready-peeled, ready-cut and ready-cooked. If my daughter’s buttons fall off then I have to go to my mum’s house to borrow a needle and thread. If my son’s pants get ripped, then I staple them all better. If something breaks – then I throw it out. And buy another one. I don’t make artful little things from scraps. Indeed, the only thing I can do just like Martha – is tell white lies. (Its called exaggerating in my house.) And I must be better at it then Martha because I have yet to get caught and sent to prison for it.

However. Since moving to the Land of the Long White Cloud, I have been overcome by a plague of frugality. Spendthriftiness. A desire to make less feed more. These attacks are most probably prompted by the fact that my writing has yet to earn me millions of dollars.( And because Subway’s employment practises discriminate against larger women.) Yes, I am now doing things I never did. And buzzed to bits with my own cleverness. Can I just show off? (Because thats what blogs are for…)

I am amazing. Because –
* The other night when we dined on roast chicken I gathered up all the chicken bones and gnawed up carcass and used it to make my own chicken stock. Yes really! And Im just so proud of myself! Did you know that making your own stock is soooo simple? You chuck all the chickcen scraps in a pot with water and then throw in lots of onions and random herbs and even weeds from your garden. Let it boil all day. Then youre left with this big mess. You drain it and VOILA you have pure, bona fide, homemade, 100% AWESOME chicken stock. I carefully poured it into two ziplock bags and froze it to use in future stews, casseroles and such. Every now and again I have to take a peek into the freezer at my stock to remind myself how clever I am. Is very good for self-esteem let me tell you. If someone is mean to you – then you just remind yourself that in your freezer, you have delightful little packets of stock that you made from bones that you would otherwise have thrown in the trash!

In fact, I am realizing that its not that difficult to be Martha Stewart. In the past few weeks, I have made divine fruit crumble using rotten mushy apples and pears, casseroles with leftover fries and hamburgers, cookies with stale Weet Bix, and household cleaners with lemon juice and orange peels. The only thing I havent done, is sew myself a new winter wardrobe using our old curtains. Or craft high heels from tin cans.

I have been so amazing and no doubt saved us buckets of money with my frugality. Which is why I’m awarding myself the ‘Martha Stewart Award for Excellence’. And going clothes shopping. Because I’ve earned it.

A dress made from a telephone book. Maybe I’ll make one next week?