What is Operation Jam Jar?

Operation Jam Jar is all about getting back to basics in the kitchen.

Check out my efforts at cooking from scratch - cakes, soups, biscuits

Learn how to make things that you would normally buy at the supermarket - wraps, ice cream, pizza bases

Try to live a more 'country' lifestyle in the city - making your own jams or relish

Get the skills to enjoy cooking in a thrifty way, and have a bit of fun while you do it

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Libraries….Shhhhh…..They’re Awesome

How long has it been since you went to the library? Since high school or university?

Honestly, I think that libraries are one of the biggest untapped resources around. Just to recap – you go in there, look around at the books, DVDs, CDs and magazines. And then they let you take whatever you want home!

Last time I went to the library I borrowed 15 books. Super nerd!

I like to go the libraries and borrow cook books & food magazines to get inspired. The good thing with food mags is that even the old ones are not really out of date (unless you are reading one from 1993 about how awesome foccacia, friands and sun-dried tomatoes are)

Even though it is not as nice as having your own cook books at home, what I do is photocopy the recipes I want to try and stick them in a notebook.

A library book that I really enjoyed recently was all about living on $21 a week for your groceries. No, not $21 every week for the rest of your life. Get real. Just sometimes, say if you got a big bill after getting your car serviced (like I did a few weeks ago). The idea behind it is that there are all sorts of sneaky meals lurking in our fridge, freezer and pantry.


The other thing they say is that a big part of the challenge is realising that every meal doesn’t have to be The Best Dinner Ever and sometimes eggs on toast is a fine choice.

This book also talks about the importance of planning ahead. Seriously I know it sounds like a pain to do that but it’s the best way to stop wasting money at the supermarket on things you ‘might’ need and then end up throwing out. I once had a serious pantry clear out (I know, the hours must fly by at my place) and found at least 10 cans of coconut milk. I used to just buy them every time I went shopping. The funny thing is I don’t even use it that often! The $21 challenge book even has whole sections of recipes dedicated to the things that everyone has always got in the pantry (tuna, pasta, eggs, rice). Awesome.

Have you got any random items clogging up your cupboards?

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