Tuesday, 26 February 2013
Hello there! I make no apologies for using a similar photo to my previous header - this is such a beautiful bunch as is still going strong since last Wednesday. SO cheerful Hopefully it won't be long before there is some colour in the garden as well.
Now then. I'm a little late with the New Year Resolutions (not that I make any, usually!) but I feel the urge to make a statement of intention. I am going to get myself organised. Yes, you may laugh. I can be very organised. My problem is I find it difficult being organised in more than area of my life at a time. And while one area is sparkling and fresh and working well, the other areas are falling behind, becoming more and more tangled in their own miasma of disorganisation, eventually spilling out and spreading the chaos over everywhere else. Then I am back to being totally disorganised again. This needs taking in hand.
I have started making plans - oh I'm great at that! And I have begun tinkering with certain bits that needed attention urgently. But more is needed. I'd like it on record that I have made an attempt to kick the sewing room turmoil into touch:
OK, OK, so this is just my desk, but scroll back to my last post and see the state of it then! All my felt / wool is tidied away properly, and the Taupe Basket blocks which never came out of their box while I was in New Zealand! A long way to go I admit, but even this has made me feel better.
Now on the food front, I have been thinking for some time I need to get back to planning my menus and also wishing to be a bit more frugal with ingredients, not so wasteful with purchases, and cooking more from scratch. (which last, to be honest I mostly do.) So I intend to go through the freezers and make a list of what's in there, (yeah, you uber-organised people, some of us don't, you know!!) and try and use it up before buying anything else. Hmmm, we'll see. But I made a start. I had in the freezer some smoked haddock which was bought as a bargain. In the fridge some smoked bacon, part of a clump bought cheap as 'cooking bacon' (what the heck else would you do with it??)and as I don't like smoked bacon on its own I knew it wouldn't get used. Half each of a red and yellow pepper, couple of ribs of celery, two small red onions, a solitary courgette, a bunch of coriander which I forgot to use up the other day, and a couple of baking potatoes which wouldn't last much longer.
Spuds were flashed in the microwave then sliced thickly and reserved. All ingredients except fish were sautéed, fish chopped and gently cooked in milk in the oven. I added some flour to the veggies, stirred to cook, added the milk from the fish, with a spot more, and added some seasoning. Piled the mixture into a dish, dotted the chunks of fish through the sauce, and topped with the spuds. Into the oven to cook and crisp up. We had half for lunch and will finish it off tomorrow. It may not look like haute cuisine to you but it was pretty good!
In my search for inspiration in the field of frugality I have been regularly reading a blog called 'Frugal in Norfolk', and some weeks ago the blogger - who does not reveal her name - gave a recipe for faggots. Now I know they are not everyone's favourite food, but I rather like them, on a cold day. I'm sure amongst my many cookery books I must have a recipe, but this one was there in front of me and I bookmarked it for further use. On Monday I made a batch of my own. Now I stupidly made them meatball size - they should be a bit bigger - but they tasted really good, with some lovely thick gravy. From a 300g pack each of pork shoulder and pork liver I got a fine meal for two and all this for the freezer:
Yes, the meat is eked out with homemade wholemeal breadcrumbs (from a time when I was obviously being 'organised ' on the food front!) and veggies such as onions, garlic, celery, a chunk of lonely chorizo, some of that cheap bacon (misshapes, they used to call it), and seasoning and herbs. But I think this is how we probably should be using meat. It made me feel pretty pleased with myself, I can tell you! (In fact I think there is enough in each pack to have some left overs. )
So, there it is. I am on a mission. However I don't want to make too big a thing of it because I will then fail at the first fence. Little by little. Gently does it.. Any tips or hints on the organisational front gratefully received! My next topic to get to grips with is my sewing projects. Hmmm. Wish me luck!