Friday, 13 March 2015

A frugal feast

I keep peering hopefully in the fridge, which is a bit mad.
Last day of the Challenge though, and even with an empty, echoey fridge, no one's gone hungry.
I thought I'd quickly whisk through how we've managed to stretch out our £15 supplies this week.

One of the first things I made was a tomato sauce, using the tinned toms, onion, sugar and a squeeze of ketchup (plus the end of a carton of passata). Very handy for pizzas and pasta, and I'm hanging on to what's left for the grand finale pizzas tonight.

Bread. Such a joy. We wouldn't have got through the week without homemade bread. I mixed the plain cheaper flour I bought with half a bag of strong white and some wholewheat flour from the cupboard. Worked a treat I've got to say. One kilo for each batch - enough for two decent sized, (flattish-looking) loaves. I did all the kneading before school pick up, and by the time we got home they'd risen, and were ready for the oven. Warm bread with a (rationed) slither of butter. So good.


The oat cookies kept the kids happy on the way home from school. We all decided they were better than my usual ones; probably because the porridge oats from Lidl are a bit finer than the oats I normally use. 39p a bag too - definitely be buying those again.

AND the 30p a bar dark chocolate. Of course no one noticed a change in the brownies; they disappeared just as quickly. No cries of, 'Mummy, I simply can't eat brownies with such a low cocoa content!'
Can you imagine.

A few spoonfuls of mango chutney livened up the mild chicken curry, so that's worth doing again too. We could have managed without splashing out 40p on rice - we didn't use much and I had a little left in the cupboard. The 40p could have gone towards getting some more milk…. I had to buy extra after the 10 year old (the only milk drinker) knocked the bottle over at breakfast. I hate cleaning milk off the floor, especially at 6.30 in the morning.

Making pancakes is another thing I don't really want to be doing at 6.30 in the morning - but the kids loved them, and for about 10 minutes I was the best mum ever.

The gnocchi was a revelation. I've never made it before - there only appears to be 3 basic ingredients (potato, flour, egg), but, frustratingly, ever recipe I found was different. So, I just mashed some spud, added an egg and mixed in flour until it looked sort of like dough. It was messy- even messier than my bread making, which is saying something, but everybody liked it. Even the fussy one.

I suppose I've missed fruit and a bit of green - our meals have been a rather samey yellowy orange colour… you've probably noticed. But we've all had plenty to eat; it's just meant more planning and more making for me. I've liked being one step ahead - though, as I've learnt from previous years, not quite enough to change my bumbling-along ways!

Still, I've picked up a few useful ideas and we've raised money for Comic Relief, so that's all good.

Fish and chips tomorrow.


8 comments:

  1. Great job, Tracey! You hit the nail on the head about planning and doing most of the work yourself. Maybe I should take the challenge. Enjoy your fish and chips tomorrow!!! Linda@Wetcreek Blog

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    1. Thanks Linda!
      Do give it a go - think it's a good thing to try, on lots of levels!

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  2. Give yourself a pat on the back for being not only resourceful, but thrifty and helping a charity. Will there be a glass of wine with the fish and chips?
    The bread and the brownies look very moreish. xx

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    1. Too moreish - I'm having a bread break! Completely overdid it last week.
      Fab fish supper, washed down with a glass or two :) xx

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  3. Brilliant! Well done you. I too never spend stacks of money on chocolate for brownies, I find that the cheaper chocolate tastes just as good, if not better! And yes, gnocchi is fiddly isn't it? But so worth making your own! :)

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    1. Thanks Emma :) Definitely do gnocchi again, but will try following a recipe next time!

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  4. Well done again! You did the challenge again :o)... and looks like you came up with some scrummy recipes. I am currently doing a sort of detox and feeling it with all the toxins clearing away - feels a bot like a cold. I'm looking at getting a lot more into baking again this year - homemade biscuits are so much nicer than shop bought! X

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    1. going to try to keep up the baking - seem to have waves of enthusiasm - though not really having one this week….a bit baked out! x

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